2021 Houston Supercross Rnd 1 Results

Cycle News Staff | January 16, 2021

2021 Houston Supercross Rnd 1 Results: For the third year in a row, Justin Barcia has won the opening round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship, twice at Anaheim and now in Houston. Not since Jeremy McGrath 25 years ago has anyone won three consecutive Supercross openers. And to make it even more special for Barcia, he gave the GasGas brand its first-ever Supercross win in its first-ever Supercross race.

Barcia Does It Again At Supercross Opener

2021 Houston Supercross Rnd 1 Results
Where have we seen this before? Justin Barcia won his third consecutive Supercross series opener, this time in Houston. Photos: BrownDog Wilson

Barcia, on the factory-backed Red Bull GasGas, endured relentless pressure by Ken Roczen (Honda HRC) before taking the checkered flag just 1.015 seconds ahead of the Honda rider. The two red bikes were never separated by more than two seconds once Roczen took control of second place approximately five minutes into the 20-minute-plus-one-lap main event. Roczen made a couple of runs on Barcia just past the halfway point, but Barcia thwarted those attempts and managed to stay focused on the task at hand the rest of the way.

Roczen admitted after the race that he “kind of let it [Barcia] go” late in the race all but surrendering the victory to Barcia with a few laps left to go.

“He pressured me so hard the whole race,” said Barcia of Roczen. “It was a great race. A three-peat wasn’t [necessarily] the goal tonight, but I want to keep it going, I don’t want to be known a one-hit-wonder.”

Barcia won’t have to wait long in his attempt to make it two race wins in a row, as the next round, also in Houston, take place in just three days on Tuesday night.

It was a nice way to return to Supercross racing for Marvin Musquin (Red Bull KTM) who sat out the entire 2020 Supercross season with a knee injury. His return was met with a podium in third place. Musquin nabbed the holeshot then ran fourth for much of the race before passing Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) for third where he would finish out the race a distant 19 seconds behind Roczen.

Cianciarulo took fourth, two seconds behind Musquin, and Malcolm Stewart (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha) rounded out the top five another two seconds behind Cianciarulo.

It wasn’t a great start to the season for a number of riders who were expected to do well, especially defending champ Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki). He got off the gate about midpack and had a couple of run-ins with Vince Friese and was running in 16th place by just the fourth lap. He ran 13th and 14th for much of the race, stuck behind Dean Wilson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna), and then got passed by Wilson’s teammate Zach Osborne towards the end of the race. Tomac ended up 13th.

Osborne, who looked brilliant in winning the second heat race earlier in the evening, went down in the first turn. He was dead last after the first lap, charged hard the rest of the way, and ended up 10th.

Chase Sexton (Honda HRC), the top 450SX qualifier, went down on the second lap after crashing into a downed bike. The 450SX rookie finished a lap down in 14th.

Jason Anderson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna), the 2018 Supercross Champion, got a bad start (13th) and worked his way up to eighth.

Justin Brayton (Muc-Off Honda), Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha), Aaron Plessinger (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha), Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM), and Osborne finished sixth through 10th.

Craig Wins Houston Supercross 250SX East Main

2021 Houston Supercross Rnd 1 Results
Christian Craig captured an emotional win in the 250SX East main event.

In the 250SX East main, there was a lot of talk about the youth movement coming into the opening round, but it was the veterans who prevailed, most notably 29-year-old Christian Craig. The Californian finished well clear of 22-year-old Austin Forkner, who might not really qualify as a veteran but does have a fair amount of experience compared to many of the other riders in the class, and 26-year-old Colt Nichols.

Craig got out in front early and simply checked out, letting everyone else fight over the scraps.

Forkner (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki) had to make some hard passes before securing the runner-up spot, while a three-rider battle developed for the last spot on the podium involving RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna), Jett Lawrence (Honda HRC), and Colt Nichols (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha). Both Hampshire and Lawrence ended up falling with Nichols holding on for the hard-earned third.

Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki) was the top finishing youngster in fourth, followed by Hampshire and Lawrence. Michael Mosiman (Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GasGas), Mitchell Oldenburg (Muc-Off Honda), Max Vohland (Red Bull KTM), and Josh Osby (Phoenix Racing Honda Team) completed the top 10 overall.

2021 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series, an FIM World Championship

Round 1 of 17

NRG Stadium

Houston, Texas

Results: January 16, 2021

450SX MAIN (Top 10)

1. Justin Barcia (GG) 28 laps
2. Ken Roczen (Hon) 01.051
3. Marvin Musquin (KTN) 20.076
4. Adam Cianciarulo (Kaw) 22.281
5. Malcolm Stewart (Yam) 24.399
6. Justin Brayton (Hon) 29.005
7. Dylan Ferrandis (Yam) 30.390
8. Aaron Plessinger (Yam) 32.385
9. Cooper Webb (KTM) 36.778
10. Zach Osborne (Hus) 37.172

250SX EAST Main (Top 10)

1. Christian Craig (Yam) 20 laps
2. Austin Forkner (Kaw) 05.057
3. Colt Nichols (Yam) 06.665
4. Jo Shimoda (Kaw) 19.522
5. RJ Hampshire (Hus) 20.302
6. Jett Lawrence (Hon) 30.110
7. Michael Mosiman (GG) 35.213
8. Mitchell Oldenburg (Hon) 43.499
9. Max Vohland (KTM) 46.638
10. Joshua Osby (Hon) 19 laps

QUALIFYING

2021 Houston Supercross Rnd 1 Results: The opening race of the ’21 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series is underway in Houston, Texas, at NRG Stadium and the first stage is over with the completion of the 450SX and 250SX East qualifying. Chase Sexton (450SX) and Christian Craig (250SX East) fired the first shots by topping the charts in their respective classes.

Sexton On Top In Houston 1 Supercross Qualifying

2021-Houston-Supercross-Rnd-1-Results
Chase Sexton topped 450SX qualifying at Houston 1. Photos: BrownDog Wilson

Sexton (Honda HRC) is making his 450SX-class debut, and the two-time 250SX West Champion obviously feels right at home on the 450 on the smaller track (he made his 450cc racing debut last year in the outdoor Nationals). After the two 450SX qualifying sessions, Sexton laid down the quickest lap time of all, edging out defending champion Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) by .030 seconds.

Marvin Musquin (Red Bull KTM), who sat out the entire Supercross series in 2020 with a knee injury, is certainly back after posting the third-quickest time, followed by Ken Roczen (Honda HRC), and Malcolm Stewart (Smartop/Bullfrog Spas/Motoconcepts Honda).

Perhaps more intriguing as to who was going fast was that of those who finished farther down in the field, such as Justin Barcia (sixth), Adam Cianciarulo (eighth), Jason Anderson (ninth), Cooper Webb (13th), Aaron Plessinger (17th) and usual fast qualifier Benny Bloss (20th). However, less than two seconds separate the top 19 riders.

Zach Osborne (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna), who won the final Supercross round last year at Salt Lake City, qualified 11th after suffering a hard crash during press day on Friday when his bike hesitated over a triple jump. Luckily, he walked off but didn’t return. However, the word from the team is that’s he’s okay to race today but was indeed shaken up by yesterday’s big crash.

Ferrandis managed to put down a solid lap despite suffering an injury during the off-season which kept him off the bike for a lengthy period of time. The report from his team is that, physically, Ferrandis is fine but lacks time on his new 450cc ride. Ferrandis, the 2020 250SX East Champion, is making his 450SX debut.

Craig Shows The Heat In 250SX East Houston 1 Supercross Qualifying

2021-Houston-Supercross-Rnd-1-Results
The veteran Christian Craig might have surprised some by topping 250SX East Qualifying.

