Adding a little spice to the racing as the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series winds down, fans were treated to the first-ever live broadcast on the Fox network.
The MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., looked packed and the earlier-than-usual race schedule had riders up at the crack of dawn for first practice for the daytime racing program. Let’s see who enjoyed an Upside weekend on national TV at the penultimate SX round, and who wishes it had been one of those Fox 2 airings.
2015 New Jersey Supercross Commentary, Upside
Eli Tomac – GEICO Honda: Although beaten by Cole Seely in their Heat as Tomac still hasn’t nailed his starts, Tomac caught up to the leading Seely halfway through the Main. Tomac made numerous mistakes in his enthusiasm to pass Seely, making it harder on himself, but eventually blitzed past the rookie and was almost 13 seconds ahead when he crossed the finish line.
It’s Tomac’s third win this season, more than anyone besides series winner Ryan Dungey. Commenting from the podium, Tomac said “It wasn’t really there this time on the start. I just snuck around the inside, luckily it was a 180 and I made it work. One of the most technical tracks we’ve had all year, just with the soft dirt and the ruts, made for good lines, so was able to make moves on guys, man me and Cole had a good battle for almost over half the race.”
Cole Seely – Team Honda HRC: Seely may not have won, but he picked a great weekend to lead 13 laps of the Main with the live coverage on national TV from the Fox broadcast network. Starting with a win in his Heat, Seely then jumped out to the lead on the first lap and withstood pressure from a charging Tomac for over half the race.
“I was out there, I was struggling a little bit, holding Eli off,” Seely explained. “I was losing energy, so thought I’d do the smart veteran thing and let those guys by and secure third. It’s my fifth podium of the year, and I got a win, and just locked down third in points on the season, so couldn’t be happier.”
Shane McElrath – Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Red Bull KTM: Last weekend, McElrath had a 2nd place result in the Western Regional 250SX class at Santa Clara; this weekend he rode his first 450SX race at MetLife stadium, and looked amazingly comfortable doing it.
McElrath missed qualifying out of his Heat race after making a mistake that had him riding lengthwise down several Tuff Blocks – and amazingly not crashing – then again just missed transferring out of his Semi. He went on to win the LCQ and rode well in the Main, taking his 450 SX-F Factory Edition to an 11th place finish.
Kyle Chisholm – Team Chiz Kawasaki: Turning in his best result of the season with an 8th place finish, veteran rider Chisholm was not happy with the lappers at MetLife Stadium, even while acknowledging on Twitter that he himself got lapped: “I realize I was one at the end of the race but the lappers were absolutely terrible! Get out of the main line!”
Ronnie Stewart – DirtCandy Graphics/PBRC.com/Suzuki: Delivering to his “We Heart 69” t-shirt wearing fan club, Ronnie Stewart transferred to the Main through the LCQ and went on to a season’s best 16th place finish. It’s great to see the support of this privateer from his fans who were doing The Wave as he came around in front of their section in the stands.
One Guy: Sneaking in as the season is winding down, privateer Deven Raper makes the Main for the first time this year, taking home two points for his 19th place finish on his RJC Racing Kawasaki. Congrats.
2015 New Jersey Supercross Commentary, Downside
Andrew Short – BTO Sports.com KTM: On paper it looks like Short had a great weekend, matching his season’s best 5th place result for the third time, and collecting another SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award. However, an incident on Lap 11 resulted in a broken kneecap, though Short finished the race. Posting a picture on Instagram of his wrapped up leg with a bag of ice on it, Short said: “Happy that I finished 5th tonight. Bummed I broke my knee cap last lap! Pumped it’s not my acl!” We couldn’t agree more.
Justin Barcia – Autotrader.com/Toyota/JGRMX Yamaha: Barcia had a tough day in New Jersey, starting with a hard crash in practice, then had another nasty one in the Main. He had gotten off to a strong start and was running in sixth on Lap 8 when he landed short on the over-under bridge, causing the chasing Blake Baggett to clip his back wheel. Barcia went down hard, but impressively remounted and continued to race for another 10 laps – taking away just one point for the weekend.
Chad Reed – Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo MotorSports/Kawasaki: The latter part of the season has been tough on the veteran rider and after trying to ride the first practice, Reed decided to sit out due to a sore shoulder that he re-injured in crashes last weekend in Santa Clara.
Posting on Facebook, Reed remained upbeat: “No bad days! Just experiences. Sitting on plane thinking yeah today could have been better but you know what shit happens! 2015 has been a struggle no doubt about that But I’ll figure it out and be back stronger !! I actually get a kick outta the questions I get asked and the things I hear.”
Justin Brayton – BTO Sports/KTM: An errant rock managed to break Brayton’s throttle cable on Lap 1, cutting his night short. Tough break after already missing over half the season due to injuries suffered back at A2.
Weston Peick – Autotrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha: Peick had a rough Heat race when he got out of shape and his YZ450F tumbled on top of him. He came back strong to win his Semi, and got a great second-place start in the Main, running in the top five for over half the race. He faded toward the end and finished the night in 10th.
2015 New Jersey 450SX Class Results:
1. Eli Tomac, Honda CRF450R
2. Ryan Dungey, KTM SX-F 450 Factory Edition
3. Cole Seely, Honda CRF450R
4. Blake Baggett, Suzuki RM-Z450
5. Andrew Short, KTM SX-F 450 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
2015 Monster Energy Supercross, 450SX Class Season Standings (after 16 of 17):
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 365 points
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