As the series hits the East Coast swing Ryan Dungey normally hits his stride by clicking off wins and asserting his dominance. This year is proving different. Musquin and Tomac are stronger and can sense a vulnerability in Dungey we have not seen before. Are we witnessing Father Time catch up with Dungey? Is he injured? Did the Roczen injury mess with his head? These are all factors I hear fans discussing. I have a friend who is close to the riders at the Bakery who told me Dungey is suffering from an Epstein Barr/Mononucleosis type of illness. While I am not 100% sure about what's going on with Dungey, clearly something is off. Riders who are overworked and under fed (Aldon’s program) is news we have heard before, most recently Ken Roczen was extremely critical of the program.
Assuming this is Dungey’s issue, Musquin has to know what is going on. Training alongside your competition with an “iron sharpens iron” philosophy is how the riders in the Bakery train. This can be a huge benefit to the riders, until they are attempting to hide a weakness from their main competitor. While Musquin was riding high with confidence after his win in Dallas, maybe he had inside knowledge about Dungey struggling late in the races and that is why he charged hard late in the race. I can't ever remember watching Dungey get repeatedly caught and passed at the end of races. With 9 races, and two riders within 24 points of Dungey, the championship is wide open. While 3rd place isn't a bad finish, Tomac gained 5 points and Musquin gained 2, it’s getting interesting.
Loved seeing the 250 East guys. Every rider wanted to come out swinging and establish themselves as “the guy.” Confidence is important in Supercross, probably the most important thing a rider can have as the first race establishes the pecking order. Joey Savatgy did what most experts predicted. While his performance didn't overwhelm the competition, a win is still a win. Jordan Smith may have found what had been missing the last few years. In the past we’ve seen flashes of speed followed by spectacular crashes. He rode solid in the Main event providing him the confidence needed to make him a consistent podium guy and maybe get his first career win this year. Zach Osborne is desperately trying to get his first win and it shows, he is not content with a podium finish. He will win or crash trying. Round Two in Atlanta will be make or break for both Alex Martin and Christian Craig. Martin’s night ended in the first turn with a vicious crash, hopefully he will be alright for Atlanta. Craig had a bad start and got caught up in first round mayhem earning him a 12th place finish. He will need a podium in Atlanta to get back in this championship.
We are seeing the attrition of Supercross taking a toll on the field. Last night we lost both Cooper Webb and Justin Bogle, not sure how bad their injuries are but both walked off and Bogle said via Instagram that he will be racing in Atlanta. Webb’s injury looked severe, when somebody grabs their arm and immediately walks away from the track, not even removing their goggles, I get worried. These guys are gladiators and being dramatic about injuries is not something they do, this isn't Soccer or Basketball. Hopefully his injury isn't serious, we’ll find out in Atlanta.