After clinching the 2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 450SX Class Championship a week ago, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey could have been excused for taking it easy, but he came away from the inaugural race at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. with his 21st career 450SX victory.
It didn’t take Dungey long to put it in the bag. Autotrader/Toyota/JGRMX Yamaha’s Justin Barcia, in his second race back since a midseason hip injury, grabbed the holeshot and worked to hold off Dungey.
Watching the Dungey/Barcia battle develop for the first lap-and-a-half was Discount Tire Kawasaki’s Chad Reed. Reed cased a triple on the second lap, then slammed into the next jump’s face. By the time Reed picked himself up, he found himself in last place (21st, as Reed’s teammate Josh Grant failed to start due to bike problems at the starting line). Reed worked his way up to 8th by the end of the race.
On Lap 3, Dungey blew by Barcia in one of the whoops sections and was never seen again, except by lapped riders. Barcia faded to 7th as the race progressed, and on Lap 19 had technical problems that put him in 16th place at the checkers.
Barcia’s teammate, Weston Peick, who had also been out earlier in the year, was running with Dungey early on, after tangling with Dungey in qualifying and their Heat. Peick passed Barcia a lap after Dungey and tried to move up for a challenge. Peick never got close enough to take a shot a Dungey and relinquished 2nd place to GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac on Lap 11.
Tomac suffered from yet another mediocre start — he had to qualify out of the Semi after a poor start in his Heat — sitting back in 8th after the first lap. Tomac streaked to 5th after Lap 2, and then methodically picked off BTO Sports KTM’s Justin Brayton, Barcia, and Peick. Once settled into 2nd, Tomac rode a lonely race.
Peick held onto 3rd place, giving him his first career podium. After the race, Peick was understandably enthusiastic: “It’s been a rough season for me, many ups and downs. To be able to put the bike on the podium for the team is awesome. I am stoked.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson took a middling 10th place start and turned it into a 4th place finish. Unlike Tomac, Anderson found himself in a four-way battle with Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Baggett, BTO Sports KTM’s Justin Brayton (a 4th place start was a great help), and last week’s winner, Team Honda’s Cole Seely. Anderson won the fight, followed by Seely, Baggett, and Brayton, in that order.
After the race, Seely was still stewing over a Heat mishap. In his Heat, Seely was leading when a backmarker crashed. With yellow flags waving, Seely doubled a rhythm section jump, landing right next to a track worker in the middle of the track who was protecting the downed rider. The track worker directed Seely to go to either side of him, not knowing that the hurt rider’s bike was being wheeled off to the left. As Seely landed, he t-boned the bike being pushed, and he did not qualify until he won his Semi.
Holeshot master BTO Sports KTM’s Andrew Short got an unusually poor start, being 7th early on, and eventually finished 9th. Mafia Moto Crew Kawasaki’s Nick Wey’s 10th was his best finish of the year.
Davi Millsaps was absent on the grid, having been dropped by Monster Energy Kawasaki for unnamed reasons. Millsaps had scored points at every Supercross this season and had two 5th and two 7ths in the last four rounds.
With Wil Hahn out with an injury and Millsaps off the team, Monster Energy Kawasaki had no riders at Levi’s Stadium in the 450SX class. Monster Energy Kawasaki had won the four previous 450SX championships with Ryan Villopoto on the KX450F. Villopoto left the Supercross series this year to contest the MXGP World Championship.
Photography by Simon Cudby
Results: 2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 450SX Class Results, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.
- Ryan Dungey, KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition
- Eli Tomac, Honda CRF450R
- Weston Peick, Yamaha YZ450F
- Jason Anderson, Husqvarna FC 450
- Cole Seely, Honda CRF450R
- Blake Baggett, Suzuki RM-Z450
- Justin Brayton, KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition
- Chad Reed, Kawasaki KX450F
- Andrew Short, KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition
- Nick Wey, Kawasaki KX450F
Seaso Standings: 2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 450SX Class
- Ryan Dungey, 343 points
- Eli Tomac, 258
- Cole Seely, 239
- Chad Reed, 212
- Trey Canard, 204
- Blake Baggett, 190
- Jason Anderson, 188
- Broc Tickle, 168
- Ken Roczen, 164
- Andrew Short, 156