2017 St. Louis Supercross Preview
Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, heads to The Dome at the America’s Center in St. Louis Saturday for the 13th round of the 2017 season.
The Dome has hosted every St. Louis stop of the series, which enters its 22nd season. In 21 seasons of competition in St. Louis, the race winner has gone on to win the title more than 50% of the time in both classes.
It’s happened 11 times in the 450SX class and 15 times in the 250SX class. Time will tell if history repeats itself in this scenario as both the 450SX and Eastern Regional 250SX classes have seen the points chase tighten up in the past few rounds.
Last weekend at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich., the 46,324 fans in attendance watched as Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac continued to prove he’s on a mission for the championship claiming his fourth-straight victory, bringing him just seven points back of the reigning champion – Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey.
Opening the Main Event was Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin grabbing the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot. At the end of the opening lap, it was Musquin leading with Tomac and Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-WPS-KTM’s Davi Millsaps close behind. As the leader pulled a gap on the rest of the field, points leader Dungey came around the opening lap in seventh.
It only took three laps for Tomac to make his move on Musquin and start his charge to pull away from the pack. Musquin did his best to put up a fight, but the Kawasaki rider quickly put a distance between the two. While Tomac was lengthening his lead out front, Dungey was busy making up as many points as possible, moving into fifth on lap three. He quickly got by Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Josh Grant for fourth, but it took more time to get by Millsaps, making his move for the final podium spot on lap 21.
Tomac would cross the finish line 8.4 seconds ahead of Musquin, who was just two seconds ahead of his teammate Dungey.
“Tonight was an amazing accomplishment,” said Tomac. “My Kawasaki got me off to a great start from an outside gate and I made the move early for the lead. From there, it was all about throttle control on a very slick and hard pack track. I’m looking forward to keeping the ball rolling.”
Prior to the start of Tomac’s win-streak, he faced a 27-point deficit to Dungey. Tomac’s fourth-straight win and seventh victory this season places him only seven points back of the championship lead with five races remaining.
“I think the hardest thing is where we were at in the first lap of the race in the last few races,” said Dungey. “Eli gets out front and takes off and I have nothing for him, but I put in a hard charge for 3rd and that was good. We just have to put ourselves in a better position and work through it together. We have five races left, but we need to turn it up.”
Musqin’s second place finish in Detroit solidifies his third place position in the championship standings, where he sits 47 points behind Dungey.
“Today was a really tough day,” said Musquin. “Honestly, I didn’t really like the track in Detroit. It was so hard and slick, which are not my favorite conditions. It was a good thing I pulled the holeshot, that really saved my race. I was not the fastest today. Tomac pulled away and I was able to keep second place, but it doesn’t feel like a second place tonight. It was a long race, but we still made it happen. Once again, Red Bull KTM has two bikes on the podium, but it’s not the center, so it’s a little frustrating. We’ll keep pushing to make it happen.”
A wild Eastern Regional 250SX Class race saw Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Jordon Smith take his first career victory. The entering points leader, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne, finished 18th and relinquished the championship lead to Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy.
The Eastern Regional 250SX Class Main Event started with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo grabbing the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot, but a pileup behind him collected a number of riders including Osborne. As the opening lap commenced, it was Cianciarulo, Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Dylan Ferrandis, Savatgy, and Smith all together in the hunt for the lead.
The riders were barely around their first lap when Ferrandis got by Cianciarulo, and then on lap two, Savatgy pulled into the lead with Cianciarulo in tow. On lap 3, Cianciarulo went down and Ferrandis and Smith raced by, but the Kawasaki rider was able to remount in fourth. On lap 5 while leading, Savatgy surrendered the lead to Ferrandis after going down.
Ferrandis would chalk up another eight laps in the lead before the duo of Smith and Savatgy over took him for the top two spots, respectively, on lap 13. With championship implications for both riders, Smith and Savatgy duked it out for several more laps with Smith coming out on top to claim his first career victory.
“It was an unbelievable day. I had to go to the LCQ (Last Change Qualifier) and I won that,” said Smith. “[In the main], I got a great start from the outside. I had to make a few passes and the track was really tough, which was causing people to make mistakes. I’m so thankful for so many people. It’s an amazing feeling [to win] and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.”
