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2017 San Diego Supercross Preview

Honda's Ken Roczen leads into San Diego Supercross
Honda’s Ken Roczen

PETCO Park in San Diego will host Saturday the second round of the 2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship.

This SX stop serves as the Military Appreciation Race; riders and teams will participate by decking their machines out with military themed graphics, riding gear, and helmets. The Military Appreciation Race has raised more than $100,000 for local non-profits, supporting San Diego veterans and their families over the past four years. Much of the proceeds have come from the exclusive online auction featuring race-worn gear. This year’s  Military Appreciation Supercross Race auction is set for Sunday, January 15.

The 2017 Supercross series began last weekend with a sold out crowd of 45,050 fans inside Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. Following the highest profile move of the off season, Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen earned a dominant victory in his championship debut aboard the CRF450R, leading the entirety of the 450SX Class Main Event for his 10th career win.

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The 450SX Class Main Event started with Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin narrowly edging out Roczen for the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award, but it was Roczen who emerged from the fray with the lead. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac also pushed to the front and got alongside Musquin, but eventually settled into third. Defending Monster Energy Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey found himself as far back as eighth, but eventually put his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing machine into fifth.

2017 San Diego Supercross Preview: Roczen Leads into PETCO Park SX
Starting action from A1 Supercross

Roczen was able to pull away early, and soon a battle for second ensued between Musquin and Tomac, with the Kawasaki rider assuming the position two minutes into the race. Just a short time later, Dungey, who moved up to fourth, closed in on the rear fender of his teammate, eventually moving into podium position.

The lead group stabilized for several minutes until Dungey erased his deficit to Tomac and made the pass for second. Tomac would continue to lose positions and eventually dropped off the podium, with Musquin reclaiming control of third.

Dungey’s runner-up effort equals his result from a season ago at the Anaheim opener, from which he mounted a run that carried him to a second consecutive title.

“[Ken] rode great. From where I was at [coming off an injury] to have the first big race, this gets my feet back in the game,” said Dungey. “All we’ve done is testing and we’ve been waiting to get into a race. This was a true challenge. There was a good distance between first and second and that’s a challenge. I’m looking forward to closing that.”

Musquin rounded out the podium in third.

Roczen will carry the red number plate into the next round as the points leader, holding a three-point lead over Dungey.

Missing from the grid will be newly signed KTM Red Bull Factory pilot Trey Canard, who tore his shoulder during an Anaheim practice crash, and James Stewart, who didn’t participate in A1 SX.

2017 San Diego Supercross Preview | 250SX

KTM's Shane McElrath at A1 250SX
KTM’s Shane McElrath

The Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event began in Anaheim 1 with Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Shane McElrath edging out Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Martin Davalos for the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award.

Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Dan Reardon followed the lead pair, but soon gave up the position to 51Fifty Energy Drink Yamaha’s Hayden Mellross, until Mellross was forced to pull off the track and out of the race. That allowed Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger to take over third.

The early pace by McElrath allowed him to open a gap over Davalos and the rest of the field, which he ultimately maintained through the remainder of the race. Davalos held on to second for the majority of the race, but Plessinger continued to close the gap until he ultimately made the pass with about six minutes remaining.

McElrath crossed the finish line just over two seconds ahead of Plessinger, who made a late charge. The KTM 250 SX-F rider becomes the 103rd different winner in the history of the 250SX Class.

“[Winning] doesn’t really have a feeling, so it’s hard out put it into words. The whole time out there riding I was tired, but [my opponents] were tired too. It was ‘keep pushing, keep pushing,’ ‘one more lap, one more lap.’ When I crossed the finish line I wanted to let go of the bike. It’s unreal.”

Davalos followed McElrath and Plessinger in third.

For the first time in his career, McElrath will carry the red number plate as the championship leader as the series heads to San Diego. He holds a three-point lead over Plessinger.

Round two from PETCO Park can be seen live on Fox Sports 1 starting at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET Saturday.

2017 Anaheim 1 450SX Class Results:

  1. Ken Roczen – Clermont, FL – Honda
  2. Ryan Dungey – Belle Plaine, MN – KTM
  3. Marvin Musquin – Corona, CA – KTM
  4. Jason Anderson – Rio Rancho, NM – Husqvarna
  5. Eli Tomac – Cortez, CO – Kawasaki
  6. Cole Seely – Sherman Oaks, CA – Honda
  7. Davi Millsaps – Cairo, GA – KTM
  8. Weston Peick – Wildomar, CA – Suzuki
  9. Josh Grant – Riverside, CA – Kawasaki
  10. Cooper Webb – Newport, NC – Yamaha

450SX Class Championship Standings (after 1 of 18 rounds):

  1. Ken Roczen – Clermont, FL – Honda – 25
  2. Ryan Dungey – Belle Plaine, MN – KTM – 22
  3. Marvin Musquin – Corona, CA – KTM – 20
  4. Jason Anderson – Rio Rancho, NM – Husqvarna – 18
  5. Eli Tomac – Cortez, CO – Kawasaki – 16
  6. Cole Seely – Sherman Oaks, CA – Honda – 15
  7. Davi Millsaps – Cairo, GA – KTM – 14
  8. Weston Peick – Wildomar, CA – Suzuki – 13
  9. Josh Grant – Riverside, CA – Kawasaki – 12
  10. Cooper Webb – Newport, NC – Yamaha – 11

2017 Anaheim I Western Regional 250SX Class Results:

  1. Shane McElrath – Canton, NC – KTM
  2. Aaron Plessinger – Hamilton, Ohio – Yamaha
  3. Martin Davalos – Clermont, FL – Husqvarna
  4. Mitchell Oldenburg – Alvord – Texas – KTM
  5. Justin Hill – Yoncalla, OR – Kawasaki
  6. Jeremy Martin – Millville, MN – Honda
  7. Dan Reardon – Menifee, CA – Yamaha
  8. Austin Forkner – Richards, MO – Kawasaki
  9. Jimmy Decotis – Peabody, MA – Honda
  10. Kyle Chisholm – Valrico, FL – Honda

Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings:

  1. Shane McElrath – Canton, NC – KTM – 25
  2. Aaron Plessinger – Hamilton, Ohio – Yamaha – 22
  3. Martin Davalos – Clermont, FL – Husqvarna – 20
  4. Mitchell Oldenburg – Alvord, Texas – KTM – 18
  5. Justin Hill – Yoncalla, OR – Kawasaki – 16
  6. Jeremy Martin – Millville, MN – Honda – 15
  7. Dan Reardon – Menifee, CA – Yamaha – 14
  8. Austin Forkner – Richards, MO – Kawasaki – 13
  9. Jimmy Decotis – Peabody, MA – Honda – 12
  10. Kyle Chisholm – Valrico, FL – Honda – 11