By: Feld Motosports
DETROIT (March 25, 2017) – Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, took over Ford Field for its 12th round of the 2017 season and showcased bar-to-bar racing in front of 46,324 fans. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac continued to prove he’s on a mission for the championship as he claimed his fourth-straight victory, bringing him just seven points back of reigning champion Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ryan Dungey. A wild Eastern Regional 250SX Class race saw Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Jordon Smith take his first career victory on the final lap. Entering points leader Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider Zach Osborne finished 18th and relinquished the championship lead to Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy.
Opening the main event was Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin grabbing the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot. At the end of the opening lap, it was Musquin leading with Tomac and RMATV/MC-WPS-KTM’s Davi Millsaps close. As the leader pulled a gap on the rest of the field, points leader Dungey came around the opening lap in seventh.
It only took three laps for Tomac to make his move on the KTM rider Musquin and start his charge to pull away from the pack. Musquin did his best to put up a fight, but the Kawasaki rider quickly put seconds on second place. While Tomac was lengthening his lead out front, Dungey was busy making up as many points as possible, moving into fifth on lap three. He quickly got by Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Josh Grant for fourth, but it took more time to get by Millsaps, making his move for the final podium spot on lap 21.
Tomac would cross the finish line 8.4 seconds ahead of Musquin, who was just two seconds ahead of his teammate Dungey.
“I’m putting myself in a good position in the main event. I didn’t do that in the heat race, but got my act together for the main and was able to capitalize,” said Tomac. “I felt very fortunate for having that ninth gate pick. I just felt good and comfortable. This is what we wanted tonight on this sketchy surface and I was able to attack it. It was another really good night of racing.”
Prior to the start of Tomac’s win-streak, he faced a 27-point deficit to Dungey. Tomac’s fourth-straight win and seventh victory this season places him only seven points back of the championship lead with five races remaining. Musquin gained solo hold of third in the standings, sitting 47 points behind Dungey.
“I think the hardest thing is where we’ve been during the first lap over the past few races,” said Dungey. “I can’t do anything back there. Eli is out front and I’m not able to do anything. But we did charge hard for third. We have to put ourselves in a better position at the start but we’ll work through it. We need to start turning it up here over the next few races.”
The Eastern Regional 250SX class main event started with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo grabbing the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot, but a pileup behind him collected entering point’s leader Osborne. As the opening lap commenced, it was Cianciarulo, Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Dylan Ferrandis, Savatgy, and Smith all together in the hunt for the lead.
The riders were barely around their first lap when Ferrandis got by Cianciarulo, and then on lap two Savatgy pulled into the lead with Cianciarulo in tow. On lap three, Cianciarulo went down and Ferrandis and Smith raced by, but the Kawasaki rider was able to remount in fourth. On lap five while leading, Savatgy surrendered the lead to Ferrandis after going down.
The Frenchman Yamaha rider would chalk up another eight laps in the lead before the duo of Smith and Savatgy over took him for the top two spots, respectively, on Lap 13. With championship implications for both riders, Smith and Savatgy duked it out with Savatgy entering the final lap with the lead. Just a few corners after receiving the white flag, Smith sped by Savatgy and was able to hold on to receive the checkered flag and celebrate his first career victory.
As Smith took his spot on top of the podium and Savatgy second, remarkably Cianciarulo came from several seconds back to secure the final podium position in third after passing Ferrandis with two laps to go. Entering points leader Osborne was able to return to the race, but ultimately finished 18th and relinquished the points lead to Savatgy.
“It was an unbelievable day. I had to go to the LCQ (Last Change Qualifier) and I won that,” said Smith. “[In the main], I got a great start from the outside. I had to make a few passes and the track was really tough, which was causing people to make mistakes. I’m so thankful for so many people. It’s an amazing feeling [to win] and I can’t wait to share it with everyone.”
The shake-up of Osborne’s 18th-place finish propelled Savatgy into the Eastern Regional 250SX Championship lead with nine points over Detroit winner Smith. Osborne is third and 10 points back of Savatgy.
The 2017 Monster Energy Supercross season continues next Saturday, April 1, for the 13th round of the championship inside The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis. Live broadcast coverage can be seen on FS1 beginning at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET.