2017 San Diego 250SX Results

KTM's Shane McElrath dominated 2017 San Diego 250SX
KTM’s Shane McElrath dominated 2017 San Diego 250SX

The second 250SX West Region Main Event of the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross series Petco Park in San Diego was action-packed with plenty of riders swapping positions throughout the duration of the race. The track broke down in some areas throughout the night, which made for some great racing.

By the time the checkered flag flew, Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Shane McElrath showed no remorse. He dominated, claiming his second-consecutive win of the season after victory at Anaheim I 250SX last week. The North Carolina rider came around the first few turns in fifth place and began to battle with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rookie Austin Forkner in the opening laps.

After a run-in with Forkner, McElrath was forced off the track by the rookie, but after reentering, was able to make a clean pass on him for fourth. McElrath then passed Dan Readon for third after the Australian rider crashed at the end of a technical rhythm section.

He made the pass on GEICO Honda’s Jimmy Decotis for second place in a rutted right-hand turn before setting his sights on the race leader, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Martin Davalos. A few laps later, he passed Davalos in the exact same corner he had previously passed Decotis in. He was pressed on the final lap by Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Justin Hill, but was able to hold him off to cross the line first.

2017 San Diego 250SX Results | KTM's McElrath Claims 2nd-Straight Win
KTM’s Shan McElrath, the 2017 San Diego 250SX winner

“That was a really tough race, but we train hard for moments like this,” said McElrath. “It’s not supposed to be easy and our team manager has been reminding us that we’ve put in the work to be right here. It was a really hard track and pretty demanding. There were a few times I felt like I was going to go down, but managed to keep it up. I am so happy to give this to my team two weeks in a row. I’m ready to go back to Anaheim and do what we can to keep it going next week.”

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Justin Hill found himself in ninth place after the first lap and began working his way through the field. He made his way up to fourth place by the halfway mark and was a couple of seconds behind McElrath, who ran a position in front of him for the majority of the race. Right before the last lap, Hill made his way past Davalos for second and was within striking distance of McElrath on the last lap, but was unable to get around him. Hill’s second place finish on the night put him tied for third place in the championship with Davalos.

“The day was definitely an improvement,” said Hill. “My KX250F was fastest though qualifying and I won my heat. I didn’t get a great start in the main but pushed for the entire race and earned second. It feels great to be back on the podium and after tonight, I know I can win.”

Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger scored the final podium spot for the night in third place. Plessinger suffered from a tenth place start and was forced to work his way through the field for the entire fifteen-minute race. He made a pass on Davalos for third on the final lap for his second consecutive podium finish this season.

“The track kind of played in our favor” said Plessinger. “It was definitely good for passing, especially in the whoops. A lot of people were swapping sideways, so we capitalized on that. Justin (Hill) and I were pretty much the same time every lap. We were just passing people left and right and just clicked off the laps.”

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Martin Davalos rode the first ten minutes of the race in second place behind Decotis, but was finally able to pass him for the lead. He lost three positions to McElrath, Hill, and Plessinger in the closing laps of the race for a fourth place finish.

“I took some positive things out of this race,” said Davalos. “It’s still kind of frustrating that I lost the race with a lap and a half to go, though. I made a mistake twice in the rhythm section and it allowed the guys behind me to catch up. It’s only the second race, but I just wanted to win so badly. Hopefully we get some good weather this week so I can get some solid training in. I’m looking forward to the next round.”

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner battled with several riders throughout the night and grabbed his first top five finish of his 250SX career in San Diego with a fifth place.

KTM's Shane McElrath at 2017 San Diego 250SX
KTM’s Shane McElrath at 2017 San Diego 250SX

“We got a lot faster as the day went on,” said Forkner. “A few changes to the bike throughout the day lead to being able to loosen up and ride better. In the heat we got the holeshot and raced really hard for third. In the Main Event, we had a great start but tangled with another rider and dropped back to eighth. I felt a little tight but made some solid passes and overall rode well. The lap times were competitive and we’re making progress, so we are happy so far.”

After leading just under ten minutes of the race after grabbing a big holeshot, Jimmy Decotis was passed by a number of riders after a few small, but costly mistakes. This was the first time Decotis had led a 250SX Main Event in his career and put down some of the fastest laps of the race in the beginning.

The GEICO Honda CRF250R rider finished the night in sixth place right in front of his teammate, Jeremy Martin. After a huge crash in practice, Martin suffered from a bad start in the Main Event and spent the entire race making moves in order to try to work his way to the front. His seventh place finish puts him in sixth place overall in the championship standings after two rounds.

Autotrader/JGR/Yoshimura/Suzuki’s Phil Nicoletti, 51Fifty Yamaha’s Hayden Mellross, and LVN100/Nut Up Industries/Munn Racing/Husqvarna’s Josh Hansen rounded out the top 10, respectively.

After a fourth place finish at Anaheim One, Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Mitchell Oldenburg suffered a practice crash in San Diego, which left him with a broken collarbone. His timeline for return is not certain as of now. The 2017 250SX series now heads back to Angel Stadium this Saturday for Anaheim II.

Photography by Simon Cudby

2017 San Diego 250SX Results: Round 2:

  1. Shane McElrath – KTM 250SX-F
  2. Justin Hill – Kawasaki KX250F
  3. Aaron Plessinger – Yamaha YZ250F
  4. Martin Davalos – Husqvarna FC250
  5. Austin Forkner – Kawasaki KX250F
  6. Jimmy Decotis – Honda CRF250R
  7. Jeremy Martin – Honda CRF250R
  8. Phil Nicoletti – Suzuki RM-Z250
  9. Hayden Mellross – Yamaha YZ250F
  10. Josh Hansen – Husqvarna FC250
  11. Tyler Bowers – Yamaha YZ250F
  12. Cole Martinez – Yamaha YZ250F
  13. Chase Marquier – Honda CRF250R
  14. Justin Starling – KTM 250SX-F
  15. Scott Champion – Yamaha YZ250F
  16. Kyle Chisholm – Honda CRF250R
  17. Dan Reardon – Yamaha YZ250F
  18. Killian Auberson – KTM 250SX-F
  19. Zac Commans – Kawasaki KX250F
  20. AJ Catanzaro – Yamaha YZ250F
  21. Bradley Taft – Yamaha YZ250F
  22. Jon Ames – Yamaha YZ250F