What we've learned five rounds into the 2017 season.
The Monster Energy AMA Supercross season has delivered all kinds of surprises in 2017 and it appears things could get even tighter at the front of the field as the series approaches its mid-season. With five rounds completed to date, MotoOnline.com.au assesses the 450SX racers who have featured on the podium so far and are still active in the series in this edition of Rated.
Rider: Ryan Dungey
Rundown: As always, the Red Bull KTM rider has been super-consistent in 2017. Yet to place worse than second during the opening five rounds, the defending multi-time champion is doing what needs to be done to take home another title. Dungey may not be the fastest guy every week, but he’s always there, and that’s something that’s hard to overcome. The guy rarely makes a mistake and to see him outside of the top five is a very rare occurrence, you can almost guarantee ‘The Dunge’ will be a podium guy every single weekend.
Rider: Eli Tomac
Rundown: You may say, why not a higher rating? Well, yes, Tomac is on fire currently and looking very comfortable aboard his Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F, but that wasn’t the case all season. Tomac started out his campaign with an unusual performance at Anaheim 1 as he faded back from second to fifth. He then went on to notch sixth and eighth place finishes over the following two rounds – he got worse! Eventually Eli found his form, or more likely, his preferred set-up, and has now put away two impressive victories in a row in a complete season turnaround.
Rider: Marvin Musquin
Rundown: It seems Dungey’s Red Bull KTM teammate has lost his early-season momentum in almost a complete opposite situation to Tomac. The Frenchman kicked off his season with a run of 450SX podiums, finishing as high as second place at round three. Since then we have seen Musquin take home two ninth-place finishes, which is a huge drop in consistency and form, but with the softer east coast rounds on their way, expect the technical rider to climb his way back up the ladder.
Rider: Cole Seely
Rundown: Currently holding down fourth place overall, Seely has been quietly impressive for much of the 2017 season. The Team Honda HRC rider has made his way to the podium once this season at round three and only finished outside the top five once at the season opening-round in Anaheim. Seely has made it clear that he’s not exactly thrilled with all of his results to date, but if you look at the numbers, the factory Honda pilot is actually riding well!
Rider: Cooper Webb
Rundown: Webb kicked off his rookie season in the 450SX class quite slowly, the two-time 250SX champ only managing 10th and 14th-place finishes during the opening rounds. Yes, he’s a rookie, but many expected a lot more from the factory Yamaha contender and he eventually worked it out and made his way to the podium recently in Oakland. It seems that Webb has worked through the rookie jitters and is now finding his feet in the class. Will he continue to be a podium guy? That’s hard to say, but his recent results do show improvement and that’s what he’ll be shooting for at all times.
Rider: Chad Reed
Rundown: We would love to be giving Reedy an A+, but at this stage in the season, he’s only been able to show us his true form once as he rode to second place behind Tomac in Phoenix. Reed’s season started out with an unfortunate mechanical DNF, but since then he’s only finished inside the top five once, which is clearly frustrating for the multi-time champion. Reed’s Phoenix performance was absolutely awesome, there’s no doubt about it, but his DNF, ninth, seventh and eighth-place finishes just are not what we expect to see from the ‘TwoTwo’.