Four rounds, 104 points remain.
The 2018 Monster Energy Supercross series heads back East stopping Saturday in Minneapolis, MN for Round 14 this time in the covered U.S. Bank Stadium where an expected snow storm will rage outside.
But Jason Anderson needs just three more rounds at his current pace to fully shut the door on everybody else for his first 450 class Supercross Championship further proving the old mantra "you have to be in it to win it."
So far, Anderson has finished in the Top 4 every round except one. Everyone else, except Blake Baggett, has at least one round outside the Top 11 netting a single digit points gain. Marvin Musquin and Eli Tomac spent the early weeks of the year crawling back after crashing while Ken Roczen, Justin Barcia, Josh Grant and Cole Seely bowed out less than midway through thanks to season ending injuries. (Barcia returns to racing this weekend.) Despite his consistency Baggett has finished 10 rounds outside the Top 5. Media darling Justin Brayton who got his first career win at Daytona becoming the oldest ever struggled in the Seattle mud last week ending a season-long streak of Top 8 finishes and dropped a spot to fourth-place in the standings.
Jason Anderson inched along in the mud last week and inched closer to the 2018 Supercross Championship
Anderson meanwhile continues to roll despite not winning since Round 9 in Atlanta. He grabbed second in two of the last three rounds and refused to play it safe in Seattle leading five laps before the slippery conditions cost him the lead. Tomac passed him for the win but Anderson crossed the checkers just nine seconds back while everyone else struggled in knee-high mud. Musquin finished third trailing Anderson by 30 seconds.
Anderson bolted on the Red Plate for Round 3 and hasn't lost it since. No one has really come close to taking it away, either. Tomac, the pre-season title favorite, was down nearly 50 points after two rounds, charged back with two straight wins but then fumbled it away after two more rough rounds. A Heat race crash in Round 2 left Musquin on the sidelines and derailed his momentum from a season opening win. That's not to say no one is in it. Seventh-place Broc Tickle is technically still in it but the realistic competitor remains Musquin who eventually bounced back from that early season crash but sits 37 points back which means he needs four straight wins and Anderson finishing no higher than seventh-place where he finished once this year at Daytona.
Eli Tomac beat the Seattle mud but needs help to push the title fight to Las Vegas
Tomac certainly can win out (leads the field with six checkers) and if anyone does place your bets on him. He dominated Minneapolis last year when the stop was Round 7 but outside an injury to Anderson he can try and salvage a season got awry by catching Musquin for second but 31 points presents a steep hill climb considering Musquin finished on the podium for seven of the last eight rounds.
Minneapolis also represents the final Triple Crown race featuring three shortened Main Event races using Olympic style scoring to determine the overall winner. Tomac won the first at Anaheim 2 with Anderson taking third and Anderson won the second in Atlanta with Tomac finishing third.
Jeremy Martin brings a hot streak into Minneapolis
The 250SX East class returns after a short break and offers a much closer points battle as defending Champion Zach Osborne clings to a seven point lead over Austin Forkner. Jordon Smith trails in third just 10 points from first and Jeremy Martin who won last time out but got docked seven points for jumping on the Red Cross flag sits in fourth, 19 points back from the lead. Martin has three straight podiums (2-2-1) second only to Forkner for the best three week stretch of any East rider this year. Forkner though has not reached the podium in the last two rounds.
The Top 3 guys got bounced off the podium in Indianapolis during the first of two East meets West matchups. Smith, Forkner and Osborne finished fourth, sixth and seventh respectively while Luke Renzland took a career high third. The fifth-place Renzland joins the Top 4 as the only riders in the East with double-digit point gains every round.
Zach Osborne rides the Red Plate for the sixth straight 250SX East round on Saturday in Minneapolis
No past East winners in Minneapolis as Joey Savatgy, who now races in the West, won last year but Smith and Osborne finished second and third, respectively, by less than half a second and both less than two seconds behind Savatgy. Forkner, Osborne and Smith went 1-2-3 at the Triple Crown in Atlanta.
Our Podium Picks for Minneapolis:
- Eli Tomac
- Marvin Musquin
- Jason Anderson
250SX East Class
- Zach Osborne
- Jeremy Martin
- Jordon Smith
Check out the track map for Round 14:
Practice for Round 14 starts at 12 p.m. (CST) with the gate drop for the Main Event at 9 p.m. (CST) on Saturday in Minneapolis. And yes, the weather forecast calls for 2 to 4 inches of snow with a high of 31.
2018 Supercross Season Standings
- Jason Anderson (288)
- Marvin Musquin (251)
- Eli Tomac (220)
- Justin Brayton (213)
- Blake Baggett (209)
- Weston Peick (185)
- Broc Tickle (184)
- Cooper Webb (180)
- Dean Wilson (152)
- Malcolm Stewart (125)
250SX East Class
- Zach Osborne (131)
- Austin Forkner (124)
- Jordon Smith (121)
- Jeremy Martin (112)
- Luke Renzland (92)
- Kyle Peters (85)
- Sean Cantrell (59)
- RJ Hampshire (57)
- Brandon Hartranft(57)
- Colt Nichols (54)