San Diego Supercross Breakdown Report 2017 | Keefer’s Korner

DR test editor Kris Keefer gives insight on Round 2 of the 2017 AMA Monster Energy Supercross Series in San Diego, California.

Monster Energy Supercross was a little more exciting this week in San Diego right? Last week was kind of a snore job compared to this weekend’s tight racing in the main events. It was also really cool to see Feld do another Military Appreciation night as well. I will discuss later who did the camo theme better but first lets talk about the racing shall we.

450 Class:

Ken Roczen
Ken RoczenPhoto by BrownDogWilson

Ken Roczen: Yes, we discussed how good he looked last week, but can we talk about how incredibly mentally strong this dude is as well. Dungey was all over him and he didn't crack! Or how about his whoop entrance speed? I would love to see the LitPro comparison on what Kenny's entrance speed was compared to Dungey's. Kenny didn't have the best line going into that triple, table on-off, but he made it work with the couple bike lengths he pulled in the whoops every lap. His Honda factory CRF450R looked so balanced even when Ken would make the smallest mistake. The bike never seems to do anything out of the ordinary. For how much Honda is paying Kenny this season, I bet the higher ups at Honda are breathing a sigh of relief it is working out so far. Two for two!

450 Holeshot
Ryan DungeyPhoto by BrownDogWilson

Ryan Dungey: What did I say last week? I said "Dungey will be in the mix next week in San Diego" and BOOM! Dungey set the fastest qualifying time during the day and looked to be on fire all night. He got a good start thanks to his powerful KTM 450 SX-F and was a little faster in the corners than Kenny. His rut choices seemed to be smoother and this is where he caught Ken. I really liked what RC said on the broadcast about Dungey taking notes on Roczen while he was behind him all night. I completely agree and you can bet KTM will make his bike improve in the whoops to close that gap on where the Honda was working better.

Marvin Musquin: Musquin almost bought the farm on the first lap when he got whiskey throttle off of the rhythm as he looked like a fresh caught marlin out of the Pacific Ocean. He managed to take a hard right and find a sweet line through a mud pit and remounted in third where he stayed all night. Musquin is a tick off of the front two, but expect him to be better when the dirt starts getting stickier.

Jason Anderson: The un-tucked jersey bandit had an awesome night winning his heat race by narrowly beating Eli Tomac on the last lap. Anderson came from a dismal start and worked his way through Tomac and Seely in the main to get into fourth, but by that time Musquin had a few second lead he couldn't chip away at. Next week when you watch Anderson ride, look how far back he is on his Husqvarna at all times. Even when he scrubs he scrubs with his butt off of the back of the bike. It is really fun and different to watch. Yes, he un-tucks his jersey on purpose and I am sure Thor probably wants him to keep it in for sales sake. Or maybe they will make a un-tucked LE Jason Anderson edition gear this year?

Cooper Webb: So what do you think is eating Cooper Webb? I know he said he had nerves last week, but a 14th in San Diego means something is up. His bike looked better up front, but the rear of the Yamaha looks to be super stiff. I am no where near as fast as Coop, but if you watch Reed's bike, his at least moves in the stroke un-like Cooper's. I am a fan of this kid and I want to see him crack the top ten next weekend! I am lighting a Cooper Webb candle right now and am going to leave it burning all week for good luck!

Eli Tomac
Eli TomacPhoto by BrownDogWilson

Eli Tomac: Tomac sixth? Insert Rod Stewart's song "OH NO NOT AGAIN"? It is early in the season and some of these guys might be having setting problems, as California has been flooded. Tomac and most of these dudes have not been practicing on SX tracks, they have been riding sand tracks. Watching Tomac rail SX bowl turns like they are outdoor berms makes me smile every time he does it. Which is a lot!

Weston Peick: Quietly Peick has been putting in top ten rides and looking solid, but the broadcast refuses to shoe him? What's up with that? I mean he is solid, just look at him, but his results have been solid as well. The guys at JGR mentioned that he feels way more at home on the yellow bikes than his blue ones. He hasn't been riding much during the week due to weather and he says he will only get better as time rolls on. Peick is also one of only a few top riders to run a crossbar handlebar in the series.

Alex Ray
Alex RayPhoto by BrownDogWilson

Alex Ray: I know Alex personally and he's a good ol Tennessee boy privateering it across the country with his cousin as his mechanic. He switched to Husqvarna's in 2017 and it seems to be working for him. He looks fast and more aggressive than he did in 2016. Training at Club MX has also seemed to help him as well. We do hear that Steve Matthes might come out of his wrenching retirement and be Alex's mechanic at A2!

