Monster Energy Supercross Points Leader Roczen Gunning for First-Ever Win at O.co Coliseum in Oakland Can Webb Make it Three in a Row in the 250SX Class?
This Saturday night, O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California will play host to the fourth Monster Energy AMA Supercross race of the 2015 season. Suzuki’s Ken Roczen extended his points lead to 12 in the 450SX Class after winning his second race of the season in Anaheim, California last Saturday night. With his second consecutive win of the season, Yamaha’s Cooper Webb brought the Angel Stadium crowd to their feet with his last-lap pass for the lead and took over the Western Regional 250SX Class points lead.
Click below to watch the official post show of the third round at Anaheim
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Some key insights to watch heading into this Saturday night’s race include:
There will not be a current Oakland 450SX Class race winner lined up on the gate Saturday night, who will join James Stewart and Ryan Villopoto as the only riders to win in Oakland?
There has not been a rider to win both classes in Oakland. Roczen,Broc Tickle, Eli Tomac, and Jason Anderson, who are now racing in the 450SX Class have all won the 250SX Class, can one of them accomplish this feat?
Chad Reed has never gone four races into the season without a podium finish, can he earn his first podium finish of 2015?
Not since 2006 when Ricky Carmichael accomplished it, has Suzuki earned three wins in five races, can Roczen match that this weekend?
KTM and Husqvarna have not won in Oakland in the 450SX Class; can Dungey or Anderson give them their first win?
Josh Hansen, Zach Osborne, and Justin Hill are the only active Western Regional 250SX Class riders to have finished on the podium previously in Oakland
Yamaha has not won three consecutive 250SX Class Main Events since 2008 when Jason Lawrence did it, can Cooper Webb make it three in a row?
Reigning AMSOIL Arenacross Champion Tyler Bowers has finished third, fourth and second, can he get his first 250SX Class win of 2015?
After an on-track altercation between Chad Reed and Trey Canard, Reed was subsequently black flagged, how will the two compete against one another this Saturday night?
In the 450SX Class Main Event, Roczen did not waste any time working his way to the front of the field with two quick passes on Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Davi Millsaps and then BTO Sports KTM’s Andrew Short for second and first, respectively. The strategy was modeled after his season-opening win at Angel Stadium. Roczen has led 46 of the 60 laps this season.
“That was an awesome race and I fought hard the whole way,” said Roczen, who earned his fourth career victory. “It was a tricky track, but I was able to get a good start, get into the lead early and ride my own race. I’m so happy.”
Motosport.com/Arma Energy Yamaha’s Jimmy Albertson earned the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award, which was his first-ever in the 450SX Class, but his lead was short lived. Albertson would fall out his podium position after falling victim to a crash that also collected Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson.
Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey charged through the field to pick off Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed and Millsaps, who were running third and second, respectively. Dungey rode laps 4-20 in second place and earned his best finish of the season and his 59th 450SX Class podium of his career.
“It was a good night and we gave a hard push,” said Dungey. “The first lap was chaos with everyone fighting for position, so Kenny [Roczen] got away a bit. I tried to close down the best I could, but lappers got in the way. The track was really difficult and you could only do so much. I’m excited and we’ll build from this.”
After winning his first 450SX Class Main Event in Phoenix at the season’s second race, GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac made up for his eighth-place start and passed Reed for third, scoring his second consecutive podium finish after starting the season in 20th place.
While riding in fourth place, Team Honda’s Trey Canard crashed, which ultimately took Reed down and out of fourth place. After re-joining the race, Reed made an aggressive pass on Canard that would eventually force him to crash. Reed was subsequently black flagged and disqualified from competition.
Since the championship returned to Oakland in 2011, there has not been a rider to win in Oakland in both classes. Broc Tickle, Tomac, Roczen, and Anderson, who are now in the 450SX Class, have all won the 250SX Class in Oakland and could become the first double class winners this year.
When the gates dropped for the Western Regional 250SX Class Main Event, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne earned his second straight SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award. Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Red Bull/KTM’s Jessy Nelson, who came into the race with the points lead, raced around Osborne and into the lead just after the completion of the opening lap.
On Lap 6, Nelson crashed and lost several valuable positions. Four-time AMSOIL Arenacross Champion Tyler Bowers, who was running second when Nelson crashed, put his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki into the lead.
Despite a 12th place start, Webb was on a tear, moving into second place, just 4 seconds behind Bowers. On the race’s final lap, Webb shot to the inside Bowers and made enough contact during the pass to force Bowers off the track and into second place.
“That was crazy. I got a bad start and had to come through the pack, so I was just trying to get into the top five,” said Webb, who raced to his first career win a week ago. “Then I got into second and realized I had a shot at the win. On the last lap I had to just put it in there, so I did and I was able to get by.”
Bowers held on to second place, his best finish of the season.
“I got a decent start, but I rode better with people in front of me than out front by myself,” said Bowers. “I didn’t get tight or anything, I just made a lot of small mistakes. We’re looking good in the championship with a third, a fourth and now a second, so it’s hard to be angry with that. If we can get a couple wins we’ll really be in this [championship at the end].”
Webb passed Nelson for control of the Western Regional 250SX Class championship standings and now sits four points ahead. Bowers moved into a tie with Nelson for second.
During last year’s 450SX Class Main Event in Oakland, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto scored his second win of the season en route to a fourth consecutive championship. In the 250SX Class, Anderson won his third race of the season, which gave him a surge of momentum that ultimately carried him to the 2014 Western Regional 250SX Class title.
Monster Energy Supercross continues next weekend with its fourth stop of the 17-race season from Oakland, California, signifying the first of two visits to the Bay Area in 2015.
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