San Diego hosts Round 2 of the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross season on Saturday at Petco Park where Ken Roczen seeks his first win in that city and Ryan Dungey attempts to stop the Deutsche Bahn.
Roczen took the opener last week at Anaheim beating Dungey by 16 seconds and continued a dominating performance that started in May as he won 20 of 24 rounds overwhelming the field for the 2016 Motocross season. Roczen entered A1 four days off his new Honda thanks to the rain but grabbed the holeshot and never looked back to begin the quest for his first Supercross title.
"I'm just bringing that much more focus and I'm super fit," Roczen said after the race. "We've got to keep our head on our shoulders, bottom line."
Ken Roczen hopes to raise his fist in San Diego on Saturday
Dungey who exited the Nationals after suffering a broken vertebrae in his neck during Round 3 last summer fought his way back from an eighth-place start and grabbed second, a familiar spot on the podium in the first round as he's never won the opening round of the Supercross season. His training partners followed as Marvin Musquin, in his second year in the 450 class took third and Jason Anderson finished fourth. History is on Dungey's side however as he found success here last year for the first time in his career and went one further by taking San Diego 2, the only time Supercross held two San Diego races in one year.
Don't expect a repeat performance from Eli Tomac who uncharacteristically suffered from arm pump after finally getting a good start, something that plagued him last year. He followed Roczen a bit before the blood rush dropped him to fifth. Tomac started last year with three straight fourth-place finishes, decent finishes considering it was his first return to action after double-shoulder surgery and switching to a new team and bike. Tomac brings some success into America's Finest City as he won in 2013 while riding in the 250 West class but hasn't reached the podium since.
Ryan Dungey and Eli Tomac battled in Anaheim and will battle in San Diego
Cole Seely and Davi Millsaps posted solid rides finishing sixth and seventh respectively. Cooper Webb coming into his first year on the big bikes with a 250 Motocross Championship and back-to-back 250SX West Championships probably expected better than a 10th place but he placed higher than Musquin did last year in his debut 450 season when he finished 14th. Musquin got stronger as the year progressed and took ninth the following round in San Diego. So give Webb some time, he'll mix it up eventually in the Top 5.
Wild rumors flew this week with a not so cryptic message from James Stewart who indicated plans to race this season though clouded in mystery was what round. So far, he's not posted on the pre-entry list and neither is brother Malcolm who, even after winning the 2016 250SX East Championship, was unable to secure a factory ride this year.
Shane McElrath surprised everybody leading from the start and grabbing his first career win last week but lest we forget, he finished runner-up to Webb in 2015 so the West Coast suits him well. His East Coast trip last year got him two podiums but seventh on the season.
"It's unreal," he said of his first win. "The whole time out there riding I was tired. It was keep pushing, keep pushing, one more lap, one more lap. When I crossed the finish line I wanted to let go of the bike."
Will Shane McElrath make it two straight wins on Saturday?
Aaron Plessinger, a front runner for the title, made the pass on Martin Davalos for second more than halfway through the race and Davalos, who also surprised (well, not us anyway!) held on for third. Davalos was in the mix last year for the East Title but a passport snafu kept him from competing in Toronto, dropping him from first-place to fourth, and he was never able to make up ground.
Missing from the podium was Jeremy Martin making the switch to the West this year. A 250 Supercross title eludes the two-time 250 Motocross Champion and with just nine rounds, he has work to do from his season opening sixth-place finish. Also absent from the podium which surprised many (well, not us anyway!) was Austin Forkner making his Supercross debut. A crash held him back but he managed an eighth-place overall.
Our podium picks for San Diego:
- Ryan Dungey
- Ken Roczen
- Eli Tomac
- Aaron Plessinger
- Martin Davalos
- Jeremy Martin
Check out the track map:
Gates drop for Round 2 of the 2017 Supercross season at Petco Park in San Diego. Practice and qualifying begin at 12 p.m. (PST) and the Main Event starts at 6:30 p.m. (PST).
2017 Supercross Season Standings
- Ken Roczen (25)
- Ryan Dungey (22)
- Marvin Musquin (20)
- Jason Anderson (18)
- Eli Tomac (16)
- Cole Seely (15)
- Davi Millsaps (14)
- Weston Peick (13)
- Josh Grant (12)
- Cooper Webb (11)
250SX West Class
- Shane McElrath (25)
- Aaron Plessinger (22)
- Martin Davalos (20)
- Mitchell Oldenburg (18)
- Justin Hill (16)
- Jeremy Martin (15)
- Dan Reardon (14)
- Austin Forkner (13)
- Jimmy Decotis (12)
- Kyle Chisholm (11)
Written By: AndrewT