Rick Johnson of El Cajon defeated Jeff Ward of Mission Viejo Sunday in the 250cc class of the Golden State Motocross Nationals in front of 5,247 at Carlsbad Raceway.
Johnson, the 1986 AMA Supercross champion, lost to Team Kawasaki's Ward in the first moto, but came back to win the second race. Under Olympic scoring rules, the winner of the second moto is declared the overall winner.
Both riders will be featured next Saturday at the Mickey Thompson Stadium Motocross in Anaheim Stadium, the first race in the 1988 stadium series. Ward won last year's event, as Johnson was knocked unconscious after falling during the race.
Although Ward finished second Sunday, he gained on Ron Lechien for the Golden State Series title.
Lechien, who has 205 points in the series, currently holds a nine-point edge over Ward in the standings with one race left.
Lechien struggled Sunday, finishing sixth in the first moto and fourth in the second for fourth place overall.
The fifth and final round will be held Sunday in Adelanto, Calif.
In the first moto, Ward, the 1987 AMA Supercross champion, took an early lead, but had trouble shaking Johnson. But, Ward was able to hold off his rival to win the heat.
Johnson took the early lead in the second 12-lap race, was followed closely by Ward. However, Ward was unable pass Johnson during the final laps. El Cajon's Broc Glover finished third, as he did in the first race.
Glover, 27, is returning after an injury-plagued year. Last winter, he suffered a back injury that kept him out of action. During the summer, Gibson broke a leg and missed the rest of the season.
In the 125cc class, Mike Healey of Costa Mesa won the second moto to capture the overall championship. Ty Davis of Hesperia finished second and Larry Brooks of El Cajon was third.
In the 500cc class, Goat Breker won the second moto to finish first. Billy Frank of Orange was second and Tommy Watts of Kentucky third.