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Saturday Night Live

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Seattle finally produced good weather, without any rain or even any threats of it in the forecast at all. The soft dirt still broke down, though, with holes and chop and ruts that made the track difficult, even though the obstacles weren’t super tough.

Obviously it worked well for Ryan Villopoto, who crushed ‘em. RV had a terrible heat race start, so he had to make the main via a Semi win. For the second weekend in a row, he took a less than ideal gate pick and turned it into a good start and a win.  James Stewart tried really, really hard to get him, too, pushing all over the track and making several big mistakes trying to run RV down. Stewart was also jumping a big quad, but it wasn’t really helping him gain much time, and then he came up way short one lap and lost a bunch of ground. We’ve seen some good races between Stewart and Villopoto this year, and Stewart’s come out on top in a lot of them, but on this night RV was the better man.

Ryan Dungey did what Ryan Dungey does—he finished on the podium. Eli Tomac’s fourth was more of a breakthrough ride, he was catching Dungey at times. After the race, Tomac said this was his best race of the year, even better than finishing second in Indianapolis. He said he had sections where he could catch Dungey, and sections where Dungey pulled him.

Justin Barcia had a quiet fifth. His Honda Muscle Milk teammate Trey Canard was sixth but rode well coming past a few riders, like Ken Roczen and Andrew Short. Roczen and Shorty weren’t happy with their results, seventh and eighth.

This was the most competitive Eli Tomac has been against the elite 450 pack, as he showed the ability to match Dungey's speed. Even his Indy podium wasn't this good. Been a rough year for Eli but things are coming together.Photo: Cudby
This was the most competitive Eli Tomac has been against the elite 450 pack, as he showed the ability to match Dungey's speed. Even his Indy podium wasn't this good. Been a rough year for Eli but things are coming together.Photo: Cudby
Stewart, dressed in Seattle Seahawk colors, rode the ragged edge trying to track down Villopoto, but it was to no avail.Photo: Cudby
Stewart, dressed in Seattle Seahawk colors, rode the ragged edge trying to track down Villopoto, but it was to no avail.Photo: Cudby
Justin Hill wanted to win for the home fans but a big crash on press day left him sore and just happy to net third.Photo: Cudby
Justin Hill wanted to win for the home fans but a big crash on press day left him sore and just happy to net third.Photo: Cudby

Cole Seely has some knack for the main events. Once again he was only so-so in practice (fifth) and his heat race was nearly a disaster, and he got hit in the first turn and then crashed due to a bunch of carnage over the first triple. He went from about last to fifth.  Suddenly in the main he had it dialed, though, getting a good start and taking the lead away from Dean Wilson and taking off. He was never challenged.

You can’t say the track was hard to pass on, because we believe the 250 main event featured approximately 50 passes between Jason Anderson and Justin Hill in a battle for second. Hill was not quite 100 percent after stacking it up on press day, while Anderson was just making too many mistakes but then rode brilliantly to make up for them each time. In the end, Anderson topped Hill.

Barcia's recent run of podiums has ended, but his fifth was still okay.Photo: Cudby
Barcia's recent run of podiums has ended, but his fifth was still okay.Photo: Cudby
Cooper Webb was up there early in the 250s but a small crash dropped him back to seventh. Photo: Cudby
Cooper Webb was up there early in the 250s but a small crash dropped him back to seventh. Photo: Cudby

For awhile it really looked like Jessy Nelson was going to nab a strong fourth but Wilson rode hard to the end to move into the position late. Nelson was fifth. Wilson has had great speed all year but just hasn't executed--crashes, arm pump and other issues have completely worked against him all season long.

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