Barcia, Osborne surprise with fast times in Anaheim SX qualifying
Monster Energy Supercross is back in Anaheim for the second of three visits to the sport’s most hallowed grounds. The track presents the return of the over-under bridge and a very high-speed run to the finish with some other potentially intriguing elements. The track continues to dry out but the moisture is sure to come as night falls, so its continued evolution will play a role, as it always does at Angel Stadium.
A long, flat sweeping turn that brings riders back onto the start straight is an area where a lot of time can potentially be won and lost and while I don’t think it was the sole reason why we saw new faces emerge in practice and qualifying, I believe it played a role. It also no doubt factored into the longest lap times of the 2015 season to this point, at just over a minute.
Autotrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha’s Justin Barcia and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne earned some much-needed good fortune by posting the fastest laps in the 450SX Class and 250SX Class, respectively. Barcia’s had a pretty tough go of it thus far in 2015, but speed has never been in doubt. Perhaps a good gate pick can be the thing to get the season going in a better direction. As for Osborne, he’s been soldiering through a broken thumb since his heat race at the opening round and while the pain is surely tough to deal with, a pole position can make that go away a bit and give Osborne confidence heading into the night show.
The first session and final session featured big difference in time as track changes were made in between sessions. Some obstacles were removed or altered for racing purposes and resulted in a much quicker, and hopefully more competitive track. Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey paced the first session, but was only able to land sixth overall when all was said and done. In the 250SX Class, Cooper Webb appeared to be on his way to another top spot after posting the fastest lap of Session 1, but Osborne edged him out in the end.
Barcia’s 1:02.326 was just two tenths quicker than Ken Roczen, with Canard and Tomac completing the top four. This group was extremely close on time, with a 1:02.534 for Roczen, a 1:02.580 for Canard, and a 1:02.594 for Tomac.
Osborne outdueled Webb by a tenth with a time of 1:03.267. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Tyler Webb was another tenth back in third.
Some significant names found themselves outside of the top 10 in the 450SX Class, including Cole Seely in 11th, Davi Millsaps in 12th, Blake Baggett in 14th, Chad Reed in 18th and Andrew Short in 19th.
450SX Class Overall Classification – Practice/Qualifying
1. Justin Barcia - Autotrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha: 1:02.326
2. Ken Roczen – RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s Suzuki: 1:02.534
3. Trey Canard – Team Honda: 1:02.580
4. Eli Tomac – GEICO Honda: 1:02.594
5. Dean Wilson - Red Bull KTM: 1:02.796
6. Ryan Dungey – Red Bull KTM: 1:02.872
7. Jason Anderson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing: 1:03.103
8. Broc Tickle – RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s Suzuki: 1:03.248
9. Justin Brayton – BTO Sports KTM: 1:03.428
10. Josh Grant - Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports: 1:03.713
250SX Class Overall Classification – Practice/Qualifying
1. Zach Osborne – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing: 1:03.267
2. Cooper Webb - Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha: 1:03.387
3. Tyler Bowers – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki: 1:03.484
4. Jessy Nelson – Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil KTM: 1:03.755
5. Justin Hill - Red Bull KTM: 1:03.768
6. Malcolm Stewart - GEICO Honda: 1:04.003
7. Aaron Plessinger – Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha: 1:04.624
8. Chris Alldredge - Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki: 1:04.740
9. Shane McElrath – Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil KTM: 1:04.800
10. Josh Hansen - Motosport.com/Monster Energy Kawasaki: 1:05.203