2020 Monster Energy Supercross - ROUND 12

The LS2 riders did their best to recover on Monday and Tuesday after only two days off of racing, preparing themselves in the best way possible for the first Monster Energy Supercross on a Wednesday night in the history of the sport. As opposed to the first race of seven to be held in Salt Lake City in the coming weeks, the weekday format allowed for proceedings to happen quite a bit later in order to cater to higher volume television hours. The evening program made the heat less of a factor for the riders and also for the track as direct sunlight was already vacating the stadium before racing even started. DirtWurx upped the technical difficulty of the track compared to the first race and also laid down quite a bit more water in the early stages of the day. Conditions were much better when the time finally came to drop the gate as the track held moisture well into the Main Events, creating much more raceable conditions.

The track was a little more technical and presented a longer lap time for the riders than the eleventh round just a handful of days ago. Kyle Dillin continued to contest the 250SX East class while Josh Greco, Scotty Wennerstrom, Bubba Pauli, and Kyle Chisholm made up the 450SX Class. The riders were a little more acclimated to the strange procedure of doing their “track walk” in a socially distanced format from the empty stands, but they needed as much time checking out the layout as possible.

In 250SX qualifying, Dillin landed in 39th place with a 54.024 second lap time. Meanwhile, Chisholm was the leading LS2 rider in the 450SX category in 27th position, recording a 48.423 second lap time. Bubba Pauli was in 31st position with a lap time of 49.810 seconds, Josh Greco claimed the 35th spot with a 50.607 second lap time, and Wennersrom slotted into 37th position a few tenths further back.

Racing got underway in the 250SX East class as Dillin burst out of the starting gate, but unfortunately he wasn’t able to secure the jump he needed in order to put himself within striking range of the transfer positions. He started down in 19th position and was able to advance one position up to 18th by the time the checkered flag came out. In the LCQ, the situation was more or less the same as Dillin started well outside the top fifteen and wasn’t able to make progress in the short sprint race to the finish line, eventually crossing the line in 19th position yet again.

In the 450SX class, all of the LS2 riders were seeded into the second of two Heats. Chisholm led the way for the LS2 athletes as he immediately claimed a transfer position and put one hand on a spot in the Main Event while Pauli, Greco, and Wennerstrom sat outside the top ten. Although they all did their best to progress, neither of them were able to put themselves inside the top nine transfer spots, sending them to the gate for the Last Chance Qualifier. Meanwhile, Chisholm held on for a 9th place finish and grabbed the last transfer spot, securing his place in the Main. The LCQ always makes for some intense and close-quarters racing and this time it was no different. Greco and Wennerstrom were well outside the top fifteen on the opening lap, but Pauli had a chance at making his way into the Main Event after starting right outside the top five. He crossed the line in 6th position on the opening lap and continually battled for position, but he wasn’t able to get where he needed to go, eventually finishing in 7th place while Greco and Wennerstrom finished 18th and 19th, respectively.

Pauli commented “Round 12 here in Salt Lake City started off very similar to last but after some more bike changes and getting more comfortable, I started to have some intensity that I felt like I’ve been missing this year. I did have one of my best LCQ runs this year. So that’s a positive note but I am not content with that. I deserve to be the Main Events.”

“Round 2 at Salt Lake went a lot better than the first round. I’m still struggling with arm pump and the high altitude isn’t helping with that. My blisters are bad from not being able to ride much with all the quarantining, so we’re working through that and just using these next couple weeks of consistent racing at altitude to try and get into better shape for outdoors. The track last night was far better than the first round, it held moisture way better but there’s only so much hope for the Utah SX dirt,” said Greco.