Great Britain’s Liam Phillips finished sixth in the time trial superfinal as the last round of the 2014 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup began in Chula Vista.
Phillips completed his lap of the United States Olympic Training Centre in 38.912 seconds, seventh-tenths of a second slower than Connor Fields as the American won on his home track.
Kyle Evans, celebrating his 21st birthday, was 12th with the 16 top-ranked riders going against the clock, his time 39.814 seconds.
Earlier Tre Whyte, who is placed outside of the top 16 in the rankings in the five-race series, was required to qualify for Saturday’s racing through three moto heats.
The 19-year-old eased through with three impressive wins in the California sunshine.
Phillips, world champion in 2013, leads the overall standings and could become the first British male to win the title on Saturday.
With no points towards on offer towards the general rankings in the time trial, the 25-year-old will now be focused on a delivering a strong performance on the London-2012 replica course to fight off the challenge of Australian Anthony Dean, who sits in second after four rounds.
Phillips, who won the opening round n Manchester, leads by 130 points and should be guaranteed the world cup overall if he reaches the semi-finals.
World bronze medallist Whyte can take confidence from his racing, leading from the gate to finish in his three outings, one of seven riders to have a 100% record in qualifying with 84 starters whittled down to 48 who join the top 16 on day two of competition.
Olympic and world champion Mariana Pajon won the elite women's time trial superfinal.
Fans can watch the racing live on the British Cycling website, starting on 12.30am on Sunday morning.