Ryan Dungey won the 14th Supercross of his career and his first of 2014.
By Jody Weisel
(1) RYAN DUNGEY’S SALVATION: Let’s not get too misty about Ryan Dungey’s first win of the 2014 season. The fact that he won isn’t all that surprising, but what is surprising is how much bad mojo had to befall his main competitors to insure a victory. When you are standing on top of the podium, the warm glow of victory is not dimmed by the fact that famine, plague and pestilence had to hit Ryan Villopoto, Ken Roczen and James Stewart to get you there. But later, in your hotel room, you must ponder back on all the bad luck that added up to your good luck. Ryan went to Indy hoping to duel with all three double-winners and instead raced with 250 transplants Eli Tomac and Cole Seely—who on the night of Ryan’s first victory of 2014 had their greatest 450 results ever.
Eli Tomac (3) has struggled since his injury at Anaheim 1, but his second place at Indy is the start of something good.
JEREMY DIDN’T THINK THAT “SETTLING FOR ANYTHING” WOULD MEAN GETTING A 19TH PLACE START, BEING LAPPED ON LAP FOUR AND FINISHING EXACTLY WHERE HE STARTED.
(2) JEREMY MARTIN’S VINDICATION: The burden of being the “Next Big Thing” is a heavy mantle to wear. But, you know what’s even heavier? Not being the “Next Big Thing” only three races into the 2014 AMA 250 East season. Jeremy Martin started the Supercross season looking for podiums, but after failing to even make the main events at Dallas and Atlanta, he was willing to settle for anything at Indy. However, Jeremy didn’t think that “settling for anything” would mean getting a 19th place start, being lapped on lap four and finishing exactly where he started (especially after qualifying fifth fastest). Martin has nowhere to go but up—and perhaps it will be freeing for him to know that next week’s Daytona race favors outdoor talent…and Jeremy is a very skilled outdoor rider.
Martin Davalos (31) is the fastest rider in the 250 East, but…
SINCE HIS PRO CIRCUIT’S KX250F WAS NOT FITTED WITH DUNLOP’S SPECIAL PLYWOOD COMPOUND, MARTIN SPUN THE REAR TIRE AND WAS CATAPULTED OFF THE TRACK.
(3) DAVALOS’ NEW STREAK: The feel-good story of last weekend was that Martin Davalos broke a 63-race losing streak. The streak itself was bad enough, but the sad part was how often Martin was the fastest guy on the track, in the lead or preparing to pounce when he threw it all away. So, when Martin won in Atlanta last week the pit pundits wonder if he had turned over a new leaf. He turned over something, but it wasn’t a new leaf—it was just a new way to crash. While leading the 250 East main event, Martin hit an exposed piece of plywood underlayment. Since his Pro Circuit’s KX250F was not fitted with Dunlop’s special plywood compound, Martin spun the rear tire and was catapulted off the track—a new streak has started.
FOR FANS WHO ARE TIRED OF RIDERS RECITING A LIST OF SPONSORS NAMES IN RAPID FIRE SUCCESSION ON THE PODIUM—THIS EPISODE OF THE “WALKING DEAD” HAD TO BE REFRESHING.
(4) MIKE ALESSI’S EULOGY: The last time Mike Alessi won a 450 Supercross heat race he went on a crying jag that was worthy of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” So, at Indy after he rode a very smart tactical race to win his second-ever heat race, people gather around the podium and their TVs to see what he would do this time. It was must-see TV. They were not disappointed. In an effort to hold back the tears, Mike rambled on and eventually started eulogizing about his own death. Saying, “I never know when my last day will be…” and “When my number is called…” It was spooky, weird and maudlin. But, it was original. For fans who are tired of riders reciting a list of sponsors names in rapid fire succession on the podium—this episode of the “Walking Dead” had to be refreshing.
MIKE ALESSI HEAT RACE INTERVIEW
THE AMA PENALIZED ADAM ENTICKNAP TWO SPOTS FOR “CUTTING THE TRACK,” BUT IN REALITY THEY PENALIZED HIM FOR GAINING A POSITION WHILE OFF THE TRACK.
