Welcome to the Racer X Race Day Feed, coming to you from Ford Field in Detorit, Michigan. From practice reports to the blow-by-blow from tonight’s program, you’ll find it all right here on the Racer X Race Day Feed. Updates are posted in chronological order, so be sure to scroll down for the latest info. For even more updates be sure to follow us on Twitter, @Racerxonline.
Welcome to Detroit, Michigan, for round eight of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, where we will get the second Triple Crown format of the season. Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb will bring the red plates to the starting gate for the second time this season, as he has a two-point lead of Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen. Webb’s teammate, Marvin Musquin (six points behind Webb), Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac (16 points behind) and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Dean Wilson (40 points behind) round out the top five in the 450SX points standings. Last weekend's race was simply incredible, with Webb edging Roczen by the smallest recorded margin since at least 2003. Combine that with the close standings, and we're looking at some of the most intriguing mid-season racing in a long, long time.
As for specifics in the Motor City, the teams are dealing with cold temperatures outside of the stadium yet again. The track takes a turn away from the recent football-field-style tracks we have seen in Glendale, Minneapolis, and Arlington, mostly with the hard 90-degree left-hand turn into the holeshot. Starts will be key tonight in all three races, as this kind of start results in inside riders bumping outside riders off the track. While the track has a split rhythm section that some riders will quad through, it’s tough to say which line will be faster come the night show.
In the 250SX East Region, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit’s Austin Forkner swept the class last week for the second straight time, qualifying fastest during the day and leading all laps of his heat race and all laps of the main event. Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Justin Cooper sits eight points behind Forkner after getting his first two podiums in his career in back-to-back weeks, and Troy Lee Designs KTM’s Jordon Smith sits in third 10 points back. GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton sits 13 points behind Forkner after fifth and third place finishes in the first two East Region rounds and Cooper’s teammate Mitchell Oldenburg sits 18 points back in fifth place in the standings. Although Forkner has been perfect in the first two rounds, the 250SX East will see its first Triple Crown format of the year. We will see how each rider responds to the Triple Crown format tonight.
Here's a quick primer on that format: the 250 riders will race three races at a length of 10 minutes and 1 lap each. The 450s will run 12 minutes and 1 lap in each race. Daytime qualifying is key here because it seeds 18 spots on the gate in this format (there are no heat races in a Triple Crown event). After daytime qualifying, a pair of LCQs will be held to determine the final four spots for each class in the night show. For more details on the Triple Crown, click here to read about the changes from last year's format.
250SX East First Timed Practice
Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Mitchell Oldenburg held the fastest lap time the first qualifying session for group A for the first the majority of the practice, before GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit’s Austin Forkner claimed the top spot before the session had ended. When it was all said and done, Forkner finished as the top qualifier in the 250SX East in Minneapolis and Arlington, before doing so again here in the Motor City. The track has some ruts starting to form on the turns, mostly the 180-berms, which will play a key factor in tonight’s main event.
“The track is pretty deceiving, the ruts are really soft and they’re only going to get deeper,” said Forkner. “It was getting tougher as the practice went on. It’s going to be really chewed up in the main event.”
|1||Austin Forkner||47.304||Richards, MO||Kawasaki KX250F|
|2||Chase Sexton||47.860||La Moille, IL||Honda CRF250R|
|48.445||Alvord, TX||Yamaha YZ250F|
|48.527||Millville, MN||Suzuki RM-Z250|
|50.763||Metamora, MI||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2||James Weeks||51.327||Punta Gorda, FL||Yamaha YZ250F|
|3||Ramyller Alves||51.935||Coconut Creek, FL||Yamaha YZ250F|
|4||Steven Clarke||52.051||Honda CRF250R|
|5||Wilson Fleming||52.219||New Canaan, CT||Husqvarna FC 250|
450SX First Timed Practice
Honda HRC’s Cole Seely rerecorded the fastest lap through the first three laps, before Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac finished at the top of the board. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Dean Wilson recorded the second fastest lap, followed by Seely and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy.
