As the Monster Energy Supercross series heads back to Atlanta for the second time in two weekends, the city will join Anaheim as the only two markets to host multiple races since 2001.
It will mark the 38th time the gate will drop in Atlanta for a 450SX race and the 30th time for a 250SX race. If the Atlanta 2 Supercross action proves to be anything similar to last week's race, the fans should be in for a great night of action.
In the 450SX class, TwoTwo Motorsport's Chad Reed carries the momentum heading back into the Peach State with a commanding win the week before. The Australian pulled the holeshot and didn't look back as he led all 20 laps of the Main Event to take his 44th victory of his career.
“The start made all the difference tonight,” said Reed. “With the pace that the top guys are running, you have to be up front from the get-go. The track started to break down pretty quickly, but my bike was great and I was able to find lines that worked as the dirt deteriorated.”
Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey, who finished second to Reed in Atlanta, extended his podium streak to seven races and now enjoys a lead of 25 points in the championship over second place. He is the only rider to finish inside the top five at every race this season and last won in Atlanta during the 2012 season.
“Reed rode a solid race tonight getting a great start and holding on out front,” said Dungey. “I had some work to do to catch up to him after an okay start. Apart from the start, I’m happy with the way I rode. The way the cards fell tonight, and several guys having big crashes, I’m happy to have been able to extend my points lead in the championship. I’m looking forward to coming back here again next weekend to hopefully get on the top step of the podium.”
Team Honda's Trey Canard turned in another strong ride aboard his factory Honda CRF450R, earning a heat-race win before bringing home a third-place finish in the final. Although a poor start left Canard unable to fight for the win, he rode an impressive race, advancing from outside the top ten to third by the time he reached the checkered flag.
“Not a bad night at all” said Canard. “I’m happy to be on the podium again, and to have moved into second in points, but it was a bummer to get another bad start. I just moved forward and did the best that I could, which is all we can ask for. I was riding really aggressive, but I think you have to when you’re that far back. I started to catch them a little when I got into third, but it was basically cat-and-mouse all the way to the end. I think the bike was working great in the Main Event, so hopefully we can keep that going into next week and come out strong.”
RCH/Dodge/Jimmy Johns/Sycuan/Suzuki Factory Racing's Ken Roczen will be hoping for a better outing this weekend at the second Atlanta race as multiple crashes put him out of contention for the win at Atlanta 1.
The German rider had a big crash in qualifying practice, where he hit the stadium wall with extreme force and was driven out of the stadium by the Asterisk Medical Crew. However, Roczen's determination helped him overcome it and return for the night show.
“The whole night, actually the whole day was kind of gnarly,” said Roczen. “I felt like we had the bike figured out pretty good. In the main, my bike worked really well and I feel like I could have made up a lot of ground. I went in the whoops and caught one of the tough blocks somehow. It wasn’t a problem with the bike or anything like that. Obviously, I just made a mistake. It just happened.
“The automatic thing, when you tuck the front end or have a problem like I did, you end up holding it wide open because you’re almost crashing. I just whiskey-throttled and crashed really hard. I got lucky that I didn’t get hurt. After that, the handlebars on the bike were bent really bad so it was hard to really do much after that. There’s no give up in this team. I’m really lucky that I didn’t get hurt and still picked up three points. It could have been a lot worse.”
In the 250SX East Region championship, Red Bull KTM's Marvin Musquin’s second place finish in round two of the East 250 SX class championship held at the Georgia Dome means the French rider starts round three with the red plate.
Musquin got a reasonable start in the main and rounded the opening lap in fourth position. By lap three, he had moved into third with the hard-charging ride of Jeremy Martin rallying behind him. Driving each other and battling neck and neck, Musquin and Martin gradually reeled in both Martin Davalos and Justin Bogle.
By the midway point in the race, Martin made a pass stick to get by Musquin and a few laps later the pair worked their way around the top two riders. Musquin stuck close to Martin and finished the race in second place.
“I'm not overly happy with the way I rode tonight”, explained Musquin. “I let my frustrations from earlier in the day take over in the main event and I just didn't ride as smooth and relaxed as I should have. I had a rough heat race and I should have been more focused in the main. But I started to relax more toward the end of the race and still finished in second place. It takes consistency to win a championship, so I'm happy to be on the podium two weeks in a row and will make sure I’m back to being 100% focused next week when we return to Atlanta."
2015 Atlanta 1 Supercross on TV
Fox Sports 2 will broadcast round nine of the 2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series from Georgia Dome, Atlanta, at 7 p.m. ET Saturday, February 28.
Monster Energy AMA Supercross Standings after 8 of 17 rounds:
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, MN, KTM, 174
2. Trey Canard, Edmond, OK, Honda, 149
3. Ken Roczen, Clermont, FL, Suzuki, 143
4. Eli Tomac, Cortez, CO, Honda, 115
5. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, NM, Husqvarna, 114
6. Cole Seely, Laguna Beach, CA, Honda, 111
7. Chad Reed, Dade City, FL, Kawasaki, 110
8. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, CA, Suzuki, 99
9. Andrew Short, Smithville, TX, KTM, 94
10. Broc Tickle, Holly, MI, Suzuki, 78
Monster Energy AMA Supercross Eastern Regional 250SX Standings after 2 of 9 rounds:
1. Marvin Musquin, Corona, CA., KTM, 47
2. Jeremy Martin, Millville, MN, Yamaha, 43
3. Justin Bogle, Cushing, OK, Honda, 42
4. Joey Savatgy Thomasville, GA, Kawasaki, 36
5. Martin Davalos, Corona, CA, Husqvarna, 30
6. Matt Lemoine, Pilot Point, TX, Kawasaki, 30
7. Vince Friese, Cape Girardeau, MO, Honda, 30
8. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, FL, Honda, Honda, 26
9. Arnaud Tonus, Aire-la-Ville, Switzerland, Kawasaki, 24
10. Anthony Rodriguez, Cairo, GA, Yamaha, 21