San Diego Supercross Race Report 2016

We talk about What Really Happened at Round 2 of the 2016 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series in San Diego, California.

Ryan Dungey jumping at Supercross 2016
Ryan Dungey led every lap but one on his way to the win in San Diego. The Red Bull KTM rider now holds a six-point lead over Jason Anderson in the series standings.Photo by Shan Moore

Ryan Dungey looked very much at home standing atop the podium after leading all but the opening lap of this weekend’s round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series at San Diego’s Petco Park. Maybe it’s a look we should all get used to. Having finished second at round one in Anaheim, the Red Bull KTM rider now holds a six-point lead in the series standings after grabbing his first win of the season this weekend in San Diego, and there’s no indication that he’s about to slow down any time soon.

“It all started with the start and just executing your laps and your corners,” said Dungey. “No mistakes, but it was tricky tonight. Very challenging from practice all day. We had good times but you had to be really on your toes on this track. It was a good win for me.”

Chad Reed at Supercross 2016
Chad Reed turned some heads with his runner-up finish, and even appeared to close on Dungey during the early part of the race.Photo by Shan Moore

Dungey slipped by BTO Sports KTM’s Justin Brayton on lap two of the 20-lap main to take the lead and he never looked back. Reed ran second on the opening lap but got shuffled back to fifth in the ruckus. The Monster Energy/360fly/Chaparral/Yamaha rider moved into the runner-up slot on lap three and pushed Dungey for the remainder of the race. Reed appeared to close on Dungey early on, but eventually settled into a slot just a second or two behind the KTM rider. Dungey didn’t seem rattled by Reed’s doggedness and hit his lines perfectly en route to the win, except at the halfway mark when he lost his rear end just before he went into the whoops.

“I think we all had more left in us but it was one of those things, you’re going to have to find the roll speed more than intensity,” said Dungey. “The harder you attack the track the more you’re going to spin, the more you’re prone to make a mistake. You’re over-riding the track at this point.”

“I felt (Chad) there,” added Dungey. “I tried to just kind of keep things clean, keep rolling my turns, keep them tight and hard. A few corners were a little softer that kept getting pushed. I tried to get inside, start a new line, and just kind of keep that momentum going. I think we all had a little more in us, but it’s such a fine line.”

Dungey credited a few minor changes to the bike for his near-perfect performance.

“We went into the week not really looking to change anything but we did end up finding a little bit better setting on the rear shock, which really helped the balance of the bike,” said Dungey. “Some small stuff, nothing really too crazy, just a little bit better traction and a little bit more comfort.”

Meanwhile, Reed was pleased with the runner-up finish and relishes the thought of “defying the odds,” despite his age.

“I’m just happy because we put a lot of work in,” said Reed. “We believe that we can be here and that’s why we work hard and that’s why we show up. To achieve what you believe and kind of go against the odds, it’s rewarding. When you haven’t been here a lot lately I guess you’re more grateful. Early in my career I remember being mad as hell at second and getting beat by a couple seconds. I’m just thankful. I learned a lot tonight. We’ll put that in the memory bank and try to be better next week.”

Jason Anderson at Supercross 2016
Jason Anderson races to cut off Cole Seely in a turn as the two battle for third in the main event.Photo by Shan Moore

Armed with the red plate, Jason Anderson was hoping to continue the success he enjoyed at Anaheim One where he gave Husqvarna its first 450-class win. However, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider gated mid-pack in the main and was forced to fight his way through the pack, which was an amazing race to watch.

“I had a little double before the finish line and I was hitting that, which I think was where I was making a little ground on those guys,” said Anderson. “It was kind of sketchy but I hit it 19 out of 20 laps pretty good. There was one little hairy moment, but for most part I was good.”

Cole Seely roosting at Supercross 2016
Cole Seely was the beneficiary of a penalty levied on Jason Anderson and was bumped from fourth to third in the final standings.Photo by Shan Moore

After working his way into the top five, Anderson made a forceful pass on Cole Seely for third with four laps to go. Anderson finished the race in third, but was later penalized by race officials for jumping during a medic flag. The two-position penalty dropped Anderson to fifth, though he still sits second overall in point standings.

Seely’s and Anderson’s battle for the final podium position was a good one, as the two passed back and forth for several laps before Anderson finally ran it in on Seely on lap 17, which prompted Seely to cry foul.

“(Anderson) ran it in on me after the second triple,” said Seely. “He hit me hard, real hard.”

In the end, Seely benefitted the most from Anderson’s “red cross flag” mistake, moving the HRC Honda rider from fourth in the final results to third.

“I felt really good during the race and thought that I was capable of getting on the podium,” said Seely. “I would like to have crossed the finish in third, but I’ll take the spot. We’re sitting really well in the points and I can’t wait to go back to Anaheim. I seem to do well there and I’m hoping I can get back on the box.”

Eli Tomac & Trey Canard, Supercross 2016
Eli Tomac and Trey Canard battle during the early portion of the main event. Tomac went forward after his encounter with Canard, eventually finishing fourth, while Canard quietly slipped to seventh.Photo by Shan Moore

After setting the second-fasted lap time in qualifying behind Dungey, Eli Tomac got off the start outside the top 10 in the main and rode a relatively quite race to fourth. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider appears to be in the process of getting comfortable with his new bike; and after suffering a couple of injuries last year, he’s obviously hoping to get past the first few rounds before putting it on the line.

