The 2016 Monster Energy Supercross season returns to the east coast for Round 13 on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and stays there for the next four rounds after trekking to Santa Clara last week for a quick west coast stop.
The 250SX East class resumes its battle after a two week hiatus as Ryan Dungey in the 450 class looks to continue his assault on the record books and add more points to his dominating lead in the Championship race. Sure, lots of racing is left, even Dungey said so after his resounding Round 12 win at Santa Clara last week, but now trailing by 42 points, Ken Roczen is probably feeling more like Lloyd Christmas when it comes to winning the Championship:
Dungey and Roczen demolished the field on the short track at Levi's Stadium as third-place finisher Jason Anderson crossed the finish line more than 15 seconds behind Dungey and 14 seconds from the second-place Roczen. Indeed, Dungey and Roczen put on a riding clinic and though Roczen tailed Dungey by less than two seconds for much of the 20 laps, it felt longer. Roczen got close once but never really mounted an assault to pass the defending Champion.
It was Dungey's sixth victory of the season and it felt more emphatic than the others since he was denied a win two weeks earlier in Detroit after officials docked him two spots for jumping while Red Cross flags waved during the race. Dungey showed little interest in reliving the past during interviews and simply said it was good to get a win.
Ryan Dungey was lights out at Santa Clara
If Roczen is to seriously make a run at the Championship he'll need wins, meaning five straight, and Dungey's podium streak to end at 28. And not just by a place or two. Dungey needs a bad night or three to turn Las Vegas into a Championship match. At Dungey's current point spread he'll wrap up the title in Round 16 and another win or two he'll likely close the door at Foxborough. Incidentally, Dungey has won the last two races at Indianapolis.
Jason Anderson, the benefactor of Dungey's penalty for his second win of the season, remains mathematically in the running but would need a complete meltdown by Dungey and Roczen. His best chance is to catch Roczen to finish second-place on the season which is possible if he can find the podium for the remaining rounds because Roczen has missed the box five times this year including three finishes out of the Top 5. Eli Tomac, who finished second to Dungey last year in the series, is in fourth and looks content for a Top 5 finish as he's likely already turning his focus to Outdoors.
Jason Anderson in position to finish in the Top 3 in just his second year in the 450 class
Marvin Musquin rounds out the Top 5 and his crash in practice last week that rattled him throughout the day into the Main opened the door for Chad Reed to get better positioning to end the year. Musquin finished 17th, his worst of the season, as Reed took fourth to pull within four points of Musquin for fifth place in the standings.
Trey Canard tied his best outing of the year with a fifth-place at Santa Clara, a bike length behind Reed, and is moving up the standings now solidly in the Top 10 after missing essentially three rounds. Now that his teammate Cole Seely is out a few rounds thanks to a practice crash a few days before Santa Clara that chipped off a piece of his C7 vertebra and if Justin Brayton continues to have a rough go, Canard could get into seventh-place which helps salvage another injury riddled season.
The real James Stewart stood up but unfortunately his bike did not. After finally looking like James Stewart and taking a well-raced second in his Heat race to Dungey last week, Stewart was again looking solid in the Main and trying to crack the Top 5 when his bike experienced a mechanical failure. Stewart looked fresh and finally healthy so a week of testing and tweaking should get him ready for Indy.
Malcolm Stewart leads the 250SX East field heading into Indianapolis
After a round off, the 250SX East returns and this series feels like it's just starting. Four different winners in as many rounds raced with three different red plate holders. Currently, Malcolm Stewart rides red and brims with confidence after a solid victory in Detroit.
Jeremy Martin lost the red plate after crashing at the start in Detroit and then dealt with bike problems leaving him in 13th place, losing valuable points. He grabbed the red plate from Martin Davalos who held it the first two rounds by starting off the season with a victory in Atlanta but he couldn't make the trip to Toronto, a crushing blow to his Championship hopes. Justin Hill trailed Martin by just two points after the third race but a nasty crash in Detroit practice left him on the sidelines for the Main and leaves him out for Saturday as well.
Despite missing Toronto Martin Davalos still has Championship hopes
Perhaps Aaron Plessinger can make this season even more interesting and become the fifth different winner. He's already got a second and third-place on the season but it won't be easy as any of the Top 5 riders in this series can pull it off and they're all solidly in the Championship hunt. Martin trails Stewart by seven; Plessinger is third, 13 points out of first; despite netting no points last round Hill remains in contention with 63 points though missing Indy is a major blow; and another win for Davalos closes his 19 point gap from the top.
Should be fun.
A long start awaits the riders which could help eliminate some of the pileups we've seen this year on the shorter openings. The 250 East is not so cut-and-dry as far as who gets out front first taking the win but if Dungey or Roczen grab the holeshot or get into the lead after the second turn don't expect much excitement at the checkers. Check out the track map:
Doors open at 12 p.m. (EST) with opening ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. (EST) and the Main event at 7 p.m. (EST) on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. Buy tickets online or at the box office.
2016 Monster Energy Supercross Season Standings
450SX Class Season Standings
- Ryan Dungey (278)
- Ken Roczen (236)
- Jason Anderson (220)
- Eli Tomac (200)
- Marvin Musquin (182)
- Chad Reed (178)
- Cole Seely (173)
- Justin Brayton (136)
- Trey Canard (120)
- Davi Millsaps (105)
250SX East Class Season Standings
- Malcolm Stewart (80)
- Jeremy Martin (73)
- Aaron Plessinger (67)
- Justin Hill (63)
- Martin Davalos (61)
- Tyler Bowers (53)
- RJ Hampshire (44)
- Matt Bisceglia (41)
- Jesse Wentland (41)
- Gannon Audette (41)