In a rather anti-climactic race at NRG Stadium in Houston, the 2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 450SX Champion was crowned with three races yet to be contested. Despite the inevitable conclusion, there was still some good racing to be enjoyed, so let’s see who, besides Ryan Dungey, had an Upside this past weekend.
2015 Houston Supercross Commentary, Upside
Ryan Dungey – Red Bull/KTM: Dungey wrapped up his second AMA 450SX Championship last Saturday night without taking the win, the holeshot, nor the early lead, which he’d been doing for the last few races. While it may have taken Dungey five years to earn his second title, the record books have no disclaimers on the winner’s list.
The absence of the ‘other’ Ryan and JS7 this season will not be mentioned because, ultimately, racing is not always about who is fastest. It’s about who shows up each week and bests the field. This year, that man was Ryan Dungey. Well done.
Cole Seely – Team Honda HRC: Although Seely’s 450 year started off slower than his three fellow rookies (he finished 14th at the first two events), at NRG Stadium he got the holeshot and ran off with the race, taking his first career 450 class win.
With a 48-point lead over Suzuki’s Blake Baggett, and 53 over Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson – Dean Wilson has been out since Round 3 due to injury – Seely is clearly going to win Rookie of the Year honors. “If you asked me if I would have a win at Anaheim 1 or Phoenix, I would have probably told you no,” Seely said. “But, I feel like the past few races it’s been at my fingertips and I finally was able to capitalize. It feels amazing.”
Josh Grant – Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports Kawasaki: Grant is finding his form in the latter half of the season, and at NRG Stadium he brought his KX450F to a season’s best 4th place finish. Getting a good jump off the gate, riding consistently, and keeping out of trouble, Grant was able to pick up a couple of spots when other battling riders went down. He now sits 10th in the overall points.
Justin Barcia – AutoTrader.com/Toyota/JGR Yamaha: Picking up not far from where he had left things at Anaheim 3, Barcia returned to racing after missing eight rounds and put in a solid race in Houston, finishing 10th. This was not the year in Supercross that Barcia hoped to have, but we’re glad he’s back to add some competition to the thinner field in the last few rounds of the series.
2015 Houston Supercross Commentary, Downside
Eli Tomac – GEICO Honda: If only. Tomac continues to struggle getting off the gate, so a poor start in his Heat left him having to qualify out of the Semi. Then, a sub-standard start in the Main meant he was never in contention for a win.
He managed to maneuver his CRF450R into third place toward the end of the race, but Tomac was clearly not satisfied with his result: “Obviously a win is what a guy like me is hunting for,” Tomac said. “Tonight I was just kinda weird on energy, it felt like I was was just riding around without a purpose. I just need a little more spunk.”
Weston Peick – AutoTrader.com/Toyota/JGR Yamaha: Getting a good jump off the start, Peick was well positioned to fight for a podium position at NRG Stadium, but was taken out by Jason Anderson on Lap 5 while running fifth. Peick rejoined the race, but went down again several laps later, and came away from the Houston Supercross with a single point. Peick later posted on Instagram, “Tough weekend had a crash but looking forward to getting some redemption this weekend.”
Jason Anderson – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna: Anderson was pushing hard from the get-go in Houston, and a first turn tuck of the front wheel of his FC 450 in his Heat sent Anderson to the Semi, where he rebounded with a win.
His aggressive riding in the Main served him well as he picked off several riders and moved into third halfway through the race. However, patience is a virtue that Anderson hasn’t yet honed, and while trying to pass Chad Reed for 2nd, they both went down. Commenting after the race, Anderson said, “I rode well and have a lot to take away from it but I need to work on getting rid of a few mistakes. Hopefully, I can go into Santa Clara and get on the podium.”
2015 Houston Supercross Results, 450SX:
- Cole Seely, Laguna Beach, Calif., Honda
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda
- Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki
- Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki
- Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM
- Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki
- Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha
- Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., KTM
450SX Class Season Standings (after 14 of 17 rounds):
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 318
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 236
- Cole Seely, Laguna Beach, Calif., Honda, 223
- Trey Canard, Edmond, Okla., Honda, 204
- Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki, 199
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki, 175
- Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna, 170
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 159
- Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki, 156
- Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 152