The List: The West Returns

The List The West Returns

April 5, 2017 11:15am

Fifty-three days ago, the 250SX West Region was turned on its head. Shane McElrath, winner of the opening two rounds, was en route to retaking the points lead from Justin Hill, who had just rattled off three consecutive wins. But, with just a few laps remaining in Arlington, McElrath experienced a bike problem and had to retire from the race. Hill went on to win, and now holds a 21-point lead over Aaron Plessinger with three rounds remaining.

With the series on break the last seven weeks, you’ve probably forgotten all about it. We’re here to help with this simple guide as the West returns this weekend in Seattle for Round 7 (of 9).

BY the Numbers

56

Days between races of the 250SX West Region. The West last raced in Arlington, Texas, on February 11.

2

Podiums for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rookie Austin Forkner in two of the last three rounds. Forkner finished third in Phoenix and second in Arlington.

4th

GEICO Honda’s Jimmy Decotis had consecutive fourth place finishes prior to the break.

43

Laps led by Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM’s Shane McElrath, the most in the class. Points leader Justin Hill is second with 40 laps led.

4

Consecutive wins by Hill prior to the break. Hill’s four wins are the most in the class.

1.8

Average finish for Hill through six rounds of the series.

2

Winners through six rounds (Hill and McElrath). By comparison the East Region has had four different winners through seven rounds.

5

Different podium finishers through six rounds (Hill, McElrath, Forkner, Aaron Plessinger, and Martin Davalos). By comparison, the East Region has had eight different podium finishers.

2

Holeshots for McElrath and Forkner each. The most of the class.

10

Laps led by Jimmy Decotis, third most in the class. His GEICO Honda teammate Jeremy Martin, who was a pre-season title favorite, has yet to lead a lap.

6th

Best finish (twice) this season for Jeremy Martin.


Storylines

Moving Up

On the back of four consecutive wins, Justin Hill holds a 21-point lead over Aaron Plessinger with three rounds remaining. In a title chase that once appeared to be headed for Vegas (prior to Shane McElrath’s bike problems while leading in Arlington) the title now appears a lock for Hill. If that happens, Hill, like his 250 East Region teammate Joey Savatgy, will be forced to move up to the 450 class in 2018.

How Does McElrath Rebound?

After Hill reeled off three consecutive wins to grab the points lead, McElrath was en route to taking back the red plate in Arlington, as he held a commanding lead in the race. But with just five laps remaining, McElrath experienced a bike problem (still no official word from the team on the exact problem) and had to retire from the race. While his title hopes appear dashed—he’s currently 25 back of Hill—it will be interesting to see if he can rebound to earn a few wins to end the season.

Can Forkner Get a Win?

The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider was coming into his own as the series headed for a break, garnering two podiums in the last three rounds. Aside from a crash in Oakland and subsequent 22nd place finish, Forkner has been a model of consistency in his first year, finishing inside the top five in four of six rounds. Can he take the next step and grab a win before the season is out?

[Update: Forkner has been ruled out for this weekend due to soreness in his hip sustained during a practice crash.]

Saving a Season

In a year that was supposed to hold so much promise, Jeremy Martin hasn’t been able to right the ship. He’s missed two rounds due to injury (when he was struck by the wheel of Tyler Bowers’ bike in Phoenix), has yet to finish on the podium and has a best-finish of sixth. During the break, Martin rode a race in the 450 class, leading laps in Daytona before a strong second place finish. We’ll see if that helps him finish a lost season strong.

Plessinger’s Chance

He’ll need a lot of help, but Aaron Plessinger is currently second in points, with a chance at his first career title. Starts have absolutely killed the former rookie of the year, but he’s still managed to pick up four podiums in six rounds. He’ll need wins if he wants to have a chance at the title.

Staying Hot

Jimmy Decotis was in the midst of a career year when we last left the West Region. He was leading laps, and looked primed for a podium. While he struggled down the stretch at those rounds, he still finished fourth in Oakland and Arlington. Can he grab a podium before the series ends?


