2016 San Diego 2 Supercross Preview

San Diego 2 Supercross Preview with KTM Ryan Dungey
KTM’s Ryan Dungey

Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, heads back to Petco Park in San Diego, Calif., for the second time this season on Saturday night for round six.

San Diego 2 Supercross is the Military Appreciation race, which was created out of respect for the strong military community throughout San Diego County. The riders and their machines are commonly outfitted in camo and other military-related apparel at this special event.

Last Saturday night during Supercross at University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, after an 18-race drought that spanned more than a year, RCH/Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Ken Roczen finally broke through and scored the win.

Roczen led the main event from wire to wire aboard his Suzuki RM-Z450 and took the checkered flag by just over four-and-a-half seconds ahead of Red Bull KTM pilot Ryan Dungey. At the same time, Roczen took over sole possession of second place in the point standings. He now trails Dungey by 21 points with 12 races left in the season.

“It’s amazing,” commented Roczen following round five. “For once, I only got peppered in the heat race (laughs). I felt great just to have a clear track and ride my own race. The track was something else. The track was much higher speed than it usually is and a lot harder than the previous races. It was definitely something different. That was the longest starting straight that I’ve ever done in a supercross race, which is pretty cool. I think it’s definitely more of a safer way and helps the field spread out a little bit so I really liked it. It was tough out there.

“I was a little too cautious in the whoops and that’s where I lost the most, but nothing to complain about. We got it done. The biggest thing is that it feels super awesome to finally be at the very top, finally, but we’re not done. We’re going to keep clicking them off and keep putting in work. We’re going to enjoy this and get back to work on Monday. The most important thing is to keep a steady program and not quit. Finally the starts are getting better.

“We’re going to keep practicing so we can keep getting good starts and make life a lot easier. Everyone was in the house so it was great to win, especially in the new stadium. The new stadium is rad. It’s super big and the location is awesome.”

Dungey finished second aboard his KTM SX-F450, following a 10th-place start, and has finished no worse than second in every race this season. “I made some good, clean passes after that bad start,” said Dungey. “I made passes where I could and had a great race.”

San Diego 2 Supercross Preview | Dungey Leads Roczen by 21
Suzuki’s Ken Roczen

Rounding out the 450SX Class podium was Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac, earning his first podium finish this season and his first with his new team. “It feels great to finally get up on the podium”, said Tomac.

“This is exactly how we wanted to rebound after last weeks’ performance. We worked really hard all week and it paid off. Overall, the day was smooth and the team and I are making steps in the right direction. It’s a long season, we just need to keep riding, working hard and we’ll end up where we want to.”

Seven different riders have now earned a podium through five races, further enhancing the exceptional competition thus far.

The Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event welcomed the sport’s newest winner, with GEICO Honda’s Christian Craig breaking through to become a second-generation victor with his dad, Mike Craig. GEICO Honda’s Jimmy DeCotis earned the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award to start the main event, but was soon passed by Craig. Webb made a surge into second after starting seventh, and battled with Craig for the lead before going down. Webb never lost a spot, but couldn’t reel Craig back in.

Craig last contested Monster Energy Supercross in 2013 and came out of retirement for the 2016 season. He earned his first career podium two weeks ago and has now finished in the top three for three straight races, currently the longest in the championship. That consistency has moved him to third in the standings.

“To come out of retirement and get my first win ever is amazing,” said Craig, who last raced full time in 2013. “On the last lap the crowd was so loud; it was awesome.”

Webb’s runner-up effort helped him bounce back from a 21st-place finish the week prior, and put him into a tie with Savatgy atop the championship standings. Savatgy finished third in his first race as points leader. Both riders will carry red number plates on their bikes in San Diego.

“I didn’t get a great start so I was playing catch up,” said Webb. “Then I crashed and threw away any hopes of getting the win.”

“Today was pretty good,” said Savatgy. “We ended up qualifying second and had a pretty good heat race, where we were able to come home with another heat win. We struggled in a few key sections of the track but to come home with a podium and salvage points is great, but we want to work for another win and keep the red plate for another weekend.”

Last month in San Diego for the second race of the 2016 season, Dungey captured his first win of the season, which also signified his first win in San Diego. It moved him into the points lead and kicked off a three-race winning streak that ended last weekend. He, along with Team Honda HRC’s Trey Canard, will each be looking to become the first two-time winner at the stadium.

2016 San Diego Supercross 2 TV Schedule

Fox Sports 1 will provide live coverage of San Diego 2 SX beginning at 10 p.m. ET Saturday, February 13. For more, visit 2016 Supercross TV Schedule.

2016 450SX Class Championship Standings

  1. Ryan Dungey – Belle Plaine, MN – KTM – 119
  2. Ken Roczen – Clermont, FL – Suzuki – 98
  3. Jason Anderson – Rio Rancho, NM – Husqvarna – 93
  4. Chad Reed – Dade City, FL – Yamaha – 90
  5. Eli Tomac – Cortez, CO – Kawasaki – 88
  6. Cole Seely – Sherman Oaks, CA – Honda – 83
  7. Marvin Musquin – Corona, CA – KTM – 63
  8. Davi Millsaps – Murrieta, CA – KTM – 61
  9. Justin Brayton – Mint Hill, NC – KTM – 61
  10. Jake Weimer – Wildomar, CA – Suzuki – 53

2016 Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings

  1. Cooper Webb – Newport, NC – Yamaha – 98
  2. Joey Savatgy – Thomasville, GA – Kawasaki – 98
  3. Christian Craig – Corona, CA – Honda – 87
  4. Colt Nichols – Muskogee, OK – Yamaha – 81
  5. Zach Osborne – Lake Elsinore, CA – Husqvarna – 74
  6. Jimmy DeCotis – Peabody, MA – Honda – 71
  7. Mitchell Oldenburg – Alvord, TX – KTM – 66
  8. Kyle Peters – Greensboro, NC – Honda – 62
  9. Jordon Smith – Belmont, NC – Honda – 61
  10. Kyle Cunningham – Willow Park, TX – Suzuki – 54