SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Jan 17, 2016) – The GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda supercross team ran at the front of the pack all night at the second Monster Energy Supercross race of the season, at Petco Park in downtown San Diego. While some of the riders bounced through ups and downs, second-year pro Jordon Smith held steady to score his first career podium with third place in the 250SX West class.
It was a particularly satisfying result since Smith had shown speed before, only to have his results undone by bad starts or crashes. This time he showed the full package, leading the race early and riding consistently throughout.
“My day went really well; I’m so happy,” said Smith, of North Carolina. “Felt comfortable all day throughout practice and into the night show. My GEICO/AMSOIL/Honda pulled me to a really good start, and I was able to get out front early. Last week I got to experience racing toward the front, and I got to do that again here and learn how to lead. I tried to ride my own laps, but I got a little tight in the middle of the moto. Just learning. I went back to third, but I’m happy I was able to pull it back together and got a strong podium! Overall it was a great night and now I can’t wait for Anaheim 2!”
Teammate Christian Craig followed Smith in fourth, which is a career-best result for him as well. Coming into the season, Craig generated some buzz with quick times at the test track, and he brought that speed to San Diego, even topping defending 250 West Region Champion Cooper Webb to grab top honors in the first timed qualifying session.
“Last week was not me; I rode tight,” said Craig to the fans after the qualifying session. “This is where I want to be – up front.”
Craig and Webb diced for top qualifying time again in the second timed session, with Webb just edging him. Craig then grabbed the holeshot in his heat race and began to pull away from the field until he crashed, dragging him back to sixth. In the main event, he overcame a bad start to net fourth, but again feels he got tight and didn’t quite show his full game.
“In the main, I got a terrible start, but I tucked to the inside in the first turn. I don’t know where I came out, but it was toward the front,” Craig said. “Rode around, got tight around lap five and started making a lot of mistakes. I wasn’t happy with that, but I held on, got fourth. It’s a career-best for me, but I want to get on the podium, and I’m not going to be happy until I get there. Other than that, though, it was a good night.”
It looked like it was going to be a good night for Jimmy Decotis, too, who was right behind Smith early in the main, putting the GEICO/AMSOIL/Hondas in first and second in the early laps.
“Today the result was not good,” said Decotis, who ended up falling down and settling for eighth. “I felt really good all day, riding-wise. I was getting the sections down good and I was strong in the whoops. I was really looking forward to the main event, and I put myself in a good position off the start, right behind Jordon in second. I made a bobble and washed the front, came back through the pack. Overall, I felt like I rode really good all day, and I had strong points. I think I’m starting to believe I’m one of those guys and I can be up there every week, so I just need to keep working hard and hopefully it can just snowball from here.”
The night did not end well for 450SX team member Justin Bogle, who won his Semi qualifying race for the second-straight week. But on lap 13 of the 450 main event, Bogle went down after huge triple jump, and got up slowly. He was unable to finish the race.
“The day went okay and I was feeling good,” said Bogle. “Was able to get the semi win again, which I was pretty pumped on. In the main I got a bad start and was feeling pretty good riding-wise before a crash ended my night. That’s about all I have to say about the main.”
Bogle is banged up but expected to compete with the rest of the team this weekend at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 23. The pre-race show on FS1 will begin at 6:30 p.m. PT / 9:30 p.m. ET, followed by live coverage of the race at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET.