The Home of the Dallas Cowboys welcomes Round 7 of the 2016 Monster Energy Supercross series on Saturday as a points battle brews in one class and could get out of hand in another.
Ryan Dungey brings a 26 point lead over Ken Roczen into Arlington where he won last year in dominating fashion - grabbing the holeshot and leading wire-to-wire. Just like he did last week in San Diego.
Dungey's podium streak of 17 straight Top 2 finishes started at Arlington and there's no reason to believe it ends there this year. Indeed, 2016 Dungey is better than the 2015 Championship winning Dungey and if he gets the holeshot again then make like a television camera and focus on the riders behind him. Check out the track map for Arlington:
Roczen's holding his own with four straight podiums, including one win, but another second-place to Dungey's first puts lots of pressure on the German as he has to win outright to catch Dungey in points, assuming Dungey steaks along in second.
Another win for Ryan Dungey on Saturday puts hit title hopes into high gear
Jason Anderson is the only other winner this year and he hasn't been on the podium since that Round 1 victory. He's posting consistent results - three straight fourth-place finishes - but he's already back 33 points. He's not getting the greatest starts having to work his way through the pack and as we've seen nearly every round this season, starts are key, unless you're Dungey who started eighth in Glendale and worked his way to second.
Any of the Big 3 - Roczen, Cole Seely and Eli Tomac - have the best chance to hold off Dungey if they get out front. Tomac has a podium and best of all speed but so far he hasn't managed to make a run above third-place.
Cole Seely looks to build on momentum in Arlington
After starting the season with two third-place finishes, Seely ended some ho-hum rounds with a season-best second place last week, following Dungey the entire race. His Honda teammate Trey Canard also returned after an injury in Round 3 and had his best showing of the year with a fifth-place. If Canard stays in the battle he could grab his first podium on Saturday but like everyone else, he'll need a good start and not fade like he did last week and in the opening round.
Ken Roczen rides a podium streak into Round 7
Chad Reed had his worst race of the year at Arlington in 2015 and is coming off his worst race of this year. Since finishing second in Rounds 2 and 3, Reed has a fifth, sixth and an eighth. He's dropped from second-place to fifth but remains in the mix just two points back from Seely and eight points from Anderson in third. His starts aren't awful but he's also not passing anyone, so maybe this 450 field really is stacked.
No new significant injuries so far this week. Though it was reported James Stewart was riding and feeling much better from his Round 1 concussion he's not expected back until next week in Atlanta. Blake Baggett didn't have a nice welcome back last week from injury when he failed to qualify for the Main and ultimately re-aggravated a pre-season shoulder injury so he's out for Arlington. But! The soon-to-be-retired Andrew Short, who had surgery after injuring his shoulder in November, managed to dust off a Heat race crash at San Diego in his first round of action this year and take 14th. Justin Bogle returned from a Round 2 injury with a Semi win and 15th place last week.
Should be fun racing between Joey Savatgy and Cooper Webb on Saturday
This is the final race for the 250SX West class until April and those who bet Cooper Webb would wrap up the Championship on this round have already lost. But, you'd think after listening to all the chatter on this series that Webb was having a rough year. Sure he's crashed twice, but bounced back for second both times. He's got three wins to go along with the two second-place finishes so it's just the much-discussed mechanical failure in Round 4 that could deny him back-to-back Championships. Otherwise, he's racing pretty darned well.
It's now known that the Las Vegas round gives points so three rounds remain for this class and barring another mechanical failure from Webb, Joey Savatgy or Christian Craig this title should come down to the final round.
Savatgy's two wins in the last three rounds give him a three point edge over Webb, and Craig hangs in at third thanks to four straight podiums, including a win. If not for the collision with another rider in Round 1, if you average out his scores for the following five rounds and add to his 17th place finish at A1 he's tied in points with Savatgy. So in the short season of 250SX life, one round a Championship can make or break.
Colt Nichols surpassed his points total from last year in the East class long ago (which ended early after he tore his ACL) and is one point from 100. He sits in fourth and based on results so far he'll blow past that and could inch closer to Craig for third if he gets on the podium again. He's got just one for the year but all finishes in the Top 8. Zach Osborne rounds out the Top 5 and he too has that one bad round that otherwise would have him in the Top 3.
Doors open to Round 7 at 12 p.m. (CST!) on Saturday with opening ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. and the Main event at 7 p.m. Buy tickets online or at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.
2016 Monster Energy Supercross Season Standings
450SX Class Season Standings
- Ryan Dungey (144)
- Ken Roczen (118)
- Jason Anderson (111)
- Cole Seely (105)
- Chad Reed (103)
- Eli Tomac (103)
- Marvin Musquin (77)
- Justin Brayton (72)
- Davi Millsaps (71)
- Jake Weimer (62)
250SX West Class Season Standings
- Joey Savatgy (123)
- Cooper Webb (120)
- Christian Craig (107)
- Colt Nichols (99)
- Zach Osborne (90)
- Jimmy DeCotis (85)
- Mitchell Oldenburg (81)
- Kyle Peters (75)
- Kyle Cunningham (64)
- Jordon Smith (63)