We're headed a mile high for Round 15.


4/10/2019

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Last weekend's inaugural Nashville Monster Energy AMA Supercross event was, by all accounts, a huge success. The weather was perfect, the city was welcoming and the racing was fantastic yet again. Dry to the point of dusty in practice, the Dirt Wurx track crew turned things around for the night show, producing a perfect racing surface that proved challenging and technical for the riders throughout the program. Things will most likely be different this weekend when the championship heads to yet another first-time venue - Broncos Stadium at Mile High in Denver. The weather is a little less certain for Denver.

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Colorado's Eli Tomac came to Nashville with a renewed vigor for racing and dominated the main event in convincing fashion. Coming from the middle of the pack, Tomac made short work of the top riders in the sport - all the while with smoke coming from his engine - to run away with an uncontested win. Going into his home state for the next round seems like it will work in his favor, though Tomac's performances have been anything but predictable this season.

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These two guys, teammates Cooper Webb and Marvin Musquin, continued their rivalry in Nashville, finding each other on the track throughout the evening. After an interesting evening, Webb managed to come out on top yet again, putting four more points between them heading into the final leg of the season. Webb had lady luck on his side all night, while Musquin had just the opposite with several crashes marring his results.

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Marvin Musquin must be shaking his head after Nashville. He was fast all day but mistakes added up with crashes in the heat and main which resulted in a sixth place finish for the night. This did not help his title hopes and now, along with Tomac, he finds himself 21 points down from Webb with three rounds remaining. Denver will be a wildcard race though, with sketchy weather and track conditions seemingly quite likely, anything could happen. The forecast low will be cold enough to freeze the racing surface, trapping in moisture and almost guaranteeing a free-for-all where anyone could win, and just as likely, DNF due to a mechanical. This weekend will surely be a test for man and machine and may be just what the two riders tied for second in points need to make up the points gap.

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Blake Baggett bounced back yet again from a bad weekend prior to a great one in Nashville. While he isn't in the points chase at all, he's certainly fast enough to get in between Webb and Tomac/Musquin to add to a points gap. Coupled with Wilson, Roczen and maybe even Zach Osborne, these riders can make a huge difference in the series final standings. If all three can get in between the points leader and his rivals tied for second, well, we have ourselves a battle for the championship. In other words, it ain't over yet, folks! Denver is going to be huge.

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Certainly the 'heir apparent' for a 450 main event win, Roczen was on it all day in Nashville. Seemingly 100 percent recovered from his previous ailment, his speed is there and so is his conditioning. He just needs a sliver of luck to get him up front. Roczen getting the 26 points for a win would prevent Webb from pulling further away, proving every rider on the track will have a huge impact on this title chase.

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Missing from this 250 East main event start photo is the points leader Austin Forkner. The young phenom crashed hard in qualifying, leaving him with a bum knee and a DNF for the heats and main. Coming in to Nashville with a 26 point lead was a huge plus for him, and despite not even lining up for the main he maintains a 3 point lead going into a two weekend break for the east region riders. With the 250West returning for Denver and the following Saturday off for Easter break, the East will return for the penultimate New Jersey round, which may give Forkner time to recover enough to make a decent run at keeping his title hopes alive.

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Thanks at least in part to a collision between the two title hopefuls Justin Cooper and Chase Sexton, it was Martin Davalos who ran away with the 250 East main event win in Nashville. Davalos has been slow to build to his usual speed this season so is not a threat in the title chase, but his speed and race craft (aka experience) will potentially be a huge help in his teammate Forkner's run for the title. It will be fun to see how this plays out in New Jersey in a few weeks. 

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It's been 23 years since AMA Supercross has been to Denver, when in 1996 Jeremy McGrath once again established his dominance over the sport. This year we'll see the return of the 250 West regional riders on a track that will be at the mercy of the mile-high weather system that just pumped a load of snow into the area. The bigger story may be the sub-freezing temperatures at night, which will lock up the moisture in the soil preventing it from evaporating and drying out before Saturday rolls around. At the very least, it promises to be a bit greasy and certainly a cold night of racing, with temps expected to max out in the mid-40's and again go sub-freezing later on. This is going to be an interesting event, so be sure to check it out live on NBC SN and follow live timing and scoring right here on AMASupercross.com!


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