Josh Grant and Dungey battled for the lead early, Dungey got it and Roczen was quickly around to take second. Jason Anderson was there too. Roczen stood Dungey up before the finish line jump to take the lead and Dungey immediately started fighting back. He showed Kenny a wheel and made light contact with Roczen twice, but couldn’t make a repass happen. Meanwhile, Eli Tomac had a rare good start, and then he got past both Grant and Anderson to get to third. He wasn’t finished. Soon he started closing on Dungey, and then five laps in he made the pass! He still wasn’t done. Tomac kept charging and started to slowly close the gap on Roczen. This set up a classic Roczen/Tomac battle.
On lap three Jake Weimer crashed and was run into by Justin Barcia and then Broc Tickle. That set that trio to the back.
Meanwhile Dungey uncharacteristically dropped off the leader’s pace, and Roczen and Tomac got away. Anderson, from fourth, kept chipping away at his gap, and then in the second half of the race he was all over the champ. Dungey’s 30-race podium streak was in grave danger, and then Anderson pulled the trigger and made the pass for third. It looked like that battle was over as Anderson started pulling a bit of a gap, but then Dungey stabilized it. Then Anderson made a huge bobble in the whoops, and Dungey closed back in. Then next lap Anderson bobbled in the whoops again, and this time Dungey shot past to reclaim third. Anderson says his front brake went out and it made it hard to make the corner before the whoops cleanly, which ruined his entry to the section.
Up front, Tomac got to Roczen’s fender, but had his own bobbles in the whoops a few times. This let Roczen pull it back out, and that was all he needed—Roczen had enough to take the win. Tomac grabbed second and Dungey kept his podium streak alive with third, but his three-race win streak is over, plus, Roczen gets to at least stave off Dungey’s title clinch for at least one more weekend.
Anderson hung on for fourth ahead of Trey Canard.
Dakota Alix pulled yet another killer start and grabbed the holeshot, but then he was passed by McElrath. Then Alix doubled the triple, caught a peg while trying to scrub, and crashed. This allowed Malcolm Stewart to get around him, and he wasted no time passing McElrath to take the lead on the first lap.
At that point it looked like everything was going to roll Stewart's way. His title rivals, Jeremy Martin and Aaron Plessinger, started way back, and Stewart started pulling away quickly.
But about five laps in, Stewart started to slow. Martin Davalos got a hook in McElrath, applied some pressure, and passed him for second. Then they both started to close on Stewart, igniting a three-way battle for the lead. Stewart continued to slow, holding up both Martin and McElrath. By then Martin had climbed to fourth, and he was charging super hard, and caught the lead trio. Now a wild four-ride battle for the lead was set. 250SX East action. Catch the fever!
After a lap of dueling, Davalos got Malcolm when Malcolm bobbled and didn’t jump the jump before the finish, this held up McElrath and allowed Martin to sneak past for third. Then Martin had to work on Stewart, and it took him one lap to get around his title rival. By the time he finally made the pass, Davalos had pulled back out—but Martin didn’t give up! He closed back in on Davalos and showed him a wheel for two laps, and it looked like the pass for the lead was inevitable. Martin had a new line using an outside line and jumping a triple into a rhythm lane, and twice he got inside of Davalos but wasn't quite close enough to make a block pass. Davalos hung tough under pressure, and then Martin made a bobble in a rhythm lane and couldn’t double, letting Davalos pull it back out. Then Martin had more trouble in lapped traffic, and that was all she wrote—Davalos had a big enough lead to cruise on the last lap. Stewart hung on for third, and Plessinger, who started even worse than Martin, got around McElrath and made a huge charge late to nearly catch Stewart. He ran out of time.
Davalos' win is his second of the season, following his victory at the Atlanta opener.
Semis and LCQs
450 LCQ: Disaster strikes for Blake Baggett, who gets tangled in turn one and goes down, and then it looked like he lost a footpeg. That was the end of his night—no main event for the man who finished fifth two weeks ago in Indy. Up front Alex Ray got the start, but Cole Seely took over and grabbed the win. Nick Wey followed Seely through ahead of Ray, and the final transfer battle came down to Jeff Alessi, AJ Catanzaro and Benny Bloss. Catanzaro got Alessi, and then Bloss did as well, then Bloss put in a last-lap charge to try to get fourth from Catanzaro. He came up just short.
