Another new winner as we head east for Round 6.


2/7/2019

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Round 5 in San Diego was a mess. Possibly one of the muddiest, wettest, and just plain gnarliest AMA Supercross races ever (outside of Daytona), it was certainly one for the ages. The track crew did everything in its power to make the circuit rideable, which included adding drying agent to the soil prior to when the big rains hit. While additives such as this are nothing new when building a supercross track for potentially wet conditions, this time the deluge of water may have resulted in unexpected circumstances that the promoter and track crew are still evaluating. Regardless, the racing was amazing anyway and...

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...we had another first-time winner. Eli Tomac finally reached the podium - the top step - and it took him five rounds to do it. That's the really remarkable part considering how many times this man has won the 450SX class over the past few seasons, and is indicative of just how talented this field of riders is. With the win, Tomac goes into the frigid tundra of Minneapolis this weekend holding the red points leader plate for the first time this season. Tomac is the fourth rider in the first five rounds to don the coveted red plate this season.

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Marvin Musquin, who ended up second in the San Diego mud, looked to be making his way to Tomac when time expired. Musquin's been getting better every weekend and worked his way through a disaster of a track and decimated field of riders to eventually get past Roczen to nab the runner-up spot. He's now tied with Roczen for second in points as well, just four behind leader Tomac. Marvin has never been hungrier for wins and, as we hope to find out this weekend, may be faster than ever before.

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Ken Roczen snagged the very sketchy 450SX main event holeshot and looked to be off to a great start until he found himself face-first in the mud by the third turn. This is not the place a rider wants to be at the beginning of any main event, much less in a muddy race where hands and grips become quite slick and much less effective. To Roczen's credit, he re-mounted relatively quickly and was able to get back toward the front with a minimum of fuss. Ultimately ending up third, he must be fairly happy with the fact that he's tied for second in points heading into the east portion of the series, where the conditions will be much more predictable and he can concentrate on matching the pace of Tomac, Musquin, Barcia, et. al.

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Coming out of Oakland a couple of weeks back we had a bit of an underdog carrying the red plate, as Cooper Webb finally came into his own at both Anaheim 2 and Oakland. While things didn't go quite as well in San Diego's mud bath, they weren't a disaster either. Webb's not known as much of a mudder and he was clearly being very, very careful through every single lap, and as such ended up eighth at the checkers. This didn't help him in the points, but again, he also didn't end up with a DNF like one of the other front-runners did, either. This pushed him back to fourth in the standings, yet still only eight points out of the lead headed to Minneapolis this weekend.

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Unfortunately, Anaheim 1 winner Justin Barcia had the other sort of mud race result, when a broken bike forced him into a DNF on the night. Earning just two points, Barcia effectively removed himself from any hope of a title - a not-so-crazy thought after his impressive win at A1. He now sits seventh in points.

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Adam Cianciarulo became the first repeat winner in the 250SX West class with a remarkable victory in conditions that he's not known to excel in. He held the lead from the first turn to the last, and is now has an eight point lead as the series heads to the east and the west riders take a several week break. It must feel pretty good for the Floridian to finally be  out front in the points for one of the few times in his career. Shane McElrath and Colt Nichols round out the top three.

Speaking of heading east, the 250SX class gets a refresh this weekend in Minneapolis as their first round hits the track in frigid Minnesota. The field is arguably deeper with talent than the west series is, as some of the favorites that were injured in the pre-season were forced to return later in the year, and that's this weekend. Top names contending for the title or at least race wins certainly begins with Kawasaki riders Austin Forkner and Martin Davalos, both of whom have won main events before. Among others, Honda's Christian Craig and Chase Sexton will be right up there as well, but both are returning from injury so it may take a couple rounds for them to get up to speed. Making his U.S. professional debut after several years in the FIM World Championships is Husqvarna's Thomas Covington, who is a complete unknown when it comes to Supercross racing. Also expected to always be up front is Minnesota native Alex Martin, who is new to the JGR Suzuki factory team this season. On Yamahas, both Justin Cooper and the returning Mitchell Oldenburg will be regular podium threats, if not title favorites - particularly Cooper, who really stretched his legs this past summer in the motocross season. Last but not least is TLD/KTM rider Jordon Smith, who's won mains and is always a threat. Heck, there's 9 of the top 10 right there. It's going to be a great weekend of racing!

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With a fresh foot of snow on the ground and Saturday morning temperatures expected to be in the negative teens, it will be interesting to see how the teams handle getting back and forth, and which decide to pit inside the stadium. It probably won't make that much of a difference in the long run, but then again, sometimes even the slightest changes in routine can have a big impact so we shall see. The track looks great with a very long start straight and another wall jump in the mix to keep things interesting. Be sure to stay tuned here and on our Facebook page for updates throughout the day.


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