Monster Energy Supercross awarded fans in Atlanta for turning out in droves the past few years by scheduling two back-to-back Rounds at the Georgia Dome, the first coming on Saturday, and yes, the track layout will be different.
Ryan Dungey enters Round 8 riding better than anyone else in the field and arguably the best in his career. He was untouchable at Arlington leading wire-to-wire with no challengers for the lead anywhere and it was his second win of the year. He has six straight podiums and has not been lower than fourth-place all year. Dungey and Jason Anderson are the only riders to finish in the Top 10 every race this year.
Dungey already led in points heading into Round 7 and extended his lead to 12 over Ken Roczen, who took second-place the last two Rounds but hasn't won since Round 3 in Anaheim. Trey Canard is hanging in at third-place with podiums in three of the last four Rounds including two wins.
Can Jimmy Albertson keep his momentum in Atlanta?
Now with the well-liked East Coast dirt, Dungey has a chance to run away with the title. Last year, he scored 33 more points in the first six races of the East Coast than the first six races on the West Coast. His lone win last year was in the east and he landed on the podium six straight times to open the east dates. Conversely, Roczen scored 117 points in the first six races of 2014 but only 80 to start the first six in the east.
But most riders prefer this darker soil that's moister, softer and offers better traction than West Coast dirt so it's likely to help everyone. Check out the animated track map below.
On the home front, Jimmy Albertson stepped up his racing in Arlington by qualifying for the Main in a Semi race, a first for the season. He comes into Atlanta with three straight Mains and finishing 16th in three of the last five races. Nick Wey has struggled to get into the Main, only three for the year, but two straight. Both Wey and Albertson are East Coast riders and should also benefit from the familiar soil.
A great ride on Saturday can pop Nick Wey into the Top 20 for points
In the 250 East Class, Marvin Musquin also made it look easy by winning the holeshot and staying out front the whole way. Musquin entered Arlington as a heavy favorite alongside Justin Bogle, the reigning 250SX East Champion. Bogle started in third but quickly found second, passing Martin Davalos, another title contender, but was unable to catch Musquin.
Kyle Peters rode to a solid 10th place in the first Round for the 250SX East class
Joey Savatgy, who surprised some, but not others, took the final spot on the podium, the best finish of his career. Davalos, last year's 250SX East class runner-up, dropped back to ninth-place to start his season. Jeremy Martin took fourth and privateer Matt Lemoine rounded out the Top 5.
As for MotoSport riders, Kyle Peters grabbed 10th place and Colt Nichols took 11th. Both are teammates on the MotoSport.com/GPI/Honda Racing team. Mitchell Oldenburg, who rides on Albertson's ARMA/MotoSport.com/Yamaha team, held his own near the front of the pack on the first turn but eventually crashed out finishing 21st. He qualified for the Main in his Heat race.
Colt Nichols finished right behind his teammate at Arlington
Doors open to Supercross Round 8 at 12 p.m. (EST) and the Main event starts at 6:30 p.m. (EST) Saturday at the Georgia Dome. Buy tickets online or at the box office, 1 Georgia Dome Dr. NW in Atlanta.
2015 Monster Energy Supercross Season Standings
450SX Class Season Standings
- Ryan Dungey (152)
- Ken Roczen (140)
- Trey Canard (129)
- Eli Tomac (114)
- Jason Anderson (100)
- Cole Seely (93)
- Blake Baggett (86)
- Chad Reed (85)
- Andrew Short (82)
- Justin Barcia (71)
250SX East Class Season Standings
- Marvin Musquin (25)
- Justin Bogle (22)
- Joey Savatgy (20)
- Jeremy Martin (18)
- Matt Lemoine (16)
- Vince Friese (15)
- RJ Hampshire (14)
- Arnaud Tonus (13)
- Martin Davalos (12)
- Kyle Peters (11) - MotoSport rider
Written By: AndrewT