Oakland SX – Rider Comments
Round five of the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship series was dominated for the second straight weekend by the Monster Energy / Kawasaki boys in both classes. Eli Tomac completed an incredible come from behind win to make it two in a row in the 450SX class, and Justin Hill took over the Western Regional 250SX Supercross Championship with his third win in a row.
Joining Eli on the 450SX podium was Red Bull / KTM’s Ryan Dungey and Monster / Yamaha’s Cooper Webb, and joining Justin on on the 250SX podium was Rockstar / Husqvarna’s Martin Davalos and Troy Lee Design / KTM’s Shane McElrath.
Read post race quotes from all the podium finishers and more in “Rider Quotes: 2017 Oakland SX” below.
Eli Tomac: (1st in 450SX) “Two in a row is a pretty good feeling, especially for the track conditions and the different racing surface we had this week from last week. I think today confirms that last weekend wasn’t a fluke. I had the big open stadium, the hard pack and I think people judge me as a pinner and say I can only ride that big of a track, but I proved them wrong tonight and took the win in the main. It wasn’t pretty all day before the main.”
Justin Hill: (1st in 250SX) “What can you say, three in a row! I’ve never gone two in a row, let alone three in a row. I’ve got a great mindset. I’m in a great position, and I didn’t think I was going to win this one. I was sick as a dog all week. I came into tonight feeling really weak, and I just pulled it together. Like I said, I have a really great mindset this year and winning is the only thing on my mind. Everything else falls away, especially when that 30-second board goes up for the main. It’s a points paying race, and I’m going for it. There’s nothing else. I’ve never been—for lack of better words—a man in this sport. Now I’m manning up and getting it done. I’m just doing it.”
Cooper Webb: (3rd in 450SX) “Mainly just the mentality of it all really. I think I am gaining confident and getting better and better. The bike is coming around, we are doing some racing and racing for me is the best way to push the bike and myself. I think that was the main thing. Today was a good day and sometimes you just have those days when you know it’s going to be a good day. I made a mistake and got some dirt clogged in my brake and I couldn’t get it out. I wanted to be on the podium and Eli was coming and I know he wanted it too. You get into your groove where you feel comfortable, but when stuff like that happens (an altercation with Jason Anderson), you have to get back on it and push it again. I was glad to regroup and still get up here.”
Austin Forkner: (DNF in 250SX) “Today wasn’t easy. I struggled to find my groove and get a clean lap in. Once I made it through the heat race in one piece, I made another mistake in the main and it ended my race. I have to take the good with the bad and just move on. There’s always next week.:
Cole Seely: (5th in 450SX) “It was a good night considering how much the track deteriorated. Being the last race of the day definitely took its toll and I was focused on making as few mistakes as possible. I am focused on making it back to the podium next weekend in Texas.”
Jimmy Decotis: (4th in 250SX) “I started eighth or ninth around the first corner and there was that big pileup. I came around the triple and I was in fourth. I don’t know how that happened. I ended up getting by Shane [McElrath] in the whoops and actually rode good for the first eight minutes but I missed a rhythm and made a couple mistakes and Shane ended up getting back by me. Toward the end I reeled him back in and was thinking podium. It’s something I’ve never gotten in my career and I’m getting better every week and it was my time to get it. I made a run on the last lap in the whoops but he kind of inched me out a little bit into the lappers. It was hard out there with the lappers, it was a tough track. The harder you pushed the worse it was. I felt like I was just trail riding out there. It was still tiring even though I felt like I wasn’t pushing that hard. Fourth isn’t where I want to be, I want to get on the podium. It’s something I want to experience. I want to get up there and stay up there. Tonight I was really close, but just missed it.
Jason Anderson: (4th in 450SX) “I had a much better race compared to last week. I started off decent in practice then just tried to keep learning the track and be better than I was the last few weekends. It’s good to come out and get a top-five. I’ll try to get better from here.”
Martin Davalos: (2nd in 250SX) “Today was more like what I’m used to. I like ruts and a technical track. I started off with a pretty good practice and, surprisingly, the track was amazing despite the rain. I got a good start in the main but made a mistake in the first lap and Justin got by me. I was trying to ride a smart race, but it was tough to make up time. I’ll take the podium finish, and we’re still in this to the last race. I’ll be racing hard until Vegas.”
Dean Wilson: (10th in 450SX) “I’ll take today as a pretty good positive. I qualified really well – I haven’t been on the board all year – ended up sixth overall so that was a great start. It’s such an exciting week for me since getting on the team. I fell first lap of my heat race in the sand. I went into the semi, made the pass for third, but then made a rider error and crashed again. I went into the LCQ – I just put in all the laps tonight – and won that. I went into the main event and was in a seventh position battle and was feeling pretty good, but then just got kind of tired in the end. The track was gnarly, but I survived and got 10th – my first top 10 of the year – so I’ll take it and move on from here.”
Shane McElrath: (3rd in 250SX) “Obviously we would want to keep the points lead, but our goal in everything we do is to learn and get better,” said McElrath. “By no means is this championship over with only one point between us. We are safe and we’ll be ready to get back on top of the box next weekend.”
Ryan Dungey: (2nd in 450SX) “The track was pretty tough, there were some spots where I was a little uncomfortable, I think for all of us riders. A track like that, it brings out the rider and the talent and you have to put it all together. We went for it at the beginning, opened up a nice little lead. I could gauge where Eli was, I saw he was doing that rhythm lane. It was a good night, I was happy with it, just a couple of spots. It’s not a bike thing, and we will work on it to make it better. I was just losing some time in some spots, but where I started out, I am happy with it.”
Noah McConahy: (9th in 250SX) “Everything with the bike and the team has been spot on. I’ve been improving every time I’m on the bike and the team has helped every step of the way. I struggled in the qualifiers but we stayed optimistic and focused on the Main. From far back in the pack, it was one of those races when I just concentrated on the next rider in front of me and did whatever I could to move forward. I’m ecstatic to land a career best in my first ride with 51FIFTY and I only expect to improve from here.”
Justin Bogle: (DNF in 450SX) “It’s definitely frustrating. I had a solid heat and a really good semi so I felt good going into the main. I had some trouble in the sand when I was going to make a pass, went down and hit my chest again. It’s tough to swallow but we’ll keep working hard. We’ll get it.”
Broc Tickle: (11th in 450SX) “It was a tough night but overall, I feel pretty good. I had a really good heat race, started up front and pretty much stayed there. I got a bad start in the main and had to play catch up the rest of the night. We’re getting ready to head east so we’ll work hard this week and be ready for Dallas Saturday night.”