Saddlemen

This Week in Monster Energy Supercross: Houston

| 10 April 2015 2:33 pm

Monster Energy Supercross Series
Round 14: NRG Stadium

Courtesy of Feld Motor Sports
Photos by Kardy Photos
HOUSTON, TX, APR. 10, 2015

Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, will return from its lone off weekend of the 2015 season with its annual visit to Houston’s NRG Stadium tomorrow night. A pair of titles are up for grabs, as 450SX-class points leader Ryan Dungey as well as Western Regional 250SX-class Championship leader Cooper Webb both carry comfortable advantages over their respective fields. With another strong outing, both riders could wrap up the 2015 crowns early.

Fox Sports 2 will air the Houston race live at 8 p.m. EDT/ 5 p.m. PDT. Coverage from Houston will also be available on the authenticated Fox Sports GO app. On Saturday, April 11, fans can log on to www.SupercrossLive.com to watch “Supercross Race Day Live,” presented by AMSOIL, with Jim Holley and Andy Bowyer, from 1:50 p.m. EDT/ 12:50 p.m. CDT/ 10:50 a.m. PDT/ to 5:30 p.m. EDT/ 4:30 p.m. CDT/ 3:30 p.m. PDT. And don’t forget that episode six of “Monster Energy Supercross: Behind the Dream” will premiere tomorrow on Fox Sports 1. [For more details, plus a preview, please see “Episode Six of ‘Supercross: Behind the Dream’ Premieres This Saturday on Fox Sports 1”… Editor]

450SX Class

Red Bull KTM

#5 Ryan Dungey

Current Championship Position: First
St. Louis Start: First
St. Louis Finish: First (+/-0)
2015 Average Finish: 1.8

At the previous race in St. Louis, Dungey was dominant en route to a career-high sixth win of the season. With an 80-point lead over his closest competitor, Dungey needs to finish third or better on Saturday to clinch his second 450SX-class title.

“The team has built an incredible bike this season,” said Dungey. “I was able to get off to a good start in St. Louis. I was then able to focus on my opening laps and then settle in and focus on the win. I am so happy with my KTM and everyone that has been behind me on the team.”

GEICO Honda

#3 Eli Tomac

Current Championship Position: Second (80 points behind the leader)
St. Louis Start: Seventh
St. Louis Finish: Second (+5)
2015 Average Finish: 6.2

Tomac has been strong the past two races, earning a win and a runner-up finish, but he will likely need to grab his third victory of 2015 in order to prevent Dungey from clinching the title on Saturday night.

Eli Tomac at the St. Louis Supercross round.

Eli Tomac at the St. Louis Supercross round.

“It was nice to have a weekend off,” said Tomac. “We were going for 13 weeks in a row, and that’s a long time. It was good time off. Everyone wanted a little bit of a recharge. I’ll be able to keep that momentum going. Not much is going to change, I don’t think, and I’m excited to take this GEICO Honda to Houston.”

Team Honda HRC

#41 Trey Canard

Current Championship Position: Third (92 points behind the leader)
St. Louis Start: DNS
St. Louis Finish: DNS
2015 Average Finish: 4.3 (11 Main Events)

Canard is sidelined for the remainder of the 2015 season with a broken arm.

#14 Cole Seely

Current Championship Position: Fourth (98 points behind the leader)
St. Louis Start: Ninth
St. Louis Finish: Fourth (+5)
2015 Average Finish: 6.6

Seely is six points from surpassing his teammate for third in the 450SX-class standings and will be in search of the first premier-class win of his career.

Cole Seely is closing in on third in the standings.

Cole Seely is closing in on third in the standings.

“St. Louis was tough,” said Seely. “I got off to a horrible start, so I just tried to be smart about line selection and pick my way through the guys. I got into fourth and felt like I was catching Jason [Anderson] but got a really bad side cramp when I had to avoid a lapper; I made a jerking motion to move out of the way, and under my ribs cramped up right away, so I had to just try to maintain the pace I had and hope that Jason would make mistakes, which never happened. The last five laps were tough. I prefer a track that’s more technical, where you need to be precise in each section. I really want to be on the podium, but I’m happy with how far I was able to make it through the pack for fourth.”

Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports

#22 Chad Reed

Current Championship Position: Fifth (113 points behind the leader)
St. Louis Start: 12th
St. Louis Finish: Eighth (+4)
2015 Average Finish: 7.7

Reed is currently in the middle of a six-race top-10 streak.

Yoshimura Suzuki

#4 Blake Baggett

Current Championship Position: Tied for Sixth (131 points behind the leader)
St. Louis Start: 11th
St. Louis Finish: 10th (+1)
2015 Average Finish: 8.5

Baggett has endured some ups and downs in recent weeks, but he is ready to get back on the podium for the second time this season.

Blake Baggett last weekend in St. Louis.

Blake Baggett last weekend in St. Louis.

“I came into St. Louis under the weather a little bit,” said Baggett. “I got 10th, and I’ll take that. I left healthy and enjoyed a week off, where we could do some outdoor testing. I’m getting ready for that and looking to regroup for the final rounds of the Supercross season.”

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

#21 Jason Anderson

Current Championship Position: Tied for Sixth (131 points behind the leader)
St. Louis Start: Third
St. Louis Finish: Third (+/-0)
2015 Average Finish: 8.8

Anderson was strong in St. Louis, earning his first podium finish since a second-place effort at the opening race.

“I think things are going in the right direction,” said Anderson. “It took 12 races too long, but we got a podium and I’m just pumped! All day was good. I was kind of not used to riding up front, because it’s been a while since I’ve done it, but it felt good up there. I was riding really good and trying to change up my lines, with the track conditions. I’m trying to make smart decisions out there, and I think that helped me stay in the podium hunt. All in all, I’m happy to put my Husqvarna up on the podium and really pumped for my team. That was something we needed going into the break.”

RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s Suzuki Factory Racing

#94 Ken Roczen

Current Championship Position: Eighth (140 points behind the leader)
St. Louis Start: DNS
St. Louis Finish: DNS
2015 Average Finish: 5.9 (9 Main Events)

Roczen was scheduled to make his return to action in Houston after an ankle injury sidelined him for the last four races, but an announcement from RCH Racing confirmed that he will forego Houston with the hope of returning for one of the final three races.

#20 Broc Tickle

Current Championship Position: Ninth (150 points behind the leader)
St. Louis Start: Sixth
St. Louis Finish: Ninth (-3)
2015 Average Finish: 9.1 (12 main events)

Since returning from injury at the sixth race of the season in San Diego, Tickle has not finished outside the top 10. He is one of just two riders with that distinction.

“I went back home and regrouped during the break,” said Tickle. “I think it was good for me. I’ve been training like crazy during the week, and it’s not working, so I went back home, worked on what we needed to get better, and will come to Houston 100-percent ready.”

BTO Sports KTM

#29 Andrew Short

Current Championship Position: 10th (159 points behind the leader)
St. Louis Start: 22nd
St. Louis Finish: 22nd (+/-0)
2015 Average Finish: 10.7

Short escaped serious injury following a big crash in the St. Louis main event, mere feet after capturing the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award. The Houston stop is considered his hometown race.

“St. Louis was one of my better races; I was finally starting to feel better,” said Short. “I ended the night with two holeshots and a heat-race win. Unfortunately, I had a big get-off after the second holeshot [in the main event]. I am happy I’m starting to feel better on the track and I am looking forward to Houston.”

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Western Regional 250SX Class

Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha

#17 Cooper Webb

Current Championship Position: First
San Diego Start: Second
San Diego Finish: First (+1)
2015 Average Finish: 2.2

Webb has won four of the last five Western Regional races and can clinch his first career title with a finish of third or better at the next round.

