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RACE PREVIEW

2020 San Diego Supercross | Race Preview

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2020 SAN DIEGO SUPERCROSS | COMPLETE COVERAGE

The opening stretch of the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross Series has delivered in every way. We’ve seen multiple Main Event winners in both classes, different riders in control of the championship standings, incredible on-track battles, and a level of talent that we will one day look back on and view as a golden era. And that’s after just five races! This weekend’s event, the 2020 San Diego Supercross, will be the sixth-straight event on the non-stop schedule and the last on the West Coast for more than a month, so it’s an important time for all on the starting line.

San Diego has long been a staple to the series, thanks to the strong moto scene in the southern part of the state (SX has only skipped San Diego four times in history) and the crowd will turn out in droves on Saturday night to watch the race and then carry on in the Gaslamp District of downtown, which sits just a few hundred feet from the starting gates. You never know who you will bump into during the long walk back and forth from the pits.

Getting through San Diego healthy and with a good result is key for riders in the 250 West Coast region. No one wants to spend the next six weeks fretting over missed points or nursing an injury, especially if they have testing for the summer’s Nationals on their to-do list, and we’re certain that there will be a few guys going for pass attempts or moves that they would have second-guessed at say, Anaheim Two. It’ll be interesting to see what happens during Saturday night’s Main Event.

You might think that San Diego is just another Saturday night for riders in the 450 class because they still have lots of racing left to go between now and the May finale in Salt Lake City, but that’s not exactly so right now. A handful of riders have asserted their dominance on the track, sit at the top of the standings, and are eager to put as many points as possible between themselves and the rest of the competition with wins and podium finishes. Others a little further back in running order, meanwhile, need to make things happen as soon as possible if they want a chance at a spot in the top-10 or a contract renewal with one of the teams. And then you have the rivalries that are beginning to carry on from week to week. Let’s go over the important things to watch on Saturday night…

THE FAST FEW

Yes, this is the most talented field of racers in recent memory, but there’s still some separation through the top 22.

Dylan Ferrandis, Justin Cooper, and Austin Forkner have finished on the podium more often than not this season and the 250 West Coast title will almost certainly be awarded to one of these three. Ferrandis is the defending champion and now current point leader, thanks to his two wins in the season (Anaheim Two, Oakland) and flat-out speed on the track, but things haven’t exactly been easy for the Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha rider. Mediocre starts are an ongoing issue that he and the team are working to remedy, which have made come from behind rides somewhat of a strategy. Cooper, meanwhile, took control of the series early with his win at Anaheim One and steady results through the last few races. Things went off the rails a bit after a practice crash at Glendale and issues in Oakland (crash in the Heat Race, LCQ win, late surge in the Main Event to take third), but he’s only a few points back of teammate Ferrandis in the standings and should stay in the mix with more consistent finishes. Forkner has had the roughest go of the group, as the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider’s two wins have been overshadowed by his crashes at Anaheim One and Anaheim Two. Main Event wins are a must now and Forkner will have to figure out how fast he can ride without hitting the ground. 

Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac are currently the favorites in the 450 class, as they each have scored multiple Main Event wins, podium finishes, and are separated by only a handful of markers in the championship. It’s important that both riders get through these first races without major issues (Roczen struggled with suspension settings at Anaheim One, Tomac was off the podium early in the season) and really up the intensity when the series goes East. Is it time for the two multi-time champions to finally face off for the one title that has eluded them? Sure looks that way.

There are three 450 class riders that would like to shake things up and steal away the red plate. Defending 450 SX champion Cooper Webb is widely expected to come into his own when we get to the East Coast, 2018 champion Jason Anderson has been the definition of consistency with 5-3-5-3-5 finishes through the opening rounds, and Justin Barcia already has one victory to his credit this year and continues to make progress with his bike setup. All three riders know what it takes to win, but they need to do so very soon.

