10 Things to Watch: San Diego

USA Supercross 2015

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Super Pumped

And not in a good way. We’re talking about the condition of Justin Barcia’s arms in the main, which caused him to drop from second to outside the top ten. Barcia was visibly frustrated after the race, partly because he wasn’t sure why he had gotten arm pump, a condition he says he rarely suffers from. He did tell us this year’s opener was “one of the most nerve-wracking A1s” he’s ever had, and the frustration of a restart after leading the race probably didn’t help. We’ll see if the nerves are gone in San Diego. –Aaron Hansel

In the Red

Number plates, that is. Jason Anderson was phenomenal in Anaheim, battling at the front before the restart and going through six guys, who he said were “waxing me last year,” to win by 4.24 seconds over reigning champ Ryan Dungey. Of course, Anderson killed it at the opener with a second place last year, but then suffered from inconsistency throughout the season. Let’s see if he can back up his winning performance on Saturday. –Hansel

One Goal

Despite taking fourth last week, Eli Tomac was not happy, which he didn’t attempt to mask afterward. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider, who set the fastest lap of the race, was completely frustrated with the way he rode, saying there were several sections that made him feel like a C Class rider. Well, we don’t remember the last time a C-Classer set the fastest lap, but the good news for Tomac is he was much better this year than last, when he finished twentieth. Tomac also won round two last year. –Hansel

Tomac finished a solid fourth at the opener.
Tomac finished a solid fourth at the opener.Cudby

Going Fast to Go Slow

Okay, so Trey Canard wasn’t going slow in Anaheim, but after watching him qualify fastest, dominate his heat, then charge up to second place in the main, it looked like he was on his way to winning the race. But then Canard made a mistake, went off the track, and just couldn’t recover, finishing the night in seventh. In a team release Canard said he rode tight, picked poor lines, and didn’t fix his mistakes. The speed was obviously there, and now that opening-round jitters are gone you can expect Canard to move forward, not backward, in San Diego. –Hansel

The Curious Case of Christophe Pourcel

Is there any other rider in the paddock who can qualify second fastest, finish eighteenth, and not surprise anyone in the process? That’s not a criticism of Pourcel—it wouldn’t be a shocker if he made the podium either! You just never know what you’re going to get with this guy, and when it comes to fantasy picks, selecting him (or not selecting him), can be a gigantic roll of the dice. We also have to remember Pourcel hasn’t ridden supercross in years, and this is his first season in 450SX. It’s hard to think he won’t be better in San Diego, but then again, you just never know. -Hansel

All Good

Ryan Dungey’s not sweating his second at the opener. In fact, he’s probably pretty pumped on the effort after getting pushed wide by Trey Canard early in the main. The fact is, Dungey is so damn consistent it’s hard to find things to talk about. So, let’s look the dog square in the face. In his 107 450SX career starts (dating back to 2010), Dungey has finished off the podium just 30 times or 28 percent of his races. That’s damn impressive and something tells us that trend could continue in 2016. – Chase Stallo 

All Good, Too

With so much that happened at the opener, it’s easy to look at the results, see Ken Roczen in fifth, and think, “Damn, that’s not good. Something must be up.” Yet, Roczen is probably satisfied with last weekend. He escaped a crash in the heat; started last in the main and sliced through a stacked field to find the top five. Championship saving ride? Maybe. This week, Roczen focused on his starts in hopes of getting out front early and missing the damage that lurks. “I need to get those down,” he said in a team statement regarding working on starts. “I think that’s kind of what’s been missing for me. I feel like I have intensity. That’s another thing I worked on this week. I’m riding really good and I’m really strong so I think I have to get my starts down and be at the front of the pack to stay out of trouble.” - Stallo

Nelson's status is still up in the air for Saturday.
Nelson's status is still up in the air for Saturday.Cudby

Will He or Won’t He

Word from Yoshimura Suzuki is that James Stewart needs to pass a test on Friday and they will proceeded from there but that he has a good chance of racing this weekend. Earlier this week on Instagram, James alluded to the fact he will race with the caption “Came to far to just give up now. We got work to do!!.” We should know soon, but if he does race, is a title still within his grasp, or did it vanish after the opener? - Stallo

Will he or won’t he, Part II

Cooper Webb’s run to the championship just got a whole lot easier if Jessy Nelson isn’t able to return from a practice crash sustained earlier this week. We’ve heard that the crash was fairly significant, but the team released a statement this week saying an initial MRI and CT scan showed that he sustained no serious injuries. We should know soon enough, but if he’s out, Webb’s stock for the championship just rose. - Stallo


A challenge to Webb’s reign was expected to come in the form of Joey Savatgy. The former SX Rookie of the Year was gulled about over the pre-season as a race winner in 2016 and a title contender. And most still expect that to happen. But spotting Webb twelve points after the first round will be a tough hole to dig out of. You can’t necessarily blame Savatgy for the opener, but last I checked the points will remain the same. He needs to bounce back this weekend and pressure Webb. - Stallo

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