AMA Supercross, Round 1: News And Notes

Ken Roczen and Jessy Nelson kick off 2015 season with wins at Angel Stadium.

Ken Roczen race action shot

• In his Suzuki debut, Ken Roczen led all 20 laps of the 450 Supercross main event at Anaheim, earning his third premier-class win and the first for Ricky Carmichael/Carey Hart-owned RCH Racing. Margin of victory over Husqvarna factory rider Jason Anderson was 4.1 seconds. Honda's Trey Canard was third, another second back. Roczen also won the Anaheim season opener last season as a 19-year-old rookie.

• In his very first 450SX start, Anderson moved into second aboard his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing FC450 on lap 2. "Surprisingly," said the reigning Western Regional AMA 250SX champion on the podium, "I haven't been nervous at all today."

• Canard’s quickest lap in the 450SX main was 55.799 seconds. His final lap of the race was just one second slower, 56.799. Roczen, Canard, and GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac were the only riders to lap in the 55-second range during the main.

• Both Tomac and Davi Millsaps, the latter returning from injuries that sidelined the 26-year-old two-time 450SX runner-up for 18 months, fell twice in the main. They finished 19th and 20th, respectively.

• Despite claims of a sell-out, Angel Stadium wasn’t filled to its 45,050-person capacity. By the time the 250cc Supercross riders headed to the starting gate for the first of two main events, however, empty seats were few and far between.

• Wil Hahn crashed violently in practice and was transported to a nearby hospital, where the 2013 East AMA 250SX champion was diagnosed with a broken right arm and fractured vertebrae, among other injuries. On his Instagram account, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider wrote, “After every dark day, the sun rises. Thank you for all the well wishes and I will update you when I know more.”

• Andrew Short (KTM) and Tomac won their respective 450SX heat races. Tomac posted the quickest lap, a blistering 54.8. "Kenny is awesome in the sand," Short said. After running as high as second in the main, the KTM rider was fifth, one spot behind Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey. In the 250SX class, new Red Bull KTM recruit Justin Hill and four-time AMA Arenacross Champion Tyler Bowers won their heats.

• Brett Metcalfe and Justin Barcia won the two five-lap 450SX Semis. Dean Wilson was first to the checkers in the four-lap 450SX LCQ.

• 250SX main (15 laps): Jessy Nelson posted the quickest lap of the race (55.8) and reached the checkers 6.4 seconds before Zach Osborne. Bowers was third.

• Husqvarna-mounted Osborne took a long, painful route to second overall in the 15-lap 250SX main: fifth in Group A qualifying practice 1; third in Group A qualifying practice 2; 13th in Heat 2 (crashed while contesting lead, breaking his thumb); first in four-lap LCQ.

Jessy Nelson race action shot

• Racers from other disciplines spotted at Anaheim: four-time 500cc Grand Prix runner-up Randy Mamola and his 19-year-old son, Dakota, who competes in the CEV Repsol International Moto2 championship; three-time FIM Speedway World Champion Greg Hancock; AMA Pro Flat Track racers Shayna Texter and Briar Bauman; factory Ducati MotoGP star Andrea Dovizioso; four-time AMA Pro SuperBike Champion Josh Hayes and his racing wife, Melissa Paris; four-time 250cc GP/two-time Superbike World Champion Max Biaggi; AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Mark Blackwell; 2014 AMA Pro SuperBike runner-up Roger Hayden; and 2012 AMA Pro SuperSport East Champion Jake Lewis.

• Cameras, cameras, and more cameras: In addition to 14 manned cameras in place at Anaheim, including two high-speed, two robotic, and two point-of-view, a four-cable-actuated Spidercam captured on-track action. The Goodyear blimp also supplied images from high above Angel Stadium.

• Every round of the series will be broadcast on live television. Twelve races will be shown on Fox Sports 1 and three on Fox Sports 2. Round 15, the only afternoon event, will air live from Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on the Fox Network. International carriers are supplying coverage to nearly 200 countries.

Ken Roczen celebrate Supercross victory

• On the digital front, Supercross's live stream, "Supercross Race Day Live" on SupercrossLive.com, will provide three hours of practice, qualifying, and interviews each Saturday afternoon on race weekends; 48 hours of live streaming will also be available on the Fox Sports Go app.

• This is the 41st season for Supercross. Dutchman Pierre Karsmakers won the inaugural title on a 250cc Yamaha. That year, 1974, the series had three rounds—Daytona (three motos), Houston (two motos), and a non-points-paying stop in Los Angeles (part of the later-disbanded Inter-AM series).

• If you watched the live television broadcast on Fox Sports 1, you likely saw the hashtag #WhosNext. With four-time 450SX titlist Ryan Villopoto racing in Europe this year, a new premier-class champion will be crowned at the end of this season—no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Jeremy McGrath is the series’ winningest rider with seven titles.

• During opening ceremonies, McGrath presented Villopoto with a fourth championship ring. At the end of February, Villopoto will make his FIM World Motocross Championship debut in the MXGP class on a Kawasaki at the Losail MX track in Doha, Qatar.

• From Anaheim, the series moves to Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, for round 2 on Saturday, January 10.

**450SX Points Standings

Rider - Brand - Points**

1. Ken Roczen - Suzuki - 25

2. Jason Anderson - Husqvarna - 22

3. Trey Canard - Honda - 20

4. Ryan Dungey - KTM - 18

5. Andrew Short - KTM - 16

6. Justin Barcia - Yamaha - 15

7. Weston Peick - Yamaha - 14

8. Broc Tickle - Suzuki - 13

9. Mike Alessi - Suzuki - 12

10. Chad Reed - Kawasaki - 11

**Western Regional 250SX Points Standings

Rider - Brand - Points**

1. Jessy Nelson - KTM - 25

2. Zach Osborne - Husqvarna - 22

3. Tyler Bowers - Kawasaki - 20

4. Justin Hill - KTM - 18

5. Aaron Plessinger - Yamaha - 16

6. Shane McElrath - KTM - 15

7. Cooper Webb - Yamaha - 14

8. Alex Martin - Yamaha - 13

9. Josh Hansen - Kawasaki - 12

10. Michael Leib - Honda - 11

Jason Anderson.

450MX Main Event start.

Dean Wilson (15) leads Cole Seely (14).

Ryan Dungey (5) and Andrew Short.

Trey Canard.

Ken Roczen.

Ken Roczen and RCH Racing celebrate inaugural Supercross victory.

Jessy Nelson.

Zach Osborne.

250SX podium Jessy Nelson, Zach Osborne and Tyler Bowers.