PODIUM POTENTIAL

While the Ferrandis-Forkner-Cooper crew gets much of the attention in the 250 class, there is plenty to watch just a little bit further back on the track. Brandon Hartranft has put in good results during his first year with the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM crew and now that he has a taste for the podium champagne, he is unsatisfied with anything less. Michael Mosiman is in a similar position because he’s been on the box once already, but crashes have kept him from doing so on multiple occasions. Alex Martin has been very, very close to getting a trophy for his on-track efforts, but things just haven’t worked out the right way for the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing rider and he’s come up painfully short a few times. All three know that they are worthy of a podium and we wouldn’t be surprised to see them go a little harder than normal in San Diego.

Adam Cianciarulo, Blake Baggett, and Zach Osborne could put it all together on any given night and it wouldn’t be a shock. Cianciarulo continues to be the fastest rider in qualifying every Saturday afternoon and has posted a slew of top-five finishes, but crashes and mistakes have proven to be learning lessons for the rookie. Baggett’s been on pace with the leaders a handful of times, only to have bike setup and crashes keep him from banging bars for the top spot. The same goes for Osborne, as his results have been saddled by mistakes and crashes all season. Should one of these guys get everything right on a Saturday night, it could change the whole outcome.

FIVE THROUGH TEN

Justin Hill. Justin Brayton. Malcolm Stewart. Dean Wilson. Vince Friese. Martin Davalos. Benny Bloss. 

Jacob Hayes. Derek Drake. Cameron McAdoo. Luke Clout. Martin Castelo. Killian Auberson. Carson Brown.

All of those guys could be in the top-10 on any given night and have done so repeatedly already this year. Where they rank on any given weekend is the mystery and trust us when we say that all of them view San Diego as their chance to score a season-best result.

THE TRACK

Petco Park is a baseball stadium and one of the smaller floors on the series. Dirt Wurx did a good job filling the space with 10 sections of obstacles (one long rhythm, one medium rhythm, back to back whoops, two standard triples, a sand turn, and a set of five jumps that can done in a number of combinations), so the best lap times could be just under the one-minute mark (Adam Cianciarulo and Ken Roczen got around the course in about 50 seconds on Friday afternoon, but that was without going the two whoop sections, as they are never used on press day). 

We like the way that Dirt Wurx attempted to mirror some of the lanes with each other, but with some slight variances, especially around the triple. Riders will have options to figure out what’s the best way to get over the small double at the exit of the first hairpin turn, then use the double after the landing of the other triple as their chance to cut speed for the 90-degree turn.

The set of five jumps into the offchamber corner is something that you should keep an eye on. Riders that want to tuck in tight through the inside of the corner will be able block the riders that blast the outside line. This will be them close together as they run towards the finish line, so pay attention there.


2020 SAN DIEGO SUPERCROSS | 250 CLASS PROVISIONAL ENTRY LIST

1W. Dylan Ferrandis | With his Oakland win, the Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha rider has taken the championship lead and red plate.
26. Alex Martin
28. Michael Mosiman | The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider pulled out of the Oakland Main Event after a crash but plans to race San Diego.
29. Cameron McAdoo
30. Brandon Hartranft
32. Justin Cooper
45. Jacob Hayes
52. Austin Forkner
55. Martin Castelo
57. Derek Drake
60. Mitchell Falk
72. Robbie Wageman
88. Logan Karnow
90. Killian Auberson
95. Carson Brown
97. Chris Howell
101. Luke Clout
106. Jay Wilson
108. Aaron Tanti
112. Xylian Ramella
118. Cheyenne Harmon
120. Todd Bannister
138. David Pulley
154. Chase Felong
170. Michael Leib
181. Wyatt Lyonsmith
193. Hunter Schlosser
200. Dare DeMartile
214. Tyler Gibbs

216. Devin Harriman | The privateer is racing with a shoulder injury and will undergo surgery after San Diego.
244. Mike Henderson
246. Chance Blackburn
277. Kordel Caro
284. Lorenzo Camporese
316. Dawson Newby
427. Deegan VonLossberg
446. Blaine Silveira
448. Broc Shoemaker
538. Addison Emory
621. RJ Wageman
630. Jeffrey Meurs
837. Bryson Gardner
929. Taiki Koga
952. Ludovic Macler

OUT WITH INJURIES OR OTHER ISSUES

40. Mitchell Oldenburg | The Penrite Honda rider is out for the weekend due to a knee injury (partially torn ACL, torn meniscus).
62. Christian Craig | The GEICO Honda rider will miss Oakland and San Diego with a broken hand.

