Massachusetts Supercross Race Report 2016

A look at the 15th round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series in Massachusetts where Ken Roczen grabbed his fourth win of the season.

Ken Roczen, Massachusetts SX 2016
Ken Roczen rode arguably his best race of the season in Massachusetts, and by doing so he extended the title chase into next week’s round in New Jersey.Photo By Jeff Kardas

Ryan Dungey came into the Massachusetts round of the AMA Supercross series needing only to gain two points on Ken Roczen to clinch the 2016 title, and the Red Bull KTM rider put himself in good position to do so after grabbing the holeshot to start the 450 main event. However, after finishing second for three-straight weeks, Roczen was determined he was not going to settle for the bridesmaid slot again. And he didn’t!

Roczen passed Dungey before the end of the opening lap, and he proceeded to pull away from the Minnesota native to claim an impressive overall win, extending the title chase to the next round in New Jersey.

Dungey definitely didn’t seem to be on his best game; at least not at the level he’s been riding at over the course of the last few weeks. And, for sure, Roczen rode an inspired race, determined to make Dungey work for the title. After the race, Roczen mentioned a setup change that might have been the difference.

“It feels good to get this win,” said Roczen. “The track was really tough out there; it was really slippery in some spots. You were almost riding so you don’t make mistakes. It was challenging – hard and slick in places, but it felt great.”

Eli Tomac, Massachusetts SX 2016
Eli Tomac also had a good race, finishing second for just his third podium of the season.Photo By Jeff Kardas

Eli Tomac had one of his better races of the season, and was able to also pass Dungey, moving into the runner-up slot on lap three of the race.

“This is a big improvement compared to the way things have been going,” said Tomac. “I made a good inside move on the start and was able to battle early. I felt really good in the first half of the race, connecting the rhythms and nailing the lines, but I got a little bit shaky in the end and Ken pulled away.”

Ryan Dungey, Massachusetts SX 2016
Ryan Dungey got quickly into the lead, but couldn’t hold off Roczen and Tomac on the slippery course.Photo By Jeff Kardas

After being passed by Tomac, Dungey continued to lose ground and was eventually passed by Jason Anderson, who took over third. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory rider lost his front brakes later in the race, however, and gave the spot back to Dungey with five laps to go. With the pass, Dungey was able to preserve his 30-straight podium streak.

“I was trying to get things going,” said Dungey. “Ken was going really good and I just had nothing for him. I started to tighten up there at the end, just trying to keep it steady, but I was able to get back by Jason and get on the podium. You can’t win ‘em all so we’ll just keep our heads up and go into next week and try to get it done.”

Jason Anderson, Massachusetts SX 2016
Jason Anderson might have finished third had he not lost his front brakes late in the race.Photo By Jeff Kardas

Anderson brought his Husqvarna in for fourth, despite finishing the race with no front brakes, while Trey Canard brought his HRC Honda in for fifth after getting off the line just inside the top 10.

The Foxborough race saw the return of Cole Seely, who finished seventh after struggling with falls in his heat and in his semi. The HRC Honda rider won the LCQ to gain access to the Main Event, where he worked his way up from just inside the top 20 on the opening lap to an eventual seventh at the finish.

Dungey now holds a 43-point gap over Roczen in the 450SX Class standings, which means that Dungey will need to finish next weekend's race with a lead of at least 25 points in order to clinch his second straight championship. Meanwhile, Anderson, was mathematically eliminated from the championship hunt with his fourth place finish and sits in third, 70 points behind Dungey.

Martin Davalos, Massachusetts Supercross 2016
Martin Davalos held off an aggressive Jeremy Martin to take the win in the 250 class.Photo By Jeff Kardas

250SX

Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM's Shane McElrath took the early lead in the 15-lap Eastern Regional 250SX Class Main Event, but soon came under pressure from points leader Malcolm Stewart on the GEICO Honda. Stewart took the lead right after the track's first whoop section and opened a small gap, with McElrath second and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Tyler Bowers third.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Martin Davalos started the race in fourth, but quickly passed Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Tyler Bowers to move into third. Davalos then passed McElrath on Lap 7, and set out after Stewart and from there the race was on, while Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Jeremy Martin quietly closed in from fourth.

Jeremy Martin, Massachusetts Supercross 2016
Jeremy Martin got off to another bad start, but was able to work his way into second and pressure Davalos for the top spot before settling for second.Photo By Jeff Kardas

Lap 8 was pivotal, as Davalos passed Stewart for the lead and Martin passed McElrath to move into third. One lap later, Martin passed Stewart for second and from there it was a two-rider battle for the final five laps for the win.

Davalos crossed the finish line with 3.7-seconds to spare over Martin, with Stewart rounding out the top three.

“I felt I rode a good race, I just had to focus on my laps and that was the key,” said Davalos. “I knew the track would be rutted, but it turned out to be a great, and it feels good to get another win.”

A couple of mistakes near the end of the race cost Martin a chance at another win.

“I just made a few mistakes there at the end, which is disappointing because I really felt I had a win in me,” said Martin. “It was crazy out there, it was such a tight race, with McElrath, Malcolm and Martin.”

After the race, Stewart was positive about finishing third, despite the fact that he lead early in the race.

“Martin and Jeremy were just better than me,” said Stewart. “I didn't ride my best but I have to feel good about this race.”

With his podium result, Stewart extended his lead in the Eastern Regional 250SX Class standings to five points over Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Aaron Plessinger, who finished fifth. Martin is third, 14 points out of the lead with two races remaining.

Foxboro's Gillette Stadium, 2016
Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, hosted its first-ever AMA Supercross and presented the fans with an exciting afternoon of racing.Photo By Jeff Kardas

Notes & Quotes

Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Blake Baggett had a rough weekend in Massachusetts. Baggett missed qualifying for the Main by one spot in his Heat race. He then got caught up in unavoidable crashes in both the Semi and Last Chance Qualifier, which cost him any shot at making the Foxborough final. In his Semi Baggett was en route to qualifying for the Main Event when a rider crashed in front of him in a whoop section, with the bike cartwheeling sideways in front of Baggett leaving him nowhere to go. He collided with the bike and crashed. Right off the gate in the LCQ, Baggett was in the middle of the pack when he was caught up in a multi-rider crash going into the first turn. Baggett’s bike was damaged in the crash and his day was done.

RESULTS

450SX Class Results

  1. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki

  2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki

  3. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM

  4. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna

  5. Trey Canard, Edmond, Okla., Honda

  6. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda

  7. Cole Seely, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Honda

  8. Weston Peick, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha

  9. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha

  10. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM

Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results

  1. Martin Davalos, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna

  2. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha

  3. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Honda

  4. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM

  5. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha

  6. Tyler Bowers, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki

  7. Gannon Audette, Tallahassee, Fla., Kawasaki

  8. RJ Hampshire, Brooksville, Fla., Honda

  9. Anthony Rodriguez, Cairo, Ga., Kawasaki

  10. Luke Renzland, Hewitt, N.J., Yamaha