Round three of Monster Energy AMA Supercross took place in San Diego and it was another night of excitement for the fans of the series. The whoops have been pretty gnarly at all three races and have been a real separator for the guys. We saw a packed house as well which was cool. San Diego has always been a good city for supercross and of course we didn’t go there last year so it was awesome to be back.
We’re three rounds in and have some controversy at each race in terms of what’s a dirty pass and what’s not. The Anaheim 1 main event featured Justin Barcia on Jason Anderson and Marvin Musquin on Malcolm Stewart. In Oakland, we saw Ryan Breece on Adam Enticknap and this week we’ve got Barcia on Justin Bogle and then Bogle’s retaliation back on Barcia while a lap down. Also, in the LCQ, we saw Alex Ray on Freddie Noren. The new AMA disciplinarian trio of Mike Pelletier, Jeremy Albrecht, and Tim McAdams, who are all at the races, have certainly had their hands full.
I’m fully in favor of this process of having these three guys weigh in on penalties. It sounds much better than what we had before and I’m okay with the DQ and fine for Bogle. That was the right move (or some sort of heavy-handed penalty) because you can’t have guys idling around the infield at lappers dishing out their own frontier justice. I had no problem with the Marv/Mookie and Barcia/Anderson passes, the Breece on 722 one was a little greasy for sure and he got a talking to for that. I didn’t see Barcia on Bogle but Justin Brayton, who was behind it, said it was bad. It does seem that we have had a bit of an “amp’d up” action here, right?
Let’s take a look at the results, shall we?
1st | #29 Michael Mosiman | Minneaola, FL |GasGas MC 250F
Nice work by Mosiman who, like Sexton, immediately sheds the label of “fastest guy in his class with no wins.” He did exactly what Sexton did to win his first race although he did have more pressure than Sexton had. Hunter Lawrence really made this one close. Mosiman was our guest on the PulpMX Show on Monday and gave a super interesting, funny, thoughtful interview. As I said on the show a few times, I think Lawrence is Craig’s greatest threat because he’s more consistent and won’t make mistakes, but Mosiman is the only guy that can match CC’s raw speed. Congrats to Mosiman on getting this win.
2nd | #96 Hunter Lawrence | Wesley Chapel, FL | Honda CRF250R
I saw my buddy (and ex-rider of mine for one race) Andy Harrington say on Twitter that Hunter should be reprimanded or something for his move off the start. I couldn’t disagree more. If you look off the start Mosiman isn’t lined up straight and prob went a bit diagonal into Lawrence and that didn’t help. But if you’re Lawrence, you have a good jump and probably feel like you’re good to go to move to inside of the turn. I don’t know, it’s a racing incident to me. Sucks for those dudes that went down though! Are we sure Lawrence wasn’t the fastest guy in San Diego though? He caught Mosiman twice. Full props to Mosiman for sure but Lawrence to me looked like he was a bit faster.
3rd | # 28 Christian Craig | Temecula, CA | Yamaha YZ250F
Great ride for Christian coming from last to a podium spot. He went in with an eight-point lead and had all this crap happen to him and still has a six-point lead, so nothing is an emergency folks. He’s still okay. Big whoops mean big chances for Christian’s success, but he was third overall out of everyone in the segment of the track where the whoops were. I swear he looked like the best guy out of everyone on the track through said whoops. Nothing Craig did in San Diego should make anyone not think of him as the best guy in the class.
4th | #62 Vince Friese | Menifee, CA | Honda CRF250R
I mean, c’mon Vince, what was the master plan to hold back Craig for three or more laps? Did you think that was gonna work? Vince rode well for sure but I didn’t like those moves on Craig, last lap sure do that stuff, but the dude caught him from WAYYYYYY back and has won the first two rounds. Knocking him down isn’t a viable strategy.
