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We’re there, folks. We’ve hit a point in the 2015 Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship, where monotony has sunk in. We’re eleven rounds down with six to go, and we’ve all got our answers on #whosnext. It’s a giant IMAX screen flashing Ryan Dungey’s face over and over while our eyelids are propped open like that guy in A Clockwork Orange. Red Bull KTM riders Dungey and Marvin Musquin have won three straight races in their respective classes and they’re both making a mockery of their series.
We now live in a world where a guy named Gothic Jay manages Factory Honda, Weston Peick wins 450SX heat races, and KTM wins both supercross classes for three weeks in a row. Trust me, it’s weird. I worked on factory KTM when they launched their factory team in 2000. We went to an outdoor national once and had four guys not make the motos and we were a factory team. Fifteen years later, KTM can’t be stopped.
And just to depress you even further, over in the 250SX West Region, Cooper Webb’s got a huge lead in the points and looks great for the title.
This past weekend we were in Indianapolis, which is a sneaky-cool city—hugely underrated in my eyes. The weather kind of sucks, but the downtown area is rad. It houses the Pacers and Colts, a ton of restaurants and bars, and lots of friendly people. Cities like Indy, St. Louis, and Minneapolis (when they are on the schedule) have hard-core supercross fans. They wear the jerseys, MX company shirts, and FMF stickers. Great vibe, nice stadium, and fun city.
Ryan Dungey is riding great—there’s no doubt about that. He’d be right there winning no matter what happened, but in the last few weeks he’s racked up three wins in a row and led forty-eight out of the last sixty laps. He’s got almost a two-race lead in this series and is riding terrific.
He won again this past weekend while his main challengers for race wins all had issues. Dungey’s starts have been on point and he rarely crashes. Think about that: When was the last time you saw Dungey hit the deck with any sort of violence? Maybe a tip-over here or there. I’ve said it 7,463 times: He’s the Terminator of supercross, he just keeps coming and coming, and he can’t be stopped.
Eli Tomac can beat Dungey straight up, but he didn’t get a start and then crashed. Trey Canard can beat Ryan Dungey straight up, but he had a rough day, started from the outside, and never challenged Ryan. Chad Reed can beat Ryan Dungey straight up, but he crashed in the opening laps for the third race in a row and had to come from last.
Not that Dungey isn’t earning these wins, but his main competitors are just serving this up to The Dunge on a silver platter. Oh well, maybe next week we’ll see some real battles going on out there.
Another week and another random punishment by the AMA/FIM. Although I can’t say I disagree with the punishment, it does seem weird. Let me recap: Blake Baggett and Jason Anderson have some sort of issues going on from Daytona and possibly further back. In practice this weekend, Baggett went out and handed out some frontier justice, cleaning Anderson out in a turn. I don’t know if in Blake’s mind that evened this imaginary score or gave him one up or whatever, but it was a nice one. He tuned Jason up.
Understandably, Jason didn’t like this. When there was a red flag due to Jimmy Albertson’s crash, he saw a chance to either even the score with Blake or go one up by doing a start and “accidently” clipping Blake, sending him to the ground. That was enough for the officials; they pulled both riders off to the side and sent them back to their trucks (probably without dinner). I’ve never seen that before, but it’s par for the course this year. Both riders definitely deserved a talking to and watching, but I’ve never seen two riders sent out of practice early.
I thought it was pretty lame of Jason to put the Baggett take-out on Instagram and then tell his followers that they won’t let him practice because of that. Maybe the other video of Anderson hitting Baggett should be shown and then save the FIM the scorn thrown to them on social media? Sigh…
I thought it was funny that Mike Webb, Yoshimura Suzuki team manager, was trying to plead Baggett’s case that it was a racing accident due to their lines coming together (clearly it was not, but Webb’s just doing his job). The officials then told Webb that Blake had admitted to cleaning Jason out. Oops, my bad!
In the main event, Dungey came up and lapped Tomac (who had crashed earlier), which is fine and everything is normal. But then Tomac stuck right with Dungey and stayed pretty close to him at times. I’ve never seen a lapped rider do that. Tomac picked up a bunch of spots by staying at Dungey’s pace that he may not have gotten otherwise, and I’m sure a few riders that were ahead of Tomac thought he was lapping them as the blue flag flew for Dungey.
