With apologies to the St. Louis SX, the West Coast swing is done. Six rounds down, 11 to go in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and things will begin to get really different from here on out. The championship will trudge through Daytona, Indianapolis, and more with tracks that will get soft and rutty and tough. San Diego represented the final chapter in the opening swing of the championship and perhaps when this thing is all over, we’ll look at these opening rounds, where the dirt is different, the riders are fresher and realize how they did or didn’t play out for the eventual champion.
San Diego featured another good track, by the way, with a unique rhythm section, two sets of whoops (the second set was so scary that Alex Ray was kicking at the dirt on track walk to try to make them smaller!) and good dirt. It was a tough track and although I wasn’t a fan of the start (short starts with 90-degree turn isn’t ideal) overall it was still pretty good.
By the way, when it comes to the track and timing, why would the AMA separate the two whoop sections in their segment times? We’ve got back-to-back whoops, everyone was talking about them and yet we couldn’t get a segment with both sets in there? That would have been a very good way to track who was going well in the whoops and who wasn’t. Yet again, AMA, I have a lot of questions…
I know just last week I broke down the Eli Tomac/Ken Roczen championship battle and compared them. Heck, I even did that watching Cooper Webb pass Roczen in the last turn for the runner-up position. On the PulpMX Show I split up the title pie™ (trademarked by PulpMX) as 40-40-20 for Tomac, Roczen, and Webb respectively.
And I’m not going to overreact and change my title pie™ yet but I will say Webb’s win in San Diego was impressive. The guy is a winner, a champion, gritty, and showed why he’s got the #1 plate on his bike. Great ride, stalking the kid for almost the entire main event before making the pass. His race-craft is so impressive.
Chad Reed was on our show last week and said that Webb was the one rider to fear and maybe he’s right about that. The Webb wagon could just be warming up!
By the way, both main events were so good. Really great racing in San Diego and for the most part, all year long. Just when you think this championship is starting to resemble something predictable, San Diego happens and you remember that sometimes, supercross is SO awesome.
Let’s take a look at the results, shall we?
1st | #1W Dylan Ferrandis | Lake Elsinore, CA | Yamaha YZ250F
Two great weekends in a row for Dylan and in San Diego his whoop speed in the big set was phenomenal. I think he was the fastest rider out of anyone in there… seriously, it blew me away that he could get through them so well on a 250F. Wow. That’s so much confidence right there by a rider. Anyways, I said it before, and I’ll say it again: Ferrandis is the best 250 rider in the United States.
2nd | #52 Austin Forkner | Richards, MO | Kawasaki KX250
That’s two weeks in a row Forkner’s been flying and seemed to have the race in hand until Ferrandis made up a few seconds on him to take the win. I don’t even want to talk about Dylan’s pass on Austin, that was a nothing burger. It is odd that two weeks in a row Forkner’s appeared to just hang a hard turn to get off the track when Dylan comes in yeah? Forkner’s close, real close but in the end, Ferrandis has just been faster.
3rd | #32 Justin Cooper | Menifee, CA | Yamaha YZ250F
Cooper’s been very good…just not as great as the top two guys the last couple of weeks. What can you do? There’s nothing to complain about when it comes to his riding but he’s a tick off the top two as of now. Cooper’s contract is up at the end of this year and I’m sure the line is long for his services…stay tuned.
4th | #28 Michael Mosiman | Menifee, CA | Husqvarna FC 250
Mosiman’s stabilized his poopy season the last couple of weeks even though I know he crashed out in Oakland. He’s just been more of a factor (last week’s heat race for example). I just feel like he’s been better and not as all over the place as early in the year.
5th | #30 Brandon Hartranft | Brick, NJ | KTM 250 SX-F
Where did Hartranft’s starts go? He’s had to really work hard the last few races to come up through the pack. He doesn’t have the speed of the top three guys (especially when he can never see them) so it’s been a bit rougher lately. Next year is Brandon’s year to win races and get more podiums.
6th | #101 Luke Clout | Hemet, CA | Honda CRF250R
The Penrite Honda team announced that Luke will be staying in the USA and missing the Aussie MX Nationals to do the whole 250SX West Region. Gotta be pretty cool for him to have the team do that, right? He’s been less sketchy also the last couple of races.
7th | #45 Jacob Hayes | Lodi, CA | Husqvarna FC 250
Hayes was VERY fast in practice when the whoops were at their biggest. He crashed in them also and had kind of a rough practice. He also said he refuses to jump whoops and that probably cost him out there late in the main event. Hayes is moving back to SoCal to stay at Webb’s place and the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM guys said he could ride their track which is an awesome opportunity for him.
8th | #95 Carson Brown | Ravensdale, WA | Husqvarna FC 250
The surprise of the year so far, Brown just keeps getting new career high finishes. Good for him and the biggest issue I have with him is that I can’t keep #95 and #55 of his teammate Martin Castelo straight out there on the track.
