Coming out of Arlington and beginning the long east coast swing, the 2017 AMA Supercross Championship heads to Minneapolis, Minnesota for Round 7 this weekend. After another extraordinarily eventful race last Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the 450SX points race has tightened up.
In the 250SX West Region, the points leader has broken away, and this weekend the 250SX East riders hit the track for the first time this season in the series' debut event at a brand new venue. Hold on to your seats!
The most notable event in Arlington would have to be Marvin Musquin's first-ever 450SX class main event victory. The Frenchman took the holeshot during the restart of the Main Event and rode a perfect race to finish with a large gap over Cole Seely.
It was a long time coming for Musquin, as he's spend the last couple of years chasing his teammate Ryan Dungey. Minneapolis may be a key weekend for Marvin, as he'll have a chance to prove that the win was no fluke after many other top riders had an unfortunate weekend in Arlington.
One of those unfortunate riders was Cooper Webb. Not only did he have the lead in the first 450SX main event start (which was red-flagged on lap two), he was in great position in the second start - before falling victim to a flat tire. Flat tires in Supercross are exceedingly rare, and the fact that his teammate Chad Reed also suffered the same fate makes it even more bizarre. Webb was able to salvage a few points after a rear wheel change pit-stop, but he's no doubt exceptionally hungry for another podium in Minneapolis this weekend.
Another unlucky rider was Eli Tomac, who had been having a rough go of it all afternoon. Coming off of consecutive wins in the previous two rounds, it was all Eli could do just to get into the Main Event in Texas - an eleventh spot in his heat race and qualifying out of the semi race is probably not what he had hoped for. After a mediocre start around seventh, Tomac was on the move to the front when washed the front end of his bike out in a hard right hand corner. The result was a mangled front brake which was quickly removed by his mechanic and spelled the end of his charge to the front. Tomac salvaged six points, giving up twelve to points leader Ryan Dungey in the process. He's now 29 points down in fourth.
Team HRC Honda's Cole Seely, on the other hand, had his best ride and result of the season with a strong and steady 2nd place in the main. Fast all day and also right at the front in the first 450 start, Seely seemed to be on rails in Texas. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him on the podium or even take a race win throughout the rest of the season.
Defending champion Ryan Dungey had his worst result of the season with a fourth place. It is a rare event when the multi-time champ doesn't make the podium. Dungey salvaged a terrible start and battled factory Husqvarna's new recruit Dean Wilson for several laps before working his way around into fourth place. Knowing full well that his primary title threat Tomac was facing troubles probably played into Dungey's level of patience while battling through the pack. At the same time it allowed his teammate, Musquin, to gain seven points on him and move into second place of the standings. Minneapolis is Dungey's home town race, so he will have some extra motivation to make a real statement this weekend, and his record there speaks for itself.