Main Event Results At 2019 Oakland Supercross Reignite Championship Hopes For Multiple Riders
TEXT | Michael Antonovich
PHOTOS | Octopi
After weeks of driving back and forth between cities in the southwest, the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross Series made the run to California’s Bay Area for the fourth round of the championship, the 2019 Oakland Supercross. After a handful of different winners in the opening races (Barcia/Baggett/Webb in the 450 class, Nichols/Cianciarulo/McElrath in the 250 class), many expected another new rider to add their name to the scorecard, but instead two riders became the first in their classes to score multiple victories.
250 Heat Race One
Contact between Enzo Lopes and Shane McElrath over the first jumps in the track put the two front-runners on the ground on the opening lap and pushed Jess Pettis and Cameron McAdoo into the front spots. Pettis pushed his way to the front and the Red Bull KTM Canada rider held a modest lead over the field until mistakes in the late stages of the moto dropped him from first to fifth in the matter of a lap; McAdoo, Jimmy Decotis, Jacob Hayes, and Michael Mosiman all got by. With two laps left in the race, Decotis closed in on McAdoo thanks to fast runs over the whoops and made the deciding pass in the following turn. With this, the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing rider went on to take the win.
McElrath was able to rebound after the crash and worked his way back to sixth place, well within transfer to the Main Event.
250 Heat Race Two
RJ Hampshire emerged from the first turn at the front of the field and set the pace through the opening laps of the moto with Dylan Ferrandis in tow. With three minutes and a lap left in the race, Hampshire attempted to close the inside line of the sand on Ferrandis but tucked the front-end of his GEICO Honda, which resulted in a slow spill and a lead change. Once up front, Ferrandis clicked off laps well ahead of teammate Colt Nichols and nabbed the win. Hampshire would eventually remount and finish the race in fourth place.
A poor start put Adam Cianciarulo deep in the pack through the first lanes of the opening lap, but the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider worked back to third at the finish.
450 Heat Race One
Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM's Blake Baggett had the best start of the first 450 qualifying race and held the lead through the opening lap over Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac. Passes for the top spots took place in and around the whoops, as Tomac and Team Honda HRC's Cole Seely got around Baggett for first and second place.
Dean Wilson dabbed his left foot through the first turn and as a result, the Rockstar Energy/AGL/Ignite/Husqvarna rider rolled through the first lap in order to sort out the issue. He finished the moto in fourteenth and was forced to line up for the LCQ. Justin Bogle had a wild get-off in the closing laps of the race: just as the Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM rider passed Cole Martinez for the final transfer position, he mistimed the whoops and crashed at the end of the section. Bogle got up unharmed, but the rear-end of the motorcycle was too mangled for him to continue the race and he was sent to the LCQ.
450 Heat Race Two
Anaheim Two overall winner Cooper Webb claimed the holeshot over Joey Savatgy, Chad Reed, and Ken Roczen. The clear track allowed Webb to build a solid one-second lead and all looked well for the Red Bull KTM rider through the opening laps of the race. Unfortunately for Webb, things unraveled when his bike stalled at the exit the hairpin turn that separated the two whoop sections and he coasted to a stop. Savatgy was the rider that benefited from Webb's issue and the Monster Energy Kawasaki rookie rider rolled to the first win of his 450 career.
The first-turn took Enzo Lopes down for a second time in the LCQ, as he was pushed wide by another rider and crashed into the track barrier. Thomas Do and Logan Karnow managed to get through the start without issue, though, and it allowed them to get first and second place, respectively. It became clear early in the night that the whoops would have an influence on the outcome of each race and in the LCQ, the rollers knocked Do out of rhythm and Karnow claimed the lead, which he held to the checkered flag.
Dean Wilson and Justin Bogle claimed the top two spots at the very start of the LCQ and together they motored on to transfer spots into the Main Event with little issue.
Angelo Pellegrini mounted a charge to catch Ronnie Stewart for the final gate in the Main Event but just when it seemed like a pass was coming, the Italian rider jumped into the trackside Tuff Blocks and went down face-first into an awaiting jump. He would eventually walk off the track with the help of the medical crew, while Stewart joined Wilson, Bogle, and Ryan Breece in the final race.
250 Main Event
Three riders can say they held the lead of the opening lap in the 250 feature; Colt Nichols was credited with the holeshot, Cameron McAdoo cut through the inside of the second turn to take the spot, and Adam Cianciarulo used a faster line through the long rhythm to slip by McAdoo. These, strangely enough, would be the only exchanges for the lead over the course of the seventeen-lap race. Cianciarulo controlled most of the lines around the Oakland layout and kept Nichols at bay just enough to keep a true pass attempt from happening, despite the less than half-second margin between the two. Cianciarulo had his share of close calls due to the pressure from Nichols and nearly looped out twice in the whoops, but he managed to maintain control of the bike and the lead.
The tussle between Cianciarulo and Nichols for first allowed Shane McElrath and Dylan Ferrandis to work their way into the mix, as they clocked quicker laps than the top two and cut the gap down to get a few bike lengths. Ferrandis was the fastest rider of this group at this time and over the course of a few laps he passed McElrath for third and reeled in teammate Nichols for second. Contact between the Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha teammates seemed to knock Nichols of out rhythm and Ferrandis made the deciding pass in the sand section.
Two battles formed in the final laps, with Cianciarulo and Ferrandis in a sprint for the win and Nichols and McElrath in a lapper-laden spat for third. The tough to pass track worked in the favor of Cianciarulo and Nichols because both riders held their spots despite the best efforts of Ferrandis and McElrath. This was Cianciarulo's second Main Event win of the season and Nichols' fourth podium finish. With this, Nichols maintained his spot at the top of the championship standings and Cianciarulo moved to second overall.
450 Main Event
Cooper Webb controlled the 450 Main Event from the moment the gate hit the dirt until the checkered flag flew. The Red Bull KTM cut a tight line through the left-hand first-turn, then pulled ahead of teammate Marvin Musquin and LCQ runner-up Justin Bogle down the long rhythm lane. Bogle's bid to hold third over Aaron Plessinger, Joey Savatgy, and Ken Roczen allowed Webb and Musquin to put distance over the field, something that would be crucial for Webb late in the race.
Bogle would eventually drop down the top-ten after passes by Plessinger, Savatgy, and Roczen, but the final running order between this group wasn't settled until later in the race. The first defining moment for this group was when Plessinger went down on the jump into the sand and his Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing was landed on by other competitors; he would remount and finish nineteenth. Marvin Musquin made a mistake in a turn and fell from second to fourth, which gave Webb an eight-second advantage on the field. Bike issues also struck Savatgy in the same section just a few laps later, but his problem appeared to be a mechanical issue with the Monster Energy Kawasaki and not a crash. All of these issues rushed Roczen up to second place and Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac worked up to third place, thanks in part to a pass on Musquin. Just when it looked like Tomac had Roczen lined to for a second place pass, Tomac had troublesome lap and slid to fifth place behind Musquin and Blake Baggett. Roczen later was passed by both Musquin and Baggett, which gave KTM all three of the podium spots.
Musquin put in a hard charge through the final half of the race and chopped Webb's once eight-second lead down to just three seconds with a few laps to go. But Webb still controlled the lines on the challenging track and did everything necessary to keep the top spot for his second consecutive win. With this result, Webb moved to the top of the championship standings over Roczen, who ultimately finished in fourth place.