Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac claimed a fifth consecutive Monster Energy Supercross win in St. Louis ahead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team's Ryan Dungey and Marvin Musquin.
Tomac began the day inside The Dome at America’s Center with the fastest time in qualifying aboard his No. 3 KX450F. As the gate dropped on the 450SX Class Main Event Tomac rounded the first turn in second place with teammate Josh Grant in sixth.
By the third turn, Tomac had pushed his Kawasaki to the front of the pack and began distancing himself from the field. While Tomac set the pace at the front, Grant battled throughout the main, racing into fifth place with just under two minutes remaining, where he would remain until the checkers. At the checkered flag Tomac earned his fifth consecutive victory, the first to repeat this accomplishment since Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Ryan Villopoto in 2013
“Today surprisingly wasn’t my best,” said Tomac. “The results don’t necessarily show it but I didn’t feel great most of the day. It’s all about not giving up though and we got it done in the main, where it really counts. I figured out my start, made an early pass and then just pushed until the end. It’s a great feeling.”
“I’m really happy with our results tonight,” said Grant. “I had a great start in the main, rode well and had some good battles. To walk away with a top five is definitely a step in the right direction and where I feel I belong. I’m looking forward to building off this momentum next week.”
It was a solid day of racing for the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team on Saturday as Ryan Dungey and Marvin Musquin finished atop the podium in the 450SX class.
Dungey’s 2nd place finish allowed the three-time AMA Supercross Champion to maintain his points lead over Eli Tomac with four rounds to go in the series.
Dungey powered his KTM 450 SX-F into the holeshot and the early lead, while teammate Musquin was forced to make his way through the pack on the opening lap. Eli Tomac made the pass on Dungey to take over the early lead, while Musquin tucked into 3rd behind the lead duo.
Musquin made a few attempts to get past Dungey in the opening laps but Dungey eventually broke away as he continued to chase Tomac in the lead position. Dungey got stopped up behind a lapped rider where he lost a few seconds to Tomac in the overall running. From there, Dungey pushed hard to charge his way back to finish a hard-fought 2nd place in St. Louis.
Dungey: “I honestly am so excited about tonight. I felt like I rode awesome, we don’t win them all sometimes but I felt so good. We were catching Eli there for a bit and I was really happy with my riding. I said to myself today, unless my heart explodes I’m gonna go for it and that’s what I did. Overall I’m happy with tonight – the team Red Bull KTM guys are doing an awesome job backing me and supporting me and I’m not even disappointed. I was really pumped on tonight and excited. Tough track, tricky conditions but we’re healthy and safe moving forward and we have to build on that. I have a lot to be thankful for so I’m happy.”
Dungey added: “I definitely for sure want to win but that’s a given, we all do. Eli is tough right now. He’s riding really good, he’s in peak condition right now in his career and everything is clicking for him. So when a guy is like that he’s hard to beat. I found that out many times in my career, so that’s the challenge of racing, that’s the challenge of pushing me to get better and it tests me but it’s a good thing. Tonight was incredible, I was so pumped and I’m excited, I really am. I don’t know where this excitement is coming from but I really am. It’s step forward, I’ll take it.”
Musquin held strong to ultimately finish 3rd overall behind Dungey, claiming his eighth podium finish of the season.
Musquin: “Overall I’m having good weeks of training, good weekends and feeling good on the bike, having fun. It’s good to be up on the podium but at the same time I’m disappointed a little bit. My first lap was unreal because the start wasn’t so good and I made so many passes and I got 3rd at the end of the first lap, it was awesome. I felt like I was pushing Ryan and I was quicker – I was going fast and then I couldn’t make the pass, I feel like I tightened up a little bit. The track was really tough, I mean the dragon’s back – that’s where I crashed in practice and I didn’t want to do the same mistake. I kind of played it safe with 3rd place, that’s all I could do tonight.”
Results 450SX Class St. Louis Detroit 2017
1. Eli Tomac (USA), Kawasaki, 21:16.109 min (25 laps)
2. Ryan Dungey (USA), KTM, +6.751 sec
3. Marvin Musquin (FRA), KTM, +14.293
4. Jason Anderson (USA), Husqvarna, +25.208
5. Josh Grant (USA), Kawasaki, +39.538
Standings 450SX Class 2017 after 13 of 18 rounds
1. Dungey, 276 points
2. Tomac, 272
3. Musquin, 227
4. Cole Seely (USA), Honda, 211
5. Anderson, 188