250 LCQ: Daniel Herlein was on the gas in this one, starting third and working his way to the lead. It was over from there. Paul Coates took second and Tyler Beremen third. The real battle was for the final transfer, with Josh Cartright trying to get early leader Cody Church. It went down to the last turn but Church held on, and Cartright was just short.
450 Semi 1: Josh Grant and Chad Reed enjoyed a TwoTwo Motorsports reunion by running 1-2 in this one. Grant nailed the start and that made it easy on him, Reed had a bad start but fought his way through. Mike Alessi was third, Nick Schmidt fourth, and Jake Weimer outdueled AJ Catanzaro for the final transfer. Catanzaro and Nick Wey are among those headed to the LCQ.
450 Semi 2: Yardsale in the first turn claimed Cole Seely, sending him to the LCQ. Then another big crash two laps in from Benny Bloss also claimed Blake Baggett. Baggett got back up and nearly ran down Cade Clason for the final transfer on the last lap, but he came up just short. So that’s Seely and Baggett to the to the LCQ.
Up front, Vince Friese grabbed the holeshot, but his old buddy Weston Peick went right around to take the lead and the win. Broc Tickle was soon up to second, and Justin Barcia rode past the downed Bloss and Baggett to take third. Friese ended up fourth ahead of Clason.
450 Heat 2: Dungey grabbed the start twice in this heat race—first when the gate dropped, and then again when the race was red flagged due to a gate malfunction and restarted. But Ken Roczen is super determined these days. On the first start he was second behind Dungey and looking to make a pass when the red flag came out. He started second again on the restart, out paced Dungey through the whoops, got next to him and made the pass. He was flying on the first lap and even stretched it out a bit. Dungey picked up some lines and kept it pretty close in second, but wasn’t able to get close enough to get to Kenny’s fender. Chalk that up as a big heat race win for Roczen.
Justin Brayton started third and ended third, and Eli Tomac got around Cole Seely (who is just returning to action after a back injury) to take fourth, then Seely washed the front end and went down. He'll be back for the semi.
450 Heat 1: Musquin and Anderson battled all the way around the track on the first lap with Musquin controlling the early lead, and then Anderson slicing inside of his training partner to grab the lead. Then Bogle went past Musquin—he’s been on it lately. Bogle kept it close to Anderson for awhile, but the Rockstar Husky man couldn’t be stopped en route to the win. Trey Canard came through to get Musquin for third, with Musquin taking the final transfer spot. One whoop section was huge, and Musquin—never a specialist in huge whoops—was struggling a bit through there.
We also witnessed some anger on the track between Barcia and Weimer--a good old slam fest out there.
Heat 2: Martin Davalos grabbed the holeshot but Tyler Bowers and RJ Hampshire jammed their way past him, and then Davalos ended up on the ground in the second turn and way back. Once Bowers had the lead, he held Hampshire at bay throughout to take the win—look at Bowers becoming quite the heat race hero lately.
Jeremy Martin started way back in this one, just like his teammate Aaron Plessinger in heat one. He roared back for third, however, the track isn’t nearly as rutted or gnarly as it was during practice, where he dominated. But he still showed good speed coming through traffic in this one.
Heat 1: Dakota Alix has been pulling starts on his privateer KTM all year-why stop now? He led the field into turn one, but Malcolm Stewart sliced underneath to take the lead over Shane McElrath and Alex Frye, while Alix bobbled in the whoops. McElrath rode well and kept Stewart honest, but Mookie held on to win the heat.
Meanwhile title contender Aaron Plessinger was way back and had to cut his way through the field, eventually rallying all the way to third from about tenth.
To our eyes, Englishman Paul Coates came through the field to finish eighth, but there was a section with the red cross flags out and he jumped, and now the results are showing a two-position penalty, pushing him to tenth and out of a transfer spot.
