Blow-By-Blow Account Of The 2018 Seattle Supercross
PHOTOS | Octopi Media
Coming into the weekend, everyone in the pit area knew that they were in for a rough night at the 2018 Seattle Supercross. Days of rain had turned the course constructed for round thirteen of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Series into a swamp and every possible venture was taken to salvage the night’s racing in the Pacific Northwest. With both championship chases in the closing stages, getting through Seattle with as many points as possible was going to be key for any rider that hoped to hold a number one plate at the final round.
250 Heat Race One
Mitchell Oldenburg led the pack through the slick first turn and held the lead on the opening lap of the moto, but a mistake over a small double by the Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Factory Racing rider on the second lap dropped him down the order. This allowed Monster Energy/Pro Cirucit/Kawasaki rider Adam Cianciarulo to slip into the top spot. Cianciarulo set the pace for much of the race but then came under attack in the closing minutes of the moto by Shane McElrath. With some mistakes by Cianciarulo and interference from slower lapped riders, McElrath was able to take over the top on his Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM. Moments later McElrath stalled the bike in a tight rut and was stuck for a considerable length of time, which then allowed Cianciarulo to retake the lead. Just when it seemed like Cianciarulo's win was set, the bike plunged into deep mud and Cianciarulo was forced to abandon it. GEICO Honda rider Chase Sexton then took over the lead, but on the final lap the rookie racer tipped over, which then put Phil Nicoletti into the top spot with only moments remaining in the race. With this, the AutoTrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing rider claimed the first Heat Race win of his career.
250 Heat Race Two
Mitchell Harrison nabbed the holeshot aboard his Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna, but Aaron Plessinger sped into the top spot two turns into the race. The Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Factory Racing rider's off-road riding talents were put on to good use in the quagmire, as he immediately put a sizable distance between himself and the rest of the field. Plessinger managed to avoid any issues for the full duration of the race and stayed remarkably clean as he took the win by over seventeen-seconds.
450 Heat Race One
Cooper Webb and Marvin Musquin battled bar to bar through the first lanes of track for the top spot on the opening lap, with Musquin taking the lead on his Red Bull KTM. Webb's time at the front came to an end after he tipped his Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing machine over and this allowed Musquin to motor away to an uncontested win. AutoTrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing's Malcolm Stewart and Monster Energy Kawasaki's Tyler Bowers swapped second place, a position that Bowers claimed on the second lap and held until Broc Tickle made a key pass late in the race. A poor start buried Justin Brayton in the field, but the SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts/Honda rider steadily worked his way into a transfer position.
450 Heat Race Two
Blake Baggett, Jason Anderson, and Eli Tomac were all at the front of the field at the start of the race, with Anderson taking the early lead on his Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna. A pair of mistakes put Anderson on the ground, which allowed Tomac to take over the top spot. Once in the lead, Tomac calmly motored his Monster Energy Kawasaki through the conditions and built a sizable gap over the field. Anderson's early issues did not deter the incoming championship leader, as he put in a wild surge to climb from deep in the top-ten to second place within just a few moments. Even with Anderson's efforts, Tomac managed to take the win by over thirty seconds.
250 Last Chance Qualifier
Adam Cianciarulo aced the start and avoided run-ins that occurred between multiple in the first turn. The start was critical for Cianciarulo, as he stayed clean and clear of the competition to take the win. Jess Pettis and Kyle Chisholm quietly finished second and third, respectively, while Kele Russell made a late-race pass to claim the fourth and final transfer spot.
450 Last Chance Qualifier
Benny Bloss blasted into the early lead on his Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM while Team Honda HRC's Christian Craig followed closely behind in second place. Although Craig reeled in Bloss during the middle of the moto, he was never able to make a pass attempt and Bloss nabbed the win. Nick Schmidt and Collin Jurin clinched the final two transfer positions for the Main Event.
250 Main Event
Due to the track conditions, officials made the call to shorten the race by a large amount and riders had limited time to make key moves. Aaron Plessinger powered down the start straightaway and into the lead the moment the gate dropped on his Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Factory Racing machine. Shane McElrath, Joey Savatagy, and Chase Sexton ran close to the leader on the opening lap, but within a few minutes, Plessinger pulled out of sight. With no competition to show him a wheel, Plessinger put in consistent laps around the track and claimed his fourth Main Event win of the year, which added even more points to his championship lead. As the time ticked away, Chase Sexton and Adam Cianciarulo were able to improve their places in the result, with Sexton sneaking up to second on his GEICO Honda and Cianciarulo to third on his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki. For Cianciarulo the podium finish was the key detail of a wild evening, as he leaped to second place in the season point standings.
450 Main Event
Jason Anderson and Eli Tomac took off with the top two spots when the gate dropped, positions that they would hold until the very end of the race. Anderson's aggressive riding style in the early laps allowed him in creep away from Tomac, but one small mistake by the Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna rider near the halfway point of the race allowed the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider to power by into the top spot. Once in the lead, Tomac carefully plotted his lines around the challenging track at a pace that allowed him to keep just a few seconds between himself and Anderson. Despite a very late charge from Anderson, which brought the two riders within feet of each other in the final stages, Tomac was able to retain the lead and claimed his sixth win of the season. Further back in the pack, Marvin Musquin rode solo to a third-place finish.
The final lap was a battle for fifth place. Chad Reed held the position when the white flag flew, but he then came under attack from Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing's Cooper Webb and Monster Energy Kawasaki's Tyler Bowers as they went around the track. Reed's Husqvarna was clearly feeling the abuse of the mud as it trudging along and this allowed both Bowers and Webb to get by. Just feet from the finish and while in a battle with Bowers for sixth, Reed's clutch could not handle the muck anymore and forced the veteran rider to push the bike through the mud to the finish line.