Premier class newcomer Cianciarulo challenges for top spot on debut.
A spectacular 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, opener at Anaheim 1 tonight resulted in Justin Barcia landing back-to-back opening round victories.
The new season saw Barcia (Monster Energy Yamaha) and 450SX newcomer Adam Cianciarulo go head-to-head, as Barcia led the opening seven laps with a 2.5s cushion prior to an off-track excursion.
That enabled the Monster Energy Kawasaki rookie to lead his share of the final, however, he too would make an error that cost him the lead – Barcia striking back to seize upon the opportunity. That’s how they would finish, with Barcia clear by 5.646s.
Completing the podium was defending champion Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) despite qualifying down in P15 this afternoon with a minor sickness, fending off challenges from Blake Baggett (Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM), Jason Anderson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) and Ken Roczen (Team Honda HRC) through the race.
One of the favourites, Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki), was unable to find the spark needed in the main to wind up seventh, ahead of Justin Brayton (Team Honda HRC), who had been in podium contention earlier and then made a mistake of his own.
SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda rider Malcolm Stewart was ninth at the flag, directly in front of teammates Justin Hill and the fast-starting Vince Friese. Commencing his final season of competition, Chad Reed (Mountain Motorsports CBDMD CR22 Honda) finished 18th.
Next weekend will see the series arrive for round two in St. Louis, Missouri, the red plate to be worn by Barcia aboard the factory YZ450F on Saturday, 11 January.