In the 250SX East class, the veteran Christian Craig topped the charts on his new Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha ride. He was the only rider in the 250SX class to crack the 43-second bracket (and that includes the 450SX class for that matter), topping the next-quickest rider Jett Lawrence (Honda HRC) by a substantial difference of nearly a full second, 43.765-44.585. It was the first time in Craig’s career that he finished on top in qualifying.

“I just hope to keep the balling rolling into the main event,” a very confident-looking Craig said after learning he was the quickest of the field.

Craig’s teammate Colt Nichols was third quickest, followed by Austin Forkner (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki) and RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna).

Of note, young rookie Max Vohland, who is making his Supercross debut and on the factory-backed Red Bull KTM, rounded out the top 10.

The Houston track is said to be fairly technical by some of the riders. Practice started off a little on the muddy side but firmed up for the first 250SX qualifying session. The track, however, quickly rutted up which explains why many of the riders’ laps times were quicker in Q1.

For the first time since the Daytona Supercross last March, fans will be allowed to attend a Supercross race but with a 10,000 cap at Houston. CN

2021 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series, an FIM World Championship

Round 1 of 17

NRG Stadium

Houston, Texas

Results: January 16, 2021

QUALIFYING

450SX Combined Qualifying (Top 10)

1. Chase Sexton (Hon) 44.006
2. Eli Tomac (Kaw) 44.036
3. Marvin Musquin (KTM) 44.212
4. Ken Roczen (Hon) 44.230
5. Malcolm Stewart (Yam) 44.268
6. Justin Barcia (GG) 44.355
7. Dylan Ferrandis (Yam) 44.457
8. Adam Cianciarulo (Kaw) 44.469
9. Jason Anderson (Hus) 44.678
10. Joey Savatgy (Hon) 44.695

250SX East Combined Qualifying (Top 10)

1. Christian Craig (Yam) 43.765
2. Jett Lawrence (Hon) 44.585
3. Colt Nichols (Yam) 44.770
4. Austin Forkner (Kaw) 44.798
5. RJ Hampshire (Hus) 44.857
6. Jo Shimoda (Kaw) 45.443
7. Michael Mosiman (GG) 45.582
8. Thomas Do (KTM) 45.755
9. Mitch Oldenburg (Hon) 45.788
10. Max Vohland (KTM) 46.166

2021 Monster Energy Supercross/Telecast Schedule

Saturday, January 16 Houston (East) NBCSN 6 p.m. ET
Tuesday, January 19 Houston (East) NBCSN* 10:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, January 23 Houston (East) NBCSN 8 p.m. ET
Saturday, January 30 Indianapolis (East) NBCSN 8 p.m. ET
Sunday, January 31 Indianapolis (East) NBC** 5 p.m. ET
Tuesday, February 2 Indianapolis (East) NBCSN* 11 p.m. ET
Saturday, February 6 Indianapolis (East) NBCSN 8 p.m. ET
Saturday, February 13 Orlando (East) NBCSN 7:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, February 20 Orlando (West) NBCSN 7 p.m. ET
Saturday, March 6 Daytona (West) NBCSN 7 p.m. ET
Saturday, March 13 Arlington (West) NBCSN 7 p.m. ET
Tuesday, March 16 Arlington (West) NBCSN* 10:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, March 20 Arlington (West) NBCSN* 10:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, April 10 Atlanta (West) NBC 3 p.m. ET
Tuesday, April 13 Atlanta (West) NBCSN* 10 p.m. ET
Saturday, April 17 Atlanta (West) NBCSN* 8:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, April 24 Salt Lake City (West) NBCSN 7 p.m. ET
Saturday, May 1 Salt Lake City (East) NBCSN 10 p.m. ET
Sunday, May 2 Salt Lake City (East/West) NBC** 1:30 p.m. ET

*Same-day delay

**Taped coverage

 

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