Supercross Flashback: Round 16

This round has been a fun one for us, and stress-filled for championship riders, since it was close to the time that guys were wrapping up titles. Let's check out some of the Round 16 stops over the years.

2019 – East Rutherford

Met Life Stadium is a favorite of the riders and teams. With its proximity to New York City, it definitely adds some excitement to the paddock.

How much had Austin ridden since he'd injured his knee in Nashville? He said he got in one session on Wednesday before flying to New Jersey. He's got his Mobius knee braces cinched up about as tight as he can stand them, and his left knee brace is taped to his leg.

This was the first time we'd spotted the new Fox helmet on the track, and we were surprised to see it here. Originally, we thought it was likely to hit the track at Las Vegas. Check out the large quantity of venting.

We ran into Jeff Scharff (right) from Planmed on Friday. Planmed builds Cone Beam Computed Tomography machines that are really good for checking out bone, and he'd recently met up with Weston Peick. They did a full scan of Weston's skull, which showed the extent of the injuries that he'd suffered at the Paris Supercross, and they had done a 3D model of his skull. The blue bits in the model are plates that surgeons had added to repair Weston's skull and jaw.

Whoa, there's some good stuff in the gear bag for the Chad Reed VIP peeps.

Chase Sexton and Austin Forkner were doing a little rubbing on the outside, while Kyle Peters snuck around the inside of the first turn at the start of the second 250 heat.

Austin Forkner getting some pre-race encouragement from his girlfriend (no fiance), Rylee Jean Kirk.

Austin headed out after re-injuring his knee. That's a lot of pain and frustration all mixed up in one place. Austin Forkner had an amazing season along with the most wins. Before Nashville, it looked like he'd cruise to the 250 East title, but this was a tough end to his 2019 season.

When things are going your way, they seem to really be going your way. In addition to Austin Forkner's troubles, Chase Sexton dodged a bullet when John Short went down in front of him.

The number one was for Chase's first win, but the following week it could also be for the 1E. He had a nine-point advantage heading into the Las Vegas finale.

If you think Cooper was going to just run away with this one, think again. He'd been suffering from the flu and a sinus infection, and wasn't at 100%.

The battle between Eli Tomac and Cooper Webb was entertaining...until Webb made a few mistakes and Eli got away. But then Eli made one of his own in the whoops, and dropped back in the pack. Cooper took the win, and a 23-point lead heading into the final round.

2018 – Salt Lake City

It was still a topic on the Vital MX Forums, on social media and around the pits following their contact at East Rutherford the week before, but Marvin Musquin and Eli Tomac had little appetite for talking about what happened during that main event during pre-race festivities in Salt Lake City.

The Monster Energy Kawasaki crew had AP Designs do up this helmet for Eli. Just about everyone found the irony of a graphic of a red bull on a Monster-sponsored rider, and this one never hit the track. Wonder what happened to it?

In the 250 main, Shane McElrath's mastery of the whoops allowed him to go by both Joey Savatgy and Adam Cianciarulo at the same time and take over the lead.

We're not quite sure what to make of this shoe selection spotted in the infield.

It was a weird weekend...windy, and really dusty, despite copious amounts of water being dumped on the track. How dusty was it out there? Yeah, like that. Riders and mechanics were wearing goggles everywhere in the infield...even when they weren't racing.

Jason Anderson was close to wrapping up his 450 Supercross title, but had problems when his front wheel lost a few spokes as they headed into the first turn here. The time it took to change the wheel seemed torturously long, and Jason was doing a good job of keeping calm, but by the time the wheel was changed, he was already a couple of laps down. He rode the wheels off of it for the rest of the main, but still finished in 17th spot.

The first time that Eli tried to get by Blake Baggett for second spot, he clipped a Tuf-Blox and had a minor step-off. He then had to work his way back by Christian Craig, and then Blake Baggett...this time for good. If he hadn't gond down, the battle for the win might have been a lot more interesting. He was definitely making time on Marvin Musquin.

We'd guess that everyone involved was happy to put the drama of Foxborough's main event behind them. The crowd was pretty rough on Marvin Musquin during opening ceremonies but were much kinder during post-race interviews.

2017 – East Rutherford

Here was Malcolm Stewart's crew at the time, including Todd Brown (left), Roger Larson, and Jason Montoya (mechanic). Jason's still with him at SmarTop | Bullfrog Spas | MotoConcepts | Honda, Todd is at WP, and Roger still handles Seven.

KTM's Pit Beirer was on hand, and the team announced that they'd signed Marvin Musquin through 2019.

Joey Savatgy and Zach Osborne don't often seem to be very far apart during qualifying.

Jordon Smith (Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM), Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki), and Kyle Cunningham (AutoTrader.com/Suzuki/JGRMX) led the way into the first turn. But that's not the wildest thing about this photo. Check out how far back Zach Osborne is in this photo...and we'll revisit that in a few.