Injury News

Tyler Bowers

Bowers fractured his right femur in qualifying at Glendale, but he’s expected to be back for this weekend.

Phil Nicoletti

The JGR rider is out for the remainder of the supercross season after he dislocated his ankle, shattered his heel, and fractured his lower fibula on press day in Arlington. His replacement is little-known amateur Cade Autenrieth, who will make his pro debut in Seattle.

Bradley Taft

Is out for the rest of supercross due to a concussion.

Zac Commans

Commans injured his arm and wrist when he came up short on a triple in Glendale. He’s back for this weekend.

Bradley Lionnet

Lionnet fractured his jaw in Arlington but will return this Saturday.


Results

Round 1

Anaheim 1 - 250SX West

- Anaheim, CA

PositionRiderHometownMachine
1Shane Mcelrath Canton, NC KTM 250SX-F Factory Edit
2Aaron Plessinger Hamilton, OH Yamaha YZ250F
3Martin Davalos Quito, Ecuador Husqvarna FC250
4Mitchell Oldenburg Alvord, TX KTM 250SX-F Factory Edit
5Justin Hill Yoncalla, OR Kawasaki KX 250F
Full Results

Round 2

San Diego - 250SX West

- San Diego, CA

PositionRiderHometownMachine
1Shane Mcelrath Canton, NC KTM 250SX-F Factory Edit
2Justin Hill Yoncalla, OR Kawasaki KX 250F
3Aaron Plessinger Hamilton, OH Yamaha YZ250F
4Martin Davalos Quito, Ecuador Husqvarna FC250
5Austin Forkner Richards, MO Kawasaki KX 250F
Full Results

Round 3

Anaheim 2 - 250SX West

- Anaheim, CA

PositionRiderHometownMachine
1Justin Hill Yoncalla, OR Kawasaki KX 250F
2Aaron Plessinger Hamilton, OH Yamaha YZ250F
3Shane Mcelrath Canton, NC KTM 250SX-F Factory Edit
4Austin Forkner Richards, MO Kawasaki KX 250F
5Martin Davalos Quito, Ecuador Husqvarna FC250
Full Results

Round 4

Phoenix - 250SX West

- Glendale, AZ

PositionRiderHometownMachine
1Justin Hill Yoncalla, OR Kawasaki KX 250F
2Shane Mcelrath Canton, NC KTM 250SX-F Factory Edit
3Austin Forkner Richards, MO Kawasaki KX 250F
4Aaron Plessinger Hamilton, OH Yamaha YZ250F
5Martin Davalos Quito, Ecuador Husqvarna FC250
Full Results

Round 5

Oakland - 250SX West

- Oakland, CA

PositionRiderHometownMachine
1Justin Hill Yoncalla, OR Kawasaki KX 250F
2Martin Davalos Quito, Ecuador Husqvarna FC250
3Shane Mcelrath Canton, NC KTM 250SX-F Factory Edit
4Jimmy Decotis Peabody, MA Honda CRF 250
5Phil Nicoletti Cochecton, NY Suzuki Rm-z250
Full Results

Round 6

Arlington - 250SX West

- Arlington, TX

PositionRiderHometownMachine
1Justin Hill Yoncalla, OR Kawasaki KX 250F
2Austin Forkner Richards, MO Kawasaki KX 250F
3Aaron Plessinger Hamilton, OH Yamaha YZ250F
4Jimmy Decotis Peabody, MA Honda CRF 250
5Dan Reardon Queensland, Australia Yamaha YZ250F
Full Results

Points

250SX West Standings - 2017

PositionRiderHometownPoints
1Justin Hill Yoncalla, OR202
2Shane Mcelrath Canton, NC164
3Aaron Plessinger Hamilton, OH163
4Martin Davalos Quito, Ecuador145
5Jimmy Decotis Peabody, MA137
6Austin Forkner Richards, MO114
7Dan Reardon Queensland, Australia104
8Kyle Chisholm Clearwater, FL90
9Cole Martinez Rimrock, AZ77
10Mitchell Oldenburg Alvord, TX76
Full Standings