The Monster Energy Supercross Championship resumed in San Diego’s Snapdragon Stadium after heavy rainfall forced the postponement of round two in Oakland, California, and the new venue proved to be a great location for the event. Though there were some parking issues for spectators who showed up late to the event, most of the racers and industry insiders enjoyed the fresh, new location. In addition to having the pits and stadium all together (in contrast to Petco Park’s two separate pit areas, located quite some distance from the venue), the new Stadium was clean, heated inside, and boasted a wide variety of restaurants for fans. Of course, it was the on-track racing that mattered most, and for the second race in a row, Eli Tomac and Jett Lawrence topped all challengers in the 450 and 250 Western Regional main events, respectively. You can find all the details and results in the San Diego SX Race Report by O’Neal, but here’s some other stuff we saw last weekend!
We were stoked for our pal Hunter Yoder, who qualified for his second main event of the year by winning the 250 LCQ. Though he lives in Murietta now, he claims San Diego as his original hometown and he was proud to put it in the main in front of his friends and family on hand.
Jeremy Martin's Muc-Off/FXR/Club MX/Yamaha YZ250F was on display in the pits at San Diego, primed and ready to go for the Eastern Regional 250 Supercross kickoff in Houston, Texas, in two weekends. Stay tuned for a Checking in With interview with Club MX's Mike Bonacci, regarding JMart's arrival at the team and the effect he's had.
Malcolm Stewart told us that he's gotten really comfortable on his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna FC 450, saying that he has gained a ton of confidence during his second season on the machine. And it showed! Malcolm turned in the fastest qualifying lap of the day in the final qualifying session of the day, then went on to run down Ken Roczen for a very popular heat race win.
Christian Craig, meanwhile, appears to be experiencing some unfamiliarity aboard his new FC 450. "I'm struggling," he told us, before the night show. "I just don't feel comfortable out there on the track yet."
The San Diego SX is the hometown event for Maxima USA, the popular lubricant brand that's based in nearby Santee. We spotted Jason "Rango" Montoya prepping the underside of Jason Anderson's KX450 fenders with SC-1 silicone spray, so that mud wouldn't stick.
Trick parts that no one sees: Check out the air filter bolt on the factory Monster Energy Kawasakis: a lot cooler than the stock wingnut!
It's always great catching up with James Stewart Sr. Before the racing got underway, he reminded us that the old San Diego Qualcomm Stadium was site of Little James' first-career win. "We're chaneling that same energy for Malcolm tonight," he said.
We always like to check out the pit carts that factory teams use to take spare parts to the mechanics' area in case emergency pit stops are needed. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna's cart has a complete toolbox, multiple wheels, an FMF muffler and two different style header pipes mounted to its side.
While many teams carry a full-sized bike stand down onto the track, Husky fabricated a cool collapsable stand in the race shop.
Anti-Social Social Club? Jason Anderson and Adam Cianciarulo warmed up before practice with their backs to the crowd. Turns out they were watching the game and listening to Nick Wey tell stories.
Anderson said that he was glad to have the off-weekend when Oakland was postponed, as it allowed him to heal up from his brutal qualifying crash at Anaheim One. In addition to possibly breaking his nose, he said that hiw body was black and blue from his knees up to mid-chest.
Joey Savatgy continues to impress aboard his Rick Ware Racing privateer Kawasaki KX450. Tenth at San Diego, it's almost a given that he will get the call should Monster Energy Kawasaki need a fill-in rider.
Dean Wilson had hoped to give his competition a one-two punch, but he has yet to figure inside the top 10 where he belongs. Once Deano gets comfy on the Fire Power Honda CRF450R, we're sure he'll find his normally speedy pace.
Savatgy shares a laugh with one of Mitch Payton's twins.
We like the little details that make the Fire Power Hondas look extra cool. Check out the SKDA graphics - the class-mandated color of the numberplate backgrounds is matched to the rest of the design elements on the bike. Nice, Sam.
Cameron McAdoo is not satisfied with his pair of third-place finishes in the opening two rounds. "I need to get a win, now.: he said. What do you think Cameron is listening to?
Dominique Thury qualified for the San Diego main event and got the monkey off his back. The Heartbeat Hot Sauce Yamaha rider finished 16th in the main event.
A rough moment in the afternoon qualifying session for Ty Masterpool...
Two runner-up finishes in a row for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna's RJ Hampshire. "I didn't feel good off the bike," he said. "I have been feeling a little bit sick all day, but on the bike I felt great and everything was solid."
With as low as the forks are locked down on modern-day Supercross machines for the expanded steel start grates, it's hard to imagine guys like Jeff Stanton and Damon Bradshaw lining up for a Supercross with their forks fully extended. The starting device is certainly an innovation that changed the sport.
"The weekend off when Oakland was postponed was a huge blessing," said Pierce Brown. "I definitely needed that time to recover from my heat race crash at Anaheim One. There were a lot of trips to see dr. G and a lot of ice baths." Brown was not satisfied with his fifth-place showing at San Diego, but he expects to be on the podium and contending for his first win once his body fully recovers.
If you've ever been on hand for the afternoon practice sessions, pay attention to Jett Lawrence. The Australian likes to start slowly, eyeball the track, and only exhibit occasional burts of speed in the free session.
Maximus Vohland had a weekend he'd rather forget in San Diego, A crash sent him to the LCQ, and shortly after moving into a transfer position in that race, he crashed off. the track struck one of. the Alpinestars Medical Unit workers, and flopped into the sloppy mud that lined the sides of the track.
During the first 250 practice session, Robbie Wageman endoed spectacularly on the far side of the track when his BarX Suzuki shut off. "I couldn't believe it," he said. "It shut off, threw me over the bars, and then started right up first kick." Wageman tweaked his ankle a bit and limped off the track without completing another lap. After his bike was gone through, he returned in the timed sessions and had little trouble putting his bike into the night show and riding to 13th in. the 250 main."
After his crash, Wageman threw his helmet to the ground in anger. Fun fact: the magnetic cheek pad in his Bell Moto 10 flew out and his swap in the head. Haha!
Spaniard Joan Cross is back contesting the 450 Supercross class with help from multi-time Mexican National Champion Pedro Gonzalez and SML test rider Humberto Baca, but he has yet to deliver the finishes he is capable of. Cros was 19th in the LCQ at San Diego.
Privateer Alexander Nagy's Honda CRF450R registered 120 db in tech inspection, but with some VERY creative safety wire and mesh screen work, he was able to pass sound and get into the night show.
Georgian Jared Lesher fields a very cool Yamaha YZ250 in the 450 SX class, with backing from FMF Racing's THE DROP program. Wanna help a two-stroke loyalist out? Join the Bring Back the Smoke movement by using this code - FRIEND-2F89NPQ - when signing up for THE DROP at fmfracing.com
We could be mistaken, but it would seem Scotty Wennerstrom is backed by enzo racing?
Austin Forkner's bike was on display at San Diego, but it will be wrapped with Carson Mumford's number 52s starting at Oakland. Forkner underwent extensive surgeries on his knee last week, and reports we've heard say all went well. Heal up, AF!
Justin Barcia has been working with Frenchman Eric Sorby this year. Many should remember Sorby as a Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider, or from James Stewart's Bubba's World reality show.
Our pal Kordel Caro painted this cool HJC I40 for Alex Ray. Give them a follow at @korsace_fun
The Heartbeat Hot Sauce Yamaha team ran military appreciation graphics at San Diego, even though the Tampa round has been slated as the official Military Appreciation round of the series. "We are a West Coast team," explained team owner Cassandra Clark. "And we didn't want to miss out on honoring the military, so we went with it, anyway!"
Jo Shimoda was creeping in the San Diego pits. "I never had a BLT sandwich until today," he said. "It was so good! I ate three!" Can't wait to see The Beast From the Far East take Houston!
A hairdryer and some PVC tubing make up this cool boot dryer in the PC pits.
It was good to see Alex Martin in San Diego. He said that he's loving retired life and that trolltraining.com is up and doing better than ever. He also told us that he and his wife Kelsey are expecting their first child in April!
Would you believe that Alex Ray is still on his original set of Pro Taper ACF bars? ARay prefers the SX Race bend and reports that the aluminum and carbon fiber bar offers great precision and bump absorption. Note the Polar Grit X Pro watch on the bars...thanks Wayne!
Maximus Vohland prefers a ton of grip tape on his bike so that he can better control his bike. But wait until you see his boots!
For even more grip than the new Fox Racing Instinct 2.0 Ultratac panels provide, Maximus Vohland and his dad Tallon use Gorilla Glue to affix portions of Maxxis mountain bike tires to the insides of his boots. "We have to replace them every four or five rides because they get worn down," Maximus told us.
They're not new, but we always get a kick out of Aaron Plessinger's custom Alpinestars Tech 10s that are paited to match his personal cowboy boots.
Red Bull KTM's Marvin Musquin sat out the San Diego Supercross with a wrist injury suffered last week in a crash at the Hemet SX track. Though X-rays don't reveal a break, he is awaiting an MRI to see if there is ligament damage or a break that is undetectable by x-ray. Here, Dr. G and Marv discuss therapies to get him back on the track as soon as possible.
This very interesting electric dirt bike was parked beneath the Team Tedder awning. "It's a 2016 KTM chassis with a custom electric motor inside," said Josh Hill. "It's faster than an Alta but not as quick as a Stark from what I can tell. I have my eyes on a skate park that we want to make a video edit at."
Benny Bloss sat out San Diego, as he is still to sore from a bruised tailbone he suffered at Anaheim One. He hopes to return this weekend at Anaheim Two.
