Looks like the showdown fans thought was lost after Ken Roczen's crash is alive and well for the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross series as Eli Tomac attempts three straight wins on Saturday for Round 6 at Arlington, TX.
Tomac's remarkable turnaround after finishing 5-6-8 to start the season, leaving him fifth in the standings (25 points behind Ryan Dungey) puts him in second-place, 17 points back of the two-time defending Champion. Tomac won the last two races by more than 10 seconds and seems to have figured out the untimely hurdles that hindered those early races including arm pump.
Eli Tomac has never been on the podium in Arlington
Dungey meanwhile holds his largest lead to date despite the charge from Tomac. A paradox no doubt, however, Marvin Musquin who was just seven points back of Dungey after Round 3, failed to reach the podium the last two weeks finishing ninth, relinquishing the close contact, and is now in third-place, 25 points from the lead and just one in front of fourth-place Cole Seely. He's probably listening to The Offspring's "Have You Ever" a bit too much.
Dungey brings solid history into Texas this weekend and his success at Arlington is impressive to say the least. Since starting the 450 class in 2010 he's never been off the box. Here's how he's placed the last seven years: 2-1-2-3-2-3-1. Championships also followed those two first-place results for Dungey. It's a fool's errand betting against an eighth-straight podium for The Diesel, but while it's still early, a third-straight win by Tomac might shake a bit of that foundation keeping him atop of the field. Bear in mind, Tomac has never won three straight in the 450 class.
Two weeks ago Tomac looked untouchable; last week in Oakland he flattened the whoops and made the pass on Dungey with about three minutes remaining. Assuming Dungey remains on the box to the left or right of Tomac in the coming weeks the 450 class crown chase might hit the jackpot in Las Vegas.
Cole Seely (left) and Jason Anderson (right) always seem to be around each other
Speaking of Seely, he's got a career best start for the first five rounds with 85 points. He's only got one podium so far but four straight Top 5 finishes. If not for a brake issue that lost him a spot last week, he'd be in third-place ahead of Musquin in the standings. Jason Anderson, who took fourth in Oakland, bounces into sixth-place for points after a DQ for helmet slapping Vince Friese in Round 3 dropped him to ninth. He still has an uphill battle to catch his training partners Dungey and Musquin though.
Chad Reed was unable to follow-up his second-place finish in Phoenix with another podium last week and based on recent history, Saturday doesn't bode well for a return either. Reed last stepped on the box in Dallas/Arlington/Irving in 2008 when he crossed the checkers first. Well what do you know! He also won the Championship that year. But nothing else to write home about since then other than a fourth-place finish in 2013, two seconds back of Dungey. The good news: His showing in Phoenix wasn't a 4-stroke of luck; Reed started 16th in Oakland and worked his way to eighth - the best climb of anybody. So, if he gets out front early on Saturday don't be surprised if he stays there.
Finally, Cooper Webb doesn't totally suck (Relax - DuckDuckGo it). The rookie took third after starting third last week for his first career 450 podium so watch out with some confidence brewing. Webb won Arlington last year on his way to his second-straight 250SX West title which was the first year since 2006 this round counted in the West standings. By the way...
Justin Hill rides the Red Plate this weekend as he tries to keep his three-race win streak alive
The red plate changes hands this week in the 250SX West class after Justin Hill posted his third-straight win last week and leads Shane McElrath by one heading into Arlington. This series, now halfway through its season, is quickly turning into a shootout between Hill and McElrath - the only winners thus far. McElrath is the one rider to reach the podium all five rounds and Hill brings a stellar 1-1-1-2 in the last four weeks into Texas.
Aaron Plessinger, a heavy favorite for this year's 250SX West title, qualified second in Oakland but it didn't help much when rookie Austin Forkner hit the dirt causing a melee after the first turn. Plessinger worked his way from 13th place into sixth salvaging points but still his worst finish of the season. He's in third place for points but 15 behind McElrath.
Martin Davalos' solid second-place performance last week, a season best, keeps him pacing with the leaders as he closed to within five points of Plessinger. Forkner's DNF comes a week after his first career podium and he slips to sixth place heading into Arlington.
Our podium picks for Arlington:
- Ryan Dungey
- Eli Tomac
- Chad Reed
- Justin Hill
- Shane McElrath
- Aaron Plessinger
Check out the track map for Round 6:
Supercross Round 6 brings another early start with practice and qualifying at 9 a.m. (CST) and opening ceremonies at 330 p.m. (CST) Saturday at AT&T Stadium (where the Cowboys play) in Arlington, TX. Buy tickets online or at the box office.
2017 Supercross Season Standings
- Ryan Dungey (111)
- Eli Tomac (94)
- Marvin Musquin (86)
- Cole Seely (85)
- Davi Millsaps (70)
- Jason Anderson (65)
- Cooper Webb (64)
- Chad Reed (62)
- Ken Roczen (51)
- Dean Wilson (48)
250SX West Class
- Justin Hill (113)
- Shane Mcelrath (112)
- Aaron Plessinger (97)
- Martin Davalos (92)
- Jimmy Decotis (73)
- Austin Forkner (68)
- Dan Reardon (56)
- Phil Nicoletti (54)
- Kyle Chisholm (49)
- Jeremy Martin (40)
Written By: AndrewT