9th | #57 Derek Drake | San Luis Obispo, CA | KTM 250 SX-F
I think Drake’s rookie year in 250SX has been good. Not great but solid and that’s okay also. Looking forward to watching the other two Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM rookies (Peirce Brown and Brian Moreau) on the East Coast…they are the ultimate wild cards.
10th | 26 Alex Martin | Clermont, FL | Suzuki RM-Z250
A-Mart was NOT happy with our Italian visitor Camporese as they collided (I just saw the end of it) while Lorenzo was being lapped. He crashed again later on also. Alex told me last week that the testing he and the team did in whoops really paid off and I have to admit he did look much better last week. Now it’s back to the drawing board after he crashed in them in SD twice.
11th | #106 Jay Wilson | Palm Beach, QLD | Yamaha YZ250F
The USA SX tour probably comes to an end for Wilson and his fellow countryman Aaron Tanti, but I’d say that both guys did pretty well out there as total privateers.
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USA West Coast AMA Supercross is all done. What a trip and what an experience. We chased our dreams and We learnt a lot - about ourselves, about our bike, and about what is possible, plus we met some epic people along the way. Thank you to our partners who poured their support into this trip including some of you even being here in the USA to support us. We made every main event, didn’t race one LCQ and managed to get a 5th in the heat and 11th at San Diego with a bike issue to wrap up our championship. Big thanks to my mechanic Wardy and his family for being here for this trip and being so committed. And lastly thank you to my wife and daughter, it’s hard to put into words what doing this with you guys by my side means to me. Misty you never doubt me, and I couldn’t have done this without you. This has been one hell of an adventure. We’ll be back USA.
12th | #55 Martin Castelo | Murrieta, CA | Husqvarna FC 250
Castelo had a tougher time this weekend than in some of the other races, and like a lot of guys, it started in the whoops.
13th | #90 Killian Auberson | Winchester, CA | Husqvarna FC 250
Good ride for Auberson in San Diego and he continues to not be flashy but for the most part very solid.
14th | #108 Aaron Tanti | Silverdale, NSW | Yamaha YZ250F
Tanti was running up inside the top ten when he, wait for it, went down. He does send it; I know that about the dude.
15th | #88 Logan Karnow | Amherst, OH | Kawasaki KX250
Good ride for Karnow who has come a long way from racing the local Quebec AX series to now just putting it into main events.
16th | #118 Cheyenne Harmon | Dallas, TX | Honda CRF250R
Harmon has been up and down each week and this week he looked to have it rough also when he went down a couple of times. But he regrouped, pulled it together and I think scored a career best finish in SD.
17th | #60 Mitchell Falk | Costa Mesa, CA | Honda CRF250R
I thought Falk looked very fast in practice, but man did he have some moments out there where it looked like it could go bad for him. I asked someone else if they saw these said moments and they told me they thought he looked great!
18th | #952 Ludovic Macler | Bliesbruck, FR | KTM 250 SX-F
I think our guy Ludovic has switched to a KTM now if you’re scoring at home. I know he had some bike issues at Glendale but I’m still mad at his ride there if you’re wondering. #PulpMXFantasyIssues
19th | #837 Bryson Gardner | Paso Robles, CA | Honda CRF250R
The brother of Carlen, I don’t know much about Bryson other than this is his first main event and only the third SX he’s ridden. Nice work!
20th | #97 Chris Howell | Spokane Valley, WA | Husqvarna FC 250
Howell looked good in both sections of whoops right from the start of unseeded practice. That was all I needed to pick him for PulpMX Fantasy and he came through for “us” with a main event appearance.
21st | #284 Lorenzo Camporese | Campodarsego, IT | Kawasaki KX250
Okay, I may not be correct in saying that Auberson is Switzerland’s greatest SX’er ever (hey man, Arnaud Tonus barely raced!) but Camporese might be the greatest Italian SX’er ever? I mean, again like Tonus we had Alessio Chiodi come over and perhaps place a tad better than Lorenzo but for number of races and the week in and week out main events? Gimme an Italian who’s been better indoors than our guy Lorenzo!
22nd | #29 Cameron Mcadoo | Sioux City, IA | Kawasaki KX250
Man, RAM IT hasn’t been having the best of luck in his debut season on PC. He crashed hard on press day but was looking at an easy top-five in the main when his bike broke. When it rains, it pours, I guess. No lack of “try” from Cam though!
1st | #1 Cooper Webb | Clermont, FL | KTM 450 SX-F
BIG win for Cooper in San Diego because not only did he once again come through late in a race, the two guys ahead of him in points finished off the podium and he cut his deficit from 18 to nine. All day long Webb looked confident and aggressive with good speed in the whoops. He was a different guy and if he gets his starts back, watch out. I’ll still go with ET for the title here but Webb really stepped up this weekend, it was a f****** cool race between him and Adam.
