Race Report: Oakland

A race-by-race recap.

Sunday 5th February 2017
8:32am GMT

A race-by-race recap.

Those who perused the paddock at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum expected chaos to ensue in the night show, as consistent rainfall made conditions sloppy during practice. But, alas, the sun emerged from behind the clouds and everything seemed fairly normal once the main programme begun, although the track did break down much faster than usual.

Much like Anaheim 2, Ryan Dungey was left with a sub-par gate after being forced to transfer to the 450SX main event through the semi. That was not enough to hold him back though, as he disposed of Vince Friese in turn two and took the early lead. Cooper Webb eventually moved into the runner-up spot and chased Dungey, but started to lose touch after just a couple of laps.

Ryan Dungey looked great at the start of the 450SX main event (Sean Ogden)

It seemed as though the race for the win was over at that point, as Dungey continued to build on his lead that was as big as six seconds at one point. Eli Tomac was working his way through the field after starting eighth, however, and eventually stole second from Webb. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider was not finished there, as he cut into the deficit that he faced to Dungey and eventually made a move stick in the whoops on lap sixteen. Tomac would eventually win his second-consecutive race by more than ten seconds. Dungey stood on the second step of the box, and now sits on a seventeen-point lead, whilst Webb acquired his first 450SX podium finish.

Martin Davalos took the holeshot in the 250SX West main event and established an advantage immediately, as Austin Forkner collected half the field in a spectacular crash. Justin Hill and Shane McElrath escaped unscathed, but Aaron Plessinger was involved and had to charge forwards from the back of the pack. Forkner, by the way, withdrew, but did ride off under his own power.

Hill wasted no time at the head of the field and pounced early, so took the lead and sprinted away. Most expected McElrath, his title rival, to follow him around Davalos, but he struggled to shake Jimmy Decotis off. Decotis was chasing McElrath all night and actually passed him in the main event, but a mistake and some backmarkers cost him his first trip to the podium. Meanwhile, at the front, Hill faltered and dropped his Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki, but he managed to get up without losing a position and eventually took his third-consecutive victory. Davalos rode conservative to finish second, whilst McElrath watched the red plate slip away in third.

Monster Energy Supercross will now vacate California completely, as Arlington is the next appointment on the seventeen-race schedule. The race, which acts as round six, will be the final event for the 250SX West riders before a lengthy break.

Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Sean Ogden


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