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This Week in Monster Energy Supercross: World’s Best Riders Set to Make Series Debut Inside Levi’s Stadium

| 18 April 2015 11:44 am

Monster Energy Supercross Series
Round 14: Levi’s Stadium

Courtesy of Feld Motor Sports
Photos by Kardy Photos and Hoppenworld
SANTA CLARA, CA, APR. 17, 2015

Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, will make its inaugural visit to Santa Clara, California, on Saturday night inside the brand-new Levis’ Stadium. After crowning both the 450SX-class and Western Regional 250SX-class champions last weekend in Houston, the entire field of competitors will do battle in hopes of claiming the historic first victory at this new venue.

Fox Sports 1 will air the Santa Clara race live at 10 p.m. EDT/ 7 p.m. PDT. Coverage from Santa Clara will also be available on the authenticated Fox Sports GO app. Also, fans can log on to www.SupercrossLive.com to watch “Supercross: Race Day Live,” presented by AMSOIL, with Jim Holley and Andy Bowyer, from 3:30 p.m. EDT/ 12:30 p.m. PDT to 7:30 p.m. EDT/ 4:30 p.m. PDT.

450SX Class

Red Bull KTM

#5 Ryan Dungey

Current Championship Position: First
Houston Start: 10th
Houston Finish: Second (+8)
2015 Average Finish: 1.9

In Houston, Dungey clinched his second 450SX-class title with three races remaining. He had to overcome his worst start of the season to keep his podium streak intact, which extended to 13 races.

The 2015 450SX-class Champion, Ryan Dungey. Photo by Kardy Photos

The 2015 450SX-class Champion, Ryan Dungey. Photo by Kardy Photos

“The team and I worked so hard to get to this point,” said Dungey. “There are hardly words to explain how good this feels. There were a lot of ups and downs along the way, but my team stood behind me through it all and provided me [with] the best bike. I am so excited for this championship but am looking forward to the next goal. We aren’t done yet.”

GEICO Honda

#3 Eli Tomac

Current Championship Position: Second (82 points behind the leader)
Houston Start: Eighth
Houston Finish: Third (+5)
2015 Average Finish: 6.0

Tomac battled through illness to finish on the podium. He is in search of his third win of the season.

“It’s a long season, and you tend to get caught up in the weekly grind,” said Tomac. “As a racer, you want to win every event. That’s what you train for, that’s always your goal, but you can’t win every race and you can’t always win the championship. Ryan [Dungey] has had a great season. He hasn’t made many mistakes and he has stayed healthy. He won the title straight up. At this point, you look at what’s left, and I see three races I’d really like to win. I was halfway bumming about coming in third in Houston, and then one of my best friends reminded me that was our eighth podium finish of the season, and two of those were wins. That’s pretty good, and it kind of put things in perspective. We’ve had a really good year.”

Team Honda HRC

#14 Cole Seely

Current Championship Position: Third (95 points behind the leader)
Houston Start: First
Houston Finish: First (+/-0)
2015 Average Finish: 6.2

Seely earned the first 450SX-class win of his career in Houston, leading every lap. He also took over control of third in the championship points standings.

Cole Seely on his way to capturing his first 450SX-class main-event win this season. Photo by Kardy Photos

Cole Seely on his way to capturing his first 450SX-class main-event win this season. Photo by Kardy Photos

“This just doesn’t feel real,” said Seely. “I’m so ecstatic and am really waiting for all the emotions to kick in. The past five or six weekends have been really good, and I feel like I’ve been right there with it just at my fingertips, so being able to pull off a win in Houston was amazing! I’m so stoked for myself, my team and everyone else in my corner. It’s been a steady progression this season, for sure, but once I found my groove, that was all I needed. It was a matter of just figuring out these 450cc races and getting adjusted to the class, riders, and having so many rounds. The bike handled so awesome; my suspension was working great and my Dunlop tires were hooking up perfect. We had worked throughout practice to get the right setup, and we definitely found it. It was crazy when I was leading and could see the other riders so far back. I just tried to relate it to when I would lead the 250SX class last year: just to stay calm, hit my marks, and click off each lap consistently. I’m still in shock and so happy.”

#41 Trey Canard

Current Championship Position: Fourth (114 points behind the leader)
Houston Start: DNS
Houston Finish: DNS
2015 Average Finish: 4.3 (11 main events)

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

Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports

#22 Chad Reed

Current Championship Position: Fifth (119 points behind the leader)
Houston Start: Third
Houston Finish: Fifth (-2)
2015 Average Finish: 7.5

Reed finished fifth in Houston on what was collectively the best outing of the season for TwoTwo Motorsports, as both Josh Grant and Reed finished inside the top five.

