Photo Report | San Diego Supercross
By Billy Rainford
Yes, I realize this is late this week…
Round 6 of the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series continued to the billing as one of the strangest 450 battles we’ve seen i a long time. Unfortunately, there were a few riders injured that we won’t be seeing for a while.
In the 250 class, defending west champion, Justin Hill, has found his groove and is trying to make this a battle at the top.
In the 450 class, Eli Tomac failed to finish the main event, Justin Bogle was injured and will be missing for a while, and the Jason Anderson train keeps on chugging along.
In Canadian news, #497 Brock Leitner was unable to put in a fast enough lap to make the night show this week and #160 Jess Pettis was suffering the result of a shoulder issue from his crashes last week in Oakland.
Here’s a closer look at some of what happened on an eventful day in southern California.
#497 Brock Leitner is from Summerland, BC. He looked solid but finished 43rd in qualifying and was unable to move on to the night show.
We spoke with him at the end of the day and he was obviously a little disappointed. He’ll head back to Canada and get ready to race in Abbotsford on a 450.
#160 Jess Pettis looked loose and fast early in the day. In fact, I had no idea he was struggling all week due to his falls in Oakland last week.
He qualified at the top of the B Group. Unfortunately, in his heat race, his shoulder popped out a couple times and he was forced to call it a day. We’ll know more once he sees a doctor this week. The plan is to race Abbotsford in two weeks, but we’ll wait to hear from the team before we say more.
Alberta rider, #9 Ezra Blair, took 5th in the KJSX.
Tallon LaFountaine finished 15th in the LCQ and didn’t move on to the main.
#75 Noah McConahy is back in action after hurting his leg/hip and riding for the IB Corp team. He topped B and C qualifying from the C Group and missed the main after getting 7th in the LCQ. He was also left with a broken thumb for his efforts.
#77 Ryan Surratt was 3rd in Canada and said he was “embarrassed” with his performance in San Diego. He just missed the main after getting 5th in the LCQ.
Of course, just after I said to myself how good #67 Justin Hoeft looked to be riding, he crashed hard and damaged both his legs. He’ll be out for a while.
#26 Alex Martin didn’t line up for the main event after qualifying 6th in heat 2.
Our old friend #42 Dakota Alix got off to a strong start in the main but slipped back to 14th by the flag.
#122 Chris Howell is familiar with racing in Canada. He had to go to the LCQ and finished 10th.
#59 Cole Martinez is half-Canadian, or so! He looked good in San Diego and finished 13th in the main.
Points leader, #23 Aaron Plessinger, looked like he was going to pass his way to the front again but ended up finishing 7th.
Watch #32 Christian Craig’s whoops speed next time you see him. He looks like he should win just because of that section alone! He finished 6th.
I put the whammy on #28 Shane McElrath last week in Oakland, so seeing him finish 5th eased my conscience.
#17 Joey Savatgy started out up front and finished in 4th spot.
I like the way #40 Chase Sexton is carrying himself, on and off the track. He seems like a solid kid and his results are showing it. He was 3rd.
Watching #92 Adam Cianciarulo and #1W Justin Hill go at it was great last week. AC finished up in the runner-up spot at the flag.
Justin Hill took the win and didn’t really answer the question directly when he was asked what’s different lately in the press conference. Whatever the reason, he’s back on track.
Justin was pretty happy with the win.
Canadian Team PR-MX Strikt Kawasaki rider, #471 Logan Karnow, had to get his motor rebuilt in the parking lot on Friday! Julien got him ready just in time.
Logan finished 12th in the LCQ. He’ll move down to the 250 East class for starting this Saturday in Dallas.
#12 Jake Weimer’s return to form was cut short when a crash left him with a broken wrist. This sport doesn’t care what you’ve been through, the risks are always the same.
#19 Justin Bogle’s dramatic crash left him in a heap. When he got to his feet, the result was a broken humerus. Ain’t nothing funny about that…
It was nice to see our old friend #981 Austin Politelli out there. He just missed the main after getting 5th in the LCQ.
While #14 Cole Seely and #25 Marvin Musquin cruised through the first turn, chaos ensued just off their rear fenders.
#94 Ken Roczen seemed to bounce off #21 Jason Anderson and a chain reaction took out a lot of top riders.
Kenny collects himself and looks for his Honda.
#27 Malcolm Stewart was collected in the carnage too.
Kawasaki teammates, #33 Josh Grant and #3 Eli Tomac, got their bikes stuck together and ended up well off the back.
Eli would call it a night and head back to the pits in another disappointing Saturday night.
Ken Roczen’s night ended with a broken bone in his hand after he looped out in a corner chasing #2 Cooper Webb and got his hand caught between Cooper’s wheel and swingarm. It should have been worse, actually.
Another friend of Canada, #722 Adam Enticknap, made it into the main and finished 16th.
Tyler Bowers will have one more weekend with Donk as his mechanic. In fact, Donk is a few hours down the highway from me right now. After that scary crash in Oakland left Tyler sore but uninjured, he finished 14th.
#22 Chad Reed gets the biggest cheers during opening ceremonies. He made it straight into the main and finished 13th. Maybe it’s because I raced in the ’80’s but his white Fox gear looked great!
#60 Benny Bloss qualified 13th and took 12th in the main.
I was impressed to see Josh Grant keep charging and finish 11th.
FOC #15 Dean Wilson finished up in 9th spot. Oh, and was I the last person to watch that Kenny Powers Instagram video Dean made? If you’re the one who still hasn’t watched it, go do it now. We’ll wait…
#51 Justin Barcia started up in 5th but dropped back to 8th by the finish.
#34 Weston Peick is quietly getting it done, this season! He finished 7th.
#14 Cole Seely is going to have to keep it together and win one of these things soon. He led the first 12 laps before falling back to 4th.
#4 Blake Baggett got up where most expect him to be in San Diego. He raced himself up to 3rd spot.
#25 Marvin Musquin is coming back from his early-season crash. He was his usual consistent self and started and finished up near the front in 2nd.
This sport is obviously physical, but when you believe you’re supposed to be up front, you’ve got an advantage. That’s where #21 Jason Anderson believes he belongs this year and it shows.
He got himself to the front again and stayed there. He’s the points leader and everyone is playing catch up.
These two tried to play it off but you could tell there is still some tension from that block pass Jason put on his Aldon Baker training partner Marvin in Oakland.
I heard some dude say my name from behind me in Jess Pettis’ pit and it turned out to be our old friend, Dylan Schmoke. Good to see you and say hello to your parents for us from Canada. Oh, and would you mind? “See you at the races…”