2024 San Diego Supercross | Race Report & Results
What a night in San Diego! Round three of the 2024 Monster Energy Supercross championship is officially in the books after an eventful night inside Snapdragon Stadium. As expected, the skis opened up and rainfall littered the course earlier in the day, forcing a premature end to the qualifying sessions. Though, the rain halted just before the evening program, giving the track crew just enough time to shape up an exciting race course.
The championship saw its third and fourth race winners of the season, rewarding the red plates to two new racers and teams at the end of the night.
The San Diego Supercross greeted riders on press day with a rock-hard and dry track, as the Dirt Wurx crew wanted to add as little moisture as possible with the impending weather system that was predicted to roll in on Saturday afternoon. The track was watered just enough for the morning free practice sessions, but the skies opened up as timed qualifying got underway.
250 HEAT ONE
The quickest off the line was Julien Beamer at the drop of the gate, but Nate Thrasher took control with an outside pass in the first corner and led the field onto the track. Mitchell Oldenburg also found his way past. The MCR Honda rider was on a tear and took over the lead on the second lap, looking smooth in the sloppy conditions. Unfortunately, a multiple rider crash on the finish line jump brought out the red flag and a complete restart was mandated. While Oldenburg and Thrasher were disappointed, it gave a second chance to Jo Shimoda and Levi Kitchen, who both suffered horrible starts.
On the restart, Kitchen made the most of his second chance by grabbing the holeshot and leading Thrasher, Joshua Verize, and the rest. Thrasher stole the lead momentarily, but Kitchen retaliated and took control of the lead for good. Shimoda worked towards the front after another mediocre start and into an eventual third behind winner Kitchen and runner-up Thrasher. Incredibly, Kitchen lapped fourth-placed Oldenburg on the last lap, which gave Shimoda a certain third-place finish even though he crashed twice on the last lap and was the next-to-last rider to cross the finish line.
250 HEAT TWO
Ryder DiFrancisco led the pack into turn one but was overtaken by points leader Jordon Smith on the first rhythm, section. Smith went off the course and handed the lead to RJ Hampshire, who in turn went off track and into oncoming traffic just as he completed lap one. Garrett Marchbanks was happy to take over and led his teammate Phil Nicoletti and Smith to start lap three. Smith moved into second in the whoops and with that, the top spots were set.
Marchbanks crossed the finish line with a comfortable lead over Smith, Nicoletti, DiFrancisco, and Hunter Yoder, who came through the pack and fended off a last-lap attack from Hampshire.
With no KTM Jr. SX Challenge due to the muddy conditions, Dirt Wurx used the break in the program to tune-up some especially challenging sections of the track before the LCQs.
When the gate dropped at the start of the 250 LCQ, Max Sandford led the field onto the track, but TJ Albright too control halfway through the first lap. Before the start of lap two, though, Joshua Verize swooped past and took control of the point position. Once out front, the AJE rider was never challenges. Albright, Sanford, and Lance Kobusch also transferred to the 250 main.
When the gate dropped on the third 250 main of the season, Hampshire led Kitchen, Oldenburg, Smith, and the rest onto the rutted, messy track. Smith took over third on lap two and set after Kitchen, while heat winner Marchbanks joined the lead group by displacing Oldenburg and setting out after Smith. Kitchen sent the triple on the third lap and got the crowd on its feet, closing right to the rear fender of Hampshire’s Husqvarna. Marchbanks took over third on the fourth lap, and Thrasher also found his way past his teammate.
As the field began lap six, a steady drizzle again began to fall and with that, Kitchen’s bid for the lead came to an end when he slid out in a rut. This left Hampshire in the lead, but it was apparent that Marchbanks was the rider on the move as he negotiated some obstacles as if they were dry. A mistake by the leader is all it took for Marchbands to assume the point position, but this lit a fire under Hampshire, who was joined by a hard-charging Thrasher in third.
Thrasher found his way past Hamshire with 3:00 left on the clock and like Marchbanks out front, started to send the triple. Matti Jorgensen walked a rut while he was being lapped by Marchbanks and that allowed Thrasher to steal the lead.
On the last lap, Thrasher, Marchbanks, and Hampshire weaved through lappers in close range, and a spectacular highside by Hamshire only three corners from the end dropped him to sixth. At the finish, it was Thrasher, Marchbanks, Smith, Shimoda, Kitchen, Hampshire, and Oldenburg.
