Friday, February 17, 2017

The Others...Arlington

They say that everything is bigger in Texas and it may have been the big full moon over the weekend that put an ora over AT&T Stadium. As Round 6 of the Monster Energy Supercross series took over Arlington, Texas the sun gleamed through the stadium pores and a late day race of chaos began.

If it could go wrong, it seemed to. We saw big crashes in qualifying and heat races but that was just the start of it. Small mistakes had riders like Jason Anderson and Jake Weimer picking themselves off the dirt. Kyle Chisholm escaped disaster after rear ending the 240 of Bryce Stewart without crashing. RCH backed Jake Wiemer would take a trip to the LCQ after a collision with Brady Kiesel and pit stops became a normal thing as Chad Reed and Blake Baggett suffered unknown issues, Eli Tomac had problems with the front of his Kawasaki and Cooper Webb struggled with a flat tire. The 450 main would be restarted after Justin Brayton was knocked out in a first turn crash. The scariest crash came during a 450 heat race involving Kyle White, Colton Aeck and Cody Gilmore. Aeck received the worst of the percussion with injuries to his back and shoulder. Our prayers are with Colton during his recovery. Maybe the low moment of the night was watching Shane Mcelrath's 250 championship hopes slip away with bike issues.

The sun setting through the stadium windows was an added obstacle
We normally don't talk much of the factory guys, but I sit back a laugh at the comments you see on Ryan Dungey. The guy is a Champion. I'm not sure what is up with the number 1 right now, although he doesn't seem himself. Thing is, his worst finish on the season was this weeks 4th. That's why this guy wins championships. Ricky Carmichael said it best. People have called Dungey Lucky, but being in the right place at the right time year after year takes skill.

Top qualifying times in both the 250 and 450 classes were in the 47 second range. Justin Hill would set the fast lap in the 250 class while fellow Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac clicked off the time to beat among the 450 field. It's a pretty rare occurrence that the entire 250 class makes the night show but with only 40 entries if you attempted to qualify, you made the show. The entire class was separated by less than 9 seconds.

Heat racing gets the night going and sets the first spots in the main events. The 250 class heats were won by Troy Lee Designs/RedBull/KTM backed Shane Mcelrath and top qualifier Justin Hill. In the 450 class Ryan Dungey took the W in heat one while RCH Suzuki rider, Justin Bogle claimed his first heat win of the season. Only the 450s get semi qualifiers while the 250 class only gets an LCQ to make the main. It'd be Chas Reed and Eli Tomac winning their semis. Last Chance Qualifiers mean top 4 transfer to the main and all else go home early. Chris Alldredge, Scott Champion, Broc Shoemaker and Chris Howell transferred in the 250 class. Jake Weimer,Jimmy Albertson, Austin Politelli and Cade Clason were the last 4 in of the 450 field.

Come main events the craziness was just setting in. 250 points leader Shane Mcelrath had his Troy Lee Designs KTM out front early and looking to regain the red plate from Justin Hill. As the laps clicked off and the championship seemed to be a fight, the wheels would fall off for Mcelrath and bike issues would cause him to pull off the track and hand the win to hard charging Hill. Austin Forkner fought through small bobbles to finish a career best second and Aaron Plessinger would once again come from outside the top 5 to a podium finish. Marvin Musquin would make good of a restarted 450 main by grabbing the start on his RedBull KTM and never looking back. Marvin would claim his first career 450 win. Cole Seely charged the entire 26 laps and would finish 2nd. Husqvarna's Jason Anderson had a season best with his 3rd place finish. As mentioned earlier Cooper Webb, Eli Tomac, Blake Baggett and Chad Reed all suffered blows to their championship runs with mechanical issues.

This week we focus on the number 902 of Killian Auberson. The KTM rider from Switzerland has made the main at all 6 rounds of the 250 west championship. In Arlington he'd qualify 15th and make the main via a 6th in his heat race. After finishing 16th on the night, he now sits the same in series points.

Rider: Killian Auberson | Photo: Kyle Pesci

And now...The Others

5. 149 Tallon Lafountaine
6. 805 Carlen Gardner
7. 138 Blake Lilly
8. 283 Kai Mukai
9. 715 Kele Russell
10. 253 Aaron Smith
11. 962 Dimitri Rolando
12. 271 Kyle Fry
13. 948 Johan Nystrom
14. 976 Josh Greco
15. 277 Kordel Carl
16. 523 Miles Daniele
17. 648 Paton Knight
18. 154 Brandon Scharer
19. 240 Bryce Stewart
20. 321 Bradley Lionnet
21. 179 Jon Ames
22. 383 Casey Brennan

5. 374 Cody Gilmore
6. 556 Brady Kiesel
7. 291 Kyle White
8. 722 Adam Enticknap
9. 181 Dustin Pipes
10. 713 Chad Cook
11. 509 Alex Nagy
12. 645 Cheyenne Harmon
13. 606 Ronnie Stewart
14. 918 Michael Akaydin
15. 723 Tyler Enticknap
16. 88 John Short
17. 247 Teddy Parks
18. 75 Nick Schmidt
19. 313 Kyle Swanson
20. 708 Joe Perron
21. 526 Colton Aeck
22. 792 Bracken Hall

The series will now take its east coast swing. Next up is round 7 on the schedule but Minnesota will also serve as the first round of the 250 East Championship. Who do you have? Which privateers will standout?

-Kyle Pesci

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