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This Week in SuperMotocross: Supercross Round 2

January 11, 2024

450SX Class Recap: Anaheim Opener

Jett Lawrence

50 Years Later: Pierre Karsmakers won the first official 450SX Class race at Daytona International Speedway on March 9, 1974 and counted as his, and the other 39 competitors, first 450SX Class start. The race was a triple-crown format and he did not win the first moto, that belonged to Jim Pomeroy. 700+ riders have tried but failed to replicate this feat over 50 years and 742 rounds until Jett Lawrence pulled it off in the 2024 Anaheim Opener. The victory was Jett’s 41st SMX win which is good for 16th all-time, only one win behind legends Mark Barnett and Jeff Emig who sit inside the top-15.

Jason Anderson

Jason Lives: Much like the vaunted thrasher film from 1986 Jason has returned to form right at the beginning of his movie. After averaging a seventh-place finish in 2023 with only two podiums Anderson catapulted to second-place in the Anaheim Opener, giving chase to Lawrence more than halfway through the race. His 135th 450SX Class start moves him into 15th all-time and his 47th podium is good for 16th. JA21 also became the 53rd rider in 450SX Class history to hit the 10-year’s with a start mark.  Anderson is 4/9 in career 450SX Class podium finishes for Rd. 2’s including victories in 2018 and 2022. Anderson is looking to make his 280th career SMX start in San Francisco.

Chase Sexton

Multiple Milestones for Sexton: Chase Sexton scored a slew of 450SX Class statistical accolades with his third-place finish in the Anaheim Opener, his second in-a-row third-place finish in the Anaheim Opener. He nailed down his 25th podium, 35th top-five, 40th top-10, and 45th 450SX Class start. It was also his 70th career SMX podium and he is three starts away from hitting the 150 mark in SMX starts. Sexton has not fared well in Rd. 2’s, going 22-9-5 in his three Rd. 2 starts over his three-season 450SX Class career.

Aaron Plessinger

Notes: Aaron Plessinger (4th) Nails down his best career 450SX Class Opener finish in his six tries. His previous best was a sixth in his rookie 2019 season. Dylan Ferrandis (5th) Highest-placing “non-factory” rider backs up his fourth-place finish from last years opener with another top-five performance. He has 10 450SX Class top-five finishes and 88 SMX top-fives. Ken Roczen (10th) Moves into 10th on the all-time 450SX Class top-10 list with his 121st in 134 starts. He has 253 SMX top-10’s in 271 SMX starts. Jett Lawrence (1st), Jorge Prado (13th), & Derek Drake (15th) made their first career 450SX Class starts.

450SX Class: San Francisco Bay Area Historical Facts

San Jose: The first 450SX Class round in the San Francisco Bay Area was on June 16, 1990 in San Jose’s Spartan Stadium. It was the penultimate round of the series and Honda’s Jeff Stanton took the victory. The win gave him a comfortable 14-pt. lead over Jean-Michel Bayle heading into the finale which he held onto. All six of the San Jose Supercross rounds were “penultimate” rounds, and that is good for the third most all-time in 450SX Class history (Salt Lake City-12, L.A. Memorial Coliseum- 7). The series would return to San Jose through the 1995 season before a seven-year Supercross hiatus in the Bay Area.

Return to the Bay Area: Supercross racing returned to the Bay in San Francisco’s Oracle Park, home of the MLB’s Giants, in 2003. It was the fourth race of the season and Ricky Carmichael took his second win of what would be his third-consecutive title run. Carmichael, Chad Reed, and James Stewart would each take multiple wins in Oracle Park from 2003-2009 before Ryan Villopoto won in 2010, the last time the series was in Oracle Park.

Short Stint in Santa Clara: The San Francisco 49ers of the NFL built their new stadium, Levi’s Stadium, in 2013 to be used starting in the 2014 season. Supercross came to Levi’s Stadium in 2015-2016 for late season rounds that Ryan Dungey would sweep during his three-year title run. Between the three locations in the San Francisco Bay Area there have been 16 450SX Class rounds held. The 2024 San Francisco Supercross will be the 17th held in the Bay Area and ninth in Oracle Park.  

