The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team returned to Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, for round three of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross series and the first of three Triple Crown events. Consisting of three races for each class, with the overall finishes determined by averaging scores, the Triple Crown format made for a wild night of racing. Two-time 450 Supercross Champion Chad Reed dazzled a crowd of 42,434 in scoring a top-five finish in the night’s final race. Teammate Justin Hill improved his race finish every time he lined up to the gate. In the 250 West class, Jimmy Decotis rode with determination to maintain sixth in the overall points standings. Rookie Enzo Lopes rode his Suzuki RM-Z250 to the best finish of his promising young career.
In his first full 450 season, Justin Hill is learning the ropes of the premier class. The Oregon native posted his best overall finish of the season despite having to deal with arm tightness. Hill cracked the top-ten in the final race of the evening – a sign of things to come from the 450 class rookie. His 13-11-9 results put him 11th overall at Anaheim 2. He now resides 14th in the points standings.
At 36 years of age, Chad Reed continues to defy the calendar. Racing competition nearly half his age, Reed still has the drive and skill to succeed. The Australian fought to a 10th place finish in the first race. Unfortunately, a part malfunction kept Reed out of the second race of the night. He rebounded by nearly grabbing the holeshot in the third race, running up front, and finishing fifth place. Reed’s 10-22-5 scores earned him 13th overall. He is 12th in the standings.
Jimmy Decotis was looking forward to a third consecutive top-ten finish on his Suzuki RM-Z250. “The Rippa” nearly grabbed the holeshot in the first race and was fourth on the opening lap, eventually finishing seventh place. Unfortunately, he was struck by another rider in the second race and only managed 20th place. Decotis returned for the third race and scored a 12th place finish. His 7-20-12 results earned him 13th overall. He sits sixth in the 250 West points standings.
Supercross rookie Enzo Lopes is improving at every round. The Brazilian started with the front-runners, but a few riding errors cost him a top-ten finish. Enzo was firmly in seventh place in the first race and crashed. Lopes will be a force to be reckoned with as the 250 West series continues. He finished 14th overall with 15-11-14 scores, and moved up to 15th in the 250 West point standings.
Justin Hill [450 Class, 11th Place] – “So far this series I have blown the races on the very first lap. If I harden up and get aggressive right from the gate drop, then I believe I can go straight to the podium. I’m going to work on that intensity this week back at JGRMX in North Carolina.”
Chad Reed [450 Class, 13th Place] – “It was a good night of racing. I felt race ready, even though my qualifying times were not where I would have liked them to be. I was a little too kind about making my way forward in the first main. Unfortunately, we had a technical issue in the second race. In race three I felt like I needed to pull one of my customary Suzuki starts out of the old bag. From there I really felt like I rode my best all weekend. Moving forward I want to focus on believing in myself more and getting great starts more often.”
Jimmy Decotis [250 Class, 13th Place] – “Anaheim 2 was a tough round for me. I had a big crash in the second main, which put me a lap down and took me out of contention for a good overall result. I’m riding well and super comfortable on my Suzuki RM-Z250. I feel like my breakthrough ride will be coming soon. I love the dirt in Oakland, so I’m excited to get some redemption this next weekend. Thanks to my whole crew and all of the mechanics for working so hard on my bike with the short turnaround between main events!”
Enzo Lopes [250 Class, 14th Place] – “The track was very tricky, with big jumps and challenging rhythm sections. I qualified well going into the night program. The Triple Crown took a lot of fitness. I stalled the bike in the first race while battling for sixth. I came through the pack in the second race, but then I crashed. I struggled in the last main and couldn’t figure out the lines. It’s not for a lack of trying. Sometimes I think I’m trying too hard to do well. We have a couple more 250 West rounds before the break, so I want to get a good result.”
Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager] – “We had an up and down weekend. Jimmy Decotis rode well, but he was taken out by accident in the second race. He had a bad gate pick in the last main and was banged up, so he will be better in Oakland. Enzo Lopes rode well, but he crashed quite a few times. He needs to limit mistakes and he will be in good shape for a breakout ride.”
“Justin Hill rode tight and finally loosened up for the third race. That gives him some confidence for Oakland. He’s coming back to North Carolina this week to do motos with the team and get some testing in. I expect big things from Justin, but the pieces need to fall into place. Chad Reed was held up in the first moto. He was ready to be more aggressive in the second race, but the threads pulled out of a race-team-only lightweight clutch cover and the engine was leaking oil on the starting line. It was cool to see Chad fight hard and get a fifth place in the third race. He’s feeling more and more comfortable every week.”
The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team will travel to Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California on Saturday, January 26th, for the fourth round of the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship. This will also serve as the fourth round of the 250 Western Regional Supercross series.