Eli Tomac Races to Fifth Straight Monster Energy Supercross Victory in St. Louis to Inch Closer to Championship Lead
Jordon Smith Grabs Back-to-Back Eastern Regional 250SX Class Wins
Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, made its annual visit to the “Gateway to the West” on Saturday night, with a crowd of 53,049 on hand inside The Dome at America’s Center for the 13th round of the 2017 season.
In the 450SX Class, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac continued his streak of dominance, racing to his fifth straight win and inching even closer to points leader Ryan Dungey.
In the Eastern Regional 250SX Class, Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Jordon Smith took advantage of an early race mistake by championship leader Joey Savatgy to capture his second straight victory.
Monster Energy Supercross – The Dome at America’s Center – St. Louis – April 1, 2017 – 450 SX
Dungey was ready for a showdown to start the 450SX Class Main Event, claiming the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot aboard his Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing machine just ahead of Tomac. However, Tomac wasted little time in getting out front and made an aggressive pass on Dungey on the opening lap to take the lead. Dungey gave chase, while his Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammate Marvin Musquin settled into third.
Tomac pushed the pace early to put some distance between he and Dungey, who was pressured heavily by Musquin. After fending off his teammate, Dungey set his sights back on Tomac and worked to erase the deficit.
As the race passed the halfway point Dungey started posting quicker lap times than Tomac and got the gap down to less than two seconds. With Tomac in his sights it appeared as though Dungey was going to make a late run on his rival, but as the leaders encountered lapped riders it was Tomac who took advantage, navigating through the back markers more efficiently.
As Dungey spent multiple laps trying to get around lappers, in particular Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Chad Reed, he lost several seconds to Tomac.
The Kawasaki rider easily took his eighth win of the season, and the 12th of his career, by 6.7 seconds over Dungey. Musquin was third.
Dungey showed the speed to contend with Tomac, but had to settle for second.
Eli Tomac – P1
“Today surprisingly wasn’t my best,” said Tomac. “The results don’t necessarily show it but I didn’t feel great most of the day. It’s all about not giving up though and we got it done in the main, where it really counts. I figured out my start, made an early pass and then just pushed until the end. It’s a great feeling.”
Dungey’s runner-up effort was his championship-leading 11th podium result of the season, but he’s been unable to keep pace with Tomac’s recent run in which he’s earned 172 of a possible 175 points the past seven races.
Ryan Dungey – P2
“I honestly am so excited about tonight. I felt like I rode awesome, we don’t win them all sometimes but I felt so good. We were catching Eli there for a bit and I was really happy with my riding. I said to myself today, unless my heart explodes I’m gonna go for it and that’s what I did. Overall I’m happy with tonight – the team Red Bull KTM guys are doing an awesome job backing me and supporting me and I’m not even disappointed. I was really pumped on tonight and excited. Tough track, tricky conditions but we’re healthy and safe moving forward and we have to build on that. I have a lot to be thankful for so I’m happy.
“I definitely for sure want to win but that’s a given, we all do. Eli is tough right now. He’s riding really good, he’s in peak condition right now in his career and everything is clicking for him. So when a guy is like that he’s hard to beat. I found that out many times in my career, so that’s the challenge of racing, that’s the challenge of pushing me to get better and it tests me but it’s a good thing. Tonight was incredible, I was so pumped and I’m excited, I really am. I don’t know where this excitement is coming from but I really am. It’s step forward, I’ll take it.”
Marvin Musquin rounded out the podium.
Marvin Musquin – P3
“Overall I’m having good weeks of training, good weekends and feeling good on the bike, having fun. It’s good to be up on the podium but at the same time I’m disappointed a little bit. My first lap was unreal because the start wasn’t so good and I made so many passes and I got 3rd at the end of the first lap, it was awesome. I felt like I was pushing Ryan and I was quicker – I was going fast and then I couldn’t make the pass, I feel like I tightened up a little bit. The track was really tough, I mean the dragon’s back – that’s where I crashed in practice and I didn’t want to do the same mistake. I kind of played it safe with 3rd place, that’s all I could do tonight.”
Jason Anderson took fourth place ahead of Josh Grant.
Jason Anderson – P4
“I got off to a good start in my heat race,” said Anderson, “and from there I took the win. It was nice to get back on top. I figured I could keep the momentum going into the main event and got a pretty decent start. I just kind of got stuck there in fourth place and I couldn’t really make much happen. I still rode really solid. Those guys were fast out there tonight. I’ll come back swinging in Seattle.”
Just four points sit between Tomac and Dungey with four rounds remaining, after being separated by as many as 29 points earlier this season. Musquin is third, 49 points behind Dungey.