5th | #30 Jo Shimoda | Menifee, CA | Kawasaki KX250
We’re all gonna talk about Craig’s ride from last and rightfully so because he was two spots ahead of Jo, but this is also a great ride for Shimoda to get here. He got Mumfy on the last lap to break into the top five.
6th | #43 Carson Mumford | Simi Valley, CA | Suzuki RM-Z250
The good: Mumfy’s starts are better and he’s worlds better than last year. The bad: he looks to get tired out there or something as his lap times get higher and he moves back in position. I spoke with his manager Larry Brooks after the race and he told me he’s not sure it’s being tired, but it could be nerves, holding his breath—that type of stuff. BTW, the Bar X Suzukis look pretty good ICYWW.
7th | #31 Jalek Swoll | Clermont, FL | Husqvarna FC 250
First main event of the year for Jalek and he gets a pretty respectable finish at that. He’s a race winner (in Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship) on a factory bike so the standards are pretty high, before the series heads east I think he can get on the box. Looked to me he wasn’t great in the whoops but I’m sure he wasn’t tip top yet.
8th | #49 Nate Thrasher | Livingston, TN | Yamaha YZ250F
Oh, what could have been as Thrasher was looking good for third before he crashed.
9th | #161 Cole Thompson | Brigden, ON | Yamaha YZ250F
With the competition thinning out, Thompson’s doing his part in getting better results.
10th | #910 Carson Brown | Ravensdale, WA | KTM 250 SX-F
Brown was around his teammate Derek Kelley a lot in the main event and at one point I think they made contact even. In the end, Brown logs a solid finish and for a fill-in, he’s doing pretty well. He was gonna ride a YZ125 in this series before getting the call for AEO.
11th | #101 Dylan Walsh | Southam, GB | Kawasaki KX250
Good work for Walsh, he’s been getting better each week at this SX stuff. His starts are on point as well.
12th | #74 Derek Kelley | Riverside, CA |KTM 250 SX-F
Kelley rewarded his PulpMX Fantasy people with this ride. He’s really fast and can lay down a hell of a heater, that’s for sure, but consistency hasn’t always been there. Kelley is an example of a guy that these big-time teams would never hire. He wasn’t a top amateur rider so they’ll just bring some new kid up and not look at a new(ish) pro whose got speed and could perhaps do better with a real program off the track and a better bike on the track. I don’t think Kelley is there yet, because he’s not able to do this week in and week out, but in general there are guys like him who never get their shot, while the big-time amateur kids get recycled on and on. As a guy in a wheelchair who ports cylinders once told me, “We can work with speed.”
13th | #66 Chris Blose | Phoenix, AZ | GasGas MC 250F
Man-sized whoops meant a good chance for a man-sized finish for Blose and that was backed up by his good qualifying finish. Unfortunately, it was not to be for Blose as he was collected in the first turn with everyone else. His front brake rotor was damaged a bit as well so tough sledding for Blose and props to him for making it up to 13th on this track.
14th | #69 Robbie Wageman | Newhall, CA | Yamaha YZ250F
Robbie was down in the first turn with a bunch of other dudes and like those other guys, had to fight through the pack to get this spot.
15th | #58 Ryan Surratt | Corona, CA | Yamaha YZ250F
Surratt went down with his teammate in the first turn and they both followed each other through the pack. If you’re Ryan Clark, team manager of Team Solitaire/Nuclear Blast Yamaha (Surratt and Wageman), you pop some TUMS in the manager tower after the crash and enjoy the show.
16th | #216 Devin Harriman | Longview, WA | KTM 250 SX-F
QUITE a night for people who took Harriman in PulpMX Fantasy. Battles in the heat, a crash, battles in the LCQ with the guy in fifth coming. I can’t handle that kind of shit anymore; I needed a smoke after he got into the main.
17th | #40 Dilan Schwartz | Alpine, CA | Suzuki RM-Z250
Mistake for Schwartz while inside the top ten and I think he had an issue with re-starting his bike after he fell. Not gonna go there, it’s too easy.
