2016 Foxborough Supercross Preview

2016 Foxborough Supercross Preview | Can Dungey Clinch Title?
KTM’s Ryan Dungey

Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, will make its highly anticipated return to New England this Saturday, April 23, with the debut at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, for the 15th race of the season. The championship’s first race in the region since 1990 will be highlighted by the second of back-to-back live telecasts on FOX Broadcast Channel.

Following his third straight 450SX Class victory this past weekend at St. Louis SX, defending champion and points leader Ryan Dungey enters Foxborough with a chance to clinch his second consecutive title. The Red Bull KTM rider will also be chasing a personal-best nine wins in a season after equaling the career-best mark he set just last season. In the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship, the battle for the points lead is closer than it’s been all season, with just one point separating GEICO Honda’s Malcolm Stewart and Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger.

Last Saturday afternoon in St. Louis, Dungey was significantly tested by RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Ken Roczen for the second straight race. Dungey ultimately led all 20 laps of the Main Event, but not without heavy pressure from Roczen that included a brief exchange for the lead and came to an end after the German went down after losing his front end.

As a result, Roczen will essentially have to finish ahead of Dungey at Gillette Stadium as he faces a 48-point deficit in the championship standings. With eight wins and a podium result in all 14 races this season, a ninth victory would clinch the third career title for Dungey, as he needs to gain just two points on Roczen in order to successfully defend his title.

2016 Foxborough Supercross Preview | Roczen Chases Dungey
Suzuki’s Ken Roczen

“[Roczen and I] were really pushing for the third week in a row. I needed to eliminate the mistakes and put the hammer down,” said Dungey after his latest win. “[Roczen] came up on the inside and got by me, but then made a little mistake in the next corner that allowed me to slip under and get back by. After that I found some new lines and that helped a lot.”

Although Dungey has finished on top of the podium each of the last three races, Roczen has kept pace with runner-up finishes in each of those Main Events, which included an impressive last-lap pass for second in St. Louis. He has minimized the damage from each Dungey victory and despite missing out on a win, has also ridden exceptionally well. Another similar effort could lead to the win he needs to ensure Dungey’s title hopes are put on hold in Foxborough.

“I didn’t have the best jump out of the gate on the start but I snuck around the inside and found myself in a good position,” explained Roczen. “I was battling with Ryan again. I passed him and he got me back. I made a little mistake. I came in too hot in that turn and washed the front end. It’s the third time in a row we’ve come in second. We’re fighting really, really hard and I’m having a blast. We’re all working really well together to make our Soaring Eagle Jimmy John’s Suzuki the best that it can be. Another second place. Another solid finish.”

While Dungey and Roczen have finished 1-2 for three straight races, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson has also solidified his spot as the third-best rider in the 450SX Class. The sophomore rider and two-time winner this season is in the midst of a four-race podium streak. He’ll look to keep the streak going in what has been a breakout season for Anderson.

As for two-time Supercross Champion James Stewart, he’s out for the remainder of the season.

2016 Foxborough 250SX Preview

2016 Foxborough Supercross Preview | Yamaha's Jeremy Martin
Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin

For the first time this season, the Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship welcomed a repeat winner in St. Louis. Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin rebounded from a DNF at the previous race with a dominant effort, grabbing his first SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award and carrying it through to his second win of the season. Behind him, the battle atop the championship standings intensified after points leader Malcolm Stewart (Honda) crashed on three separate occasions in the 15-lap Main Event to record his worst finish of the season.

Taking advantage of that misfortune was Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger, who followed up his win two races ago with a runner-up finish that moved him to within a single point of Stewart. The competition in the Eastern Regional Championship has been exciting and unpredictable all season, and now that the title fight is closer than ever there’s no reason to expect that trend won’t continue.

With so much intrigue in each class, Monster Energy Supercross’ return to New England could not be more anticipated. At the championship’s last visit to old Foxboro Stadium 26 years ago French legend Jean-Michel Bayle took the win in the 450SX Class, while Denny Stephenson took the 250SX Class victory. Foxborough hosted the championship for three seasons between 1983 and 1990.

450SX Class Championship Standings

  1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM – 328
  2. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki – 280
  3. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna – 260
  4. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 226
  5. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha – 208
  6. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM – 188
  7. Cole Seely, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Honda – 173
  8. Justin Brayton, Mint Hill, N.C., KTM – 161
  9. Trey Canard, Edmond, Okla., Honda – 154
  10. Jake Weimer, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki – 114

Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings

  1. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda – 115
  2. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha – 114
  3. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha – 99
  4. Martin Davalos, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna – 83
  5. Tyler Bowers, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki – 78
  6. Gannon Audette, Tallahassee, Fla., Kawasaki – 77
  7. RJ Hampshire, Brooksville, Fla., Honda – 77
  8. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM – 73
  9. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., KTM – 63
  10. Matt Bisceglia, Weatherford, Texas, Suzuki – 58