Chad Reed, the 2003 World Supercross GP champion, won the opening round of the 250cc THQ AMA Supercross series at Angel Stadium before a sellout crowd of 45,050.
Making his first start since he had surgery four weeks ago to repair a dislocated shoulder, Reed, 21, started the evening by storming to an easy 12-second victory in his eight-lap qualifying heat race.
In the 20-lap finale, Reed lost the holeshot to Ernesto Fonseca. When Reed tried to pass him a few yards later, Fonseca lost control in the whoops section and fell off his Honda and out of contention.
Reed's factory Yamaha teammates Davis Vuillemin and Tim Ferry finished 20 seconds behind him.
Mike LaRocco, 33, began his 16th season of professional riding with a nasty tumble on the opening lap of his heat. LaRocco returned to win his semifinal before finishing fifth in the final. Ezra Lusk, who won at Anaheim in 1999, was in second place when he fell halfway through the race.
In 125cc competition, Kawasaki rider Ivan Tedesco of Murrieta took the lead at the start and went on to win the 15-lap race over Honda's Nathan Ramsey of Menifee.
Angel Stadium will play host to two more series events Jan. 17 and 31.
-- Robert Mayson