2nd | #9 Adam Cianciarulo | New Smyrna Beach, FL | Kawasaki KX450
Great race for AC and he told us afterwards that he saw Webb jump the whoops 4-4-4 on the parade lap and knew that would be the line. Sure enough, late in the race Webb was using that jumping line to make up so much time on AC and then when Adam tried to do the same thing, he couldn’t do it near as good as Coop. Anyways, Cianciarulo came thisclose to winning his first 450SX and I bet he learned a lot from this race even though it ended without him winning. Impressive performance, better than the Anaheim 1 race to me.
3rd | #4 Blake Baggett | Grand Terrace, CA | KTM 450 SX-F
And there it is. We’ve been waiting for Blake to get a result and he did it in San Diego with a good ride. Got the holeshot also! Got shuffled back quickly which if this was a few weeks ago would’ve resulted in him tipping over. But not this week! Baggett righted himself, got into third and at times looked ready to challenge the top two guys. It didn’t happen but he was impressive for sure. Maybe this turns his season around? I would say yes but the Blake Baggett roller coaster is way too unpredictable for me to say this emphatically.
4th | #3 Eli Tomac | Cortez, CO | Kawasaki KX450
Tomac rode very well, not quite as all-world as Oakland but still very good, it was just his start that did him in. We thought that maybe he had worked through some of those early season issues but nope, not so fast. He still has a 9.2 average first lap position, which will be hard to continue to overcome. Would he have gotten Baggett if #51 hadn’t decided to go after him? Tough to say but it would’ve been fun to watch. In the end, Tomac pulled to within one point of Roczen for the championship lead so that’s a good thing.
5th | #51 Justin Barcia | Greenville, FL | Yamaha YZ450F
Good ride by Barcia in San Diego, he moved forward and he was aggressive early on with some scrubs and his usual berserker-type of moves. Now, some people (AHEM JT) didn’t like him going back at Eli Tomac when Eli got him because, well, I guess there’s a pyramid of where a rider should fit in. I get that #51 and #3 racing hard allowed Baggett to pull away, but Barcia wasn’t going to just let a guy (Tomac) who is ahead of him in the points get away. And in the end, JB finished right behind ET. I also completely understand Eli and the Kawasaki guys getting upset with the Yamaha rider, after all, he did get caught and after all, Baggett did get away. In the end, there’s no right answer but I like the fight that Justin showed because it was hard racing.
6th | #94 Ken Roczen | Clermont, FL | Honda CRF450R
Roczen didn’t get the start but he was ahead of Tomac at one point. So I figured he would rip through the pack for a podium with Tomac right behind him. Not quite, Tomac got around Kenny and then pulled away a bit (of course he was hurt by the Barcia thing). Roczen seemed to settle late in the race for his position and it was a good ride, just not a great ride by the points leader.
7th | #10 Justin Brayton | Charlotte, NC | Honda CRF450R
Well, Brayton’s fuse finally went off, in regards to Jason Anderson. Jason made a pass on him that shot him off the track, so he rode alongside a few jumps, doubled in and blasted Jason. It was some serious aggression that got him a meeting in the AMA truck afterwards. I’m in the favor of letting these guys settle scores themselves (within reason of course) and to me, Justin’s move wasn’t equal to Jason’s (it was more) but it’s something that’s been building. Jason’s been known to do that to guys so he’s got to understand some of JB10’s rage (doubt it though). Anyways, Brayton made some major changes to his clutch set-up and electronics to help with his crappy starts and they were good in the practice start and the heat. In the main, it didn’t work, but he said that was on him.
8th | #27 Malcolm Stewart | Haines City, FL | Honda CRF450R
Mookie made a pass in the heat race where he came in behind two dudes, split them down the middle in the whoops and came out in front around the turn. It was beautiful. It was amazing and afterwards, he didn’t even remember it! Bummer.
9th | #46 Justin Hill | Yoncalla, OR | Honda CRF450R
Hill’s just gonna Hill these days. I don’t know what else to say, he’s solidly a top-ten guy with good fitness and few mistakes made. It’s weird man, I know but it’s a good thing for his career. This is the same guy that went off in Tampa, right?
10th | #7 Aaron Plessinger | Hamilton, OH | Yamaha YZ450F
Now this was some progress! AP7 ran third for a little bit and was all over Webb for a bit before falling. Sounds a lot like Barcia where they’ve been working hard at Yamaha to get the bike just right for Aaron. He mentioned that KYB brought Ross Maeda out to the track for two days of intense suspension testing to make Plessinger feel more comfy. Well, yeah, this is only a tenth but those early laps made it seem like he’s feeling better. I hope this is an upward trend for AP.
