Monster Energy Supercross – Toronto 2014 | Winners & Losers Commentary
With Timing and Scoring down for all but the last few laps, it was easy to miss some of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross action on Saturday night at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, but it started out with a big question mark as to whether the reigning champ would be lining up to race. Let’s see who won and who lost.
James Stewart. Yoshimura Suzuki. Harkening back to his days as “The Fastest Man on the Planet,” Stewart came from a back-of-the-pack start (Dungey cut him off out of the gate) all the way to the front, using several unexpected jump combinations through the rhythm sections that left his competition in the dust. In taking his 4th win of the season on his RM-Z450 – one more than Ryan Villopoto – he passed Ricky Carmichael for 2nd in Supercross career wins, still far behind The King Of Supercross, Jeremy McGrath. “The fans kept me motivated tonight. I heard them through every pass; it was great. That was probably one of my best races ever. I’m speechless.” Indeed. Win.
Justin Barcia. Muscle Milk Honda. Looking like he was going to take his first win of the season, Barcia jumped off the gate quickly and moved into the lead on the 4th lap. He and his CRF450R were in sync, and Barcia pulled out a comfortable lead that looked comfortable, if not quite insurmountable. Yes, he got chased down and easily passed by Stewart, but that doesn’t take away from a very solid ride and his best finish of the season. Win.
Ryan Villopoto. Monster Energy Kawasaki. Nobody knows Damage Control like RV. Using his Heat as a first-look at the track—thanks to the Provisional rule allowing him to take a 21st gate pick without a Qualifying Practice time—Villopoto looked decidedly not himself after spending most of the day in the ER, apparently suffering from food poisoning. Nevertheless, Villopoto easily qualified out of the Semi, lined up for the Main and rode his KX450F to a highly respectable 6th place finish. He is still a full race in front of Ryan Dungey. Win.
Adam Enticknap. TPJ/Fly Racing. Privateer Enticknap made the Main for the first time this season, qualifying 21st and finishing 18th – great job for the journeyman who made his way to Supercross via Arenacross last year. Daniel Meynet and Preston Mull also ran in the Main for the first time this year. Win.
The Fans. Just when the action was starting to get a bit stale, we find the dominating series leader under the weather. That gave his closest rivals the opening they had been waiting for, and while Villopoto dug deep for an impressive 6th place finish, fans got to watch Stewart at his finest, picking off the competition methodically — Brayton, Dungey, Roczen, and finally Barcia. Win.
Ryan Dungey. Red Bull KTM. If ever there was a time to score maximum points, Saturday at the Rogers Centre in Toronto was it. Instead, Dungey rode his usual race, finished in his usual place, collecting his fifth 3rd place finish this season. It would have been a mental victory to whittle Villopoto’s lead to less than a race, but Dungey just couldn’t get it done. “I’m glad to be on the podium but I feel I should have been a little better tonight,” acknowledged Dungey. Lose.
Andrew Short. BTOSports KTM. This was not the way to follow up last week’s best-of-the-season 4th place result. Instead of challenging for the podium, Short broke his top-ten finishing streak by bringing his 450 SX to an 11th place finish. No spills, no mechanical problems – he just didn’t get it done. Lose.
Ken Roczen. Red Bull KTM. Although Roczen is essentially out of the running as he started the night with a two-race points deficit, it would have been good for his confidence to make good use of the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot he pulled off in the Main. Instead, after leading for three laps, he got passed by Barcia and dropped back to finish 5th. “I struggled a bit in the main tonight,” Roczen said. “I feel like I might have trained too hard during the week and I got tired tonight.” The result: He drops into 4th in the standings, now behind Stewart, Dungy, and Villopoto. Lose.
Photos by Simon Cudby and Jake Klingensmith