Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT — June 7, 2020
The Monster Energy AMA Supercross series competed for the 3rd time in 8 days in Salt Lake City as they move towards the completion of the 2020 season. It is debatable who is more tired, the crews that reconfigure the track every 4 days or the riders that compete on the condensed schedule.
The 250SX East riders get a break after today’s event as the next two races will feature the guys from the Western part of the circuit. As we have reported after the last two races Shane McElrath(12) and Chase Sexton(1E) have dominated the competition since the series resumed. They are tied atop the standing at 140 points each.
The 3rd place challenger is Garrett Marchbanks(36) who sits 22 points back at 118. A serious misfortune would have to befall the frontrunners for Marchbanks to have a shot at the championship at this point.
The only thing different about the 250SX heats this Sunday was that the two contenders switched places in their individual races. McElrath looked to be shot out of a cannon as he easily won the holeshot for Heat 1, built an early lead, and lapped all but two riders in the field. Marchbanks finished second, eight seconds off the pace and Carter Halpain(128) ran 3rd, over 1 second behind.
In Heat 2 Sexton took the win with a bigger margin of victory, almost 10 seconds over Colt Nichols(13). Neither rider faced a serious challenge during their race. Hunter Sayles(367) from Chassell, MI took the last spot for the Finals by finishing 4th in the Last Chance Qualifier.
250SX Main Event
It did not take long for the points leaders to catch fire during the 250SX Final. Sexton drove hard into the first corner to take the holeshot, McElrath dove even deeper into corner #2 and forced Sexton off the track. He reentered the race in 5th place.
Rain began to fall and the track got slick. A few minutes later Sexton landed on Enzo Lopes(66) out a jump and both went down. At nearly the same time Marchbanks crashed and lay injured on the track. In an incredible break for Sexton, the red flag was displayed stopping the race. Marchbanks was helped off the track, out of the race, and out of championship contention for certain.
On the restart, MacElrath took the lead. Sexton cashed in on the break by surging into 2nd position. Without the red flag, Sexton would have been looking at working his way back from somewhere around the 10th to 15th position.
As the pair began to work their way through lapped traffic, McElrath collided with a backmarker and went down. Sexton took the lead and never relinquished it. Regaining the points lead and looking to defend his championship from last year.
Michigan’s Hunter Sayles finished a solid 12th in the main event.
250SX East Points Standing
With Eli Tomac(3) holding a 13 point lead over Roczen(94) in the standings, Roczen cannot afford to let Tomac put any more distance between them if he is going to compete for the championship down to the final race of the season. Same thing for defending champion Cooper Webb(1) who sits 29 points behind the leader.
In Heat 1, Webb earned the holeshot and Roczen rode into second. They stayed that way until the checkered flag, despite the fact Roczen finished on a flat rear tire. In Heat 2, Tomac got off to a poor start in 11th.
In typical Tomac style, he raced through the field but could only manage a 3rd place finish behind Jason Anderson(21) and Zach Osborne(16). Broc Tickle(20) from Holly, MI finished 3rd in the Last Chance Qualifier to qualify for the Main Event.
450SX Main Event
Osborne continued his good night by capturing the holeshot in the finals. Webb started 2nd, Tomac 3rd, followed by Anderson and Roczen. Landing a triple on Lap 2 Webb took the lead from Osborne and Tomac followed close behind into 2nd.
Just before the halfway point of the race, Tomac was able to pass Webb. Nearing the five-minute mark the two leaders caught Roczen, who was 6th at the time, and put him a lap down. Webb used the tight racing to move back in front of Tomac.
Three minutes later, Tomac made the pass back for the lead. On the final lap, Webb got to Tomac’s rear-wheel twice but could not make the pass. Roczen, on a bad night, faded to 10th finishing two laps down. Tomac now has a commanding 26 point lead over Roczen and 32 over Webb.
Michigan’s Broc Trickle finished 17th.
450SX Points Standing
Riders will be back at it Sunday, with the 250SX West competitors coming back to race after the long layoff.