West coast racing resumes for Seattle


4/5/2018

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Jason Anderson left Indy last weekend with seven points less of a gap over Marvin Musquin than when he arrived. That said, he's still a remarkable 35 points ahead going into Seattle this weekend, as the 2018 AMA Supercross Championship makes it's return to the west coast. Anderson's Indy ride was that of a future champion minimizing the damage of a poor start and crash, as he came from way back in the pack to end up a remarkable fourth-place. As the great Ricky Carmichael was often quote as stating, "You can't win a championship in one weekend but you sure can lose one." Anderson minimized the damage and is looking solid as ever for his first AMA Supercross title. 

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Speaking of looking solid, Justin Brayton is breathing fire lately as he continues to be one of the top riders in the premier 450SX class. Winning another heat race in Indy, which followed his huge main event win at Daytona the week prior, Brayton has kicked his game up a notch in the second half of the season. Ending up on the podium in third-place at Indy, Justin now finds himself third in points - just ten points behind Musquin. It will be fun to see how JB10 stack up in what's expected to be quite a muddy and rutted affair in Seattle.

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Marvin Musquin is finally back up to full speed, and what that means for the competition (save Tomac) is that they'd better not let him get out front - if he does, things could end up like they did in Indianapolis - a 25 second gap to the runner-up. There was the beginnings of a great race in Indy between Marvin and Eli Tomac, but Tomac hit the dirt a few laps in and wasn't able to get going in time to stay up with the blazing fast Frenchman. Musquin will be looking to win his way out of this season, if for no other reason to be in place to capitalize on any misfortune by Anderson while also padding his bank account. 

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Eli Tomac is another rider who many expect to win out the rest of the season, although he's becoming known as a win or crash type of rider in the meantime. A hard get-off in Indianapolis forced him way back in the pack and out of contention for the podium while Musquin banged off perfect laps way out front for the win. With Seattle expected to be a muddy, rutty mess, Tomac should be strong. The defending 450cc outdoor motocross champion is a strong performer in those conditions.

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The star of the night in Indianapolis certainly was Jeremy Martin, though. With a typically tough supercross season already nearly over, Martin wasn't expected to be the cream of the crop at the East/West Showdown. But he sure was, and in doing so he made a statement to all of his east coast competitors to not count him out of the points chase just yet. Taking some of the wind out of his sails in that regard, though, was a 7-point penalty assessed after Martin jumped (wheels off the ground) under a red cross flag situation. While he retained the win in the record books, he earned only 19 points as opposed to typical 26, which no doubt will impact his run for the east regional title.

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West points leader Aaron Plessinger had a somewhat forgettable night in Indy, although he was able to keep his points lead as the other West riders also failed to perform well in the Showdown. Plessinger was only able to muster a fifth-place finish, but still outperformed his nearest points competitor Joey Savatgy. Savatgy could only get back up to 10th-place after a crash. Ohio native Plessinger has a lot of experience racing in mud, as he had a fairly successful GNCC XC2 career prior to making the transition to motocross full time. To say he's a heavy favorite for the conditions expected in Seattle would be an understatement, and he's likely to extend his 9-point lead over Savatgy.

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Luke Renzland had a break-out performance in Indianapolis, surprising absolutely everyone (himself included) when he ended up on the podium in third-place. It wasn't an easy race either, as he out-rode and out-lasted the best from both coasts for his best-ever Supercross finish. Renzland is probably wishing that the east rounds were continuing, but he'll have to wait for Foxborough in a few weeks to prove to everyone that this great finish was no fluke.

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Seattle is always a bit of an odd-ball round, and this year should be no different. The dirt is very different there, with a consistency that's closer to pumice in some spots than a moldable clay like most other locales. Adding to the complexity of keeping the racing surface "race-able" is the fact that the stadium is completely open to the elements, and it often rains in Seattle. This year is no different as the week leading up to the event has been very wet and the prediction is for that to continue straight through to Sunday. In other words - this is probably going to be a mudder. If you prefer to stay at home and catch the action for Round 13, be sure to check out Facebook page (AMA Supercross Championship) for photos throughout the event, and our Instagram feed (@amasupercross) as well. Also, check out the TV schedule right here: https://www.supercrosslive.com/tv


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