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Yoshimura Suzuki

#4 Blake Baggett

Current Championship Position: Sixth (143 points behind the leader)
Houston Start: 13th
Houston Finish: 11th (+2)
2015 Average Finish: 8.7

Baggett just missed out on a top-10 finish in Houston, finishing 11th.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

#21 Jason Anderson

Current Championship Position: Seventh (148 points behind the leader)
Houston Start: Sixth
Houston Finish: 16th (-10)
2015 Average Finish: 9.3

Anderson was battling up front in the Houston main event, but misfortune resulted in a 16th-place effort.

“My weekend started out really good,” said Anderson. “I had practice times in the top five, similar to St. Louis, where I got on the podium. I had a tip-over in my heat race but then came out and won my semi. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever won a semi. Then, in the main event, I started about sixth and moved up to third. I was trying to pass into second and then I went down with [Chad] Reed, then got back up and had a big crash in the sand. I rode good and I have a lot to take away from it. I just need to go to Santa Clara and get back on the podium.”

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RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s Suzuki Factory Racing

#20 Broc Tickle

Current Championship Position: Eighth (159 points behind the leader)
Houston Start: 11th
Houston Finish: Eighth (+3)
2015 Average Finish: 9 (12 main events)

Tickle earned an eighth-place finish in Houston and surpassed his teammate Ken Roczen for eighth in the championship standings as a result.

“For the most part, I feel like we had a good night in Houston,” commented Tickle. “I felt like I picked up some intensity after having some time off. I got to ride with Cooper Webb and Aaron Plessinger over the break, and I think riding motos with them helped me a little bit. I had better speed than I’d had in some of the previous weeks. We made some changes throughout the day, and my bike was working really well. The main didn’t go as planned, but I felt like there were still some positives. I made a couple passes in the beginning, but I got a little flustered when [Davi] Millsaps and I came together and I kind of lost my groove. It’s frustrating because I had good speed all day. So, for us, we just need to go back home and have a good week, go to Santa Clara, and see if we can improve.”

#94 Ken Roczen

Current Championship Position: Ninth (162 points behind the leader)
Houston Start: DNS
Houston Finish: DNS
2015 Average Finish: 5.9 (9 main events)

RCH Racing announced on Thursday that Roczen will sit out the final three races of the 2015 season.

“I’m super bummed to sit out the rest of the Supercross season, but everyone agrees that we’re doing the right thing,” said Roczen. “We started out the year really strong, and that’s a big reason why missing all these races has been so tough. But at this point, we have to move on. I need to make sure that I’m ready when the outdoor season starts next month. I’ve gotten a ton of support from Ricky [Carmichael] and Carey [Hart], the fans, and all of our sponsors. I owe it to myself, the team, all of my fans and our sponsors to make sure there are no question marks when the Pro Motocross Championship starts next month. I’ll be 100 percent.”

BTO Sports KTM

#29 Andrew Short

Current Championship Position: 10th (166 points behind the leader)
Houston Start: Second
Houston Finish: Sixth (-4)
2015 Average Finish: 10.4

Short took advantage of yet another strong start in Houston to earn a sixth-place finish, his best since Indianapolis three races ago.

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Western Regional 250SX Class

Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha

#17 Cooper Webb

Current Championship Position: First
Houston Start: Fourth
Houston Finish: First (+3)
Average Finish: 2.0

Webb earned his fifth win in the last six races to clinch his first career title in the Western Regional 250SX-class Championship.

Cooper Webb celebrates his Western Regional 250SX-class Championship. Photo by Hoppenworld

Cooper Webb celebrates his Western Regional 250SX-class Championship. Photo by Hoppenworld

“Last weekend, for me, was a dream come true,” said Webb. “Going into Houston, I had the opportunity to win the championship. That was the goal once we got there. We went out first practice and qualified first. Overall, I qualified first in practice. Went out in the heat race and was able to win the heat race. Going into the main, I just felt really good; I felt that I could win that as well. I got off to a good start and I had to make a few passes but got into the lead, won the race, and was able to win my first-ever professional championship. It’s obviously a dream come true. We have been working ever since I was a 4-year-old little kid to one day dream of winning the championship. I am so happy for me and my family and the whole Yamalube/ Star Racing Yamaha team. Everyone worked so hard, and obviously all our hard work has paid off.”

#157 Aaron Plessinger

Current Championship Position: Sixth (62 points behind the leader)
Houston Start: Fifth
Houston Finish: Fourth (+1)
2015 Average Finish: 7.3

Plessinger was in podium contention in Houston, battling up front the entire race, en route to a fourth-place finish.

