2018 San Diego Supercross Preview: The Wild Year Continues

It has truly been a wild 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season. Picking the podium at any of the rounds has been a supreme challenge worthy of Carnac The Magnificent. After five rounds, things have not settled down at all, though Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson is a good bet for a spot on the podium.

Anderson, KTM’s Marvin Musquin, and Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac all have wins this year, and that leaves lap-leaders such as Honda’s Ken Roczen and Cole Seely, and Yamaha’s Justin Barcia ready for their turns at the top of the podium.

Here’s what you need to know about the 2018 San Diego Supercross round.

2018 San Diego Supercross Preview Husqvaran's Jason Anderson
Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson

1. Jason Anderson will attempt to continue his consistent run. Five rounds in, Anderson has no worse than a fourth place finish. The next closest rider is Justin Barcia, whose worst finish is an eighth place. Four podiums with two wins in five rounds puts Anderson in the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Championship Series lead, 15 points ahead of Roczen in the standings. Most importantly, Anderson chased down Roczen last week in Oakland Supercross to take the win. Anderson is riding with poise and speed.

2. Eli Tomac will be looking to continue his crash-or-win 2018 season. Tomac has two wins, along with two crashes and a missed race. Of course, he’ll be looking to keep the win part going. A strong pre-season favorite for the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship, Tomac sits in 12th place in the standings, 52 points behind Anderson. Tomac is the bane of fantasy supercross players due to his excessive inconsistency. He could win at Petco Park in downtown San Diego, or he might not make it to the checkered flag. Flip a coin.

2018 San Diego Supercross Preview Honda's Ken Roczen
Honda’s Ken Roczen

3. Ken Roczen is hungrier for a win than ever. Having led Laps 12 through 23 of the 24-lap Main Event in Oakland, Roczen had to already taste the champagne before Anderson snatched the bottle away. It was an epic battle at the end of the race, and Roczen is not used to coming up short. While that might subdue the confidence of most riders, that near-miss may simply provide more motivation for Roczen to take his first win in 2018. We will see in San Diego Roczen’s reaction to a tough second place finish.

4. Cole Seely received a huge confidence boost in Oakland. Seely lead the opening 11 laps before making a relatively small error that required dismounting to get going again. In the aftermath, however, thing didn’t go well and he dropped back to sixth place by the finish. Seely is surely buoyed by the great first half of the Oakland Main Event, but at the same time Barcia and Marvin Musquin passed him. Plus, the storming ride by Anderson had to bring up bad memories of Seely/Anderson battles in the 250SX class, which ended up with Anderson on top. Seely needs a bounce-back after going 12-6 following his A2 podium.

5. Justin Barcia is now the anchor on the Monster Energy/Knich/Factory Yamaha Team, sort of. The strange thing is, Yamaha and Barcia seem to have not yet come to terms for the rest of the year, and this is the last race on Barcia’s contract as a fill-in rider. In the meantime, injured Davi Millsaps has announced his retirement from professional racing, and Barcia is on his bike. Yamaha clearly needs Barcia badly, and Barcia also must desperately want to stay on the Yamaha team. While his agent and Yamaha sort that out, Barcia is looking great with three podiums in five races, putting him third in the standings, just 17 points behind Anderson.

2018 San Diego Supercross Preview Yamaha's Justin Barcia
Yamaha’s Justin Barcia

6. Weston Peick and Justin Brayton will be looking to return to form. Peick went down at Oakland, and ended up 12th after running in fifth place early in the race. In 2018, Peick has made very few passes. Instead, he has relied on good starts and trying to hold on as he gets shuffled back. Brayton suffered early and was as far back as 12th place on the Lap 3.  He worked his way up to ninth place at the end, but, like Peick, Oakland was his worst round of the year. As fate would have it, Brayton and Peick are tied at points with 82, five points behind Seely in fourth place.

7. Blake Baggett had his first podium of 2018 at Oakland, and looked good for the first time this year. Baggett started in fourth and benefitted from crashes by Seely and Musquin, though Baggett was passed by Anderson. Still, it was a solid third place for Baggett in a year where his previous best finish was seventh. Baggett is seventh place in the Monster Energy Supercross Standings and 37 points behind Anderson. In a year as unpredictable as 2018, Baggett is still in it if he can get some wins going.

2018 San Diego Supercross Preview KTM's Marvin Musquin
KTM’s Marvin Musquin

8. Marvin Musquin is still looking for the podium after recovering from injury, but he is back. A winner at A1, Musquin got off to a great start. Getting injured in the second round derailed his Monster Energy Supercross Championship dreams, and he’s now working his way back into contention. A2 was a bit early, as he could only muster a 13th place in the Triple Crown format. He has gone 5-4 since Anaheim 2, so Musquin is moving in the right direction and getting knocked down by Anderson was likely the only thing that kept him off the Oakland Podium. If Musquin gets a great start, he’s always going to be a threat to win.

9. The 2018 San Diego Monster Energy Supercross round will be on Fox Sports 1 and the program starts at 10 p.m. EST. After starting three hours earlier than normal in Oakland, timing is back to normal.

2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Standings (after 5 of 17 rounds):

  1. Jason Anderson, 115 points (2 wins)
  2. Ken Roczen, 100
  3. Justin Barcia, 98
  4. Cole Seely, 87
  5. Justin Brayton, 82
  6. Weston Peick, 82
  7. Blake Baggett, 78
  8. Marvin Musquin, 73 (1 win)
  9. Josh Grant, 71
  10. Cooper Webb, 68
  11. Broc Tickle, 64
  12. Eli Tomac, 63 (2 wins)
  13. Vince Friese, 43
  14. Chad Reed, 37
  15. Jeremy Martin, 36
  16. Malcolm Stewart, 35
  17. Tyler Bowers, 26
  18. Dean Wilson, 25
  19. Kyle Cunningham, 25
  20. Alex Ray, 22
  21. Ben Lamay, 19
  22. Justin Bogle, 12
  23. Dakota Tedder, 7
  24. Matt Bisceglia, 6
  25. Benny Bloss, 6
  26. AJ Catanzaro, 5
  27. Jake Weimer, 5
  28. Adam Enticknap, 5
  29. Henry Miller, 4
  30. Austin Politelli, 1