Last race before break has GEICO Honda 250SX West pros anxious for success
SAN DIEGO (Feb. 5) - Saturday's Monster Energy AMA Supercross event at Qualcomm Stadium is the last one before the 250SX West pros take a two-month break, and GEICO Honda riders Eli Tomac and Zach Osborne are looking to make a statement by regaining ground in the championship standings.
"San Diego has been good to me and not so good to me," said Tomac, who won the first three races of the season. "I got my first Supercross victory there in 2011 and the next year I crashed in the whoops and got a DNF. So I've experienced both extremes there.
"I actually like the stadium. It's designed for football so it's got a much bigger floor than the baseball stadiums we've been racing in this year. That means it should be quicker and more wide open, which I believe will play to my advantage."
Tomac moved from third to second in the points with a third-place finish last weekend in Anaheim, but he actually lost ground to leader Ken Roczen. Tomac trails Roczen by 20 points with San Diego, Seattle, Salt Lake City and Las Vegas left on the 250SX West schedule.
"Twenty points is a big gap," Tomac said. "I definitely need to start gaining points on the guy at every race and that means finishing ahead of him every time. I don't want to let him get more than 25 points ahead, because at that point you can toss out an entire race."
Twenty-five points is the maximum a rider can earn in a single event.
Osborne had a rough time in Anaheim after suffering a couple of falls, one in the heat race and one in the main event. The Virginian said he's looking to end this leg of the season on a strong note so he won't stress out too much during the break when the series heads east for eight straight races.
"I really want to do well before this gap in the action," Osborne said. "I'm going to try and get my shoulder a little bit better this week. It's still really sore from my crashes last Saturday. I'm going to take as much time as possible to get it better before the race.
"I tried to ride a little bit on Tuesday but it was still pretty sore so we decided rest was the best thing for me."
Osborne is currently tied for fifth in the standings with Jason Anderson, but is only two points behind Martin Davalos for fourth.
GEICO Honda's recently-retired 450SX rider Kevin Windham will once again be on hand for his informal farewell tour, but he'll add some extra duties to his weekend list as well because Saturday marks the first of a handful of races where he'll jump into the broadcast booth and serve as an analyst for SPEED TV.
Practice for Saturday's race at Qualcomm Stadium gets under way at 12:30 p.m. PDT with opening ceremonies starting at 7 p.m. SPEED TV will broadcast the race live starting at 10:30 p.m. EDT.