(5) LAST CHANCE ANTICS: The 450 Last Chance used to be a bore. A quick look down the entry list was all a savvy fan needed to be able to predict who was going to transfer and who wasn’t. But, with the return of the semis and the addition of the 22-man field—the Last Chance has become “WWE Smackdown” on bikes. The difference is that now four riders transfer out of the LCQ instead of two and the battles for the fourth spot have become both epic and violent. This week, Adam Enticknap had fourth on the last lap and Kyle Chisholm wanted it. As you would expect, Chisholm cut across the inside of a bowl turn and pressed Enticknap against the Tuff Blocks and off the track. Enticknap raced down the sidelines and pulled back on the track, at what “was” the safest place to reenter, in front of Chisholm and held him off to the finish line. The AMA penalized Adam Enticknap two spots for “cutting the track,” but in reality they penalized him for gaining a position while off the track. Why? Because when Chisholm forced Adam off the track, Chisholm was a wheel in front of Enticknap—thus, under the rules, Enticknap could not pass Chisholm while off the track. Chisholm would finished 16th in the 450 main and Enticknap would be demoted to 6th in the LCQ.
IVAN TEDESCO’S FOOT GOT SUCKED INTO TEVIN TAPIA’S REAR WHEEL. THEN, HIS WHOLE LEG GOT SUCKED IN. THEN, HIS OTHER LEG GOT SUCKED IN.
(6) IVAN TEDESCO’S BRAKES: On the way to the first turn in the 450 Last Chance the pack looked like bumper cars at Six Flags Over Texas. Getting jostled around, Ivan Tedesco’s foot got sucked into Tevin Tapia’s rear wheel. Then, his whole leg got sucked in. Then, his other leg got sucked in. In what has to be the luckiest happenstance possible, because Tedesco had both legs sucked into Tapia’s rear wheel—the wheel stopped spinning. Had it kept spinning, or been able to suck one of Ivan’s feet down into the swingarm, Tedesco would have been seriously road rashed. Tedesco’s legs stopped Tapia’s bike and saved Ivan from serious injury.
IVAN TEDESCO BEING DRAGGED BY TEVIN TAPIA
WHEN THE CATS ARE LAYING ALL OVER THE TRACK, THE MICE WILL COME OUT TO PLAY.
(7) THE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: When the cats are laying all over the track, the mice will come out to play. And so it was at Indy. In the 450 class Eli Tomac and Cole Seely had the rides of their lives in the 450 class—finishing second and third respectively. Meanwhile, in the 250 East class, Matt Biscelgia was as high as second place in the middle of the race—and eventually finished fourth overall behind Cianciarulo, Davalos and Bogle. Given that Biscelgia had finished at the tail-end of the pack in both Dallas and Atlanta—it was huge step up.
Matt Biscelgia has the breakout ride of his Pro career in Indy.
IF THERE IS SUCH A THING AS AN EASY NIGHT IN SUPERCROSS—THIS WAS IT.
(8) DEAN WILSON’S FIRST 450 SUPERCROSS: If there is such a thing as an easy night in Supercross—this was it. With only one of the Big Four (Villopoto, Roczen, Stewart and Dungey) up and running, it was a great night for Chad Reed’s replacement to be making his debut. The problem for Dean was that he was involved in the first turn mayhem that cleaned out Stewart, Roczen and Villopoto. To his credit, Dean finished the first lap in 19th place. He passed nine guys, stayed on the lead lap and made the top ten overall with Chad Reed watching his every move from the sidelines.
Ken Roczen crashed out and lost second in the points.
RYAN VILLOPOTO AND RYAN DUNGEY ARE THE ONLY TWO RACERS STILL ON THE SAME RACE AND VILLOPOTO HAS 23 POINTS ON DUNGEY.
(9) THE POINTS CHASE: With 8 races left in the Supercross series—there are 200 points remaining for a rider who sweeps the tables. No one has been eliminated yet, because none of the points gathers are 200 points behind. Only 34 riders have earned points so far in 2014—and six of those are already 7 races behind in points with 8 races to go. Nine of the 34 racers are five full races behind. A further 9 are four races back, while Short, Barcia and Reed are three races back in points. James Stewart’s 7th in Indy cost him 11 points to Villopoto—and he is now 30 points back. Ken Roczen’s mishap in Indy dropped him to 26 points back—one point over the magic 25 number. Ryan Villopoto and Ryan Dungey are the only two racers still on the same race and Villopoto has 23 points on Dungey.
