What Really Happened: Seattle Supercross

The weather was nice and the track was in relatively good condition for Seattle, and Ryan Villopoto moved a step closer to a fourth-straight supercross title with a convincing win at round 15 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series in Seattle. Meanwhile, Cole Seely kept his 250-class title hopes alive with a big victory in the 250 SX West Regional Main. Here’s the scoop:

Ryan Villopoto came up just short in his bid to wrap up a fourth SX title, but still took a convincing win in front of a hometown crowd. Photo By Shan Moore

For the second race in a row, Ryan Villopoto had to come through the semi to qualify for the main event. And for the second race in a row, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider grabbed the holeshot from a less than desirable gate pick. In the end, RV1 did what he needed to do to clinch the title by taking his fifth win of the season, however, James Stewart and Ryan Dungey didn’t cooperate, so now the championship will go down to the next-to-last race in New York were Villopoto has a chance to tie Jeremy McGrath’s record of four supercross titles.

“I couldn’t ask for anything more tonight,” said Villopoto. “Points-wise, we could have wrapped it up, but I’m not going to gripe or be bummed about it. James rides these conditions well and for me to have a race like this felt good. And to get a win before the break felt good too, then going to New York and having a chance to wrap it up is what we’ll be thinking about.”

James Stewart pushed RV early on in the main, but a couple of bobbles and a scary incident where he came up short over the quad forced the Yoshimura Suzuki rider to back off. Photo By Shan Moore

James Stewart was not happy with his race in the Seattle main event, and even called it his “worst race of the year.” Still, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider extended the title chase for another race with a second place finish.

In the main, Stewart pushed Villopoto early on, but a scary moment on the quad jump where he came up short gave Stewart reason to re-access his game plan.

“All day I struggled,” said James. “The track was pretty easy and a little tough with all the ruts. There really wasn’t anything to separate us; even that quad wasn’t any faster. We just never really got the bike setup all night. In the main event I was trying to push and I would make a little time and then I’d almost crash in the whoops or just make a mistake.”

Ryan Dungey turned in his usual consistent ride to finish third. Photo By Shan Moore

Once again, Ryan Dungey was Ryan Dungey. The Red Bull KTM rider got off to a second-place start but didn’t seem to take too many chances and by virtue of pure consistency landed on the podium for the ninth time this year after getting passed by Stewart on lap four.

“I was right behind Villopoto and he started inching away,” Dungey said about the main event. “And then Stewart got around me and he started inching away too. I’m happy with the night, but it’s give and take, sometimes you have a rougher time at certain tracks than others. We tried a lot of stuff today, which isn’t ideal, but we had to look around for a good setup, and with being out of the championship chase, we have to keep looking for stuff for next year, too. As a rider, I have to show up too, though, so it was just one of those nights.”

Eli Tomac had what he called his best race of the year to finish fourth. Photo By Shan Moore

It’s been an up and down year for GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac, due to injuries. Midway into the main, Tomac settled in right on Dungey’s rear but wasn’t quit able to get close enough to make a move.

“Dungey was in third the whole time, and we were kind of yo-yoing each other back and forth, but I could never really catch him,” said Tomac. “He rode a strong 20 laps and never made a mistake, so I could never quite get to that third place.”

Team Muscle Milk Honda riders Justin Barcia (51) and Trey Canard battled all night over fifth, with Barcia finally getting the spot. Andrew Short (29) finished eighth. Photo By Shan Moore

Justin Barcia’s string of three-straight podiums ended in Seattle with a fifth place finish. The Team Muscle Milk Honda rider passed Andrew Short early in the race and then spent most of the rest of the main holding off his teammate Trey Canard.

Cole Seely kept his title hopes alive with a main event win in the 250 class. Photo By Shan Moore

Cole Seely passed Dean Wilson on the first lap of the main event, and then rode an impressive race to take the win while a lot of crazy action took place behind him.

With the win, Seely gained three points on 250 SX West Regional points leader Jason Anderson, but still sits eight points down in the title chase with just one race remaining on the West schedule.

“I’m just trying to stay alive in the points hunt,” said Seely. “I’ve been solid and Jason has been solid. I got off to good start then Dean Wilson made a mistake and I capitalized. We were able to put together 15 solid laps. This is where I need to be, so I’m pumped. I’m not thinking about the points. Whatever happens happens. It’s been a fun year.”

Jason Anderson had a crazy race, going off the track on one lap and then crashing on another, but the Rockstar Racing Suzuki rider still finished second. Photo By Shan Moore

Jason Anderson ran off the track once, another time he crashed, and he also went head to head with Monster Energy Pro Circuit’s Justin Hill before finally settling in for a well-deserved but wild runner-up finish. The Rockstar Energy Racing-backed KTM rider just needs to have a steady race in Las Vegas to wrap up his first Supercross title.

Seattle Notes:

Dean Wilson struggled with the Seattle track, crashing in his heat race and then crashing again in the main event.

Most of the riders agreed that this year’s Seattle course was the best ever, including Eli Tomac. “This was the hardest base I’ve seen at Seattle,” said Tomac. “I don’t know what they did with the dirt, if they stored it or what, but it wasn’t the normal Seattle because the normal Seattle would be crazy rutted and sketchy.”

Results

450 Class

1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)

2. James Stewart (Suz)

3. Ryan Dungey (KTM)

4. Eli Tomac (Hon)

5. Justin Barcia (Hon)

6. Trey Canard (Hon)

7. Ken Roczen (KTM)

8. Andrew Short (KTM)

9. Josh Hill (Suz)

10. Mike Alessi (Suz)

Western Regional 250SX Class

1. Cole Seely (Hon)

2. Jason Anderson (KTM)

3. Justin Hill (Kaw)

4. Dean Wilson (Kaw)

5. Jessy Nelson (Hon)

6. Zach Osborne (Hon)

7. Cooper Webb (Yam)

8. Jake Canada (Hon)

9. Malcolm Stewart (Hon)

10. Shane McElrath (Hon)