Main image is from 2022 Oakland Supercross, photo by Align Media
Whatever round you want to associate with Oakland, it’s still up next! Teams and industry personnel will make the long jaunt from Tampa to Oakland this week for what looks to be much more agreeable conditions than the original date would have given. It also swings us back to the West Coast 250 riders in what would normally be a long break. Just when we were getting used to the East Region group, we get a shake up before going back to Arlington for a Triple Crown. Let’s take a look at the track, shall we?
Dirty Little Secrets
The start this weekend will be of the shorter variety and into a tight 180. There are two small doubles that lead to a bowl berm, but riders have a bit of room to sort themselves out before the first rhythm section.
This first rhythm spans the first base line of RingCentral Stadium and should give options. I am looking for riders to pull a 3-3-3 down this lane before bending to the right across the home plate area of the stadium. This bend to the right is followed by another awkward bend to the right.
The awkwardness is in that riders will be asked to double as they’re turning. This scenario creates a bit of follow-the-leader as everyone will want to stick tight to the inside.
The third base line has a couple of basic doubles before entering a right-hand bowl berm. A decent size double out of the right hander lands riders right back into a left hander.
That tight left leads to the first whoops section. Oakland whoops are notorious for deterioration so watch for them to shape up similarly to Tampa’s by the main event. If finding a rhythm through whoops is your jam, Oakland is looking mighty fine.
After a tight left, there is a dragon’s back section, very similarly to how A2’s was lined up.
That leads into a tight right and then a second whoops section and I would expect more of the same. They may start out tough and tricky for qualifying practice but by nightfall, they will slowly fall apart and be susceptible to finding an alternate approach.
A rare middle-of-the-track rhythm section spanning the width of the stadium is up next. Riders will have two options here to start. Going inside will relegate riders to doubling into the section while those that swing wide may be able to triple in. The spacing looks like it’s more conducive to the inside-double setup. Riders would then be able to go 3-3-3-1 and into the next bowl berm. If riders do swing wide, they could conceivably put together a 3-3-3-3. Again, the spacing and angles of the jumps will likely be the decider here and that’s all dependent on the dozer blade.
A 180 sends riders back to the finish line jump, followed by a few single jumps.
Riders fire across the mechanics’ area and riders will sweep across the insides of these corners, drifting out mid-straightaway and then sweeping back to the inside for the next corner. A wall jump sits at the exit of the previous 90-degree corner and this will likely be a scrub competition for who can get their rear tire back to the ground quickest.
The next 180 left dumps riders back into lap two and another lap around Oakland’s layout.
Check out Donnie Southers’ Oakland Supercross track preview with Justin Brayton.
Chase Sexton didn’t get the win (again), but his form is simply incredible. The mental battle will be interesting to watch here.
Aaron Plessinger grabbed a podium after flirting with this type of finish throughout January. He mentioned that the pace wasn’t problematic in Houston and proved it in Tampa.
Justin Cooper has gone 7-7 in his two cameo appearances thus far and looked great doing it. How many more will he enter?
Hunter Lawrence had the ride of the season, making the winning pass in literally the final corner. He’s two-for-two to open up this East Coast series.
Nate Thrasher likely thinks about that last lap for a long time but there’s no doubt that he looked the part in Tampa.
Max Anstie snagged another podium and is quietly having his best ever SX season.
Haiden Deegan continues to impress with a heat race win and a fast-learning curve.
That was a strange ride from Eli Tomac, no? He just didn’t seem to have the pace for whatever reason. Oakland has been good to him so let’s see if he can bounce back.
Dylan Ferrandis will miss Oakland after his big crash in Houston.
One-upping the treacherous Tampa sand, track designers incorporate a “Running Man” section to the Oakland layout. Buzzsaw, Subzero, and Dynamo wreak havoc on the field.
Industry truck drivers watch the day’s racing from their hotel bed after the brutal cross-country jaunt this week.
Jason Anderson calls the AMA office in Ohio every hour to verify his whereabouts.