Monday Kickstart: San Diego SX 2012

Round six of the Supercross season took over San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium this past weekend and a near sold out crowd filed in to the concrete bowl on Friars Road. Now, as the points chase intensifies, we can expect closer passes as the riders lose their reserved nature for their inner competitive instincts.

The San Diego round's second triple was longer than the normal 75' gap, but the long, fast run in allowed riders to send it with ease. It was actually the other, standard length triple that caused issues throughout the day, which came after a reverse dragons' back.

Jason Anderson debuted the latest pant design from One Industries, the "Vapor." The revolutionary pant, which lacks any rubber, plastic, or other sewn on extras, is one and a half pounds lighter than the current high end lines. The pants feature a Velcro closuer and sublimated graphics that will not distort when stretched.

The East Coast kicks off this coming weekend in Dallas and many Lites teams, and many of the yet to be used bikes were already packed in the rig so that the team truck could leave directly from stadium and begin the drive to Texas.

Upon first glance the track, by Supercross standards, appeared mellow. The height of many jumps seemed to be shorter than what we had previously seen and there were no overly technical rhythm sections. While that proved to be a false assumption, thanks in part to the whoop section, it was one of the more fast paced circuits we have seen this year.

The Alpinestars display featured yet another new promotion, as many lined up to have the iconic "Astar" logo airbrushed on to their body before participating in a pit wide scavenger hunt.

TLD Honda's partnership with Fender Guitars is shown in this stack of speakers, which is used at some point in the day by a local band of Troy's choice.

This flawless vintage Honda, which sat opposite of a Baja ready XR 400 in the TLD spread, is on our list of wants.

Ryan Villopoto's Alpinestars brace is not the standard off the shelf unit. It is a one-off piece, tailored to fit the current points leader, and is constructed with more carbon fiber pieces.

Both Davi Millsaps and James Stewart's JGR Yamahas feautre this powder coated kickstart lever. The matte finish allows a rider more traction when kicked in the heat of the moment.

FMF Power, the energy drink inspired by Don Emler and the Rancho Dominguez hop up shop, will no longer be just a West Coast beverage. The product will soon be sold at MotoMart, a convenience store chain that is based in the Midwest. Megabombs for everyone!

As we glanced over Matt Moss' JDR KTM, we noticed this trick carbon fiber heat guard.

Even though we have shown the "Tilt" colorway, Bell's throwback to custom painted helmets, before, it is worth a second look now that it is for sale to the masses.

Trey Canard was on hand in San Diego and is on the road to recovery. Canard was interviewed during the night's opening ceremonies and expressed his desire to line up once his injuries have fully healed.

After losing a Super Bowl related bet, Davi Millsaps was forced to walk the track in full New York Giants garb. This is not the first time Millsaps has lost a track walk wager, but it is much better than the cut-off denim shorts he wore a few years back.

Even Chad Reed has time to Instagram. If you have the popular app on your iPhone, be sure to add "twmxdotcom" to your list of phone photographers.

Austin Stroupe returned to racing in San Diego but was faced with a rough night, which ended with a sixth place finish in the LCQ.

Jason Anderson has shown that he has the speed to run at the front of the pack, but mistakes and falls have kept him from staying in the thick of the action. His results, a seventeenth in the main event, do not do his speed justice, as the Rockstar Suzuki rider clocked the fourth fastest lap of the Lites class.

After spending the winter in the US, GP racer Max Anstie is due back in Europe to begin testing for the 2012 MX2 championship. If things go smoothly, the Brit may come back to the US for the final West Coast races, much like Ken Roczen did in 2011.

When word leaked out that the Geico Powersports Honda team had left Fox late last year, many expected the team to run only the black and yellow style seen just before the new year. The green and white Alias gear, which Josh Grant ran at Anaheim One, is the fourth new design seen on the team this year.

Kevin Windham's round six results, a fourteenth, do not do his night justice. Windham was fourth fastest in practice and fifth fastest in the main event before a fall knocked him to the back of the field. His second opening ceremonies transfer was one of the gnarlier ones we have seen and was complete with pyrotechnics. Youtube it for proof.

After we talked to Billy Laninovich during track walk, we were even more impressed with his results this season. After taking a two year break, which involved a stint at a construction company, Laninovich came back with only a few weeks of testing under his belt. He will spend the next eight rounds racing the 450 class on the East Coast before dropping back down to finish the West Coast series.

Nick Paluzzi's season may have hit a turning point. After nabbing the final gate via the LCQ, the Riverside, CA, rode to a tenth place finish, his top result of the year.

San Diego is the "hometown" race for many companies, ours included. To celebrate the occasion, Kyle Krause and the folks at SPY Optics had "K-Dub" rally towels printed and distributed to the fans.