We spotted some new helmet dryers in the Monster Energy Kawasaki pits. While the old discontinued Shock Doctor helmet dryers are like gold, these units looked to work pretty well. Truck Driver Brian Barnhart told us he found them on Amazon. We searched and found them in case you're interested. Search: MOTO4U Portable Motorcycle Helmet Dryer Stand with Ventilation Fan Helmet Support Helmet Service Pad Helmet Donut Ring for Motorcycle Dirtbike ATV Scooter and Snowmobile Helmets $58
Ken Roczen recruited Factory Connection to help him dial in his Progressive Insurance/Ecstar/Suzuki in between Anaheim One and San Diego. "Ken was looking for more comfort out of the suspension," said his mechanic Justin Soules. "He seems to be very happy with the settings they arrived at. He had great experiences with Factory Connection during the World Supercros Championship series."
We noticed that the Dixxon Flannel logo was added to the radiator shrouds on. the HEP Suzukis this week. Word is that the popular clothier has upped its support of the team. Excellent!
At Anaheim One, photographers and journalists were asked to refrain from shooting photos of Eli Tomac's bike in the pits. This sparked an array of rumors and theories, with the wildest being that Tomac is racing a camoflaged 2022 bike, but on the day prior to San Diego an extended contract between Yamaha and Monster Energy was announced. This new deal is accompanied by an all-new livery that will be consistent across AMA, MXGP and Moto GP platforms. What do you think of the new graphic design of the Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamahas? For more on the deal, watch the pre-race Newsbreak found lower on the homepage.
With only two races run, it already looks as if Jett Lawrence has little to worry about in his bid to win the Western Regional 250 Supercross Championship and complete his sweep of AMA 250 titles. Barring a mistake from the Honda HRC racer, he appears to be in a league of his own in the class.
Alpinestars always has the coolest custom jackets for its riders...
Cooper Webb takes the time to hand out some high fives to the KTM Jr. Supercross Challenge racers.
Chase Sexton's Astars jacket perfectly matches his kit.
Several local SD motorcycle police were recruited to take part in the opening ceremonies. To be honest, we were impressed that none of them crashed while riding into the infield in the dark, in the mud!
...same goes for the Monster Energy girls! None of them fell victim to the mud that surrounded the track.
Jett Lawrence is a crowd darling. During opening ceremonies, he danced his way through the stands, much to the delight of the crowd that was lucky enough to be seated in his intro area.
We always marvel at the racers' ability to jump SX obstacles in a pitch-black stadium, with only a spotlight showing them the way.
Yeah, it was muddy on the outsides of the course!
Ken Roczen's current mechanic Justin Soules looks on as Kenny and his former wrench Jordan Troxell share a laugh. Kickstart jokes, perhaps?
Kenny sure has been having fun with the whole Suzuki RM-Z450 kickstarter stigma.
In addition to his helmet, KR even had Fox make him this "Let's Kick It" butt patch.
Ken Roczen had a mishap in the first practice session of the day that saw him stall his bike in the whoops, then require what seemed like an eternity to get it fired back up. Because of his awkward position on the track, he had to shift the bike into neutral by hand, then push it to level ground to get good leverage on his highly polished kickstarter.
Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha teammates Stilez Robertson and Levi Kitchen both had a wild trip through turn one at the start of the 250 main event. Here’s a sequence of the mayhem that left Kitchen with a numb left arm after slamming his funny bone on the ground so hard that he could not continue. Thankfully, we’re told that he will be back in action in time for Anaheim Two this weekend.
Congrats to Brazilian Enzo Lopes on his career-best fourth-place finish at San Diego. The Muc-Off/Club MX/Yamaha racer was fast all day long, and he even came close to winning his heat race over RJ Hampshire. When Colby Copp crashed and was rendered unconscious the race was red-flagged and restarted single file, Lopes admitted, "I didn't know what to do. I wasn't even sure when to go until someone waved the green flag."
Venezuela's Anthony Rodriguez enjoyed some forward progress last weekend at San Diego, finishing 14th in the 250 main. "When Oakland was postponed I thought I could get some Supercross practice in and benefit from the break," he said. "But then it rained so hard in Southern California, too, and all I could really do was ride in the hills." Still, ARod is not doing bad for a guy who hasn't raced an AMA Supercross in several years!
As we mentioned above, privateer Colby Copp crashed only a few laps into the first 250 heat race and brought out the red flag. Thankfully, we hear that he was dazed but otherwise ok.
Jerry Robin didn't get a very good jump off the line at the start of the first heat race of the night after spinning terribly on the plexiglass gate panel.
No matter how many times we see them, a single-file restart seems odd. Though RJ Hampshire was leading when the red flag flew, Enzo Lopes was lined up at the front of the line because the order reverts to the last scored lap before the race was halted.