Supercross Preview: Favorites seek revenge in San Diego

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What a difference a year makes. Cooper Webb finished ninth in the standings in 2018 with 181 points. He enters San Diego with the red plate affixed to his bike and 83 points to his credit – nearly 46 percent of last year’s total in only four races.

According to RacerXOnline.com, the points leader after Round 4 has gone on to win the last five 450 championships. Then again, no one has had a smaller lead at this stage of the season as the top four are separated by only four points.

Webb is not the only driver riding above expectations this year. In four races so far, riders have scored their first, second or third career victories – shutting out the favorites. And that is going to dominate this week’s storylines as they seek revenge in San Diego.

It won’t be easy, however; last year Marvin Musquin finished second in San Diego to the eventual champion Jason Anderson but the riders currently second and third in the standings experienced trouble and finished at the very back of the pack. Ken Roczen finished 21st two laps off the pace with Eli Tomac DNFing in 22nd.

Increasing the level of difficulty this week is the forecast. For the second time this season, rain is expected to impact the feature just as it did in Anaheim I when Justin Barcia and Colt Nichols survived the mud to post surprising victories.

Schedule:

Qualifying: 4 p.m. on NBC Sports, Gold
Race: Live, 10 p.m. on NBCSN and NBC Sports, Gold

Last Week:

Cooper Webb became the first two-time winner this season ahead of Marvin Musquin and Blake Baggett in the 450 class.
Adam Cianciarulo beat Dylan Ferrandis and Colt Nichols in the 250 class.

Last year:

Jason Anderson beat Marvin Musquin and Blake Baggett in the 450 class.
Justin Hill beat Adam Cianciarulo and Chase Sexton in the 250 class.

Winners

450s:
[2] Cooper Webb (Anaheim II, Oakland)
[1] Justin Barcia (Anaheim I)
[1] Blake Baggett (Glendale)

250s:
[2] Adam Cianciarulo (Glendale, Oakland)
[1] Colt Nichols (Anaheim I)
[1] Shane McElrath (Anaheim II)

Top-5s

450s:
Ken Roczen (4)
Eli Tomac (4)
Marvin Musquin (3)
Cooper Webb (3)
Dean Wilson (2)
Blake Baggett (2)
Justin Barcia (1)
Jason Anderson (1)

250s:
Shane McElrath (4)
Colt Nichols (4)
Adam Cianciarulo (4)
RJ Hampshire (3)
Dylan Ferrandis (3)
James Decotis (1)
Jacob Hayes (1)

Points Leaders

450s:
Cooper Webb (83)
Ken Roczen (81)
Eli Tomac (80)
Marvin Musquin (79)
Justin Barcia (72)

250s:
Colt Nichols (91)
Adam Cianciarulo (88)
Shane McElrath (87)
Dylan Ferrandis (86)
RJ Hampshire (67)

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Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III