“I’m liking it, I’m feeling good,” said Tomac. “Track has the right amount of moisture in it right now. There are some ruts but nothing over the top—it’s just a good track right now.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne down exiting the whoops section and Cole Martinez went down hard as well before being helped off the track by the medical staff.
|1||Eli Tomac||47.132||Cortez, CO||Kawasaki KX450|
|2||Dean Wilson||47.427||Scotland||Husqvarna FC 450|
|3||Cole Seely||47.629||Newbury Park, CA||Honda CRF450R|
|4||Joey Savatgy||47.678||Thomasville, GA||Kawasaki KX450|
|5||Ken Roczen||48.127||Mattstedt||Honda CRF450R|
|49.890||Phoenix, AZ||Husqvarna FC 450|
|2||Adam Enticknap||50.602||Lompoc, CA||Suzuki RM-Z450|
|3||AJ Catanzaro||51.073||Portland, CT||Kawasaki KX450|
|4||Ronnie Stewart||51.749||Easton, PA||Husqvarna FC 450|
|5||Casey Brennan||51.857||Albuquerque, NM||KTM 450 SX-F|
250SX East Second Timed Practice
Troy Lee Designs KTM’s Jordon Smith recorded the fastest few laps early on and battled with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit’s Austin Forkner and GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton for the top time in the final qualifying session of the day. But when the session was done, Sexton finished on the top of the board.
“I was fifth in the first session and that’s not good enough,” said Sexton. “I didn’t know if my lap was good enough to be first, Austin [Forkner] is doing that triple right by the finish and I’m not doing it yet. The whoops are pretty ate up right now, but I got a good line in the there and I think that helped me in my fast lap. I’m looking forward to having some skim whoops tonight. I’m looking forward to the Triple Crown and the three 10-minute mains. I think the first one will be an all-out sprint, and the other two will be who makes the least mistakes.”
Forkner, who triple-quaded in the split section in practice yesterday, did so again this session. He also tripled-singled the section before the finish line jump, something no one else had tried.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Thomas Covington is out tonight with a knee injury. Covington tweaked his knee last weekend and gave it a try earlier today and will not return to race tonight.
|1||Chase Sexton||47.149||La Moille, IL||Honda CRF250R|
|2||Austin Forkner||47.491||Richards, MO||Kawasaki KX250F|
|47.582||Millville, MN||Suzuki RM-Z250|
|4||Justin Cooper||47.649||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
|1||Ramyller Alves||50.375||Coconut Creek, FL||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2||Steven Clarke||50.654||Honda CRF250R|
|50.656||Metamora, MI||Yamaha YZ250F|
|4||James Weeks||51.302||Punta Gorda, FL||Yamaha YZ250F|
|5||Wilson Fleming||51.355||New Canaan, CT||Husqvarna FC 250|
450SX Second timed Practice
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac finished on the top of the board in the second practice session. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Dean Wilson and Smartop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts Honda’s Justin Brayton finished behind Tomac, and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Joey Savatyg and Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen rounded out the top five.
“We’re putting ourselves in the right positions, the gate picks will be key, so we are off to a great start,” Tomac said.
We saw riders trying the different lanes in the split section: a handful of riders opted to go through the right section and triple-quad and a handful of riders opted to go to through the left section and triple-quad. While the top variation was mostly triple-quad in both sections, the right section features a lower, softer landing than the left section. Earlier today, the Dirt Wurx track crew changed the right section’s last jump from a true, tall landing to more of a soft, lower bump that seems to be a softer landing (compared to the landing of the quad variation in the left section) if the jump is cased.
Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb tripled-singled the double-double section into the finish line that Forkner had done in the 250SX East practice. Webb also double-double-singled the two-tabletop section that we had seen usually been double out of the turn jump-on jump-off into the turn. Several riders in this session tried this variation through the section—watch for the riders to use this line tonight in the main events.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne, who went down in the whoops in the earlier practice session, returned and finished in 13th in qualifying. Honda HRC’s Cole Seely, who was blasted by a rock in the earlier session, only did two slow laps in this session, although he finished in sixth from his fastest time in the earlier qualifying session, his status is currently unknown.
