Photography by Kit Palmer
Jason Anderson saved the best for last Saturday night in Anaheim. The Rockstar Energy Drink KTM rider seemed destined for a decent second-place finish, but leader Cole Seely got caught up in lapped traffic on the final lap and Anderson saw an opening and took full advantage. With two turns to go Seely was balked by Preston Mull. Anderson anticipated it perfectly and charged full speed into the turn, dove inside, used Seely as a berm and held off Seely in the final turn to take the first Supercross victory of the 2014 season in a thrilling finish.
Fans stood stunned at seeing a race decided so quickly just yards from the finish.
Zach Osborne nailed down the final podium position, nearly a half-lap behind the leaders.
Anderson nailed the holeshot and held the lead on the first lap over Seely, Malcolm Stewart and Dean Wilson.
On the second lap Seely moved up to pressure Anderson. He seemed to be able to put his bike wherever he wanted on the track. Following was one thing, but actually getting past Anderson proved to be a tough task. Finally on lap four Seely took over the point with an inside move in a right hander after a rhythm section, but Anderson never let up and stayed tight on the new leader.
The top two had already opened a gap on the rest of the field by lap five.
Cooper Webb, Darryn Durham and Justin Hill were involved in a great battle for sixth in the middle stages.
In his first race back in what seemed forever, Dean Wilson was getting back into the swing of the rough and tumble world of Supercross by way of an epic battle with Osborne, the two making contact a couple of times in their battle for third. Their intense battle gave Stewart an opportunity to close up and join the fray.
Up front Seely had checked out with Anderson alone in second.
With two laps to go Stewart clipped a downed rider (Preston Mull) in the sand section and went down. He lost several positions and eventually finished eighth.
Anderson made a last-lap charge on Seely to put himself in a position to make the all-or-nothing pass for the lead and win.
“I saw the pass might be available and I just had to push really hard on the last lap,” Anderson said. “Ever guy is fast, so it’s kind of hard to make up time at that point. The lappers kind of helped me out and I went for the pass. I don’t like to be dirty like that, but it was for the win so that’s what I had to do. I’m pumped I could put my Rockstar KTM on top.”
Seely had no hard feelings towards Anderson after the race.
“I would have done the same thing if I was in his position,” Seely said. “I just wish these guys would pay attention to the blue flags. The lapped riders really got to my head on that last lap.”
Anaheim I 250 West Supercross results
1 17 Jason Anderson Rio Rancho, NM KTM 250 SX-F
2 21 Cole Seely Lake Elsinore, CA Honda CRF 250
3 16 Zach Osborne, Chesterfield, SC Honda CRF 250
4 15 Dean Wilson Wesley Chapel, FL Kawasaki KX 250F
5 37 Cooper Webb Newport, NC Yamaha YZ250F
6 35 Justin Hill Yoncalla, OR Kawasaki KX 250F
7 45 Darryn Durham Butler, PA Kawasaki KX 250F
8 34 Malcolm Stewart Haines City, FL Honda CRF 250
9 50 Jessy Nelson Paso Robles, CA Honda CRF 250
10 61 Austin Politelli Menifee, CA Yamaha YZ250F
11 89 Michael Leib Menifee, CA Honda CRF 250
12 66 Jake Canada Sun City, CA Honda CRF 250
13 83 Dakota Tedder Surfside, CA Kawasaki KX 250F
14 111 Dean Ferris MURRIETA, CA KTM 250 SX-F
15 71 Zachary Bell Cairo, GA Honda CRF 250
16 87 Shane Mcelrath Chesterfield, SC Honda CRF 250
17 737 Valentin Teillet Lake Elsinore, CA Kawasaki KX 250F
18 65 Zackery Freeberg Riverview, FL Honda CRF 250
19 84 Scott Champion Orange, CA Yamaha YZ250F
20 97 Topher Ingalls Carmel, CA Honda CRF 250
21 142 Cole Martinez Rimrock, AZ Kawasaki KX 250F
22 565 Preston Mull Livingston, CA Yamaha YZ250F