Thanks to their support from DVS Shoes, the mechanics on the Geico Powersports Honda team are able to run some custom lace ups.

Josh Hill is expected to be cleared to ride today (Monday, Feb. 13th). Hill said that the extended time off allowed him to heal his lingering injuries and said that he feels stronger now than he did a month ago. The Hart and Huntington rider expects to return as soon as Atlanta or as late as St. Louis.

Small details, like this table cover used by the Hart and Huntington team, may go unnoticed but are some of the most impressive under the team canopy. What looks like a simple green cloth is actually a massive sheet of seat cover material.

Tony Alessi and the MotoConcepts team have one of the more unique pit transporters we have come across this year, as there Yamaha Zuma and trailer combo is a much quicker way to run fuel across the paddock.

AutismMX.com made their presence in the pits known this weekend and many were seen with items showing their support to amp up research on the condition.

Early morning showers hit Qualcomm just before the day began, which left the track slick in some sections. The sunshine baked the extra moisture in and Dirt Wurx worked to keep the track from becoming hard packed.

As you by now know, the whoop section was the great divider in the racing action. The oddly spaced rollers, coupled with the lack of a run in made the fifteen bumps a challenge for all on the track.

Ever wonder how Speed gets the sounds of the racing action to your TV? So did we. In certain areas of the track, there are microphones and yards of cable that pick up the noise from the floor.

How did we learn that technical fact? As we watched the final "C" session of the Lites class, a rider got out of control in the whoops and wound the cable in to his rear wheel. The track crew was forced to cut the wire from the racer's wheel, much to the displeasure of one TV cameraman.

The Mandingo Pickle jar has infiltrated the Jeff Ward Racing pit area.

The dark lighting and calm atmosphere before the racing begins is a stark contrast to that of the daytime pit party.

The cables and pipes that hang in the ceiling of the tunnel has the characteristics of a bad neighborhood or of an avant garde art exhibit.

Jake Weimer's was eventful to say the least. He lined up in the LCQ after a rough heat race and block passed Justin Sipes for the lead and eventual win. The two exchanged words after the race before Weimer went back to the rig to prepare for the main event. The Kawasaki rider was shown a front wheel by Ryan Dungey early in the twenty lap event and went down in the bowl turn just before the finish line before pulling off for the night.

Red Bull riders typically have the most eye catching hats in the pit area. The crocheted beanie that James Stewart wore during opening ceremonies was one of the more memorable and creative lids that we have seen from the brand.

It is common for rider to have letters of their names on the thoraic members of their neck braces, but placing a decal that continued the logos on the front of Gavin Faith's jersey is a creative measure. Faith would finish sixth in the main event.

Seeing Justin Brayton line up after his nasty practice crash was nothing short of incredible. The Honda rider initially feared that he had broken his leg in the fall, but after futher evaluation he was cleared to race and finished sixth in the main event.

We spoke with Larry Brooks as we headed out of the stadium on Saturday night to get word on how Andrew Short felt after his heat race crash. Brooks said that Short is intact but sore after he was slammed in to the ground and then run over in the opening seconds of the qualifier.

San Diego has long been one of Chad Reed's better race tracks, as the football field allows for a much longer, faster layout. Lappers helped Reed catch Ryan Villopoto in the main event, but also kept him from getting to the Kawasaki rider sooner than he would have liked. Reed was vocal after his second place finish and claimed that he will ride more with more aggression in the coming weeks.

We caught up with Grant Langston during intermission and discussed the East Coast debut of his newest role as team manager. Langston said that a few small details still need to be finished, but all will be complete by the Dallas opener.

The food trucks that were on hand at San Diego were a nice change of pace for our Saturday diets, which have been filled with hot dogs and pretzels.

 

The Geico Honda also had color coordinated Shoeis to match their gear, courtesy of Tagger Designs.

 

Eli Tomac's crash in the whoops section and Dean Wilson's main event win had a signifigant impact on the points standings. Wilson, who was down thirteen markers to Tomac before the main event, now holds a two point advanatge.

Matt Moss' podium performance in San Diego comes after years of injuries and misfortune, which have kept the Australian from delivering the results that many expected.

WADA, the worldwide organization that polices doping in all sports, has made it's presence known in moto by testing Tommy Searle, Chad Reed, and Ryan Villopoto. Just after the race and podium celebration had ended, Matt Moss was pulled aside and tested by a track side agent.

Jason Thomas was another rider that turned in a season best finish at San Diego, as the veteran added an 11th place finish to his stat box.

After last week's DNF, Josh Hansen rallied to make it in the top five.

See you in Dallas...