Oakland, California, hosted round four of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series and was a re-establishing of dominance by Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto. Villopoto grabbed the lead from privateer—and holeshot winner—Vince Friese on lap one and was never really challenged on his way to his second win of the year—a win that captured the red plate once again.
The track featured tacky dirt for the first time this season and it was noticed by many of the riders throughout the day. The weather was unseasonably warm here both during the day and night, and ruts formed in the track. It was a welcome for the racers as traction has been a tough thing to get through the first three rounds.
The track featured a long and tough whoop section—one that was rolled two times by the Dirt Wurx crew to flatten them a tad, as many a racer had problems getting through them. The section after the first turn was also interesting. There was a quad in the middle of it that only a few racers pulled off, and the first one to do it was Wil Hahn in practice.
The quad helped out Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart pull up closer on Team Two-Two’s Chad Reed in the main after Reed had troubles doing it consistently. Stewart passed Reed for second just past halfway and held on for his second straight runner-up performance of the year. Reed continued the solid season with his third and moved into second in the points.
In the 250SX class it was Jason Anderson of the Rockstar Racing KTM team who took advantage of a last lap mechanical by Pro Circuit’s Dean Wilson to win his third race in four and take the points lead. Wilson set the fastest time of the day in either class, grabbed the lead early and looked to be on easy street until he suffered some sort of bog or cut out on the last lap that led him to roll the triple. He was helpless as Anderson sailed over him and into the lead.
Incredibly enough, Anderson has led just six laps this season and has three wins—all three of his wins have come on a last-lap pass.
In other Rockstar KTM news the team has decided to put Cole Thompson on the sidelines and have him get ready for the 250SX east series. Thompson had been racing the KTM 350SXF at the last couple of rounds.
The Pro Circuit team also ended up third on the night when Justin Hill had his best race as a professional and got the final spot on the box. Hill also led laps tonight and looked great all day long.
Hill’s brother Josh endoed hard in the heat race and broke his collarbone as a result. His RCH Suzuki teammate Broc Tickle crashed as well, and although we’re not sure what happened, it’s suspected that he hurt his injured ribs again.
Privateer Michael Leib had a great night as he finished sixth in the 250SX main event. And as mentioned, Friese holeshot the main and ended up a very respectable 14th on the night.
JGR Yamaha’s Justin Brayton was in third early on before being caught by Stewart. He would go backwards from there to sixth before regrouping and eventually getting Kenny Roczen for fifth late in the race.
Yamalube rider Cooper Webb had an eventful day with a big crash in practice where he went over the bars and onto the concrete. In the main he got together with Troy Lee Designs’ Malcolm Stewart and both riders went down, which didn’t make Stewart very happy. In the end, Webb got a ninth on the night with a bruised and battered body.
Track was tough to make up time as six riders were in the 55-second lap time in the main event. With the whoops being a bit easier, the riders had the quad and that’s about it to try and make up time.
Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia again had a tough night with another fall in the main event after stuffing his way past Hahn and into fifth early on in the main. After the fall (that was pretty scary) Barcia ended up working his way back up to seventh, but it wasn’t what he wanted.
Andrew Short was knocked around a bit by Ivan Tedesco and was at one point 21st. Short got busy in the main though and worked his way up to tenth in a good ride.
Privateer Weston Peick had a great heat race getting direct into the main event while some bigger names were forced to the semi races. Unfortunately, Peick is snake bitten in the main events (expect for last week) and once again looked to have some mechanical issues and was forced into a DNF.
250SX points leader Cole Seely lost the red plate with his quiet fourth place ride, but the good news for his team is that all four of the teams riders (Seely, Stewart, Shane McElrath and Jessy Nelson) are inside the top ten in the series. The Troy Lee Designs team is looking good this year.