AMA Supercross

Ken Roczen Wins On Debut With RCH Suzuki

Jesse Nelson Unstoppable In West 250 Opener

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The first race of the 2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, took place on Saturday with a fifth consecutive sellout of 45,050 fans at Angel Stadium.

The 450SX Class Main Event ultimately proved to be a showcase of dominance for RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John's Suzuki's Ken Roczen, who led every lap en route to his second straight win at the Anaheim opener.

Smartop Motoconcepts Racing's Mike Alessi grabbed the early advantage in the 20-lap 450SX Class Main Event by racing to the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award with BTO Sports KTM's Andrew Short and Roczen in tow. Both riders wasted little time in moving past Alessi, with Short holding the top spot briefly before Roczen made what would be the winning pass on the opening lap.

While Roczen pulled away out front, some of his biggest contenders endured misfortune, most notably Monster Energy Kawasaki's Davi Millsaps and GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac, each of who fell twice in the Main Event. Short's hold on second was also short lived as rookie Jason Anderson moved into second aboard his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing machine on Lap 2 in his very first 450SX Class start.

Eventually Team Honda's Trey Canard took third away from Short on Lap 9 and the top three remained the same for the final 11 laps.
The starts were key in both classes tonight - Photo Credit: Simon Cudby
The win was the third of Roczen's career, but it signified the first for his Ricky Carmichael and Carey Hart-owned team. It was Roczen's first start for the squad after moving away from Red Bull KTM in the offseason.

"Everything has been awesome with the team and it's good to get first win out of the way, both for myself and for them," said Roczen. "There are a lot of good guys out there so I'll need to stay consistent [this season]. It's good to come out of here healthy and we'll just keep the ball rolling."

Furthering the theme of the 2015 season of #WhosNext, other championship contenders finished solidly inside the top 10, including Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey in fourth and Autotrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha's Justin Barcia in sixth.

Two time champion Australian, Chad Reed finished 10th aboard his Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports machine.

Fellow Australian Brett Metcalfe raced to a 17th place finish in his first American supercross apperence since the final round of the 2012 championship. Metcalfe made his way through to the main event with a strong win in his semi final race, after holding off a fast finishing Blake Baggett.

It was a rough night for the remaining Australian 450 riders, with Matt Moss getting caught up in mid pack battles in each race, and missed the main event at the opening round of the season. Carroll Motorsports, Australian Kawasaki racer, Adam Monea was only able to complete two laps of practice earlier in the day before a Knee injury suffered before the event left him with no choice but to pull the pin on the nights event.

With the win, Roczen holds a three-point lead over Anderson in the early 450SX Class standings, while Canard sits five points behind.
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil KTM's Jessy Nelson broke through for his first victory in the first Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event of the season. - Credit: Simon Cudby
In the Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event earlier in the evening, Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil KTM's Jessy Nelson captured the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award ahead of GEICO Honda's Matt Bisceglia and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Zach Osborne.

The advantage Nelson garnered with the holeshot proved to be all he needed as he went on to lead all 15 laps of the Main Event and secure the first victory of his career in his 16th career start.

"This is a great way to start season and hopefully there's more to come," said Nelson, who became the 97th different 250SX Class Main Event winner in history.

"It was a great night and I can't complain. I think the team's switch to KTM has been huge and I think it's a big part of this. This [win] is just a big shock." Nelson added.

Behind Nelson, Osborne asserted himself into second and ultimately maintained the runner-up spot throughout the entirety of the Main Event. The battle for third, however, became a three-rider showdown in the early stages between Motosport.com Kawasaki's Josh Hansen, Red Bull KTM's Justin Hill and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Tyler Bowers.

Hill was able to make the move past Hansen for the position on Lap 4 and Bowers followed suit a short time later. Hill appeared to have a comfortable margin over Bowers, but the reigning four-time AMSOIL Arenacross Champion closed the gap and eventually made the pass on Lap 10, carrying it through to the finish to claim the final spot on the podium.

Australian Jackson Richardson kicked started his 250 West campagin in great fashion posting the 14th fastest qualifying time early in the day. However things would not go his way in both his heat race and Last Chance Qualifier with the Honda privateer being forced back deep in the feild in the start of both races leaving him to watch the main event from teh sidelines.

Nelson sits three points ahead of Osborne in the Western Regional 250SX Class standings and five points ahead of Bowers.

Monster Energy Supercross continues next weekend with its second stop of the 17-race season from Phoenix. Chase Field will host the world's best riders on Saturday, January 10.

Australian viewers can catch a delayed telecast on ESPN on the Foxtel Network form 10pm AEDT on Sunday the 11th of January.
Racing moves to Phoenix next weekend - Credit: Simon Cudby
Supercross Main Event
1. Ken Roczen, Suzuki RM-Z450 - 25 Pts
2. Jason Anderson, Husqvarna FC450 - 22 Pts
3. Trey Canard, Honda CRF 450 - 20 Pts
4. Ryan Dungey, KTM 450 SX-F Factory - 18 Pts
5. Andrew Short, KTM 450 SX-F Factory - 16 Pts
6. Justin Barcia, Yamaha YZ450F - 15 Pts
7. Weston Peick, Yamaha YZ450F - 14 Pts
8. Broc Tickle, Suzuki RM-Z450 - 13 Pts
9. Mike Alessi, Suzuki RM-Z450 - 12 Pts
10. Chad Reed, Kawasaki KX 450F - 11 Pts
11. Jacob Weimer, Kawasaki KX 450F - 10 Pts
12. Blake Baggett, Suzuki RM-Z450 - 9 Pts
13. Justin Brayton, KTM 450 SX-F Factory - 8 Pts
14. Cole Seely, Honda CRF 450 - 7 Pts
15. Dean Wilson, KTM 450 SX-F Factory - 6 Pts
16. Joshua Hill, Yamaha YZ450F - 5 Pts
17. Brett Metcalfe, Suzuki RM-Z450 - 4 Pts
18. Joshua Grant, Kawasaki KX 450F - 3 Pts
19. David Millsaps, Kawasaki KX 450F - 2 Pts
20. Eli Tomac, Honda CRF 450 - 1 Pt
21. Kyle Partridge, Honda CRF 450 - 1 Pt
22. Tevin Tapia, Suzuki RM-Z450 - 1 Pt

