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Monster Energy Supercross Denver: Weekend Preview

by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Supercross

The return of Monster Energy Supercross to Broncos Stadium at Mile High in Denver comes at a crucial time of the season. Not only is it the third to last round of the 2019 championship for the premier 450 class, it also leads into the only off weekend of the season before the championship concludes with successive rounds at MetLife Stadium and Sam Boyd Stadium.

Points are scarce for both the 450 and 250 West riders gunning for this year’s titles, so a mile-high misstep could make the difference between being in the hunt in Las Vegas and being eliminated this weekend. Here’s a look at the championship landscapes going into the series’ first Colorado visit in more than two decades:

450 Class

Eli Tomac’s unpredictable 2019 season continued last weekend at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, as the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider scored his fourth victory of the year despite qualifying 11th and having to advance through the last chance qualifier. Tomac’s four victories give him the tiebreaker for second place in points over Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin, who only has two; both riders are tied at 288.

But it’s Musquin’s teammate Cooper Webb who remains the class of the field, after finishing third in Nashville for his 10th podium in 14 races and eighth in the last nine. With 309 points, Webb is almost a race clear of his closest competition, and needs only to remain consistent in the final few rounds of the year to earn his first 450 title, roughly half a year after announcing his move to KTM.

Ken Roczen is on an island in fourth, 19 points behind Tomac and Musquin but 29 clear of Blake Baggett in the fifth position. Baggett continued a stellar season with the privateer Rocky Mountain ATV/MC team with a runner-up result in Nashville, and now has a win and five podiums on the year—including three in the past six races. Dean Wilson is 18 points back of Baggett in sixth after placing fourth in Tennessee.

Save for the initially inconsistent Joey Savatgy, who missed the Glendale main event, the rest of the top 10 have all missed races. Savatgy is just two points back of Cole Seely for seventh, while Justin Barcia has both the injured Chad Reed and Justin Brayton splitting him and Justin Bogle, his closest active competition for ninth place. Further back in points, keep an eye on longtime 250 standout Zach Osborne, who missed the first six races of the season and just cracked the 450 top five for the first time in Nashville.

250 West Class

After a nightmarish middle round in the final Triple Crown event of the season in Houston, Adam Cianciarulo gave up seven points of his incoming 12-point advantage over eventual winner Dylan Ferrandis. The American and the Frenchman have pulled out to a sizable lead over the rest of the 250 West field going into Denver, and will fight it out with incoming totals of 182 and 177, respectively.

Anaheim 1 winner and this season’s breakout star, Colt Nichols, sits third, but will basically need catastrophe to befall both Cianciarulo and Ferrandis to have a shot at the title. Nichols rebounded from a last place finish in Seattle to return to the podium in Houston, scoring his fifth medal in eight tries this year. However, his 142 points are far enough back to be unable to touch either of the top two this weekend.

RJ Hampshire is fourth in points with 126, while an injured Shane McElrath remains fifth with 123. Expect McElrath to be overtaken by some combination of Jimmy Decotis, Chris Blose, Cameron McAdoo, and Michael Mosiman this weekend; Decotis is only 11 points back of McElrath in sixth, and the separation between those four riders is just two points. Garrett Marchbanks completes the top 10.

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