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Nate Thrasher Wins 250s San Diego Supercross 2024

Published On:: 22/01/2024

50th anniversary of Monster Energy AMA Supercross racing in the States sees Monster racers swipe three of the six podium spots at Snapdragon Stadium.

Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Nate Thrasher put the “W” in a Wild night of Monster Energy AMA Supercross racing at San Diego’s Snapdragon Stadium, winning the series’ third round Western Region 250 class main event in a thrilling finish – Thrasher’s first main event win of the season and fifth of his career.

“Definitely feels good to be back up here after a long year for sure,” said Thrasher, who just last week (San Francisco) had to transfer to the main through the LCQ, and crashed at the season opening round in Anaheim, Calif., the week before. “We’ll just keep this momentum going.”

And making it two on the box in the 250 class was Thrasher’s teammate, Jordon Smith, who battled to a 3rd place finish, extending his overall WSX points lead to eight points (67-59) over Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Levi Kitchen, who placed 5th at San Diego after rallying back from a Lap 6 crash while running in 2nd place. Just ahead of Kitchen in the 250 main as Monster Energy’s Jo Shimoda (Honda) in 4th place, giving Monster Energy four of the top five positions.

In 450 class action Monster Energy’s Cooper Webb (Star Racing/Yamaha) led the charge with a 2nd place podium finish, moving him into a 5th place tie in the overall standings with Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Jason Anderson, who placed 5th on Saturday and Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy/Honda), 6th, each with 49 points. Also making the top ten at San Diego was Eli Tomac (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha) continuing his comeback from injury with a come-from-behind 9th place run.



Thrasher: “I felt good the first two rounds, honestly. Felt good at A1, just didn’t get a good start. And in San Francisco I had to go to the LCQ. Didn’t get a really good start and crashed in the wrong spot. Couldn’t quite get my bike up. It was a tough race. But yeah, I felt good tonight. Even in the heat race and going into the main event I knew the speed was there. Didn’t get a good start, but I just kept clicking off laps and felt good all night… knew I had the speed to win.”

Webb: “(Tonight’s podium) was much needed. I think I’ve had a great season thus far, but on paper it hasn’t been. Anaheim 1 was great, but last weekend (San Francisco) was not, you know? We’re hoping that tonight’s race was half the battle, to get those points back and (get) back in the mix. Felt great on the track, felt great all day. I was really wanting that win, but overall it was a really good bounce back for me just to know that I’m in this thing for sure.”

Smith: “I got off to a pretty good start, like third in the first few laps, with RJ (Hampshire, Husqvarna) and Levi (Kitchen) right in front of me. I think we were kind of still taking it pretty easy on the track. I’d say the lines weren’t still cut in and I was just trying to be smart where I was. Long race, lot could happen. I made a few mistakes, Nate (Thrasher) and Garrett (Marchbanks, Yamaha)) got around me. Not that I tightened up, but I was just making a lot of mistakes then. Almost crashed on a double one time. And then the mud. That should just never happen. I kind of re-focused, with Jo (Shimoda) and Levi right behind me and I think the last five laps of the race were the best for me.”

San Diego 450 class results250 WSX class results
2nd - Webb (Monster/Star/Yamaha)1st - Thrasher (Monster/Star/Yamaha)
5th - Anderson (Monster/Kawasaki)3rd - Smith (Monster/Star/Yamaha)
6th - Ferrandis (Monster/Honda)4th - Shimoda (Monster/Honda)


Overall Standings (3 of 17 rounds) 
450 class250 WSX class
5th - Anderson, 49 points1st - Smith, 67 points
5th - Webb, 49 points2nd - Kitchen, 59 points
5th - Ferrandis, 49 points7th - Shimoda, 20 points

