The first round of the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross season in Anaheim, California has come and gone, marking the beginning of another intensely exciting season of motorcycle racing in some of the most impressive football and baseball stadiums sprawled across the country. There’s always an immense amount of hype and anticipation that go along with the iconic season opener at Anaheim 1, but it also serves as a fresh start and a clean slate for the many names and numbers filling the gate. Additionally, the new season provided us with an opportunity to bring a few more riders into the LS2 family with a total of eight riders representing the brand at A1, competing at the highest level of supercross racing in the world. Kyle Chisholm and David Pulley made their return from 2019, but we’re also pleased to join forces with the TXS Supercross team which includes Bubba Pauli, Scotty Wennerstrom, and Joan Cros. Cade Autenreith and Josh Greco will also be representing LS2 in the 450SX class while Addison Emory will be sporting an LS2 Subverter in the 250SX West division.
Angel Stadium of Anaheim was packed to the brim with the anticipation of thousands upon thousands of screaming fans on Saturday night, eagerly awaiting the first gate drop of the season to ring in thenew season of racing. The 450SX class is as stacked with talent as it has ever been with a scarcity of preseason injuries and a multitude of riders ready to prove they’ve got what it takes to battle with the best in the world. Kyle Chisholm led the way for the LS2 backed riders with the 26th overall time in combined qualifying by way of a 1:00.632, placing him in a good position to earn his spot in the main event. He grew more and more comfortable with each practice session as he only had a few days worth of testing on his YZ450F before the first round, improving his confidence with each passing lap as racing quickly approached. Cade Autenreith followed closely behind in 29th position after clocking a 1:01.62, showing the necessary pace to have a shot at the main event depending on the results of the heat race. Joan Cros was the last of the LS2 supported riders to earn a spot for the night show by qualifying inside the top forty riders, finishing in 36th overall position with a 1:02.507 to his name. Bubba Pauli narrowly missed out on the fast forty by merely two tenths of in 43rd position with Scotty Wennerstrom not far behind in 46th place with a 1:03.639 lap time under his belt. Josh Greco was a few places further back in 50th overall after clocking a 1:05.189 and David Pulley followed closely in 54th position with a 1:11.424. Unfortunately, Addison Emory took a spill in the second qualifying session of the 250SX West category and ended up sustaining a wrist injury, sidelining him for the rest of the night. Nonetheless, he’s going to push through the pain and give it another go at the second round of the season in St. Louis.
The night show got underway with the highly anticipated gate drops of the 250SX West class and the first LS2 riders to see the starting line were the pair of Kyle Chisholm and Joan Cros, taking part in the first heat of the 450SX class. The #848 of Cros battled throughout the intense first couple of laps in an attempt to sniff a transfer position inside the top ten, but he wasn’t able to get the job done as he eventually greeted the checkered flag in 18th place. Meanwhile, Chisholm utilized his veteran knowledge in order to put himself in the right position to succeed, sorting himself into the final transfer position from the very first lap to the last lap, securing a direct transfer to the main event with an all-important 9th place finish. In the second 450SX heat race, Cade Autenreith lined up to do battle and he made it hard on himself right out of the gate, crossing the finish line in 18th position on the opening lap of the short heat race. The Honda rider pushed forward throughout the next few laps and made rapid progress, moving up through the field to an eventual 13th place finish at the checkered flag. Despite his resilience throughout the race and his willingness to push until the final moment, his position at the beginning of the race cost him a shot at transferring directly to the main event, sending him to the Last Chance Qualifier. Autenreith and Cros both had a spot on the linefor the LCQ and were given one more shot at earning their place on the starting gate for the main event, but it would take a fairly flawless race and a result inside the top four to get the job done. Both riders managed a start within the top ten and challenged for important real estate at the beginning of the sprint race, but they ultimately weren’t able to lock themselves into a transfer position, ending their night in Anaheim just before the main event. Autenreith ended up finishing in 8th position while Cros met the checkered flag in 14th place.
In the 450SX main event, Chisholm put forth a solid performance after starting near the back of the pack on the opening lap, falling into 18th position in the early stages of the race. He made a slight mistake on the second lap and dropped back to the rear end of the field, leaving himself a difficult road ahead for the remainder of the main event. Chisholm put his head down and charged hard for the upcoming laps, taking the race one overtake at a time before eventually securing 18th place which he held down until the checkered flag.
The second round of the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross season quickly approaches as the series returns to The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis, Missouri after a year away from the historic venue.