450 CLASS | REPORT & RESULTS
HEAT RACE ONE
The first 450 class race of the night was off and Cade Clason was off to the early lead with Eli Tomac in tail. Jett Lawrence then blitzed through the outside of the whoops and into the race lead. Eli Tomac advanced into second, as Cade dropped to fourth – just behind Stewart.
Adam Cianciarulo and Justin Barcia connected on the face of the triple while in fifth and sixth place, dropping them outside of transfer positions on lap two. Jett Lawrence then went down while leading through the whoops, handing the race lead to Eli Tomac. Jett remounted in sixth place after his fall. Benny Bloss found himself in third place after the chaos.
A few laps later, Cianciarulo lost traction and fell into Vince Friese. Adam remounted back outside of a transfer position. Jett was back on the charge, as he caught and passed Bloss to take over third. Up front, Malcolm Stewart was on Tomac’s rear wheel and challenging for the lead. However, the pair each made their own mistakes and separated again. Eli Tomac took the heat race win just ahead of Malcolm Stewart.
HEAT RACE TWO
The gate was down for the second 450 heat and Ken Roczen was off to the race lead with Aaron Plessinger in tail. Dylan Ferrandis made a quick pass on Christian Craig for third place, as Jorge Prado settled into fifth. Chase Sexton went down on the opening lap, dropping him to 16th. Up front, Aaron Plessinger rocketed out of the whoops and made a pass on Ken Roczen for the lead. Ken then tripled past and retook the race lead just a few sections later.
A lap later, Ken made a mistake in the whoops and Aaron Plessinger capitalized by blitzing into the race lead. Dylan Ferrandis then tipped over and fell back to fourth place on the triple jump. Cooper Webb was on the charge after a bad start, as he passed Prado for fifth place. Meanwhile, Chase Sexton trailed just a few spots behind and made his way into seventh after a pass on Freddie Noren. On the final lap, Dylan Ferrandis passed Christian Craig for third place. But, Cooper Webb laid down a heater of a last lap to pass both Craig and Ferrandis to secure third at the checkered. Aaron Plessinger took the heat race win ahead of Ken Roczen.
As the 450 LCQ left the gate, Adam Cianciarulo was off to the early lead. Shane McElrath trailed in second place, as Dean Wilson worked on Justin Rodbell for third place. On the opening lap, Adam Cianciarulo had a close call in the rhythm before the triple and nearly went down after casing the double-out.
Justin Rodbell latched on to McElrath to keep Wilson at bay and hold onto third place. Adam Cianciarulo took the win in the LCQ, ahead of McElrath, Rodbell, and Wilson.
The 450 Main Event was off and Justin Cooper held the early race lead with Ken Roczen in tow. Ken Roczen then darted to the inside before the second corner to take the race lead. Meanwhile, Chase Sexton and Malcolm Stewart were down in the first rythym lane. Justin Barcia and Aaron Plessinger then made passes on Justin Cooper to take over second and third place.
Eli Tomac and Christain Craig went down on the second lap in the rhythm lane, placing them at the back of the pack. Then Justin Cooper went down and dropped out of the top-5. Cooper Webb now found himself in fourth place following the drama. Up front, Aaron Plessinger doubled past Barcia and into second place. Meanwhile, Jett Lawrence sat in eighth place after a bad start to his Main Event.
Malcolm Stewart went down again, this time in the whoops. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider now sat in 21st place, just ahead of his teammate. Aaron Plessinger was slowly reeling in Ken Roczen. While leading, Ken lost traction and went down, handing the race lead over to Aaron Plessinger. Ken then went down again a corner later, dropping him back to 17th place. Cooper Webb then made the pass on Barcia after tripling over him and into second place.
Jett Lawrence was challenging Jason Anderson for fourth placer and nearly went down, as he drifted sideways off of a jump. Though, Jett managed to hang onto it and continue pressuring Anderson. As Aaron Plessinger ran through lapped traffic, Cooper Webb began to close-in on his ex teammate. Cooper then nearly went down and lost a few seconds to Aaron. Late in the race, Jett Lawrence finally made the pass on Anderson after taking him wide following the finish line. Cooper Webb and Chase Sexton got together momentarily while Sexton was being lapped, which prompted Webb to give Chase the finger. Aaron Plessinger crossed the finish line to claim his first career 450SX main event win.