The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team rolled into Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. for the second time this season to compete at the third round of 2018 AMA Supercross. This groundbreaking race was the first of three Triple Crown races and featured six Main Events–rather than a combination of heat races, LCQ’s and Main Events— and Olympic style scoring. Jason Anderson conquered the unfamiliar format and earned a hard-fought third overall, while teammates Mitchell Harrison and Dean Wilson battled through the night to finish 13th and 18th, respectively.
Jason Anderson, the day’s fastest qualifier, was mid pack at the start of the first 450 Main Event but went to the back of the pack after nearly going down in an early race pileup. He made some quick moves and focused on navigating through the pack for the remainder of the shortened format moto. He made a statement pass by Ken Roczen to get inside the top-10 and continued to advance. His fought his way up to a seventh-place finish. Anderson was top-10 at the start of the second 450 Main Event and finished the first lap in seventh. Trying to gain positions, he fought his way through the pack and stayed focus to make passes on Justin Brayton and Weston Peick to slide into the fourth-place spot. He started working on Josh Grant for a podium position in lap 12, made an impressive inside pass, and held strong to finish third. He was second at the start of the third 450 Main Event and made a move past Justin Brayton in the first lap to inherit second. He was soon battling for the lead as he stalked Eli Tomac and waited for his chance to pounce. He took the lead away with an impressive pass in the fifth lap, never looked back, and earned his second Main Event victory of the season. He went 7-3-1 for third overall and extended his lead in 450 rider point standings.
“My practices were pretty mellow,” said Anderson, “but the rest of the day was crazy. I had to make some chaotic moves in the back during the first Main Event, but I was able to battle my way to seventh. I was third to last in the second Main Event and was able to get to third, then was finally able to get a good start in the last Main Event and checked out to get the win.”
Mitchell Harrison was top five at the start of the short first 250 Main Event and came out of the first lap in fifth. He fought in fifth before getting passed the following lap, then went down in the fourth lap and fell back to 21st. He remounted and worked his way up to 18th where he finished. He pulled a mid-pack start in the second race and started battling in 15th before making his way to a 12th-place finish. He was farther back in the pack at the start of the third 250 Main Event but kept it steady and rode to a 12th-place finish. He went 18-12-12 for 13th overall. He is currently 12th in 250SX West rider point standings.
“This was a new experience,” said Harrison. “I felt great in practice, but I was definitely tested all day. I felt like myself earlier in the day, and felt like my arm was feeling great again. I was in my element, but I had a really hard fall and it might have set me back a little bit. I still felt like I rode great, and a few things here and there will make me better next week.”
Dean Wilson returned to battle after taking a couple weeks to recover from an injury sustained at Anaheim 1. He was mid pack at the start of the first 450 race and rode smart to finish 14th. He started in the back of the pack in the second race and had his work cut out for him. He stayed focused and made a pass near the end of the race to finish 14th. He lined up for the third 450 Main and was t-boned shortly after the start. The incident left him unable to complete the race, and he ended the night 18th overall. He is currently 22nd in 450 rider point standings.
“It was great to be back racing,” said Wilson. “My shoulder was really hurting throughout the day. I made really great improvements to be back at the races, but I never had the strength to hold on. I managed to get 14th from a dead last start one race, but got hit in the first lap of another race and I wasn’t able to finish. I was still out there, and I tried and that’s all that matters at this point. I’m focused on getting my body healthy so I can get back up there and battle in the front.”