450 Main Event
Ryan Dungey didn't have the best start--for about 100 feet. Just like he did two weeks ago in Oakland, he simply go on the brakes early, let everyone drift wide, and put his Red Bull KTM across the holeshot stripe first. You pretty much know what Dungey did with the twenty laps after that.
“[I'm] Not invincible at all," said Dungey on the Fox Sports 1 broadcast. "I had about a 3-4 second lead on Cole, and I saw Ken on the rhythm lanes. Got off to a good start, that was the main thing, got out front and tried to click them away. We had to overcome a few things we were kind of fighting it a little bit."
Behind him, HRC Honda men Cole Seely and Trey Canard were second and third. Seely took off, not quite matching Dungey's pace but distancing himself from everyone else. It was a strong ride, and second is his best of the season.
"Dungey didn’t make any mistakes and was able to run just a little bit faster than me,” said Seely. "Thanks to the guys at Honda HRC and KYB, I definitely felt more comfortable on my bike."
Canard, meanwhile, had his hands full with and Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John's Suzuki's Ken Roczen and Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac. Roczen eventually shoved his way in the door and made the move on Canard to get to third. "Tonight I have to be satisfied with a third, but I didn’t feel comfortable, we made a lot of changes to the bike. I'm leaving here healthy, I'm going to keep looking at the positive side."
After Roczen got Canard, Tomac tried to do the same, but repeated pass attempts came up short. Eventually Rockstar Energy Husqvarna's Jason Anderson took advantage and surprised Tomac with a slick block pass, then made relatively quick work of Canard. This slid Anderson to fourth, and Canard kept Tomac at bay all the way to the end to hold fifth. That's Canard's best finish of the year.
The right hand start claimed more victims as Hayden Mellross, Alex Martin, and Kyle Cunningham found themselves on the ground. Chris Alldredge had the early lead, but on lap two, his bike had a problem and he spent the remainder of the race cheering on his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki teammate, Joey Savatgy, from the mechanics area.
With Alldredge out, Savatgy inherited the lead and had Cooper Webb pressuring him for the next five laps. Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Webb showed Savatgy a wheel multiple times, but couldn’t make the pass. Webb tried cutting low and inside twice in the corner after the first triple, but could never make the move stick. Savatgy slid by each time and tripled into the sand section while Webb was only able to double. On lap seven, while charging, Webb washed his front end in the right sweeper after the start straight. Big mistake, and it allowed Savatgy to cruise from there to his second career win. Savatgy will run the sole 250 red plate and for the third week in a row heading to Dallas.
Cooper got up quick, but was in about sixth. He quickly charged back onto Christian Craig in second and they began battling as they have in past weeks. Webb tried cutting way down low on the entry to the corner before the start straight and momentarily made the pass, but that just shot him super wide by the exit of the turn--he had to check up and clipped a tough block coming back onto the track. He was eventually able to catch Craig again and make the pass, enough to take second with Craig in third.
CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha's Colt Nichols put together yet another strong run through traffic for a solid fourth. Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna's Zach Osborne was solid and tried to hook on with Webb after Webb recovered from his brief crash, but ended up losing a little ground and took fifth.
GEICO Honda teammates Jimmy Decotis and Jordon Smith were up front early, but Decotis faded back from third, just behind the Savatgy/Webb battle at one point, to seventh. Smith ended up crashing out right behind Webb and didn't finish.
Blake Baggett crashed in the first turn and will be not be lining up for the main with his sixth place finish. Weimer started in sixth and finished in second. Christophe Pourcel led from start to finish. Cade Clason tried sliding in on Nick Schmidt on face of the finish line jump on the last lap and celebrated as if he got it, but it wasn’t enough. Close but no cigar.
Semi 2: Justin Bogle led this one from start to finish, leg swag and all. Blake Baggett started in second, but crashed back to fourth. Nice to see the number 19 and 4 back on the track, but Baggett was in serious trouble after the fall, getting sucked into a W.Hahn/T.Hahn/Vince Friese battle for the final transfer. On the last lap Friese snuck underneath Baggett to take the final spot, sending Baggett to the LCQ.