18th | #260 Dylan Woodcock | Rayleigh, ENG | Husqvarna FC 250
Great story here. Last week Woodcock made his first main after being paralyzed in a crash last year. This year he got in again. He did a privateer podcast with me as well and Racer X caught up to him last week, also. It was the week of Woodcock in media!
19th | #388 Brandon Ray | Fremont, CA | Kawasaki KX250
There’s an A-Ray out there and with his main event, his first, do we have a B-Ray? Can we have an A- and B-Ray? Is B-Ray a media darling also?
[Editor’s note: B-Ray is new to the pros, but he was absolutely known as B-Ray in the amateur ranks. - Weege.]
20th | #432 Kaeden Amerine | Great Bend, KS | KTM 250 SX-F
Amerine, on Team Tedder, seems to be getting a little better each week. At least to me anyways. I thought A1 was kind of rough, but he’s looked better and better since.
21st | #55 Justin Rodbell | Prince Frederick, MD | Kawasaki KX250
The winter of Rodbell was back! I thought he was racing east but guess not, here we was for his first race of the year! Rodbell didn’t look great in qualifying (at least to where I thought he should be) with the 32nd best time. But yet when he needed to, he won the LCQ to get into the race which is cool.
22nd | #35 Garrett Marchbanks | Coalville, UT | Yamaha YZ250F
Marchbanks was moving up through the pack right behind Craig (CC had passed him at one point) when his bike started smoking. I assume his team pulled him off before it went poof. Not sure but either way, not good for Garrett and he’s got to turn this series around quickly. Remember he came within a lap of the podium at Anaheim 1, so he looked like a podium guy, and now he’s got two rough races since.
1st | #23 Chase Sexton | Clermont, FL | Honda CRF450R
Well, he did it! Sexton got his first career win in style leading 23 laps and looking completely in control and stylish the whole time. First of many, me thinks. Look, I’m not saying Chase is going to win the title here but I’m also not NOT saying it, you know? He’s got the speed, he’s got the starts, he’s got the bike. Why not? If you think about it, it’s not crazy. Who would’ve thought Cooper Webb would win in ’19? Sexton fits that mold except it’s one season earlier (that was Webb’s third year). Also, big changes to the Honda for Sexton and Roczen after they had those issues in the whoops in Oakland. For the first time in history the team was trying to get LESS flex in their clamps with the aluminum chassis. Honda stiffened it up in other spots to help but yeah, you don’t hear about teams trying to stiffen up aluminum very much. I feel like the teams have been on a 25-year crusade to take rigidity out on the aluminum-framed bikes. Now we finally hear someone saying they added some stiffness to the bike. Whatever it was, it worked.
2nd | #3 Eli Tomac | Cortez, CO | Yamaha YZ450F
Tomac’s got the red plate without winning a race or leading a lap, so he’s got to be stoked on that. ET looked very good the last two weeks and I’m sure he’s happy where he’s at considering he’ll warm up here and get better when there is more traction out east. Last year Roczen had the red plate after three rounds with no wins, he also did it a couple of years ago. Chad Reed did this in 2009. It’s not that uncommon.
3rd | #14 Dylan Ferrandis | Tallahassee, FL | Yamaha YZ450F
Yet another garbage start for Ferrandis in his heat race made me think we were gonna see more of the same in the main event and the everlasting question of “How Dylan would do with a start?” would linger on. But oh no! Main event time and Ferrandis pulled off a good one and ended up with a podium, his second ever 450SX one at that. Webb was trying to pull a “Webb” late in the race to zap Dylan, but no! Dylan held it strong all the way to the end. Nice work!
