Another crazy night of racing in 2018… San Diego was eventful. So many things happened in a single night once again, it’s kinda hard to comprehend. Given this happens right after a previously wild round in Oakland, the fans are sure getting a lot of entertainment!
Firstly, I want to touch upon the injuries in San Diego. In contrast to the prior weekend in Oakland, guys weren’t crashing everywhere on the San Diego track. However, when they did crash, it seemed to be pretty bad. Broc Shoemaker had perhaps one of the scariest crashes ever. Joey Savatgy crashed hard and hurt his hand (however, he was still able to rebound for a top 5 finish; super impressed with his determination by the way). Alex Ray had a MASSIVE endo and split his leg open. Jake Weimer broke his wrist (and might as well retire). Justin Bogle had a super scary and weird crash that caused a red flag in one of the 450 heats (this crash happened right in front of my eyes, but it all occurred so fast no one fully understood what happened); he broke his humerus. And lastly, and perhaps most unfortunately, 450 championship contender Ken Roczen crashed out with another upper extremity injury, this time with a broken hand on his “good arm”. Lots of injuries for a track that otherwise didn’t seem to cause many problems.
Speaking of the track, it was about as good as a San Diego round could be. The soil was a perfect mixture of sand and clay, which packed hardly throughout the day but never got super slick. The weather was overcast and kinda cold, which kept the moisture in the track. No ruts, not super dry, just perfect.
Everyone, guess what: Adam Cianciarulo finally got a good start! On top of this, he never washed out his front end… but despite everything finally going his way, he wasn’t able to deliver. Adam rode great for the majority of the race, but really tightened up and faded in the last quarter. It’s nice to see him finish a race near the front without a crash, but he has to be disappointed with himself that he didn’t win this one. I questioned him about it afterwards, and he admitted to riding tightly because he’s not used to being near the front. He also admitted pressure from Hill behind him.
Pause a second there: Justin Hill was behind him pressuring him for the lead? Absolutely. Not only this, but Hill was perfect all day: top qualifying time, heat race win, and finally the main event win. This Hill is a completely different guy than we saw a few weeks earlier. His team manager Jermey Albrecht mentioned Hill had started figuring out the bike, and wow does it ever show. Hill looks amazing, but it’s unfortunately six rounds too late (a.k.a. 28 points down).
The championship points leader in that class Aaron Plessinger had his worst night all season. He got a horrible start (no surprise there), but then crashed and dropped back. He was even docked a position for slightly cutting the track while getting up from his crash. I saw this and didn’t think anything at the time; he was in a tough area right before a corner without much room to re-enter the track after the whoops. Alas, the AMA disagrees with me.
In the 450 class, Jason Anderson is the man to beat right now. He reminds me of Villopoto slightly: can always seem to win given a top 10 start, the occasional off-round (i.e. Glendale), but impressively consistent nonetheless. Anderson hasn’t looked phenomenal this year (for some reason, I’m never drawn to nor blown away by his riding whilst watching in person), but he seems to be better than everyone else nonetheless.
Anderson had an aggressive pass on Marvin Musquin last weekend in Oakland. I tried to question him about it last weekend, but he refused to answer. So of course, upon both him and Musquin finishing on the podium this weekend, I had to ask it to both of them at the press conference. Surprisingly, both were brutally honest about it; they clearly don’t get along with each other. Despite this, they are able to mutually co-exist and work together under trainer Aldon Baker (although Musquin joked about wanting a second gym), and definitely exhibit some respect towards one another. Anderson admits that Musquin deserves retaliation, whereas Musquin will still congratulate Anderson for a race win. While all this is happening, Blake Baggett (who finished third), was loving the drama. Baggett is riding excellently, and now has two podiums in a row. He has the speed to win one of these!
It was a bad night for HRC Honda. Ken Roczen crashed out and is now injured in only his 6th race back, and Cole Seely had a major, inexcusable fade after leading the first half of the race. Seely was SUPER fast and SHOULD HAVE won!!! I don’t know what happened to him, but I wasn’t impressed that he faded so badly; is it a mental problem with Anderson behind him?? (Anderson vs Seely goes wayyyyyy back). Despite that, he seems to be improving, and I feel will get over these barriers to get a race win before the season is out.
Thanks for reading. I’m super happy and honored to be attending these races in person, and hopefully you’re enjoying my insights! Always feel free to comment below or contact us if you wish to talk about the races.
Onto Dallas now… lone star state here we come!
Photo from Supercross LIVE