Racer X Notebook: San DiegoMonday, February 13, 2012 | 5:10 PM
- Forget names like Villopoto, Reed, Stewart, Dungey or Windham. The real star of the night was the whoop section, which didn’t look that bad early, but turned into a game-changer by the evening. For example, during the track walk, Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin sized up the whoops and said he liked them, because they were, “good, fast and not as tight and sharp as last week.” But as the lines deteriorated, the San Diego whoops turned into by far the toughest of the season.
- A ten-minute sprinkling of rain came through about an hour before the night show got started. As light as it was, it increased the moisture content of the already-damp dirt enough to make things slick, which no doubt had a hand in producing some of the carnage that was the night show.
- Coming into the season, most expected Josh Hansen to show great flashes of speed but perhaps struggle to grind out consistent finishes. Instead, he’s done the opposite, as the Dodge Motorsports Hart & Huntington Kawasaki rider continues to log quiet and steady results, capped by a season-best fifth on Saturday night. While plenty of riders were crashing through the whoops, Hansen remained solid en route to a career-best in the 450 class.
Matt Moss (right) chats with Dean Wilson (left) after securing his first career SX Lites podium.
Photo: Simon Cudby
- Yoshimura Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe’s fourth-place finish in the SX main was also a career best. In the Lites class, Rockstar Valli-Star Yamaha’s Gareth Swanepoel scored a career best fourth, as did Gavin Faith on his GEICO Honda with a sixth.
- The San Diego race will mark Faith’s last for the GEICO Honda team, as Wil Hahn should be ready when the Lites West tour resumes in April. Hahn is back to training—for example, he bicycled 109 miles in a big trip from his house down to Qualcomm Stadium on Saturday!
- Matt Moss secured his first career podium and first for J-Star JDR team with a third place in the San Diego Lites main event. The Aussie has come a long way—few remember his complete washout as Ryan Dungey’s teammate with Rockstar Makita Suzuki in 2010. He then started the year with an 11th at Anaheim 1 and failed to qualify for the main in Phoenix. Since then, he’s improved rapidly, including a last-to-seventh charge last weekend at Anaheim 2 that set the stage for his strong ride in San Diego.
- In Lites, Nick Paluzzi scored his first top ten of the year in what has been a tough season so far. Canada’s Kyle Beaton scored his best finish of the season with 11th in the Lites class.
It's has been a tough year for Paluzzi, but he bounced back in San Diego with his first top ten of the year.
Photo: Simon Cudby
- Jason Thomas qualified for his first main event of the season and then scored 11th in the SX Class on his BTOSports.com BBMX Suzuki. In front of that, Nick Wey scored his first top-ten of the season on his MotoSport.com/Foremost/TiLube Kawasaki.
- Ben Lamay had the most frustrating results of all, taking tenth in his heat race and third in the LCQ—that’s missing a transfer spot by one position both times!
- When James Stewart crashed his JGR Toyota Yamaha in the main event, it might have looked like he was stuck under a wire or cable on the side of the track, but he was only stuck under his bike. The track crew helped him by cutting a piece of his pants off—and yes it’s legal for the track crew to assist a rider in that manner.
- Supercross.com Honda’s Andrew Short went down in the first turn of his heat race and was out for the night. We’re still waiting on updates on Short’s condition, but we’re hearing his condition might not be as bad as first thought.
- If you missed Jake Weimer’s interview on the SPEED television broadcast, it went like this: “I got taken out. I’ll be back with a different attitude in Dallas.”
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Jean-Michel Bayle, the iconic superstar of yesteryear, raced motocross for the first time in twenty-one years at the Vets MXdN in England. Page 126.