Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Others...Raider Nation

Damn you Mother Nature. Although we have been lucky enough to have the skies part come race time, the rain clouds have been a real pain up to that point so far this season. Round 5 of the Monster Energy Supercross Championship would again challenge the Dirt Wurx crew in Oakland, California.

The Oakland battlefield | Photo: Tyler Bailey
The last stop in California will hopefully be the last of the rain. For the fourth of five rounds the track would remain under tarps  until timed qualifying sessions. The track would be very soft and turn down right brutal by nights end. Qualifying challenged riders in treacherous whoops and sand section. In the 450 class Yamaha rookie Cooper Webb threw down a time over a second faster than anyone else in the field. Pro Circuit's Justin Hill would do nearly the same thing in the 250 class; although it'd be the second overall qualifier that was turning heads. The number 95 of AJ Catanzaro would put down a controversial fast lap that was number two on the time sheet and good enough for first gate pick in his heat race. Catanzaro rode the 250 "B" segment during round 1 of qualifying but then rode the "C" segment for his final qualifier, which produced his fast lap. Controversial but either way we were pumped to see a privateer at the top of the sheet!

Racing, it's what we buy a seat for and it was good in Oakland. The top nine transfer from two separate 250 heat races. Husqvarna backed Martin Davalos and the Rockstar Yamaha of Aaron Plessinger took the wins. In the 450 class it'd be the same brands on the top step with Husqvarna's Jason Anderson and Cooper Webb on his Factory Yamaha taking the W's. Semi qualifiers in the 450 class would be won by two guys who surprisingly didn't transfer from their heats. RedBull KTM rider Ryan Dungey and Kawasaki's Eli Tomac would both make the main via semi wins. Another unlikely sight is seeing factory guys in the Last Chance Qualifiers. 250 class points leader Shane Mcelrath would get in the main with his LCQ win and bring with him Justin Starling, Chase Marquier and Justin Hoeft, who made his first main. Dean Wilson would make his debut on the Rockstar Husqvarna team and make the 450 main with an LCQ win. KCMX.net rider, Alex Ray would make his 2nd main and transfer with Cade Clason and Adam Enticknap.

Main events were good! The track played part and the timed races just made the strong survive. Justin Hill would start out in front of the 250 field and look strong. His will would be challenged when a piece of debris on the track caused a tip over that'd close the gap. Hill showed his true colors and held on to make it 3 in a row. The podium was rounded off by Martin Davalos and Shane Mcelrath. Hill now takes over the points lead by 1 point. In the 450 class it'd be Ryan Dungey finding his groove at the front of the pack. When Dungey's KTM is out front, he normally has the race in the bag. For the second time in as many weeks, Eli Tomac was out to prove a point. The Kawasaki rider is on a mission and right now is the guy to beat. He'd come from 8th to hunt down the leader and take the win in convincing fashion. Dungey has a 17 point lead but Tomac has not ruled out a championship. Cooper Webb would have a career best finish on his Yamaha with the final podium spot.

This week we have to shout out Justin Starling. The number 71 made a switch from a KTM to a Husqvarna  by joining the JMC Motorsports team. He'd go out and get a career best 8th place. Decked out in Alias gear and a risky Denver Broncos helmet in Raider Nation, he made good on the new ride and should be a name towards that top 10 during the remaining west coast rounds. Hell of a day J-Star!

We'd also like to give a big shout out to KCMX.net riders Alex Ray, Noah McConahy and Heath Harrison who all scored career best finishes in Oakland. 

Rider: Justin Starling | Photo: Connor Moore

And now...The Others

5. 321 Bradley Lionnet
6. 138 Blake Lilly
7. 58 Chris Alldredge
8. 154 Brandon Scharer
9. 715 Kele Russell
10. 240 Bryce Stewart
11. 149 Tallon Lafountaine
12. 388 Brandan Leith
13. 271 Kyle Frye
14. 976 Josh Greco
15. 797 Robin Kappel
16. 523 Miles Daniele
17. 948 Johan Nystrom
18. 283 Kai Mukai
19. 383 Casey Brennan
20. 448 Broc Shoemaker
21. 805 Carlen Gardner
22. 962 Dimitri Rolando

5. 374 Cody Gilmore
6. 606 Ronnie Stewart
7. 181 Dustin Pipes
8. 282 Bubba Pauli
9. 740 Lane Staley
10. 291 Kyle White
11. 918 Michael Akaydin
12. 509 Alex Nagy
13. 792 Bracken Hall
15. 90 Dylan Epstein
16. 713 Chad Cook
17. 723 Tyler Enticknap
18. 251 Kyle Gills
19. 542 Johnnie Buller
20. 526 Colton Aeck
21. 96 Vann Martin
22. 801 Jeff Alessi
24. 85 Tommy Hahn

Everything is bigger in Texas and next week Round 6 should offer intense racing as Tomac sees his championship in sight and the 250 west has become a battle in the late stages.

-Kyle Pesci

This week "The Others" is brought to you by FXR Racing. Just clicmk the picture to check out the hottest gear on the market and the leader in privateer support.

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