Oakland Supercross | 2014 Race Preview

Red Bull KTM's Ken Roczen

2014 Monster Energy Supercross

Only three rounds into the 2014 Monster Energy Supercross Championship, and the competition is as fierce as ever.

Three different riders have already finished on top of the podium  – Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen at Anaheim I, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto at Phoenix, and TwoTwo Motorsports Kawasaki’s Chad Reed at Anaheim II.

And as the series heads this weekend to the O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., for round 3 of 17, the top-five riders are separated by only five points. Due to his second-place finish at Anaheim II last Saturday after the “40th Anniversary Celebration Race,” Roczen enters Oakland SX with 60 points, one ahead of Villopoto.

Last week’s winner Reed is tied with Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey with 57 points, and Toyota/Yamaha/N-Fab/JGRMX’s Justin Brayton is in fifth with 55 points.

During last weekend’s race, Reed took his 42nd career win, and his first victory since Jan. 21, 2012 (TwoTwo Motorsports Honda). With his win, he also became the first rider in Monster Energy Supercross history to win a 450SX event aboard four different manufacturers: Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki.

It wasn’t an easy victory, though. Dungey took the early lead ahead of Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart, but crashed on lap six, dropping back to fifth.

Stewart ten took over the lead, holding off challenges from both Villopoto and Roczen. But while battling with Stewart, Villopoto crashed, dropping back to sixth.  Reed began storming through the field, passing Roczen and then Stewart for the lead on lap 17. He would finish ahead of Stewart and Roczen, respectively.

Chad Reed (TwoTwo Motorsports Kawasaki KX-F 450) says: “I had 41 of these [wins] before tonight, and they came a hell of a lot easier than this one. I am so proud and could not have done this without the hard work from my Discount Tire team. We all worked so hard in the off season, and it paid off in a big way tonight. I am so pumped.”

Feld Motor Sports this season is shaping up to be as competitive as anticipated in the 450SX Class, offering these highlights of the first three races:

  • Six heat races, six different winners
  • Six semi races, six different winners
  • Three LCQ’s, three different winners
  • Three main events, three different winners

Following his first Western Regional 250SX Class win of the season and his third straight podium result, Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda’s Seely holds the points lead for the first time in three races.

He carries a slim one-point advantage over Rockstar Energy KTM’s Jason Anderson, winner of the first two races this season.

Initially Anderson followed Seely across the line last week at Anaheim II in second, losing just three points. However, he was later penalized two positions for jumping through a wheels on the ground cross flag for a downed rider. As a result, Anderson fell to fourth place and lost the Western Regional Championship points lead. Rookie Cooper Webb (Yamaha) was credited with second place, the first podium of his career, while Troy Lee Designs/MAVTV Honda’s Malcolm Stewart moved up to third.

The AMA issued a press release announcing the penalties:

“Two riders were penalized due to AMA Supercross Rulebook violations that took place during the 250SX Main Event of the third round of the 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, in Anaheim, Calif., on Jan. 18.

“The AMA Supercross Race Director determined that Rio Rancho, N.M.’s Jason Anderson (No. 17) and Vista, Calif.’s Chris Proscelle (No. 193) violated Section 4.15, paragraph e of the 2014 AMA Supercross Rulebook.”

The rule states that in the presence of a white flag with red cross or flashing red light, riders must roll each jump individually without passing until clear of the area of concern. The stated penalty is a loss of positions gained, if necessary, as well as two additional positions in the final results.

As a result, Seely will carry the number one plate for the first time this season.

Monster Energy Supercross History at Oakland

The first race in Oakland was January 18, 1979, when Jimmy Weinert won on a Kawasaki. A total of six races have been held in Oakland – 1979, 1980, 1984, 2011, 2012, 2013 – with only the last three serving as a race on the Western Regional 250SX Class calendar. James Stewart is the only repeat winner at the venue.

Last season in Oakland, Villopoto won his second race of 2013 with a dominant wire-to-wire performance. In the 250SX Class, Roczen won his first race of the season, making a late pass on Seely for the victory.

2014 Oakland Supercross on TV:

Fox Sports 1 will air Oakland SX live at 10:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Jan. 25.

2014 AMA Supercross 450SX Class Season Standings (after 3 of 17 rounds):
1.       Ken Roczen, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 60
2.       Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 59
3.       Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki, 57
4.       Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 57
5.       Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C., Yamaha, 55
6.       James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 44
7.       Justin Barcia, Pinetta, Fla., Honda, 42
8.       Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 38
9.       Wil Hahn, Menifee, Calif., Honda, 30
10.    Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 26

2014 AMA Supercross Western Regional 250SX Class Season Standings:
1.       Cole Seely, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda, 69
2.       Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., KTM, 68
3.       Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha, 53
4.       Zach Osborne, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda, 53
5.       Dean Wilson, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Kawasaki, 50
6.       Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda, 49
7.       Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki, 44
8.       Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda, 30
9.       Dean Ferris, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 31
10.    Shane McElrath, Chesterfield, S.C., Honda, 29

Past Supercross Winners in Oakland

450SX Class

January 26, 2013           Ryan Villopoto
January 28, 2012           James Stewart
January 29, 2011           James Stewart
October 20, 1984           Ron Lechien
February 24, 1980          Kent Howerton
January 18, 1979           Jimmy Weinert

250SX Class

January 26, 2013           Ken Roczen
January 28, 2012           Eli Tomac
January 29, 2011           Broc Tickle