2020 SAN DIEGO SUPERCROSS: LOOKING BACK AT LAST YEAR’S LIME-GATE RACE
Photos by Daryl Ecklund, Story by Josh Mosiman
The first five rounds of the2019 AMA Supercross Championship were completely different from what everyone was expecting. It was awesome! Last year’s weather provided for some crazy track conditions and the underdogs stepped their game and, if you remember, the 2019 San Diego Supercross was a mud fest
The conditions for the 2029 San Diego Supercross were insanely tough. All week, the weather forecasted a monsoon on Saturday. The Dirt Wurx crew built the track early and prepared for rain by covering it with tarps. Although it didn’t start raining until the afternoon on Saturday, when it rained, it poured. AMA decided to adjust the qualifying schedule and eliminate free practice and first qualifying sessions to save the track. The rain came down hard and by the time the riders got out there for their one and only qualifying session, the track was a mudfest.
When it rains, the Dirt Wurx crew usually adds lime to the trackto absorb the moisture in the dirt. There have been many occasions where a track received rain and we think it’s going to be a mud race, but the Dirt Wurx crew is able to save the track by covering it with tarps and using lime. At the the 2019 San Diego Supercross the lime had a negative affect on the riders bodies and their bikes. Because of how muddy it was, every rider was covered with mud—and lime. Lime is a caustic chemcial and when it comes in contact with the skin it burns.
After his 2019 Anaheim 1 win in the mud, the fans had high hopes for Justin Barcia in San Diego. The Yamaha rider qualified sixth, placed fourth in his heat race and he ran in third place in the main event until his bike quit on the third lap.
Justin Bogle is one rider who seemed to accelerate in the mud. With only days on the KTM before Anaheim 1, Bogle was behind the 8-ball when the 2019 season started. However, in San Diego Bogle ran second for over half of the 450 main event and after Roczen and Musquin passed him, he finished fourth.
Chad Reed made his 18th starts in San Diego back in 2019. He has won San Diego six times (2003-2005, 2007-2008, & 2011). Chad Missed the 2020 Oakland Supercross last weekend with rib in juries, but with his drive to round out his resume numbers, he’d probably like to get his 19th start if possible.
After the first four rounds of 2019 Eli Tomac didn’t look like the same guy that we were used to seeing. We expected Tomac, Musquin and Roczen to be battling for wins at the first few rounds, but it wasn’t until round five when Tomac earned his first win of the year. Tomac took the points lead in Sandiego and Marvin and Ken are close behind.
WHAT THE 450 RIDERS HAD TO SAY
Eli Tomac first place: “Even from practice it (the track) changed. Once the rain stopped the dirt starting getting thicker, and you know, it starts making the bike really heavy and the rhythm sections and all the lines are just really sketchy and squirlley. It was really night and day (different) even between the practice, the heat and the main.”
Ken Roczen third place: “I thought I was in third and obviously I got passed by Marvin with one turn to go so I wasn’t really stoked about that. I could have had a second place and it’s all really important points, but all in all I’ve changed some things around this week and we also made some improvements for starts on the bike and also for myself I changed a couple little things that seemed like they paid off. Today starts were really important and I got a super good holeshot but sure enough threw it away in the second turn.”
Ken Roczen: “For the Championship we’re only four points behind and it’s super tight and I think in my mind the season doesn’t really start until round ten. That’s when you gotta think about being close to the front or leading. So right now I’m kinda just picking my battles a little bit and I just want to get out of the west coast because it’s been a long time since I’ve accomplished that.”
Marvin Musquin second place: “We all knew it was going to be tough conditions with a lot of rain. But in the end we’re here again in the press conference and that means another podium, another second place and a lot of good points.”
Marvin Musquin talks about his knee injury: “I’m really happy because I don’t have anymore pain in the knee which feels awesome. I can do all the training I want during the week and just ride pain free so it’s a big plus. It was tough at the beginning for the first three rounds. I would say for the first two it was tough and for Anaheim 2 it was a lot better. Now that’s behind me and I’m totally focused on the training and the racing.”
