The fireworks from A2 did not subside at the O.com Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., the site of Round 4 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series. In fact, the flames were fanned and the fans were the beneficiaries of exciting racing in the 250SX class. A certain podium speech probably caused the AMA official with the black flag to ask for next weekend off, while Feld bigwigs couldn’t be happier. Let’s see who’s on the upside this week, and who slid down.
2015 Oakland AMA Supercross 250SX Upside
Malcolm Stewart – GEICO Honda: I doubt there was anyone in the stadium Saturday night that wasn’t happy to see Stewart take his first 250SX win. After 36 starts, including a rocky beginning this year at A1 where he crashed out after three laps, Stewart takes his CRF250R to the top step of the podium, after leading for eight laps when Justin Hill crashed.
Stewart has shown he has the speed to be a contender and finally scoring his first W should make it that much easier to repeat. “Beyond stoked right now. It was a great night,” Stewart said. “Getting my first win was awesome, but I couldn’t celebrate it like I wanted to because my brother wasn’t there!”
Cooper Webb – Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha: It’s a good thing Webb hasn’t figured out his starts or the rest of the field would be in deeper trouble. Or there’s always the knockdown handicap to keep things interesting. Any way you look at it, Webb looks like the most unstoppable rider in the field. From a 10th place start he ran up to 5th in a couple of laps, then got taken out by Bowers in a “racing incident,” which left Webb picking up his YZ250F and battling from 13th.
He blazed his way back to the front, passing Bowers on the way, and would have caught Stewart if he’d had another lap. From the 2nd step of the podium Webb announced, “If I could cuss up here, I would. Payback is a b-word.” Yikes.
Alex Martin – CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha: It’s nice to see Alex Martin take his first 250SX podium, as the Milville, Minn. rider has mostly ridden in the shadow of his younger brother, Jeremy Martin, having not previously cracked the Top 5. Getting his YZ250F off to a good 4th place start, Martin was well positioned to take advantage of crashing riders and moved into 2nd place as the first few laps shook out. He kept pace behind Stewart for seven laps before the unstoppable Webb charged past him on the last lap.
Zach Bell – Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna: Bell got his FC 250 off the gate quick enough to grab the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award, but admits to being nervous, having not been in a podium position in a while. So while the Cairo, Ga. rider drifted back a few positions, he rode solid laps to a season-best 5th place finish.
Two Guys – Scoring Monster Energy AMA Supercross points for the first time this season, we welcome Brandon Scharer (19th), and Aaron Siminoe (22nd) to the board.
2015 Oakland AMA Supercross 250SX Downside
Tyler Bowers – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki: Bowers can’t seem to get his starts together either, so he had to work his way up from ninth off the gate. Whether he meant for it to be so violent or not, he knocked Webb down on lap three and threw in a hard elbow for good measure. He worked his KX250F into what looked to be a podium position by mid-race, but was no match for the angry Webb, who blew by him three laps from the finish.
Bowers is still second in overall points, but falls farther behind Webb this weekend, and tweets: “But kid @minicoop175 you aren’t gonna talk about me like that on the podium…Better keep going fast…Better run like a scared dog.” I don’t think Webb is scared.
Justin Hill – Red Bull KTM: Turning in his worst result of the season, Hill was leading for four laps and looked to be well on his way to a win before he cartwheeled his 250 SX-F in the sand section. Totally disappointing on the heels of his podium finish last week. Hill tweets, “I did throw away what looked to be an easy victory. On the other hand I learned a lot from my mistakes and I’m not done learning.”
Jessy Nelson – Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Designs KTM: What is going on with Nelson? He looked good early in the night, with the 3rd fastest qualifying time, and then won his Heat. But, then he got a terrible 20th place start. Nelson ghosted his bike off the track and crashed on Lap 1, so had his job cut out for him, digging his way back from 20th to a 10th place finish. Amazingly, he’s still holding on to 3rd in overall points, but his results are going the wrong way in the points column.
Chris Alldredge – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki: Speaking of going the wrong way in the points standings, Alldredge – who is fast when he can keep it on two wheels – is continuing to make mistakes. He got off to a great start, 2nd off the gate, and quickly passed Bell to lead the first lap. But, then Alldredge jumped off the track, and there went the night. The 21st place finish hasn’t dampened his spirits, though: “Oakland was amazing! Led my first ever Pro Supercross race, then had this spectacular crash! Hope the fans enjoyed the racing! I’ll be back going for it at A3 again!” Gotta love the rookies.
Michael Leib: The privateer rider who has been selling ad space on his gear to get him to the races, has been having a tough season. His 10th place finish at A1 was promising, but results have been sliding downward with each race. Unfortunately, the Menifee, Calif. rider crashed his CRF250R during practice and will be out for about six weeks. “The day started off a bit better this morning,” Leib said. “In second practice, I seat bounced myself over the bars and ended up breaking the tib and fib in my right ankle. I’m gutted.”
Monster Energy AMA Supercross Western Regional 250SX Results – Round 4 – Oakland
1. Malcolm Stewart – Honda CRF250R
2. Cooper Webb – Yamaha YZ250F
3. Alex Martin – Yamaha YZ250F
4. Tyler Bowers – Kawasaki KX250F
5. Zach Bell – Husqvarna FC 250
6. Zach Osborne – Husqvarna FC 250
7. Aaron Plessinger – Yamaha YZ250F
8. Josh Hansen – Kawasaki KX250F
9. Justin Hill – KTM 250 SX-F Factory Edition
10. Jessy Nelson – KTM 250 SX-F Factory Edition
11. Shane McElrath – KTM 250 SX-F Factory Edition
12. Zack Freeburg – Yamaha YZ250F
13. Scott Champion – Yamaha YZ250F
14. Jackson Richardson – Honda CRF250R
15. Cole Martinez – Yamaha YZ250F
16. Tommy Hahn – Honda CRF250R
17. Austin Politelli – Yamaha YZ250F
18. Trevor Reis – Yamaha YZ250F
19. Brandon Scharer – Suzuki RM-Z250
20. Nico Izzi – Yamaha YZ250F
21. Chris Alldredge – Kawasaki KX250F
22. Aaron Siminoe – Kawasaki KX250F
2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Western Regional 250SX Season Standings
1. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha, 86 points
2. Tyler Bowers, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki, 78
3. Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM, 71
4. Zach Osborne, Chesterfield, S.C., Husqvarna, 69
5. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., KTM, 65
6. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda, 64
7. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha, 54
8. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM, 49
9. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha, 47
10. Josh Hansen, Elbert, Colo., Kawasaki, 47