Round 16 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series visited East Rutherford, New Jersey for the penultimate round of the season. The racing took place at MetLife Stadium with a track that featured an over-and-under bridge, several technical rhythm sections, and lots of ruts to challenge the riders and make for a great day (yes, day) of racing.
GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac emerged victorious after coming around the first turn in eighth place. The Colorado native put his head down and made his way into second place behind fellow Honda CRF450R rider Cole Seely. Tomac was able to pass Seely on Lap 13 in the whoops after Seely made a few mistakes that allowed Tomac to close it. From there, Tomac put it on cruise control for the rest of the race to take his third victory of the season.
“This was one of the most technical tracks we’ve had all year with the soft dirt and the ruts,” said Tomac. “It made for good lines and to be able to make moves on guys. Cole and I had a good battle for almost half of the race and that was a lot of fun.”
Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey, who has clinched this year’s Monster Energy Supercross championship, rebounded from a seventh place start by making his way into third place by the midway point of the race. Catching Seely after Tomac took the lead, Dungey put the pressure on Seely, who he passed on lap 14. He was unable to challenge Tomac for the win and settled for second place on the night.
“The track was a little rough today and it was hard to make passes in the main event,” stated Dungey. “All in all, it was a really great day of racing. I’m happy to be on the podium and looking forward to the final round in Las Vegas.” Tomac only needs to make the Main in Las Vegas to take second in the season standings.
Seely quickly made his way into the lead in the beginning of the race, passing BTO Sports KTM’s Andrew Short in the first few corners of the race. HRC’s Seely and led for over half of the race before being passed by Tomac and Dungey. Seely’s third place finished marked his fifth podium of the year and guaranteed him at least 3rd place in the final season standings.
“I felt really good all day, but the track was very tough to figure out because it was constantly changing,” said Seely. “It was good to get another heat race win and get the night started off right. Having the day race was pretty cool. I was hoping that I could hold on to the win, but I made a mistake here and there and it ended up catching up with me. Overall, considering how tough the track conditions were, I’m happy with how the day went.”
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Blake Baggett put his Suzuki RM-Z450 in ninth place in the first corner. From there, the 450SX rookie methodically worked his way through the field to make his way into fourth place, where he would finish on the night, well behind Seely.
Andrew Short rocketed out of the gate in the main event, grabbing yet another holeshot on his KTM 450SX-F Factory Edition. The veteran was passed by Seely, Tomac, Dungey, and Baggett before the 20 lap race ended, finishing the night in fifth place. It was Short’s third fifth-place of the year, the highest he has finished. Unfortunately, he broke his kneecap on the last lap, according to his Twitter feed.
RCH/Dodge/Jimmy John’s/Sycuan/Suzuki Factory Racing’ Broc Tickle, TwoTwo Motorsport’s Josh Grant, Team Chiz/RickieFowler.com/Westfall Auto Sales/Pretty Rebels/Kawasaki’s Kyle Chisholm, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson, and AutoTrader.com/Toyota/JGRMX/Yamaha’s Weston Peick rounded out the top ten, respectively.
AutoTrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX’s Justin Barcia suffered a nasty crash while battling with Baggett on lap 8. Barcia came up short on the over-and-under bridge jump, and was ejected from his Yamaha YZ450F when Baggett tapped his rear tire. Barcia looked injured, but eventually did remount his machine, though his lap times were 10 seconds longer than before the accident. Barcia eventually retired on lap 18.
Chad Reed was unable to compete due to injury, and Deven Raper made his first Main of the year, picking up two points. Ronnie Stewart had a sizeable fan club attending the race, and rewarded them with a 16th place, his best finish of the year.
Photography by Simon Cudby
2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Results – Round 16 – MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
1. Eli Tomac – Honda CRF450R
2. Ryan Dungey – KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition
3. Cole Seely – Honda CRF450R
4. Blake Baggett – Suzuki RM-Z450
5. Andrew Short – KTM 450SX-F Factory Edition
6. Broc Tickle – Suzuki RM-Z450
7. Josh Grant – Kawasaki KX450F
8. Kyle Chisholm – Kawasaki KX450F
9. Jason Anderson – Husqvarna FC 450
10. Weston Peick – Yamaha YZ450F
11. Shane McElrath – KTM 450SX-F Factory Edition
12. Nick Wey – Kawasaki KX450F
13. Ben Lamay – Husqvarna FC 450
14. Nick Schmidt – Suzuki RM-Z450
15. Kyle Partridge – Honda CRF450R
16. Ronnie Stewart – Suzuki RM-Z450
17. Dustin Pipes – Suzuki RM-Z450
18. Tevin Tapia – Suzuki RM-Z450
19. Deven Raper – Kawasaki KX450F
20. Justin Barcia – Yamaha YZ450F
21. Alex Ray – Honda CRF450R
22. Justin Brayton – KTM 450SX-F Factory Edition
Monster Energy AMA Supercross 450SX Class Season Standings (one round remaining)
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 365 points (clinched championship)
2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 283
3. Cole Seely, Laguna Beach, Calif., Honda, 259
4. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki, 212
5. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki, 208
6. Trey Canard, Edmond, Okla., Honda, 204
7. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna, 200
8. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 183
9. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 180
10. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki, 156