Good, Bad, 'n Ugly: Oakland

250 Class

The Good: Luke Clout | 5th Place

The Aussie invasion of Luke Clout, Aaron Tanti, and Jay Wilson have been interesting to watch this season. All three riders have looked impressive at times, with Tanti posting a top ten finish in Oakland and Wilson nabbing a couple of top 15 finishes so far, but Luke has been far and away one of the biggest surprises of the season. He's a solid rider in the Australian series and even took the Supercross championship down to the wire with Justin Brayton in 2019. Still, I don't think many of us expected for him to switch brands (he was on a Yamaha in 2019), drop down to the 250 class, and be a consistent top ten guy with top-five potential in the 2020 AMA series. Of course, it also helps that his team, Penrite Honda, has seemingly gone all-in on their effort to race our series. It's not very often that we see a team whose primary racing obligations are in a completely different country, bring over their entire team and have a full pit setup as well. It's pretty dang awesome. It's not clear if the team will continue to race after the West Series goes on break, so if San Diego is the last hoorah for the team's Supercross campaign, I hope Luke goes out with another great result. 

Luke Clout (101).

The Good Bonus: Dylan Ferrandis | 1st Place

The red plate will return to the 1W next weekend! Dylan may have dug himself into a bit of a hole early in the season, but he has hit his stride now, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him extend his points lead by a little bit more in San Diego before he goes on break. Starts are still a concern, but assuming he doesn't put himself in tenth off of the start, I think he can hold a sprint pace longer than Austin Forkner. Austin also seems to become a bit more timid when the track breaks down (which, I mean, given his crash history, I don't blame him) while Dylan bulldogs through whatever challenges are put in his way. I see this championship coming down to Dylan and Austin in the end. Austin gets the nod when it comes to starts, and Dylan gets the nod when it comes to late-race pace. I don't foresee Dylan or Austin building up an insurmountable lead in the points standings, either, so it should remain interesting until the end.

Dylan Ferrandis.

The Bad: Justin Cooper | 3rd Place

Justin Cooper returned to his consistent ways in Oakland, but it just wasn't enough as Dylan Ferrandis eroded what was left of Justin's points lead and took the red plate back. I think that his ninth-place finish in Glendale is going to haunt him for the rest of the season. He's not out of it by any means, as he's in second place and only two points behind Dylan, but beating Dylan consistently from here on out is a big ask. Those nine points that he lost last week could be a big deal when we look at the final standings after Salt Lake City. 

Justin Cooper.

The Ugly: Michael Mosiman | 22nd Place

There's not a whole lot to say about Michael's night in Oakland except "ouch." He looked to have podium level speed during his heat race and gave Austin Forkner a more intense battle than he probably expected. Come Main Event time, though, Michael didn't nail the start and eventually ended up hitting the dirt hard in a corner. He was then nailed in the head by Cameron McAdoo's front tire. No fault to Cameron since there wasn't anywhere else for him to go, but I wince a little bit every time Michael takes a hit to the head...he's taken a lot of knocks so far in his young career. I haven't heard anything about his condition, but he looked fine as he was walking off with his team. Here's hoping he's okay and able to race San Diego. 

Michael Mosiman.

450 Class

The Good: Cooper Webb | 2nd Place

The real Coop is back! He may not have won, but this second place kind of feels like a win. He finally looked like the Cooper Webb of 2019, as the late-race pace and aggression that has seemingly been missing from his racecraft so far this season magically reappeared. And, hopefully, this version of Cooper will stick around, and he'll assert himself back into the championship battle. It won't be easy. He's 18 points behind Ken Roczen and 15 points behind Eli Tomac, so he has made life hard on himself by struggling through most of January (whether it be because of illness or bike setup). It's not an insurmountable amount of points, but he's going to have to rack up some wins and at least stay on the podium if he wants to make a run. Let's see what he does in San Diego.

Cooper Webb.

The Good Bonus: Justin Hill | 8th Place

What a positive night for Justin Hill! First top ten result since he joined MotoConcepts Racing Honda, as well as his first heat race win. He showed that he is still very capable of the flashes of speed we've seen from him through the years, and overall I think he has done a pretty good job of proving that he's taking things seriously this year. His results may not look like anything extraordinary, but we do have to remember that the 450 class is stacked this year. He's laid a good foundation of results, and I'm hoping that this is the first hint of good things to come. Of course, he could also go out and get a 12th next weekend and never seen on TV, but I think that we could see him become a regular inside the top ten. We'll see if I'm right. 

Justin Hill.

The Bad: Ken Roczen | 3rd Place

Is third place worthy of The Bad? Nah. Kenny will still have the red plate as we head to San Diego, and it's not like he's on a downward trend. I ultimately slotted him here because of his banged-up foot. Now, judging by his Instagram story, it doesn't seem like it's going to be a severe injury that hinders him for a long time. It looks significantly less swollen, and I'm guessing nothing is broken. Still, I imagine he'll have to deal with some pain come Saturday so it could impact him for at least San Diego. I could also be wrong, and he could look like his usual self and battle for the win. Regardless, this isn't something Kenny wants to be dealing with as the championship battle starts to heat up with Eli Tomac.

Ken Roczen.

The Ugly: Blake Baggett | 9th Place

Blake Baggett is probably the fastest guy in the 450 class to have almost nothing to show for it at this point in the season. Sure, he got fourth at Anaheim 1. A solid result, but that's not what Blake wants to have listed as his best finish of the season. He should be contending for podiums dang near every weekend. He has the speed to do so, and he has shown it multiple times during practice, but his results since Anaheim 1? A ninth, a 14th, a 10th, and another ninth...ouch. Anaheim 2 looked like it was going to be a great race for him, but a crash early in the race took the wind right out of his sails. Unsurprisingly, his starts have been the leading cause of his struggles. As I mentioned above, the 450 class is stacked. It's near impossible for any rider to start 13th and end up battling for the podium by the end of the race. Until Blake figures out his starts, he's going to continue to be the fastest ninth-place finisher in the class.

Blake Baggett.

You can check out my personal Power Rankings here.

Words by Grant Dawson
Photos by Steve Giberson

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