2015 San Diego Supercross Preview | Dungey Leads

2015 San Diego Supercross Preview | Dungey Leads
KTM's Ryan Dungey

As the 2015 Monster Energy Supercross series heads to San Diego, the field will complete at a completely new venue. After 31 years of racing at Qualcomm Stadium, the San Diego race will take place at Petco Park.

The baseball stadium lies west of Qualcomm Stadium in the Gaslamp district of California’s most southerly major city. This provides riders in both the 250 and 450 class the opportunity to be written in the history books as the first-ever winners at the new location.

The man who perhaps has the best chance of being written in the history books as the first-ever winner is Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey.

The ever-consistent Minnesota rider was able to capture his first victory this past weekend at Anaheim 3 after carding several top five finishes so far this season.

“The whole day was great,” said Dungey on the podium. “We went out there and got a good start, got into the lead and led all of the laps. That is all we can do. We’ve finished fourth, third, second, second and now first [this season], and that is a step forward. We will continue to take it race by race and give it everything we have.”

After surrendering the red plate and points lead to Dungey in Oakland, RCH/Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s Factory Suzuki’s Ken Roczen rebounded at Anaheim 3 with a fourth-place finish.

While it was an improvement from his 16th place result at Oakland, the German rider looked to have third place in the bag before he was passed by long-time rival Eli Tomac on the last lap. Finishing three spots behind Ryan Dungey at Anaheim 3 puts him further back in the championship, yet still comfortably maintains 2nd place in the standings.

“I started out in practice not feeling the greatest, for some reason,” commented Roczen following the event. “I just felt a little bit off. In the Heat Race I didn’t grab that good of a start, but I could kind of sneak around and then I rode a good race. Same thing happened in the Main [Event].

“I had a horrible start. I don’t know what I was doing. Then [Blake] Baggett held me off for three or four laps and that’s when the guys in front gapped us. We caught them at one point, but then I got passed by [Eli] Tomac on the last lap, which I’m not happy about. Basically, the starts are what really hurt me. It is what it is. We’re looking forward to this weekend. We finished fourth, which isn’t awesome but its ok.”

Team Honda’s Cole Seely comes into San Diego with tons of momentum after carding his career best finish in the 450 Supercross class this past weekend at Anaheim 3 with a second. Despite nearly being caught by Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac in the very latter portion of the race, the factory Honda rider held them off to grab the second spot on the podium.

“Those guys [Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen] were pressuring me toward the end of the race, but I was able to put my head down and hold them off,” said Seely of his runner-up finish. He now has three straight top-10 finishes and has emerged as one of the strongest riders the last three weeks.

Since achieving his first career win in Phoenix, Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Cooper Webb has been on fire in the Western Regional 250 Supercross Class Championship and has taken full control of the title fight. Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Red Bull/KTM’s Jessy Nelson and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers have challenged him throughout the season, with Nelson fighting him for the win last Saturday at Anaheim 3.

Nelson got off to an early lead in the first half of the main event, but Webb was able to hunt him down and took control on lap eight and cruise to victory. Since starting the season in seventh, Webb has won three races and finished second to open an eighteen point lead in the championship standings.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better race,” said Webb on the podium in Anaheim. “I look forward to keeping the momentum up next weekend in San Diego.”

Nelson earned his third podium finish of the season with a second-place finish and moved into second in the championship as a result. Webb’s Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha teammate Aaron Plessinger completed the top three in Anaheim with the first podium result of his career. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers entered the night eight points behind Webb, but went over the bars at the end of a rhythm section and had to settle for 15th place for the night.

During last year’s 450SX Class Main Event in San Diego, Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart won his firstrace of the season at Qualcomm Stadium at the first-ever Military Appreciation Race. In the Western Regional 250SX Class, Justin Hill won the first Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event of his career.

450SX Class Season Standings after 5 of 18 rounds:

  1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 107
  2. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki, 96
  3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 84
  4. Trey Canard, Edmond, Okla., Honda, 84
  5. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna, 74
  6. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha, 71
  7. Cole Seely, Laguna Beach, Calif., Honda, 67
  8. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki, 57
  9. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 54
  10. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki, 54