Zach's ride through the pack put him squarely back into the running for the 250 East title, but with the points up for grabs in the combined East/West Shootout, just about anything could happen...and it did.

Jason Anderson (Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna) grabbed the holeshot and looked to be in a prime spot to take a win here...until he crashed in the corner after a triple. He did end up remounting and grabbing the final spot on the podium. Among the championship contenders, Eli Tomac and Ryan Dungey were third and fourth at the end of the first lap. Eli was on the move, and made it to the lead, with Dungey following him through the pack…

...but a lap later he lost the front end in this corner, and started what seemed like an excruciatingly slow process of picking the bike up and restarting. By the time he crossed the line again, he was 15th and had work to do just to catch the riders in front of him. By the midway point, he was 12th, and with an additional off-track excursion and stall thrown in, he made it back to eighth at the finish.

As per usual on highly technical tracks, Marvin Musquin was out front and making it look easy, and he moved past Ryan Dungey and into the lead...until the last lap. He looked like he was looking for guidance on what to do. He clearly had the speed to win, but what if he finished ahead of Ryan, and then Ryan lost the championship at the final round by three points? He "bobbled" in a corner after this, handing the win to Ryan.

Afterward, his mechanic, Frank Latham, didn't look particularly happy about the result. For his part, neither did Marvin.

2016 – East Rutherford

This applies to both riders and mechanics. Alex Ray's mechanic at the time, Derek Rankin, demonstrates.

This ranked as a scene we definitely didn't like seeing. Trey Canard drug a foot up the face of a triple and ejected from his bike in mid-air. The good news is, that while it was a gnarly crash, he was only sore.

Gannon Audette and 250 East points leader, Malcolm Stewart, were eyeing each other over the finish line jump. Malcolm was second among the 250s.

Shane McElrath had a good jump in the 250 main, but Dakota Alix (MTF) snuck by on the inside for the holeshot. Check where Malcolm Stewart is...way to the inside, and way back. He didn't stay there for long.

Malcolm seized control of the lead on lap three, and never looked back. He looked much stronger than he had the previous week in Foxborough.

Ken Roczen grabbed the start...and was pretty much gone after that. He put in a great ride.

Ryan Dungey finished fourth but was already celebrating his second straight 450 Supercross title.

As usual, Kevin Crowther from the AMA was on hand to pass out the number one plate.

That's one happy couple right there.

2015 – East Rutherford

Guy Cooper with his restored '91 race bike. Check out the big, beefy triple clamps.

The full metal-flake helmet for Ryan Dungey? Pretty cool.

Check out the butt patch on Marvin Musquin.

Dianna had a slightly different look that week...at least when she was checking out her cell phone.

The start of the second 250 heat could have been bad for the 250 East title hopes of Marvin Musquin (Red Bull KTM).

At first it looked like Marvin was happy to settle in, but at the 2/3 mark he took over the lead.

Marvin fully enjoyed collecting the number one plate on the podium. He wouldn't be able to defend it since he moved to the 450 class the following year, but it was a cool addition to his career resume.

Marvin Musquin and his team (including his parents). This had to be sweet.

The good news? Andrew Short scored another holeshot. The bad news? He had a crash during the main that resulted in a broken kneecap. He'd finish the season in ninth spot.

Eli Tomac was fifth at the end of the first lap, and marching forward. The roost here was amazing.

Eli Tomac scored his third win of the season.

2014 – East Rutherford

Justin Barcia and his mechanic at Honda, Mike Tomlin, are both originally from New York, and this was the message that greeted Justin when he first got to the Honda truck on Saturday.

AJ Catanzaro had this cool helmet featuring the NY Giants on one side, and the NY Jets on the other.

Jimmy DeCotis scored the holeshot to start the 250 main event.

Justin Bogle (Honda) soaring over the finish line. He made this one look easy, which is crazy, considering that many didn't think he'd even be able to race the 250 East after a big pre-season crash. He now had a 17-point lead, and rocked the red plate in Las Vegas as he went for the championship.

Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Kawasaki) got the 450 main started with a holeshot.

Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Kawasaki) had this triple in his pocket all night long, and it was a nice advantage to have on most of the rest of the pack. (We also saw Roczen doing it on occasion.) RV's win propelled him to another 450 title...his fourth straight, and he also took home a Toyota Tundra for the highest point total in the Toyota Triple Challenge.

The champ with his team, and the hardware.

2013 – Salt Lake City

Jade and Troy Dungey showing off the family name. Now we're wondering when Ryan's getting his. (We're still waiting.)

Mercedes Terell, BB. (Before Bellator.)

Coming into Salt Lake City, things were looking good for Red Bull/KTM's Ken Roczen, with a 20-point lead, and only two rounds remaining. That was before being buried in the back of the heat race due to a couple crashes...but we're getting ahead of ourselves.

The start straight on this one was extremely short, and resulted in some first turn contact. Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Kawasaki) hung tight to the inside and took the lead in this one.

