Round 4 brought another great night of racing in the 250 SX West Region. The last few laps once again came into play, as Hill was able to sneak past McElrath for his 2nd straight win. This points race could really come down to the last race between 3 riders and I couldn’t be more excited. Here are my top 5 rankings heading into Oakland SX.
Justin Hill (Pro Circuit/Monster Energy Kawasaki)
Right now Justin Hill is feeling very confident and happy with his riding ability. He has won the last two races and has looked very very fast while doing it. Last Saturday he came from behind and was able to pass McElrath on the second last lap! He is now only 4 points behind McElrath and I’m sure he will want to keep the win streak alive going into the break. At this point it’s starting to look like only a mistake could take him off that podium. I think Oakland brings another victory for Hill.
Shane McElrath (TLD/Red Bull KTM)
After four rounds McElrath still has the points lead! There is no doubt that he deserves it at this point even though he hasn’t won the last two races. His worst finish was a 3rd and he has also won 50% of the rounds so far. I will admit I’m still surprised and impressed with his composure this season. I think the key for him was getting that monkey off his back with the first victory at Anaheim. Now last weekend he had the lead for the majority of the race before losing it to Hill, now that partly may have been from some involvement with lappers, but he still must be pretty bummed for losing that one. However, he and Hill seem pretty chummy with each other at the press conferences. I wonder if we will start to see that friendliness disappear as the series goes down to the wire. Expect McElrath to be anywhere from 1-3 this weekend.
Aaron Plessinger (Star Racing Yamaha)
Plessinger has been right there so far, however he just hasn’t had the starts to consistently contend for wins. I would say that he is just as fast as Hill and McElrath, but you simply can’t win races and championships by starting so far in the back. It’s not like he is out of the fight as he only sits 10 pts back of McElrath, but we are about halfway done this short series and I would bet McElrath would be able to get podiums consistently for the rest of the season so time is slowly starting to run out. He has got to win.
Austin Forkner (Pro Circuit/Monster Energy Kawasaki)
The rookie has been good so far and that resulted in him getting his first podium of the season. I think we all expected him to have a win by now and he really isn’t that off the pace, but let us remember that these our his first Supercross races and I think when you take that into consideration he is doing just fine. He is getting closer and closer every week and it is starting to look like Forkner could be a spoiler for the top 3 guys. I would think at least a top 4 this weekend in Oakland.
Martin Davalos (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna)
Davalos had a rough week last week with some personal issues and to win his heat and look good all night to get a 5th is pretty good. He had a weird bike problem in the main were it looked like the Husky just bogged out for a few moments and he couldn’t get it started with the electric start. It was costly as he dropped a few positions and there was no chance he could catch up to the leaders after that. I think Davalos can get another podium this weekend if things go his way, but the top 4 guys are going to be hard to beat if they all get starts and ride a clean race.
Photo from Racer X Online