Supercross returns to Indianapolis
With his sixth win of the 2016 season of Monster Energy AMA Supercross reigning 450SX Class Champion Ryan Dungey took one step closer to defending his crown with victory in Santa Clara last weekend.
This weekend the Red Bull KTM rider will chase a seventh victory as the championship makes its annual visit to the “Circle City” of Indianapolis from Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, April 9.
The visit to one of the country’s most prominent motorsports destinations will also signify the return of the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship, which has featured four different winners through its first four races.
Some facts and insights to watch heading into this Saturday night’s race include
- Ryan Dungey’s 28th career 450SX Class victory moved him into a tie with Rick Johnson for sixth on the all-time wins list.
- Dungey also earned his 100th career top-five finish and his 84th career 450SX Class podium. He extended his all-time record podium streak to 28 races.
- Jason Anderson has now recorded back-to-back podium finishes for the first time in his career.
- Chad Reed added to his all-time record of top-five finishes, which now sits at 155.
- Trey Canard equaled his season-best finish of fifth. He has finished inside the top 10 in eight of his 10 starts this season.
- 450SX Class rookie Justin Bogle raced to the best result of his career in sixth. It was just his third top-10 finish this season.
- Marvin Musquin’s four-race podium streak came to an end with the worst result of his rookie 450SX Class season in 17th. It is just his second finish outside the top 10.
- Despite having missed the last three races, Davi Millsaps still sits 10th in the 450SX Class standings.
- Justin Brayton made his 100th career 450SX Class start.
- Malcolm Stewart will enter Indianapolis with the red number plate for the first time in his career as he sits atop the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship.
- Stewart is the third different points leader in the Eastern Regional Championship this season.
- Four different riders have won in the first four races of the Eastern Regional Championship. The last time that happened was during the 2011 season. It has happened just four times in the history of Monster Energy Supercross.
- Stewart is the only rider in the Eastern Regional Championship to finish inside the top 10 in each race.
- The top five riders in the Eastern Regional standings all have two podium finishes and three top-five finishes apiece.
- Aaron Plessinger’s runner-up finish at the previous race in the championship was his career best. He is the only rider in the top five in points without a win this season.
This past weekend during Monster Energy Supercross’ return to California, from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Dungey made his return to the top step of the podium with a convincing performance. After moving into the lead early, Dungey briefly lost control of first place to GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle, but the champ responded and quickly moved back in front, bringing Suzuki Factory Racing’s Ken Roczen with him.
The two rivals were separated by about a bike length for several laps until Lap 7, when Roczen attempted to mount a challenge for the lead. Dungey withstood the advance and proceeded to pick up the pace to pull away from Roczen, ultimately opening up a multiple second lead that he carried on through to the finish.
The win marked the 28th of Dungey’s 450SX Class career, moving him into a tie with Rick Johnson for sixth on the all-time list. It also signified a landmark 100th top-five finish for the Minnesota native and extended his historic podium streak to 28 races.
“Tonight was good. I got off to a strong start, which was key,” said Dungey. “Kenny [Roczen] was applying the pressure, but I stayed strong and made sure to make quick work with lapped traffic.”
The win came just one race after an on-track infraction in Detroit cost Dungey a win after race officials penalized him two positions. It was one of the most significant decisions handed down by race officials in recent memory, but Dungey and his team clearly moved on and set their sights on bouncing back with another dominant ride. It ended a three-race winless streak for the points leader, his longest of the season.
Roczen followed Dungey across the line in second, posting his seventh podium result of the season. Rounding out the podium was Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson in third. Anderson was the beneficiary of Dungey’s Detroit penalty, awarded his second win of the season. His third-place finish in Santa Clara gives him back-to-back podium results for the first time in his career.
By virtue of their 1-2-3 finish at Levi’s Stadium, the top three riders in the championship standings solidified their respective spots in points. Dungey extended his lead over Roczen to 42 points, with Anderson sitting 58 points back.
450SX Class Championship Standings
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM – 278
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki – 236
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna – 220
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 200
- Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM – 182
- Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha – 178
- Cole Seely, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Honda – 173
- Justin Brayton, Mint Hill, N.C., KTM – 136
- Trey Canard, Edmond, Okla., Honda – 120
- Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., KTM – 105
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship
After a brief one-race break in action, the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship returns to competition as wide open as it was to start the season. Four different riders have emerged victorious through the first four races and as a result, the top five riders in standings are within 20 points of one another with five races remaining.
GEICO Honda’s Malcolm Stewart is the most recent Eastern Regional winner, with a dominant effort in Detroit that vaulted him to the top of the championship standings. It is the first time that Stewart has ever led a championship and with that comes his inaugural race with a red number plate. Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin, another one of the four winners this season, sits seven points behind Stewart in second. His teammate Aaron Plessinger, the only rider in the top five to not have a win this season, is third, 13 points back.
KTM’s Justin Hill and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Martin Davalos round out the top five. Both have won a Main Event in 2016, but both have also missed a race and have their work cut out for them to close the deficit to Stewart. Given how unpredictable the racing has been to this point in the season, there’s plenty of reason for optimism between these two.
Last season inside Lucas Oil Stadium Dungey led all 20 laps of the 450SX Class Main Event to secure his fifth win of the 2015 season. It was the third victory in a late season three-race winning streak that vaulted him to the championship. In the 250SX Class, Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin claimed his fourth win in five races of the Eastern Regional Championship. With Musquin’s move to the 450 Class for the 2016 season, Indianapolis will welcome a first-time winner at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
- Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda – 80
- Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha – 73
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha – 67
- Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., KTM – 63
- Martin Davalos, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna – 61
- Tyler Bowers, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki – 53
- RJ Hampshire, Brooksville, Fla., Honda – 44
- Matt Bisceglia, Weatherford, Texas, Suzuki – 41
- Jesse Wentland, Elk River, Minn., Honda – 41
- Gannon Audette, Tallahassee, Fla., Kawasaki – 41