Before we begin Monday Kickstart, our condolences and thoughts are with the family and friends of Cody Gragg and his father Chris Gragg. The tragic news of their untimely passing on Saturday closely affected many within our industry. May they rest in peace.
Detroit delivered drama in the 250SX class beginning in practice. In what's been a season of bumping, Christian Craig and Alex Martin were the topic of conversation in the afternoon after Craig made an aggressive pass on Martin in the bowl corner before the finish. Being that Martin was already hard on the throttle, it caused him to fly off the berm and land directly on his back, sidelining him for the night. Craig admitted he made the move after claiming Martin was messing with his fast laps, but assured the result was not his intention. Martin was seen on crutches and there was no official word of the injuries, but that was quite a hard hit. We'll update as we find out more…
The track this week once again presented riders with plenty of challenges to deal with, traction being the most common topic throughout the afternoon. Patience and line selection was crucial, and we saw numerous washouts during the night show. The sand sections are almost unanimously hated by the riders, and the 180 degree sand corner was another challenge in the vision department.
What more can you say about Eli Tomac? The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider had only one way to close the gap, and winning is what he's doing. Four in a row and seven points back, this title is becoming very visible as the rounds click off.
Ryan Dungey on the other hand had a very impressive ride carving through about seven riders to a podium finish, but the five points lost are crucial and the cushion is becoming smaller. Will we see more battles for the lead before this is over? Bet on that.
Dungey's biggest challenge Saturday night was an on-fire Davi Millsaps, and without their multi-lap battle the main may have been a snoozer. Davi smiled in our post-race interview when asked about it, and it's cool to see a rider reflect on a race that they genuinely enjoyed. Go check out the interview HERE.
More 250SX Class craziness…Jordon Smith wins his career first LCQ (Not something many riders are too excited about) but follows it up with his career first 250 Main Event win. Remember Jeremy McGrath's DC Refuse to Lose bonus? Yeah, he's probably wishing that was still around! Regardless of the scenario, congratulations to Jordon on reaching a milestone in his young career.
The start of the 250 Main was the catalyst to what was a huge swing in points, Zach Osborne getting handed the short end of the stick. In our photos (browse the gallery below) we have a sequence of the chain reaction crash resulting in Alix, Craig, and Osborne going down. Osborne's front wheel was so badly damaged that he had to make a pit stop and have it replaced, remounting for a tough charge forward to 18th. This was just about the worst-case scenario for Osborne, but as we've seen this year in the 250 Classes – anything can happen and it's not over until Vegas.
The points standings are VERY close after this, with Savatgy out front by the biggest margin of 9, and just 1 point separates Smith who moved into second, Osborne in third, and Cianciarulo in fourth. This East coast series has been crazy!
The start of the 450 Main was the sight of yet another crash, this time it was Chad Reed who found a tough block causing him to go straight in the process of crashing. Dungey's poor jump put him in the position to have this
How about Dylan Ferrandis? Fastest qualifier and leading most of the main until what looked like fatigue set in, the future looks bright here for the French superstar.
Did you see THIS ONE? Mike Alessi and Vince Friese’s night could have ended a lot worse if this went any other way. Thankful they are both ok.
Checking out the numbers below, it’s an impressive landslide with how many Yamaha’s are in the 250 Class, totaling 13. That’s quite a testament to their machine in the small-bore class. Suzuki claimed the top number of bikes in the 450 Class.
Manufacturer totals in the main events:
Suzuki – 6
KTM – 5
Honda – 5
Kawasaki – 2
Husqvarna – 2
Yamaha – 2
Yamaha – 13
Kawasaki – 3
KTM – 2
Husqvarna – 1
Honda – 2
Suzuki – 1