East bound and down, Anderson's march toward a title continues



Round 6 in San Diego was, yet again, a turning point in the season. It's clear now that momentum for the 450SX title is in full effect for Jason Anderson, who once again was able to run away to a convincing win. To further add to his roll toward the ultimate goal, rival Eli Tomac managed to score only a single point after a first turn crash left his bike twisted and beaten, effectively ending his title hopes for good.


Anderson's been on a tear all season, racking up three wins and five podium finishes, putting him an impressive 28 points in the lead, as the series heads east. This is remarkable in a number of ways, not the least of which is his level of consistency. And when he wins, he always makes a statement, either by being aggressive in his march to the front or simply by being clearly faster than everyone else in the main events even when the rest of his day hadn't been going so great. At this stage it appears that the title is his to lose -- having an entire race win worth of points gap only six rounds in is what results in championships.


Adding momentum to Anderson's freight train is the fact that his other biggest rival -- Ken Roczen -- will miss at least the next round or two. Roczen's attempt at an aggressive re-pass of Cooper Webb in the main event back-fired big time, resulting in a broken hand that required surgery, plus other bangs and bruises. This is terrible news for not just Kenny and Team Honda HRC, but also for the fans, as his return thus far had been nothing short of brilliant. 


The somewhat unlikely runner-up thus far in the points chase is the revitalized Justin Barcia, who had somewhat of an off night in San Diego. When a rider finishes sixth and that's considered a bad night, then you know he's having a good season. Barcia had issues early in the main, but proved to be super-fast all day, even winning his heat race (again). Sitting in second place (7 points clear of Cole Seely) is the best Barcia's ever been in 450SX, and if Anderson has an off night like he's had in year's past -- such as a DNF, bike failure, etc. -- then, Voila!, Justin Barcia is a legit threat for a 450SX title.


Another rider really coming around this season and achieving results that are perhaps better than  expected is Blake Baggett. With two third place finishes in a row, Baggett is putting in the work necessary to be back with the top guys of the sport -- a group that he's been watching from afar, for the most part, the last couple of seasons. Baggett's recent consistency places him in fifth in points, just 15 points out of second. He is tied with Justin Brayton (but only 1 point ahead of Peick and 2 in front of Musquin). Points are tight from third place back!


After a shoulder dislocation in Houston, Marvin Musquin has been racing his way back into shape, and San Diego showed he's just about back to normal. Clearly frustrated by his quasi-teammate and training partner Anderson beating him every weekend, it's safe to say that the Frenchman is going to come into Dallas with a bit more umph! in his attack. He's a loooong way back in points to be thinking about winning the title, and there are several great riders ahead of him, but there's no doubt he'll be gunning for wins every Saturday night from here on out.


Honda's Cole Seely is a rider who could be much closer to Anderson in points than anyone, had it not been for two main events where he wasn't quite able to pull off the W. First it was the mistake in Oakland. Then, in San Diego, he not only wasn't able to stop the Anderson train but faded all the way to fourth after leading the first half of the main. Seely is the coulda-woulda-shoulda rider of the season thus far.


After his performances in the last two rounds, Justin Hill is one rider who wishes the series wasn't heading to the East Region this weekend. Hill's ride and win in San Diego was quite convincing, as he was able to gap every rider in the field with no problem. With a second and a first the last two rounds, Hill is on a roll and, with the help of inconsistency from the rest of the title favorites (Plessinger, Savatgy, McElrath and Cianciarulo), it's not totally unlikely that Hill can make up the 28-point deficit when the series resume in Seattle.

Speaking of the East Region ... The clear-cut favorite for the title is defending champion Zach Osborne who seems unbeatable lately, after winning the Supercross but also the outdoor national MX title last summer. Otherwise, the race for second is anyone's guess as the list of potential candidates below clearly shows. Having said that, don't be surprised to see wins by Dylan Ferrandis, Jordon Smith and Austin Forkner at some point in the season. Check out the list below:

1Zach OsborneAbingdon, Va.Husqvarna FC250Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
6Jeremy MartinMillville, Minn.Honda CRF 250GEICO Honda/AMSOIL/Factory Connection
24Dylan FerrandisMurrieta, Calif.Yamaha YZ250FMonster Energy/Yamalube/Thor/Parts Unlimited/Yamaha
29Martin DavalosClermont, Fla.Kawasaki KX 250FMONSTER ENERGY PRO CIRCUIT KAWASAKI
31Colt NicholsMuskogee, Okla.Yamaha YZ250FMonster Energy/Yamalube/Thor/Parts Unlimited/Yamaha
35Austin ForknerRichards, Mo.Kawasaki KX 250FMONSTER ENERGY PRO CIRCUIT KAWASAKI
36RJ HampshireWesley Chapel, Fla.Honda CRF 250GEICO Honda/AMSOIL/Factory Connection
38Luke RenzlandHewitt, N.J.Yamaha YZ250FTraders Racing - Tic Tabs / Ohlins / Atv's & More
43Sean CantrellMurrieta, CAKTM 250 SX-FTroy Lee Designs/ Red Bull/ KTM
44Lorenzo LocurcioClermont, Fla.Honda CRF 250TILUBE, LEATT, HONDA, ROCKFORD FOSGATE
45Jordon SmithBelmont, N.C.KTM 250 SX-FTroy Lee Designs/ Red Bull/ KTM
47James DecotisPeabody, Mass.Suzuki RM-Z250Autotrader/JGR/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing

There's a lot at stake coming in to Arlington this weekend, with several 450 riders looking to trip up Anderson's seemingly unstoppable roll toward the title, or simply to get in the record books as a 450 main event winner. Several can do it, and have, but without a bad night from the No. 21, it's his title to lose. He doesn't even need to push it anymore, just land on the podium regularly and he's good.

Check out our coverage and live timing right here on AMASupercross.com as well as our Facebook page and social media feeds. This weekend is bound to be another unbelievable race, so follow the action on TV by checking the schedule here: 

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