Tomac Races to Third Win of the Season in Monster Energy Supercross’ Return to Minneapolis

Savatgy Claims Opening Victory of Eastern Regional 250SX Class

Eli Tomac took his third win in four races
Eli Tomac took his third win in four races

Following his worst outing of the season one week ago, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac rebounded for his third victory of the season

As the field roared out the gate to start the 450SX Class Main Event it was Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely who edged out Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Josh Grant for his first SupercrossLive.com Holeshot of the season.

Cole Seely who edged out Monster Energy Kawasaki's Josh Grant for his first SupercrossLive.com Holeshot of the season
Cole Seely who edged out Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Josh Grant for his first SupercrossLive.com Holeshot of the season

As riders jockeyed for position through the opening sequence of jumps behind Seely, KTM’s Davi Millsaps emerged from the fray in second, followed closely by Tomac and Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ryan Dungey, the defending champion and current points leader. Seely then crashed out of the lead prior to the completion of the opening lap, handing the top spot over to Millsaps.

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The veteran KTM rider held off heavy pressure from Tomac for a short time, but lost the position on Lap 2. Shortly thereafter, Dungey followed into second, dropping Millsaps to third. With the hometown crowd behind him, Minnesota native Dungey kept pace with Tomac on one of the toughest track layouts of the season. The lead duo’s early pace allowed them to open a comfortable gap over the rest of the field. Tomac continued to slightly outpace Dungey and soon opened a margin of more than a second just before the leaders approached lapped riders.

Eli Tomac
Eli Tomac

Tomac’s ability to efficiently get through the tail end of the field allowed him to extend his lead over Dungey, who started to lose ground to a his hard-charging KTM teammate Marvin Musquin, who earned his first career win one week prior. After starting sixth, Musquin methodically worked his way forward and moved into podium position past Millsaps on Lap 4. As the race wore on, the KTM duo inched closer and closer together until a mistake by Dungey forced him off the track briefly and allowed Musquin to mount a challenge. The Frenchman made an aggressive pass on his teammate just prior to completing Lap 18.

Eli Tomac

“The night could not have gone better,” said Tomac. “I qualified on pole again and earned two great starts in my heat and the main. I got into a grove and made my way to the front. Once I got there I just rode my own race, it was all about being smooth and consistent. Great win and valuable points, bring on Atlanta!”

Tomac continued to log consistent laps through the remainder of the race and took the checkered flag 6.7 seconds ahead of Musquin for his seventh career win, lapping all the way up to seventh place in the 22-rider field. Dungey rounded out the overall podium in third.

Marvin Musquin followed up last week's win with a runner-up effort
Marvin Musquin followed up last week’s win with a runner-up effort

Marvin Musquin

“The day started off rough – I got hit from behind in the heat race and went down. I was trying to go through safe but it didn’t work out. Thankfully we won the semi and get a decent gate pick that was the goal. It actually was not that bad going to the semi because you get to do more laps and learn more of the track. In the Main Event I was able to make some good passes in the beginning but they (Tomac and Dungey) had a good gap on me and I was trying to put on the charge. I thought it was going to be tough to catch those guys. Obviously Ryan made a mistake but the lappers were really tough out there and the sand section was difficult but I felt like I did good through there. After winning last weekend and then to back it up with a 2nd place tonight is pretty awesome.”

Ryan Dungey’s third-place finish allowed him to maintain his control of the championship standings

“I definitely had a close call there at the beginning. That section was tricky all day, it sent me into a dive but luckily I saved it and I was able to jump off the side of the track. I had a good charge with Eli at the beginning but he was riding really well and he was able to break away. I made a couple mistakes and then there was Marvin – when he passed me, I saw some of his lines and they were good. It’s good to be back home and to have Minneapolis back on the stop. It’s cool that these people in Minnesota were able to get a taste of Supercross once again and it’s good for the sport.”

Ryan Dungey
Ryan Dungey

Dungey lost ground to Musquin in the 450SX Class standings and now holds a 16-point lead over his teammate. Tomac moved from fourth to third, 24 points behind Dungey.

2017 Monster Energy Supercross – U.S. Bank Stadium – Minneapolis – February 18, 2017 – 450SX Class Results

  1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
  2. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM
  3. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
  4. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna
  5. Cole Seely, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Honda
  6. Davi Millsaps, Cairo, Ga., KTM
  7. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki
  8. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., KTM
  9. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM
  10. Mike Alessi, Hilliard, Fla., Honda

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450SX Class Championship Standings

  1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM – 149
  2. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM – 133
  3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 125
  4. Cole Seely, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Honda – 123
  5. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna – 103
  6. Davi Millsaps, Cairo, Ga., KTM – 98
  7. Dean Wilson, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna – 73
  8. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha – 71
  9. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha – 69
  10. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki – 69

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250 SX

In the first Eastern Regional 250SX Class Main Event of the season, Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Jordon Smith earned the first SupercrossLive.com Holeshot of the championship, just ahead of Savatgy and Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Colt Nichols. Smith was able to pull away on the opening lap after Nichols and KTM rider Dakota Alix came together in mid air while battling for second, crashing in front of the field. That moved Savatgy into second and Venex MX/MTF/Yamaha’s Anthony Rodriguez into third, with GEICO Honda’s R.J. Hampshire fourth and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne fifth.