“Last weekend at Houston was a little rough in the beginning,” said Plessinger. “I qualified 11th in the first practice and fifth in the second practice, which was pretty good. In the heat race, I got off to a pretty good start. I was in fourth and almost caught Bowers for third, but I’ll take fourth for what it is. I got a pretty good gate selection in the main and pulled a pretty good start. I was sitting in fourth and Bisceglia went down, which made me go into third. I got a little too comfortable in third. I started slowing down a bit. Malcolm Stewart then caught me and passed me for third place. All in all, it was a good weekend from where it started off. I am going to come into Santa Clara ready to go. I am going to put in a solid week this week. It is going to be a good weekend next weekend; I am looking forward to it.”

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

#16 Zach Osborne

Current Championship Position: Second (45 points behind the leader)
Houston Start: Eighth
Houston Finish: Seventh (+1)
2015 Average Finish: 5.1

Osborne overcame a crash earlier in the night in Houston to soldier home to a seventh-place finish. He moved into second in the championship standings.

“Houston was good all day, and I felt good on the bike,” said Osborne. “My speed was pretty good – not great, but definitely the best I’ve felt at a race all year. In the heat race, I pulled the holeshot and had a little unfortunate incident where I jumped on a bike that came from another lane, crashed and got a gnarly stinger in my arm and neck and maybe something in my collarbone; I don’t really know. In the LCQ, I got another really good start and qualified. In the main, it just took me a while to get going. I was just mostly feeling out my arm and everything and seeing what I had going on. Finally, in the end, I made some good passes up to seventh, and it moved me to second in the championship. Hopefully I can wrap that up this weekend in Santa Clara.”

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Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Red Bull/KTM

#40 Shane McElrath

Current Championship Position: Third (53 points behind the leader)
Houston Start: First
Houston Finish: Second (-1)
2015 Average Finish: 6.4

McElrath earned his second straight runner-up finish in Houston, tying the best result of his career. He moved into third in the championship standings.

#28 Jessy Nelson

Current Championship Position: Fourth (55 points behind the leader)
Houston Start: DNS
Houston Finish: DNS
2015 Average Finish: 5.0 (6 Main Events)

Nelson will miss the remainder of the 2015 season due to an injury.

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki

#911 Tyler Bowers

Current Championship Position: Fifth (56 points behind the leader)
Houston Start: Third
Houston Finish: 21st (-18)
2015 Average Finish: 7.4

Bowers announced this week that he will undergo back surgery and therefore miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

Red Bull KTM

#32 Justin Hill

Current Championship Position: Seventh (67 points behind the leader)
Houston Start: 15th
Houston Finish: Sixth (+9)
2015 Average Finish: 8.3

Hill showed his resiliency in Houston, passing nine riders to finish sixth.

“I was really hoping to get on the podium in Houston,” said Hill. “Unfortunately, I made a mistake early on that cost me. Hopefully, I can ride mistake-free at the next round and get back up where I belong.”

CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha

#31 Alex Martin

Current Championship Position: Eighth (70 points behind the leader)
Houston Start: Seventh
Houston Finish: Fifth (+2)
2015 Average Finish: 8.3

Martin finished fifth in Houston and has three top-five finishes over the last four races. He moved into eighth in the championship standings.

GEICO Honda

#34 Malcolm Stewart

Current Championship Position: Ninth (72 points behind the leader)
Houston Start: 11th
Houston Finish: Third (+8)
2015 Average Finish: 10.1

Stewart earned his third podium finish of the season in Houston and his best result since winning in Oakland.

“There will definitely be some time for recovery this week,” said Stewart. “I smashed my face pretty hard in practice at Houston, and I was still buzzing from that when the night program started. I had times where I rode really well, but then I also ended up on the ground, so it was kind of hit-or-miss for me. It was definitely the hardest I’ve ever worked for a third-place finish. I want another win. We only have two more west races, in Santa Clara and Vegas, so I want to get it rolling as soon as possible and win again. The last time we were in the Bay Area, I got to the top step, so maybe that place will be my sweet spot.”

Motosport.com/Monster Energy Kawasaki

#100 Josh Hansen

Current Championship Position: 10th (72 points behind the leader)
Houston Start: 20th
Houston Finish: 11th (+9)
2015 Average Finish: 8.4

Hansen narrowly missed out on a top-10 finish in Houston, finishing in 11th, but he battled his way back from a 20th-place start.

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Practice and qualifying will begin at 12:30 p.m. and the main event will start at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are available at the Levi’s 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. VIP seats are $90 per adult or child; P2 seats are $65 per adult or child; P3 seats are $55 per adult or child; P4 seats are $45 per adult or child; P5 seats are $35 per adult or child; and P6 seats are $20 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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