Fittingly, a legend of the sport of supercross won during the championship’s landmark 40th anniversary celebration. Chad Reed’s first victory in almost exactly two years was long awaited and some weren’t sure if he’d ever get there again. However, Reed proved the doubters wrong with a vintage Reed performance that has become one of the most popular wins in a long time.
Each week, The Power Rankings will recognize the movers and shakers in Monster Energy Supercross. Rookie Ken Roczen returns to the top of the rankings this week thanks to his return to the podium that also helped him reclaim the red plate as the series points leader.
1. Ken Roczen – Red Bull KTM (Last Week: 3 / +2)
I’m just going to say that Roczen and Anaheim go well together. He was fastest all day and when the time came in the main event, he was where he needed to be. You could argue he should have been the one controlling the battle for the win, but when you’ve got two of the most successful riders in history going bar-to-bar with you up front, they’re bound to teach you a lesson or two. I’d think Roczen learned from last week’s outcome and will look to use it to his advantage.
2. Ryan Villopoto – Monster Energy Kawasaki (Last Week: 1 / -1)
He could easily be undefeated this season, but racing luck hasn’t been on his side every step of the way. However, if you’re going to go down you probably don’t mind if it’s while your going for the win. Villopoto knows he’s where he needs to be, and he also knows this championship is likely to have a lot more ups and downs for everyone before its over.
3. Ryan Dungey – Red Bull KTM (Last Week: 2 / -1)
He let one slip away there and he knows it. He looked really good out front, but even more noticeable was the amped up aggression. It looks like Dungey has realized being nice on the track isn’t going to get you wins or a title. He took last weekend by the reigns and went after it. We’ll see if he keeps it up because if he does, there’s reason to think it can work out in his favor.
4. Chad Reed – Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports (Last Week: 7 / +3)
On a night where he needed a good run, Reed went out and proved he’s still got it. There still may not be a craftier rider in the sport than Reed and his tactics were on full display in Anaheim. He’s now moved into the title fight and will be exciting to watch moving forward.
5. James Stewart – Yoshimura Suzuki (Last Week: 4 / -1)
Stewart was apparently a little under the weather in Anaheim, which might explain why that “pop” we’re used to seeing from him wasn’t there right at the end to challenge Reed. Still, Stewart was consistent during the entire main event and got a much-needed podium finish. Now he and his team can focus on racing for wins and fighting their way back into the championship hunt.
6. Justin Brayton – Toyota/Yamaha/N-Fab/JGRMX (Last Week: 6 / No Change)
In just two weeks, Brayton has become supercross’ version of the “6th Man.” While the four former champions and the speedy rookie have grabbed headlines, Brayton has positioned himself as the next in line. He added to his recent accomplishments by passing Villopoto to win his heat race in Anaheim. While Brayton won’t put himself in a risky situation, he’s not afraid to mix it up with his more well known counterparts.
7. Justin Barcia – Team Honda Muscle Milk (Last Week: 5 / -2)
What’s up with Barcia? He was just outside the top five for nearly the entire main event, but late trouble dropped him outside the top 10. Barcia has yet to emerge as a formidable challenger this season, but you’ve got to think things will start clicking for the sophomore rider soon. Let’s hope that’s the case because this championship can only get better with him in it.
8. Andrew Short – BTOSports.com KTM (Last Week: 9 / +1)
A little known fact – Short is just one of six riders to finish inside the top 10 in each race this season. He’s as solid and reliable as they come and it’s paying off with a great start to the season for the veteran.
9. Jake Weimer – Monster Energy Kawasaki (Last Week: Not Ranked)
Jake’s had an up-and-down year up to this point, but he keeps fighting and refuses to settle. Weimer has possibly worked harder for his results than many of his competitors and will surely get rewarded for his efforts in the near future.
10. Weston Peick – Motosport.com/Peick Racing Suzuki (Last Week: Not Ranked)
The lead privateer never ceases to impress. His seventh-place finish in Anahiem wasn’t a fluke. Peick has talent and he’s not intimidated by anyone. Just some of the names he finished ahead of last week: Hill, Short, Weimer, Barcia, Hahn, Tedesco, and Grant.
Dropped Out: Broc Tickle (Failed to make main event), Wil Hahn (12th in main event)
Biggest Mover: Chad Reed (+3)
Biggest Drop: Justin Barcia (-2)