[youtu[youtube id=”VDLZ_c5aDuE” width=”100%” height=”400"]p class="p1">As the opening laps continued, Smith and Savatgy asserted themselves out front, while Rodriguez dropped two positions to both Hampshire and Osborne. The Husqvarna rider then applied pressure on Hampshire for third and moved into podium position on Lap 5. Out front, Savatgy closed in on Smith and the two began to battle for the lead as they approached lapped riders. Savatgy was patient for several laps and made an aggressive pass just prior to the track’s lone triple jump on Lap 9. The two riders appeared to make slight contact, slowing their momentum enough to where neither could complete the obstacle. Savatgy took advantage of his inside position in the following corner and seized control of the race.

2017 Monster Energy Supercross - U.S. Bank Stadium - Minneapolis - February 18, 2017 - Eastern Regional 250SX
2017 Monster Energy Supercross – U.S. Bank Stadium – Minneapolis – February 18, 2017 – Eastern Regional 250SX

The battle for the lead allowed Osborne to close the deficit in third and soon all three were separated by less than a second. Lapped riders continued to play a role, helping Savatgy maintain his lead while also allowing Osborne to slip past Smith for second on Lap 10. Just a few laps later Osborne tipped over in the track’s sand section and gave up the spot to Smith, remounting in third. The lead trio still was separated by less than two seconds on the final lap, with Savatgy taking his fourth career win, and his second in a row dating back to last season.

“I was able to start closing in on Jordon [Smith],[Smith]uld have liked to make the pass [clean] [clean] my flow going. But, we made pass and make it work from there,” said Savatgy. “It wasn’t a pretty Main Event by any means, so we still have work to do. It’s good to start the season like this. I didn’t ride my best, but we still got the win.”

Joey Savatgy took the opening Eastern Regional 250SX Class win
Joey Savatgy took the opening Eastern Regional 250SX Class win

Smith recorded a career-best finish in second, while Osborne settled for third following his mistake.

Joey Savatgy took early control of the Eastern Regional standings and holds a three-point lead over Smith. Osborne is five points back in third.

Joey Savatgy

“We have had some time away from racing but all things considered we felt pretty good today,” said Savatgy. “I felt like we struggled a bit but we earned the win and I am focused on the championship this year. We gained a lot of momentum and now we just have to keep it rolling next weekend.”

Joey Savatgy took early control of the Eastern Regional standings and holds a three-point lead over Smith
Joey Savatgy took early control of the Eastern Regional standings and holds a three-point lead over Smith

The 2017 Monster Energy Supercross season continues next Saturday, February 25, with the eighth round from Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. 

Jordan Smith earned a career-best result in second
Jordan Smith earned a career-best result in second

Jordan Smith

“I knew I had to get a good start out there, the track was really one lined and I knew it was going to be tough to pass. I got a really good start and just tried to hit my lines and stay clear of the lappers, it was pretty tough out there with all the ruts and stuff. Overall it was a good race and I’m glad to get out of here with a good finish.”

Zach Osborne

It was great to be the fastest in both practices,” said Osborne. “I got an okay start in the main and someone went down in front of me and I had to check up. I caught up to the leaders and got into second, and got really close, then just washed my front end out in a sandy corner. I was able to remount and actually come all the way back and almost get back into second. I feel really good and I’m really positive for this season. I really want to get that first win monkey off my back and just focus on the championship.”

Zach Osborne
Zach Osborne

2017 Monster Energy Supercross – U.S. Bank Stadium – Minneapolis – February 18, 2017 – Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results

  1. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki
  2. Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., KTM
  3. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna
  4. RJ Hampshire, Brooksville, Fla., Honda
  5. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki
  6. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha
  7. Anthony Rodriguez, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha
  8. Luke Renzland, Hewitt, N.J., Yamaha
  9. Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Suzuki
  10. Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Yamaha

[youtube[youtube id=”aXhjsV7vDt0" width=”100%” height=”400"]class="p1" style="text-align: center;">Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings

  1. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki – 25
  2. Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., KTM – 22
  3. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 20
  4. RJ Hampshire, Brooksville, Fla., Honda – 18
  5. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 16
  6. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha – 15
  7. Anthony Rodriguez, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha – 14
  8. Luke Renzland, Hewitt, N.J., Yamaha – 13
  9. Kyle Peters, Greensboro, N.C., Suzuki – 12
  10. Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Yamaha – 11