Today was Media Day for the 2020 Monster Energy/AMA Supercross Series opener at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California, and although there wasn’t a ton of ground-breaking news, there were quite a few interesting things to keep your eye on as the series gets going. One of the biggest series-related announcements is that the Monster Energy Cup will be moving from Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, to Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, on October 10.
2020 Anaheim I Supercross Media Day
Some of the more interesting commentary in the team-manager portion came from Monster Energy Yamaha’s Jimmy Perry, who revealed the team has hired new technical personnel for 2020 and that the team racers are much happier with how their bikes are set up now.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Justin Barcia said he started from scratch on his bike setup with the new technical people and now he feels comfortable. It showed.
Chad Reed was interviewed by his old racing rival, Ricky Carmichael, and choked/teared up a bit when he said 2020 will be his last year racing supercross. He said he found a new love in auto racing, and he plans on racing “at least” 15 rounds this year, possibly missing two rounds due to auto-racing commitments. But he said if the supercross side of his racing program is going as well as he hopes, he’ll move things around a bit and race all 17 rounds.
Chad Reed is one of three racers who have won the Anaheim 1 opener three times.
NBC Sports auto-racing announcer Leigh Diffey will be doing the TV broadcast with Ricky Carmichael at the first few rounds of the championship, after which Ralph Sheheen will return to the booth.
Defending champion Cooper Webb got his championship ring…
Ryan Dungey spoke about his partnership with St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and he and Feld Motorsports announced that this year’s special St. Jude-themed race will be at Anaheim 2 in two weeks’ time.
Eli Tomac said he’s been working on starts a lot in the off-season and expects it should change how this championship goes for him, as the eventual champion usually has one of the lowest start-position averages in the series. He looked comfortable.
Cooper Webb also looked comfortable in his second year with Red Bull KTM. He says he believes he knows what to expect this year and that should help him in his first-ever 450cc title defense.
After the on-track portion, Webb went over some stuff with his team, including Roger Decoster (right) and his mechanic Carlos Rivera.
Honda’s Ken Roczen also went over some settings with his team after the on-track portion. He said his illness from last year was a form of Epstein-Barr Virus, but that he’s all straightened out and ready to race.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo looked comfortable and smooth heading into his first-ever official 450cc supercross.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Dean Wilson was a question mark for Anaheim 1 after fracturing/dislocating his hip at the Monster Energy Cup, but it looks like he’s in for tomorrow.
Smartop/Motoconcepts Honda’s Malcolm Stewart is looking for his first 450cc main-event win in 2020.
With JGR/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Joey Savatgy out with a broken heel, suffered at the Aus-X Open in late November, Jimmy Decotis got the nod to move up to the 450cc class. He said he’s been riding the 450 since September “just in case” something happened with Savatgy, so he’s actually pretty well-prepared for his full-time 450cc SX debut.
Another guy making his full-time 450cc SX debut is Team Tedder KTM’s Martin Davalos, who looked smooth and fast as usual.
Justin Hill is making his debut with the Smartop/Motoconcepts Honda team tomorrow. He said he feels comfortable on the bike and that “usually if I’m comfortable, I’m fast, so we’ll see…”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne is racing Anaheim 1 for the first time in a very long time, and he’s optimistic about the 2020 series.
Practice kicks off early tomorrow afternoon, California time, and the racing starts just after 7 p.m. Pacific time on NBC Sports.
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