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2024 Monster Energy Supercross Recap - Glendale

I leave for one (1) week, and we have guys suffering catastrophic wardrobe malfunctions on national television, half the 250 field went down mere seconds into the main event, and there are about two dozen explanations as to why Eli Tomac quite literally fell off a cliff seven laps into the 450 Main. So yeah, Detroit seemed like a regular run-of-the-mill Saturday.

Back on the West Coast for one more round before the real East Coast long haul begins, the 450-points battle was in a great spot this weekend. Chase Sexton, Jett Lawrence, Aaron Plessinger, and Cooper Webb were all under a six-point blanket going into a venue where none of the four had ever won on a 450. Meanwhile, former teammates Jordon Smith and Levi Kitchen both carried red plates in the 250 West Class just weeks after the latter won the A2 Triple Crown for the second year in a row. Not exactly a Super Bowl caliber event in terms of Championship importance, but via SXMuse, the eventual 250 West Champion was the points leader after five rounds over 70% of the time dating back the last nine seasons. Which one of those two could take the advantage into the long break, or would R.J. Hampshire erase an eight-point deficit?

Daytime Program/Injury Notes: 

- I wish more stadiums had the floor size State Farm Stadium does. Also kind of surprised they haven't used the outside of the stadium like in the first couple of years they started going here.

- During Race Day Live, it was confirmed that Chase Sexton suffered a mid-week hand injury.

- Very fun-looking track, as expected.

- 250 Fastest Qualifier: No. 31 Jordon Smith (1:04.747)

- 450 Fastest Qualifier: No. 21 Jason Anderson (1:03.400) (The top four of Anderson, Jett Lawrence, Eli Tomac, and Ken Roczen, were the only riders to breach the 1:04 bracket)

Heat Racing Roundup

450 Class

450s up first for the second week in a row, and the Glendale crowd got to see an absolute clinic by Ken Roczen right away. It's a shame this kind of speed hasn't translated to the Main Event every week, because he's been superb in these heat races, this week winning by eight seconds over Malcolm Stewart and Jett Lawrence. Vince Friese being a moving roadblock was another storyline in this heat. He made things as difficult as humanly possible for Lawrence, Chase Sexton, and Justin Cooper.

With starts being key, Aaron Plessinger played Roczen's role in 450 Heat 2 with a wire-to-wire win, much to the delight of Glendale, Arizona. Not a ton of action outside of Eli Tomac gaining a couple of spots after starting in fifth, but he, Hunter Lawrence, Cooper Webb, and Jason Anderson all looked solid enough.

250 Class

It became three for three on the holeshot rider taking home the Heat win with Levi Kitchen's great run, but even better was Carson Mumford's run right behind him. He almost went for the jugular and the lead on that opening lap, but he kept the Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider very honest for the entire run length, especially in those first three laps. A good Heat here for MCR, with him and Freckle Oldenburg rounding out the podium behind Kitchen.

Now for the big story of these Heat Races, Nate Thrasher's massive get-off and red flag. Just tried to get a bit too much on that long rhythm lane, and that was as ugly a hit as I've seen in some time. Luckily, Thrasher walked with some help to the cart before going to the back, but just a nightmare start to 2024 for the Star Yamaha rider.

On the restart, things quickly turned into a Jo Shimoda and Jordon Smith duel, with the latter holding the early advantage, which would last for the ensuing five minutes despite a late charge from the Honda HRC rider. After R.J. Hampshire behind those top two, there wasn't a soul within seven seconds of the top three.

250 West Class Recap

1st - No. 24 R.J. Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing)

I just love the irony that on a night where seemingly everyone, regardless of class, managed to hit the deck, Rick James was not one of them, and he let other people mess up for him en route to a win. This was a night where Jordon Smith was the guy to beat, but you don't have to be the best guy to win every round, tonight being a perfect example. Although Hampshire would have probably wanted the red plate going into this six-week break, only sitting five points out isn't a bad deal.

2nd - No. 47 Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki)

No actual win, but Kitchen walking out of State Farm Stadium with the only red plate is just as good. Certainly would've liked to have seen a bit more long-speed out of the Pro Circuit rider, but it's big-picture view now. Recent history suggests he's in the catbird seat to win this Championship with just five races left, but he has to win a couple of these rounds at the least to finish this thing off. Kitchen can't just bank off Triple Crown wins forever.

3rd - No. 30 Jo Shimoda (Honda HRC)

With four top fives and just his first podium in five rounds, San Francisco really looms large over Shimoda's 2024. Say that's another top five to add to his resume, he's probably, at worst, 17 points back of Kitchen and the rest of the top three. A shame, since this was easily his best run of the year so far, and he won't get the chance to back this up with another good run. Sadly, that's how it goes sometimes.

