Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Hangtown MX Race Report

The Hangtown Motocross Classic is considered by some to be the roughest track of the year. The course boasted even tougher conditions in 2015 after receiving a lot of water from a severe storm that rolled through a couple days prior to the national. Not only did the choppy bumps form that are synonymous to the Rancho Cordova facility but the very deep ruts were a bit of a new element making the long motos that much more difficult. Jason Anderson weathered the storm so to speak by collecting a podium result in his first ever professional MX race in the 450 class, just as he did in his first 450 SX in anaheim in January.

In previous years Anderson has been more comfortable racing on Supercross tracks than he was outdoors. This was in large part to his size. Being bigger than almost everyone else in the 250 class poses an immediate disadvantage on the mx tracks with large, horsepower robbing uphills and deep, foot peg dragging ruts. For the first time, Jason was extremely eager to go outside and play his hand on the bigger bike. It was pretty clear after one round that his starts will be better on the 450 which isn't necessarily a surprise, but he appeared more comfortable throughout the entire day. JA was also one of very few riders to hit the massive Fly 150 jump in both motos. At the end of the day he finished 3rd overall in his debut. A stellar start to his 2015 MX campaign.

Jason Anderson: "My weekend was good. Had a good first moto with a 3rd then the 2nd moto I felt pretty good but my arms got tired a little bit. Still got the podium though which was really cool. My first outdoor on the 450 so I'm pretty happy about that. This is one of the roughest tracks of the year but you just gotta go out there and get through it and be on the box."

Christophe Pourcel had a commendable return to racing and should hold his head high going into round 2 with a lot to build off of. Pourcel dabbled a bit in the 450 class in US motocross a few years ago, but this marks his first real opportunity for success in the premiere class after signing just a few short weeks ago with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing. Christophe was probably the biggest question mark entering the series. As expected, he posted some fast qualifying times in practice but the real mystery was how well he'd do when the gate dropped. In the first moto he motored on to a very solid 5th place finish. His second outing did not go as well but it was good enough to secure 8th overall. After nearly a year completely away from racing, that is quite a good start considering the level of competition he's joining. The near future looks bright for CP and the team.

Christophe Pourcel: "Today was ok, it was my first race back so it's tough after not being out there for so long. My speed was there for a top 5. Top 10 is the goal for Bobby [Hewitt] and myself for the first few races. We got that today but we're still trying to get me more comfortable with the team and the bike. I think after few races we will have a pretty good setup. I got bad starts this weekend and rode a little tight in the second moto so it could have been a lot better but I don't wanna just go out and crash in the first race either.  Everything is new but the team has been amazing and really nice working with me so we will get everything worked out. I can only get better now and keep working on my fitness which is much better already than it was last year. I just need to fix some things, rebound next weekend and try to be in the top 5."

Zach Osborne's first moto was kind of wash. One he would like to go back and do again. However; his second moto was one of the more impressive rides of the weekend. The track appeared to have more lines and options than a rider could ever hope for but passing did not seem to be a common occurrence. For the majority of the day in the 250 class it was like a freight train as everyone just played follow the leader. It was evident that the fast lines were simply too much of an advantage over the alternate ones. In Zach's second time out, he managed to solve the problem and actually move forward. He started quite a ways back but consistently picked off position after position all the way up to 5th. If he had one more lap, it would not have been shocking for him to move into a podium position as he was all over the two guys in front of him.

Zach Osborne: "The first moto was not very good today at all for the situation I'm in. I got a bad start, pumped up and fell. It was pretty much a complete disaster honestly. Really not what I was looking for considering how hard I've been training. I felt like I was on par for a podium. I turned it around in the second moto. I had a decent start, not great but I was able to work my way up to 5th right behind 4th and 3rd. I can definitely take some positives from the second moto. I got my bike setup much better than it was in the first and now I can carry a little bit of momentum from that into Glen Helen."

Zach Bell was another guy who was making passes but unfortunately they were further back in the pack. Normally a consistently good starter, he just didn't nail them down at Hangtown. Zach is still not quite 100% after his practice crash before returning at Vegas Supercross though so the good news is that he will enter round two healthy and stronger than he was this past weekend. Bell's starts will certainly be better on the very long straightaway at Glen Helen and the odds are that his overall day will improve vastly as well.

Zach Bell: "The day started off good with 5th in first practice, second practice just couldn't get a clear lap in. First Moto I got a horrible start and worked my way up to 13 and had a bad crash on the last lap. 2nd Moto got a decent start and the second turn I got cleaned out and ran over and was dead last and came back to 19th. It was a rough day but I'm still healthy so we will move on to the next!"

Next weekend the series moves to Glen Helen and the last race of the year in California. Anderson rides well at the San Bernardino track and will try to start a podium streak. Pourcel will continue to improve and look to work his way into a top 5 overall. Osborne will not be satisfied unless he gets on the podium which he is fully capable of. Bell has nowhere to go but up as he gets closer to being back to full health and starting much closer to the front of the pack.

Tags: rockstar energy husqvarna factory racing, jason anderson, zach osborne, christophe pourcel, zach bell, mx, motocross, hangtown motocross classic

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