As Smith took his spot on top of the podium and Savatgy second, Cianciarulo came from several seconds back to secure the final podium position in third after passing Ferrandis with two laps to go.
“It’s definitely been up and down this season so far and I am thankful to still be in the championship hunt,” said Cianciarulo. “I’m really looking forward to getting back on the track and see what we can do before the short break to the end.”
Entering points leader Osborne was able to return to the race after having his mechanic replace a damaged front wheel, but ultimately finished 18th and relinquished the points lead to Savatgy. Osborne is ranked third overall in the championship standings – 10 points back of Savatgy.
“It was a tough night,” said Osborne. “I felt good all day and was felt great on the track. I got a really good jump in my heat race, but just didn’t get around the first turn very well. In the main, I thought I would go a bit wider and then absolutely crushed the start, but then someone came from the outside and we went down. Their footpeg went through my spokes, so I had to do a pit stop. I’m going to regroup and focus on next week’s race in St. Louis.”
Savatgy’s championship lead gives him the red plate leading into St. Louis. He sits nine points ahead of Smith.
“We obviously want to be winning races, but the long term goal is the championship,” said Savatgy. “It’s time to be smart and minimize mistakes that can cost points. I know if I do that, I can be back on top of the podium.”
The action from inside The Dome at America’s Center can be seen via live broadcast coverage on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 5 PT/8ET.
2017 Detroit Supercross Results, 450SX
- Eli Tomac – Cortez, CO – Kawasaki
- Marvin Musquin – Corona, CA – KTM
- Ryan Dungey – Belle Plaine, MN – KTM
- Blake Baggett – Grand Terrace, CA – KTM
- Davi Millsaps – Lake Havasu City, AZ – KTM
- Jason Anderson – Rio Rancho, NM – Husqvarna
- Broc Tickle – Holly, MI – Suzuki
- Josh Grant – Wildomar, CA – Kawasaki
- Dean Wilson – Clermont, FL – Husqvarna
- Cole Seely – Sherman Oaks, CA – Honda
450SX Class Championship Standings
- Ryan Dungey – Belle Plaine, MN – KTM – 254
- Eli Tomac – Cortez, CO – Kawasaki – 247
- Marvin Musquin – Corona, CA – KTM – 207
- Cole Seely – Sherman Oaks, CA – Honda – 196
- Jason Anderson – Rio Rancho, NM – Husqvarna – 170
- Davi Millsaps – Cairo, GA – KTM – 152
- Blake Baggett – Grand Terrace, CA – KTM – 149
- Chad Reed – Dade City, FL – Yamaha – 131
- Broc Tickle – Holly, MI – Suzuki – 130
- Dean Wilson – Clermont, FL – Husqvarna – 127
2017 Detroit Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results
- Jordon Smith – Belmont, NC – KTM
- Joey Savatgy – Thomasville, GA – Kawasaki
- Adam Cianciarulo – Port Orange, FL – Kawasaki
- Dylan Ferrandis – Lake Elsinore, CA – Yamaha
- Kyle Cunningham – Willow Park, TX – Suzuki
- Mitchell Harrison – Brighton, MI – Yamaha
- Christian Craig – Corona, CA – Honda
- Gannon Audette – Tallahassee, FL – Kawasaki
- Anthony Rodriguez – Cairo, GA – Yamaha
- Luke Renzland – Hewitt, NJ – Yamaha
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
- Joey Savatgy – Thomasville, GA – Kawasaki – 124
- Jordon Smith – Belmont, NC – KTM – 115
- Zach Osborne – Abingdon, VA – Husqvarna – 114
- Adam Cianciarulo – Port Orange, FL – Kawasaki – 113
- Dylan Ferrandis – Lake Elsinore, CA – Yamaha – 86
- Christian Craig – Corona, CA – Honda – 65
- Luke Renzland – Hewitt, NJ – Yamaha – 61
- Alex Martin – Millville, MN – KTM – 60
- Anthony Rodriguez – Cairo, GA – Yamaha – 58
- Mitchell Harrison – Brighton, MI – Yamaha – 52