McThoughts: East Rutherford SX
By Jeff McConkey
The 2nd-to-last SX round of the 2015 Monster Energy AMA series kicked-off Saturday. For the first time it was a day race, and the fans of New York/New Jersey were treated to some great racing. The 450 Championship has long been decided, but that didn’t stop the great action. The 250 East had yet to be decided, but it was pretty darn close. If Justin Bogle wanted to repeat as champion, he would have had to finish 1st while points leader Marvin Musquin finished worse than 16th. That didn’t stop Bogle from going for it, but just like all season long Musquin was just too good. The track at MetLife Stadium was very technical and rutted up quite a bit. It’s nice to see the riders still going for it, even though the titles were just a distant dream. Let’s have a look at the results and see my thoughts:
1st Marvin Musquin: Just like all season, Marvin was just too good for the rest of the East. He rode with speed and fantastic style to his first American title. Marvin will move to the stacked 450 class for 2016, and let’s hope KTM found some extra money to keep him around. [KTM has announced signing Marvin to a new 2-year deal.]
2nd Justin Bogle: Just was very good this season, but he could just not match Musquin’s speed. Early on it looked like Bogle had a win in him, but then reality set in and ‘Marvin the Martian’ took over. Good ride by Bogle for 2nd.
3rd Joey Savatgy: Joey finished the season strong with another good ride. He never had the speed to challenge the top 2 all season long, but that didn’t stop him from trying. He had a great battle with Jeremy Martin, until Martin tucked the front end going for the pass. I don’t ever see Savatgy winning a title, but with more speed and a little luck he may snag a win.
4th Jeremy Martin: Jeremy was in a great battle with Savatgy until locking the front wheel in the air and hitting the dirt. Jeremy rode well in the rutted conditions and should have been on the podium as he was faster than 3rd place Savatgy.
5th R.J. Hampshire: Good ride for the rookie. This guy will be a contender next season, and his father has one of the sweetest mullets I have ever seen!
6th Kyle Peters: Kyle rode great all day and finished the season strong. He really has improved this season and will no doubt be sad that it is over.
7th Anthony Rodriguez: ‘A-Rod’ had a good ride. I think he is still holding back on the speed a little bit. He has been crashing less and finishing more. If he can control his speed, he definitely has podiums in his future.
8th Mitchell Oldenburg: Decent ride for Oldenburg. I think after a full year of 450 Outdoors, he will be a solid top 5 250 guy indoors for 2016.
9th Kyle Cunningham: Disappointing ride and season for a guy with this much speed. I still think he needs to be a full-time 450 guy.
10th Luke Renzland: Good ride for Luke. He should be a constant top 10 guy next season.
Biggest Stud: Musquin is my stud. He was just head and shoulders above the competition this season.
Biggest Dud: No dud this week.
Biggest Surprise: I was a little surprised that Pro Circuit didn’t win a single main event. Let’s hope Adam Cianciarulo comes back strong and dominates in 2016.
1st Eli Tomac: Eli wasn’t going to be stopped in New York. He was very aggressive and looked great. I see him being a serious contender outdooors.
2nd Ryan Dungey: Even though Dungey won the title weeks ago, it is nice to see him wanting to win every race. He truly whooped the field this season and will be a serious force outdoors.
3rd Cole Seely: Cole looked to be on his way to the W early on, but the pure speed and fitness of Tomac and Dungey ate him up. He shocked me all season long with his great rides and I feel bad for bagging on him. Wait, no I don’t, and I will be on him bad for outdoors as I think he will be weak. Sorry, Cole.
4th Blake Baggett: Great ride for Blake. He moved forward all race long. He had a scary moment with Justin Barcia, and was very lucky to not hit the dirt. I have been very impressed with Blake all season long.
5th Andrew Short: Great ride for the old boy Shorty. He has been starting great all season long and earning some great television time for the BTO Sports KTM team. [It turned out Short broke his patella in the fall and still got 5th!]
6th Broc Tickle: Broc looked kind of average out there, but he did have a spectacular flip/crash. I was expecting more from him after some of his early season rides.
7th Josh Grant: JG33 rode great for being sick. I’m really impressed with his East Coast results. Good signing for TwoTwo Motorsports.
8th Kyle Chisholm: ‘Chiz’ is sneaky fast. Not the flashiest guy out there, but he has been getting it done.
9th Jason Anderson: ‘La Flama Blanca’ didn’t get the best start and didn’t really do much with it. I think he will be a podium threat in Vegas.
10th Weston Peick: Weston had a nasty crash in the heat. I’m shocked he rode as well as he did, considering.
Biggest Stud: Eli Tomac is my stud. He is a no-nonsense guy with great fitness and a solid head on his shoulders. He will be a 450 SX champ before he retires.
Biggest Dud: Justin Barcia has had an awful season. [Baggett banged into Barcia’s rear wheel over the tunnel jump and took him out after Barcia had a fall early in the day that he barely got up from.]
Biggest Surprise: I still can’t believe how many top guys are out hurt.
See you next week in Vegas!