Both a major rainstorm and the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship hit San Diego this weekend resulting in the second mud race of the season. The mud caused both championship points leads to change hands at this, the Military Appreciation Night event, as Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac took his first win of the season to put himself atop the 450SX Class points board. Another Kawasaki rider, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Adam Cianciarulo grabbed the Western Regional 250SX Class points lead, this one coming on Cianciarulo's third win this year.
Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac looked smooth and almost made it look easy as he pulled off his first win of 2019 with a nearly mistake-free ride on a brutal track. Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment, Inc.
Supercross is a 'rain or shine' event, and the weather hit late afternoon with a downpour that soaked the track. These conditions often produce a surprise winner, but in the 450SX Class they allowed one of the favorites, Eli Tomac, to ride to a confident win in front of the 39,840 fans who watched during clear skies - there was no rain once the evening racing was underway, causing the mud to tack up and stick to riders and machines.
It was Team Honda HRC's Ken Roczen who jumped out with the holeshot, but within a couple corners a bobble allowed Tomac by. In the early laps Team Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS' Justin Bogle kept the number three bike in sight but never closed enough to threaten it.
Team Honda HRC's Ken Roczen grabbed the holeshot but a mistake moments later had him playing catch up. He got as high as second position before getting passed on the final lap. Photo Credit: Feld Entertainment, Inc.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing's Justin Barcia's high-revving style seemed to have gotten the best of his bike and it stopped atop one of the tricky, rutted jumps. JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki's Chad Reed, who's won the San Diego Supercross six times, was off to a sixth place start and looking strong in the mud. After a mid-pack start Red Bull KTM's Marvin Musquin was picking off riders quickly. Then on the downside of a small jump out of a corner Red Bull KTM's Cooper Webb went over the bars; he was back to ninth when he got his bike back up and going again. Over the closing laps of the race Roczen got past Bogle for second. But the man on the move was Musquin, who got past Roczen just one corner before the checkered flag. Crowd favorite Chad Reed finished the race fifth, marking his 159th career top five.
Tomac said after the race, which was shortened to 15 minutes plus one lap due to the conditions, "I had a really comfortable lead... for a lot of the race and then got hung up on a Tuff Block after the whoops. [I] had to stop, pull it off, and then, yeah, a couple guys [were] down the last couple of laps there so that was crazy. So, gosh, just what an exciting day. It's a good day, especially for these conditions. I just felt comfortable all day, so this was a pretty special day and it's so cool to get that red plate."
Marvin Musquin's second place finish moved him from fourth in the points into a tie for second. "I didn't get a great start, and man my helmet got so heavy with all the mud. It was getting so sticky. I think I did the last lap with my eyes closed. My goggles were full of mud. I tried to scrape it and then luckily the roll-off was working after that. And then I just tried to make passes and try to be consistent, not crash, and stay on two wheels. That's what I did. And toward the end I started looking at Frankie [Latham, his mechanic] and he showed me five laps to go but I had no idea where I was in position. So, I just tried to make passes... and I passed Bogle and then I passed Kenny on the very last lap. And then I heard the fire for the winner and I'm like, 'Dude, I'm right behind!' So second place is awesome tonight. I mean, being on the podium tonight is a great result and man those conditions were so tough. Anyway, we got it done, I'm glad it's over."
After the race, Roczen was both upset that he dropped a position at the end, but happy to get through a major mud race tied for second in the points. "I got a perfect start, I really jumped out of the gate, hooked up great. Almost went down in the first turn actually it was really slippery. I threw it away in the second turn over there which I couldn't believe it because this could have been it, having a clear track there for a little bit could have really helped... I kinda went back to fourth or fifth or something and my helmet got super heavy with all the mud; since it didn't rain any more it got tacky mud on there. And I got passed literally on the last straightaway here. It was just a big mess out there with lappers and these crazy conditions. I'm not happy that I got passed there and went from second to third, but on this kind of night, it can be very, very hurtful for you for the championship so we're only four points behind and it's all good."
1 3 Eli Tomac Cortez, CO Kawasaki KX 450
2 25 Marvin Musquin Corona, CA KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edi
3 94 Ken Roczen Clermont, FL Honda CRF 450
4 19 Justin Bogle Cushing, OK KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edit
5 22 Chad Reed Dade City, FL Suzuki RM-Z450
6 7 Aaron Plessinger Hamilton, OH Yamaha YZ450F
7 17 Joey Savatgy Tallahassee, FL Kawasaki KX 450
8 2 Cooper Webb Newport, NC KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edit
9 4 Blake Baggett Grand Terrace, CA KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edit
10 43 Tyler Bowers Lake Elsinore, CA Kawasaki KX 450
11 42 Vince Friese Cape Girardeau, MO Honda CRF 450
12 15 Dean Wilson Clermont, FL Husqvarna FC450
13 71 Cole Martinez Rimrock, AZ Suzuki RM-Z450
14 14 Cole Seely Sherman Oaks, CA Honda CRF 450
15 41 Ben Lamay Anchorage, AK Honda CRF 450
16 805 Carlen Gardner Paso Robles, CA Honda CRF 450
17 11 Kyle Chisholm Valrico, FL Suzuki RM-Z450
18 282 Theodore Pauli Edwardsville, IL Kawasaki KX 450
19 74 Cade Autenrieth Hemet, CA KTM 450 SX-F
20 62 Alex Ray Milan, TN Suzuki RM-Z450
21 51 Justin Barcia Greenville, FL Yamaha YZ450F
22 80 Heath Harrison Silverhill, AL Kawasaki KX 450
1 3 Eli Tomac Cortez, CO 106
2 25 Marvin Musquin Corona, CA 102
3 94 Ken Roczen Clermont, FL 102
4 2 Cooper Webb Newport, NC 98
5 4 Blake Baggett Grand Terrace, CA 80
6 15 Dean Wilson Clermont, FL 80
7 51 Justin Barcia Greenville, FL 74
8 7 Aaron Plessinger Hamilton, OH 66
9 22 Chad Reed Dade City, FL 65
10 14 Cole Seely Sherman Oaks, CA 65