McThoughts: San Diego SX
By Jeff McConkey
Round 6 took place this past Saturday night and the action was fantastic as always. San Diego will be the last West round for a while as the East Coast 250 series starts this weekend in Arlington, Texas. Most riders want to head into the break on a good note, and that almost didn’t happen for points leader Cooper Webb. Webb had a vicious practice crash early in the day and it almost looked like his title hopes were over. In true warrior fashion, Cooper not only lined up for the night show, he put in a great ride and won the main event. Webb now heads into the break up 30 points on 2nd place Jesse Nelson, and 32 points on 3rd place Tyler Bowers.
In 450 action, we had a 2-man battle to the finish with Trey Canard edging out young Ken Roczen for his 2nd victory of the season. Ryan Dungey rounded out the top 3 for his 5th podium in 6 tries. What looked like ‘The Ken Roczen Show’ early in the season has now become a 3-horse race with 11 rounds to go.
Lets take a look at the results and see my thoughts:
1st Cooper Webb: This guy is super-hot right now. After eating sh#t big time in practice, Cooper came out, got a good start and erased any doubt that he is the man and owns the West Coast 250 series.
2nd Shane McElrath: Shane rode great and got his first podium. At one point, it looked like he could possibly challenge for the win. He will be a serious player next season.
3rd Tyler Bowers: Bowers was on his way to what looked like an unchallenged win then Webb and McElrath reeled him in. Bowers made some small mistakes which allowed the pair to pass with ease. Still a good ride for the big man who has, no doubt, been the only bright light for the mighty Pro Circuit team on the West Coast.
4th Josh Hansen: Best ride of the season for ‘Hanny.’ Word is that he has been riding with Davi Millsaps through the week and Davi is helping him out. Whatever it is, Hanny rode great and almost caught Bowers at the end.
5th Alex Martin: What a season this guy is having. I love seeing a guy with maybe a little lesser equipment doing so well. See kids, you don’t always need the ‘bling bling’ to get results.
6th Zach Osborne: Zach got the holeshot and went backwards. A 6th place to me would mean more if he came from outside of the top 10 or worse.
7th Zach Bell : Good ride for Bell. He moved forward and it looks like he is finally figuring it out. He still has crazy speed, so a podium wouldn’t be out of the question.
8th Jesse Nelson: Nelson got a bad start and showed that he needs to work on riding in traffic. Even if you were to take Webb out of the series, I still don’t think Nelson could seal the deal.
9th Tommy Hahn: Another top 10 for the older Hahn. He is having a great comeback. Let’s hope he sticks around for outdoors (but on a 450).
10th Chris Alldredge: Wow…Alldredge held it together for a top 10; kid has serious speed. Let’s hope he doesn’t weed himself up bad on the break.
Biggest Stud: Webb is my stud. Most of us would still be curled up in the fetal position after that practice crash.
Biggest Dud: No dud this week.
Biggest Surprise: I was shocked that Bowers didn’t seal the deal. I thought he had it.
Canadian Connection: Cole Martinez had a top 10 in the bag. Not sure what happened? He finished 11th. Former Canadian MX2 Champ Austin Politelli finished 16th.
1st Trey Canard: Trey was on it! He made an aggressive pass and rode great. I kind of expected him to leave Roczen behind, but a win is a win and now he is only 18 points back with a ton of confidence and 11 rounds to go.
2nd Ken Roczen: I was surprised to see Kenny fight back and almost take the lead back. I think if lapper Nick Wey didn’t jack him up, we would have had some serious bar-banging and possibly a different winner. Good to see Ken not give up and settle for 2nd.
3rd Ryan Dungey: 5 podiums in 6 rounds – that’s how you win championships. He didn’t have the speed of the front 2, but he only lost minimal points.
4th Chad Reed: Great ride for Reed. I think he is in a good place heading back East. After the race he tweeted, “I’m healthy and ready to bang bars with these kiddos. Some more than others…” That is bad news for the competition, and, in my opinion, Eli Tomac better have his eyes open for the 22 machine.
5th Eli Tomac: Tomac tried to push Reed around and ended up hitting the dirt. Don’t worry, Eli, Chad got your number. Let’s hope Tomac doesn’t leave himself open for retaliation. Either way, Tomac showed some serious speed and fought back to a 5th. He is also closing in on the top 3 and sits 4th in points, only 27 back.
6th Cole Seely: Another very good ride from Cole. He started around 14th and worked his way forward.
7th Blake Baggett: Blake is getting better every weekend. He is new to the west coast so, now that we are going East, watch for him to get closer to the top 5. He will be a beast come Daytona.
8th Andrew Short: Shorty is just rock solid. Great starts and solid finishes every week. You can’t knock that.
9th Broc Tickle: Didn’t see much of Broc out there, but he is definitely riding great after a career-threatening injury.
10th Jason Anderson: More bad luck for “La Flamma Blanca.” Watch for ‘The White Flame’ to get his starts back and become a regular fixture in the top 5.
Biggest Stud: My stud is the JGR Team and ‘Filthy’ Phil Niccoletti. His deal is starting to look really smart with both Weston Peick and Justin Barcia on the shelf.
Biggest Dud: Davi Millsaps is my dud! What is up with poor Davi? I have no clue.
Biggest Surprise: After a nice ride for 10th last week, Josh Hill failed to make the main again. This guy is too damn talented to not be fighting for top 10’s in the main every week!
Canadian Connection: Former MX1 Canadian Champ Brett Metcalfe finished 11th. MotoConcepts’ Mike Alessi finished 13th, and Canadian National overall winner Kyle Chisholm finished 16th.
Like I said earlier, the series heads East this week to Arlington, Texas. The track will have looser dirt and really rut up. Some riders will struggle and others will excel. The 250 East kicks off, and that means Vicki Golden will attempt to qualify. I personally believe Vicki is super-talented, but she is not on the same level. That is all I am going to say. I guess we will see this Saturday night. Keep an eye open for my ‘250 East Preview‘ this week and we will see you in Arlington.