What Really Happened: San Diego SX R-6
The whoops in SD may have changed the outcome of the series.
What Really Happened: Monster Energy Supercross, San Diego
Story by Chris Green • Photos by Scott HoffmannRound 6 of the AMA Supercross happened right in San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium and a packed stadium saw some great racing—probably some of the best yet this year. Last week in Anaheim, the track was criticized for having small whoops, so what did the track builders do? They stacked up some dirt and built the toughest set we’ve seen so far this season. Not only were they monsters, the whoops were spaced pretty far apart making it difficult for the Lites riders to carry momentum all the way through. On San Diego’s track, it was the section that separated the men from the boys.
Observations by Scott Hoffman
-The whoops were a game changer in San Diego and this one race may contribute to the series Championship outcome in the Lites West as well as the Supercross/450 class.
-James Stewart was on the gas, again fastest qualifier and fastest rider through the cupped-out whoops. Yet the whoops also shut down his charge in the main and JS once again hit the ground, finishing a dismal 15th.
-Crashing has become a much too familiar event for Stewart in 2012, and we are not sure why. Could be the rider, the bike, the tough competition, the style of tracks, or his tires.
-Eli Tomac lost his nice cushy point lead when he too went down pretty hard in the whoops trying to take second during the main.
-Another popular rider, Andrew Short, had a bad day in SD during a crash in the heat race going into the first turn. It looks like he injured his shoulder but it is unknown how bad it is and if he will miss the next race or not.
-Factory Honda’s Justin Brayton also had a pretty scary crash during qualifying and had to be carted off in the Asterisk med unit. He did return later that night and looked healthy in the heat and the main, finishing 6th.
-All of the West Coast Lites riders will be going on break as the Lites East series kicks off next weekend in Texas.
-It is still unknown when or whom Factory Honda will put on Trey Canard’s ride, yet they said it will not remain empty.
-We are just past the one-third mark in the series and the attrition rate has been heavy and we have lost a number of top main-event riders. We hope that rate slows down or stops—but then again, we are talking about dirt bikes.
-Ivan Tedesco is still recovering from his broken finger as is Josh Grant his shoulder. Jeff Ward Racing still has Cody Mackie riding Grant’s bike while Tedesco’s Hart & Huntington ride sits vacant.
-Trey Canard was at San Diego signing autographs in the Honda pits and his outcome for a full recovery are very high, yet it’s still unknown how long it will take. Also check out the update we posted on Ryan Morais just a few days ago.
-Jake Weimer had to run the LCQ to transfer to the main and had a poor showing there.
-Kevin Windham was having a strong ride in SD before he too got bit by the whoops and went down.
Play by Play by Chris Green
Heat 1: Dean Wilson grabbed the holeshot and had the #38 KTM of Marvin Musquin right behind him in second. After a few laps Dean began to prove himself and flat out ran away with the race, leaving Musquin and Moss to battle it out for second. A few riders went down in the whoops, although it was no surprise. All throughout practice each and every rider had a few rough runs through the big holes, hinting they were big and very difficult.
Heat 2: Cole Seely jumped off the gate like a rocket and took the holeshot with teammate Travis Baker following close behind. Seely walked away with it leaving Baker in second, and even he had a huge lead over Vince Friese in third. Tomac worked his way up from nearly dead last, crashing just after the first turn. He got up in 16th and worked his way to 8th for a solid qualifying position.
Main: Wilson claimed it early on with a strong start, although he didn’t get the holeshot, he quickly passed Friese for the lead before a single lap was counted. Dean began his march by putting time on the rest of the field and slowly put a gap on Matt Moss and Cole Seely. Eli Tomac moved into third, and around the halfway point crashed hard in the whoops. He laid there for quite a bit and eventually jumped up and tried starting his bike but mechanical issues kept him from finishing. Tomac is now two points behind Dean Wilson in the standings. Luckily, Eli has been killing it with three wins leading into San Diego, and is still in the hunt for the title standing.
Supercross / 450 Class:
Heat 1: Ryan Villopoto shot off the gate and claimed the holeshot but lost the lead to Davi Millsaps on the first pass through the whoops. Villopoto quickly passed Davi who held RV’s pace for about two laps but couldn’t hang after that. Villo kicked it into gear and checked out taking the win by a mile. Jeff Alessi ran third for a while but made one bobble in the whoops that allowed Metcalfe and Partridge to get around.
Heat 2: James Stewart crossed the white line in first taking the holeshot with Mike Alessi close behind. Alessi got around James on the first lap a corner before the finish line and led for four more laps. Unfortunately for Alessi, the heat was red flagged for Alex Ray.
Restart: Alessi almost claimed the holeshot but Reedy had him by a hair. Ryan Dungey and James followed closely and Dungey quickly got by Alessi in the whoops. James picked off the number 800 soon after and began pressuring RD right away. James made his way around Dungey who had a slight mishap in the whoops and gapped him by about four bike lengths. Reed threw a textbook nac-nac over the finish as he took the heat win.
Main: Brett Metcalfe was off to a great start with the holeshot but he had Weimer and Dungey trailing closely behind him. Dungey dropped back to about fifth after a bad run through the whoops and getting pinched off in the next corner. Villopoto took second right away and chased down Metcalfe for the lead. Once RV had the lead he took off, but didn’t completely lose the #22. Reed maintained Villopoto’s pace but wasn’t catching or losing him, but towards the end of the race, Reed put in a charge and passed Villopoto. RV wasn’t happy and grabbed it back a few laps before the finish. Reed showed a bunch of speed in the whoops but couldn’t mount another attack on Villopoto with a few laps left, resulting in a hard fought win for the defending champ, RV. Dungey was running 4th behind Stewart and inherited a podium position when James took a good hit in the whoops. James couldn’t get the bike off of him and ended up getting back up and going two laps later, finishing back in 15th.
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