The 2018 Monster Energy Supercross series returns to Southern California and the final time in the Golden State this season as Round 6 on Saturday in San Diego brings clear leaders in both classes and perhaps a better venue in Petco Park for that awesome cat gear.
Jason Anderson took control of his season in Oakland with a solid win passing Ken Roczen not once but twice in the final moments grabbing his second win and looking like a true contender. Anderson flew a bit under the radar entering the year but with injuries and mounting point deficits to Eli Tomac and Marvin Musquin along with aggressive I'm-going-to-win riding Anderson carries a 15 point lead into San Diego along with four podiums.
Anderson shows a solid stock market up-swing in terms of results for San Diego finishing 10th three years ago, his rookie year, then fifth for San Diego 1 and fourth for San Diego 2 in 2016, and fourth again last year. Expect more dividends this weekend unless Musquin rallies with choice racing of his own after Anderson dropped him last week making his way from sixth to first. Musquin was hardly amused saying post-race, "...he's racing hard, ...it's understandable, but also, I'm mad at him because we know each other, and it's a bummer to make somebody crash like that. It's not like he's racing me for the championship right now." You just know Musquin has Bon Jovi's "Bad Medicine" running through his ears during practice this week (unless he's actually read the lyrics then it makes no sense).
Jason Anderson has found Championship riding this season
Meanwhile, Roczen followed and follows quite convincingly in second (last week's race and Championship standings) with three podiums and overall strong riding to initiate the "season after the injury." San Diego represents good times for Roczen and it's the place of his last victory passing Ryan Dungey after seven laps and leading the rest of the way a year ago. He led 12 laps in Oakland before bar banging racing with Anderson ensued and if not for a few bobbles the checkered flag was likely his.
Third-place Justin Barcia continues to impress with a career best start just two points behind Roczen in the standings. He finished fifth last week, just his second time off the podium this year but fourth Top 5. Barcia planted Tomac on his way from an 11th place start to that fifth-place and got by Cole Seely, who led nearly half the race and looked good for his second win of the year before going down in a rhythm section. Seely settled for sixth losing ground in the title hunt and on Barcia. He heads into San Diego in fourth-place, 11 points behind Barcia, 18 behind Anderson and five in front of Justin Brayton, who finished ninth last week, a season worst.
Cole Seely (L) and Marvin Musquin (R) each have podium success in San Diego
Barcia last finished on the San Diego podium in 2013, his 450 rookie season, behind Davi Millsaps and has little to write home about for the other years.
Elsewhere, Blake Baggett got his first podium since Round 8 last year in Atlanta and it's the earliest of his 450 career. No trend to speak of as Baggett finished outside the Top 5 all other rounds but if he finally found the right settings he helps complicates things upfront for the current contenders looking to pull away from the field.
Former contender watch continues as pre-season favorites Tomac and Musquin face uphill battles to salvage their series. Tomac returned from injury with two straight wins but the dump by Barcia and mostly mediocre racing last week left him in 13th place and a drop to 12th in the standings, 52 points from the lead. Musquin however continues an uptrend after his Round 2 injury with 13-5-4 finishes since the DNS. Musquin is eighth in the standings 42 points from the guy he thought was a friend.
Finally, Happy Retirement to Davi Millsaps. In many respects Millsaps was my "introduction rider" to the sport as he was sponsored by MotoSport when I began my tenure here. One of my first tasks was to help write a note on behalf of the then-owner congratulating him on his 2013 season success. He's also the only "top tier" rider, if you will, that I have "met." Three years after that note, I ran into him at a restaurant while attending the 2016 Santa Clara Supercross and simply asked him how he was doing with his rib injury. Like the girls in high school, he wanted little to do with me but if the current trend continues, I'll see you next year for a full introduction, Davi.
Can Aaron Plessinger make it three in a row this weekend?
In the 250SX West class, Aaron Plessinger battled the flu, Christian Craig and Joey Savatgy but quite possibly showed how to win a Championship with a bold victory that thankfully left him too exhausted for one of those cockamamie post-win dances. Savatgy finished second his third podium of the year and Craig led much of the race before jumping off the track instead of on it and salvaged fourth.
Plessinger has three wins so far, the most of any rider in either class, and four podiums for an eight point lead over Savatgy. Last year Plessinger finished third in San Diego with Justin Hill in second and Shane McElrath in first. Savatgy went 2-1 in San Diego during his 2016 West campaign.
Justin Hill (L) and Joey Savatgy (R) finished third and second, respectively, less than a second apart last week
Speaking of Hill, the defending class Champion finally broke through with a third ending a season long drought and putting some life into his title defense. He sits in seventh-place however 39 points from the lead. Conversely, McElrath who started the season with a win and three podiums dropped from second-place a point behind Plessinger to third, 19 points from the Red Plate thanks to a 15th in Oakland after a crash that forced him to the pits and catch his breath.
This is the final 250SX West race until the first East/West meeting of the year in Indianapolis on March 24.
Our Podium Picks for San Diego:
- Ken Roczen
- Jason Anderson
- Marvin Musquin
250SX West Class
- Joey Savatgy
- Shane McElrath
- Aaron Plessinger
Check out the track map for Round 6:
Practice for San Diego begins at 12 p.m. (PST) with the Main at 7 p.m. (PST) on Saturday at Petco Park. Buy tickets online or at the stadium box office. Such a nice day expected for the area with a high in the upper 60s. FOX Sports 1 provides live television coverage.
2018 Supercross Season Standings
- Jason Anderson (115)
- Ken Roczen (100)
- Justin Barcia (98)
- Cole Seely (87)
- Justin Brayton (82)
- Weston Peick (82)
- Blake Baggett(78)
- Marvin Musquin (73)
- Josh Grant (71)
- Cooper Webb (68)
250SX West Class
- Aaron Plessinger (118)
- Joey Savatgy (110)
- Shane McElrath (99)
- Adam Cianciarulo (93)
- Christian Craig (89)
- Chase Sexton (86)
- Justin Hill (79)
- Kyle Chisholm (68)
- Mitchell Oldenburg (58)
- Mitchell Harrison (58)
Written By: AndrewT