450s: The track finally dried to where the whoops could be blitzed, and the best times here were about seven seconds quicker than what we saw in the first session. It looked like a Ken Roczen and Trey Canard battle for most of this one, until Ryan Dungey logged a late heater to take the top spot.
Eli Tomac was fastest in the first session but had engine problems here, his bike stalled and they couldn't get it going, so he never logged a lap when the track was at its best. His time from early in the session was 13th fastest, and his time from earlier in the day won't hold up at all because the track got so much faster between sessions. So he's a wild card now because we don't know what kind of speed he could have shown in this final session.
By the night, er afternoon show, it will be really interesting to see how this track turns out. Now the track is getting rough and bumpy because the riders were tearing it up when it was soft, and the ruts of course could be a factor .But we think the dirt will actually be tacky by then. So it should be more of a technical challenge to hit the marks and be clean through the bumps, chop and ruts, as opposed to an slick, nasty mud race. No doubt anyone reading this is pumped now because Indy's rut fest led to an instant classic battle between Dungey and Roczen.
250s: The track is much better now, still sticky and rutted but at least the jumps are doable. The whoops are basically just a rolling section still, though. But note that the 250 times from this session are eight seconds faster than what we saw in the first 250 session. Also note that Jeremy Martin topped this session by over a second and a half, and he was also fastest in the first session. He's rolling right now!
Take these times for what they're worth. The track was super slippery when this session started and the riders could barely even double the simplest sessions, and the one section of whoops were nearly impassable. Let's allow the fastest rider in the session, Jeremy Martin, to sum it up.
"I felt like a goon out there every lap, I thought I was going to endo the whole time!" said Martin.
And that was the fastest rider saying that. Here are the times:
It wasn't much better for the 450s. When you see someone like Eli Tomac going around the whoops a few times because they're so tough, you know the track is gnarly. And by the way, Eli ended up being the fastest rider in the session once he finally got the whoops down.
As we mentioned below in our morning report, the Kawasaki folks are very happy with some of the testing progress they made with Tomac this week, so maybe these times mean something here.
Ken Roczen held the top time most of the way before Tomac got him. But there's a ton of track work going on now and the track is probably going to be much different once the guys get back out there for the next session.
Finally, supercross has come back to Foxborough! As a nice bonus, New England decided to treat Monster Energy Supercross fans to some classic New England weather, with light rain and drizzle all morning. Perhaps all-time local legend Doug Henry summed it up by saying on Supercross Live! "This is New England racing weather."
It wasn't heavy, but the rain wasn't expected, so the track was left uncovered. The first practice sessions were cancelled and when the riders rolled out for the first timed sessions, the track was super treacherous. Top riders were struggling to double the triples, and one whoop section was nearly impassable. But lo and behold, after some laps were laid down and the mud started to sling off, there was some dry dirt underneath. Perhaps letting the track sit in the rain uncovered was by design? It might actually not be too bad tonight.
In news, Cole Seely is back in action on his Honda HRC bike after missing a few races with a back injury. But Rockstar Energy Husqvarna's Christophe Pourcel was a late scratch after it was determined his injuries suffered in big crashes in Indy are holding him back (he did race last weekend in St. Louis but didn't look as fast as usual.)
Yoshimura Suzuki's James Stewart has announced he's out for the rest of supercross and will return for Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. And speaking of outdoors, the world thinks Eli Tomac and Monster Energy Kawasaki are just counting the days until Hangtown, but Team Manager Bruce Stjernstrom says they still did a lot of supercross testing this week and made some big gains. They're absolutely focused on trying to get wins in these last three supercross races.
Ryan Dungey could wrap up the title tonight if he gets a win and puts a few more points between himself and Ken Roczen, but Roczen has been riding well lately and shadowing Dungey's every move, so it won't be easy. Plus the track conditions will be a huge unknown.
In the super-wild 250SX East, Malcolm Stewart holds a one-point lead on Aaron Plessinger, and Jeremy Martin is 16 points back and comes in with a win from last weekend. Considering how crazy the season has gone for these boys, all three of these riders are in contention.