Monster Energy Supercross Indianapolis 1 Observations

Monster Energy Supercross Indianapolis 1 Observations

by January 31, 2021 0 comments

Round 4 of Monster Energy Supercross in Indianapolis is in the books as the 450 class gets its fourth different winner in as many races and the points standings outlook once again changed up. Here we look at some of the riders who are trending up and down after last night’s action at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Also quick before we get into things, it was genuinely nice to see Todd Harris in the booth on NBCSN last night. Harris did the bulk of the commentary with Davey Coombs back when I first started watching Supercross when it was on the ESPN family of Networks. A nice nostalgia trip for yours truly, but let us get to the 450 field after the first of three rounds in Indianapolis, Indiana.

94 Ken Roczen– Honda HRC (1st Place)

After the disappointment, last Saturday Night in Houston losing out on a win on the final lap to Cooper Webb, Saturday night’s result for Roczen was exactly what he needed. The Honda HRC rider found himself in third place on the holeshot, and that was the lowest he would be all race, battling with title rival Eli Tomac and friend Adam Cianciarulo. He managed to work over Cianciarulo for the lead about halfway through, and before that Tomac after crashing near the finish line jump.

Then in the late stages of the race, Roczen ended up going off track and surrendered the lead right back to Tomac but proceeded to get right back by him by the end of that lap. Despite a late push by Tomac, Roczen held steady to get his first win of the season and the 16th of his 450 Class career. Now finds himself in a tie for 15th all-time with fellow European sensation, The great Frenchman Jean Michel-Bayle. He pushes his points lead up from one to six points over Cooper Webb, and with finishes of 2nd, 5th, 2nd, and now 1st in four races, I would be hard-pressed to say that Roczen is not in complete control of this championship at the quarter mark.

1 Eli Tomac– Monster Energy Kawasaki (2nd Place)

Tomac’s started off his Main Event performance by surprisingly getting a holeshot over his teammate Cianciarulo. Despite holding the lead for most wins for an active rider by a healthy margin in both Supercross and Motocross, it feels like Tomac getting a holeshot has equal odds to that of seeing Haley’s Comet in the sky. Regardless Tomac managed to crash out of the whoops, just about at the midway point of the main event. Despite this, he managed to find himself in the lead late due to a Roczen mistake. While he did not end up with a win, a hard-fought second-place finish is better than an eleventh where he would have shut it down after that crash. Being 9 points back of the lead four races into the season is a very manageable situation for the reigning series champion.

16 Zach Osborne– Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing (5th Place)

The only way Osborne’s Main Event start could have been worse is if he never lined up to begin the race. He managed to start just a bit too early and ran into the starting gate right before it went down, putting the reigning motocross champion in a deep hole in the opening seconds of the main event. Despite this, Osborne just managed to get by riders in front of him at a relentless pace. Not all 17 riders he managed to get by were necessarily top-of-the-line riders per se, but to pass 17 riders in a little over 20 minutes is mind-boggling.

Even crazier is that he maybe could have gotten by both Cianciarulo and Cooper Webb to get on the podium, but he ended up not having the time and was probably exhausted at this point regardless. Osborne should look back at his performance on Saturday night and be enormously proud. And the change in scenery looks to be showing early benefits. Osborne had finishes of 10th, 10th, and 9th in the three races in Houston and easily had his best result of the year in his first race since making the shift out of NRG Stadium.

25 Marvin Musquin– Red Bull KTM (10th Place)

Despite a very strong start to his season in the first two rounds of the year with a 3rd and 6th, Musquin has been moving in the wrong direction in the previous two races, with a 13th and last night with a 10th. Musquin was a victim of circumstances on the start, getting caught up in a wreck between Justin Barcia and Malcolm Stewart on the start. The good news was that he never came off the bike and did not seem to lose a critical amount of time from that hiccup. The bad news afterward was that he never was able to get things going. He hung in between 10th and 15th place for most of the night and managed to finish in the former position.

With this result, Marvin Musquin finds himself 25 points out of the points lead in 9th place. A lot of the talk on Saturday was of Marvin winning the previous two Indianapolis 450 Main Events. We know he can compete here for whatever reason, but he needs to find it quick to get himself back where he needs to be, being in the thick of the championship hunt.

51 Justin Barcia– Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing (13th Place)

Bad starts have been a huge part of The Justin Barcia Story in 2021 and Saturday night was no different. He ended up in an early wreck with Stewart, in where he had to give Stewart’s bike a solid Prime 1990’s Shawn Michael’s Sweet Chin Music, to get it off his bike (there’s your wrestling tie-in on the day of The Royal Rumble folks). Barcia unfortunately was not able to crack the top ten last night and found himself in the middle of the road 13th.

While getting into wrecks and having subpar nights happens to the best of riders, Barcia cannot afford many more nights like tonight. He now finds himself nearly 20 points out of the points lead despite leaving Houston just one point behind Roczen. But there are still 13 rounds left in the season and with that said, Justin has plenty of time to get himself back into title contention.

On a real quick note, before I wrap up, I would be remiss if I did not mention the recent passing of 1980 Premier Class Supercross Champion Mike “Too Tall” Bell. Bell, unfortunately, suffered a heart attack while biking in California earlier this week and did not survive. In only his third year as a professional, he won the premier class supercross championship with his career-long manufacturer Yamaha. Bell retired just 3 years later due to a string of knee injuries. Our thoughts of course are with his friends and loved ones at this time. He was 63 years old.

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