Despite early domination by Ryan Dungey and Cooper Webb, the 2016 Monster Energy Supercross season is starting to kick it in high gear and so are other riders as the series returns for the second time this year at San Diego's Petco Park.
Dungey holds a 21 point lead over Ken Roczen, who has three straight podiums and his first win coming last week in Glendale. The difference is Dungey's three wins and five podiums to start the season. However, with a surging Roczen, 3-2-1, in his last three races, Dungey now needs consistency at the top of the podium instead of just on the side.
Ryan Dungey still flying high but has a bogey on his tail
What's more, just 10 points separate Roczen from Eli Tomac in fifth and with the Top 7 riders all reaching the podium at least once this season spots on the box don't come easy. Dungey is the most consistent of the bunch landing first or second thus far in all five rounds, while Roczen has three and Chad Reed has two.
Ken Roczen got his first win of the season last week
As always starts help factor the final results as Roczen got into the lead on Lap 1 last week and led the distance. Meanwhile, Dungey started eighth and worked his way up to second but never mounted a serious charge to the front. Tomac started third and that's where he finished. The track on Saturday brings back the right hand turn which is typically a recipe for pileups before anyone reaches the holeshot. Check it out below:
San Diego has always been nice to Reed and it was here in Round 2 when he made a run at Dungey and finished second proving to everyone what happens when the weight of running your own team gets lifted off your shoulders. His posted solid efforts the last two rounds but off the podium so don't be surprised to see him back on the box or add to his all-time San Diego wins list currently at six.
Chad Reed brings lots of success into San Diego
Despite a number of injuries at the start of the season and in the opening rounds that sidelined some major players including Blake Baggett, Trey Canard and James Stewart, time indeed heals all wounds and this week the field gets restacked. Canard looks excited to wear his new Fly gear so expect him to be in the mix though don't be surprised if his stitched hand proves to be another race time decision. Andrew Short finally starts his farewell season after a crash on November 30 put him on the couch and Baggett is back after crashing in Oakland. Stewart however remains out until the concussion symptoms from a Round 1 crash fully resolve.
The 250SX West class is in a dead heat for points with Cooper Webb and Joey Savatgy tied at 98. Both ride the red plate on Saturday where Webb finished ahead of Savatgy the last time in San Diego. Christian Craig has now fully immersed himself in the 2016 title run and with his win at Glendale he's just 11 points back in third and brings a load of confidence.
Webb's last two rounds brought a mechanical failure and a washout both negating him wins and preventing the defending Champion from running away with the title after three dominating victories to start the season. If he can kick the track demons to the curb expect him to make a big statement to close out the West Coast run the next two Saturdays. Either way, he won't wrap a second title up early like last year.
Christian Craig (L) and Cooper Webb have provided some of the most intense and exciting racing all season in their Heat races and the Main
Jordan Smith, who took third the last time in San Diego crashed in the whoops last week and did not line up for the Main. He's expected to be at the gates on Saturday but the hit in points dropped him to ninth. Colt Nichols finished fifth last week and is in fourth-place just six points back from Craig. He's got a podium and some of the most consistent riding in the field so don't count the Oklahoman out.
Jessy Nelson, who finished second to open the season and looked like Webb's primary competitor this year until a practice crash prior to Round 2 left him pretty banged up remains out a few more weeks. Zach Osborne, who filled in for Nelson in the following weeks as far as keeping close tabs on Webb, crashed in Glendale and dropped from third to fifth in the standings as a result but is expected to race on Saturday.
Doors open to Round 6 at 12 p.m. with opening ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. and the Main event at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Petco Park in San Diego. Buy tickets online or at the box office.
2016 Monster Energy Supercross Season Standings
450SX Class Season Standings
- Ryan Dungey (119)
- Ken Roczen (98)
- Jason Anderson (93)
- Chad Reed (90)
- Eli Tomac (88)
- Cole Seely (83)
- Marvin Musquin (63)
- Davi Millsaps (61)
- Justin Brayton (61)
- Jake Weimer (53)
250SX West Class Season Standings
- Cooper Webb (98)
- Joey Savatgy (98)
- Christian Craig (87)
- Colt Nichols (81)
- Zach Osborne (74)
- Jimmy DeCotis (71)
- Mitchell Oldenburg (66)
- Kyle Peters (62)
- Jordan Smith (61)
- Kyle Cunningham (54)