UPDATE: Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th December. Closed. Unfortunately torrential rain has now made the tracks too wet.

10 Things to Watch: San Diego

USA Supercross 2015

maddix park mx

www.racerxonline.com  By Jason Weigandt and Chase Stallo

Click here for the animated track map.

Get Classy, San Diego

This weekend, Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, bids adieu to the ancient concrete (and rust) of Qualcomm Stadium and hello to the beautiful Petco Park. Qualcomm, which San Diegans still know as Jack Murphy Stadium, opened in 1967 and sits out in the suburbs. Petco Park opened in 2004 and sits in the heart of downtown. That will make pits and parking tricky, but otherwise this place totally outshines the old one. For supercross use, the bigger question is the field dimensions. Qualcomm used to host baseball games but is now exclusively a football stadium, while Petco is exclusive to baseball. Track layouts are much different when comparing rectangular football stadiums to a baseball diamond, and most riders prefer the rectangle tracks. This year’s baseball tracks have been tighter and longer than usual. We’ll see if that trend continues this weekend. – Jason Weigandt 

Mr. San Diego

Chad Reed owns San Diego. Okay, not literally. But for some reason he always found magic at Qualcomm, winning there in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2011. Even during a sub-par year in 2013, he was pushing Davi Millsaps for the lead before washing the front and crashing. Then came last year, when he crashed while battling Ken Roczen for third, ruining his shoulder and his season. So, is Chad’s San Diego magic gone? Will switching to the new stadium take it away? Or will he win another one for the ages and the aged? – Weigandt

Sophomore Stories

Two years ago, Matt Bisceglia and Shane McElrath were banging bars with each other in a fight for A class supremacy at Loretta Lynn’s. A year ago, they were fresh-faced rookies dealing with the standard lumps of learning supercross. Both have looked much faster and confident this year, but their results have been inconsistent, and not at all a reflection of their actual speed. Which one gets to the podium first? – Weigandt

Andrew Short started the season hot and has since faded a bit. Photo: Simon Cudby
Andrew Short started the season hot and has since faded a bit. Photo: Simon Cudby

Old Man Rebound

Andrew Short started the year doing Andrew Short things—bagging holeshots and giving the young bucks all they could handle. It was awesome! The last few races haven’t been so good, though. He crashed hard at Anaheim 2, holeshot but faded at Oakland, and then crashed his way into the LCQ at Anaheim 3. Now he’s back to eleventh in points. Will the veteran snatch another start and get back into the top ten? –Weigandt 

Another Chance

#Whosnext promised a ton of contenders, and right now we’ve got four winners in five races, which is great. But two expected challengers have not even challenged for a podium yet, let alone a win. Justin Barcia appears to be riding decently, but his starts have been terrible. If he ever pulls a holeshot (which used to be his specialty), what could he do with it? Davi Millsaps’ results have been even worse, so much so that we suspect something is amiss with the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider, but he and the team aren’t saying. Either way, both will line up this weekend, hoping this weekend is their weekend. – Weigandt

Rolling Along

It’s easy to knock Ryan Dungey for what he doesn’t do (we’re all guilty, myself included) than to credit him for what he does do. Dungey has always been a surgeon on the track—pushing the needle when he feels necessary, pulling away when he senses danger. It led him to the red plate even before he got his first win last weekend. And it speaks in his numbers. Through five rounds Dungey has an average finish of 2.4. In comparison, Roczen is at 4.6, Canard 5.6, and Tomac 6.2. Dungey is the only rider with four podiums—Roczen’s next with three. He’s one of two riders with five top-tens, along with Jason Anderson. And the only rider with five top-fives—again, Roczen second with four. This title chase is far from over, but going through Dungey is going to be a thankless task. – Chase Stallo 

Valuable Points

Eli Tomac’s late pass on Ken Roczen last weekend was valuable in more than just a confidence boost. While 2 points doesn’t seem like much now, in the long run it could prove invaluable. "Every point is important and passing those guys was big," Tomac said in a team statement. "Trey had just won the week before and Ken had won the first two Anaheim races, so those guys are obviously in top form. We've seen a lot of championships come down to a point or two, so every one you gain on guys like that is huge." Tomac still has ground to make up on Dungey, but he’s making steps in the right direction. Can he continue to dig himself out of an early points hole in San Diego? –Stallo

Webb has grabbed the 250SX West momentum.Photo: Simon Cudby
Webb has grabbed the 250SX West momentum.Photo: Simon Cudby

One Last Chance

After this weekend, the first three-quarters of the 250SX West Region will have been completed (each region only has eight rounds in 2015), leaving only two rounds when the series returns in Houston on April 11. Cooper Webb enters the weekend 18 points clear of Jessy Nelson, but as we’ve seen in the past, the 250 class can be fickle. (Remember Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen exchanging DNFs and DNQs in 2012?) If you’re Tyler Bowers, Nelson, or Zach Osborne, San Diego provides a chance to take away some momentum from Webb before the break. If you’re Webb, it’s a chance to stick the dagger further into the other title contenders. Can the others cool Webb down this weekend? – Stallo

Back to the Top

Aside from Dean Wilson making an early exit with a torn ACL and MCL, the 2015 450SX rookie class has lived up to the hype. Cole Seely and Jason Anderson both have podiums, and Blake Baggett has shown he can contend in supercross. For Anderson, one of only two riders (Dungey) with five top-tens in five rounds, a return to the top podium is what he’s striving for. “Not my best day but I’m going to go back to the drawing board this week, and work on some things and just focus on moving forward to San Diego…” he said in a team statement. Seely podiumed last week; is a return trip for Anderson in the cards this week? – Stallo

Tickle Returns

Better get that AOL dial-up churning and update you’re Racer X MotoDynasty Fantasy SX line-up, because Broc Tickle is back this weekend. After missing the majority of last season, Tickle was one of the early season surprises this year before sitting out last week with a back injury. “It drove me crazy to have to watch Anaheim so I’m pumped to put what happened in Oakland behind me and get back after it.,” he said in a team statement. "We were all really happy with the progress we were making before Oakland so I’m looking forward to getting back in the swing of things..." Will the layoff affect him this weekend or can he jump back into the mix of the top five? - Stallo

 
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