4th | #1 Cooper Webb | Newport, NC | KTM 450 SX-F
Webb told us on the PulpMX Show that he made a mistake when he was catching Dylan and also credited Ferrandis with picking it up when they could see ET up ahead. So that’s why he couldn’t get the 14. He’s also not where he needs to be on the new bike, sounds like they’re trying some older settings to make him comfy. To me, anyways, he doesn’t sound anywhere near where he wants to be just yet. BUT he’s one point out of the lead! That’s a scary proposition for the rest of the class when he sounds like a total work in progress and he’s still this good in points.
5th | #27 Malcolm Stewart | Murrieta, CA | Husqvarna FC 450
Seven-five-five starts to Mookie’s season and he was lurking around again this weekend. I’d love to see what he can do with a start, he seems to have passed a lot of guys in all three mains. In fact, he’s got the most passes out of anyone in the 450SX class through three races.
6th | #7 Aaron Plessinger | Hamilton, OH | KTM 450 SX-F
I don’t have a whole lot to say about AP’s day, definitely confused by the 15th in qualifying but he made it all work by a top ten start in the main and got a bit lucky with Anderson’s bike issue and Roczen’s crash to get this sixth. Quiet night, let’s move on (shrugs).
7th | #94 Ken Roczen | Clermont, FL | Honda CRF450R
Kenny had just gotten Webb and Musquin for third when he got taken wide in a turn by the charging Anderson and went down. Roczen wasn’t stoked on the pass, he thought Jason could’ve turned a little sooner but to me, hey that’s SX racing. After he got up, it was a bit more like what we saw last week where he was unable to make up much time in the remaining nine laps. But on the bright side, as he mentioned to me after the race, he’s only seven points out of the lead after two so-so races.
8th | #21 Jason Anderson | Rio Rancho, NM | Kawasaki KX450
After his win last week, Anderson put in another very impressive ride in San Diego. There’s a world where Anderson goes 2-1-2 to start the season and has a nice points lead. Not that hard to imagine, really. Amazing ride in San Diego to pass Roczen (all-timer), Webb (all-timer), Tomac (all-timer) and more to get into second. Then his bike started smoking and he dropped back here, radiator issue I suppose, and so here we are. The surprise of the series to start, no doubt about it. Jason’s riding great.
9th | #51 Justin Barcia | Greenville, FL | GasGas MC 450F
Bam got docked one spot for going wide open alongside the whoops after being taken down by Justin Bogle. Bogle was getting vengeance for a move he pulled earlier in the race. Eventful night for the red plate holder, Justin Brayton was behind him on the opening laps and mentioned that Barcia was making it really easy for him as he ping ponged off dudes to get by them. Unfortunately for him, Bogle wasn’t going to just let an egregious (in his eyes) move go and it hurt both of the Justin’s.
10th | #25 Marvin Musquin | Corona, CA KTM 450 SX-F
Ummmm, what the hell happened here? Wow. Marv rode great in the heat, grabbed the lead right away in the main event and led the first three laps. All was good and a podium looked to be right there for him and heck, maybe a win. And then he just started dropping back. And back. And back. Maybe Marv’s worst 450SX ride of his career considering where he started. The whoops weren’t his major drawback (he was fifth fastest in all the segments in the main) it was just a lack of speed everywhere. Once that starts happening to you, I imagine you get pretty rattled. I think Anaheim 2 this weekend is a big race for Marv.
11th | #10 Justin Brayton | Charlotte, NC | Honda CRF450R
JB was back! Also, compared to Oakland, spectator attendance was up (according to Weege, this was why). He got Anstie on the last lap for 11th. He was about a second off a huge battle in front of him before he tipped over. JB had no issue with the whoops by the way, he’s a whoop master.
12th | #34 Max Anstie Wesley | Chapel, FL | KTM 450 SX-F
Anstie’s a hard charger, that’s for sure. He looks to be very consistent, fast in every race. You never see a “WOW” lap time or leading laps or something like that from him but he is very dependable rider for his team. And that ain’t always easy folks.
