San Diego played host to Monster Energy AMA Supercross this weekend on a super fast track that seriously looked like a BMX track when it was groomed. A ridiculous BMX track, but still. The Lites riders, on their last race for nearly two months, were dipping into 46 second territory on a track that featured long flowy rhythm straights and 180 turns.
Eli Tomac and Dean Wilson took turns leading in practice with Tomac eventually winning the battle and becoming the top qualifier with a 46.450 lap time. In the heat races, there was lots of bar banging action on a track that favored the block pass with some moves being a little rougher than maybe was necessary! All the true drama was in the Lites Main tonight. Dean Wilson was a distant 20+ points behind leader Tomac for the West Lites title and with a long break ahead he came in charging, despite what he told reporters earlier in the day. Dean, maybe playing a little mind poker, suggested he had conceded the championship to Eli Tomac by saying that he was just going to enjoy the weekend and let things fall where they may. It was evident in how hard he fought to get a good start and into the lead that was not the case. He jumped into a lead and opened up an early gap.
Eli Tomac got pushed on the start and battled up to third and that’s when things got hairy. You know how they always told us in Little League or Soccer how it’s not over ’til the fat lady sings? Well, the fat ladies flight never even made it to San Diego to give her the chance. Eli Tomac went down hard in the marquee feature Whoop section. He snagged the top of one with his body while flying through the air and got hammered in by his Honda. he got up and tried to continue but eventually left the race favoring his right shoulder. That put the one time points leader now two points behind new leader and race winner Dean Wilson! Had Tomac finished third or even second, he would have lost minimal points to Wilson and been in much better shape when the Supercross Series returns West in seven weeks.
The big bikes put on one a hell of a show and is just so full of talent, it reminds me of the late eighties and early nineties, when the races for the podium spots were the best on the track. Ryan Villopoto put on a clinic in toughness to win his third Monster Energy AMA Supercross Main Event this season and help build a cushion in the points lead as the series heads the to the Lone Star State next week.
Coming into this one, I was leaning hard towards picking Two-Two Motorsports Chad Reed to win it in San Diego because of his past sucesss here and when I saw the track, I knew it was one that would favor him. (Note: I thought it was kind of strange that the race that is closest to the ocean had no sand incorporated into the track.) Chad would qualify third behind James Stewart who was fastest early on. Ryan Villopoto studied between qualifying practices though and laid down a very low 46 to take the top seed. Justin Brayton, who has been improving every week got punked by his Muscle Milk Honda in a rythym section and caused a Red Flag while the Asterisk Medical crew scooped him away. He would return and ride really well in the Main later in the night. Guess that Muscle Milk works!
The talk of the night on the track was the viciously long Whoop section that the Dirt Werx crew had built in. It was really giving the 250’s fits as they just didn’t have the torque to muscle across the tops for that long. It was interesting to see the feature claim so many racers in the Main as the laps wore on. Even Whoops master James Stewart, fell in them (Again! I swear he is not happy with his suspension right now. Has’t looked right all season.) The real battle was up front with the points leaders dueling it out. Honda Red vs. Kawasaki Green, just like the good ‘ol days! It was a pleasure to watch two super talented riders, who aren’t afraid to take someone high and out, pass back and forth with force and respect. A gentleman’s fight with bloody noses, but no scarring hits please. The battle went on to the Checker’s with RV in the lead and Reed close behind. Stewart crashed himself out of a battle for third with Dungey who took third over Bret Metcalfe.
The points chase is led by Villopoto, then Reed who is followed by Dungey and Stewart. Only 32 points separate the four.