2015 Phoenix Supercross 450 Recap
The second round of the 2015 Monster Energy Supercross series took place at Chase Field in Phoenix on a hard-packed track with plenty of rut-filled, tight turns to make for some great racing.
GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac convincingly won the main event, finishing seven seconds ahead of RCH Factory Suzuki’s Ken Roczen. This order in the top two spots mirrored qualifying practice as Tomac was fastest with Roczen right behind him.
Great starts for the two riders made for some great racing in the first few laps. Despite Tomac pulling the holeshot, Roczen was able to put an aggressive but clean pass on Tomac, and would pull a small gap on him for a short duration of time.
Tomac closed the gap back up and the two riders swapped positions multiple times afterwards. The amount of respect between the two was apparent as each pass they executed was extremely clean and there was absolutely no bar banging or paint exchanged between them.
Tomac would ride the second half of the race in flawless form to take his first Monster Energy Supercross victory in the 450 class.
Tomac was stoked to get his first 450 class win: “I feel somewhat relieved. The way that last year went, to be here in this spot and see how much we have improved is awesome. I feel like that is one of the best battles I have ever had. Ken and I went back and forth about three or four times. We were both really clean and respected each other. I got him, made a bit of a push, and then kind of settled in.
“At that point, I believe we were at about lap ten or twelve and were both a bit gassed out. This is the wettest Phoenix we’ve had and it almost felt a little bit like Anaheim where the moisture comes up through the ground as the night goes on. We had ruts, which felt a lot like the east coast tracks. I had my one bad race at the first round and I just can’t have anymore. There’s a lot of weight on my shoulders, but this is the best way to rebound for me.”
Ken Roczen is thinking longterm in the championship, and knows that a second place will help him retain the red plate going into Anaheim 2.
“I struggled a little bit coming into the main, but I am very happy with what I did. The track was quite gnarly out there,” Roczen said.
“We had some good ruts and the whoops were pretty big. I got a great start and had a good battle with Eli. He beat me straight up, but that’s fine with me. I’ll take a podium any day.”
One of the more surprising battles and finishes of the night came between Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey and Weston Peick. Peick passed Dungey in the beginning of the race and would hold him off for nearly the entire time.
Dungey made several attempts to get by the him, but Peick held his lines and defended the position knowing that it would be his first opportunity to finish on the podium. Finally, Dungey made the pass stick on lap 17 with Peick crossing the line for a career best 4th place finish.
A third place finish put Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey into second place in the points behind former teammate Roczen.
“We finished one place better than last weekend. It’s a long series and we can’t let it get away from us too much. It’s important to finish and not doing anything stupid, but it’s also important not to lose a lot either,” Dungey says.
“I lost a little bit in the beginning and I think that is what separated myself from the top two spots. I wish I could have gotten around Peick sooner, but a 3rd is not too bad.”
Peick was ecstatic of his result: “I was super stoked to get such an awesome start. The JGR Yamaha bike and Pirelli tires really hooked up. I made a pass on Dungey early in the race and then just rode my own race and stayed consistent.
“I have been working really hard during the off-season with my trainer Buddy Antunez and my whole team. I can’t believe I held a podium position the whole seventeen laps. I came up short on a triple and rolled my ankle really bad and literally could not stand on it and that’s how Dungey passed me back. If it wasn’t for that, I think I would have had a solid podium finish.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Davi Millsaps rounded out the top five after a disappointing 19th-place finish last weekend at Anaheim 1. He started the race in sixth and gained one position in the 20-lap main event.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Race Team’s Jason Anderson did not get the start he wanted finding himself in 14th place in the first corner. He utilized his aggressive riding style to make his way up to 6th place for the night. Andrew Short backed his fifth place finish from Anaheim 1 with a 7th in Phoenix while Trey Canard, Jake Weimer, and Chad Reed rounded out the top 10.
Red Bull KTM’s Dean Wilson looked poised to battle for a top-five finish after an eighth-place start, but he would fall back to 17th place by the finish. With a 15th at Anaheim 1 and a 17th in Phoenix, the 450 rookie will be looking to place his factory KTM in the top 10 next weekend at Anaheim 2.
2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Results – Round 2 – Phoenix
1. Eli Tomac – Honda CRF450R
2. Ken Roczen – Suzuki RM-Z450
3. Ryan Dungey – KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition
4. Weston Peick – Yamaha YZ450F
5. Davi Millsaps – Kawasaki KX450F
6. Jason Anderson – Husqvarna FC450
7. Andrew Short – KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition
8. Trey Canard – Honda CRF450R
9. Jake Weimer – Kawasaki KX450F
10. Chad Reed – Kawasaki KX450F
11. Justin Barcia – Yamaha YZ450F
12. Broc Tickle – Suzuki RM-Z450
13. Blake Baggett – Suzuki RM-Z450
14. Cole Seely – Honda CRF450R
15. Justin Brayton – KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition
16. Brett Metcalfe – Suzuki RM-Z450
17. Dean Wilson – KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition
18. Mike Alessi – Suzuki RM-Z450
19. Josh Grant – Kawasaki KX450F
20. Jimmy Albertson – Yamaha YZ450F
21. Kyle Partridge – Honda CRF450R
22. A J Catanzaro – Suzuki RM-Z450