13th | #12 Shane McElrath | Oakland, FL | KTM 450 SX-F
McElrath’s starts weren’t there this week like they’ve been to start the year but he also got his best finish of the year. I can’t help but think they’re related a bit where he didn’t maybe push past his comfort level and blow up a bit. So he didn’t go quite as far back as before. I don’t know, just a theory I have.
14th | #15 Dean Wilson | Murrieta, CA | Husqvarna FC 450
Dean had some clutch issues right from the start of the main event that held him back. That set him coming from almost last to this spot and he was on McElrath at the end. Bummer for Wilson who I think has had a very quietly solid start to the first two races.
15th | #41 Brandon Hartranft | Brick, NJ | Suzuki RM-Z450
Last week I wrote about how Hartranft’s 16th was a career best 450SX ride and hey, look at this…he’s set another career best with this 15th! Hartranft’s gone 17-16-15 so far this year and there’s 14 rounds to go. Doing some quick math, he’ll be second in the finale.
16th | #54 Mitchell Oldenburg | Aledo, TX | Honda CRF450R
Oldenburg missed last week because his family had COVID-19. In San Diego, he was dead last at one point so working up to 16th is pretty good for him. I saw on his IG that he’s testing the 250 for his 250SX east series so I wonder if his 450 results struggle a bit? Either way, Freckle’s been solid in his two races. Freckle’s also passed the third most riders in the 450SX class this year and that’s just in two races.
17th | #11 Kyle Chisholm | Valrico, FL | Yamaha YZ450F
Man Chiz had a rough Anaheim because of being sick and having tendinitis in his elbow. Then he got a little better last week and now this week, he’s dominating the LCQ and gets into another main. This after he tweeted about how the big whoops were hurting his elbow. He’s really trying to swerve us PulpMX Fantasy people, but in the end we just have to believe that Chiz is gonna Chiz.
18th | #751 Josh Hill | Huntersville, NC | KTM 450 SX-F
I was texting with Tedder rider Benny Bloss about his beloved KC Chiefs during that insane game and at different points he thought it was over for him and his team. Then the Chiefs went Chiefs and Benji was a happy dude.
19th | #200 Ryan Breece | Athol, ID | Yamaha YZ450F
Breece got back into the main event after last weeks “eventful” LCQ and he’s been very good at all the races so far. He, like other 450 privateers, have got to be a bit better later in the main events. Twenty minutes is a long time for sure but that’s the next step for guys like Breece, Hill, etc.
20th | #26 Alex Martin | Clermont, FL | Yamaha YZ450F
Troll’s day got off to a terrible start when his sprocket bolts either broke or came loose the first time he hit the whoops and he did a front flip. He did lead a bit in the heat, that’s about the highlight of his day as the main didn’t go too well. He looked, let’s say “uncomfortable” in the whoops. Poor Troll, his first 450SX year and the first three rounds have had whoops from hell.
21st | #61 Fredrik Noren | Indian Trail, NC | KTM 450 SX-F
Quietly, sneakily, Fast Freddie’s made the main event in every race he’s been in this year (he missed Oakland). That’s the good part and good to see for Noren. He even survived a “pass attempt” by A Ray in the LCQ that was ill-advised and if it was anyone other than the super-nice and peaceful Freddy, might’ve resulted in a brawl back in the pits afterward.
22nd | #19 Justin Bogle | Wesley Chapel, FL Suzuki RM-Z450
Bogle got DQ’d after he took down Barcia after he was a lap down and I get it. You can’t have riders who feel they’ve been wronged idling around the track taking out some frontier justice. So I understand the penalty for Bogle but also, the bottom line is that Justin’s had a rough start to the season. Has anyone ever had a DNQ-DNF-DQ’d start to the season? That’s wayyyyy too many “Did Nots” in there for one rider. That stat line has got to be a record.
Thanks for reading, good times in San Diego and it’s back to Anaheim this weekend. Can’t wait, this series so far has delivered. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to chat about this or anything else.