Tomac even checked up a couple of times to prevent passing Dungey. It was bizarre for sure and I’m not sure if I would think that was cool or not if I were Dungey. If I’m Eli, I don’t really care. It was weird to see.
Let’s take a look at the results, shall we?
1. 25 Marvin Musquin; Corona, CA; KTM 250 SX-F – Here’s David Vuillemin’s note from his column over on Pulpmx about Musquin and his skills: (FIND LINK) “The kid is too good, too smooth, too fast and the competition is too slow, too weak and not smart enough.”
2. 1 Justin Bogle; Cushing, OK; Honda CRF250R – There’s no doubt Marvin’s been better than Justin just about every race but not by that much. Despite Musquin’s domination, The Bogle-Monster has made the podium every single race and “only” trails Marvin by 16 points. Lots and lots of things could happen here, and Bogle needs to keep the damage to a minimum and pounce if there’s a chance.
3. 80 RJ Hampshire; Hudson, FL; Honda CRF250R – Great ride by Hampshire. He won a heat in Daytona and got on the podium here—the kid’s figuring it out.
4. 126 Jordon Smith; Belmont, NC; Honda CRF250R – Smith didn’t make the main at ATL2, which was bad. He rode well in Daytona and came from way back to fourth this week. Smith’s got to calm down a bit out there, though; he’s had some close calls! Still, this was awesome for him and his team. GEICO Honda: 2-3-4!
5. 35 Kyle Cunningham; Aledo, TX; Honda CRF250R – Finally a nice ride by Kyle, and he earned it; there was a serious battle royale going on between him, Jimmy Decotis, Vince Friese, and Kyle Peters most of the main event. It was intense.
6. 49 James Decotis; Peabody, MA; Honda CRF250R – Jimmy D has found success with a new suspension company, improving his finishes over the last couple of weeks. He’s hoping to get it on the box soon, but right now it’s the domain of Musquin, Bogle, and Jeremy Martin.
7. 55 Kyle Peters; Greensboro, NC; Honda CRF250R – Another solid ride by Peters. In the past, we all kind of had one eyebrow raised when he was putting in solid finishes in a weak East Region, but this year, in a deeper field, he’s doing the same thing and has a shot at the top five in points.
8. 986 Colt Nichols; Muskogee, OK; Honda CRF250R – Nichols has been on my radar the last couple years, as Nick Wey tried to sign him and maybe I heard PC was looking at him at one point. He did AX last year, and this year, his first in SX, he’s shown that he’s got some skills. Along with Peters, he’s bringing MotoSport.com/GPI/Honda Racing some good finishes.
9. 45 Vince Friese; Cape Girardeau, MO; Honda CRF250R – Friese has been sick. This weekend he crashed in practice and cracked his collarbone, and he was a race-time decision. He’s had a rough few races, but I bet he’s glad he toughed this one out, although he understandably faded near the end of the race. And I don’t consider spots 2-10 all Hondas because Vince races a MCR 250.
10. 79 Jace Owen; Mattoon, IL; Honda CRF250R – This was Owen’s career-best finish and it’s his home race. Yay!
11. 343 Luke Renzland; Hewitt, NJ; Yamaha YZ250F – “Luke, I am your riding coach. Come to Strava Steve and crush your enemies.”
12. 73 Gannon Audette; Tallahassee, FL; Kawasaki KX 250F – Audette’s under the radar this year but he’s been solid. Nice to see him make it this far into the series after some injuries the last few years.
13. 52 Mitchell Oldenburg; Alvord, TX; Yamaha YZ250F – Oldenburg was seventh, hoping to get into sixth, when he crashed with two laps to go. This came after a gnarly practice crash in the whoops. Mitch is definitely fast (“We can work with speed”). With team owner Jimmy Albertson probably out for the year with injuries, look for “Freckle” to move to the 450 for the outdoors.
14. 77 Justin Starling; Deland, FL; Yamaha YZ250F
15. 47 Martin Davalos; Cairo, GA; Husqvarna FC250 – I wrote about Davalos fading last week. It turns out he’s battling some sort of Epstein-Barr virus, which would explain his finishes. In Indy, he crashed twice early on and went downhill from there.
