St. Louis Supercross Race Report 2016

What really happened at the St. Louis Supercross

Ryan Dungey, St. Louis SX 2016
Ryan Dungey held off a hard challenge by Ken Roczen to claim his eighth win of the season.Photo By Rich Shepherd

For the third-straight week, Ken Roczen gave Ryan Dungey a run for his money in a Monster Energy AMA Supercross main event. And once again, it was Dungey coming out of top. The Red Bull KTM rider was cool and collected and never looked bothered by Roczen’s pressure, as the two played a short game of cat and mouse when Roczen briefly put a wheel ahead of Dungey midway into the race. Dungey kept his poise and held his ground, however, before pulling away to a second or more lead. Roczen eventually washed out his front wheel and hit the dirt, leaving Dungey with a clear track to the finish for the win, his eighth of the season.

You have to appreciate the game that Dungey is displaying right now. With the lead he has in the standings, he could just be riding this thing out, finishing on the podium each week and collect another title. But the Minnesota native is letting it fly. He’s not taking the safe way out when Roczen challenges and, instead, he’s going for the “W” at the expense of a possible crash, which might possibly cost him the title.

And while Roczen did get a wheel ahead of Dungey in the main, Dungey, who had to win a semi to qualify, still managed to lead every lap of the race. For sure, it appears we are witnessing the evolution of a new and improved Ryan Dungey during this 2016 season.

“It feels good to get another win tonight and to keep plugging away at the championship points,” Dungey said. “Ken was riding really well and it was all about minimizing the mistakes out there. He was riding good and he was keeping me honest, but then that mistake opened things up.”

Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen, St. Louis SX 2016
Ken Roczen (94) chases Ryan Dungey during the main event. Roczen got around Dungey at one point in the race, but Dungey retook the lead and held on for the win.Photo By Rich Shepherd

Roczen settled for second for the third week in a row, though the RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing-backed rider had to pass Jason Anderson on the last lap to get it done, doing so when the Rockstar Energy Factory Husqvarna rider went too deep into the sand turn and opened the door.

“We’re fighting hard,” said Roczen. “I was right there but then I made a mistake; I just came into that corner a little too hot and washed the front end and that put me back to third. There at the end, I was going to make a move on Anderson for second, but then he made a mistake in the sand and it allowed me to get by.”

Jason Anderson, St. Louis SX 2016
Jason Anderson appeared to be on his way to a second place finish, but ran wide in the exit of the sand turn and Roczen was able to make a pass for the runner-up slot, leaving Anderson in third.Photo By Rich Shepherd

It was obvious during the race that Anderson felt that Broc Tickle got in his way in the sand turn when Roczen went by, but he would later admit that it was his mistake.

Earlier in the race, Anderson made a controversial move when he pushed Justin Brayton to the edge of the track on one of the triple jumps. Brayton went down allowing Anderson to move into third. Anderson admitted afterward that he just got in too much of a hurry when he was trying to get around Brayton and he should have waited for a better place to pass.

Anderson has come under a lot of criticism during the season for his riding style, but he’s just getting a little bit too anxious to get to the front. A good start would fix all of that.

“I gotta make a little bit better moves,” Anderson said. “I just get anxious and I gotta start making smarter moves.”

Justin Bogle, St. Louis SX 2016
Justin Bogle (here leading Weston Peick, claimed his best finish of the season with a fourth.Photo By Rich Shepherd

Justin Bogle’s performance in St. Louis marked a new high for the GEICO Honda rider, netting a career-best fourth.

“I had a breakthrough night for me,” said Bogle. “Started around ninth but made my way to fourth by the end. Had some good battles along the way, really had to work for the positions, which makes it feel even better. Really starting to come around for me now--best finish of the season and we learned a lot from it.”

Bogle now has three top 10s in the last four races.

Marvin Musquin, St. Louis Supercross 2016
Marvin Musquin ran as high as fourth early in the race, but a crash and a mechanical problem dropped the Red Bull KTM rider down the order.Photo By Rich Shepherd

Marvin Musquin was running fourth when he went down in a rhythm section. The Red Bull KTM rider battled his way back from the crash but ended up running into an issue with his start device that ultimately caused him to pull into the mechanic’s area to make an adjustment. Musquin finished 15th for the evening.

Jeremy Martin, St. Louis Supercross 2016
Jeremy Martin grabs the holeshot to start the 250SX main event.Photo By Rich Shepherd

250 SX

Jeremy Martin has had a rough supercross season to say the least, but in St. Louis he became the first repeat winner in the Eastern Regional Championship this season.

The Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha rider grabbed the holeshot to start the race ahead of Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Gannon Audette and GEICO Honda's Malcolm Stewart, and led every lap en route to the win. Meanwhile, a first turn crash took out a few heavy hitters in the form of Martin Davalos, Tyler Bowers and RJ Hampshire.

Shane McElrath, St. Louis Supercross 2016
Shane McElrath (30) leads Aaron Plessinger during the 250 main.Photo By Rich Shepherd

Stewart stalled it in the track's sand section and tipped over taking Audette and MAD Racing/Dirt Candy Graphics/Suzuki's Matt Bisceglia with him. That allowed Shane McElrath and Aaron Plessinger to take over second and third.

Stewart would crash two more times and eventually finish the race in eighth. Despite his finish, Stewart still maintained the 250SX Eastern points lead.

“My day started really good. I was first in qualifying and was pumped for the night show,” said Stewart. “I got the heat race win and was ready to do the same in the main. Got a third place start in the main and thought it was my night. Then I had a couple falls, but you know what? That happens in racing. I was able to salvage an eighth and keep the red plate. Happy I'm safe and looking to redeem myself next weekend.”

Plessinger is definitely on a hot streak at this point in the season, and after getting his first career win last week in Indianapolis, the Star Racing Yamaha rider finished second in St. Louis, which makes three podiums in a row.

After taking advantage of Stewart’s first-lap crash, McElrath ran second most of the race, but gave up the spot to Plessinger on lap six. The North Carolina rider held on to claim his second podium finish of the season with a third.

“I know I’m getting stronger, but we’re still working our way back to full strength in the wrist,” said McElrath. “It was a good night with great starts on my KTM. We’re looking to stay up front the next few races and keep this momentum leading into outdoors.”

Notes & Quotes

• The Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series made its season premiere on FOX Broadcast Channel on Saturday afternoon, which was the reason for the early start of the race.

• St. Louis marked the third straight race that Roczen, Dungey and Anderson finished 1-2-3.

• Weston Pieck ran into the back of James Stewart during their heat race, when Stewart cut to the inside after a jump, which put Stewart on the ground. Stewart managed to get going again, but was suffering back spasms from a previous injury and eventually called it a day.

450SX RESULTS

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

  2. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Suzuki

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

  4. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda

  5. Trey Canard, Edmond, Okla., Honda

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

  7. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki

  8. Josh Grant, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki

  9. Justin Brayton, Mint Hill, N.C., KTM

  10. Mike Alessi, Hilliard, Fla., Honda

Eastern Regional 250SX Class

  1. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha

  2. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha

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

  4. RJ Hampshire, Brooksville, Fla., Honda

  5. Gannon Audette, Tallahassee, Fla., Kawasaki

  6. Anthony Rodriguez, Cairo, Ga., Kawasaki

  7. Alexander Frye, Huntingtown, Md., KTM

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

  9. Tyler Bowers, Corona, Calif., Kawasaki

  10. Paul Coates, Zephyrhills, Fla., Honda