Dungey breaks away with first 450 Victory, Webb stretches 250 West lead with third win

By: Jon Row, Lance Thruxton, and Bikeland staff

43,313 Anaheim Monster Energy Supercross fans saw more winners and more surprises this weekend. The 250 class experienced a rare total restart after six laps when a starting gate malfunction convinced AMA officials the race’s launch was not fairly executed.

Yamaha’s Cooper Webb battled with Jesse Nelson on the KTM and secured the win to add A3 to his Phoenix and Anaheim 2 victories. The Newport NC rider stretched his 250 West Series lead to eighteen points. Aaron Plessinger had his best ride of the year for the final podium position.

In the big gun class, Ryan Dungey finally got his KTM working well enough to become the series fourth winner in five races, denying Anaheim 1 & 2 winner, Ken Roczen an Anaheim sweep. Dungey inherited the series lead last week with second place at Oakland after Roczen crashed hard but managed to finish 15th. Just a week before, Bikeland had predicted such a bad night would eventually befall both front-runners although we were surprised Roczen’s happened the way it did.

To the relief of his hard working team, Anaheim 3 was all Dungey: fast qualifier, fastest race lap and first main event win of this series. The KTM techs reportedly made a lot of testing progress with their new bike in the last two weeks. Dungey looked comfortable making a hard pass to get by early leader Blake Baggett. As usual, Anaheim proved a difficult track to pass on but it didn’t stop Cole Seely from getting by Bagget and shadowing Dungey for second the whole race. An impressive performance from Seely. The ride of the night though was Eli Tomac - after wowing the field with a dominant heat win Tomac overcame a 7th place main event start, riding on the edge to push Roczen off the podium taking third on the last lap. Tomac is now tied with fellow Honda rider Trey Canard for 3rd in the series after Canard slid down trying to catch the lead duo late in the race.

Despite Dungey’s positive public comments about the new bike this year, teams always struggle with model changes. Even when old platforms are lacking, new designs take time to sort out. Factories have been known to run old chassis disguised with new model bodywork when riders believed or proved the new model was not up to speed. That’s likely not the case with Dungey’s KTM but there’s been obvious improvements the first six weeks. It will get even better but so will Roczen’s Suzuki and the HRC Hondas.

What’s next?
When the checkered flag falls at San Diego next Saturday most of the 450 riders and their trainers will have spent over six weeks based in sunny Southern California training testing and racing. Anaheim’s high temperature Saturday was 72 degrees. It’s easier racing in that environment. Next door to the factory tracks. Short drives to races. Sleeping in the same bed almost every night. Then the series heads East. Flu-filled flights, airport delays, noisy hotels and the unpredictable weather of un enclosed stadiums. As if battling twenty-one other world class riders every week isn't tough enough.

The series is stratifying but it’s far from over. Tomac’s Anaheim 3 podium after such a bad start makes it clear he has more wins waiting. There may be other winners coming too. Justin Barcia and Jason Anderson will be there in tough conditions. Reed's podium last week looked promising and San Diego has been good to him. His championship chances are toast though. Same for Millsaps. But of course they were long odds anyway since nobody remembers anyone winning a SX Championship after becoming a father. A young man's sport? Indeed.

250 SX West results
1 Cooper Webb
2 Jessy Nelson
3 Aaron Plessinger
4 Zach Osborne
5 Matthew Bisceglia
6 Shane Mcelrath
7 Joshua Hansen
8 Justin Hill
9 Alex Martin
10 Cole Martinez

450 SX results
1 Ryan Dungey
2 Cole Seely
3 Eli Tomac
4 Ken Roczen
5 Trey Canard
6 Chad Reed
7 Blake Baggett
8 Justin Barcia
9 Jason Anderson
10 Joshua Hill

250 West Regional Supercross Championship Points
1 Cooper Webb 111
2 Jessy Nelson 93
3 Zach Osborne 87
4 Tyler Bowers 84
5 Justin Hill 78
6 Aaron Plessinger 74
7 Malcolm Stewart 68
8 Shane Mcelrath 64
9 Joshua Hansen 61
10 Alex Martin 59

450 Supercross Championship Points
1 Ryan Dungey 107
2 Ken Roczen 96
3 Eli Tomac 84
3 Trey Canard 84
4 Jason Anderson 74
5 Justin Barcia 71
6 Cole Seely 67
7 Chad Reed 57
8 David Millsaps 54
8 Blake Baggett 54

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Tags: supercross. 2015, anaheim 3