It was a great night of Monster Energy Supercross 250SX racing at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, setting the bar high for next week’s repeat at the same venue. Last week Marvin Musquin’s win looked so effortless that the rest of the field was going to have to step it up big time.

Well, they did, and it made for some exciting racing all the way through to the finish. Let’s see up made it to the Upside, and who slipped Downside, at the second Eastern Regional 250SX round.

2015 Atlanta 1 250SX Commentary, Upside

2015 Atlanta 1 250SX Commentary | Yamaha's Jeremy Martin
2015 Atlanta 1 250SX Commentary | Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin

Jeremy Martin – Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha: Jumping from fourth to second in the standings, Martin rode much looser this week now that he had the “didn’t make the first two Mains last year” chip off his shoulder.

He rode his YZ250F from a sixth-place start, moving forward consistently until he was within striking distance of leader Justin Bogle by Lap 11, then blitzed past him in the whoops for the lead two laps later.

“The intensity was high. I was six laps in and I was breathing heavy and I was, like, it’s on,” Martin said on the podium. “Whoever’s going to suffer the most and uh those guys were riding really good, I learned some stuff from them, so I’m just really happy. Whoever’s the better man Saturday. We’re all fit and we’re all fast.”

Marvin Musquin – Red Bull KTM: Having a rocky start to his night when he got knocked down by Keith Tucker in the opening lap of his Heat, Musquin remounted quickly and rode his 250 SX-F to an eight-place finish, qualifying directly to the Main.

He got off the gate well and worked his way to within closing distance of second-place rider Justin Bogle by Lap 8, but made a mistake, allowing Martin to get by. Musquin regrouped and passed Bogle for a 2nd place result. Said Musquin right after the race: “I knew it was going to be a long race. I think I was the fastest but I made a lot of mistakes. I did a lot of mistakes. I almost went down a couple of times. So to get second is like a win today.”

Martin Davalos – Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna: Getting the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award and leading the first nine laps of the race was a huge improvement over last week’s barely Top 10 result.

It was a shame, though, to see Davalos make several mistakes and get passed by three riders in half a lap–saying goodbye to the win, as well as a podium finish. “I got a great start in the main event but I tightened up a bit,” Davalos admitted. “I think I was too worried about setting up my front wheel in the dragon’s back instead of driving through. I have a great bike and a great team behind me. I just need to work on the intensity a bit and come back swinging next weekend.”

Anthony Rodriguez – Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha: Rodriguez qualified into the Main by winning the LCQ, but A-Rod had his work cut out for him in the Main when he got a poor 16th place start. The Venezuelan rider guided his YZ250F to an 8th place, career best, finish.

Mitchell Oldenburg – Arma Energy/MotoSport.com Yamaha: Jumping up 10 positions from last week’s race, Oldenburg is clearly heading in the right direction, but the Texan native tweets he could have done better: “Not the best weekend in ATL but big step up from last weekend! Made a couple bad decisions in the main that hindered my result but we will be back strong next weekend!”

Nick Gaines – Traders Racing Kawasaki: In only the second SX start of his career, Gaines qualified for the Main and earned four points. It’s definitely an improvement over his Arlington start where Gaines clipped Vince Friese’s back tire while landing off a triple in his Heat, taking both riders down.

2015 Atlanta 1 250SX Commentary, Downside

Arnaud Tonus – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki: It looked like Tonus would bump to the Upside this week as he was fast in qualifying and transferred straight to the Main with a third in his Heat. Instead, he went down on the Lap 1 and did well to make it into the Top 10 by the end of the race. Tonus has said he views this as a learning year, as he gets used to the tighter tracks and more aggressive riding than the MX2 racing he’s accustomed to. Post Atlanta 1 he tweeted: “Rough night, 10th after a crash in the first lap. Learn and move on”

2015 Atlanta 1 250SX Commentary | Kawasaki Joey Savatgy
Kawasaki Joey Savatgy

Joey Savatgy – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki: Looking great in his Heat, Savatgy executed a perfectly timed pass out of the rhythm section on the last lap to get Vince Friese for the win. Unfortunately, Savatgy never caught the same fire in the Main, but rode a solid race to finish 5th. He’s 11 points off the lead, and in a short series he can’t afford a night off the podium. “Mixed emotions about the day… Qualifying and heat race was good… Need to figure out my starts badly.. Not sure why I’m struggling but I’m not about to give up.”

Luke Renzland – CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha: It was a shame to see Renzland not make the Main when last week the rookie took a 12th place finish in his debut ride in Arlington. Two crashes in his Heat led to his eventual retirement for the night, which Renzland described on his Instagram post: “The first lap of the heat, we all bottled up in the second corner pretty bad, but I still decided to do the triple right out of the corner and I cases it real hard. I hit my head off the bars which blurred my vision really bad. I was running 6th all by myself for the next three laps, but I was off rhythm and feeling out of it from the first lap.

“Then I came around, and cased a simple jump and it ejected me over the bars pretty hard. I was able to get right back up, but my team, asterisk, and myself all made a mutual decision to take the night off. I should be ok to race next weekend, but I’ll keep everyone updated along the way!”

Colt Nichols – Motosport.com/GPI/Honda Racing: Another rookie having a tough night at Atlanta 1, Nichols, who finished 11th in his first Supercross race last weekend, did not qualify for the Main after getting caught up in a tangle of downed riders in his Heat. A 6th in the LCQ ended his night prematurely. Nichols took Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross last year, riding the AMSOIL Arenacross series in 2014, and his post-race social media post shows he is not deterred by adversity: “Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.”

2015 Altanta 1 250 Supercross Results – Round 2 East, Atlanta
1. Jeremy Martin – Yamaha YZ250F
2. Marvin Musquin – KTM 250 SX-F Factory Edition
3. Justin Bogle – Honda CRF250R
4. Martin Davalos – Husqvarna FC250
5. Joey Savatgy – Kawasaki KX250F
6. Vince Friese – Honda CRF250R
7. Matt Lemoine – Kawasaki KX250F
8. Anthony Rodriguez – Yamaha YZ250F
9. RJ Hampshire – Honda CRF250R
10. Arnaud Tonus – Kawasaki KX250F
11. Mitch Oldenburg – Yamaha YZ250F
12. Gannon Audette – Kawasaki KX250F
13. Kyle Peters – Honda CRF250R
14. Dakota Alix – KTM 250SX-F
15. Brady Kiesel – Honda CRF250R
16. Jimmy Decotis – Honda CRF250R
17. Nick Gaines – Kawasaki KX250F
18. Justin Starling – Yamaha YZ250F
19. Jace Owen – Honda CRF250R
20. Daniel Herrlein – Honda CRF250R
21. Levi Kilbarger – Yamaha YZ250F
22. Zack Williams – Honda CRF250R

Monster Energy AMA Supercross Eastern Regional 250SX Standings
1. Marvin Musquin, 47
2. Jeremy Martin, 43
3. Justin Bogle, 42
4. Joey Savatgy, 36
5. Martin Davalos, 30
6. Matt Lemoine, 30
7. Vince Friese, 30
8. RJ Hampshire, 26
9. Arnaud Tonus, 24
10. Anthony Rodriguez, 21
11. Kyle Peters, 19
12. Gannon Audette, 12
13. Mitch Oldenburg, 11
14. Jimmy Decotis, 11
15. Colt Nichols, 10
16. Justin Starling, 10
17. Luke Renzland, 9
18. Dakota Alix, 8
19. Brady Kiesel, 6
20. Zack Williams, 6