Ralph Sheheen and Jeff Emig bring you all the highlights from the 450SX Class Main Event!
Back-to-back reigning 450SX Champion Ryan Dungey earned his first victory of the season on Saturday as he led the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team to an impressive 1-2 finish at Round 3 of the AMA Supercross World Championship in Anaheim. His teammate, Marvin Musquin, finished only two seconds back for 2nd, capturing his third consecutive podium finish this season. Troy Lee Designs Red Bull KTM’s Shane McElrath maintained his points lead with a 3rd place finish in the 250SX West division.
It was a rough start to the evening for the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 450 riders as both Ryan Dungey and Marvin Musquin were forced to enter the semi-final race after experiencing bad luck in the heat races. Musquin lined up in 450SX Heat 1 where he jumped into a 3rd place position on the opening lap. However, on lap three Musquin got caught up in another rider’s crash and went down, ultimately running out of time to make a qualifying position from the heat race.
Dungey didn’t experience any better luck as he went down on the opening lap of 450SX Heat 2. As a result of the crash, Dungey was unable to continue on due to a problem with his throttle body harness.
Both Musquin and Dungey were seeded into 450SX Semi 1 amongst a full slate of heavy-hitters in the class. Musquin got off to a good start, eventually making his way into the lead on lap two. From there, Musquin held a strong pace to capture the Semi 1 win. Dungey got off to a mid-pack start but the defending champion climbed his way up to ultimately finish 3rd en route to the Main Event.
Photographer: Simon Cudby
Despite 13th gate pick for the Main Event, Dungey was able to get a great jump out of the gate to battle for the holeshot and assume the early lead aboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION. Musquin didn’t get the best jump but he settled into the 5th place position on the opening lap.
Musquin immediately began picking off riders where he put himself into 3rd place around the halfway point. Musquin was then able to get around Cole Seely for the 2nd place position where he set his sights on his teammate Dungey out front. Dungey put forth a solid performance throughout the 22-lap Main Event, where he earned his first victory of the 2017 season at Round 3, thus taking over the championship points lead in the class.
Dungey: “I’m thankful to get this win earlier in the season rather than later. Tonight was testing for me – first the throttle broke in the heat race and then my start in the semi wasn’t too great but we were able to end the night on a good note. The Main Event was tricky, the track was nasty but I’m surprised with the rain that it was as good as it was. There were a bunch of kickers so I was just focused on hitting my lines and marks. Overall, with all the adversity we faced I’m glad we could come away with the win tonight – it was a hard-earned one!”
Musquin captured his third podium of the season to maintain his 2nd place position in the championship point standings, where he sits only seven points behind Dungey after three rounds.
Musquin: “All I can say is ‘you gotta do what you gotta do.’ Both of us went to the semi-final but still qualified to the Main Event and proved we can still be on the podium after going to the semi. Once again at the beginning I wasn’t as good as the end but I tried to stay calm and keep up with those guys. Roczen got around me and had a big crash so after that I tried to switch up my line to stay smooth. I wasn’t too far from Ryan but he was already gone at the beginning so 2nd place wasn’t too bad for me and a really good night for Red Bull KTM.”
250SX West Class
Shane McElrath powered his KTM 250 SX-F FACTORY EDITION into a top-five position off the start as he battled his way through a hungry pack of front-runners. Beginning in the 4th place position, the two-time race winner engaged in a battle with Austin Forkner early on where he made the pass for 3rd place on lap five. From there, McElrath pushed ahead to maintain a solid podium position for the remainder of the race.
With two wins and a 3rd place finish behind him, McElrath continues to hold the 250SX West points lead heading into the next round.
McElrath: “Everyone was going fast and I was giving it everything I had – and tonight that was 3rd place. Coming into this championship race (with the points lead) has been a whole new thing for me. It’s something that we can’t be anything but thankful for today – we still have the red plate and the points lead. I’m looking forward to continue building, we’re still learning and we’re going to be ready to fight next weekend.”
Next Round: January 28, 2017 – Phoenix, AZ (USA)
Results 450SX Class Anaheim 2 2017
1. Ryan Dungey (USA), KTM, 21:14.021 min (22 laps)
2. Marvin Musquin (FRA), KTM, +2.725 sec
3. Cole Seely (USA), Honda, +10.218
4. Cooper Webb (USA), Yamaha, +13.807
5. Weston Peick (USA), Suzuki, +15.296
9. David Millsaps (USA), KTM, +31.825
10. Blake Baggett (USA), KTM, +32.576
Standings 450SX Class 2017 after 3 of 18 rounds
1. Dungey, 69 points
2. Musquin, 62
3. Ken Roczen (GER), Honda, 51
4. Seely, 51
5. Eli Tomac (USA), Kawasaki, 44
7. Millsaps, 39
16. Bagget, 19
Results 250SX West Class Anaheim 2 2017
1. Justin Hill (USA), Kawasaki, 16:18.882 min (17 laps)
2. Aaron Plessinger (USA), Yamaha, +5.335 sec
3. Shane McElrath (USA), KTM, +8.362
4. Austin Forkner (USA), Kawasaki, +12.283
5. Martin Davalos (USA), Husqvarna, +19.118
DNS Mitchell Oldenburg (USA), KTM
Standings 250SX West Class 2017 after 3 of 9 rounds
1. McElrath, 70 points
2. Plessinger, 64
3. Hill, 63
4. Davalos, 54
5. Forkner, 47
13. Oldenburg, 18