Roczen & Ferrandis Ace Afternoon Qualifying At The 2019 Oakland Supercross
TEXT | Michael Antonovich
IMAGES | Mike Emery
The fourth round of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross Series has taken riders and teams to California's Bay Area for the 2019 Oakland Supercross. After last week's Triple Crown, it's back to the normal format at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum and a full field of riders is ready for a night of racing. Will we see a new winner in the 250 and 450 classes, or will one of the early victors add another mark to their record?
The Dirt Wurx crew strayed from their initial plans for the Oakland layout, as the finish line has been relocated from the center of the circuit to an edge of the track triple, and a second whoop section was put in that space. Oakland has a history of soft, rutted tracks but dry weather in recent days has resulted in a very firm, fast layout. There are still ruts and holes in the turns and jump transitions, so it'll be interesting to see how the track develops over the course of the night.
250 CLASS QUALIFYING REPORT
For the second time this season, Dylan Ferrandis clocked the fastest lap of the 250 class in qualifying. The Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha rider was on top of both sessions and his fastest lap of all, a 52.795, was roughly a half-second faster than anyone else in the class. He was the only 250 class rider in the 52-second range.
Anaheim Two's overall winner Shane McElrath comes into the weekend as one to watch and the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM claimed second on the board with a 53.320 time.
RJ Hampshire's fastest lap of the day came in the first qualifying session and the 53.367 put the GEICO Honda rider third overall.
Jimmy Decotis was a surprise to many in the afternoon sessions, as the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing rider was at the top of the board a few times and eventually ended up fourth on the timesheet with a 53.413.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Adam Cianciarulo was fifth fastest in the 250 class thanks to a 53.494 time in the final session, but the most notable thing about his day was the close call he had while jumping through the rhythm lane that forced him to land on the Tuff Blocks. Luckily, Cianciarulo was able to ride it out without going down.
450 CLASS QUALIFYING REPORT
Ken Roczen’s best lap of the day was during the first round of qualifying and the Team Honda HRC rider’s 52.709 lap was the one to beat through the rest of the afternoon. Roczen was one of the few riders in the session that launched a double out of a sand turn over the first-turn, a move that didn’t look possible later in the afternoon, and that might have been key.
It’s been good to see Cole Seely get back up to speed following last year’s injuries and during the afternoon program at Oakland, all looked good for the Team Honda HRC rider. Seely was the fastest rider of the second session with a 52.956 time, and that put him second overall in the class.
Joey Savatgy’s rookie season has been up and down so far, but the afternoon was definitely “up” for the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider thanks to the 52.962 lap, the third fastest of the class.
Red Bull KTM teammates Marvin Musquin and Cooper Webb ran a close pace in qualifying, as the difference between both rider’s best laps was 0.076, with Musquin’s 53.046 besting Webb’s 53.122.
Tyler Bowers was one to watch all through qualifying, as the Triggr Racing/Kawasaki rider held the top spot on the board at various points in both sessions. In the end, Bowers’ best lap was a 53.341 and he was seventh fastest in the class.