Saturday Night Live: Las Vegas

Saturday Night Live Las Vegas

May 3, 2015 4:40am

There were basically four players for the win coming into this one, and only three of them made it to the night show. Cooper Webb could have been a foil for Marvin Musquin in the 250 Shootout, but he crashed and hurt his ankle in practice, ending his night (we did talk to Webb and he thinks he’ll be okay for the National opener at Hangtown in two weeks). With Webb out, there was no one to stop Musquin, who cruised to the shootout win and worked on his whips and heel clickers. In the 450s, Eli Tomac was the foil for Ryan Dungey, and they went at it. The first lap of the main saw both going wide open in the high speed Monster Alley, swapping the lead. “That was a blast,” said Tomac. Tomac was on the inside and made the pass, but he lost the back end of his bike and Dungey got back around. Tomac seemed to settle in for the long haul, but then crashed a few laps later. After that, Dungey had a win and could do a heel clicker of his own.

Dunge!
Dunge! Photo: Cudby

Wild battle for third, and Weston Peick got it. Peick finally has his endurance down after struggling to get 20 laps following some missed races earlier in the year. This time he was solid in third, crashed, was caught by Chad Reed and Cole Seely, and then pulled back away down the stretch. Podiums suddenly seem normal for Peick.

Reed missed last week’s race with a sore shoulder, but he was game for this one and rode well while pressing Peick and fighting with Seely. Then he lost the pace suddenly and even looked down at his bike at one point—he dropped to seventh.

Bench racing on the podium.
Bench racing on the podium. Photo: Cudby

Seely had a nice run early, making a bunch of passes, and got to fourth ahead of Reed. Right after that, he bobbled and couldn’t get the tricky three-three-three section, and Reed got back by him. Reed pulled back away, then dropped back, and Seely ended up fourth.

Josh Grant was still sick during the weekend—he was ill last week, too—but rode one of his best races of the year, keeping Seely and company in sight and finishing a solid fifth.

Photo: Cudby

Solid but quiet night for Blake Baggett, who took sixth. He wasn’t as quick as the lead five, and also was passed by Justin Barcia at one point, but then Barcia made a mistake and Baggett got the spot back. Baggett ended up sixth, a spot ahead of Reed, but Reed edged Baggett for fourth in points, 226-223.

Musquin made a mistake...in a heat race. RJ Hampshire was able to challenge him but then made a mistake of his own. That was it for challengers for the Frenchman.
Musquin made a mistake...in a heat race. RJ Hampshire was able to challenge him but then made a mistake of his own. That was it for challengers for the Frenchman. Photo: Cudby

There’s not much to say about the Shootout. Malcolm Stewart rode well all day, topping West qualifying and winning his heat, and he did his best to keep Musquin honest. He couldn’t beat him, but he was better than the rest.

A trio of GEICO Honda teammates scrapped for second, third and fourth, with Stewart, RJ Hampshire and Matt Bisceglia. Rockstar Husky’s Zach Bell was in it, too, until he fell. Then Yamalube Star Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger broke up the party and put some heat on Bisceglia and Hampshire. Bisceglia got going and slammed his teammate Hampshire pretty good, and Plessinger followed him through. It’s probably the best supercross performance we’ve seen from Bisceglia, who hung on for third. “I finally just rode like I know how to ride tonight,” he said.

Vicki Golden got it done--she made the night show! Yes, a lot of top riders didn't line up for the 250 race in Vegas, but she was 35th fastest out of 41, so she earned some spots on her own. She didn't make the main, but the night show was enough for history.
Vicki Golden got it done--she made the night show! Yes, a lot of top riders didn't line up for the 250 race in Vegas, but she was 35th fastest out of 41, so she earned some spots on her own. She didn't make the main, but the night show was enough for history. Photo: Cudby