Largest Gain in 450SX points: Thank in part to a season-high fifth, MotoConcepts’ Mike Alessi jumped four spots in the standings from 19th to 15th. Alessi's first two races of the season were terrible, this is more of what we expect from the 800.
Largest Slide in 450SX points: After missing the main in Oakland—his third missed main of the year—N-Fab/TiLube Yamaha’s Chris Blose dropped three spots from 21st to 24th.
Dodge Sycuan RCH Racing Suzuki's Broc Tickle went off the track in his heat race and had to make the main through the Last Chance Qualifier. He won that, and turned it all around with a season-best eighth in the main event.
Motothump/HRT Honda rider Jimmy Albertson took the final spot in the main by finishing second to Tickle in the LCQ. Then he delivered his best finish of his career with an 11th in the main event--he said it's the first 450 main in which he stayed on the lead lap.
Albertson was not alone. Oakland saw a night of career-highs in 450SX. BTO Sports KTM’s Matt Goerke rode to a 450SX career-high seventh, while Slaton Racing’s Vince Friese also scored a career-high ninth. Can you partially give credit to a massive first-turn crash that claimed past main-event winners like James Stewart and Justin Barcia, and also put Chad Reed and Josh Grant way, way back? Nah, let's just give these guys their due.
Matt Goerke also had a career-high in Oakland. Simon Cudby photo
And it's not like Goerke hasn't proven he can go toe-to-toe with the lead dogs, anyway. He's been very fast this season on his new KTM and keeps progressing each week.
Also making his first main of the season is Goerke's BTO Sports KTM teammate Les Smith. Smith is the fill-in rider for the injured Michael Byrne, but when Byrne comes back Smith will move, well, just a few feet over, pitting out of the same BTOSports.com rig for Witt’s End Racing. That's what was known as Langston-Witt Racing last year, with Team Owner Scott Witt honoring the 2013 contract he had made with Smith.
International Department: Seven different countries are represented in 250SX point standings—United States, Germany (Ken Roczen), Ecuador (Martin Davalos), England (Max Anstie), Australia (Josh Cachia and Kade Mosig), South Africa (Tyla Rattray) and Brazil (Jean Carlos Ramos). And if you're counting 450SX you can now add France to the list, with Cedric Soubeyras making his first main event of the season.
Speaking of, congrats to Australian Kade Mosig on making his first ever 250SX main event in Oakland. Mosig would finish the night 17th. Also making their first main events of 2013 were 51Fifty Energy Honda’s Chris Plouffe (14th) and Rockwell/FirePolice MX’s Killy Rusk (18th).
Brazil’s Jean Carlos Ramos made his first main since the opening round in Anaheim, finishing 15th in Oakland.
Chris Plouffe made his first main of the season in Oakland. Simon Cudby photo
Largest Gain in 250SX points: With his 15th place finish, Ramos jumped six spots in the point standings—26th to 20th.
Largest Slide in 250SX points: After injuring his wrist at Anaheim 2, Ryan Sipes (expected to return this week) slid four spots in points (9th to 13th). While Sipes’ slide was due to injury, an 11th place finish in Oakland dropped Tyla Rattray four spots in points (6th to 10th), and is now only seven points clear of rookies Jessy Nelson and Joey Savatgy for the final spot inside the top ten.