This is getting good. The sixth round of the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Series was a night filled with unexpected events through the 250 and 450 classes. Mechanical woes and crashes on the challenging track kept some of the usual front-runners from making their way to the top of the order and now the point standings are shaken up again. Well, unless you’re talking about the guys with the red plates, because they have a good grasp over their competitors. But as we’ve seen many times this year, it could all change in an instant.
– Maybe it’s the twenty-hour-plus drive from California or six weeks of racing, but the 250 West Coast class turnout at the Arlington round has been very low for the last two years. All forty riders that signed up for the race made the night show. When Arlington was the start of the “East Coast” in 2015, fifty-six riders lined up for the race.
– What a wild 450 main event. Let’s recap. First was the red flag for Justin Brayton, then the full restart that saw Marvin Musquin fly away with the lead. Davi Millsaps went down in the first turn and had to pull into the work area for repairs, but charged from last place to eighth at the checkered flag. Cooper Webb had to drop out of his spot at the front of the pack due to a flat rear tire, but after a quick wheel swap he rejoined the race and finished fourteenth. Blake Baggett went down a number of times and mechanical issues from the first crash reportedly resulted in the other issues. Eli Tomac’s front brake was damaged at some point in the main event and he had to pull into the work area for the team to cut his front brake line. Tomac ultimately finished fifteenth.
– Riders voiced their concerns with the setting sun during the 450 heat and semi races. There was nothing to obstruct the massive windows on the west side of the stadium and riders said the bright light was blinding when they hit certain obstacles, particularly the whoops. This is probably something that the event organizers didn’t think about when they scheduled the event (more below), but it’s something that must be taken into consideration for the next daytime race.
– These main events had the most laps so far for the timed races and for whatever reason, it seemed to show on the circuit. Riders are starting to feel like the extra laps are making the races more about survival than speed and that things will get even worse when the series hits tracks like Indianapolis or Toronto.
– About that daytime race and tape-delayed television broadcast. Feld told us the event time was locked in long ago and was determined by a time slot with FOX Sports, but the recent acquisition of broadcast rights for UFC fights forced them to change the plans. Since tickets and event times were shared with the public prior to the issue, it would have been impossible to change back to a later schedule.
– During the post-race press conference, Austin Forkner said that the first few days of his spring break will not include motorcycle riding. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider told us that he cased a jump during the preseason and tweaked his back, but he was able to get through the opening rounds with a modified riding technique and tune-ups from a chiropractor.
– We noticed a few people claimed that Ryan Dungey was fighting with an illness at the Arlington SX. We spoke with Aldon Baker and the trainer told us that wasn’t exactly true, that he was actually sick the week before and felt much better in Texas. No matter, Dungey finished the 450 main event in fourth place.
– With Weston Peick and Phil Nicoletti injured, Jake Weimer is staying with JGRMX for a few more rounds. How many more is uncertain, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he finished out the SX season with the team.
– Speaking of Weimer, how about that semi run-in with Brady Kiesel? The two collided in a bowl turn and went down, which took them out of contention for the main event transfer spots. They exchanged words after the race and then lined up for the LCQ, which Weimer won.
– Josh Hansen was out of the Arlington SX race due to the concussion he suffered a week prior in Oakland.