2019 AMA Supecross
Round Eight – Ford Field, Detroit
By Darren Smart – Images by Hoppenworld
Detroit hosted the eighth round of the AMA Supercross Championship and it was Kawasaki riders Eli Tomac and Austin Forkner who won the 450SX and 250SX overalls respectively in the second of the season’s ‘Triple Header’ formats.
The last time the supercross series stopped in Detroit, it was Tomac who dominated the competition and the Kawasaki rider was in the middle of one of the hottest streaks of his career winning five races in a row. On Saturday, it was no secret early on that he was once again feeling that dominant, proving fastest in every session.
For Chad Reed it was an emotional return to the podium which was well appreciated by the Detroit fans and his fellow competitors.
Tomac struggled with his starts in all three motos but the Kawasaki rider was in a league of his own to come from outside the top 10 in the opening two races to earn the wins.
In the final race Eli not only scored a poor start but he then dropped several spots after running off the track to be as far back as 14th before climbing to sixth by race end.
After his poorest performance in the championship the previous weekend, Tomac’s round win has reduced his deficit to 13-points back from championship leader Cooper Webb.
Eli Tomac – 1st Overall
“Today was just one of those days where everything clicked. Starting in practice and qualifying with having the fastest times in both sessions. In the main events, I was able to go forward through the pack the whole time which was good. Gosh, we were feeling it (after the two wins) and going into the final race we got a little too comfy and then totally blew the start before another spot where I hit a hay bale while on the pit board I could see Cooper is charging to the front but overall the weekend is so much better for us. I put in a lot of good work this week and it paid off. I am really pleased with how tonight went. We gained some valuable championship points and will continue to keep charging forward.”
Despite struggling throughout the event Cooper Webb was able to put his race-face on to end the night in second overall to retain the red plate with 6-2-1 moto finishes.
Cooper Webb – 2nd Overall
“It was a struggle for me today (practice and qualifying) and we were messing with the bike which wasn’t helping much so after the first main I went back to what I knew and we got a holeshot but Eli got around me so it was good to ride with him coz he was the best guy today by far then to get better and win the final race shows me I have plenty of work to do to keep it going.”
Chad Reed showed great form and speed to finish third in the opening moto then backed that up with a fifth and a seventh for third overall on the night, which is his 132nd podium finish to now sit eighth in points, just eight points back from Dean Wilson who holds down fifth position in the standings.
Chad Reed – 3rd Overall
“It was a fun day, despite my 14th qualifying position I felt racy so with a good start I could go (with the top guys), the track was challenging, the pace was fast and the whoops were tough so it suited me tonight, very proud to be up here at this stage of my career.”
As he has done throughout the season so far, Ken Roczen put together a consistent 5-6-5 moto results to end the night in fourth to sit just six-points out of the championship lead and six-points ahead of Marvin Musquin.
Ken Roczen – P4 overall
“Glad tonight is over. Just 1 point away from the podium. I struggled all week with a flu. Still am! My body didn’t feel up to par tonight but i tried to minimize the damage. Glad to be healthy. I hope i m going to have a lot better week this week.”
Marvin Musquin – P6 Overall
“It was definitely a tough day of not getting very good starts. I wish I would have started a little bit better, at least in the top three. It was hard to pass with a lot of intensity out of everyone in the first few laps of each moto and I made a big mistake and jumped off the track in the first moto and that cost me a lot. The riding was good tonight, I clocked some really good lap times during each of the three motos so I know the speed was there but unfortunately it was hard to get good results. There was a lot going on in those three Main Events and it’s frustrating but we never give up.”
Justin Brayton, Joey Savatgy, Blake Baggett and Justin Barcia all landed on the podium in one of the three main events.
Justin Barcia – 7th Overall
“It was another crazy night of racing for me in Detroit. The track was really good. It had a lot of option sections and I felt like my bike was working good in the whoops. The first two races for me were not great with the arm pump I dealt with, but the last race was a step in the right direction. I led some laps and put in a pretty good ride with a little bit of arm pump. My starts have definitely been getting better, so things are definitely starting to come around. So all in all, it was a decent weekend. I’m really looking forward to Atlanta.”
Joey Savatgy – 8th Overall
“Tonight’s overall result doesn’t reflect how great I felt and my riding today. I qualified pretty good and in the first main, I just didn’t get out of the gate quick enough which put me in a hole. I was pleased to bounce back in the second main and get on the podium with a third, and at one point in the third main event I was challenging for an overall podium but a small mistake ended up costing me. We will regroup this week and come out swinging in Atlanta which is kind of like a home-town race for me.”
Zach Osborne put forth consistent finishes to earn the final top-10 overall position in the 450SX class. Meanwhile, teammate Dean Wilson claimed 11th overall for the night.
Zach Osborne – 10th Overall
“Overall it was a better night for me, I ended up 10th overall, so it’s a step in the right direction and something I can build from. Right now, it’s just getting laps and getting my fitness back, finding some settings that I’m super comfortable with again and finding my race trim. I feel like tonight with the Triple Crown, it’s a lot of racing and a lot of opportunity to be out there on the track and find my feet again. I had some pretty decent battles and was able to make some passes and kind of move around a little bit, which is a nice feeling. So, I’m looking forward to Atlanta, I think we can continue to build and make progress and the results will come soon enough.”
