Marvin Musquin stood atop the Monster Energy Supercross 450 podium at Lucas Oil Stadium for the second year in a row last weekend, as KTM riders swept the top three spots for the third time this season in Saturday’s visit to Indianapolis. This weekend, the title chase takes yet another turn, as the sport’s biggest stars take on yet another NFL stadium—this time, CenturyLink Field in Seattle—for the 12th of 17 rounds on the season.
The championship contenders have separated themselves from the pretenders, and the 450 and 250 West classes are both ready to drop the gate on another exciting weekend of action. Here’s your look at the field coming into Saturday night’s event:
Whether you’re with the factory squad or the privateer Rocky Mountain ATV/MC team, orange is the color to beat this year, as KTM riders represent three of the top five riders in points. Red Bull KTM’s Musquin earned his first victory of the 2019 season in Indianapolis by holding off privateer Blake Baggett and fellow factory rider and points leader Cooper Webb; the trio had also previously shared the podium in both Oakland and Atlanta.
Webb’s points lead remains safe at 243, 14 clear of second. But now, teammate Musquin has managed to garner a little bit of separation from Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac, grabbing onto second by a margin of 229-222. Ken Roczen’s return to action this year started strong, but as a main event win continues to elude him, he’s slipped back to fourth in points, 27 back of Webb.
Baggett completes the top five, with popular veterans Dean Wilson and Chad Reed carrying on behind him, but rookie Joey Savatgy enters the weekend within striking distance of the top six. Despite a rough start to the season, Tomac’s new teammate has begun to find his rhythm on the 450, and a rider can only take so many bad breaks in a row before something finally spins their way. Since Oakland, he hasn’t finished worse than ninth, and seven double-digit points days in a row (and counting) is a great way to build both momentum and confidence coming into the season’s final stages.
But Savatgy can’t get too comfortable from eighth in the standings. Justin Brayton and a healthy Justin Barcia are ninth and 10th, only one and three points behind Savatgy, respectively. Mathematically speaking, both Cole Seely and Aaron Plessinger (who remains sidelined with a heel injury) are still within a race’s worth of points of Savatgy as well.
The last time we saw the West riders hit the track was in Atlanta, where Adam Cianciarulo and Dylan Ferrandis snagged the top two spots in the East-West Showdown race from Mercedes-Benz Stadium. We also saw Shane McElrath show up to Daytona with his Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM 250 and race in the 450 class, where he put up a respectable showing despite being down on power and hovered around the edge of the top 10.
Cianciarulo, Ferrandis, and McElrath enter this weekend as the top three riders in points, with respective totals of 140, 125, and 123. Anaheim 1 winner Colt Nichols, despite finishing well off the podium in the past two races, is the only other rider reasonably close to them, sitting fourth with 120. RJ Hampshire completes the top five, but with only 86 points, is a distant 34 back of Nichols, and 54 off of the lead—more than two race’s worth of points.
It’ll be interesting to see how quickly the West riders can find a rhythm this weekend. Unlike the East season, which starts later in the overall calendar, the West class ran the first five Supercross events of the year. But with the East class running every event since then, West teams have only been in action once since February 2, in the aforementioned Showdown race. Who will shake off the rust first?