Dean Wilson said: “Wow!!! That was gnarly. Crashes and stalled four times. Could have probably beat me running around the track. Made it through the night tied for fifth in points. Phew happy to get that one out of the way. Complete quagmire.”
Eli Tomac first place: “It was a really good day, the first rounds were up and down. I was never like on you know, having that feeling. So today was kind of wild with the conditions, we weren’t on the normal dirt but overall it was the direction we wanted to go, qualifying good, getting better starts, putting ourselves in the right position and it paid off.”
Cooper Webb was running fifth on lap five right behind his teammate Marvin Musquin when he went over the bars in a rut. Cooper said: “Not sure what happened but wasn’t ideal! Not the best night but felt good riding all day. Was right on track until this (crash). Onto Minneapolis!”
250 WEST ACTION
Shane McElrath salvaged some major points in San Diego. A 13th in the heat race forced Shane to go to the LCQ where he finished second. This gave him the 20th gate pick for the main event. In the main, the KTM rider went down and picked his bike up in last place. Shane crossed the finish line in 19th on the first lap and charged through the pack to end the race 4th earning nineteen points and keep his title hopes alive.
Dylan Ferrandis leans back through the rolling whoop section. Dylan was in third with only one corner left when his bike quite. Luckily for Ferrandis, Adam lapped up to seventh place. Dylan was only passed by four riders which gave him seventh place in the 250 main.
Colt Nichols had a rough at the 2019 San Diego Supercross, he was running in eighth at the beginning of the main event and a crash on lap five put the points leader in 15th. He passed a few riders but would only make it back to tenth.
WHAT THE 250 WEST RIDERS HAD TO SAY
Adam Cianciarulo first place: “It feels good going into the break to put the mind at ease. I haven’t had the red plate since I was basically a little kid so that feels good too. I think when you have a stressful kind of day like this you start thinking about a lot of unknowns and a lot of stuff out of control that can happen. I definitely felt better than usual so I’m excited to keep building on this, we’re only halfway through and we have a couple weeks to go back to work so I’m excited.”
Garrett Marchbanks second place: “I had a little turn track at my house that I used to ride at all the time from age nine to thirteen. Me and my Dad always used to water it with the sprinklers and flood it basically and make it all muddy. It’s basically what made me a really good mud rider, so it was kind of fun to ride out here in the mud today, it didn’t affect me too bad.”
Jimmy Decotis third place: “I actually had no clue (what place I was in), I put my head down on my bars and I was like, ‘man I got another fourth place.’ I’m over fourth place, and Mikey G came over and told me I got third. I had no clue, I guess Dylan Ferradandis’ bike died right there at the end so I really didn’t even know at all. I was just trying to do my best to stay up, with my little legs when I’m dabbing and struggling, it’s tough. So I was just trying to stand up and stay focused and hit my marks and tonight it ended up being a third so I’m thankful for it.”
THE SHORTEST KTM PEE-WEE CHALLENGE RACE ON RECORD
We were surprised to see the KTM Junior Challenge 50 riders attempt to race, it did not go very well and the best 50 riders only made it to the third corner before the whole class was stuck and they black flagged the race.
450 CHAMPIONSHIP POINT STANDINGS (AFTER ROUND 5 OF 17)
- Eli Tomac-106
- Marvin Musquin-102
- Ken Roczen-102
- Cooper Webb-98
- Blake Baggett-80
- Dean Wilson-80
- Justin Barcia-74
- Aaron Plessinger-66
- Chad Reed-65
- Cole Seely-65
250 WEST POINT STANDINGS (AFTER ROUND 5 OF 10)
- Adam Cianciarulo-114
- Shane McElrath-106
- Colt Nichols-104
- Dylan Ferrandis-102
- Rj Hampshire-75
- Jimmy Decotis-73
- Cameron McAdoo-72
- Garrett Marchbanks-71
- Chris Close-70
- Jess Pettis-66