Saturday Night Live: Indianapolis

Saturday Night Live Indianapolis

March 19, 2017 1:00am

Eli Tomac can seem to do no wrong at the moment. He’s dialed in his starts. He’s patient when called for (see Daytona). He’ll pounce quickly if needed (see tonight). He’s been able to lead wire-to-wire (see Toronto). In the last three races, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider has led 57 of a possible 69 laps. After tonight, he’s won six of the last eight races, and has made a series out of a championship that looked lost not that long ago. After Toronto, Tomac pointed to changes made prior to Glendale. Since that race, he’s been on an absolute roll. With the exception of Arlington, where he experienced front brake problems, Tomac has finished no worse than second, and has won six other rounds. In that time, he’s cut what was a 25-point deficit (entering Glendale) to 12.

Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, site of Round 11 of Monster Energy Supercross, looked like it would host another epic battle between the titans of the sport, akin to Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen’s showdown just a year ago. After Tomac got around early leader Blake Baggett, Dungey followed suit. Tomac stretched his lead to around three seconds, only to have Dungey cut it to around one. Once Dungey cut it to one, Tomac seemed to kick it up another notch.

Tomac is now just 12 points back of Ryan Dungey after his win tonight.
Tomac is now just 12 points back of Ryan Dungey after his win tonight. Jeff Kardas

“Yeah, you know, I’m watching for sure,” Tomac told the media after the race when asked if he was aware of his lead shrinking. “If you do have a little bit of a gap on someone, you can mark them on the track. I saw it. And I was making a few little mistakes here and there. I was struggling before the finish line with that on-off there and just little things that were eating at us. I ended up cleaning those up, which was good, but it was a hard fought 27 laps tonight.

“Yeah, I’m feeling good that we’re getting race wins, but we’re still 12 points out,” continued Tomac. “If I go out and win every race right now, that still takes four races to get there and that’s a big ask. Just doing what we can right now, and taking it week by week.”

Ryan Dungey finished third in Indy.
Ryan Dungey finished third in Indy. Jeff Kardas

While he’s seen his points lead trimmed to 12, and on a night where he wasn’t at his best (losing ground to Tomac and then being passed by his teammate Marvin Musquin for second) Dungey is still happy to be in the position he’s in with six rounds remaining.

“The pressure isn’t on me necessarily. I’ve won championships. These guys haven’t [yet]. So they are going for their first one. If anything, I’m in a good position, with the position I’m in with the points. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve been in his [Tomac’s] position. I was behind Ryan Villopoto for four years and I don’t like it and it bothered me and it upset me a lot to the point where I hated the sport. I didn’t like it all. I wanted to be done.”

After battling the flu the past two weeks, Musquin looked back to 100 percent. He qualified fastest, and then after starting fourth, he tracked Dungey down late in the race and made the pass for second on lap 19 of 27.

“It was really difficult,” Musquin said of battling his illness. “You don’t want to be sick when you have 17 rounds in a row. Every weekend you have your routine and your program and your putting in a lot of work and you get sick—it happens. But I was sick pretty bad. I had a bad flu. I had a fever every night.”

Marvin Musquin was back to 100 percent, and back on the podium.
Marvin Musquin was back to 100 percent, and back on the podium. Jeff Kardas

Rocky Mountain ATV-MC-WPS-KTM’s Blake Baggett was a strong fourth. He held third until lap 11 when he made a mistake in the rollers and crashed. It was a very similar crash to Alex Martin’s in the 250 main event. He only lost one spot, though, and rode to his best finish since a podium in Atlanta.

Red Bull KTM’s Trey Canard was back for the first time since a crash in qualifying in Toronto. He went down in a first turn crash in his semi race and had to go through the LCQ (which he won) to make the main event. He finished 14th after rounding lap one in 21st.

