Monster Energy Supercross returns to the Great White North as Toronto hosts Round 10 of the 2016 season on Saturday at the Rogers Centre.
Expect Canuck excitement to be so thick you can cut it with a knife since it's been two years since the Supercross caravan crossed into Canada, which for some might feel half the world away, especially with the hassle in getting across the border. Toronto last hosted a round this early on the schedule in 2010, which also was Round 10. Check out the track map for Saturday:
While the rest of the field is caught in Ryan Dungey's vapor trail, Eli Tomac showed a willingness to rise above and proved one little victory is all it takes to try and turn a season around with his win last week at Daytona. It was his second trip to the podium this year which erased a sour ending in Atlanta two weeks ago when he finished a season worst 11th place. After the race, Tomac said the win was huge for him and his team, since expectations were so high prior to the start of the season.
Eli Tomac stayed in front of Ryan Dungey for 20 laps at Daytona
Win or second-place, because that's where Dungey has finished for 20 straight rounds, his mission remains the same, back up his 2015 Championship. He's driven and showing no signs of losing it. With eight rounds remaining and a 39 point lead the countdown has started and the big money now is on Dungey to repeat. A first, second or third in Toronto gives Dungey 26 straight podiums and breaks his tie with Chad Reed for the longest streak in Supercross history.
Let's just cut to the chase, Ken Roczen has got to pick up the pace if he wants to stay in the race. After single-handedly beating Dungey in Arlington he's fallen 16 points further behind Dungey in second-place since finishing sixth and fifth, in the last two rounds, respectively. Roczen is the only rider, other than Dungey, with more than one win this season - along with five podiums - but in four other rounds it was a far cry from the checkers thanks in part to his circumstances with bad starts.
Ken Roczen needs a win in Toronto if he's wants a shot at the 2016 Championship
Rookie Marvin Musquin's vital signs remained strong a week after learning anything can happen (even on the last lap!) and watching the experience of winning his first 450 Main slip away in Atlanta. He started third in Daytona and didn't relent, stepping on the podium for the second straight week and third time this year. Musquin is in seventh-place in the standings and quickly wrapping up Rookie of the Year honors.
Time might no longer be standing still for the soon-to-be 34 year old Reed who needed the LCQ to get into the Main at Daytona where he tied his season worst in 12th place. Admittedly though, Reed said he hated the rough track so perhaps he lost the will to fight before the gates even dropped. Reed dropped to sixth-place from fifth in the standings as a result, now four spots lower than where he was after Round 3.
No word yet on whether James Stewart can stick it out after sustaining a deep bruise in his lower back when he hit the top of a whoop after looping-out during his Heat race. The injury adds to an already harsh return to racing for Stewart who sustained a Round 1 concussion that kept him sideline until Round 4 but then he bowed out midway through that Main in Oakland after his symptoms returned.
Stewart finally completed a Supercross race this season at Atlanta, his first since Seattle 2014. The 2-time premier class Champion is trying to rise from the ashes and resurrect a storied career after a 16 month suspension stemmed from a failed drug test at that Seattle round. Stewart won Toronto the last go-around and his team is hopeful he can live it all again on Saturday but the wheels of time might be passing him by.
Josh Grant found out good things come to those who finish seventh
Call Josh Grant a working man as an invite to fish in Florida for the weekend also turned into his first race of the season at Daytona. Grant who finished 11th in Supercross last year and took second overall in a one-off for the final round of the 2015 Motocross World Championship at Glen Helen in September didn't have a team this year but figured out his budget and lined up at Daytona. He took a more than respectable seventh-place and as a result should be on deck Saturday filling in for the injured Wil Hahn.
In the 250SX East class, the Top 5 riders roll in to Toronto beneath, between and behind each other as just 10 points separate first from fifth place. All have stepped on the podium in the first two rounds of their season that started in Atlanta.
Jeremy Martin got his first win of the year at Daytona, tailing Malcolm Stewart for 12 laps before making the pass. He jumped from fourth-place to second in the standings and is just two points back from season-opener winner Martin Davalos who took third last week.
Jeremy Martin's patience paid off now he enters Toronto with a win and loads of confidence
Stewart put on his bravest face and made Daytona his anthem for older brother James, who was in obvious pain after his get-off (and needing serious assistance in the pits) and was close to Malcolm's heart prior to gate drop. The younger Malcolm certainly strained the limits of machine and man by grabbing the holeshot and staying out front fending off a gritty Martin several times before giving up the lead spot. He looked on his way to making memories at the famed racetrack but in the end dropped to fourth in the final three laps and is now in third-place in the standings after opening the season in second.
Supercross Round 10 practice starts at noon and riders rush out of the gates for the Main at 7 p.m. (EST) Saturday in Toronto, Canada. Buy tickets online or at the Rogers Centre box office.
2016 Monster Energy Supercross Season Standings
450SX Class Season Standings
- Ryan Dungey (213)
- Ken Roczen (174)
- Jason Anderson (163)
- Eli Tomac (154)
- Cole Seely (145)
- Chad Reed (141)
- Marvin Musquin (134)
- Justin Brayton (110)
- David Millsaps (105)
- Jacob Weimer (81)
250SX East Class Season Standings
- Martin Davalos (45)
- Jeremy Martin (43)
- Malcolm Stewart (40)
- Justin Hill (38)
- Aaron Plessinger (36)
- Rj Hampshire (29)
- Tyler Bowers (25)
- Benny Bloss (18)
- Arnaud Tonus (17)
- Jimmy Albertson (16)
Written By: AndrewT