The incredible new home of the Minnesota Vikings - U.S. Bank
Stadium in downtown Minneapolis - provided a breath-taking, first-time venue
for AMA Supercross and its return to the Twin Cities. The crowd was huge as
expected (50K +) and the racing was truly spectacular.
450SX Main Event winner Eli Tomac gave a thumbs-up after
dominating the 20 minutes + 1 lap race. He finished ahead of both Marvin
Musquin and hometown hero Ryan Dungey. This was Tomac's third win this season
and with Dungey falling back to third at the finish, Tomac closed up the points
gap by five. He is, however, still a full 24 points down from Ryan Dungey in
the championship standings and 18 points behind Minneapolis runner-up Musquin.
Atlanta's dirt and the technical layout of the track should
play in Tomac's favor, as he's known to excel in tough conditions, so a fourth
win is certainly a possibility.
It's very rare that Ryan Dungey gets passed and left behind
in a 450SX Main Event, particularly by his teammate. The rumors are flying as
fans wonder whether there's "something wrong" with the defending
Dungey has uncharacteristically been giving up points the
past several rounds now. If there is something bothering him, it certainly
isn't apparent from the outside. He's still fast, consistent and battling up
front. He is, after all, still 16 points ahead of his teammate and a defending
Marvin Musquin - the Frenchman and 2x 250MX GP World Champ -
has been absolutely on fire lately, finally winning his first 450SX main event
two weeks ago in Arlington. He impressed fans when he ran down, passed, and
left behind his teammate Dungey, which has never happened before.
Musquin's getting a bit of a swagger in his step and it
seems now like he's aiming for Tomac. This weekend in Atlanta is going to be a
chance for the former 250SX champ to make a statement: that he's in it to win
it for the long haul.
Another rider who really seemed to be improving the last few
rounds is premier class rookie Cooper Webb. But after he ended the night in
Minneapolis with a DNS from a crash in his heat, Webb wasn't able to join back
in for the Semi or LCQ and so earned zero points. On a positive note, he didn't
receive any significant long-term injuries and will miss only this weekend in
Atlanta and plans to line up in Toronto the following week.
It was finally time to welcome Justin Barcia into the mix in
Minneapolis. He seemed to get back up to a solid pace rather quickly in first
race of the year on the new JGR Suzuki 450. But after qualifying second out of
the semi-final, his main event didn't go quite as well as he finished in 17th place.
Atlanta is a home race of sorts for the JGR team since
they're located just a few hours away in North Carolin. Barcia is also based
out of Florida, so this race seemed to be a tough hit for the team. But Barcia
is a previous 250SX Class champions, so don't be surprised when you see rapid
improvement from the #51.
Joey Savatgy opened up the 250SX East Coast Championship in
dominating fashion in Minneapolis, winning his heat and taking the main event
win. It was a hard-fought Main Event win too, as he went back and forth for
several laps with Jordon Smith before finally running away.
We've seen this before from Savatgy. He starts out very
strong but then fades a bit towards the end of the season. But this year may
prove to be different as his training regine appears to have more variety. It
will be interesting to watch him in Atlanta to see if he can keep it rolling up
front with solid field of competitors breathing down his neck.
Jordon Smith surprised the field as he ran up front in the
250SX Main Event. He nailed the holeshot brilliantly and was fast enough to
stay in first before eventually being run down at about the halfway point. This
certainly will help his confidence heading into Atlanta and being another
Floridian, he's sure to have a big cheering section for him.
Zach Osborne is the veteran in this group of young guns
racing the East Coast Championship. He's also regularly one of the fastest of
the bunch too, but in that past has struggled putting together consistent
finishes. This year may be different, as he showed the patience of a true
veteran as he moved through the pack in Minneapolis to end up 3rd in the Main
Fastest in both timed qualifying sessions earlier in the
day, Zacho has all of the pieces of the puzzle this year, including health and
a newfound level of fitness. Atlanta may be his chance to stamp a win in the
250SX East Coast Championship.
After hosting many rounds of AMA Supercross over the past
few decades, this will be the last Supercross held within The Georgia Dome in
downtown Atlanta. Nearing time for demolition to make room for a new venue, the
hallowed hallways and bright red clay will be missed. The stadium seats have
seen dozens of heroic supercross wins, as well as multiple crushing defeats.
Hopefully the stadium has one last great race to give us before it's time to
To catch all of the action for Round 8 from Atlanta, stay
tuned right here at AMASupercross.com for live timing and scoring.
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