Baggett (4) finished fourth after a crash.
Baggett (4) finished fourth after a crash. Jeff Kardas

Indianapolis - 450SX

- Indianapolis, IN

PositionRiderHometownMachine
1Eli Tomac Cortez, CO Kawasaki KX 450F
2Marvin Musquin La Reole, France KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edit
3Ryan Dungey Belle Plaine, MN KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edit
4Blake Baggett Grand Terrace, CA KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edit
5Cole Seely Newbury Park, CA Honda CRF 450
6Davi Millsaps Cairo, GA KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edit
7Chad Reed Kurri Kurri, Australia Yamaha YZ450F
8Broc Tickle Holly, MI Suzuki RM-Z450
9Jason Anderson Edgewood, NM Husqvarna FC450
10Justin Barcia Monroe, NY Suzuki RM-Z450
11Dean Wilson Scotland, United Kingdom Husqvarna FC450
12Justin Brayton Fort Dodge, IA Honda CRF 450
13Josh Grant Riverside, CA Kawasaki KX 450F
14Trey Canard Shawnee, OK KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edit
15Justin Bogle Cushing, OK Suzuki RM-Z450
16Jake Weimer Rupert, ID Suzuki RM-Z450
17Vince Friese Cape Girardeau, MO Honda CRF 450
18Malcolm Stewart Haines City, FL Suzuki RM-Z450
19Mike Alessi Apple Valley, CA Honda CRF 450
20Kyle Chisholm Clearwater, FL Honda CRF 450
21Nick Schmidt Maryville, WA Suzuki RM-Z450
22Adam Enticknap Lompoc, CA Honda CRF 450
Full Results

450SX Standings - 2017

PositionRiderHometownPoints
1Ryan Dungey Belle Plaine, MN359
2Eli Tomac Cortez, CO354
3Marvin Musquin La Reole, France293
4Jason Anderson Edgewood, NM273
5Davi Millsaps Cairo, GA221
6Blake Baggett Grand Terrace, CA220
7Cole Seely Newbury Park, CA212
8Dean Wilson Scotland, United Kingdom185
9Chad Reed Kurri Kurri, Australia182
10Josh Grant Riverside, CA175
Full Standings

Following a season-worst fifth in Daytona, and seeing his points lead trimmed to just six, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne got back on track with a huge win in Indianapolis, and he had to go through his chief title rival Joey Savatgy to get it done. Savatgy led the opening nine laps with Osborne directly behind him the entire way. When Savatgy was jumping through the whoops, Osborne was able to blitz them and made contact with Savatgy in the following corner and pushed into the lead. While he wasn’t able to open a gap on Savatgy, who stayed close, Osborne held strong under pressure and claimed his third win of the season by 2.2 seconds. In the process, he stretch his points lead back to nine over Savatgy.

In a close race, Osborne pulled through for his third win of the season.
In a close race, Osborne pulled through for his third win of the season. Jeff Kardas

“You know, I kind of maybe gave that away too early,” Osborne told the media after the race about the inside line he used to pass Savatgy after the whoops. “I maybe should have waited a couple of times until I was closer. But I knew from the start whenever he pulled the holeshot that it was going to be a tough race. I just tried to bide my time and make it happen when I did. But it’s going to be a tough championship all the way to the last lap in Vegas.”

With short lap times (the leaders were in the 48-49 range) and a huge pileup, which collected a lot of the field on the first lap in the rhythm section, the lead pack caught up to lappers quickly and ended up lapping up to eight place Mitchell Harrison. The overall theme was that the lappers weren’t a problem, but that the crashes that were happening around them were.

Savatgy finished second in the 250 main event.
Savatgy finished second in the 250 main event. Jeff Kardas

“I didn’t think they were terrible,” said Savatgy. “There were obviously times where they definitely affect the flow and not intentionally get in the way, but you have your line you take every lap and they are in your line so you gotta change it up a little bit. But there definitely was a little bit of carnage—the crash on the on-on section. All in all for me personally I struggled to find the flow a little bit and didn’t let the track come to me quick enough. But that’s something we’ll learn [from], build on, adapt and make it better.”

In his first year with Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM Jordon Smith has turned the corner as far as consistency goes. Tonight was just another example. He was part of the lead group—fourth behind Osborne, Savatgy and Alex Martin—and was staying close, but when Martin went down in the rollers, he didn’t have room to get around and got held up. While he didn’t lose any spots, he lost ground on the leaders and rode to a quiet third. It was his first podium since the opening round in Minneapolis, but he's been in the top five in all but one race and his worst finish is a seventh. He now trails Adam Cianciarulo by three points for third.

