While Ryan Dungey now sits three points behind Eli Tomac in the 450SX championship standings, the reigning Supercross champion showed great speed and composure throughout Saturday’s Main Event as he led 18 of the 27 laps. Dungey topped Tomac in the earlier heat race and the duo continued the close racing through the rest of the evening.
Marvin Musquin admittedly struggled with his starts all day, beginning with the heat race and carrying into the evening’s Main Event. The two-time 450SX race-winner salvaged a bad start in the heat race to ultimately finish in 4th, giving him a mid-pack gate choice heading into the Main Event.
Just shy of grabbing the holeshot, Dungey powered his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION into the lead early on. Tomac challenged Dungey for the lead spot just after the halfway point and eventually made the pass on lap 19. Dungey continued to charge ahead but after 27 laps it was Tomac who came out ahead, with Dungey locking in a close 2nd place finish.
Dungey: “At the beginning I was really good (through the whoops) but all day it was tough. In the beginning I found a good line but that line started to go so I switched and started jumping but I think that was a no-no. Eli was riding really good through the whoops so that chunk of the track he was gaining on me tremendously – I felt him coming pretty quick.”
With two rounds remaining in the season, Dungey sits three points behind Tomac in the championship standings.
Musquin was forced to play catch-up from the beginning as he entered the first turn in the back of the pack. The Frenchman steadily climbed his way through the pack to position himself inside the top five after 20 laps and he continued to push in the final laps to ultimately finish 4th place in the Main Event.
Musquin: “I was struggling with my starts in the heat race and in the Main Event. I had a really bad start in the Main and it put me in a really bad position but we put our head down and came back to 4th place, which is good on a track like that. With the conditions that aren’t my favorite, hard-packed and slippery, I was able to make some good passes and showed good speed so I’m happy with my riding.”
West 250SX Class
TLD Red Bull KTM’s Shane McElrath earned his third win of the season on his KTM 250 SX-F FACTORY EDITION and was accompanied on the podium by teammate Mitchell Oldenburg in second, giving the team a memorable 1-2 result at the penultimate round of the Western Regional 250SX Class inside Rice-Eccles Stadium. The tight, technical track was a test for the riders and the KTM duo came out standing on the top two steps of the podium.
“Tonight seemed to be about staying up,” said McElrath. “It was one of those tracks that you couldn’t ride the line because it was so technical and precise. We work so hard and it’s just cool to see this (the 1-2 finish) happen. When I looked over at one point and saw Freckles (Oldenburg) in second, I was so pumped.”
“I can honestly say I wouldn’t be up here if it weren’t for Shane so being up on the podium together is unbelievable,” said Oldenburg. “I am so ecstatic to go 1-2. To back up my best finish from the last race is such a great feeling. I can’t wait until Vegas where we can try and do it again.”
The Western Regional 250SX riders will take a short break before returning for the final race of the season on May 6 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. The Eastern Regional 250SX will be back in action with Jordon Smith looking to keep the win-streak alive with Alex Martin making his return from injury at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Next Round: April 29, 2017 – East Rutherford, NJ (USA)
Results 450SX Class Salt Lake City 2017
1. Eli Tomac (USA), Kawasaki, 21:26:246 (27 laps)
2. Ryan Dungey (USA), KTM, +6.386 sec
3. Jason Anderson (USA), Husqvarna, +14.002
4. Marvin Musquin (FRA), KTM, +18:00.026
5. Joshua Grant (USA), Kawasaki, +20.430
7. David Millsaps (USA), KTM, +34.313
8. Blake Baggett (USA), KTM, +36.771
DNS Trey Canard (USA), KTM
Standings 450SX Class 2017 after 15 of 17 rounds
1. Tomac, 319 points
2. Dungey, 316
3. Musquin, 270
4. Anderson, 228
5. Cole Seely (USA), Honda, 211
6. Baggett, 190
7. Millsaps, 190
21. Canard, 51
Results 250SX West Class Salt Lake City 2017
1. Shane McElrath (USA), KTM, 16:41.896 min (20 laps)
2. Mitchell Oldenburg (USA), KTM, +3.958 sec
3. Justin Hill (USA), Kawasaki, +6.237
4. Martin Davalos (USA), Husqvarna, +6.287
5. James Decotis (USA), Honda, +20.794
Standings 250SX West Class 2017 after 8 of 9 rounds
1. Hill, 180 points
2. McElrath, 154
3. Aaron Plessinger (USA), Yamaha, 143
4. Davalos, 142
5. Decotis, 122
10. Oldenburg, 60