4th - No. 31 Jordon Smith (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha)

This might just be me, but I find what Smith did last night to be the most impressive thing anyone did. To go down not once but twice in a 15-minute Main Event and nearly end up on the podium is absurd. Looking at the lap times down the stretch, he wasn't too far off of what Hampshire was putting down, and if he had the track position, he probably wins given how the majority of Saturday went. Either way, that was an excellent job of managing the situation, things could've ended up a lot worse than what they did. That goes for the medical flag/yellow flag mishap with Kitchen, and the night in general by the way.

250 West Class Glendale Top 10

1st No. 24 R.J. Hampshire

2nd No. 47 Levi Kitchen

3rd. No. 30 Jo Shimoda

4th No. 31 Jordon Smith

5th No. 26 Garrett Marchbanks

6th No. 55 Mitchell Oldenburg

7th No. 929 Julien Beaumer

8th No. 36 Phil Nicoletti

9th No. 73 Robbie Wageman

10th No. 85 Hunter Yoder

250 West Class Points After Glendale

1st No. 47 Levi Kitchen (106 Points) (New Sole-Points Leader)

2nd No. 31 Jordon Smith (102 Points)

3rd No. 24 R.J. Hampshire (101 Points)

4th No. 26 Garrett Marchbanks (87 Points)

5th No. 30 Jo Shimoda (74 Points)

6th No. 55 Mitchell Oldenburg (67 Points)

7th No. 100 Anthony Bourdon (65 Points)

8th No. 929 Julien Beaumer (63 Points)

9th No. 41 Carson Mumford (58 Points)

10th No. 85 Hunter Yoder (56 Points)

450 Class Recap

1st - No. 94 Ken Roczen (Progressive Ecstar HEP Suzuki)

I don't know what the Supercross equivalent of teach tape is, but everything Roczen did tonight was near-flawless execution. Tweeted this out mid-race, but he made things look easy and looked really loose and fluid on the bike. No one had anything for him seemingly all night, so I wasn't surprised with the outcome. Great job by Kenny of going as low as physically possible in that first corner to avoid Vince Friese by the way.

3rd- No. 18 Jett Lawrence (Honda HRC)

It only took two Motos for Jett to get back-to-back podiums outdoors, but after six rounds of Supercross, he now has his first string of consecutive podiums indoors, and better yet, has the red plate again. After banging bars with Webb, I thought he handled things well, not rushing into passes and understanding he had plenty of time to work with. Certainly not his best performance, but one he may look on later as an important result.

4th- No. 3 Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Star Racing)

Even while giving up third to Lawrence in the final third, this was a night Tomac needed desperately after Detroit. His pace did dip a bit in those final four laps after Lawrence got by him, but he was on pace with guys like Plessinger (really fast after his fall), and Anderson in the four laps before that, he was just off enough on lap 15 and that's what ultimately did him in. Even if that pass was a multi-point swing, take the fourth into this week off and regroup, still a ton of time left this season.

6th - No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis (Phoenix Honda)

One bad Triple Crown Main at A2 has pretty much been the only sore spot in an otherwise fantastic season so far for Ferrandis and Phoenix Honda. I don't know what's going into his success this year, but it's a 180 from whatever his program with Star was apparently. Everyone apart of that program should be over the moon with this start. Having a guy who's never really found that indoor success having a career year his first season out of a factory ride is one hell of an accomplishment to this point.

9th- No. 1 Chase Sexton (Red Bull KTM)

Giving up a couple of extra positions late stings, but Sexton was visibly fighting through it on those last few laps, and the lap times (multiple seconds off his average pace) reflected that. They had confirmed on the broadcast that despite some fear he broke his left hand, the MRIs came back showing contusions instead, by the way. The best news possible with a week off before Dallas. Take a few ride days off between now and then, and hopefully come back fresh to erase this five-point deficit.

450 Class Glendale Top 10

1st No. 94 Ken Roczen

2nd No. 21 Jason Anderson

3rd No. 18 Jett Lawrence

4th No. 3 Eli Tomac

5th No. 96 Hunter Lawrence

6th No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis

7th No. 2 Cooper Webb

8th No. 27 Malcolm Stewart

9th No. 1 Chase Sexton

10th No. 7 Aaron Plessinger

450 Class Point Standings after Glendale

1st No. 18 Jett Lawrence (117 Points) (New Points Leader)

2nd No. 1 Chase Sexton (111 Points)

3rd No. 7 Aaron Plessinger (108 Points)

4th No. 2 Cooper Webb (107 Points)

5th No. 21 Jason Anderson (106 Points)

6th No. 94 Ken Roczen (102 Points)

7th No. 3 Eli Tomac (100 Points)

8th No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis (93 Points)

9th No. 96 Hunter Lawrence (69 Points)

10th No. 51 Justin Barcia (63 Points)

Glendale Lit Kit Recipient - All of TLD/GasGas Factory Racing + Ricky Fowler

Next Up: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas) (7:00 EST gate drop exclusively live on Peacock)

Main Image via Pipes Motorsports Group


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