|1||Eli Tomac||46.841||Cortez, CO||Kawasaki KX450|
|2||Dean Wilson||46.893||Scotland||Husqvarna FC 450|
|47.478||Fort Dodge, IA||Honda CRF450R|
|4||Joey Savatgy||47.573||Thomasville, GA||Kawasaki KX450|
|5||Ken Roczen||47.606||Mattstedt||Honda CRF450R|
|48.917||Phoenix, AZ||Husqvarna FC 450|
|2||AJ Catanzaro||49.419||Portland, CT||Kawasaki KX450|
|3||Ryan Breece||51.279||Coeur D' Alene, ID||Yamaha YZ450F|
|4||Adam Enticknap||51.393||Lompoc, CA||Suzuki RM-Z450|
|5||Alexander Nagy||51.421||Richmond, IL||KTM 450 SX-F|
250SX East region LCQ
Wilson Fleming struggled earlier in the day after going down in the second timed practice but bounced back to take the first spot in the 250SX East LCQ. Fleming was followed by Chase Marquier, Lorenzo Locurcio, and Justin Thompson, who will advance to tonight’s program.
|1||Wilson Fleming||52.543||8 Laps||New Canaan, CT||Husqvarna FC 250|
|53.074||+02.756||Newcastle, OK||Husqvarna FC 250|
|3||Lorenzo Locurcio||52.403||+04.301||Kawasaki KX250|
|5||Samuel Redman||53.433||+14.025||Clarksville, TN||Kawasaki KX250|
AJ Catanzaro grabbed the holeshot and led all the laps of the 450SX LCQ, grabbing himself a spot in tonight’s main events. Catanzaro worked up a lead early and although he lost some of his lead at the end, he was able to hang on to claim the first transfer spot. Carlen Gardner, Kyle Chisholm, and Ryan Breece rounded out the top four spots and will all advance into tonight’s program.
|1||AJ Catanzaro||50.693||8 Laps||Portland, CT||Kawasaki KX450|
|2||Carlen Gardner||51.333||+01.810||Paso Robles, CA||Honda CRF450R|
|3||Kyle Chisholm||51.620||+05.189||Clearwater, FL||Suzuki RM-Z450|
|4||Ryan Breece||50.670||+08.196||Coeur D' Alene, ID||Yamaha YZ450F|
|5||Cole Martinez||52.013||+18.273||Rimrock, AZ||Suzuki RM-Z450|
This just in: Cole Seely is out for tonight's race. He was fast in practice today but was then hit in the chest by a rock (from roost). He tried to go out for the final practice and rolled for two laps, then pulled back in. At 6:50 p.m. we received word from Honda HRC that Seely was out for the night show.
250SX East Region Race 1
Forkner takes the holeshot and battled early with Smith. Smith and Martin Davalos both started to triple-single into the finish line, like Forkner had been doing, but despite that, Forkner continued to pull way. Justin Cooper passed Davalos in the split rhythm section, as Davalos went to the right and Cooper went to the left. Cooper’s line was faster as that left side appears to be lower and therefore quicker.
Cooper started to close a bit on Sexton and Smith, who were battling back and forth for third place throughout the race, but Forkner built a 10 second lead over the two. On the last lap, Sexton went hard into the whoops trying to pass Smith but went off the track and had to go around the last berm—which resulted in Cooper passing Sexton to claim third place. Sexton returned to the track to finish fourth.
Forkner took the win over Smith with Cooper rounding out the podium.
|1||Austin Forkner||47.181||14 Laps||Richards, MO||Kawasaki KX250F|
|47.259||+10.080||Belmont, NC||KTM 250 SX-F|
|3||Justin Cooper||47.742||+14.287||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
|4||Chase Sexton||47.679||+14.750||La Moille, IL||Honda CRF250R|
450SX Race 1
Justin Brayton got the holeshot and charged ahead of the pack early. He was followed by Blake Baggett, Chad Reed, and Cooper Webb. Roczen battled Webb for fifth early on and Eli Tomac, who came through lap one in 11th, battled his way past Justin Barcia. Barcia got Tomac back within the next lap but Barcia bobbled in a turn and Tomac capitalized, getting back around Barcia for good.