Justin Brayton was riding like a man on a mission after his heat race crash and even tripled out of the corner after the second set of whoops—the first to do that all day. Let’s see if anyone else picks that up for the main.
Semi 1: Mike Alessi pulled one of his signature holeshots, but Peick was all over him. Although it took Peick two laps to make the move, he made it stick and cruised for the win. Jake Weimer was nearly in last place on the first lap and is headed to the LCQ.
The best word to describe this LCQ is carnage. Six guys went down, all separately. Chase Marquier went down the hardest and took a ride on the Asterisk mule with his head low, bummed. Also down while in a transfer position: Bracken Hall and Noah McConahy. Scott Champion bulldogged his way to the front, Killian Auberson got landed on by Marquier but somehow stayed up and managed to take second, then Steven Mages and Austin Politelli took the final transfer spots. Bummer for Trevor Reis and Dillan Epstein, who ended up just short in fifth and sixth.
Heat 2: There was a four man pile up in the first turn, but Justin Brayton got out unscathed and opened a gap. Brayton had a sizable lead before his teammate Davi Millsaps caught him, and then they were joined by Jason Anderson in a three-way fight. There was a lot going on all over the track! When it was all said an done, 3.458 seconds separated the top four. Anderson bumped Brayton off the track and then went after Millsaps, it went down to the second to last corner. Jason easily could have taken Millsap’s line away, but played nice and took second. Eli Tomac charged from the back and caught Chad Reed. The San Diego crowd was behind Reed, but it wasn’t enough. The man on the short end of the stick was Brayton, who led, got passed by teammate Millsaps, knocked off the track by Anderson, and ends up going to the semi.
Heat 1: Some excitement in this one. Marvin Musquin got his right hand start redemption from A2 by getting a good jump and taking the early lead. By lap two Ryan Dungey and Cole Seely were right behind him with in a three way battle. Dungey tried coming in on Musquin after the whoops and then Seely nearly got Dungey. Dungey scrubbed on the inside of Musquin in before the sand section on the next lap and then did what Dungey does, check out. However the checking out was assisted by the cat and mouse Musquin and Seely played squaring each other off and block passing one another. This allowed the charging Ken Roczen to catch up, but Roczen ran out of time and settled for the last spot into the main, fourth.
Cooper Webb took the early lead and started to check out before Zach Osborne got fired up and reeled him back in. From then, Osborne pressured Webb the whole race matching each of his rhythms. Osborne went for the kill shot, with a block pass attempt in the turn before the last triple but couldn’t make it work and had to settle for second. Most of the 250's are doing the triple into the sand second now. The thing about this triple is it’s more of a double, a turn and a single—pretty gnarly.
Heat 1: Christian Craig picked up the holeshot and then nearly lost it with a squirrely first turn fresh from the dirt wurx crew. Chris Alldredge washed his front end on lap two, but got up quickly and still managed to finish fifth. There were some hard block passes back and forth between Geico Honda teammates Jordon Smith and Jimmy Decotis in the early laps—the kind of block passes that you normally don’t seem from teammates. Joey Savatgy came through the pack and Decotis put up the same fight he did with Smith, but it wasn’t enough and Savatgy took second.
Second Timed Practice
Trey Canard again put down the first fast lap. The session started slow as everyone looked like they were picking some new lines with all the ruts that had formed from the previous practice sessions. Ken Roczen spent the first few laps skipping a couple sections and scoped things out before jumping on a heater and taking the top spot from Ryan Dungey on lap five. Cole Seely slid in behind Roczen on lap six pushing Dungey down to third and then down to fifth with Christophe Pourcel and Chad Reed put down their own fast laps. Canard went down after he clipped a tough block at the end of the rhythm section before the finish, but seemed to be ok. The following lap Wil Hahn went down in the whoops and then so did Vince Freise in the same section as Canard. Dungey sat in fifth for a few laps before taking the top spot at the very end of the session, matching his heat race gate pick with his number plate, 1.
