For the first time in Monster Energy Supercross history, there would be three 450SX main events for Round 3 in Anaheim. Akin to the Monster Energy Cup format, which had produced many years of exhilarating racing action, every racer and fan was eager to see how this would shake out. Eventual champion Jason Anderson had a quote like, “Taking off on the holeshot with 22 of the best in the world one time is stressful. Doing it three times is pretty gnarly.” Well, how did it work? At the conclusion of the night, there were three main events and three different winners.
The 450SX format was broken down into an 8-minute main event, a 12-minute main event, and a 15-minute main event. The anticipation was at a fever pitch. Would the short 8-minute main event open the door for a quick starter and sprinter like Justin Brayton, Justin Barcia or Cole Seely? Who would be consistent enough to capture the overall? What could possibly happen with three drops of the gate?
The racing would be epic and the questions would be answered! In the first 450SX main event, it was Southern California native Cole Seely racing away with a popular win. Jason Anderson encountered trouble by getting caught up in a pile up with Malcolm Stewart and Broc Tickle and be forced to come through the pack. Anderson would finish the first main event in an eventual 7th place while Eli Tomac, who was returning from injury at the season opener, finished 5th.
In the second 450SX main event, it was Tomac storming to the victory and serving notice that his shoulder was just fine. Seely rode well and ended up in second place, which set the table for him to win the whole thing! Meanwhile, Anderson finished in third place.
The stage was set for the third and overall deciding 450SX main event and everyone had their eyes on the #14 Honda of Cole Seely? Could he pick up his second career 450SX victory? It was not to be as Seely suffered a bad start and would be forced to make a multitude of passes if he wanted to become the first ever Triple Crown winner. Up front, it was Eli Tomac charging away, but coming on strong was Jason Anderson! The two would go bar to bar for a couple of laps before Anderson made his move, an aggressive block pass, after the finish line jump. The No. 21 Husqvarna racer would speed away with the victory, but it was Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac who came in second place for first overall. When the dust settled for Cole Seely, he finished seventh, good enough for an overall podium, but short of his goal of victory.
Loved or hated, the Triple Crown served as a notice that a different format would produce wild racing action and multiple winners. The best part about it? There would be two more of them before the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross an FIM World Championship would conclude.
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