Championship Standings After Round 1 of 17
1. Ken Roczen, Suzuki RM-Z450 - 25 Pts
2. Jason Anderson, Husqvarna FC450 - 22 Pts
3. Trey Canard, Honda CRF 450 - 20 Pts
4. Ryan Dungey, KTM 450 SX-F Factory - 18 Pts
5. Andrew Short, KTM 450 SX-F Factory - 16 Pts
6. Justin Barcia, Yamaha YZ450F - 15 Pts
7. Weston Peick, Yamaha YZ450F - 14 Pts
8. Broc Tickle, Suzuki RM-Z450 - 13 Pts
9. Mike Alessi, Suzuki RM-Z450 - 12 Pts
10. Chad Reed, Kawasaki KX 450F - 11 Pts
11. Jacob Weimer, Kawasaki KX 450F - 10 Pts
12. Blake Baggett, Suzuki RM-Z450 - 9 Pts
13. Justin Brayton, KTM 450 SX-F Factory - 8 Pts
14. Cole Seely, Honda CRF 450 - 7 Pts
15. Dean Wilson, KTM 450 SX-F Factory - 6 Pts
16. Joshua Hill, Yamaha YZ450F - 5 Pts
17. Brett Metcalfe, Suzuki RM-Z450 - 4 Pts
18. Joshua Grant, Kawasaki KX 450F - 3 Pts
19. David Millsaps, Kawasaki KX 450F - 2 Pts
20. Eli Tomac, Honda CRF 450 - 1 Pt
21. Kyle Partridge, Honda CRF 450 - 1 Pt
22. Tevin Tapia, Suzuki RM-Z450 - 1 Pt

250 West Main Event
1. Jessy Nelson, KTM 250 SX-F - 25 Pts
2. Zach Osborne, Husqvarna FC250 - 22 Pts
3. Tyler Bowers, Kawasaki KX 250F - 20 Pts
4. Justin Hill, KTM 250 SX-F - 18 Pts
5. Aaron Plessinger, Yamaha YZ250F - 16 Pts
6. Shane Mcelrath, KTM 250 SX-F - 15 Pts
7. Cooper Webb, Yamaha YZ250F - 14 Pts
8. Alex Martin, Yamaha YZ250F - 13 Pts
9. Joshua Hansen, Kawasaki KX 250F - 12 Pts
10. Michael Leib, Honda CRF 250 - 11 Pts
11. Zachary Bell, Husqvarna FC250 - 10 Pts
12. Scott Champion, Yamaha YZ250 - 9 Pts
13. Matthew Bisceglia, Honda CRF 250 - 8 Pts
14. Thomas Hahn, Honda CRF 250 - 7 Pts
15. Trevor Reis, Yamaha YZ250F - 6 Pts
16. Nico Izzi, Yamaha YZ250F - 5 Pts
17. Austin Politelli, Yamaha YZ250F - 4 Pts
18. Ryan Breece, Yamaha YZ250F - 3 Pts
19. Zackery Freeberg, Yamaha YZ250 - 2 Pts
20. Cole Martinez, Yamaha YZ250 - 1 Pt
21. Darryn Durham, KTM 250 SX-F - 1 Pt
22. Malcolm Stewart, Honda CRF 250 - 1 Pt

250 West Championship Standings After Round 1 of 9
1. Jessy Nelson, KTM 250 SX-F - 25 Pts
2. Zach Osborne, Husqvarna FC250 - 22 Pts
3. Tyler Bowers, Kawasaki KX 250F - 20 Pts
4. Justin Hill, KTM 250 SX-F - 18 Pts
5. Aaron Plessinger, Yamaha YZ250F - 16 Pts
6. Shane Mcelrath, KTM 250 SX-F - 15 Pts
7. Cooper Webb, Yamaha YZ250F - 14 Pts
8. Alex Martin, Yamaha YZ250F - 13 Pts
9. Joshua Hansen, Kawasaki KX 250F - 12 Pts
10. Michael Leib, Honda CRF 250 - 11 Pts
11. Zachary Bell, Husqvarna FC250 - 10 Pts
12. Scott Champion, Yamaha YZ250 - 9 Pts
13. Matthew Bisceglia, Honda CRF 250 - 8 Pts
14. Thomas Hahn, Honda CRF 250 - 7 Pts
15. Trevor Reis, Yamaha YZ250F - 6 Pts
16. Nico Izzi, Yamaha YZ250F - 5 Pts
17. Austin Politelli, Yamaha YZ250F - 4 Pts
18. Ryan Breece, Yamaha YZ250F - 3 Pts
19. Zackery Freeberg, Yamaha YZ250 - 2 Pts
20. Cole Martinez, Yamaha YZ250 - 1 Pts
21. Darryn Durham, KTM 250 SX-F - 1 Pts
22. Malcolm Stewart, Honda CRF 250 - 1 Pts

Top Image: Roczen took over the lead on the opening lap and never looked back
Credit: Simon Cudby

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