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Tough Night for Craig in Indianapolis, Brayton Third


It was a challenging evening for Team Honda HRC’s Christian Craig, as crashes during the 27-lap main event left him in 16th by the checkered flag. Craig got a decent jump out of the gate but was delayed in turn one when other riders went down. The Californian worked his way into 11th place before he lost the front end in a rut on lap three, sending him to the ground. Craig went into salvage mode upon remounting in last place, trying to recuperate as many positions as possible. While in 14th with less than two minutes remaining, Craig was working his way around a lapped rider when the two came together, sending him to the ground once again. He lost two more spots and ultimately crossed the finish line in 16th place.

Meanwhile, Smartop/Bullfrog Spa MotoConcepts rider Justin Brayton continued his impressive campaign, scoring a notable podium finish. Brayton got off the line to a seventh-place start aboard his CRF450R before working his way into fourth by lap three. On lap 21, Brayton took advantage of another rider going down in front of him to secure the final podium position.

NOTES

  • On Friday, Honda Red Riders attended the official IndyCar test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as guests of Andretti Racing, an IndyCar team sponsored by Honda Performance Development (HPD). With cold temperatures, drivers were unable to take to the track until late in the afternoon, but Ken Roczen, Christian Craig, Jeremy Martin, and Chase Sexton were given a tour of the team’s race garages, the IMS Pagoda, and the famous yard of bricks, and they even got an up-close look at the Borg-Warner Trophy. “Today was a really cool opportunity at the Speedway,” Roczen said. “Getting to tour the facility was awesome, but more than anything I liked talking with the drivers and engineers in the garage and on pit lane. Even though there are obviously tons of differences, there are also a lot of similarities in terms of what we change and look for in a setup. It was really interesting.”
  • The Indianapolis Supercross track showcased the shortest lap times of the year, with some riders dipping as low as the 43 second mark during daytime qualifying practice. Brayton was again the top Red Rider, securing the fifth-fastest time with a 44.060” lap, while Craig was eighth with a time of 44.424”.
  • The dirt in Indianapolis is notorious for being soft and rutted, posing a challenge for riders as the day goes on and the track breaks down. Craig explained that this year was no different, but he was pleased with how much more the track packed in compared to press day. “The track on Friday was even softer than normal,” he said. “We got two 15 minute sessions on a couple lanes of the track and it broke down so quickly. Luckily, on Saturday it was a little bit more hard-packed, but it still got rutted.”
  • Slotted in heat 1, Craig launched his CRF450R to a solid third-place start. On lap five, he made a blazing pass on Chad Reed through the whoops, taking over second and transferring straight to the main event. In heat two, Justin Brayton scored the holeshot aboard the No. 10 CRF450R, leading every lap to take his third consecutive heat-race win, and his fourth of the season.
  • The Indianapolis Supercross marked the first of two 250SX East/West Showdowns, with riders from both regions competing for the top spot. It was a dream night for GEICO Honda’s Jeremy Martin, as he rode impeccably aboard his CRF250R from start to finish. Martin scored the holeshot and led wire-to-wire, taking his first victory of the season.
  • Though he’s still out of action, Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen attended his fourth race of the season since his injury in San Diego. Although the pits were closed, Roczen was kept busy throughout the day, interviewing with Fox Sports 1 for a feature that will air during the summer and joining Jim Holley and Daniel Blair on Race Day Live before heading into the Fox Sports 1 broadcast booth to commentate during the East/West Showdown alongside Ralph Sheheen and Jeff Emig. This marks the final 2018 supercross race that Roczen will attend, as he’s scheduled to have surgery on April 11 in Vail, Colorado, where Dr. Viola will remove the pins from the German’s right hand. The procedure is expected to be quick, with Roczen scheduled to head home the same day and begin riding on April 16.
  • After running for 12 weeks straight, the AMA Supercross series will take a welcome one-week break over Easter weekend. Team Honda HRC will return to action in Seattle on April 7 for round 13.

Christian Craig  32

“I’m really disappointed in how tonight went. I just didn’t ride like myself at all and it’s so frustrating because I’ve been working so hard, both physically and mentally. I got a terrible start, which put me in a bad position from the beginning, then I crashed twice. This is not the result that I wanted for myself or the team, so I’m going to learn from today, try to stay positive, and go into Seattle with a clear mind.”

Erik Kehoe

Team Manager

“Tonight was another learning experience for Christian. Starts are so important because it’s hectic back in the pack and there’s a lot of stuff going on. His start wasn’t great and he made a mistake early on, causing him to go down. He had a hard time getting going after that. He did make his way up to 14th and was catching the group in front of him before going down again. I think after that, he got mentally discouraged.”

