Husqvarna factory rider Jason Anderson remains optimistic after the Phoenix Supercross; Zach Osborne expected to compete in San Diego.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team enjoyed another top-five finish in the 450 class and may have dodged a bullet in the 205SX West class during round five of the 2016 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, last Saturday.
Jason Anderson and Christophe Pourcel, the team’s 450 riders, had to work through the pack to redeem themselves from mid-pack starts in the 20-lap main event, with Anderson finishing fifth and Pourcel 13th. In the Monster Energy AMA 250SX West main event, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne, a title contender in that series, was caught up in a huge pileup early in the main event and had to leave the race.
Anderson was third fastest in practice, and he was moving to the front of the pack in his heat before he crashed on lap two. He remounted mid-pack and finished sixth, which forced him to race in a semi, which he won, transferring to the main event,.
A 10th-place start in the main event but Anderson behind the eight ball early, but he immediately began charging toward the front of the pack. Anderson picked off five riders, working his way up to a fourth-place finish. Anderson has not finished worse than fifth in a Monster Energy AMA Supercross main event all season.
“I’m riding well and am always trying to move forward,” Anderson said. “I just need to work on a couple things that will help me get up front faster and put in consistent laps. The track was pretty tough this weekend, especially the whoops. It was technical and tight, which made it hard to make up time. I ended up having to capitalize on other’s mistakes. I was also searching for traction all night because it was so slick. I just need to figure out how to keep my laps fast with deteriorating track conditions.”
Pourcel was second fastest in practice, but he struggled in his heat race and eventually finished outside qualifying position, forcing him to earn a spot in the main via the 450 semi. He nabbed the holeshot in his semi before battling for the lead with Anderson. Pourcel followed Anderson across the line to claim second place and transfer to the main where he started in the back of the pack before finishing 13th.
“The start was super slippery,” said Pourcel said. “I just couldn’t get going fast enough, and it seemed like the track was so rough. I made a couple passes but still struggled. I almost crashed a few times, but was just a little slower than the other guys. The whoops were pretty steep and slick towards the end, which made it hard to carry momentum. I had a good ride in my semi, though. I got a good start and got to ride with Jason, which is good. I still feel like I’m going in the right direction.”
Osborne has been a strong contender in the 250SX West series all season, and he appeared to be strong again at Univeristy of Phoenix Stadium. After he pulled a top-five start, he pushed his Husqvarna FC 250 into the lead on the third lap, only to make a mistake while in the lead, causing him to fall back to sixth place before finishing fifth and earning a direct transfer to the main. However, when the main event got going, Osborne was involved in a multi-rider crash, and he was struck by another rider after he went down. Osborne was unable to continue, but he is expected to return to competition next week.
“I was prepared to fight, even though I was a little sick,” Osborne said. “It ended up being a big disappointment for me. I just wanted to get a good start in the main so I could get back on the podium, but I ended up getting tangled with another rider coming out of the second turn and then got landed on. I think I’m okay. I should be good to race next week in San Diego.”