250s: Lot of lead changes in this one. Christian Craig let the field go before starting his practice with a fresh track. His first heater put him at the top on lap two before being taken by Joey Savatgy on lap three. Cooper Webb then slid into the top spot on lap four being the first to make it under the one minute mark in session two. Savatgy answered right back by taking it back on lap five. Some ruts are forming in the corners with what looks like the right amount of moisture on the track. Jordon Smith washed his front end in the corner before the second triple. Mitchell Harrison one upped him by going down in the whoops--his bike cartwheeled over the berm and into the Toyota tough block along the back stop near home plate. Zach Osborne was pretty quiet in the session until lap eight where he took the top spot on the last lap in the session. That makes Zach the fastest in both sessions--and after we saw him walking off the track last week, we thought he wouldn't even be here!
First Timed Practice
450s: Trey Canard made a statement in his official return after his hand injury at A2 by taking the pole position on lap 4. Justin Bogle is back on the track as well and looks good after sitting out three rounds from a head and footy injury. Eli Tomac is on the gas today and is starting to look even more like his old self. There is a double-triple-single everyone is doing in the section before the finish that just looks like it’s asking Eli to double-quad--he over jumped the triple a few times. More long laps here in SD with Eli’s fastest being a 58.681 on lap 6. Eli, Davi Millsaps, Ryan Dungey round out the top three for session one.
250s: Jimmy Decotis, Zach Osborne, Colt Nichols, and Mitchell Oldenburg started things off out front attacking the track from the beginning whereas Joey Savatgy, Cooper Webb, Christian Craig started slow rolling the track, spotting their lines. Then on lap two Craig was on the gas and threw down the first fast lap staying close behind Savatgy and Webb. Savatgy took the lead on lap 5 with Webb close behind. Osborne took the fast lap on lap 7 and again on 9. Osborne looks fired up after missing last week’s main from a big crash in the first turn in the main. He only got two days on the track this week, but is looking strong.
Blue bird skies down here in downtown San Diego and Blue Angels graphic kits on the Motorcycle Superstore Suzukis. What a great day for Monster Energy Supercross. Round six in the series and round two in Petco Park in 2016. It’s military appreciation here and nearly everyone is representing somehow with unique gear, graphics, or both.
Another right handed start should make things interesting—it’s a 180-degree right so hopefully fewer guys will go flying off the track than with a 90-degree. With seven 180-degree turns, there should be lots of great passing opportunities throughout the night.
This will be Andrew Short’s first race in 2016 after injuring his shoulder in December. Shorty was looking good at press day, but told us he doesn’t have any expectations for the weekend. Blake Baggett and Justin Bogle are also making their return this weekend.
Racer X is on site for round six of Monster Energy Supercross. San Diego's old Jack Murphy Qualcomm Stadium is a spot rich in SX history, and although Petco Park only joined the tour starting last year, it's plenty familiar because we just raced here a few weeks ago!
The plot has changed quite a bit since then. Ryan Dungey came into San Diego 1 without the red plate, now he's holding it firmly. The rider with the points lead back then, Jason Anderson, has yet to get back on the podium in the official results (he briefly stood on the box here last month but was penalized back to fifth). Justin Barcia, James Stewart, Broc Tickle, Kyle Chisholm and many others who were here for round two are not, but Blake Bagget and Andrew Short, who were not racing, are back. In the 250 class, Cooper Webb has the red plate like he did at SD1, but now Joey Savatgy has one as well, since they're tied in points.
Add this all up and you can see the world of supercross can be fast changing. But if you're the 450SX competition stacked up behind Dungey, you're hoping for more change soon. Dungey won on that night here four weeks ago, and he's held control of the series since. Will anything change? You'll find out right here.