AMA Supercross returns to Anaheim for Round 3


1/21/2016

Story and photos by Jeff Kardas

P_S_16_11_10564.JPG

Downtown San Diego's Petco Park is a dramatic setting for AMA Supercross, and for Round 2 it was home to some great racing in both classes. While there were no big shake-ups in the points race, a few trends are starting to emerge in the young season. Here's a breakdown.

5_S_16_11_10208.JPG

Ryan Dungey is looking to put an exclamation mark on his 2015 450SX title, as he begins to show that not only is he Mr. Consistent, but he's often also the fastest person on the racetrack. In San Diego, a good enough start put Dungey immediately within striking distance of the lead, which he quickly moved into, and the rest is history. Had it not been for Chad Reed marking his every move and even gaining on the current champ several times, it would have been an absolute runaway for the #1. With the win, Ryan moves into the points lead heading into Round 3 this weekend in Anaheim. 

O_S_16_11_10023.JPG

Speaking of Chad Reed, this guy's performance in San Diego was an eye-opener for everyone. He was absolutely on the winning pace, even pushing it on several occasions. Finishing a close second to a very much on-his-game Ryan Dungey while putting a huge gap on the rest of the field is no doubt going to bump Reed's confidence level into the stratosphere for Anaheim 2. Always successful in San Diego rounds, Reed's also looking to tie the record for wins at Angel Stadium with six.  As Ricky Carmichael's been saying since forever: "A confident Chad is a dangerous Chad".

21_S_16_11_10149.JPG

More brilliance bubbles to the surface from Jason Anderson, as he ran solidly into 3rd position in San Diego. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time and jumping through a red cross flag zone ultimately stripped him of two positions, but still ending up fifth can certainly be considered a success. Anderson appears to be rising to the top of a very solid group of racers at the front of the pack, beating regularly riders that conventional wisdom would have had finishing in front of him every weekend. Anderson appears to be the real deal this season, and is currently six points down from Dungey, one ahead of Seely.

M_S_16_11_10423.JPG

Speaking of riders making an impression, let's look at the opposite end of the spectrum and a few of the riders who aren't quite (or even close) to where they were expected to be. Let's start with Marvin Musquin. A rookie in 450SX, Musquin is the current East Coast 250SX champ and was unquestionably one of the top 250 racers in the world. After a prolonged wrist issue in the late 2015 season and off-season, he wasn't able to ride and test as much as he would've liked leading into this season. Having said that though, we really haven't seen anything from Marvin yet that alludes to his brilliance on a bike. In San Diego, we at least saw a bit of a battle between him and Trey Canard, but once Canard was around, he checked out to win the semifinal. Common wisdom would be to wait for Musquin to elevate his game to this new level as he's done in the past. Patience is a virtue.

M_S_16_11_10867.JPG

Further along the line of under-achievers (for lack of a better term), we can safely mention Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac and Trey Canard. Of these three, each of whom were touted as title threats, they currently sit fifth thru seventh in points. Roczen's first turn crash at A1 sure didn't help his chances, but his charge to fifth made it clear he has the speed and racecraft necessary to get up front. In San Diego, he went down while in third and was able to make it back only to sixth at the finish. Canard is another who many picked to make serious inroads to his first championship, but so far this season we just haven't seen the spark he's known for. Racing around with Roczen back in seventh to ninth place certainly isn't what was expected, so for A2, look for Canard to come out swinging a bit more to re-establish himself as a front-runner. 

3_S_16_11_10132.JPG


Then there's Eli Tomac. Many had predicted possibly even a runaway season for the former 250SX champ, who's known for blazing (untouchable) speed and peppered with key errors that lead to injury. Perhaps this is why we're yet to see this mega-star hit the podium - he's being savvy and riding well within his comfort zone until he really needs to push it. The problem with this, of course, is that with the level of competition he's racing with that it's questionable whether any rider - even one of Tomac's caliber - can afford not to score as many points as possible every single weekend. Then again, maybe Eli is not gel'ing with the new bike, or the team, or he's still recovering from injury, or racing into shape, or, or, or... 

17_S_16_11_10261.JPG

The result of the 250SX West main event was somewhat more predictable, but the race itself was a bit of a surprise. Zach Osborne put in an impressive display while leading the middle six laps of the race after another surprise - Jordon Smith - had set the pace for the opening five. As if it was inevitable, though, defending champ Cooper Webb eventually was able to run them both down working his way to the front. Webb maintains his points lead for A2, with Osborne tied for 3rd with Joey Savatgy, each a point down from Smith in 2nd.

A2 track.jpg

Round 3 of the 2016 AMA Supercross Series should see further "character development" of the top riders as they sort out their positions for the long haul to Las Vegas in May. Look for complete coverage on our Facebook page AMA Supercross Championship, Instagram @AMASupercross and AMASupercross.com for Live Timing & Scoring. If you're a SUPER Supercross fan, download our $0.99 smartphone app: "AMA SX" on iTunes and the Google Play store. TV schedules are available at Supercrossonline.com

 


Recent News

All News
American Motorcyclist Association New Member Benefit Announcement