AURORA, Ill. – official series release – Enduro Fighter photo –
With the opening race of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, completed, the world’s best riders have shifted their focus to the desert of Phoenix for the second stop of the 2015 season inside Chase Field.
The anticipated start to the season produced great racing across both the 450SX Class and 250SX Class, but in the end RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s Factory Suzuki’s Ken Roczen and Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Red Bull KTM’s Jessy Nelson posted dominant efforts to make the first statements of the championship.
Roczen’s first start for the RCH Racing squad was a memorable one, signifying the team’s biggest accomplishment to date since joining Monster Energy Supercross in 2013. Now, they sit at the forefront of the premier class as the points leader and are instantly considered title favorites as a result of the convincing win.
In his first start at Chase Field a year ago, Roczen finished sixth and he’ll look to improve on that result to keep the early season momentum going.
“It was good to grab the win in the opening race at Anaheim,” said Roczen. “We just want to stay consistent and not get hyped up too early. We all need to just focus on doing our job. Going into Phoenix, I want to be aggressive again. It’s going to be a little bit of a harder track but I’m usually pretty good at that. In Germany, we didn’t have a watering system so I’m used to riding a lot of hard-packed tracks. I’m really looking forward to it. I think we can do some damage again. I want to be as aggressive as the track allows me to be.”
Fellow RCH Racing rider Broc Tickle completed a strong start for the team by finishing eighth. Tickle hadn’t raced since suffering a season-ending back injury in Toronto last season.
In his 450SX Class debut, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson had about as good as a ride as possible in his first taste of action in the premier division. Anderson’s runner-up effort was assertive, moving into second by the second lap and never looking back. Despite being out of competition for many years, Husqvarna came back swinging and the combination with Anderson looks to have potential. Anderson emerged victorious in the 250SX Class at Phoenix last season.
Nelson entered the evening in Anaheim as a 250SX underdog. However, after a strong start and what ultimately resulted in a wire-to-wire victory, Nelson made himself a contender for the Western Regional Championship.
“It feels so great to get the win,” explained Nelson. “The team and I have put so much work into the program this year and I am so comfortable on this bike. I was excited to get the win at the opening round.”
Fellow Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Red Bull KTM riders Shane McElrath and Darryn Durham experienced different evenings at the opening round. McElrath was solid throughout the Main Event, finishing seventh, while Durham endured misfortune and was forced to record a DNF in 21st.
Capping off a hugely successful debut for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, Zach Osborne overcame a trip to the LCQ and a broken thumb to defy the odds and finish with a runner-up effort.
CREDIT: Monster Energy AMA Supercross