16. 62 Anthony Rodriguez; Cairo, GA; Yamaha YZ250F – A-Rod’s got some skills and is a great rider, but on a track that was getting worse by the lap, he wasn’t going to be able to stay infifth for long. His history tells us that he tends to throw it away.
17. 393 Daniel Herrlein; Bethesda, OH; Honda CRF250R
18. 395 Taylor Potter; Australia; Honda CRF250 – Jeremy Martin came up alongside Potter in the heat race for the last spot into the main, and Potter controlled the corner and knocked the Yamaha rider down. Nothing wrong with his move, and it got him into the main.
19. 471 Logan Karnow; Vermilion, OH; Honda CRF250R
20. 37 Joey Savatgy; Thomasville, GA; Kawasaki KX 250F – Poor Joe-Dog. He was a strong third early in the main event when his Kawasaki KX250F let go. He’s lucky he didn’t crash. The Pro Circuit team has had a tough go of the East Region.
21. 95 Nick Gaines; Ringgold, GA; Kawasaki KX 250F – Gaines had a huge get-off in practice and then pulled the holeshot in the main event, which broke a string of KTM/Husky (same bike) holies going on in the 250 class. That was his highlight, as he crashed out later on. Gaines has some talent and speed, but he is seriously sketchy. If he can smooth out, he can be a factor. If he can’t, well, he’s going to get hurt.
22. 88 Dakota Alix; Jay, VT; KTM 250 SX-F – Before the night show I was talking to Andrew Short about this triple after the finish and he said you can’t really do it on the right side because it’s sketchy. Alix tried to triple on the right side early in the main and stepped through the bars as he endoed.
1. 5 Ryan Dungey; Tallahassee, FL; KTM 450 SX-F
2. 14 Cole Seely; Laguna Beach, CA; Honda CRF450R – With the way Seely picked the track up so fast in practice, I assumed he had to have ridden press day. But he didn’t, which should have indicated how well he would do. It was a nice ride by Seely; he kept Dunge honest for half the main event and rode to a career-best second place. He’s starting to really come on here lately. Could he get a win?
3. 41 Trey Canard; Edmond, OK; Honda CRF450R – The good: This finish, Trey’s pocket-watch, doing a triple out of the turn before the whoops that I didn’t see anyone else doing. The bad: his crash in practice that was scary, his bad start and me having to wait an hour or so after the race to interview him while he waited to pee for WADA.
4. 23 Weston Peick; Menifee, CA; Yamaha YZ450F – He won a heat race this weekend. Yes, I’m serious. This is the world we are living in now. And he is killing it in the whoops.
5. 18 David Millsaps; Murrieta, CA; Kawasaki KX 450F – Davi stayed on two wheels and stayed strong the whole main event. He told me a couple of weeks ago that he was 100 percent and his results should be getting better here soon. A lot of times riders just say that stuff (except for Nicoletti) to try and believe it, but Millsaps was serious.
6. 29 Andrew Short; Smithville, TX; KTM 450 SX-F – Shorty holeshot once again. I guess the guys in the TV booth just now figured out that he starts in third gear because they hammered that point home. It’s been a year and a half now, but better late than never I suppose. Short runs the gearing that helps him do this well, and he has great technique. Dungey’s still starting in second, which is working just fine for him.
7. 33 Joshua Grant; Wildomar, CA; Kawasaki KX 450F – Grant had a nice, quiet ride. After a horrible start to the season he’s been coming around the last month or so. Although his boss did hit his back wheel and go down early in the main event.
8. 20 Broc Tickle; Holly, MI; Suzuki RM-Z450 – Coming off a very nice race in Daytona, Tickle was just okay in Indianapolis. But, when you’re “just okay” and getting an eighth, things are good for you.
9. 22 Chad Reed; Dade City, FL; Kawasaki KX 450F – Reed crashed for the third straight main event and had to come from last to get this result. After the race, his pits were still packed with fans because he can do no wrong.
10. 12 Jacob Weimer; Wildomar, CA; Kawasaki KX 450F – We can work with this: Weimer’s best result in weeks. When I told him at riders’ meeting that he needs to stop crashing, he agreed and added “and stop stalling,” which confused me because I thought Jake was a pro rider and above that sort of stuff.
