SX Power Rankings: New man on top heading into last Anaheim race
After the big shakeup last weekend in Oakland, it’s anyone’s guess at this point as to #WhosNext? Ken Roczen’s comfortable lead over the field is officially gone and a new rider, Ryan Dungey, will carry the red number plate in the return to Anaheim on Saturday night. Now the 450SX Class field is rejuvenated and – as a result of Roczen’s misfortunes – a new rider sits atop the Power Rankings for the first time this season.
Each week, The Power Rankings will recognize the movers and shakers in Monster Energy Supercross.
1. Ryan Dungey – Red Bull KTM
(Last Week: 2 / +1)
The biggest beneficiary of Roczen’s troubles, Dungey now sits atop the championship standings and controls the 450SX Class field: A position he’s more than capable of maintaining. Dungey has been as consistent as we expected him to be and so far it’s paying off. He’ll have the chance to cement his position atop the points and the Power Rankings with another strong outing this weekend.
2. Trey Canard – Team Honda
(Last Week: 6 / +4)
We knew what Canard was capable of and, if anything, it was surprising to see that it took until the fourth round to truly show it. Canard is one to keep an eye on as this could be the momentum he needs to make a serious run at the title. His first career win in the AMA Pro Motocross Championship last summer catapulted him into being a consistent front-runner so it wouldn’t be surprising to see if he does that again.
3. Ken Roczen – RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s Suzuki
(Last Week: 1 / -2)
Considering some of us initially thought Roczen’s crash very well could have signified the end of his season, the fact that he avoided serious injury and still clawed his way to a 15th-place finish says a lot about his resiliency. As bad as things were, there were some positives to take away from a nightmarish night and it will be important for him to keep looking ahead and forget about what happened. We’ll all have a close eye on Roczen as he chases the Anaheim sweep.
4. Eli Tomac – GEICO Honda
(Last Week: 3 / -1)
A quiet, solid fourth-place finish for Tomac moved him into contention in the championship standings. The sophomore rider sits fourth in the standings and now is the time to strike and get back to the form that took him to victory in Phoenix. It’s been nothing but up since the opening round for Tomac and, now that he’s erased a huge chunk of the initial hole he found himself in, don’t be surprised if he starts pushing the pace again.
5. Justin Barcia – Autotrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha
(Last Week: 5 / No Change)
Barcia didn’t get a great start in Oakland and it forced him to fight for the sixth-place finish he earned. Starts have hindered any real chance Barcia’s had at contending for a win, but the speed is there. I’m sure he and JGR have given starts a lot of attention this week and it would be huge for Barcia to earn his first podium finish of 2015.
6. Cole Seely – Team Honda
(Last Week: 8 / +2)
We’ve seen some great rides from Seely, both in the main event and in heat races. Oakland was his best effort of the season and it has to be a big boost in confidence coming into Anaheim, where’s he’s comfortable on the hard, slick dirt.
7. Jason Anderson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
(Last Week: 4 / -3)
Anderson had his first real bout of adversity last weekend and was lucky to walk away from a scary crash with no injuries. In fact, despite the crash Anderson still recorded a top 10 finish and is one of two riders (with Dungey) to finish in the top 10 at each race thus far. Anderson’s night ended on a sour note, so we’ll see how he comes back from it.
8. Chad Reed – Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports
(Last Week: Not Ranked)
Reed couldn’t have bounced back from his black flag in Anaheim with a better effort. We’ve seen him get better each week and in Oakland he proved, yet again, that he’s going to make his presence felt. With the big hit he took in the championship standings with the black flag, Reed’s title hopes were all but dashed. However, he now has the ability to ride for wins and see how things play out. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Reed’s Anaheim magic comes back on Saturday as he and his team are getting their Kawasaki dialed in.
9. Davi Millsaps – Monster Energy Kawasaki
(Last Week: 9 / No Change)
Another solid ride for Millsaps with a seventh gives him three-straight top 10’s since finishing 19th at the opening round. I think we all expected Millsaps to consistently battle for podiums this season but it definitely looks like he and the team have been working through some things. Oakland was another step in the right direction and we’ll see if he can better his season-best result of fifth.
10. Andrew Short – BTO Sports KTM
(Last Week: 10 / No Change)
Still feeling the effects of his get off in Anaheim, Short once again got a stellar start in Oakland and turned it into a top 10 result. He acknowledged he got tight in the late stages after fighting to maintain the torrid pace out front, but with another week to heal up I expect Short to make his presence felt in the main event again. He’s been as good, if not better than Roczen out of the gate in 2015.
Biggest Climb: Trey Canard, +4
Biggest Drop: Jason Anderson, -3
Dropped Out: Broc Tickle (crashed in Oakland and out for Anaheim)
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