Triple Crown in Glendale for Round 4



As if Round 3 didn’t up-end both classes in the season enough, this weekend’s first of three Triple Crown events should prove to be a huge curveball for the best racers in the world.

The Triple Crown format--three main events of equal duration (for each class) with combined results for the overall finish position--adds an element of strategy to what’s normally a go-for-broke approach.


Anaheim 2 really turned things upside down for a few riders and both classes in general. Some new blood made their way to the front after thus far performing well below expectations.


Namely it was Eli Tomac who surged back to the front where he’s generally expected to be. When Tomac is ‘feeling it’, the rest of the pack effectively disappears as he makes his run toward the front. Crossing the holeshot line in 16th position for the 450 main event, the Tomac made short work of every top rider in the sport, eventually making it past race leader Ken Roczen and pulling away for the uncontested win. It was a tour-de-force, and had he spent more time around any single rider allowing them a chance to see just exactly it was that he was doing, it could’ve been considered an instructional session. Look out 450SX Class, Tomac suddenly remembered how to go faster than you.


Also very notable--although short-lived--was Blake Baggett’s assault on Roczen for the lead in the main event. It’s been one weekend shy of a full year since Baggett ended up on the top step in Glendale last season. With Glendale coming up this Saturday night as Round 4, and Baggett apparently feeling very much on his game. Look for him to at least be sniffing for a win.


Ken Roczen has been just consistent enough to find himself with the red points leader plate for Glendale. After a so-so start at A1, he bounced back with an impressive win in St. Louis. With Barcia thus far consistent with a win and second place in the first two rounds, Roczen took advantage of an off-night for Justin at A2 (where he finished ninth) to ease on into the points lead for Glendale. But Barcia is only three points back, and Tomac another two points behind. So, the top of the points leaders board is effectively tied for the lead considering any of them along with a few others could potentially win on any given night. Throw in the Triple Crown format and be sure to catch the action in Glendale.


The rest of the front pack--Jason Anderson, Adam Cianciarulo, Cooper Webb, Zach Osborne and now apparently Blake Baggett--could strike at any moment as well. Cianciarulo has been the fastest qualifier at every round thus far, and has performed well in the multi-main event format as recently as his win at the Monster Cup this past October. Each of these riders has plenty to prove and there’s no better time than this weekend.


The 250SX West regional action was, as we’re all aware, quite a show. While entertaining no doubt, Dylan Ferrandis’ amazing ride to the front and ultimately for the win was tarnished by his run-in with Christian Craig.


Placed on a 12 month probation for the aggressive move that left them both on the ground in the main event, the defending champ re-mounted to chase down rookie sensation Jett Lawrence for his first win of the season.


Jett Lawrence’s multiple crashes and throttle-happy riding style have brought him a legion of new fans after last Saturday’s amazing performance. While it ultimately ended up with him on the ground with a broken collarbone (he hopes to return by the Seattle round), he did so in such a spectacular fashion that that 250 main event will go down in the books as one of the most exciting ever.


As remarkable as Lawrence’s ride was, Austin Forkner’s was the opposite. After a stunningly dominant win in his heat race, Forkner seemed to be playing it safe in the main when he went down hard in one of the tough whoops sections. Getting up holding his lower back, he re-mounted to ultimately end in 17th position. This drops him to fourth in points, a hearty 22 behind Yamaha’s Justin Cooper, who retains the red plate for Round 4.


Cooper had a quiet night, letting the main event mayhem around him help his march to the lead pack. He ended up in second behind his teammate Ferrandis. With a 12-point advantage going into Glendale, it seems Cooper is in as good a position as he could’ve hoped for thus far. He has the speed and race smarts to outlast and out-run just about anyone on the track. Those 12 points much seem like a massive chasm for Ferrandis, who must know that on a good night he’ll have a very tough time matching his teammates pace if he gets out front.

No matter how we slice it, this year’s racing in both classes has been extraordinary, and this weekend’s Triple Crown format will certainly add to the drama. Keep up with all of the action with the NBC Sports Gold live coverage and our own Live Timing and Scoring here on And check out the qualifying and race photo galleries on our social feeds at Instagram and Facebook.

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