11. 3 Eli Tomac; Cortez, CO; Honda CRF450R – I think Eli summed it up best in his Instagram after the race: “Absolutely disgusted with my mistake in the main event tonight….” And I agree. Him, Canard, and Reed may as well rent a blimp with a banner that says, “Here, Dunge, let us give you race wins and the 2015 SX title with our mistakes.”
12. 11 Kyle Chisholm; Valrico, FL; Kawasaki KX 450F
13. 46 Phillip Nicoletti; Bethel, NY; Yamaha YZ450F – I try to talk to Phil after every race to hear about how he sucks, how he shouldn’t be out there, how he hates his life, etc.
14. 27 Nicholas Wey; Dewitt, MI; Kawasaki KX 450F – Wey had to go to the LCQ in Indy, which is always scary. If you want some straight comedy, go follow Wey on Instagram and check out his throwback Tuesday photo from 1988.
15. 4 Blake Baggett; Grand Terrace, CA; Suzuki RM-Z450 – Baggett crashed in the main and was trapped under the bike. He said on the Pulpmx Show that it took almost a minute before someone came to his help while the front sprocket just spun and spun on his body. Pretty weird—usually the Dig Dug’s are on it.
16. 199 Kyle Partridge; Lake Elsinore, CA; Honda CRF450R – Partridge once again topped his season best, and he also qualified well.
17. 21 Jason Anderson; Edgewood, NM; Husqvarna FC450 – Anderson had a very eventful Indianapolis and not in a good way. There was that starting-line incident with Baggett, and then there was the (in my opinion) pretty dirty take-out of Jake Weimer in the heat race. Then he did a last-lap, last-corner slam on Alex Ray (which was fine) to get into the main. Once in the main he crashed his way out of the top ten for the first time all year. Like I said, Jason’s emotions were probably all over the map all day long in Indy.
18. 285 Tony Archer; Waldorf, MD; Kawasaki KX 450F – Nice job by Hawkeye! With Ken Roczen, Mike Alessi, Jimmy Albertson, and Justin Brayton not racing Indy, it was prime time for some privateer dudes to get into the main.
19. 42 Ben LaMay; Austin, TX; Husqvarna FC450 – LaMay’s got, like, no time on the Husky and is still trying to get the motor and suspension to his liking after years on Yamaha. Ben told me that he does miss the Yamaha motor but this new ride handles great. Then I made fun of Ben for his 1990 80cc N-Style-type numbers.
20. 58 Killian Rusk; Temecula, CA; Yamaha YZ450F
21. 722 Adam Enticknap; Lompoc, CA; Honda CRF450R – Yeah! The 722 made his first main of the year in the semi after hunting Heath Harrison down and making the pass. Filthy Phil told us on the Pulpmx Show that he was trying to focus on the main when he was at the gate and the 722 was yelling at Fox reporter Jenny Taft to check him out.
22. 181 Dustin Pipes; Madera, CA; Suzuki RM-Z450 – This is cool. After turning pro in 2010, this was Pipes’ first-ever main event. At least I think it was. Dusty’s a nice guy, been there for a long time and it’s cool to see Pipes clean out the dust (check out the future Cycle News headlines if Dusty ever wins a race we ran here) and make it into the main.
Some news and notes:
- As we know, Vicki Golden is attempting to become the first woman to make a night show in supercross, and even though I’m still not a fan of her getting press days and plenty of track time to make sure she’s on point (the guys she’s qualifying around do not get the same courtesy), I have to say she’s improving and came very close to making it this week. One rider dropped out with injury and Vince Friese almost didn’t race. If he had bailed, Golden was there waiting in the tunnel to become the fortieth rider to get in. Anyway, she didn’t make it but as I said, she has improved.
- Indiana’s own Mike LaRocco is going into the AMA Hall of Fame (I still can’t believe Ron Lechien’s not in there—that’s ridiculous) in the fall and he was honored at the race. It was a nice touch indeed, but it looked like, in typical Mike LaRocco fashion, he’d rather be anywhere else in the world than on that stage in front of all those people. His HoF speech should be epic: He’ll walk up there, say “Thank you,” and sit back down.
I’m all “Observationed” out after Monday’s column and now this 3,000-word opus. I think we can agree that I did a good job covering Indy SX, yes? Whether you agree or not, send me an email at email@example.com if you want to chat.