Fight Overshadows 2016 Supercross Opening Race
Jason Anderson claimed first place in the opening race of the 450SX 2016 Monster Energy Supercross season on Jan. 9, narrowly edging out defending series champion Ryan Dungey for the top spot on the podium. But the close battle for first place was not what had the crowd at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California buzzing. Instead it was an actual battle that occurred in the one of the three races that captured the majority of the attention.
During the opening race, Weston Peick was run off the course by Vince Friese. Peick came tumbling off his bike and was sent to the Semi heats as a result. Later in that race, Friese failed to transfer directly, which sent him to the Semi heat as well. That set the stage for a physical showdown in the Semi race.
In the Semi, Friese cut off Peick once, sending both riders flying off their bikes. Apparently, twice was enough for Peick, who was not going to let this action go unpunished. As both riders were on the ground, attempting to retrieve their bikes, Peick grabbed his opponent and began throwing punches into his back and neck. Eventually Friese was shoved off the track by Peick, as the race continued around them.
For his actions, Peick was ejected from the event; he was also issued a one-race suspension and fined $5,000 by the American Motorcycle Association. Friese was eligible to return following the scuffle, but he was unable to qualify for the main event.
The next Supercross race will be Jan. 16, at San Diego's Petco Park. In total there are 17 races in the season, which runs through May 7.