Monster Energy Supercross Nashville: Weekend Preview

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

Monster Energy Supercross visits uncharted territory this weekend, as Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans, hosts its first-ever Supercross event this Saturday. The 14th of 17 rounds in the 2019 championship is a perfect spot to debut a new venue: the championship races have taken shape, but there’s still more than enough time to make a charge towards the title with some strong performances and a little bit of luck on your side.

250 East will return to action alongside the 450 riders this weekend, while the sport returns to its traditional main event format after its final Triple Crown race of the year last week in Houston. Here’s a quick look at the field and the points chases coming into the weekend:

450 Class

Cooper Webb’s second Triple Crown win in three tries this year not only ensured that he was the king of the format this year, it also increased his championship lead to 17 points over Red Bull KTM teammate Marvin Musquin. The duo raced each other hard in Texas, so don’t expect any love lost over the final four rounds of the season between them; likewise, expect the team’s count of eight victories so far this season to hit double digits at season’s end.

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac remains within shouting distance in third, just nine points behind Musquin, with Honda’s Ken Roczen another 10 points back in fourth. Roczen finally broke through in Houston with a win in the first main event, but a nasty fall to start the second race ruined his overall results. He fell to 10th in the final event standings, while Tomac just missed the overall podium in fourth.

Glendale winner Blake Baggett remains somewhat comfortable in fifth, but after Dean Wilson finally earned his first podium of the season, Baggett’s advantage over sixth is now down to 14 points. Wilson’s rollercoaster season began with the loss of his Husqvarna factory ride, a near-victory in the Anaheim 1 opener, and his return to the team after Jason Anderson’s season-ending victory. Wilson is one of only five riders to score double-digit points in every event this year, with Webb, Musquin, Tomac, and Roczen the other four.

Top rookie Joey Savatgy is seventh in points after scoring his ninth consecutive top-10 finish in Houston. The remainder of the top 10 have each missed at least one race, with active riders Cole Seely and Justin Barcia sandwiched around injured Chad Reed. Reed hopes to recover from a nasty set of injuries sustained in Seattle in time for the Las Vegas season finale.

250 East

Austin Forkner’s thorough dominance of the 250 East season so far has him a full race clear of Chase Sexton in the point standings. Don’t expect Forkner to give up any of that 26-point advantage easily, though—he’s won every East-only race so far, and was the top East rider in the East-West Showdown from Atlanta, to boot.

Sexton, to his credit, has put the pressure on in recent weeks, not only coming in fourth behind Forkner in Atlanta but also second in both Daytona and Indianapolis in the last two rounds. Still, he’s only two points clear of Justin Cooper for the runner-up spot in the standings, as Cooper’s results have been almost identical over the course of the year (four podiums, top-five finishes in every race). The only difference between them is an extra runner-up finish for Sexton that broke their tie last time out in Indy.

Although fourth place is distant from the front runners, Alex Martin heads up an exciting battle for the spot that sees six riders split by just 13 points. Martin Davalos, Mitchell Oldenburg, Brandon Hartranft, Kyle Cunningham, and Kyle Peters are all within reach of the spot with a good enough result in Nashville.

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