To the Bay Area we go. Oakland brings us round five of Monster Energy Supercross. Located in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, this venue is home to both the Oakland Raiders (for now) and the Oakland Athletics. It’s also located just next door to Oracle Arena, home to the World Champion Golden State Warriors. Now that you are up to speed on all of the sports going on in and around this weekend’s supercross race, let’s check out the track.
In a baseball-oriented stadium floor (yes, the Raiders play football here, but the stadium floor more resembles a baseball diamond), long straightaways are hard to come by. Short sections with several switchbacks and awkward angled turns are the norm. This weekend will be no different, as the start is much shorter than last week in Glendale.
The first turn is a nice left-hand 180 that should be safe for most. That left leads into some small jumps that most riders will blitz through and then double into a fast left-hand turn that will cross the start/mechanics’ area. The next section features that awkward angle I spoke about earlier, leading to a standard supercross triple. Look for riders to try to scrub this triple as they turn midair. There should be some great photos taken off of this jump, as well as a great opportunity for the scrubbing elite to save valuable time.
Rolling through a long left turn, riders will enter the longest section of the track. On paper, it looks as if riders will attempt to triple on, step off before hitting the only set of whoops this week. If riders can nail that triple on-off, they should have plenty of speed to blitz or jump several whoops upon entry. Look for these whoops to break down significantly, as that’s the norm for Oakland.
A left-hand bowl berm (net worthy) is next, followed by back-to-back rhythm sections. The first features a tricky blitz up and off section that will be key to carrying speed through the entire straight. Riders will want to triple as much as possible through the section, but much of that will depend on the track build and jump angles. If riders can go three-three-one to exit the section, that looks to be ideal. Another bowl berm leads to another three-three-two opportunity. To pull that off, riders will need to seat-bounce out of the bowl berm hard and then carry that momentum over the next three.
After hopefully pulling off those two tough rhythm lanes, another supercross triple lies on the other side of a left hand bowl berm. A left-hand 90-degree turn features a small triple that will most likely be a roll-double across the inside. The next right-hand turn leads to the finish line jump, and onward we go to the second lap. There are several sections that will be difficult to pass, but the three rhythm lanes in a row will be the best opportunities. Look for riders to try to get to the inside and make block passes in each of those bowl berms.
Questions I Want Answered
Is this setting up to be the best 250 West Region ever?
Can Tomac keep the ball rolling?
Will Marv be back to 100 percent?
Can Savatgy figure out the mental mistakes that are costing him title opportunities?
Will Plessinger continue to ramp up the aggression?
Was Jason Anderson’s early race struggle a fluke?
Justin Barcia is batting .750 on podiums this year and wow, what a revelation he’s been. He was catching Tomac last week and looks poised to win one of these here main events.
Aaron Plessinger was the class in 250SX in Glendale and took the red plate to prove it. If he can find consistency in his starts down the stretch, he may win this thing.
Eli Tomac has won two in a row and is giving him and his team hope for a title when all seemed lost leaving Texas.
Weston Peick has gone 5-5-5-6 this season, and while it has been a bit quiet as far as championship hype, he’s been a bright spot for anyone wearing yellow.
Chad Reed struggled with another bike issue in Arizona and hasn’t found any momentum just yet.
Blake Baggett started last in both of his two races Saturday and his results suffered accordingly.
Cole Seely had a rough go in the main event after looking like he would put on a miraculous ride. In the second half of the race, Seely said he “had a moment in the sand” and knocked the wind out of himself and just never really recovered.
Mookie channels the Stewart magic in Oakland and leads his heat race. There’s something about that family and this race.
Cooper Webb bounces back and puts in his first top-five of the season.
Blake Baggett holeshots the main event.
Steve Matthes knocks on every door in the building looking for Jon Gruden’s autograph.
I drink 3.25 gallons of coffee before track walk is finished at 8 a.m.
Justin Barcia and Steve Matthes share a bowl of spaghetti Friday night.