11th | #16 Zach Osborne | Abingdon, VA | Husqvarna FC 450
Poor Zacho, he’s in the rut that Baggett was in until this week where the speed is there but different things happen to him each week to prevent him from showing that. Hey, he came from dead, dead last to this placing which is solid for him but this isn’t where he wants to be. Will he break through like Baggett did this week? I’m saying yes but I don’t know when that will happen.
12th | #37 Martin Davalos | Tallahassee, FL | KTM 450 SX-F
Marty rode well in the main event and I know he’s got some good bonuses for top tens so that’s going to be interesting to watch. Anyways, Davalos was fired up about a press day incident with Barcia, telling me, “If you’re going to play dirty with me, I’m going to come back. I’ll come out after the race and beat you up." So yeah, between the ET/Barcia thing, Anderson/Brayton and now Marty and Barcia—things are bubbling up!
13th | #15 Dean Wilson | Murrieta, CA | Husqvarna FC 450
Dean wasn’t happy with his race and that’s whatever, but what WAS cool was that Dean was the only guy I saw go 3-3-3 in the rhythm lane along the first base line. It was WAY cool and an example of why practice can be so fun to watch. It was fast also but you had to slow at the entrance too much to make it a viable race line (heck the guys never really used the quad out either in the race) but it was sweet to watch. I sent him a text while he was out the riding saying it was cool but he never hit me back…guess he wasn’t as impressed as I was. Or maybe he was busy actually focusing on racing?
14th | #21 Jason Anderson | Rio Rancho, NM | Husqvarna FC 450
Worst race of the year for Jason as he was knocked down by Brayton and then crashed later in the same corner. He had been remarkably consistent until this weekend but you live by the sword, you die by the sword, right? By the way, there’s zero chance that Anderson doesn’t try to get JB10 back at some point and we’ll all be watching.
15th | #64 Vince Friese | Menifee, CA | Honda CRF450R
Didn’t really notice Vince out there if I’m honest. His whoops skills have come a long way but perhaps the fact there were two big sections hurt him all night.
16th | #34 Tyler Bowers | Lake Elsinore, CA | Kawasaki KX450
The Bear has been good this year but lacked some of his flash we’ve seen before. I know him and Benji were really going at it out there and combined, that’s the tallest supercross battle in history.
17th | #50 Benny Bloss | Oak Grove, MO | Yamaha YZ450F
Bloss was stressed after the race because he did hold Cianciarulo up a bit while being lapped, but in my opinion, it wasn’t that bad. Hey, crap happens out there, right? I do know that Baggett’s guys weren’t happy that Benny also apparently held Blake up near the end when he was coming up. I didn’t see it so I can’t comment on it but anyways, Bloss was back this week from injury and he was happy with the way he rode, even though the result didn’t show it.
18th | #11 Kyle Chisholm | Valrico, FL | Yamaha YZ450F
Interesting heat race battle with Reed and Chisholm. They’re buddies and Reed needed that ninth spot Kyle was in for the main. He still had Kyle covered in the whoops and made the pass which sent Kyle to the LCQ but there was NO DOUBT Chiz was gonna Chiz and get in. Which he did. And then he beat Alex Ray. Again.
19th | #61 Alex Ray | Milan, TN | Kawasaki KX450
A-Ray’s living on the edge by going to these LCQ’s…he’s making it happen with some good rides though. He blew his bike up big time while going through the whoops. AC was rolling through the whoops right next to him when the engine went bang. I asked Adam what he heard because he whipped his head around. “It sounded like a grenade went off in his transmission,” Adam told me. I think Kawasaki is going to help him out with some parts which is cool. #PoorARay
20th | #817 Jason Clermont | Plesse, France | Kawasaki KX450
We’ve got a few riders, like Clermont from France and Camporese from Italy racing SX and making mains which is cool to see. I don’t know what these guys are doing as far as travel arrangements or whatever but great to have them over here. Clermont needs to get some new plastic though.
21st | #22 Chad Reed | Cornelius, NC | Honda CRF450R
Reed’s team changed an engine again before the night show, but he still had some issues in the main event. I know CR knows nothing about any sort of sports but did anyone else think it was super weird that he ran San Diego Charger themed gear in a stadium where they have never played and also in a city that they recently left for LA, which pissed off a lot of local fans? No? Just me?
22nd | #71 Ryan Breece | Athol, ID | Suzuki RM-Z450
Breece was way back to start the main (must’ve crashed) and then pulled off the track at some point. By the way, count me as massively surprised that Breece has been outperforming teammate Kyle Cunningham through six rounds.
Thanks for reading OBS this week, we’re going east! Lots to talk about when it comes to the 250SX East Region and we’ll be back next week to break that down and more. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat about this column or anything else.