250 Class:

Shane McElrath: One word describes this guy. STRONG! He looks physically in the best shape out of anyone in the class (besides Justin Hill) and can chip away at a riders lead if need be and make the pass before the checkers. The other riders better be thinking about getting a wheel on him off the gate to de-rail his usual top three starting position.

Justin Hill: You will not find a happier person in the pits than Justin Hill. He comes from a very humble family and is the opposite of his brother Josh. Josh was more of a free spirit and loose on the bike while Justin is a grinder and puts in tons of work and is all business on the track. He broke his shoulder late in the off-season, so he will only get better as the series goes forward. If he can stay healthy I see Justin as McElrath's biggest title threat.

Martin Davalos: Martin looked to have this race in the bag until a hard charging McElrath, Justin Hill and Aaron Plessinger came into knock him off the podium; Martin turned 30 years old on Sunday and needs to win one of these next few to get into striking distance of McElrath's points lead.

Jimmy DeCotis: Jimmy has to be my sentimental favorite this year. He lost his dad to a heart attack in early December and has been pushing through his obvious pain and riding well. I can relate as I lost my mom in the 2005 season right before the season opener in Anaheim and I was a basket case. I couldn't imagine having to race at his level and feel what he feels. Jimmy rode well all night, but you could tell that he tightened up after leading half of the main event. Still a sixth place is Jimmy's best west coast finish and is looking to build on it next weekend.

Jeremy Martin: Martin cant by himself a start. He either crashes or gets pushed around in the first corner. It is impressive that he came back all the way from last place to seventh by the finish however. He has the speed to win one of these, but he first must get that elusive holeshot. He also needs to win a couple of these 250 west rounds to secure a good ride on 450s next year. Factories will take notice of Jeremy not winning in Supercross and his quality of ride will suffer in 2018, if he can't put it together.

Jeremy Martin
Jeremy MartinPhoto by BrownDogWilson

Josh Hansen: Another older rider doing it in the 250 class. Josh rode well all day but was put into B practice in San Diego because he didn't make the main last week due to a bike problem. Munn Racing out of Texas is helping Josh's program this year and WP supplied him with some good suspension this weekend and it showed. Hansen got caught up with Martin on the first lap and came back from near last to tenth which is a respectable ride.

Notes From San Diego:

250 Main Event Laps: 18

450 Main Event Laps: 24

Riders Using Crossbar Handlebars In 450 Main: 8. Riders seem to be using crossbar-less handlebars more lately for a less rigid feeling. Supercross machines are set up so stiff generally that most riders like a little more flex that the crossbar-less designs give. It wasn't but a few years ago that most riders were using crossbar designed handlebars more. Times are a changing.

Roczen And His Pills: Everyone calm down! I got numerous tweets about Roczen taking some mysterious pills after the main event that the broadcast showed. All this was people was a recovery pill that Ryno Power sells (and is perfectly legal). These riders need hydration and recovery ASAP after their heart rates were at 190bpm for over 20 minutes and Roczen was making sure he was getting the proper hydration and nutrients immediately after that hard fought win.

Track Maintenance: Dirt Wurx fixed a tricky triple into a corner after two riders suffered injuries from the jump. The landing was too short and sharp and that meant room for error was non-existent. The bad news was Dirt Wurx fixed this after Jimmy Albertson received a concussion and Mitchell Oldenburg broke his collarbone from the tricky obstacle. Jeremy Martin also had a spectacular crash that showed he is part ninja and part cat. After doing two full complete flips thru the air he bounced off a tough block and landed on his feet! J-Mart for the 2020 men's Olympic team in Tokyo, Japan!

Best Camo Look: Shift did an awesome job with Roczen's gear as I normally don't thing camo on riding gear looks good, but it was subtle enough that it pleased me. I like the red arms that offset the camo and the boots to match. I also thought Answer did a great job on Justin Bogle's gear set as well. Both get my award for best Military look on Saturday night.

450SX Class Results:

  1. Ken Roczen (Hon)
  2. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
  3. Marvin Musquin (KTM)
  4. Jason Anderson (Hus)
  5. Cole Seely (Hon)
  6. Eli Tomac (Kaw)
  7. Weston Peick (Suz)
  8. Davi Millsaps (KTM)
  9. Chad Reed (Yam)
  10. Justin Bogle (Suz)

Western Regional 250SX Class Results

  1. Shane Mcelrath (KTM)
  2. Justin Hill (Kaw)
  3. Aaron Plessinger (Yam)
  4. Martin Davalos (KTM)
  5. Austin Forkner (Kaw)
  6. Jimmy DeCotis (Hon)
  7. Jeremy Martin (Hon)
  8. Phil Nicoletti (Suz)
  9. Hayden Mellross (Yam)
  10. Josh Handen (Hus)