#157 Aaron Plessinger

Current Championship Position: Sixth (55 points behind the leader)
San Diego Start: 18th
San Diego Finish: 14th (+4)
2015 Average Finish: 7.8

Plessinger will be in search of his second career podium finish in Houston.

Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/KTM

#28 Jessy Nelson

Current Championship Position: Second (30 points behind the leader)
San Diego Start: 13th
San Diego Finish: Eighth (+5)
2015 Average Finish: 5.0

Nelson has three podium finishes in six races and hopes to earn his second career win on Saturday night.

#40 Shane McElrath

Current Championship Position: Fifth (50 points behind the leader)
San Diego Start: Fourth
San Diego Finish: Second (+2)
2015 Average Finish: 7.2

McElrath earned a career-best runner-up finish at the last Western Regional race in San Diego.

“The break was nice, but I’m really anxious to pick back up where we left off in San Diego [with a podium finish],” said McElrath. “We’ve been able to work really hard over the past two months, and I can’t wait to get to Houston. I have family coming, so it should be a great race!”

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki

#911 Tyler Bowers

Current Championship Position: Third (32 points behind the leader)
San Diego Start: First
San Diego Finish: Third (-2)
2015 Average Finish: 5.2

Bowers has had three podium finishes in six races, but he would like nothing more than to give Pro Circuit its first win of the 2015 season.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

#16 Zach Osborne

Current Championship Position: Fourth (34 points behind the leader)
San Diego Start: Third
San Diego Finish: Sixth (-3)
2015 Average Finish: 4.8

A broken thumb hindered Osborne during the first half of the Western Regional season, but now that he’s back to full health, the South Carolina rider expects to battle for wins.

Red Bull KTM

#32 Justin Hill

Current Championship Position: Seventh (57 points behind the leader)
San Diego Start: 22nd
San Diego Finish: DNF
2015 Average Finish: 8.7

A DNF in San Diego wasn’t how Hill wanted to enter the break, but he’s back and ready to build on a season-best finish of third.

Motosport.com/Monster Energy Kawasaki

#100 Josh Hansen

Current Championship Position: Eighth (57 points behind the leader)
San Diego Start: Fifth
San Diego Finish: Fourth (+1)
2015 Average Finish: 8

Hansen earned a season-best fourth-place finish at the last race in San Diego.

CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha

#31 Alex Martin

Current Championship Position: Ninth (61 points behind the leader)
San Diego Start: Sixth
San Diego Finish: Fifth (+1)
2015 Average Finish: 8.8

Martin hopes to earn a second career podium finish before the season wraps up.

GEICO Honda

#34 Malcolm Stewart

Current Championship Position: 10th (67 points behind the leader)
San Diego Start: 21st
San Diego Finish: 21st (+/-0)
2015 Average Finish: 11.3

Stewart has one win to his credit this season and believes he has another one in him.

“I feel great, and I’m definitely eager to get back to racing,” said Stewart. “I had some time off to ride outdoors and enjoy a little bit of life, honestly. I had a chance to get away from the racing scene, which is the cool thing about riding in the west series – you actually get a break. Now it’s time to get back to riding. It’s that time again.”

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Tickets are available at the NRG Stadium box office and at all Ticketmaster outlets, or you can charge by phone at 800/745-3000, or online at www.supercross.com or www.ticketmaster.com.

Practice and qualifying will begin at 12:30 p.m. and the main event will start at 6:30 p.m. Club Level seats are $50 per adult or child; Field Level Sidelines seating is $30 per adult or child; Endzone seating (100 & 300 Level) is $30 per adult and $15 per child; and Treadhead seats are $15 per adult or child. Fans can also get into the pits for free from noon to 6 p.m. on race day when they recycle a Monster Energy can at the stadium’s pit entrance. (This offer valid only with event ticket.)

For more information on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, please log on to www.SupercrossLive.com, the official website of Monster Energy Supercross.

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