A rookie to 450SX, Adam Cianciarulo sped past Justin Barcia with 11 minutes remaining in the first Main Event of the season.
It was the first race of its kind that Cianciarulo had raced in his career, one with a track that had been worn out by the qualifying races throughout the night.
That showed in the back half of the Main Event, as Cianciarulo was nearly bounced off of his bike, giving Barcia the win in the season opener in back-to-back seasons.
Justin Barcia outlasts Rookie, wins Anaheim 1 for second year in a row
Now, Saturday night was hardly the first time Cianciarulo found himself on a 450 bike.
He won the $100,000 grand prize during the 2019 Monster Energy Cup in his official debut on the higher-powered machines.
However, this is his first season on tour of the popular, Saturday night SX series and it was evident that a worn down track came back to bite him.
Cianciarulo was actually leading with five minutes to go in the race before the used up track conditions got to him allowing Barcia to take the win.
Barcia was leading for the first portion of the race, before going off track an conceding his lead to the rookie.
Although, Barcia was able to pad a huge cushion with Cianciarulo early on, to ensure that he would remain on the podium no matter the mistake either would make.
Defending series champion Cooper Webb would round out the podium, but would finish over 10 seconds behind the leaders when it was all said and done.
Blake Baggett and Jason Anderson beat out heavy hitters in Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac to round out the top five.
Tomac had a hiccup early on that he would not recover from, forcing a P7 finish for him in the opening round.
It was just as much of a janky opening race that one could expect. We’ll see what happens when the series is back in action next week in St. Louis.
|AMA SX 450 Point Standings|
250’s: Forkner’s mistake gives Justin Cooper First Win
Justin Cooper won the holeshot to the 250SX West Series Main Event on Saturday at Anaheim.
The first one out of the gates and the first one to the painted white line in the dirt, Cooper had another taste of what it felt like to lead a AMA SX race.
Seconds later, however, it was Austin Forkner blowing by Cooper, a familiar spot of Cooper’s – who just hadn’t yet put a complete victory together.
The pair of 250 riders started to pull away from their competition, eventually holding a five-second lead over defending champion Dylan Fernandis.
That’s when Forkner put his bike into a barrier, giving up the lead to Cooper and coming out of it in third, behind Fernandis.
There has been some debate on if Forkner cut the track or not on his way back onto the racing line. You be the judge.
Trouble for Austin Forkner!
— Motorsports on NBC (@MotorsportsNBC) January 5, 2020
There has been no official word from AMA Supercross, although, the results to this race may change.
Cooper went on to get his first 250SX win and his teammate Fernandis wrapped up the second-place finish.