Championship %: 10/16 (63%) San Francisco Bay Area winners have gone onto win the 450SX Class title. Ryan Dungey did this twice in Levi’s Stadium in 2015-2016. Oracle Park winners went 5/8 (63%) from 2003-2010 in this category. The 2024 Oracle Park Supercross will be the earliest round ever for a San Francisco Bay Area race as the second round.

Manufacturer Wins in San Francisco Bay Area (Last Win)

  • Yamaha: 5 (2009)
  • Honda: 4 (2003)
  • Kawasaki: 3 (2010)
  • KTM: 2 (2016)
  • Suzuki: 2 (2007)

Top Winners in San Francisco Bay Area

  • 1) Ricky Carmichael: 3 (’03, ’05, ’07)
  • 2) Ryan Dungey: 2 (’15-’16)
  • 2) James Stewart: 2 (’06, ’09)
  • 2) Chad Reed: 2 (’04, ’08)
  • 2) Jeremy McGrath: 2 (’93, ’95)

450SX Class: First Time Winners in San Francisco Bay Area

1991: Doug Dubach- Yamaha

250SX Class Recap: Anaheim Opener

RJ Hampshire

Hampshire and His Husky Handle Anaheim Honors: RJ Hampshire ran away with his third career 250SX Class victory in the Anaheim Opener, a first for Husqvarna in the 250SX Class. He will hold the red-plate in San Francisco after scoring his third win, 15th podium, and 31st top-five in his 250SX Class career. It was his seventh career SMX victory in 123 career SMX starts and looks to score back-to-back wins for the first time in his career. Husqvarna has not had multiple wins in a season combined between both classes since 2018 when they scored seven victories. RJ joins runner-up finisher Jordon Smith as the 19th and 20th riders to have 10 seasons with at least one 250SX Class start. They are the ninth and 10th riders to do it in 10 seasons consecutively: Barry Carsten, 18 seasons; Martin Davalos, 14 seasons; Chris Gosselaar, 12 seasons; Mitchell Oldenburg, 12 seasons; Kyle Cunningham, 11 seasons; Kyle Peters, 11 seasons; David Pingree, 11 seasons; Kelly Smith, 10 seasons; Hampshire, 10 seasons; Smith, 10 seasons.

Jordon Smith

Jordon Joins Tomac, Brownie in Podiums: Not only did Smith join the above-mentioned years-with-a-start group he also moved into the top-20 in all-time 250SX Class starts with 59. He could become the 20th rider in 250SX Class history to make 60 starts in the class with another gate drop in San Francisco. Continuing with the number 20, he nailed down his 20th 250SX Class podium which ties him with Supercross legends Mike Brown and Eli Tomac for 15th all-time. Jeremy Martin and Austin Forkner are also tied for 15th on this list, and Smith could move into T-13th with Colt Nichols and Damon Huffman with one more podium. His 42nd top-10 finish also moves him inside the top-20 in that 250SX Class category as well.

Levi Kitchen

Pro-Circuit Scores a Pair of Top-5’s: Levi Kitchen nailed down his fifth career 250SX Class podium in 12 tries and first attempt on his new Pro-Circuit Kawasaki. He will look to make his 40th career SMX start in San Francisco and along with new teammate Max Vohland, also on his first year with Pro-Circuit, try and score Kawasaki’s first 250SX Class win since 2022. Kawasaki hasn’t been shut-out for back-to-back seasons of 250SX Class racing in Mitch Peyton’s tenure and not since going winless in 1991-1992. Vohland scored his fifth top-five finish in 12 starts and is still searching for his first career SMX podium finish.

Jo Shimoda

Notes: Jo Shimoda (4th) Scored his 20th top-five and 30th top-10 250SX Class finish in the Anaheim Opener. Julien Beaumer (6th), Ryder DiFrancesco (9th), Anthony Bourdon (11th), & Lux Turner (20th) all made their first career 250SX Class start.