Jordon Smith was back on the podium in Indy.
Jordon Smith was back on the podium in Indy. Jeff Kardas

“Alex had a little tip over about halfway through the race and I got hung up with him,” said Smith after the race. “I let those guys get really far away, which was kind of a bummer. I felt like I had the speed to run with those guys and challenge them a little bit.”

As for Martin, he would lose third to Smith but rebounded to hold off Cianciarulo for fourth. “It was really just a case of me not being smart enough out there,” Martin said about the crash after the race. “In practice I made the same mistake two times, in the last practice, I crashed twice in that corner. You’re coming off the finish line, and you wheel tap three and then quad and you have a lot of speed coming into that corner and I was getting a little tired, arms were a little rubbery and I just lost the front end.”

A crash in the main event cost Martin a shot at the podium.
A crash in the main event cost Martin a shot at the podium. Jeff Kardas

Adam Cianciarulo, who injured his knee in qualifying after getting slammed off the track by Osborne and didn’t finish the session, finished fifth [we also hear he initiated the fracas with Osborne, and Osborne was just retaliating]. Cianciarulo told us after the race that although he hasn’t had an MRI, they don’t fear that he suffered any structural damage and that he hyperextend his knee when he went off the track. He said that while he may not be able to ride this week, he doesn’t expect to miss any time.

“It really wasn’t that bad, I just kind of jumped off the track and just planted my leg a little bit and hyperextended it and man it stung. It was God-awful pain. Even for like the first 30 minutes after. I was like man, there’s no way I’m gonna be able to do it tonight. Luckily we were able to get decent enough for the practice for me to throw down an okay lap. I felt decent in the heat race. The knee actually started to loosen up at the end. The main event, too… But I’m not too bummed on my ride. For what we were dealing with with the knee.”

Cianciarulo fought through a knee injury to finish fifth.
Cianciarulo fought through a knee injury to finish fifth. Jeff Kardas

Indianapolis - 250SX East

- Indianapolis, IN

PositionRiderHometownMachine
1Zach Osborne Abingdon, VA Husqvarna FC250
2Joey Savatgy Thomasville, GA Kawasaki KX 250F
3Jordon Smith Belmont, NC KTM 250SX-F Factory Edit
4Alex Martin Millville, MN KTM 250SX-F Factory Edit
5Adam Cianciarulo Port Orange, FL Kawasaki KX 250F
6Christian Craig Hemet, CA Honda CRF 250
7Dylan Ferrandis Avignon, France Yamaha YZ250F
8Mitchell Harrison Lansing, MI Yamaha YZ250F
9Anthony Rodriguez Caracacus, Venezuela Yamaha YZ250F
10Kyle Cunningham Aledo, TX Suzuki Rm-z250
11Henry Miller Rochester, MN Yamaha YZ250F
12Dakota Alix Jay, VT KTM 250 SX-F
13John Short Pilot Point, TX Suzuki Rm-z250
14Luke Renzland Hewitt, NJ Yamaha YZ250F
15Dylan Merriam Corona, CA Yamaha YZ250F
16Eric Grondahl Portsmouth, NH KTM 250 SX-F
17Joshua Cartwright Tallahassee, FL Yamaha YZ250F
18Gradie Featherstone United Kingdom Yamaha YZ250F
19Cole Thompson Canada KTM 250 SX-F
20Jesse Wentland Elk River, MN Honda CRF 250
21Fredrik Noren Lidköping, Sweden Honda CRF 250
22Jerry Robin Hamel, MN Yamaha YZ250F
Full Results

250SX East Standings - 2017

PositionRiderHometownPoints
1Zach Osborne Abingdon, VA173
2Adam Cianciarulo Port Orange, FL171
3Joey Savatgy Thomasville, GA166
4Jordon Smith Belmont, NC161
5Dylan Ferrandis Avignon, France144
6Christian Craig Hemet, CA97
7Mitchell Harrison Lansing, MI86
8Luke Renzland Hewitt, NJ84
9Anthony Rodriguez Caracacus, Venezuela82
10Kyle Cunningham Aledo, TX77
Full Standings