McThoughts: St. Louis SX
By Jeff McConkey
This past week’s action was in St. Louis, MO. The ‘Gateway to the West’ is known for its great dirt and this year’s track didn’t disappoint. In the past, I don’t ever think the word ‘dominant’ was used much in SX with KTM, or even with the name Ryan Dungey. Well, it is 2015 and things have changed. KTM is dominant in both the 250 East class and the premiere 450 class. As for Dungey… he has been very dominant for the first time in his career. And I don’t think it’s going to end after SX. He has always been super-consistent, but now he has a new edge to him. That is bad news for everyone else. He is just that good, all around!
In the 250 East class, Marvin Musquin is a man riding with boys. On his mistake-filled ‘off nights’ he finishes 2nd. That’s a heck of an ‘off night.’ Marvin now heads into a short break from the series with a 20-point lead and only 1 round remaining. Justin Bogle has been very good, but in 2015, in 250 East action, you have to be great to beat Musquin. The series now takes a week break for Easter and then the West series resumes.
Let’s take a look at the results and see my thoughts:
1st Marvin Musquin: Marvin got a great start and did what Marvin has done all season…he rode 15 flawless laps and took his 5th win of the season. *Note to KTM: Do not let this guy get away – you must sign him for 2016 and beyond!
2nd Jeremy Martin: Jeremy got a great start and avoided early trouble, but just didn’t have the speed to match Marvin. Good ride for the #6 who’s probably chomping at the bit to get to the Outdoors and run that pretty #1 plate.
3rd Joey Savatgy: Joey has been good the last few weeks. He is still off the pace of the top 3, but he should be a contender next season.
4th Justin Bogle: Justin got a bad start, but fought his way to 4th to keep his championship hopes alive. All was almost lost when, for some stupid reason, his rookie teammate [Jordan Smith] ran him hard in a corner and almost took them both down a few corners later.
5th Anthony Rodriguez: Back to back top 5’s for ‘A-Rod.’ This kid is good, but in the past he has had problems staying on 2 wheels. I think he slowed down a little and smoothed out. Whatever he did, it’s working.
6th Jimmy Decotis: Jimmy D had a good ride for 6th. He is the guy doing the best with the least. I, myself, would like to see this guy on that MX101 Yamaha. Just sayin.
7th Luke Renzland: Great ride from Renzland. With the watered-down East, I think this should have maybe happened sooner.
8th Kyle Cunningham: I honestly feel that Kyle needs to say goodbye to the 250 class for good and move to the 450 class in 2016. He’s got the speed and fitness, he’s just missing the consistency.
9th Jace Owen: Another solid ride and top 10 for Jace. And how about that sweet Seven Gear!!
10th Kyle Peters: Kyle should be better than 10th with this field. With a start, he should be a 6-8 guy.
Biggest Stud: Marvin Musquin is my stud. Imagine if he hadn’t been hurt so much earlier on in his career…he’d have at least one SX title and possibly an MX title to match it.
Biggest Dud: Jordan Smith is my dud. This kid has speed to burn, but seems to be lacking some common sense. When your teammate is fighting for a championship, you do not try to put hard passes on him and almost take him down with you, and then you yourself crashes. I’m still shaking my head.
Biggest Surprise: I was happy to see Dakota Alix get a good start and almost snag a top 10.
Vicki Golden Watch: Vicki was out there cruising around again for the most part. She qualified 48th out of 50.
1st Ryan Dungey: I’m becoming a serious Dungey fan! He is just so good, so fit, and he wants to win and isn’t settling this season. Watch for him to get even stronger with more time in the Baker’s Factory program.
2nd Eli Tomac: When Eli is on, Eli is great. He executed that quad lap after lap and, had he started with Dungey, the win would have been his.
3rd Jason Anderson: ‘La Flama Blanca’ is back. Jason got a really good start and rode great. It was nice to see him bounce back after a scary Detroit crash that sent him to the hospital coughing up blood.
4th Cole Seely: I doubted Cole before the season and early on, and the darn guy just keeps on getting better and better. He will win one before Vegas.
5th Weston Peick: Weston has been getting great starts and running a serious pace, but, due to injuries, he can’t keep it up. If I were him I’d get my knee fixed after SX and worry about 2016 SX.
6th Josh Grant: ‘JG33’ played it safe early on in the season and it’s paying off now. This guy has serious talent and could wick it up at anytime and land on the box.
7th Davi Millsaps: Good to see Davi looking more like Davi. He is riding better every week.
8th Chad Reed: Chad needs to get the starts to run up front. I’m a fan and I still think a win or podium isn’t out the question before the end of the season.
9th Broc Tickle: I expected Broc to get better and maybe steal a podium, but the starts haven’t been there and he’s been a little off.
10th Blake Baggett: Decent ride for Baggett. I’m sure he’s already in Outdoors mode ready to do some damage.
Biggest Stud: Tomac is my stud. He just has that ‘wow’ factor that makes you want to watch him lately.
Biggest Dud: No dud this week.
Biggest Surprise: Dungey’s 80-point lead over 2nd in this talented field is a little surprising.
No race this weekend, so have a Happy Easter.