Monster Energy Supercross – The Dome at America’s Center – St. Louis – April 1, 2017 – 450SX Class Results
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
- Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna
- Josh Grant, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki
- Cole Seely, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Honda
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki
- Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki
- Justin Brayton, Mint Hill, N.C., Honda
450SX Class Championship Standings
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM – 276
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 272
- Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM – 227
- Cole Seely, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Honda – 211
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna – 188
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 163
- Davi Millsaps, Cairo, Ga., KTM – 160
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki – 143
- Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha – 136
- Dean Wilson, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna – 136
When the gate dropped on the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Main Event it was RMATV/MC-WPS-KTM’s Dakota Alix who narrowly secured the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot over Savatgy, who then moved into the lead aboard his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki, followed by Smith into second. Alix settled into third briefly, but then gave up the position to Kissimmee Motorsports Kawasaki’s Gannon Audette. That early battle for third allowed Savatgy and Smith to pull out to more than five seconds ahead of the field.
While the lead pair asserted themselves out front, the battle for third intensified with Audette, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo, and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne. Cianciarulo and Osborne battled for fourth on Lap 3, with Osborne diving to the inside of the Kawasaki rider, taking his line, and moving into the position. He then made a charge on Audette for third and was able to move into podium position on Lap 4.
Out front Savatgy had established a comfortable multi-second margin over Smith, but he experienced a major bobble on Lap 7, forcing him off the side of the track. While he was able to avoid falling, Savatgy lost considerable time and ultimately dropped to second behind Smith, reentering the track with the KTM rider in sight. This sequence of events also allowed Osborne to close in from third, putting the top three within just bike lengths of one another.
Savatgy regained his composure and charged to the back fender of Smith, clearly the faster rider. However, Savatgy was forced to start his challenge over again after making contact with a lapped rider, which forced him to fend off a heavy challenge from Osborne for second. Savatgy withstood the challenge and pulled away from Osborne, once again closing on the back end of Smith as the time in the Main Event wound down.
Just a couple bike lengths separated the lead duo over the closing stages and Savatgy made a major challenge on the final lap, diving to Smith’s inside with a couple corners remaining, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to get by. Smith crossed the line just four-tenths ahead of Savatgy.
Jordon Smith – P1
“The racing this year has been crazy. The top five riders are so close,” said Smith, who became the third 250SX Class rider this season to earn his first career win and follow it up with another victory. ” it was about the start and minimizing the mistakes. The track was really tough. My team made some changes to my bike and they worked out great.”
Savatgy’s fourth straight runner-up finish is the third in a row in which he led laps but came up short of the win. Osborne rounded out the podium in third.
Joey Savaty – P2
“We rode well tonight,” said Savatgy. “We executed off the start, put ourselves in a good position and started to pull away. I can’t really explain the mistakes right now, I’m pretty frustrated with the little mistakes but at the same time the bike is great, we’ve got the points lead and I’m happy with the current situation. We will put in the work during the break and come out swinging when we come back.”
Savatgy maintained control of the championship lead with his second-place effort, but Smith closed the deficit to just six points. Osborne is third, 12 points behind Savatgy.
Zach Osborne – P3
“Tonight was a pretty big surprise for me really,” said Osborne. “I had a stomach bug all week but I struggled my way back to health tonight. Around the fourth lap of practice I had a big crash and banged myself up pretty good so I sat out the second practice. I was in a good position to win in the main but I just ran out of steam in the end. I gave it my all so I’m not too disappointed.”
Adam Cianciarulo – P6
“I had an unfortunate crash in practice that held me up a bit today,” said Cianciarulo. “From that point on it prevented me from riding like I know I can. That being said, we’ve got three weeks to get back to fighting for the win where I feel I belong”
The Eastern Regional Championship will now take its lone break in action for the 2017 season, returning to the track at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Saturday, April 29.
Monster Energy Supercross – The Dome at America’s Center – St. Louis – April 1, 2017 – Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results
- Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., KTM
- Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki
- Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna
- Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha
- Christian Craig, Corona, Calif., Honda
- Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki
- Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Yamaha
- Gannon Audette, Tallahassee, Fla., Kawasaki
- Kyle Cunningham, Willow Park, Texas, Suzuki
- Anthony Rodriguez, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
- Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki – 146
- Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., KTM – 140
- Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 134
- Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 128
- Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha – 104
- Christian Craig, Corona, Calif., Honda – 81
- Luke Renzland, Hewitt, N.J., Yamaha – 70
- Anthony Rodriguez, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha – 69
- Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Yamaha – 66
- Kyle Cunningham, Willow Park, Texas, Suzuki – 62
The 2017 Monster Energy Supercross season continues next Saturday, April 8, for the 14th round of the championship and an anticipated return to Seattle’s CenturyLink Field for the first time since 2014.