Jan 5, 2015
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers Kicks off 2015 on the Podium
Irvine, Calif. (January 5, 2015) – The opening round of the 2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM Championship took place at the familiar Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California on Saturday in front of a sellout crowd. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Tyler Bowers led the way for Kawasaki with a heat race win and a third place finish in the 250SX main event. Josh Hansen rode up front on his KX™250F to start the season with a top-10 finish. In the 450SX main event, Monster Energy Kawasaki's Davi Millsaps was making his way into a podium position when a few mistakes dropped him to the back of the pack where he finished 19th. Millsaps' teammate Wil Hahn was prepared to make his debut on his KX™450F, but a crash in practice kept him from lining up on the gate.
Following four-consecutive AMA Arenacross championships, Bowers began his first full supercross season since 2009. Bowers had an eventful day qualifying seventh, but getting a good start in his heat race and was not afraid to force his way into the lead to take the win. He did not get the start he wanted in the main event, but started working his way forward. On Lap 10 of 15 he moved into a podium position and continued to hunt down the leaders, crossing the finish line on their rear wheel.
"I'm very happy with my team and finish tonight," said Bowers. "I think we made a statement tonight that I am here to win the championship and a podium finish is a great start. The wins will come, and I know I have the best team behind me and our Kawasaki KX250F is the best bike on the gate."
Over Before it Started
Hahn was prepared to make his debut with Monster Energy Kawasaki on Saturday and ready to begin his sophomore year in the 450SX class. Unfortunately Hahn suffered a devastating crash during qualifying practice and was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. Coincidently, Hahn had a season ending injury last year where he injured his arm and back and Saturday's crash reinjured the same two areas, forcing Wil to sit out the duration of the supercross season. Hahn is in good spirits, despite the injury and is expected to make a full recovery.
Nowhere to Go But Up
After missing the entire 2014 race season due to injury, Millsaps was excited to be at Angel Stadium. He took his time getting into the groove and got comfortable on the track during timed qualifying practice. He got a great start in his heat race and grabbed the early lead. Millsaps was setting the pace until a mistake in the sand section dropped him to third at the finish. With a good gate pick he got a mid-pack start in the main event, but quickly made his way into the top-five. Millsaps was sitting in a good position with plenty of laps left until a small mistake put him off the track. He remounted but made another mistake that put him at the back of the field. From there he chipped away to make up as much ground as he could and was credited 19th at the checkered flag.
"It's not what we wanted," said Millsaps. "But we finished and there's nowhere to go but up from here. The opening laps of the main were the best I've felt on the bike and I can't wait to race a full main event feeling that way."
Hansen had high expectation going into Anaheim 1 and got out front early in his heat race. He finished second in his heat and took that momentum into the main event. He ran in a podium position early until coming together with another rider and finished in ninth place. While Bowers and Hansen made their return to supercross, Chris Alldredge was making his debut. Alldredge posted the 15th fastest time in practice, but misfortune found him in his heat race and the LCQ, ending his night prematurely.
Chad Reed on his Discount Tire/TwoTwo Motorsports KX450F was the top Kawasaki all day in Anaheim. Reed had a fairly quiet day as he qualified ninth and finished fourth in his heat race. As he lined up for the main event, he was ready to bring up the intensity but got shuffled back around the first turn. He moved forward throughout the 20 laps and finished 10th.
Rings and Things
In addition to their usual position standing on the podium after races, Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto and Bowers were both honored on the podium and presented with their four-time championship rings in supercross and arenacross, respectively. Mitch Payton was also honored with the Mickey Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award.
After the Dust Settles
With the hype and excitement of the season opener out of the way, Monster Energy Supercross moves on to Phoenix at Chase Field this Saturday. Millsaps will be looking to return to the podium as Alldredge looks to take the spot on the gate that he belongs.
Monster Energy Supercross
Angel Stadium – Anaheim, California
Saturday, January 3, 2015
450SX Main Event
- Ken Roczen, KTM
- Jason Anderson, Husqvarna
- Trey Canard, Honda
- Ryan Dungey, KTM
- Andrew Short, KTM
- Justin Barcia, Yamaha
- Weston Peick, Yamaha
- Broc Tickle, Suzuki
- Mike Alessi, Suzuki
- Chad Reed, Discount Tire/TwoTwo Motorsports Kawasaki
- Jake Weimer, Monster Energy/Team Tedder Kawasaki
18. Josh Grant, Discount Tire/TwoTwo Motorsports Kawasaki
19. Davi Millsaps, Monster Energy Kawasaki
450SX Championship Standings
- Ken Roczen, KTM - 25
- Jason Anderson, Husqvarna - 22
- Trey Canard, Honda - 20
- Ryan Dungey, KTM - 18
- Andrew Short, KTM - 16
- Justin Barcia, Yamaha - 15
- Weston Peick, Yamaha - 14
- Broc Tickle, Suzuki - 13
- Mike Alessi, Suzuki - 12
- Chad Reed, Discount Tire/TwoTwo Motorsports Kawasaki - 11
- Jake Weimer, Monster Energy/Team Tedder Kawasaki - 10
18. Josh Grant, Discount Tire/TwoTwo Motorsports Kawasaki - 3
19. Davi Millsaps, Monster Energy Kawasaki - 2
250SX West Main Event
- Jessy Nelson, Honda
- Zach Osborne, Husqvarna
- Tyler Bowers, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
- Justin Hill, KTM
- Aaron Plessinger, Yamaha
- Shane McElrath, Honda
- Cooper Webb, Yamaha
- Alex Martin, Yamaha
- Josh Hansen, Motosport.com Kawasaki
- Michael Leib, Honda
250SX West Regional Championship Points
- Jessy Nelson, Honda - 25
- Zach Osborne, Husqvarna - 22
- Tyler Bowers, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki - 20
- Justin Hill, KTM - 18
- Aaron Plessinger, Yamaha - 16
- Shane McElrath, Honda - 15
- Cooper Webb, Yamaha - 14
- Alex Martin, Yamaha - 13
- Josh Hansen, Motosport.com Kawasaki - 12
- Michael Leib, Honda - 11