Indianapolis Supercross Race Report 2016

What really happened at the Indy Supercross

Ryan Dungey, Indianapolis SX 2016
Dungey claimed his seventh victory of the season in Indy.Photos By Rich Shepherd

It’s probably safe to say the “diesel” moniker no longer applies to Ryan Dungey. The Red Bull KTM rider, who the last few years has been known for winning titles by playing it safe to a certain extent, is “letting it all hang out” (to use an outdated phrase) while running away with the 2016 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series.

Dungey amassed the equivalent of a full race point lead by the halfway mark of the series, and yet, the Minnesota-native is riding more aggressive then ever before. His latest win in Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Dome proved he was willing to lay it all on the line while battling RCH/Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns Suzuki’s Ken Roczen, who basically has little to lose when it comes to this year’s championship.

With Dungey’s current domination of the series – and his nearly insurmountable points lead – it’s probably a good bet that everyone but the KTM rider is now in full outdoor mode! Heck, Dungey may be in outdoor mode right now, too!

After the Indy race, Dungey left town with his seventh victory of the season and his 29th career victory in the 450SX Class, where he now sits 5th place in the all-time record book.

Ryan Dungey, Ken Roczen, Indianapolis SX 2016
Ken Roczen (94) and Ryan Dungey squared off in one of the best battles of the year.Photos By Rich Shepherd

Dungey and Roczen had one of the best battles of the year in Saturday night’s main event, with Roczen dogging Dungey every step of the way until the KTM rider made a mistake on lap 16, allowing the Suzuki rider to take the lead. However, Dungey capitalized on a Roczen mistake at the end of the lap to retake the lead when Roczen almost threw it way on the Dragon’s Back, forcing the former MX2 World Champ to not jump the finish line jump. Dungey held on to take the win by 1.7 seconds over his German rival.

“This was a challenging track with all the ruts and the fact that the surface deteriorated, and there was no room for error,” said Dungey. “The ruts just kept getting deeper, forcing us to change our lines mid-race. Kenny put up a good fight, and I was trying to protect my lines out there, but unfortunately I made a mistake and Kenny got by me, but I got him back when he made a mistake. Overall, it was a hard-fought and special win.”

Jason Anderson, Indy Supercross 2016
Jason Anderson finished third after working up from a 10th place start.Photos By Rich Shepherd

Jason Anderson rounded out the podium, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory rider maintaining his third-place status in the series standings with the finish.

Anderson’s Achilles Heal in 2016 has been his starts, and in the main he managed a top-10 start, and then focused on moving through the ranks, fighting his way up to third by lap 12 before lappers slowed his charge.

“Indy was good for me,” said Anderson. “I had some good practices. The track was very rutted, but I still felt like I was riding well and I ended up qualifying fourth. I got into the lead in the heat race and was able to hold off Dungey for the win. I felt like I had a good start going into the first corner of the main, but then I just got shuffled back really quick. It was chaos for a little bit, but I managed and came out with a third."

Eli Tomac, Indy Supercross 2016
Eli Tomac ran third early in the race, but a tip-over left the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider ninth at the end of the race.Photos By Rich Shepherd

Trey Canard has had his share of issues in 2016, but in Indy, the HRC Honda rider turned in his best performance of the season. The Oklahoma rider made a couple of mistake in the main event, which allowed Anderson to break away. After that, Canard settled into a “lonely” fourth, finishing less than a second ahead of Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Baggett, who “bagged” his first top-five of the year.

Eli Tomac continues to have his problems, and in the main event, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider was running third when a lapper forced him to check up on the face of a jump, resulting in a minor crash. Tomac remounted inside the top 10 but was not able to move up further than ninth by the end of the race.

“You always have to expect the soft dirt and ruts in Indy,” said Tomac. “My heat race went well, as I qualified straight into the Main Event. I got off to a great start in the main and had second for a bit until I settled into third. With just a few laps to go I came up on a couple lapped riders and had to check up before a double and ended up crashing.”

Aaron Plessinger, Indy Supercross 2016
Aaron Plessinger was impressive en route to his first win of the season in the 250 class.Photos By Rich Shepherd

East Regional 250SX Class

Aaron Plessinger turned in a nearly flawless race to grab the win in the 250 class, crossing the finish line with a 10-second gap over runner-up Malcolm Stewart, making the Star Racing Yamaha rider the fifth winner in five rounds.

Stewart pushed Plessinger early in the race, but the GEICO Honda rider made a mistake allowing Plessinger to pull away.

"I can't even tell you how amazing this feels. I'm speechless," said Plessinger, whose hometown is just a short drive in Hamilton, Ohio. "These fans are crazy. I heard them every lap. I was so determined today, especially in front of my hometown crowd. I just put my head down and got the start. It wasn't easy, but it was easier than my last races for sure."

Malcolm Stewart, Indy Supercross 2016
Malcolm Stewart left Indy with a 10-point lead in the 250 standings despite his runner-up finish.Photos By Rich Shepherd

With his runner-up finish, Stewart maintained his lead in the Eastern Regional standings, which now sits at 10 points over Plessinger, who moved into second with the win. Davalos, who finished fifth, is third, 25 points out of the lead.

“I had a good day,” said Stewart. “I closed in on Plessinger a few times but couldn't make the pass happen on that track,” said Stewart. “Luckily, I’m keeping the red plate [as points leader] which I'm really pumped on. Now I'm leading the points by 10.”

Gannon Audette made his debut ride in Indy for Mitch Payton’s Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team, getting his big break due to a shoulder injury suffered by Arnaud Tonus. Audette made the best of his opportunity and came away with third place in the 250 main.

Jeremy Martin, Indy Supercross 2016
Jeremy Martin was unable to finish the 250 main after losing it in the rhythm section.Photos By Rich Shepherd

Jeremy Martin, who came into the race sitting second in points, crashed out on lap nine of the main event when he lost it in the rhythm section. Martin mangled his bike was not able to rejoin the race.

Notes & Quotes

• James Stewart rode practice at Indy but sat out the night program due to an ankle injury.

• Despite his second place finish, Ken Roczen turned the fastest lap times of the 450 main event, posting a race-best of 43.458 compared to Dungey’s best of 44.044.

• After the race, Roczen said the ruts were so sketchy that you didn’t know which way they were going to throw you from lap to lap.

• Marvin Musquin didn’t race in Indianapolis due to a practice crash he suffered at the previous round in Santa Clara. The Red Bull KTM rider is expected to return to racing soon.

450 RESULTS

  1. Ryan Dungey (KTM)

  2. Ken Roczen (Suz)

  3. Jason Anderson (Hus)

  4. Trey Canard (Hon)

  5. Blake Baggett (Suz)

  6. Chad Reed (Yam)

  7. Christophe Pourcel (Hus)

  8. Justin Brayton (KTM)

  9. Eli Tomac (Kaw)

  10. Mike Alessi (Suz)

250 RESULTS

  1. Aaron Plessinger (Yam)

  2. Malcolm Stewart (Hon)

  3. Gannon Audette (Kaw)

  4. Shane McElrath (KTM)

  5. Martin Davalos (Hus)

  6. RJ Hampshire (Hon)

  7. Anthony Rodriguez (Kaw)

  8. Tyler Bowers (Kaw)

  9. Luke Renzland (Yam)

  10. Cedric Soubeyras (Kaw)