10 Things to Watch: San DiegoFriday, February 8, 2013 | 2:00 PM
By Aaron Hansel and Chase Stallo
Thanks to landing on Max Anstie at the opener and suffering from the flu the following weeks, Kyle Cunningham had a slow start to the season, but he’s starting to put things together now. He battled for a top-five position in Oakland before a mistake dropped him to seventh, and at A3 he stepped things up again by charging to fourth after a poor start saw him finish the first lap in ninth place. If Cunningham can get a good start, he could pick up his first podium of the year in San Diego. – Aaron Hansel
Chad Reed might be from Australia, but he sure seems to feel at home in San Diego. He’s won six out of the nine 450SX races he’s entered there (an injury in 2010 prevented him from racing), making him Qualcomm Stadium’s most successful rider of all time. Right now his win percentage there is 66.67 percent, and if he wins tomorrow night, he’ll raise that to a spectacular 70. – Aaron Hansel
Tyla Rattray just can’t seem to catch a break this season, and that especially goes for his night at A2. A problem with his front brake took him out of the heat race and he wasn’t able to transfer out of a stacked LCQ that included Zach Osborne, Christian Craig, Malcolm Stewart, and more. Will he be able to reset and post a good result in San Diego? – Aaron Hansel
Reed looks to make it 7 of 10 in San Diego on Saturday.
Simon Cudby photo
Monster Energy Supercross is full of the greatest supercross riders in the world, and just qualifying for a main event makes you a serious gangster on a motorcycle. Taking two sixth-places in a row on inferior equipment like Andrew Short has done makes you a mafia boss. How long can Short keep up these amazing finishes? How long will he do it before he gets a factory bike back underneath him? – Aaron Hansel
The hype machine wasn't churning out much info on Joey Savatgy before the season started, but so far the rookie has been very good. For the most part, his starts have been on point (he holeshot A3), his best result was a sixth in Oakland, and he currently sits ninth in points. He’s got to be learning things every time he races, and if he keeps up his current pace, we could see him crack the top five this weekend in San Diego. – Aaron Hansel
Sitting in second place, just 11 points back of leader Ken Roczen entering Anaheim 3, Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Designs Honda's Cole Seely was in the thick of the points chase. But much like Los Angeles a year ago, where he finished fifteenth and essentially exited the title chase, Seely suffered a major setback in Anaheim. After a poor start, Seely clawed his way inside the top five before crashing and finishing twelfth. Now 27 points back of a red-hot Roczen, barring something unforeseen, Seely now finds himself fighting for pride instead of a championship. - Chase Stallo
Savatgy looks to leave San Diego with top rookie honors.
Simon Cudby photo
Back on the Hill
RCH Racing’s Josh Hill is expected to return this weekend after a concussion and hand injury at the opening round in Anaheim. "I may have some fatigue in the hand,” Hill said in a recent team press release. “I think just being able to have that grip for the whole 20 laps might be the only issues. I hope that I don’t have to compensate anything to make sure that the hand will be OK for the whole 20 laps." Hill’s injury list has been extensive over the past few seasons, with every sign of progression smothered by another setback. Will he make the main in San Diego and show the preseason speed that had everyone talking? – Chase Stallo
Battle for Fourth Heating Up
The chase for the 250SX title looks to have dwindled to Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac, but only three points separate fourth through seventh. With Martin Davalos (fourth in points) and Kyle Cunningham (seventh) coming off season highs at A3, and Jason Anderson—who seems like he’s a start away from his first win—and the ever-consistent Zach Osborne in the mix, things may pick up before the West Region packs up and heads east until Seattle in April. Who will leave the Golden State with fourth in his possession? - Chase Stallo
Can Jason Anderson get the first win of his career in San Diego?
Simon Cudby photo
With his improbable win at Anaheim 3 last weekend, Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey joined Davi Millsaps, Justin Barcia, and Ryan Villopoto as the fourth winner in 450SX through five rounds. With past champions Chad Reed and James Stewart yet to pop champagne in 2013, and past race winner Trey Canard lurking as well, will San Diego bring a fifth winner of the season, or will Millsaps, Barcia, Dungey, or RV rain on their parade? - Chase Stallo
Party Like a Rockstar
It's been a remarkable season up to this point for Rockstar Energy Racing. Davi Millsaps is the current 450SX points leader, and Jason Anderson graced the podium in Oakland (250SX). Anderson has shown blistering speed in his third professional season but has yet to get the start to contend for a win. Will San Diego finally be his breakout moment of 2013 and challenge for a win? - Chase Stallo
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Check out THE MOTOCROSS OF 40 NATIONSin our Latest issue of Racer X available now.
The 2013 FIM Motocross of Nations at Teutschenthal, Germany, hosted teams from a record forty countries. Here’s how it played out for each of them. Page 90.