2017 E. Rutherford Supercross Results and Coverage |
Disaster For Tomac
It was an unpredictable afternoon and evening at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, with Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac crashing while leading early and Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey making an extremely easy pass on teammate Marvin Musquin on the final lap for the win in the 16th Round of the 2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship Series.
This was Tomac’s first race as the sole owner of the red plate, and it did not go as intended. In the daylight, Tomac struggled to take fourth place in Heat 1 from Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely, who was returning from injury.
The MetLife track was certainly a challenging ride. Long ruts and inconsistent soil made it difficult for many riders to settle into any kind of rhythm. One could argue that it was a track made for Austrian bikes, as the top five qualifiers for the Main Event and the top five finishers in the Main were all on bikes from Austria (four KTMs and a Husqvarna in both cases). Dungey and Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson won their Heats.
Anderson made the most of his first gate pick by grabbing the Main Event Holeshot, and holding the lead through the first lap. However, he overjumped a triple and lost the back end going into a right-hander. Although Anderson was able to use electric start on his Husqvarna FC 450 to quickly remount, he fell back to eighth by the end of Lap 2.
Anderson’s fall gave Tomac the lead, as he came out on top after a brief battle with Dungey and Musquin, while Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM’s Davi Millsaps stood firm in second place in the eye of the hurricane around him.
Tomac’s lead was short-lived, giving it up when he got on the gas early in a left-hand bowl turn, losing the front end and going down on Lap 3. Struggling to get the Kawasaki KX450F running again, Tomac found himself mired in 15th place after three laps. By then, Dungey had taken the lead with Musquin trailing him by about a second for the next seven laps.
On Lap 11, Musquin made an easy clean pass on Dungey, built up a reliable two-second cushion, and held his lead until the final lap. Meanwhile, Tomac was having trouble working through the pack, just one week after he went from 20th to a comfortable win at Salt Lake City.
In the first four laps after his fall, Tomac made up only two positions, passing Suzuki-mounted privateer Nick Schmidt and Autotrader/JGR/Suzuki’s Jake Weimer. Weimer was a particularly easy pass, and he may have thought he was being lapped by Tomac.
By Lap 13, Tomac made his way up to just 11th place, with teammate Josh Grant ahead of him. Tomac slowly attempted to reel in Grant, but was never able to show him a wheel. On Lap 16, Tomac dragged a peg on the side of a rut and cased a double, stalling the bike in the process. This allowed Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha’s Chad Reed and Autotrader/JGR/Suzuki’s Justin Barcia by, putting Tomac in 12th with time slipping away.
While Dungey was comfortably behind Musquin, Tomac mounted a bit of a charge in an attempt to salvage his worst ride since a 15th at Arlington (Round 6).
Reed was repassed on Lap 17 and Seely, who had been running in sixth place, slowed due to pain from reinjuring himself in the early laps. Seely eventually pulled off. A lap later Tomac went by Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Dean Wilson, and Barcia was repassed on Lap 20. This put Tomac in eighth place, again behind teammate Grant, where Tomac finished.
Although Dungey was keeping Musquin honest up front, he was never challenging for the win. On the final lap, Musquin slowed a bit and botched a corner as a lapper and a yellow flag provided distraction. In what will be endlessly debated, Dungey easily went by and Musquin did not challenge Dungey for the rest of the lap.
On the podium, Musquin did not seem particularly upset after losing the race just a few corners from the finish after leading comfortably for over a dozen laps. His lackadaisical attitude will certainly fuel the fire that team orders were in effect. At the same time, Grant stayed ahead of teammate Tomac for the second half of the race.
Anderson, who had gone down early, clawed his way back to a podium spot when he passed Millsaps with five laps remaining. “I had a pretty good day,” Anderson said. “Practice was so-so, but I came around in the night show and I was able to get that Heat race win. I felt like I was really bringing it in the Main, and then just had a little bit of a mistake.”
In a post-race interview, Tomac was very subdued. “That was a bummer,” he understated. “The only thing to look forward to is there’s one race left. The scenarios can flip and the same thing could happen to Ryan. That’s all I can hope for. Nine points will be hard to cover and catch up on, but I’ll give it my all and look to win. That’s all I can do.”
Dungey, expectedly, was much more upbeat. “That’s what we needed. Eli was riding well early, but he made a mistake and went down,” Dungey said. “Marvin was riding well, too, and got by us, but I stuck behind him. The track was really falling apart as the race went on and got difficult, but I was able to follow Marvin, watch his lines, and take advantage late. We got some valuable points, but it’s not over yet. There’s still one more race.”
Dungey’s nine-point lead means that he can clinch the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Championship with a fourth-place or better at the final race next week at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. If Dungey finishes in fifth and Tomac wins, the two riders will be tied on points with Tomac winning the tiebreaker with 10 wins to Dungey’s three victories. Between Arlington and New Jersey, Tomac nailed down seven wins and a pair of seconds in nine races in his march toward the Championship.
Musquin has clinched third place in the Supercross Championship standings, with Anderson locked into fourth. The battle for fifth is tight, with Seely four points ahead of Millsaps, who sits two points in front of teammate Blake Baggett—Baggett finished fifth in New Jersey, his best finish in five races. Wilson and Reed are locked into a battle for eighth in the standings, with Wilson just two points clear of Reed.
2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Results — Round 16, E. Rutherford, NJ
- Ryan Dungey, KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition
- Marvin Musquin, KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition
- Jason Anderson, Husqvarna FC 450
- Davi Millsaps, KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition
- Blake Baggett, KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition
- Justin Brayton, Honda CRF450R
- Josh Grant, Kawasaki KX450F
- Eli Tomac, Kawasaki KX450F
- Justin Barcia, Suzuki RM-Z450
- Dean Wilson, Husqvarna FC 450
- Jake Weimer, Suzuki RM-Z450
- Chad Reed, Yamaha YZ450F
- Malcolm Stewart, Suzuki RM-Z450
- Cooper Webb, Yamaha YZ450F
- Nick Schmidt, Suzuki RM-Z450
- Cade Clason, Honda CRF450R
- J. Catanzaro, Kawasaki KX450F
- Dakota Tedder, Kawasaki KX450F
- Angelo Pellegrini, Suzuki RM-Z450
- Ronnie Stewart, Suzuki RM-Z450
- Cole Seely, Honda CRF450R
- Bryce Stewart, Honda CRF450R
2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship Series Standings (after 16 of 17 rounds)
- Ryan Dungey, 341 points (3 wins)
- Eli Tomac, 332 (9 wins)
- Marvin Musquin, 292 (2 wins)
- Jason Anderson, 248
- Cole Seely, 212
- Davi Millsaps, 208
- Blake Baggett, 206
- Dean Wilson, 169
- Chad Reed, 167
- Broc Tickle, 167
- Josh Grant, 155
- Justin Brayton, 135
- Cooper Webb, 118
- Jake Weimer, 106
- Malcolm Stewart, 94
- Justin Barcia, 82
- Vince Friese, 78
- Justin Bogle, 75
- Mike Alessi, 59
- Ken Roczen, 51 (2 wins)