The 250 LCQ provided plenty of surprises. After dropping out of his heat race, 250 West points leader Ken Roczen was lined up near the outside of the gate. When the pack reached the first turn, there was a huge pileup, and Ken couldn't make it back to qualify...though he was closing on the leaders (Travis Baker, and Topher Ingalls). That provided a big opportunity for Eli Tomac to make up points in the main.

Check out the wild first turn to start this 250 main. Eli Tomac on the outside, Jason Anderson in the middle, and Zach Osborne grabbing the holeshot on the inside. Zach led the first lap. Jason got the win.

Ryan Dungey, Davi Millsaps, and Ryan Villopoto throwing elbows on the start straight.

Ryan Villopoto continued to add to his collection of number ones.

Here's the entire Monster Energy Kawasaki team, celebrating Ryan Villopoto's third championship in three seasons. That puts him in some pretty exclusive company, like Jeremy McGrath and Ricky Carmichael. Only Jeremy's streak of four straight is longer.

2012 – Salt Lake City

We were stoked to see the return of not just the L&MC rig to the pits, but that they'd locked down their new sponsor (which is really a returning sponsor for Brooks and McGrath). The new name is Team Chaparral Honda, and they're linked up for the next two years.

With this being Jake's "local" race, he has tons of fans up here. He was fastest in the first timed practice.

With some extra time on the Toyota/JGRMX/Yamaha bike, Gavin Faith checked in as the eighth fast in the Supercross class.

By lap eight, Supercross Lites West championship contenders Dean Wilson and Eli Tomac had moved their way into second and third sports, and Tomac made his move then. Unlike the week before in Seattle, the two battled cleanly. On lap eleven, Tomac took over the lead, and two laps later Dean Wilson went down hard in the whoops on the same shoulder that was already injured, and went out to DNF the round. That meant Eli not only took the race win, but wrapped up the Lites West title with a round left.

Eli Tomac being presented the Supercross Lites West number one plate by the AMA's Kevin Crowther.

It was a Rockstar Energy Suzuki sandwich on the podium, with Tomac filling.

Davi Millsaps grabbed the holeshot in the 450 main, and quickly checked out...but Ryan Dungey got him in the end.

That was a sweep of the Supercross Lites titles for GEICO Honda in 2012, after Justin Barcia wrapped up the East title, and Eli Tomac grabbed the West crown.

2011 –  Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is about as scenic as it gets, with the Utah State Capitol building, and the natural scenery. Chad Reed met Governor Gary Herbert and President & CEO of the Utah Sports Commission Jeff Robbins during press day.

We were pumped to see less precipitation late coming across the valley toward the stadium late in the afternoon.

The whoops were oddly shaped and unevenly spaced, and they almost bit Gared Steinke during practice. Actually, he did save this.

Pivotal move of the race (and season) was when Josh Hansen tried an aggressive pass on Eli Tomac a little later in the main. Hansen later Tweeted, "I just want to apologize to my family, sponsors and fans, and to the Factory Connection people for the immature pass I tried to make. I got over my head and showed my immaturity as a racer. I just want it so bad and I deserve what I get...thanks to Mitch for standing behind." (Yeah, we added some punctuation to make it easier to read.) That may be one of the few times we'd seen Twitter made a rider look better, or classier, after a race.

How did a second win, and being only two points out of the Lites West points lead feel? Apparently it rocked.

Davi Millsaps took over sixth from his Muscle Milk/Toyota/JGRMX teammate, Justin Brayton, on lap six. But Ryan Villopoto won.

2010 – Salt Lake City

Here's what the stadium looked like on Friday. The snow that had covered the track before was gone, but there was still some snow on the stands (and we were right at snow level). After some morning rain on Saturday, it was partly cloudy for most of the day...though there was a chance of rain and/or snow that night.

We dug this old Hannah replica we spotted in the pits.

Ouch. Unfortunately, Jeff Alessi was skimming the whoops vertically, rather than horizontally.

Ow! Robert Fitch (97) and Kyle Calderini (809) get tangled during practice.

This ought to give you an idea what the conditions were like as the Lites guys were ready to line up for the main event. The start area (and the rest of the track) was pretty sloppy. Of course, right as the date was set up to drop, it started raining.

Wil Hahn grabbed the start, with Josh Hansen hot on his heels. Check out the rain coming down.

Jake Weimer hovered around sixth for most of the main event, and eventually finished in fifth spot. But that was enough to wrap up the 2010 Lites West title.

Josh Hansen scored the Lites main event win on Saturday night.

Jake Weimer's dad has been there since the beginning. And helped Jake with his helmet after the main. Several riders we talked to said their hands were so numb from the wet and cold during the race that they couldn't feel them afterward.

Make that a clean sweep for the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki gang in Lites Supercross championships in 2010.

In the 450 class, Kevin Windham scored his second win in a row, Davi Millsaps was on the box again, and Andrew Short finished up a sweep of the top three for Honda. (Sorry for the steam on the lens).


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