Round 13 of the 2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship took place last night in St. Louis, Missouri. St. Louis has witnessed many spectacular races in the past, and this year didn’t disappoint. The tacky soil conditions provides the perfect mixture of traction and ruts.
For the first time in a while, all main contenders got out to the front right away: Ryan Dungey, Eli Tomac, Marvin Musquin, and Jason Anderson rounded the first lap in the top 4. A great battle for the lead was set-up, but Tomac quickly passed Dungey and opened up a small gap. At first, Musquin was pressuring Dungey for 2nd as well, but then Dungey put some distance between them.
For the first half of the race, the top 4 were pretty spread out, but then Dungey made a late race push and caught back up to Tomac! The fans were holding their breathes; at last, a Dungey vs. Tomac battle to the end! Unfortunately, this battle never amounted. Lappers were a struggle all night, but when Dungey came up to lap Reed, an angry Reed held off Dungey for 3 full laps. By the time Dungey got around, Tomac had pulled back away, and the race was over. Dungey was visibly upset with Reed after the race, but declined to comment about it in his podium interview. Reed was presumably angry from a comment Dungey said after their heat race about Reed riding dangerously by cutting across the track in front of them. Regardless, the damage is done, and Tomac gained another 3 points. The points deficit is now only 4!
In the 250 class, Joey Savatgy once again was the fastest and had a comfortable lead, but once again threw it away allowing Jordon Smith to pass him. In a deja vu manner, Smith held off charges from Savatgy for the last half of the race, and took home his second win. Two weeks in a row now for Smith, and he is now only 6 points behind Savatgy.
Zach Osborne was apparently suffering from the flu, and even had to sit out the second practice session today. However, his speed was still there, and after getting a mediocre start, he worked his way up to 3rd. For a moment, Osborne was right on the lead battle as well, but apparently his sickness struck late in the race and he lost a bit of time to the top two riders.
Here are the official results:
My Opinion: Wow, another good race! Especially in the 250 class, I can’t believe that we’ve had two basically identical, but yet amazing, races in a row.
Jordon Smith is strange… not personality-wise, but in terms of speed and results. He never seems that fast in practice. His riding is very smooth, never seems to be pushing too hard, and in turn gets mostly mediocre lap times; not bad lap times, but not super impressive either. Similarly, in his heat races he gets good starts, but never has winning pace. However, he ALWAYS turns it around in the main event! Starting immediately at the opening round in Minneapolis, he got off to a good start and put down some solid laps. His consistency is outstanding, and for that reason, he now finds himself in this championship battle. I never expected that, but good for him… I’m genuinely impressed with him this year!
Joey Savatgy didn’t seem too disappointed on the podium. After throwing it away two weekends in a row, I thought he would have been furious with himself on the podium (especially considering that he never seems happy on the podium even when his riding is perfect). However, I think he was somewhat happy with his night in that he beat Osborne. Yes, his overall points lead shrunk, but I think that he thinks Osborne is his only real competitor for this title. Truthfully, I have to agree with him. Smith is consistent, but doesn’t seem to have the raw speed to beat either Osborne or Savatgy. Regardless, Smith has won two weekends in a row now, so maybe Savatgy should be a bit more alarmed… only time will tell.
I think St. Louis was a must win for Osborne if he wants to win this championship. A 3rd is alright, but now he’s 12 points off of the lead with only 2 rounds left. Anything can happen still, but Osborne is going to need luck on his side if he wants this championship.
Adam Cianciarulo had a rough day. After a practice crash, he just never seemed to find his flow on this track. He stated that his knee is almost 100% now, but that definitely didn’t show results-wise. He was WAY off the pace in St. Louis, getting passed by Osborne, Ferrandis, and Craig. Disappointing ride for him, and now I’m thinking that there is NO WAY that he wins this championship.
So much to say about the 250 class, but let’s shift this over to the 450s now. The Dungey vs. Tomac battle was set! It was FINALLY going to happen! Tomac did his first half sprint to pull away, but Dungey held his own, and started reeling him back in in the latter half of the race! Dungey was catching Tomac!! The momentum was shifting back to Dungey, both with respect to that race and the championship. It could have been a turning point for the championship battle, but instead…. Chad Reed messed it all up! In some way or another, I guess Reed wanted to be involved in this championship, even just as a lapper. I can’t begin to express how frustrated I am with Reed. I know he must not have liked Dungey’s comment earlier, but come on Reed… show some respect at least. Reed expressing his frustration as a lapper is 100% immature. If that had happened to Reed when Reed was battling for a championship, he never would have shut up about it. I could go on and on about this, but to sum it up: folks, I lost a lot of respect for Chad Reed last night. This saddens me.
— Moto Now (@MotoNowBlog) April 2, 2017
Well, only 4 points now separate Tomac and Dungey. Seattle may very well be a mudder… how is that gonna change the championship battle? 4 points, 4 rounds left… this is getting exciting!
Cover photo from Racer X Online