Dean Wilson – 11th Overall
“Today was about mixed emotions, I say that because I qualified second and my riding was really good in both sessions of practice but I struggled in the races tonight. I feel like with my riding I’m a lot more capable than that, so for the third race, I was pretty fired up and came off the start really good. I stayed in fourth the whole race right there and unfortunately, I made a mistake to allow Marvin [Musquin] by me and I went to square him up right before the whoops but I didn’t realize Kenny [Roczen] was right there and I kind of got cleaned out, but that’s racing. Eleventh overall is definitely not where I want to be, I’m very well capable of being on that box but I just need to make it happen.”
Barcia’s rookie teammate Aaron Plessinger continued to make progress in the premier class to end the night 12th overall.
“Detroit for me was pretty good, other than the starts. I’m happy with my riding. I’ve just got to get off the gate. My bike was working really well, didn’t change anything on it all day. The track broke down quite a bit tonight, more than I thought it was going to. We came away with 12th overall, I’m not extremely happy with that. I know I can do better, but it’s baby steps. We’re going to do some work this week and get ready for Atlanta.”
450 Triple Crown Results and Round Points
Eli Tomac 1-1- 6 = 26
Cooper Webb 6-2-1 = 23
Chad Reed 3-5-7 = 21
Ken Roczen 5-6-5 = 19
Blake Baggett 4-11-2 = 18
Marvin Musquin 9-4-4 = 17
Justin Barcia 10-7-3 = 16
Joey Savatgy 8-3-11 = 15
Justin Brayton 2-12-9 = 14
Zach Osborne 11-8-10 = 13
Dean Wilson 7-9-13 = 12
450SX Points Standings after Round 8 of 17
Cooper Webb – 173
Ken Roczen – 167
Marvin Musquin – 161
Eli Tomac – 160
Dean Wilson – 122
Justin Barcia – 120
Blake Baggett – 119
Chad Reed – 114
Aaron Plessinger – 104
Justin Brayton – 97
Cole Seely – 94
Joey Savatgy – 92
250SX East Report
Austin Forkner has continued his win streak in 2019 with three moto wins giving the Kawasaki rider three round wins and a 13 point lead over KTM’s Jordon Smith.
Smith fought through the night with a wrist injury to finish second overall with 2-2-4 finishes ahead of Chase Sexton’s 4-4-2 moto results for third.
Austin Forkner – 1st Overall
“Everything is just clicking for me this year, I haven’t started a race worse than second this year, I think, and that is huge obviously, if I can get a holeshot, ride my laps and focus on me (and not other riders) is a huge advantage, I want to win next weekend’s East/West shootout but I have to remember that there may be times where I am battling with riders who aren’t part of my championship.”
Jordon Smith – 2nd Overall
“We adjusted the bike to get a good feeling for my wrist injury then to get through the night as good as possible and after riding at MTF (Millsaps Training Facility) I wasn’t sure that we would make it through the night but we made it through, scored good points so that is all I can ask for tonight.”
Chase Sexton – 3rd Overall
“The first two races I got myself where I needed to be but made mistakes that cost me but in the third race I told myself that I need to go out and try to win because I was back a bit in the points – now looking forward to the East/West shootout.”
The racing was red hot all night and it was Justin Cooper (3-5-3), Martin Davalos (5-7-5) and Alex Martin (10-3-6) who all put themselves at the pointy end at one stage or another over the three races. Michtell Oldenburg took 7th overall with a 6-6-8.
Justin Cooper – 4th Overall
“The bike was really good all night. We didn’t really play around with the setting, we were pretty happy with it. The track was really tough tonight, though. It was breaking down really quick, so it was important to keep on your toes and stay focused out there. I think I managed the races pretty well, besides my starts. I felt really good on the bike, again, I just put myself in bad situations right off the start. So I’m definitely going to work on those this week and be better for next weekend. We’re making improvements, even if the results don’t show every week. I think it’s just a matter of time. We’re on the right track.”
Martin Davalos – P5 Overall
“A triple crown format is a lot of racing and the starts are very crucial,” said Davalos. “I’m really happy with the starts we had tonight and it put us in a good position to fight up front. The east/west showdown is going to be a fun race and hopefully our whole team can finish up front.”
Mitchell Oldenburg – 7th Overall
“Tonight as a whole was all right. It’s just a little frustrating that my results aren’t showing what I’m capable of and how good I’m feeling and riding. We’re going to work on the starts. Starts are definitely slacking right now. So we’ll go back to the drawing board this week, get some good starts. The track was really fun. I really enjoyed the Triple Crown format, with the three mains. It was a pretty quick night for us and we were go, go, go. Like I said before, results aren’t showing what I’m capable of and how good I’m riding. If we can get a start, we’ll be up there for some wins and some podiums. I know it.”
Jordan Bailey had a rough start to the night with a DNF, before improving throughout with a 12th, and ninth place finish for 11th overall.
Jordan Bailey – 11th Overall
“The first race I had an unfortunate two crashes, which resulted in a DNF. The second race, I charged up to 12th and the third moto I finally got inside the top-10 with ninth. Overall, it was a tough weekend and we look forward to the east/west shootout in Atlanta next weekend.”
Interestingly, next weekend’s 250 East/West Shootout in Atlanta will see the two Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki riders, Adam Cianciarulo and Austin Forkner battle for the points and the bragging rights.
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