San Diego 2 Supercross 450SX Commentary: Monster Energy Supercross Round 6
After the exciting and innovate Monster Energy AMA Supercross track the previous week at University of Phoenix Stadium, the return to Petco Park in San Diego was bit of a letdown. Like Phoenix, however, the passes were rare and SD2 ended up being a processional race, save for the march through the pack by Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson. Predictably, Dungey dominated and no one came close to challenging the Supercross series leader on his KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition racebike.
Team Honda HRC’s Trey Canard. At the beginning of the year, you wouldn’t expect a 5th place finish to be an Upside for Canard, but that’s the way the Monster Energy Supercross season has gone for the factory rider. With two 7ths, a DNF, and two non-starts so far in 2016, 5th looks good for Canard. If he can stay healthy for the rest of the year, it will give him a running start at the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross outdoor series, and he should nab a few Supercross podiums between now and then. On Twitter, Canard described SD2 as a “good building night.”
Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely. Seely had been in a funk the previous three races, finishing outside of the top 5. A good start helped everything come together, and the 2nd at SD2 was Seely’s best of the year. He’s battling for 4th in the standings (Chad Reed and Eli Tomac are both two points behind him), so he can’t afford to backslide again, as they’re both podium contenders. “I finally got a good start and was able to put in my own laps,” Seely said. “I tried to keep Dungey in my sights and he wasn’t too far in front of me at the end. It’s great to get back on the podium, and it would be even better if I could back this up next weekend. Last year, I started to gain my momentum when we went east, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Red Bull/KTM’s Ryan Dungey. Although Dungey was second faster qualifier at SD2 (behind Eli Tomac), he dominated the evening. He won his Heat, grabbed the holeshot, and lead all 20 laps. The defending Monster Energy AMA Supercross Champion is now one race ahead of his nearest competitor—Ken Roczen—in the standings. Dungey is dominating so thoroughly that there’s no one that is even looking like challenging him.
Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Ken Roczen. Although SD2 was Roczen’s worst finish since A2, it’s still his fourth consecutive podium and he’s is getting a good hold on 2nd place in the standings. You can tell that Roczen is frustrated, given that he won easily last week, but SD2 was still a good ride. Roczen sat in 4th for the first half of the race, eventually passing Canard on Lap 12 for the final podium spot. “Obviously, we want to win but we’re on the podium,” Roczen said, “and we’re healthy, so that means a lot. We’re still in the championship hunt. I wish I would have gotten Cole [Seely] for second, but the track was really tight in some spots, so it was hard to pass. The dirt had a really hard base, so it was slippery. The whoops were toug, again, but we salvaged a third, which is alright.”
Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson. With his third 4th place finish in a row, Anderson continues to hold on to 3rd place in the standings. Undoubtedly, he’d like to return to the podium, but he can look at the results in the Monster Energy Supercross standings and know that he’s the only rider beside Dungey to finish in the top 5 at all six rounds. Anderson has the speed to get onto the podium, especially late in the race, but he needs to get better starts. This week he was 8th at the holeshot line and that’s just not going to get the job done.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac. One has to wonder if Tomac has fully recovered from his injuries suffered last season at the Colorado round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series. He managed to make his way to the podium last week in Arizona, but he stumbled back to 6th at SD2, tying him with Chad Reed for 5th in the Monster Energy Supercross standings, 41 points behind leader Dungey. Tomac can’t blame his start. He was off the line in 5th, passed no one, and was passed by Anderson on Lap 15. The year has definitely gotten away from Tomac, who was expected to be a championship contender when the season started.
BTO Sports KTM’s Davi Millsaps. One week he’s in the top 10, the next week he’s out. That’s been the seemingly predictable pattern for Millsaps who can’t string two consecutive good rides together, but don’t have two bad weeks in a row, either. This time, he’s down—5th last week (his best of the year), and 11th this week at SD2. “Not the night I wanted,” Millsaps said. “I felt good in practice and the Heat race was great, but just didn’t get things going in the Main. We will come back stronger in Arlington.” Given his track record this year, count on him to, indeed, do well in Arlington.
Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Chad Reed. Not only is Reed’s flirtation with the podium long-gone, he had his worst finish of the year at SD2. The days of San Diego being Reed’s house are over, though, to be fair, he has never won at Petco Park. Like Tomac, Reed can’t really blame his start. Exactly like Tomac and KTM’s Marvin Musquin (who came in 7th), Reed passed no one and was passed by Anderson.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.