Monster Energy Supercross Power Rankings: Anaheim 1
The most anticipated season in Monster Energy Supercross history officially got underway last Saturday night and featured a truly dominant performance by sophomore rider Ken Roczen. It signified Roczen’s second consecutive Anaheim 1 win and was the inaugural triumph for the RCH Racing effort. The newfound relationship between the German star and the budding team led by Ricky Carmichael and Carey Hart has proven to be successful right off the bat, and it’s obvious that Roczen sits atop of the first Power Rankings of the 2015 season.
Each week, The Power Rankings will recognize the movers and shakers in Monster Energy Supercross.
1. Ken Roczen – RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s Suzuki
There isn’t much to say about Roczen’s ride that hasn’t already been said. It was about as perfect of a main event as any rider could ask for and it was the ideal way for Roczen and RCH to kick off their relationship together. The scariest part is that Roczen is capable of doing that again this season, but he’ll have a long list of rivals breathing down his neck this weekend as they look to stop any momentum Roczen gained with the victory.
2. Jason Anderson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
Anderson quietly began his 450SX Class career with a very definitive runner-up performance. Moreover, Husqvarna returned to the sport with a memorable night. There are no questions surrounding what this team is capable of doing moving forward. Let’s see how Anderson capitalizes off the strong start.
3. Trey Canard – Team Honda
Trey Canard seen during practice for Anaheim 1.
Many had Canard tabbed to be the winner at A1 and, while he missed out on the victory, he still landed on the podium with a very strong ride that saw him move from eighth off the start, to third. Canard is still flying and will be one to keep an eye on in Phoenix.
4. Andrew Short – BTO Sports KTM
I don’t think anyone will disagree that Short surpassed all expectations on Saturday. He won his heat race and he led the main event very briefly, ultimately finishing fifth. His overall achievement throughout the night gives him the edge over our next rider.
5. Ryan Dungey – Red Bull KTM
A solid fourth-place finish is exactly the kind of result you’d expect from Dungey. He’s bound to post finishes right in that area all season long and he’ll surely be in the championship picture at season’s end. However, Dungey didn’t appear to hit a groove until late in the main event, possibly missing out on a podium finish as a result. He’s bounced back at Phoenix in the past, so watch for him on Saturday.
6. Justin Barcia – Autotrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha
Justin Barcia seen prior to Saturday's racing events at Anaheim 1.
Barcia’s night got off to a terrible start in 14th, but he managed to work his way forward through a deeply talented field to finish sixth. By his standards that’s a frustrating night, but there’s a lot to be happy about with that performance. You’ve got to think the JGR relationship is only going to get stronger.
7. Weston Peick – Autotrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha
Coincidentally enough, the battle for sixth at the end of the main event came down to a showdown between Barcia and his new teammate Peick. The first-time factory rider was a fixture in the top 10 from the get go and is more than capable of maintaining that pace throughout the season.
8. Broc Tickle – RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s Suzuki
Tickle’s first race since breaking his back in Toronto last season resulted in an impressive top 10 effort. It was a much slower offseason than Tickle had hoped, not officially signing with RCH until mere weeks before Anaheim, but based on his performance you’d have no idea Tickle endured so much over the last nine months.
9. Mike Alessi – Smartop Motoconcepts Racing
“Holeshot” Alessi was back in Anaheim and it allowed him to earn a top 10. After bike issues in his heat race forced the team to scramble, they overcame the deficit they faced to walk away with the holeshot check and a solid start to the season. This is something for the team to definitely build on.
10. (TIE) Eli Tomac – GEICO Honda
He was the class of the field all day leading into the main event, but when it counted most Tomac found himself on the ground, twice. It was about as deflating of an outcome as one could have, but there is no doubting that Tomac made his presence felt in a big way. Assuming each rider can get away with one mulligan this season, Tomac has already used his up and will need to be as on-point as he was in practice and in his heat throughout the remainder of the main events if he’s to contend for this championship.
(TIE) Chad Reed – Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports
While a 10th-place likely isn’t what Reed was hoping for, he moved forward from a 12th-place start. It’s always a positive when a rider can gain positions from where he starts, so Reed has some momentum to build from. He’s the kind of rider that will get better with each lap he logs, so keep an eye on his destined progression to the front of the field.
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