250SX Class: San Francisco Bay Area Facts

San Jose: The 250SX Class history in the San Francisco Bay Area lines up evenly with the 450SX Class history. On June 16, 1990 Buddy Antunez ripped his Suzuki across the finish line for the second victory of three in his career, all coming in 1990. Ty Davis’ fourth-place finish gave him a comfortable 16-pt. lead on Jeremy McGrath who finished sixth on the night. Davis would hold onto his lead through the finale one week later in Los Angeles. Davis would be the last rider to beat McGrath head-to-head in a Championship until Jeff Emig knocked the King off the top-step in the 1997 450SX Class Championship.

Return to the Bay Area: Just like the 450SX Class racing returned to the Bay Area in 2003 at Oracle Park and James Stewart would take the checkers in the 250SX Class. Nathan Ramsey would steal wins in 2004 and 2006 sandwiching current 250SX Class Western Regional competitor Billy Laninovich’s 2005 San Francisco victory, his lone career SMX win. Racing continued through 2010 in Oracle Park. The 2006 San Francisco Supercross in Oracle Park is considered one of the worst “mudders” the sport has ever seen.

Short Stint in Santa Clara: Cooper Webb would sweep the two Santa Clara Levi’s Stadium 250SX Class races in 2015-2016 along with taking the Western Regional Championships in those seasons. There have been 16 250SX Class races held in the Bay Area and the 2024 Oracle Park Supercross will be the 17th. It will be the ninth 250SX Class race held in Oracle Park.

Championship %: Only 6/16 (38%) of San Francisco Bay Area winners have won the 250SX Class Western Regional Championship: 1/6 in San Jose (McGrath ’92); 3/8 in San Francisco (Stewart ’03, Villopoto ’07, Jason Lawrence ’08); 2/2 in Santa Clara (Webb ’15-’16). Combined with the 450SX Class the winner of a San Francisco Bay Area wins their title 50% of the time (16/32).

Manufacturer Wins in San Francisco Bay Area (Last Win)

  • Kawasaki: 5 (2009)
  • Yamaha: 4 (’16)
  • Honda: 4 (‘10)
  • Suzuki: 2 (’93)
  • KTM: 1 (’06)

Top Winners in San Francisco Bay Area

  • 1) Nathan Ramsey: 2 (’04, ’06)
  • 1) Cooper Webb: 2 (’15-16)

250SX Class: First Time Winners in San Francisco Bay Area

  • 1994: Pedro Gonzalez- Kawasaki
  • 1995: David Pingree- Suzuki
  • 2005: Billy Laninovich- Honda
  • 2008: Jason Lawrence- Yamaha

Past Winners in San Francisco Bay Area

450SX Class

Spartan Stadium, San Jose

  • 1990: Jeff Stanton, Honda
  • 1991: Doug Dubach, Yamaha
  • 1992: Damon Bradshaw, Yamaha
  • 1993: Jeremy McGrath, Honda
  • 1994: Mike LaRocco, Kawasaki
  • 1995: Jeremy McGrath, Honda

Oracle Park, San Francisco

  • 2003: Ricky Carmichael, Honda
  • 2004: Chad Reed, Yamaha
  • 2005: Ricky Carmichael, Suzuki
  • 2006: James Stewart, Kawasaki
  • 2007: Ricky Carmichael, Suzuki
  • 2008: Chad Reed, Yamaha
  • 2009: James Stewart, Yamaha
  • 2010: Ryan Villopoto, Kawasaki

Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara

  • 2015: Ryan Dungey, KTM
  • 2016: Ryan Dungey, KTM

250SX Class

Spartan Stadium, San Jose

  • 1990: Buddy Antunez, Suzuki
  • 1991: Jeff Emig, Yamaha
  • 1992: Jeremy McGrath, Honda
  • 1993: Damon Huffman, Suzuki
  • 1994: Pedro Gonzalez, Kawasaki
  • 1995: David Pingree, Kawasaki

Oracle Park, San Francisco

  • 2003: James Stewart, Kawasaki
  • 2004: Nathan Ramsey, Honda
  • 2005: Billy Laninovich, Honda
  • 2006: Nathan Ramsey, KTM
  • 2007: Ryan Villopoto, Kawasaki
  • 2008: Jason Lawrence, Yamaha
  • 2009: Jake Weimer, Kawasaki
  • 2010: Trey Canard, Honda

Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara

  • 2015: Cooper Webb, Yamaha
  • 2016: Cooper Webb, Yamaha