Tomac was on fire and continued to battle through the pack. He used the quad through the split lane and a slick cut down in the big 180 after it to make one pass after another. He kept picking riders off, getting Baggett and then Reed to get into podium position. Just as the white flag was about to wave, Tomac caught up to Brayton, the race leader. Tomac then passed Brayton, who had led the first 15 laps, and Tomac led the last two laps to take the top spot when the checkered flag waved.
“Had a lot of work to do, but I feel really good,” said Tomac. “Track had a lot of good lines, split rhythm section and then cutting under in the next corner. That was a lot of fun. That line saved me because I was definitely buried.”
Brayton was second and Reed held on for a popular third.
"As long as I ride like that I don't care where I finish," said Reed with a smile. "Having a lot of fun out there."
Lots of back and forth battles and we saw some of the riders switch up their lines, changing from the right to the left split section. We saw a few riders triple-single into the finish line, but that stopped about halfway through the race. However, we did see the riders continuing to triple-quad in the split section.
|1||Eli Tomac||47.563||17 Laps||Cortez, CO||Kawasaki KX450|
|48.143||+02.339||Fort Dodge, IA||Honda CRF450R|
|3||Chad Reed||48.150||+04.287||Kurri Kurri||Suzuki RM-Z450|
|4||Blake Baggett||47.933||+05.746||Grand Terrace, CA||KTM 450 SX-F|
|5||Ken Roczen||47.882||+06.382||Mattstedt||Honda CRF450R|
250SX East Region Race 2
Smith takes the holeshot and had the lead early, but then Forkner got around him on the turn after the huge triple section when Smith got on the gas too soon and went squirrely, giving Forkner just enough time to pass by. Sexton didn’t get a good start but was in fifth early on. Forkner started to pull away from the pack immediately after passing Smith.
Sexton set the fastest lap time early, as he was quicker than the four riders ahead of him, and he was catching Martin, Smith, and Davalos. Up front, with no one bother him except lapped riders, Forkner would then set sail, finishing over six seconds ahead of Smith.
Sexton was able to get Martin for third, but then bobbled and Martin got him back to steal third back—that's back-to-back races where Sexton made a mistake that cost him third place.
|1||Austin Forkner||48.187||14 Laps||Richards, MO||Kawasaki KX250F|
|48.939||+06.244||Belmont, NC||KTM 250 SX-F|
|48.780||+07.083||Millville, MN||Suzuki RM-Z250|
|4||Chase Sexton||48.748||+07.811||La Moille, IL||Honda CRF250R|
|5||Justin Cooper||48.373||+10.282||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
450SX Race 2
Webb grabbed the holeshot and lead early. Savatgy, Wilson, Tomac, and Musquin were the top five through the first lap, and right behind that Reed battled Justin Brayton in the 180-bowl turn before the split section. Reed then triple-quadded through the right section past Justin Brayton, who was in the left section, and came into the next 180-bowl turn to get the inside line on Wilson, who was just in front of the two going into the split section.
Up front, Savatgy closed in on Webb but Tomac was coming. Tomc passed his teammate in the whoops, then on the next lap, he passed Webb in the turn following the whoop section and get a nice lead of his own. Then he pulled away from everyone—this looked like the Tomac we have seen over the last two years: catching and blowing past everyone in front of him.
Musquin was in the top four but bumped the back of Savatgy in the turn following the finish line jump and went off his bike. In the process, he dropped one spot to Reed, who took over fourth. Kyle Chisholm went down in the turn following the dragon’s back. We’ve got Alex Ray up in the press box with a team headset (no, we have no idea why either) and he got the word that Chizz’s bike was a little bent up but he is okay.