75. Coty Schock | The FXR/Chapparal/Honda rider will miss an extended amount of the season with a pair of broken arms.
83. Jett Lawrence | The GEICO Honda rider will miss the next three races due to a broken collarbone suffered at Anaheim Two.


2020 SAN DIEGO SUPERCROSS | 450 CLASS PROVISIONAL ENTRY LIST

1. Cooper Webb
3. Eli Tomac
4. Blake Baggett
7. Aaron Plessinger
9. Adam Cianciarulo
10. Justin Brayton
11. Kyle Chisholm
15. Dean Wilson
16. Zach Osborne
21. Jason Anderson
22. Chad Reed | The Mountain Motorsports/ARMA/cbdMD/Team 22 rider sat out Oakland due to an ongoing rib injury. He intends to race San Diego and will make the decision on Friday.
27. Malcolm Stewart
34. Tyler Bowers
37. Martin Davalos
43. John Short
44. Kyle Cunningham
46. Justin Hill
50. Benny Bloss | After sitting out Glendale and Oakland due to a concussion, the Rock River Yamaha rider will return to action in San Diego.
51. Justin Barcia
61. Alex Ray
64. Vince Friese
65. James Weeks
67. Jerry Robin
71. Ryan Breece
82. Cade Autenrieth
86. Josh Cartwright
92. Austin Politelli
94. Ken Roczen | The Team Honda HRC rider is all good after a small foot injury from a last-lap collision in Oakland. Roczen maintains the championship lead and will run the red plates in San Diego.
98. Bradley Lionnet
135. Robert Fitch
145. Travis Smith
211. Tevin Tapia
230. Joel Wightman

240. Bryce Stewart
256. James Milson
280. Cade Clason
282. Theodore Pauli
330. AJ Catanzaro
447. Deven Raper
501. Scotty Wennerstrom
509. Alex Nagy
651. Jake Hogan
722. Adam Enticknap

817. Jason Clermont
848. Joan Cros
976. Josh Greco
981. Curren Thurman

OUT WITH INJURIES OR ISSUES

17. Joey Savatgy | The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing rider will miss an undetermined amount of time due to an ankle injury suffered at the AUS-X Open Supercross in 2019.
19. Justin Bogle | The Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM rider will sit out an undetermined amount of time due to the concussion he suffered at the Glendale Supercross.
31. Fredrik Noren | The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing rider is expected to miss the next 12 weeks due to a lower leg injury suffered at the St. Louis Supercross.
49. Chris Blose | The FXR/Chaparral/Honda rider will miss an extended period of time with arm/hip/internal injuries from a crash at the Glendale Supercross.
53. Jimmy Decotis | The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing rider’s stint in the 450 class is over and he will now turn his attention to the 250 East Coast region.
56. Justin Starling | The FXR/Chaparral/Honda rider will sit out San Diego in preparation for the 250 East Coast
70. Dylan Merriam | The privateer will miss an extended period of time due to a broken collarbone and ribs.
111. Dakota Tedder | The Monster Energy/Team Tedder/KTM rider is still recovering from a year-long wrist injury and is not yet certain when he will return.
421. Vann Martin | The Team AllSouth rider suffered a torn patella tendon in a crash at the St. Louis Supercross and will miss multiple rounds of the series.

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Michael Antonovich

Michael Antonovich has a wealth of experience with over 10 years of moto-journalism under his belt. A lifelong racing enthusiast and rider, Anton is the Editor of Swapmoto Live and lives to be at the race track.

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