“Overall I feel that the team and I improved, even though we had the same end result as last week,” said Tomac. “My weak point tonight was the starts, which are crucial on a track like this where everyone is very close and passing is difficult. I rode strong for all 20 laps, which showed as I made my way through the field. We’re not far off and we’ll be on the podium soon enough.”

Ken Roczen was on fire early in the race, moving from sixth to third over the course of the first few laps, but an off-track excursion on lap four slowed the RCH/Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns Suzuki rider’s momentum and he eventually settled for sixth.

Cooper Webb, Supercross 2016
Cooper Webb’s aggressiveness earned the Star Racing Yamaha rider his second-straight win in the 250SX West series.Photo by Shan Moore

250SX West

It was apparent in San Diego that Cooper Webb is playing for keeps. The Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha rider is not one bit afraid to get physical, and did so in the Western Regional 250SX Class main while working his way to the front after getting off the line around eighth or ninth. Webb eventually took the lead on lap 12 of the 15-lap final and pulled away to claim his second win in as many races.

“It was a good race for me,” said the defending class champ. “I wish I could have gotten a better start, but to be able to come through and beat all the guys was awesome. It came down to the end once again. After the on-on-offs, I dove to the inside of (Zach) Osborne and got the pass. He actually passed me back the next corner, but then I got him through the whoops.”

Joey Savatgy, Supercross 2016
Joey Savatgy finished second, the Pro Circuit rider had two practice crashes but smoothed it out and rode well in the main.Photo by Shan Moore

Joey Savatgy battled with Webb for a few laps, but Webb dropped the Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider on lap 12 and went on to take the win, while Savatgy took advantage of a crash by Osborne to finish second.

“There were a couple close calls,” said Savatgy. “We’re on the podium, but I’m tired of thirds and seconds. I want to win and we’re close. I’ve just got to work on a few things and capitalize on a good start like I had. It’s frustrating for me. Second’s better than eighth but I think at the end of the day we need to be up there battling for a win. We were close. I let Webb get away there in the middle of the race, though I was able to reel him back in towards the end. It’s just a little frustrating, that’s all.”

Jordon Smith, Supercross 2016
Jordon Smith led the first five laps of the 250SX main event and grabbed his first podium finish with a third.Photo by Shan Moore

Jordon Smith led the first five laps of the main, but told us he got a little tight midway into the race, but pulled it back together for the end to come way with his first podium in third.

Osborne got a top-10 start and was looking aggressive. He moved up to second by lap two before taking the lead after a pass in the whoops on lap six. Osborne eventually conceded the spot with four laps to go, but was still fighting and swapping positions for the lead when he lost traction and went down while coming out of a turn with two laps to go. His sixth-place finish dropped him from third to fourth overall in points.

“I had great speed all day and won my heat race again this weekend,” said Osborne. “I was really close to winning the main event but slid out on lap 13 and ended up with a 6th. I can’t be too bummed, though, because I was close and think a win is in sight.”

Notes and Quotes

  • According to his Instagram page, Justin Barcia will undergo surgery this week to repair his thumb, which he injured the week before Anaheim One. Barcia posted that he tried to race the San Diego round but the pain was too great. Barcia will likely miss six weeks.
  • Despite not being allowed to race the San Diego race due to his fight with Vince Friese, Weston Peick showed up to represent JGR Yamaha in the pits. Weston told us he didn't authorize the "Go Fund Me" page that was set up to cover the penalty that the FIM levied on him and he had no idea who set it up.
  • James Stewart pulled out of the San Diego event after the second practice session apparently feeling he was not totally recovered from his crash at Anaheim last week. "We went through the process with the testing and he passed with flying colors," explained Yoshimura Suzuki team manager Mike Webb. "I talked with the Asterisk Medical guys and they said clearly there was no issue with the testing. We left it up to James, to feel it out and tell us how he felt once the blood got pumping and the adrenalin gets going. The first session he was okay and picking up the [pace], but in the second session he just wasn't comfortable. There was no way we were going to take a chance with his health. We want him to take a couple more days of recovery and we'll get him back on the bike later in the week."

SAN DIEGO SUPERCROSS RESULTS 2016

450SX Class Results

  1. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
  2. Chad Reed (Yam)
  3. Cole Seely (Hon)
  4. Eli Tomac (Kaw)
  5. Jason Anderson (Hus)
  6. Ken Roczen (Suz)
  7. Trey Canard (Hon)
  8. Jake Weimer (Kaw)
  9. Marvin Musquin (KTM)
  10. Justin Brayton (KTM)

Western Regional 250SX Class Results

  1. Cooper Webb (Yam)
  2. Joey Savatgy (Kaw)
  3. Jordon Smith (Hon)
  4. Christian Craig (Hon)
  5. Colt Nichols (Yam)
  6. Zach Osborne (Hus)
  7. Kyle Peters (Hon)
  8. Jimmy DeCotis (Hon)
  9. Kyle Cunningham (Suz)
  10. Chris Alldredge (Kaw)