Reed takes the glory in San Diego
Not to overdo the hyperbole or anything, but has there ever been a supercross season like this one?
The San Diego event was round seven in the series, the race saw the fourth different winner of the season, and reigning champion Ryan Dungey still isn’t among their number.
There are 23 points covering the top five - there’s still a long way to go, but the indications are that this one’ll go all the way to the wire…
With heavy rain making conditions treacherous, Australian Chad Reed led them away from the gate in the 450 main, ahead of last week’s winner Trey Canard, Andrew Short, Ryan Dungey and James Stewart - series leader Ryan Villopoto, however, went down hard in turn one and took some time to get going.
Once running, he put on his normal searing pace, but by then he was a long way back and it was all about damage limitation.
Clearly keen to maintain his momentum, Canard pressed Reed early and made his way by for the lead a couple of laps in, then began to edge away only to crash after five laps, handing the Thunder from Down Under the number one spot and falling back to third - Stewart had by this time made his way into second, and Canard remounted just in front of Dungey in fourth, the three of them circulating together as Reed edged away up front.
Stewart stalled in the mud 14 laps in and a lot of the fight seemed to leave the Floridian, whilst the feisty Canard would crash a lap later, promoting Dungey to second dropping himself to fourth, just ahead of a lively four-way battle between Davi Millsaps, Andrew Short, Brett Metcalfe and a fast-moving Ryan Villopoto.
Reed would cruise home five seconds to the good ahead of Dungey, with a dispirited Stewart way back in third just a couple of seconds ahead of Canard and the brawl behind him, eight seconds covering third through to eighth - Villopoto’s seventh was scant reward for a hard night’s work, but it keeps him at the head of the championship, three points ahead of Stewart, whilst Reed and Canard are now tied for third thirteen points behind Stewart, with Dungey a further seven points in arrears.
It’s been a tumultuous start to the year for Reed - going into the season, the two-time Supercross champion didn’t even have a team, and decided to build his own.
The pace has been there from the start of the year but fortune has been against him - San Diego has shown, however, that as long as he can get a decent start and stay on the bike, he can run with anyone out there.
If there was any doubt before, put it aside - Speedy Reedy is in the championship hunt right now. Eli Tomac was just untouchable in the 250 class.
The eighteen-year-old got the holeshot and fought off the early attentions of series leader Josh Hansen before Hansen - racing with a broken hand - understandably began to fall off the pace, yielding second to first Jimmy Decotis, then the battling trio of Tyla Rattray, Broc Tickle and Cole Seeley.
Decotis would drop to fifth within the space of a lap as the others bustled by - they would remain nose-to-tail throughout the duration of the race, but without anyone ever having enough available to make a move on the others.
The race would thus finish with Tomac leading Rattray, Tickle and Seeley, with Decotis a fine fifth and the gutsy Hansen clinging on for sixth to maintain a three point lead heading into a two month break for the West Coast 250 riders.
Seventh went to Ken Roczen - the speedy German was looking good in practice, but a first-turn crash rather dented his hopes.
It’s testimony to his speed, however, that he could fall twice more whilst battling through the pack in a fifteen lap main event and still finish seventh. Just be nice to see what he could do if he can actually stay on the thing…