Eli Tomac closed the gap to three points on Ken Roczen last week with his Monster Energy Supercross win at RingCentral Coliseum. They will continue their battle down the coast in San Diego in PETCO Park Saturday night (on NBCSN at 10 p.m. ET). Last year’s San Diego race was a muddy, sloppy affair. This year it’s forecast to be contested under clear skies.
Tomac had one of those performances at Oakland that makes one wonder how he does not yet have a Supercross championship. He’s come close with a second last year and in 2015 and ’17.
Meanwhile, Roczen is also searching for his first Supercross championship after finishing second in 2016.
Injuries kept him from challenging in 2017-18, and a bout with fatigue plagued him last year, so the stinger he sustained to his foot in Oakland played heavily on his mind. He medically is cleared for San Diego. The potential injury came in the final turn last week when Cooper Webb knocked him off balance in a battle for second.
With his Oakland win, Tomac took sole possession of seventh on the all-time wins list. It also moved him into 10th on the all-time list of podium finishes.
The winner of San Diego has won the title 42 percent of the time, including three of the last five years.
For now, it is shaping up to be a two-man show with Tomac three points behind Roczen. Sitting 12 points out of second and 15 from first, Justin Barcia needs to gain some momentum. Barcia narrowly missed the top five last week with his sixth-place finish.
He chased Jason Anderson in the closing laps. But Anderson kept his perfect 2020 top-five streak alive.
Cooper Webb has his work cut out for him. San Diego has not been good to him with an average finish of 13th. He has 18 points to make up on Roczen if he wants the red plate again. Last year, he finished eighth in this race.
Webb won San Diego in 2015 and 2016, however, making him one of five riders with two victories there. Tomac also has two (2011 and 2013). No one has more.
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Justin Cooper earned his 10th career podium last week, but lost the red plate to teammate Dylan Ferrandis.
Wedged between two extremely aggressive riders in the points, he told NBC this week that the key to his success is consistency. Cooper is only two points behind Ferrandis and eight ahead of Austin Forkner.
Cooper’s 10 podium finishes have come in just 15 starts. Four of them have come in the five races of 2020. Better yet, Cooper has yet to finish outside of the top 10.
Luke Clout has been closing in on a strong run all year with a seventh at St. Louis and a sixth in A2. He finally earned his first career top five last week in Oakland.
Christian Craig remains out with a hand injury sustained at San Diego.
Qualifying: 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Gold
Race: 10 p.m. on NBC Sports Gold and NBCSN
Eli Tomac beat Cooper Webb and Ken Roczen in the 450 class.
Dylan Ferrandis beat Austin Forkner and Justin Cooper in the 250 class.
Last San Diego race (February, 2019):
Eli Tomac beat Marvin Musquin and Ken Roczen in the 450 class.
Adam Cianciarulo beat Garrett Marchbanks and Jimmy Decotis in the 250 class.
Ken Roczen (113)
Eli Tomac (110)
Justin Barcia (98)
Jason Anderson (96)
Cooper Webb (95)
Dylan Ferrandis (109)
Justin Cooper (107)
Austin Forkner (99)
Brandon Hartranft (92)
Alex Martin (85)
(2) Ken Roczen (St. Louis and Glendale)
(2) Eli Tomac (Anaheim 2 and Oakland)
(1) Justin Barcia (Anaheim 1)
(2) Austin Forkner (St. Louis and Glendale)
(2) Dylan Ferrandis (Anaheim 2 and Oakland)
(1) Justin Cooper (Anaheim 1)
(5) Jason Anderson
(4) Eli Tomac
(4) Cooper Webb
(4) Ken Roczen
(3) Justin Barcia
(2) Zach Osborne
(2) Adam Cianciarulo
(1) Blake Baggett
(4) Dylan Ferrandis
(4) Austin Forkner
(4) Justin Cooper
(3) Michael Mosiman
(3) Brandon Hartranft
(3) Alex Martin
(1) Christian Craig
(1) Jett Lawrence
(1) Jacob Hayes
(1) Luke Clout