Photography by Kit Palmer
Special update: Jason Anderson was docked two positions for jumping on a Red Cross flag. That moves him to fourth and Malcolm Stewart to third.
Cole Seely had been so close in the first two rounds, but couldn’t quite hold on late in the races. Tonight at Anaheim II, Seely finally broke through to score his first victory of the season. Seely got the start he needed and built a big lead on his Troy Lee Designs Honda. Jason Anderson, winner of the first two rounds of the 250 Supercross West class, was forced to come from behind. With seven laps to go he broke through to second on his Rockstar KTM, but he made a few errors while giving chase and ultimately never threatened Seely. Seely’s margin of victory at the flag was 3.3 seconds.
Cooper Webb was fast starting on his Yamalube Yamaha and ran second for the first half. He eventually yielded to Anderson, but hung on to score his first podium of the 2014 campaign.
Seely’s win moved him to within three points of series leading Anderson. Zach Osborne, who was eighth tonight, hangs on to third in the standings going into Oakland next weekend.
Seely led the entire way, getting out of the gate with a great start and emerging the head of the 22-bike pack. Webb and Dean Wilson gave chase in second and third in the early going.
Things got ugly for Wilson on the fourth lap when he went down in a blind spot of the track. Just has he was scrambling back his machine it was hit by a couple of oncoming riders, including front runner Malcolm Stewart. Wilson remounted to finish seventh.
By the halfway point Seely was ahead 2.5 seconds over Webb. Anderson was charging hard and just past mid-race took over second from Webb. At that point Anderson was under three seconds from Seely, with plenty of laps to close the gap, but the two-race winner made a mistake soon after he took second and was suddenly almost six second behind the leader.
That was effectively the race. Anderson regrouped and tried to narrow the gap, but it was too little too late. Seely took the checkered flag with more than three seconds in hand.
“It was awesome,” said Seely of his victory, the fourth in his career. “We’ve done so much testing, put in so many hours at the test track in the pre-season and this week. We knew exactly what we needed in the main to throw down some laps. It felt so good to have a little breathing room on the last lap. Those last two laps I played it a little conservative. Just wanted to make sure it was mine. I had a pretty good gap on Jason. It feels so good to finally get back on top of the box. I’ve been so sick the last couple of weeks. This helps so much with my confidence.”
Anderson remained upbeat after suffering his first loss of the season.
“I’m not disappointed at all,” Anderson said. “It takes a good season and it takes not making mistakes and crashing. You take the good with the bad and that wasn’t bad. I gained valuable points and I’m still in the points lead. I couldn’t do it without my whole team behind me.”
Behind the podium finishers of Seely, Anderson and Webb came Stewart, lucky to have survived the hard impact into Wilson’s downed bike early in the race. Rounding out the top five was Justin Hill. It marked the best finish of the season for both Stewart and Hill.
250SX Class Results: Anaheim
1. Cole Seely, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda
2. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., KTM (docked to fourth)
3. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha
4. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda
5. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki
6. Shane McElrath, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda
7. Dean Wilson, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Kawasaki
8. Zach Osborne, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda
9. Michael Leib, Menifee, Calif., Honda
10. Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda
250SX Class Season Standings
1. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., KTM, 72
2. Cole Seely, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda, 69
3. Zach Osborne, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda, 53
4. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha, 51
5. Dean Wilson, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Kawasaki, 50
6. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda, 47
7. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki, 44
8. Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda, 35
9. Dean Ferris, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 31
10. Shane McElrath, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda, 29