What Really Happened: Detroit Supercross

James Stewart and Adam Cianciarulo were on top of their game in Detroit, taking big wins at round 11 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series.

James Stewart claimed his third win of the season and tied Ricky Carmichael for second on the all time Supercross wins category at 48 wins. Photo By Shan Moore

James Stewart kept it on two wheels for the full 20 laps this weekend in Detroit’s Ford Field and came home with his third win of the season, tying Ricky Carmichael for second on the all-time supercross wins list at 48 victories. The Yoshimura Suzuki rider passed Team Muscle Milk Honda fill-in rider Cole Seely on the first lap of the main event and then put a comfortable gap on series point leader Ryan Villopoto to take the win.

“It’s good to get the win after the last few weeks,” said Stewart. “I just concentrated on staying upright and I was able to pull a good gap on Ryan.”

Naturally, after crashing on the first lap of the main a couple of times this year, Stewie was extra careful this time around.

“I got a great jump and then I think I checked up too much going into the first corner,” said Stewart. “Guys were going down and after you hit the deck on the first lap for the last three weeks, my guys were telling me to stay upright on the first lap and I might be alright. I did that and it worked out for us.”

In addition to tying RC for second on the wins list, Stewart also moved up to third in the series standings, one point ahead of Ken Roczen, but still 49 points out of the lead.

“A win always helps the motivation and we’ve got six weeks left and I’ll see if I can get second in the points and break this tie with Ricky and then we’ll get ready for outdoors,” said Stewart.

Cole Seely turned in another great ride, but went down late in the race when he came together with Andrew Short. Photo By Shan Moore

Team Muscle Milk Honda fill-in rider Cole Seely had another impressive weekend. Seely grabbed the holeshot and led the opening lap before giving way to Stewart. Seely settled into fourth midway into the race, but went down when Andrew Short came in on the Honda rider in a turn, a move that Seely didn’t like.

“I worked a lot on starts this week, and just focused really hard and got the holeshot, and was able to lead a couple of laps,” said Seely. “After Stewart got around me I started making little mistakes here and there and then Villopoto got around me, and then Dungey. Unfortunately, I got taken out, it was a really dirty move by Andrew Short, he took my front wheel out from under me.”

Seely wound up 15th at the end of the race.

Ryan Dungey turned in another solid ride for third. Photo By Shan Moore

Keeping with a yearlong theme, the Detroit track was super slick, perhaps the worst the riders have seen all year. Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey managed to work his way into third behind Villopoto after exiting the first turn outside the top five, however, he said afterwards that there’s only so much you can do on a track like the one in Detroit except wait for the rider in front of you to make a mistake, and Villopoto didn’t make very many.

“You gotta be aggressive, but on a track like this, the harder you ride it the slower you go; it’s such a fine line,” said Dungey. “Once I was able to latch onto Villopoto we fell into a groove. There weren’t many options as far as lines, and I tried to switch it up before the whoops and it worked out about even. Villopoto lost the rear after the finish line and I ended up not being close enough to capitalize. That was the only mistake I saw him make and that makes it hard to pass someone.”

The Detroit course featured a few interesting sections, including this “peristyle” section. Photo By Shan Moore

The Detroit course featured a few interesting sections, including this “peristyle” section, which took the riders up into the standings then back down after a tight and tricky turn at the top, a nod to some of the old Pontiac races. Here, Justin Barcia leads Ryan Villopoto and Cole Seely in their heat race. The tricky part was that the downhill part fed the riders straight into a rhythm section, which put them into it at a pretty high speed.

Some riders didn’t like the “ramp”, but Justin Bogle was a fan of it.

"That ramp was cool; cool for the history of it, old school like at Pontiac," Bogle said. "But it was also difficult because of the rhythms down at the bottom. It became very technical."

Andrew Short had his best finish of the season in fourth. Photo By Shan Moore

Yes, Andrew Short was aggressive, but according to the BTO Sports KTM rider, that was the only way you could make passes on the one-lined Detroit track. Short was pumped with the finish and excited about his finishes the last few weeks.

“I went sixth at Indy, fifth at Daytona, and fourth tonight, so I’m pumped,” said Short. “I had to make some aggressive passes out there, but that was the only way I was going to get by those guys on this track. Barcia passed me gnarly but I raced him the same way and stuffed him back and stayed in front of him.”

Adam Cianciarulo claimed his third win of the season and extended his lead in the 250 SX East class to 17 points. Photo By Shan Moore

Adam Cianciarulo took advantage of a crash by Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki teammate Martin Davalos to take the lead of the 250 SX East Regional main event. Once in the lead, Cianciarulo spent the rest of the race holding off a hard-charging Justin Bogle for the win.

“I was sticking pretty close to Martin, and I just tried to put as much pressure on him right away and, he ended up going down and he almost took me with him, but I snuck around the outside,” said Cianciarulo. “After I got the lead, Justin Bogle started breathing down my neck for 15 laps and it was a very difficult race, both physically and mentally. We were pushing the pace the whole race and I think that’s where my fitness paid off and I think that won the race for me.”

Justin Bogle claimed his best finish yet with a second. Photo By Shan Moore

After spending the off-season recovering from an injury, Justin Bogle has been working his way to the top all year, and the GEICO Honda rider grabbed a career-best second in Detroit behind Cianciarulo.

“I finally put myself in good position after the start and I just paced off Adam and tried to make something happen,” said Bogle. “I was waiting on a mistake from him but nothing happened.”

Detroit Notes

• Kyle Cunningham turned in his best performance of the year with a fourth in the 250 main on a MotoConcepts/SmartTop-backed Honda. “We showed up with a shock I’ve never ridden and it worked great,” said Cunningham. “I got a decent started and ran near the front, but I tightened up after Baggett got around me, but I’m happy with the result.”

• Ken Roczen got a rock stuck in the rear brake rotor of the Red Bull KTM in the main event and lost a full lap before he could get going. Kenny finished the night in 20th.

• Once again, Dean Wilson was fastest in qualifying on the Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports Kawi, and he was sitting third during the early going in the 450 main, however, just like at Daytona, Deano started dropping back at about the 12-lap mark and ended the race in 12th overall.

• Blake Baggett got stuck in the back after the start of the 250 main and rode an incredible race to move into third by the finish. “I just got a bad start and I was buried, so I just went to work, it’s the story of Blake Baggett’s life,” said Baggett. “I just tried to pick ‘em off one by one, it was kind of like follow the leader out there, I just had to wait for guys to make a mistake and then try to capitalize on it.”

Results

450 SX

1. James Stewart (Suz)

2. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)

3. Ryan Dungey (KTM)

4. Andrew Short (KTM)

5. Justin Barcia (Hon)

6. Broc Tickle (Suz)

7. Weston Peick (Suz)

8. Josh Hill (Suz)

9. Justin Brayton (Yam)

10. Josh Grant (Yam)

250 SX

1. Adam Cianciarulo (Kaw)

2. Justin Bogle (Hon)

3. Blake Baggett (Kaw)

4. Kyle Cunningham (Hon)

5. Matthew Lemoine (Kaw)

6. Martin Davalos (Kaw)

7. Vince Friese (Hon)

8. Jeremy Martin (Yam)

9. Alex Martin (Yam)

10. James Decostis (Hon)