It was an historic and monumental night for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson and his team at the final round of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross championship held in Las Vegas.
Having never captured a 450SX championship since the brand’s inception 115 years ago, the most prestigious title in the sport was theirs when the chequered flag flew on Saturday for the final round of the 2018 AMA Supercross Championships.
The 25-year-old grabbed the red plate at round two with a win and never looked back, outlasting the deeply stacked and talented field.
With a monumental championship on the line, Anderson took on a conservative approach to the final round. Qualifying third, the newly-crowned 450SX champion got off to a top-three start in his heat, where he settled into second early on.
He maintained his second-place transfer position for the remainder of the heat race, shifting his focus toward the Main Event. Anderson got a top-ten start in the main event but he quickly established himself in the fifth-place position early on. He maintained a solid pace for the remainder of the 21-lap main event to finish fifth overall on the way to claim his first-ever 450SX title.
“Today was really stressful, but I feel like I handled it really well and came out with the championship,” Anderson said. “I’m so excited. We put our whole lives into this, we’ve been riding dirt bikes for so long and to win this championship, me and my team, it’s the most surreal moment of my life up to this point.”
While all the glory went to Anderson, the 450 main event was a two rider race, with Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac and Redbull KTM’s Marvin Musquin going toe to toe for win.
Tomac grabbed the lead early with Musquin shadowing his every move for the majority of the race. As the leading duo started to lap the tail end of the field, Tomac was able to pull out a couple of second lead, which he maintained to the finish to grab his 8th race win for the season.
Musquin crossed the line to take second position for both the race and the 2018 championship, while Blake Baggett rounded out the podium for the round.
Zach Osborne also made history as he successfully defended his title and claimed his second-consecutive 250SX East Championship aboard his Husqvarna FC 250. Osborne continued to outsmart the competition and displayed his razor-sharp agility as he experienced continued success and progression the entire season.
Osborne set the tone for the day as top qualifier in the 250SX East division, where he went on to capture a commanding heat race win.
As the gate dropped for the 250SX E/W showdown main event, Osborne had trouble getting off the line as he found himself nearly last at the start of the opening lap. Osborne immediately began climbing through the pack to reach a top-10 position by the end of lap one. With a championship mindset, Osborne maintained his seventh-place position to emerge as a two-time 250SX champion as the checkers flew.
“This year has been tough for me. I’ve had to fight every inch for this championship,” Osborne said. “Jordon and the rest of the guys rode really awesome this whole season and gave me a heck of a challenge. This was the hardest one so far, I would say, but it’s amazing to be a three-time champion.
For Monster Energy Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger his 250 West championship win was a mirror image of Osborne’s as he got off to an average start before quickly working his way in to a top ten position.
At the line he finished directly behind Osborne in 8th to clinch his maiden championship.
While Osborne and Plessinger were focused on winning their championship with solid results, the battle up front in the East / West shootout was intense, with Troy Lee KTM’s Shane McElrath taking control of the race early, with Geiko Honda’s Jermey Martin pushing him for the lead.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo had plans of his own, catching and quickly passing both riders, moving himself in to the lead and quickly opened up a handy lead.
At the line Cianciarulo claimed a comfortable win, and then announced that he would miss the 2018 outdoor motocross season to have surgery on his knee.
Jordan Smith put on a late race charge to finish in second position with McElrath rounding out the podium.
Photo courtesy Simon Cudby
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Las Vegas SX Results
450SX Main Event
- Eli Tomac
- Marvin Musquin
- Blake Baggett
- Christian Craig
- Jason Anderson
- Benny Bloss
- Weston Peick
- Dean Wilson
- Justin Barcia
- Vince Friese
450SX Rider Point Standings
- Jason Anderson – 356 points
- Marvin Musquin – 347 points
- Eli Tomac – 318 points
- Blake Baggett – 285 points
- Justin Brayton – 275 points
- Weston Peick – 251 points
- Dean Wilson – 208 points
- Broc Tickle – 184 points
- Cooper Webb – 181 points
- Justin Barcia – 177 points
250SX E/W Showdown Main Event
- Adam Cianciarulo
- Jordon Smith
- Shane McElrath
- Joey Savatgy
- Jeremy Martin
- Chase Sexton
- Zach Osborne –
- Aaron Plessinger
- Brandon Hartranft
- Hayden Mellross
250SX East Rider Point Standings
- Zach Osborne – 196 points
- Jordon Smith – 188 points
- Jeremy Martin – 175 points
- Austin Forkner – 137 points
- Luke Renzland – 118 points
- Kyle Peters – 112 points
- Sean Cantrell – 108 points
- Brandon Hartranft – 103 points
- Anthony Rodriguez – 76 points
- John Short – 58 points
250SX West Rider Point Standings
- Aaron Plessinger – 211 points
- Adam Cianciarulo – 209 points
- Shane McElrath – 193 points
- Joey Savatgy – 193 points
- Chase Sexton – 167 points
- Justin Hill – 136 points
- Kyle Chisholm – 134 points
- Mitchell Harrison – 121 points
- Christian Craig – 106 points
- Hayden Mellross – 101 points