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2020 St. Louis Supercross | Monday Kickstart



On the road again. The 2020 Monster Energy Supercross Series loaded up the trucks and made the 2000-mile trip from Southern California to Missouri for the second round of the series, the 2020 St. Louis Supercross. After the outcome of Anaheim One, everyone was eager to see how the field would fare once they had gotten over the opening round nerves. What’d we see? Just further affirmation that this year’s roster of riders is incredibly talented, maybe even more than we initially thought. In qualifying, there were ten 450 class riders within a second of each other on the stopwatch and a podium finisher at Anaheim One was on outside the group. Yeah, that’s a very small difference at the very highest level.

With this small sample of results, it’s still too soon to say how the remaining fifteen rounds of the 450 season will play out. Riders are still trying to find their rank in the running order, the perfect bike setup, or the cure for lingering symptoms from recent illness (there’s a lot of that going around, especially between teammates or training partners). So no, it’s not the time for the riders that were pegged as championship contenders to have a full-on panic for their mixed results. But damn, they better get on the podium soon if they want a shot at this title later on because there’s already a growing gap between current championship leader Justin Barcia (the only rider to finish on the podium in both rounds) and the rest of the pack.

A similar, yet different storyline is playing out in the 250 class. Like Barcia, Justin Cooper is the only rider to touch the podium two weeks in a row and he maintained control of the red plate with a second-place finish in St. Louis. Cooper’s consistency has been aided by the errors of Austin Forkner and Anaheim One (track cutting penalty that put him in fifth place) and Dylan Ferrandis in St. Louis (opening lap crash in the Main Event, twelfth place finish), but he has the raw speed to back up the results.

Left off the calendar in 2019, the STL SX made its return thanks in part to the completely open schedule that the vacant Dome at America’s Center has (it was the home to the Rams until the NFL team moved to California), Feld Motorsports’ ties to the venue with Monster Jam, and a recent dirt track event in December that used the same soil. Riders love the dirt in St. Louis because the clay base offers excellent grip and doesn’t breakdown like Indianapolis or Atlanta, traits that are aided by the stadium’s powerful heating system. Dirt Wurx made good use of the rectangle floorplan and built a course with long lanes, rhythm sections with multiple options, the over-under bridge, two massive double jumps, and whoops that reminded us why we watch from the sidelines.

The temperature was warm inside the stadium and attached pit area, but it was different outside, where the wintery mix moved over the area on Saturday morning and made the roads a little tricky. Why are we bringing that up? Because we’re trying to get an answer for the scant turnout in the seats. Did the weather keep people from showing up to a race that used to boast a healthy attendance, or is St. Louis’ reputation keeping Midwest fans from making the trip? Those of us that did show up to the race were treated to a memorable night, thanks to hometown hero Austin Forkner’s win in the 250 class and Ken Roczen’s massive triumph after three years of injury and issues.

Here’s what we saw and heard in the STL…

Michael Antonovich

Michael Antonovich has a wealth of experience with over 10 years of moto-journalism under his belt. A lifelong racing enthusiast and rider, Anton is the Editor of Swapmoto Live and lives to be at the race track.

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1 Comment

  1. Cody Siler January 14, 2020

    I love the photos and breakdowns of the bike parts and technical pieces!