Oscar Wirdeman

Mechanic (Ken Roczen)

“Christian struggled tonight. The track was tough, so staying consistent and not making mistakes was key, and unfortunately, he had two crashes that made it hard for him to work forward. He’s having a hard time finding the right settings on the bike, so we’ll do some testing over the next two weeks and try to get him more comfortable. This will be my last race with Christian because Ken [Roczen] is going to start riding soon after the break, and Rich will be taking back over and finishing out the rest of the season with him.”

450SX Main Event Results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Musquin Marvin 25 FRA 26 Red Bull KTM KTM
2 Wilson Dean 15 GBR 23 Rockstar Husqvarna Husqvarna
3 Brayton Justin 10 USA 21 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing Honda
4 Anderson Jason 21 USA 19 Rockstar Husqvarna Husqvarna
5 Tickle Broc 20 USA 18 Red Bull KTM KTM
6 Stewart Malcolm USA 17 Ride365.com/Stewart Racing Suzuki
7 Webb Cooper 2 USA 16 Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team Yamaha
8 Blose Benny 934 USA 15 Bloss Racing Yamaha
9 Reed Chad 22 AUS 14 CR22 Husqvarna
10 Baggett Blake 4 USA 13 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS KTM
11 Bowers Tyler 69 USA 12 Bowers Racing Kawasaki
12 Cunningham Kyle 39 USA 11 H.E.P Motorsports Suzuki
13 Friese Vince 45 USA 10 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing Honda
14 Soubeyras Cedric 201 FRA 9 None Suzuki
15 Tomac Eli 3 USA 8 Monster Energy Kawasaki Kawasaki
16 Craig Christian 32 USA 7 Team Honda HRC Honda
17 Lamay Ben 907 USA 6 TPJ.com/Fly Racing Honda
18 Merriam Dylan 559 USA 5 None Yamaha
19 Vanbuskirk Cody 570 USA 4 None KTM
20 Gardner Carlen 805 USA 3 None Honda
21 Enticknap Adam 722 USA 2 The Privateer Journey Honda
22 Peick Weston 23 USA 1 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing Suzuki

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor
1 Anderson Jason 21 USA 265 Rockstar Husqvarna Husqvarna
2 Musquin Marvin 25 FRA 230 Red Bull KTM KTM
3 Brayton Justin 10 USA 210 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing Honda
4 Tomac Eli 3 USA 194 Monster Energy Kawasaki Kawasaki
5 Baggett Blake 4 USA 194 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS KTM
6 Peick Weston 23 USA 172 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing Suzuki
7 Tickle Broc 20 USA 165 Red Bull KTM KTM
8 Webb Cooper 2 USA 162 Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team Yamaha
9 Wilson Dean 15 GBR 138 Rockstar Husqvarna Husqvarna
10 Seely Cole 14 USA 124 Team Honda HRC Honda
11 Stewart Malcolm USA 119 Ride365.com/Stewart Racing Suzuki
12 Barcia Justin 51 USA 113 Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team Yamaha
13 Friese Vince 45 USA 108 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing Honda
14 Roczen Ken 94 GER 102 Team Honda HRC Honda
15 Reed Chad 22 AUS 96 CR22 Husqvarna
16 Bowers Tyler 69 USA 90 Bowers Racing Kawasaki
17 Grant Joshua 33 USA 83 Monster Energy Kawasaki Kawasaki
18 Blose Benny 934 USA 78 Bloss Racing Yamaha
19 Cunningham Kyle 39 USA 78 H.E.P Motorsports Suzuki
20 Craig Christian 32 USA 58 Team Honda HRC Honda
21 Lamay Ben 907 USA 57 TPJ.com/Fly Racing Honda
22 Chisholm Kyle 11 USA 48 Chisholm Racing Kawasaki
23 Martin Jeremy 6 USA 36 GEICO Honda Honda
24 Soubeyras Cedric 201 FRA 23 None Suzuki
25 Ray Alex USA 22 Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha Yamaha
26 Martinez Cole 68 USA 20 Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha Yamaha
27 Enticknap Adam 722 USA 19 The Privateer Journey Honda
28 Hill Justin 46 USA 18 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing Suzuki
29 Bisceglia Matt 58 USA 15 Nut Up Industries/RBI Motorsports Suzuki
30 Tedder Dakota 90 USA 14 Team Tedder