450 Highlights

  • Finishing 2nd in qualifying, behind Ken Roczen (Suzuki), was Tomac, who was only 2/10ths off Roczen’s best time (52:027 to 52:223) – including a big qualifying get-off for Tomac. Also qualifying in the top five were Anderson and Ferrandis. Justin Cooper (Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha) would qualify in 8th, with Webb right behind in 9th.
  • In the heat races Tomac would rally back from his qualifying crash and won the opening Heat 1, while Webb transferred to the main with a podium 3rd in Heat 2. Justin Hill (Team Tedder/Monster Energy), who’s been riding well leading up to San Diego, would unfortunately miss out on San Diego’s main with a 7th in the LCQ.
  • In the 450 main, Cooper (who got the holeshot), Webb and Anderson would start close together – in the 4th, 5th and 6th positions, respectively, at the end of the opening lap. Cooper would be the first to blink in the muddy conditions, going down on Lap 2 and dropping to 18th place, then 19th and, ultimately, out of the race on Lap 9. Noteworthy: Defending champ Chase Sexton (KTM) would crash in the opening moments of the race, starting out in second-to-last place. Sexton being relegated to a lapper would come up later in the race with Webb (below).
  • As the race moved on into the mid and latter stages, Webb would challenge leader Aaron Plessinger (KTM), moving into position to pass, only to have a mistake in the tricky conditions set him back. And just when it looked like Webb, who had faster lap times than Plessinger (57.3 to 57.3 average), was going to catch the Ohioan, and unexpected lapper – Sexton – would get in the way of Webb – actually colliding with him – in Webb’s his pursuit of Plessinger. The contact forced Webb to roll a rhythm section, allowing Plessinger to get away. The 2nd place finish for Webb would his best of the season thus far.

250 WSX Highlights

  • Qualifying in the No. 1 & 2 positions were Smith and Shimoda, with Smith being the only 250 racer to clock a sub-51 second lap (50.931). Kitchen, Thrasher and Shimoda would sweep Heat 1 – in that order, while Smith transferred to the San Diego WSX main with a 2nd place run in Heat 2.
  • Hampshire would pull the holeshot and 1st place spot in the main, with Kitchen into 2nd place – holding that position through Lap 5, when a minor get off cost him (Kitchen) six positions (2nd to 8th). Smith got out in 4th place after the opening lap, with Thrasher in 6th.
  • A mistake by Hampshire would allow Marchbanks to move into the lead, which he held to nearly the white flag (last) lap. Marchbanks would get tied up with a lapper in the one-lined track, which allowed Thrasher to make his move into the lead.
  • The last laps saw both Marchbanks and Hampshire pursue Thrasher in a thrilling three-way battle for the overall win. On the second to last turn Hampshire grabbed too much throttle and was ejected off his bike on a giant high side mistake, allowing then 4th place Smith to cruise home with the third and final podium spot.
  • Shimoda (4th) and Kitchen (5th) would also get by Hampshire, giving Monster Energy four out of the top five positions – including the victory at San Diego.

Notes & Quotes

  • Webb on the Sexton get together, and if Sexton was consciously blocking Webb so that his KTM teammate, Plessinger, could get away for the main event win. “You (Sexton) know what you’re doing. I’ll just leave it at that.”
  • Added NBC announcer Ricky Carmichael: “I think that Chase (Sexton) could have gotten out of the way.”
  • The 450 main event got even more heated afterwards as Honda’s Jett Lawrence confronted, and put his hands on Anderson following the race (which Anderson got the better of Lawrence). Lawrence would go on to apologize to Anderson (aka “El Hombre”) on his Instagram account, stating, among other things: “My apologies. It was on me. I’ll pay your (AMA) fine.”
  • Tomac was actually running great in qualifying and the heats, and was certainly a podium threat in the main, when he got collected with another racer on the opening lap bedlam and went down, bending his clutch lever. Tomac, who was in 9th at the time, dropped back to 20th – then battled valiantly back to the top ten (9th) at the checkers.
  • How about the Monster Energy talent level at that 450 class bottleneck for the overall 5th position? You’ve got two former 2-time SX champs (Webb & Ferrandis) and a 1-time SX champ (Anderson) all tied up at 
  • Kitchen was going great early on in the 250 main, challenging Hampshire for the lead, when he went down on the face of a jump at the entrance to the rhythm section. Kitchen, who had earned two-straight podium results (A1 & San Fran) heading into San Diego, would place 5th on the night and is in 2nd place in the overall WSX standings – eight points back of Smith (67-59).
  • “Thrasher was looming, and had a terrific ride from deeper in the field,” said NBC announcer Leigh Diffey of Thrasher being in the right position, at the right time, to capitalize off race leader Marchbanks’ run-in with the lapper and take the lead and eventual race victory.
  • Added Thrasher: “So that was my goal for the night… in the main, just go out there and ride all-out and whatever happens, happens. And it was good.”

Up next…

Monster Energy AMA Supercross rolls back up the I-5 to Anaheim’s Angels Stadium, Jan. 27, for the second installment, “A2,” and Round 4 of Monster Energy AMA Supercross.