Ryan Dungey was seeded into 450SX Heat 1, where he shot off the line aboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY to lead all seven laps of the heat race. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Trey Canard ran into bad luck early on when he collided with another rider and went down, ultimately finishing outside of a qualifying position.
In 450SX Heat 2, Rocky Mountain ATV*MC/WPS/KTM’s Blake Baggett put himself out front early on where he rode his KTM to a career-first 450SX heat race win. Marvin Musquin got off to a top-five start where he finished 3rd to transfer into the Main Event.
Canard lined up for 450SX Semi 2, where he led from start to finish aboard his KTM 450 SX-F.
Dungey put himself into a favorable position off the start as he put his KTM out front on the opening lap. Despite brutal track conditions in Atlanta, Dungey was able to maintain a solid pace out front to lead all 24 laps of the Main Event. Dungey’s second victory of the season puts the three-time champion 25 points ahead of his teammate Musquin in the championship standings as the season hits its halfway point.
Dungey: “We changed a few small things with the bike but for me it was nice to just get back to Florida – it was my first full week where I got to kind of chill out so it was nice, that always helps and I got to ride with the guys at the track. Things kind of slowed down a little bit for a change and the changes we made during the week really related to the night and benefited us. It doesn’t always happen like that but like Eli said, the track was gone – it was nasty and rough. It was nice to get out front and open up a little bit of a gap. I saw where Eli was and just tried to manage it, hit my marks and get a win, so it was nice.”
It was a spectacular night for Baggett, who earned his first-career 450SX heat race victory, as well as his first podium appearance in the premier class. With a good choice in gate following his heat race victory, Baggett got off to a great start inside the top three, where he quickly made the pass for 2nd by lap three. From there, Baggett chased after the leader Dungey for a majority of the race. However, a hard-charging Tomac was able to steal the 2nd place position in the final laps, where Baggett ultimately finished with a solid 3rd place.
Baggett: “We have been plugging away – the whole team – and I’m getting more comfortable on the bike and I’m loving it. We’re getting better and better each weekend and I can’t thank the team and sponsors enough for believing in me and helping me get up here tonight.”
Musquin began the Main Event just outside the top ten after a bad start allowed him to get caught up in heavy traffic on the opening lap, including a chaotic run through the loose sand section. As far back as 13th on lap one, Musquin immediately went to work in climbing his way back to the front. Musquin laid down several fast laps to bring himself back inside the top five, where he ultimately came back to finish 5th in the Main Event.
250SX East Class
TLD Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordon Smith got off to a great start aboard his KTM 250 SX-F FACTORY EDITION, with his teammate Alex Martin close in tow. The two KTM riders set the pace in the opening laps until Zach Osborne inherited the lead on lap six. While battling for the 2nd place position, Smith and Martin came together briefly and Smith dropped back one position to 3rd. Martin took over 2nd and held strong to the end, where he captured a solid 2nd place finish following a tough weekend in Minnesota where he experienced a big crash that left him sidelined for the opening round of the 250SX East Championship.
Martin: “It was pretty cool to start off 1-2 with my teammate Jordon but he made a little mistake on the on-off and I just kind of came around the outside and did the on-off and when we came to the inside we kind of collided there and unfortunately I sent him over. Luckily he kept it on two wheels and I was able to keep it on two wheels and make it up to 2nd. I’m not going to lie, that was a tough pill to swallow (last round) especially in front of the hometown crowd to walk back to the pits and know that you basically took a DNF, but on Sunday I woke up and realized we have eight races left and 200 points on the table and I’ve just been feeling way too good during the off season on the bike and getting along with the team and honestly to get 2nd tonight, it feels really good.”
Smith dropped a couple of positions in the second half of the race to ultimately finish 5th for the night, where he sits 3rd in the championship standings after two rounds of racing.
Next Round: March 4, 2017 – Toronto, ON (USA)
Results 450SX Class Atlanta 2017
1. Ryan Dungey (USA), KTM, 21:13.858 min (24 laps)
2. Eli Tomac (USA), Kawasaki, +1.509 sec
3. Blake Baggett (USA), KTM, +6.213
4. Jason Anderson (USA), Husqvarna, +12.216
5. Marvin Musquin (FRA), KTM, +14.730
11. Trey Canard (USA), KTM, +47.410
Standings 450SX Class 2017 after 8 of 18 rounds
1. Dungey, 174 points
2. Musquin, 149
3. Tomac, 147
4. Cole Seely (USA), Honda, 138
5. Anderson, 121
6. David Millsaps (USA), KTM, 98
9. Baggett, 83
Results 250SX East Class Atlanta 2017
1. Zach Osborne (USA), Husqvarna, 16:13.993 min (18 laps)
2. Alex Martin (USA), KTM, +6.367 sec
3. Colt Nichols (USA), Yamaha, +7.975
4. Joey Savatgy (USA), Kawasaki, +12.076
5. Jordan Smith (USA), KTM, +13.149
Standings 250SX East Class 2017 after 2 of 9 rounds
1. Osborne, 45
2. Savatgy, 43
3. Smith, 38
4. Nichols, 31
5. Adam Cianciarulo (USA), Kawasaki, 30
9. Martin, 22