With Tomac and Webb secure in the top two spots, Musquin battled back through, getting around Reed for fourth and then challenging Savatgy in a big battle for third. Savatgy held on to make it two Monster Energy Kawasaki riders on the podium.
|1||Eli Tomac||47.745||17 Laps||Cortez, CO||Kawasaki KX450|
|2||Cooper Webb||48.284||+05.108||Newport, NC||KTM 450 SX-F|
|3||Joey Savatgy||48.675||+08.702||Thomasville, GA||Kawasaki KX450|
|4||Marvin Musquin||47.844||+09.198||La Reole||KTM 450 SX-F|
|5||Chad Reed||48.732||+09.836||Kurri Kurri||Suzuki RM-Z450|
250SX East Region Race 3
Austin Forkner took the holeshot in the final race of the night, edging out Chase Sexton early on. Sexton was off to a better start than the last race and it looked like we would finally have a tight battle between Forkner and Sexton, but Sexton had a slight slip up in the turn following the finish line jump then Forkner ran away—again. Sexton was solid through the rest of the night, but he wasn’t making up any time on Forkner because of how smooth Forkner was. We didn’t see anything sketchy from Forkner in practice like we did the first two rounds, and we didn’t see him slip up really at all during the night show—except casing the huge triple before the whoops once, just enough for Smith to sneak by and lead for a few sections. (This slip up allowed for Smith to finish the first lap in first place, which was the first time anyone other than Forkner has led a lap in the 250SX East Region so far). Justin Cooper and Mitchell Oldenburg battled for sixth through side-by-side through the split section. Cooper would pass Alex Martin and eventually finish in third.
|1||Austin Forkner||49.257||14 Laps||Richards, MO||Kawasaki KX250F|
|2||Chase Sexton||49.606||+02.945||La Moille, IL||Honda CRF250R|
|3||Justin Cooper||49.446||+05.060||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
|49.648||+07.507||Belmont, NC||KTM 250 SX-F|
|1||Austin Forkner||Richards, MO United States||1 - 1 - 1||Kawasaki KX250F|
|Belmont, NC United States||2 - 2 - 4||KTM 250 SX-F|
|3||Chase Sexton||La Moille, IL United States||4 - 4 - 2||Honda CRF250R|
|4||Justin Cooper||Cold Spring Harbor, NY United States||3 - 5 - 3||Yamaha YZ250F|
|Quito Ecuador||5 - 7 - 5||Kawasaki KX250F|
450SX Race 3
Blake Baggett gets the holeshot in the final race of the night. Wilson was next to Tomac in the gates and bumped him back—not the start Tomac wanted. Through the first lap, Tomac was in 12th. Baggett and Barcia battled back and forth for the top position, which Barcia got on lap six. When Barcia got the lead, Baggett fell to third and Webb moved into second—at the same time Barcia took the lead, Tomac was in 11th. Unlike last week, when Tomac was outside of the top three and went backwards, Tomac worked his way up to sixth. Savatgy was in fourth through lap seven, but he fell trying to get around Baggett in a turn and dropped to 15th by the time he came across to start the next lap.
Bam-Bam would lead for five laps until Webb would take over on lap 11. When Barcia dropped to third, he battled Wilson and Roczen. On the next lap, Wilson and Roczen got together in the turn before the whoop section and Wilson went down, dropping back to 12th. Baggett stayed close to Webb and made a hard charge at the very end of the last lap—mostly the whoops section, last turn and the doubles into the finish line—but Webb held it off. With Tomac’s sixth place finish, he earned the overall victory for the night.
|1||Cooper Webb||48.196||17 Laps||Newport, NC||KTM 450 SX-F|
|2||Blake Baggett||47.520||+00.351||Grand Terrace, CA||KTM 450 SX-F|
|3||Justin Barcia||48.091||+05.553||Monroe, NY||Yamaha YZ450F|
|4||Marvin Musquin||48.107||+08.598||La Reole||KTM 450 SX-F|
|5||Ken Roczen||48.370||+10.777||Mattstedt||Honda CRF450R|
|1||Eli Tomac||Cortez, CO United States||1 - 1 - 6||Kawasaki KX450|
|2||Cooper Webb||Newport, NC United States||6 - 2 - 1||KTM 450 SX-F|
|3||Chad Reed||Kurri Kurri Australia||3 - 5 - 7||Suzuki RM-Z450|
|4||Ken Roczen||Mattstedt Germany||5 - 6 - 5||Honda CRF450R|
|5||Blake Baggett||Grand Terrace, CA United States||4 - 11 - 2||KTM 450 SX-F|