The stuff that every rider wanted. This is definitely not hard-pack.
AFTER EIGHT WEEKS OF HARD-PACK DIRT, INDY WAS SOFT AND RUTTED (SAVE FOR THREE SQUARE-FEET OF PLYWOOD). IT IS WHAT EVERYONE SAID THEY WANTED…
(10) INDY WAS TOUGH: After eight weeks of hard-pack dirt, Indy was soft and rutted (save for three square-feet of plywood). This is is what everyone said they wanted…and now that they got it they hope they don’t see it again for a long time. The Indy track ate the riders up and spit them out. In the Main events the riders looked like Endurocross racers as they picked their way through the whoops at creepy crawly speed. Crashes were plentiful and collected Ken Roczen, Josh Grant, Dean Wilson, Ryan Villopoto, Nicholas Schmidt, Weston Peick, Mike Alessi, James Stewart and Ryan Villopoto. Earlier in the evening announcer Jeff Emig said that it was hard to slow the 450s down—Indy proved that to be false.
Dean and Chad discuss strategy. First lesson? Don’t get involved in a first turn crash.
INDY SUPERCROSS RESULTS: 450 CLASS
1. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
2. Eli Tomac (Hon)
3. Cole Seely (Hon)
4. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
5. Broc Tickle (Suz)
6. Andrew Short (KTM)
7. James Stewart (Suz)
8. Justin Brayton (Yam) (Suz)
9. Josh Hill (Suz)
10. Dean Wilson (Kaw)
Other notables: 11. Wil Hahn; 12. Josh Grant; 15. Mike Alessi; 21. Ken Roczen; 22. Weston Peick.
INDY SUPERCROSS RESULTS: 250 EAST
1. Adam Cianciarulo (Kaw)
2. Martin Davalos (Kaw)
3. Justin Bogle (Hon)
4. Matt Biscelgia (Hon)
5. Blake Baggett (Kaw)
6. Vince Friese (Hon)
7. Jimmy Decotis (Hon)
8. Matt Lemoine (Kaw)
9. Cole Thompson (KTM)
10. Kyle Cunningham (Hon)
Other notables: 11. Alex Martin; 13.Mitchell Oldenburg; 16. Justin Starling; 18. Jace Owen; 19. Jeremy Martin.
CURRENT AMA 450 SUPERCROSS POINTS STANDINGS
(After 9 of 17 rounds)
1. Ryan Villopoto………184
2. Ryan Dungey………..161
3. Ken Roczen………….158
4. James Stewart………154
5. Justin Brayton……….143
6. Chad Reed……………111
7. Justin Barcia………….109
8. Andrew Short………..109
9. Wil Hahn………………..93
10. Broc Tickle……………93
Other notables: 11. Weston Peick (68); 12. Josh Hill (58); 14. Josh Grant (56); 18. Eli Tomac (48); 20. Kyle Chisholm (29).
CURRENT AMA 250 EAST SUPERCROSS POINTS STANDINGS
(After 3 of 9 rounds)
1. Adam Cianciarulo……..72
2. Martin Davalos………….67
3. Justin Bogle……………..56
4. Blake Baggett…………..54
5. Vince Friese…………….48
7. Cole Thompson………..40
8. Blake Wharton………….33
9. Kyle Cunningham………33
10. Mitchell Oldenburg…..30
Other notables: 11. Alex Martin (27); 12. Matt Lemoine (26); 13. A.J. Cantazaro (23); 21. Gavin Faith (6); 22. Jace Owen (6).
CURRENT AMA 250 WEST SUPERCROSS POINTS
(After 6 of 9 rounds)
1. Jason Anderson…….131
2. Cole Seely…………….127
3. Justin Hill………………107
4. Dean Wilson…………..98
5. Cooper Webb…………92
6. Malcolm Stewart……..89
7. Jessy Nelson………….76
8. Shane McElrath………71
9. Zach Osborne…………69
10. Dean Ferris…………..63
Other notables: 12. Dakota Tedder (50); 13. Jake Canada (46); 15. Valentin Teillet (28); 17. Darry Durham (21); 20. Austin Politelli (11).
Photos by John Basher and KTM