The Monster Energy AMA Supercross made its first of two visits to San Diego for the second race of the 2016 season on Saturday night, with KTM’s Ryan Dungey and Yamaha’s Cooper Webb the night’s eventual main winners.
Following a runner-up finish at the opening race a week ago, Red Bull Dungey returned to the top step of the podium for his first win of the year, taking over the 450cc class points lead in the process.
In the Western Regional 250SX class championship, defending champion Webb earned his second consecutive main event win with a come-from-behind effort.
In front of a crowd of more than 36,000, the 20-lap 450SX class main event started with Australian Chad Reed (Yamaha) edging out KTM’s Justin Brayton for the holeshot, with Vince Friese in tow. Dungey placed himself just outside the top three, but was soon sitting third after Reed got shuffled back to fourth. Brayton and Friese battled for the lead on the opening lap, but on lap one Dungey seized control of the main event and took over the top spot. Reed fought his way back into podium contention and was able to pass Brayton for second on lap two.
On the third lap, Germany’s Ken Roczen (Suzuki) threw his name into the mix, coming from a sixth-place start to grab third. However, Roczen crashed on the ensuing lap and dropped to 10th, allowing Brayton to once again run third briefly before giving way to Honda’s Cole Seely. The top three stabilised for the majority of the race, with Dungey and Reed opening a sizable gap over the rest of the field.
On lap 15 the battle for third heated up between Seely and Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson, last week’s winner and entering points leader. The two riders traded positions before Anderson took control of the spot on lap 17 following a pass in which he and Seely made contact.
Reed kept Dungey honest throughout the entirety of the main event, but the defending champion took the win after leading all but one lap for his 23rd career 450SX class win and his first ever victory in San Diego.
“It was a good night. I got off to decent start and as able to pick my way up to front,” said Dungey. “Chad [Reed] was on my heels the whole time, so I couldn’t make a big mistake, although I made a few little ones. It feels good to get the win and move back into the points lead. That’s the plan [coming into the season] and it’s working [so far].”
Reed finished in the runner-up spot for the 128th podium result of his career and his first since rejoining the Factory Yamaha effort for the 2016 season. It was his best result since winning in Atlanta last season, nine races ago.
Anderson was initially credited for third, but was later penalised by race officials for jumping during a red cross flag situation for a downed rider that requires riders to keep wheels on the ground. The two-position penalty dropped Anderson to fifth, ultimately giving third place to Seely.
“That was exciting the way it ended up [on the track],” said Anderson on the podium, prior to the penalty. “I had to dice it up with Cole [Seely] there at the end, but I’m happy to put the Husqvarna back on the podium. I was pretty far behind [off the start] and had to make some moves. It was a little chaotic out there, so I just need to do better and make things easier on myself next weekend.”
With Anderson’s penalty, Dungey’s advantage in the 450SX Class standings sits at six points over the Husqvarna rider. Seely is third, seven points behind Dungey and one point behind Anderson for second.
The 15-lap Western Regional 250SX class main event got underway with Honda’s Jordon Smith emerging from the first turn to capture the holeshot.
As the field settled in, Smith’s Honda team-mate Jimmy DeCotis, Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy and Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne battled for podium spots, while Webb was forced to battle from eighth. DeCotis soon crashed out of the top three, allowing Osborne to take over second and Savatgy third.
On lap five, Osborne got inside Smith after the whoops and took over the lead. At about the same time, Webb was completing the pass on Savatgy for third after a torrid run to the front. Just two laps later Webb moved into second with a pass on Smith and set his sights on Osborne out front.
The following lap, Savatgy moved back into a podium spot with a pass on Smith for third. Osborne kept Webb at bay for a few laps but on lap 11 the reigning champion made the winning pass with an aggressive move. Once out front, Webb pulled away while Osborne would crash out of second on lap 13, allowing both Savatgy and Smith to take over second and third respectively.
Webb took his second win at Petco Park, and the eighth win of his career, ahead of Savtagy in second. Smith earned the first podium finish of his career in third.
“I got another bad start unfortunately, but it was awesome to come through pack like that,” said Webb, who has won six straight main events dating back to last season. “I had great battle with all the top guys since they were up front. I hope all the fans enjoyed that battle. It was a great night. I’m glad to be back up here and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.”
Webb extended his early season points lead in the Western Regional 250SX class standings to 14 points over Smith. Savatgy and Osborne currently sit tied for third, 15 points out of the lead.
The 2016 Monster Energy Supercross season continues next weekend with the second of two visits to Anaheim, California, and Angel Stadium on Saturday, January 23.
Photo by Simon Cudby
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SAN DIEGO RESULTS:
450SX Class Results
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
- Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha
- Cole Seely, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Honda
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki
- Trey Canard, Edmond, Okla., Honda
- Jake Weimer, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki
- Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM
- Justin Brayton, Mint Hill, N.C., KTM
450SX Class Championship Standings
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM – 47
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna – 41
- Cole Seely, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Honda – 40
- Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha – 37
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 36
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki – 31
- Trey Canard, Edmond, Okla., Honda – 28
- Jake Weimer, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki – 22
- Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., KTM – 22
- Justin Brayton, Mint Hill, N.C., KTM – 22
Western Regional 250SX Class Results
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha
- Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki
- Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., Honda
- Christian Craig, Corona, Calif., Honda
- Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Yamaha
- Zach Osborne, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Husqvarna
- Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda
- Jimmy DeCotis, Peabody, Mass., Honda
- Kyle Cunningham, Willow Park, Texas, Suzuki
- Chris Alldredge, Powell Butte, Ore., Kawasaki
Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha – 50
- Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., Honda – 36
- Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki – 35
- Zach Osborne, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Husqvarna – 35
- Jimmy DeCotis, Peabody, Mass., Honda – 31
- Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Yamaha – 30
- Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha – 25
- Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Honda – 25
- Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM – 22
- Christian Craig, Corona, Calif., Honda – 22