10 Things to Watch: New Jersey

US Supercross 2016

maddix park mx

www.racerxonline.com  By Aaron Hansel, Jason Weigandt and Chase Stallo

Stamp It

Last week we thought Ryan Dungey stood a good chance of wrapping up the 2016 Monster Energy Supercross 450SX championship, but Ken Roczen stopped him from gaining the two points he needed to clinch. But this weekend all Dungey has to do is not give up more than eighteen points to Roczen. In other words, if Roczen wins, all Dungey has to do is finish fourteenth or better. And considering he hasn’t missed the podium all year, it shouldn’t be a problem. Dungey will wrap up his third 450SX Championship this weekend. –Aaron Hansel

Five Points

Is all that separates Malcolm Stewart and Aaron Plessinger in 250SX East Region. That’s four more points than last week, but it still isn’t much. And with such a small gap between the two, this weekend is absolutely crucial for both of them—it’s the last race before the Dave Coombs East/West Shootout in Las Vegas, which also pays points this year. And since the guys out West haven’t raced against the East all season, we have no way of knowing what might happen there! Both riders need to get as many points as possible before riding into the unpredictable storm in Vegas. -Hansel

Davalos and Martin are Back

After missing Toronto, Martin Davalos didn’t have the same form that gave him 1-3 finishes at the first two rounds of the 250 season. But he found it on his white Husky in Foxborough, racing his way into the lead to take his second win of the season. With a 27-point deficit his title hopes are about as healthy as Gronk’s Party Ship, but that doesn’t make winning races any less important or satisfying. On the other end, Jeremy Martin still has a title shot, but he must win. He was thisclose to getting it last weekend, but Davalos held him off, and Jeremy knew that was a big missed opportunity, just check out his post-race interview with Supercross Live’s Andy Bowyer. JMart could have cut his deficit to 11, but instead it’s 14. He’ll need a big W this weekend and some help (again) to have a shot by Vegas. With guys like Davalos to get between he and the leaders, it’s still doable. -Hansel

Alessi is making a run at 10th in 450SX.
Alessi is making a run at 10th in 450SX.Cudby

Maintaining Focus

After a somewhat disappointing Monster Energy Supercross season you might think Eli Tomac would be shifting all his focus into getting ready for Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, but he and the team have said doing well and improving in supercross is still very much a priority for them, which Tomac backed up with his runner-up ride last week. There’s been a lot of shuffling behind the scenes on this team—and with Eli’s motorcycle—and this weekend could prove if those changes have helped, or if Foxborough was just one good night. Eli won in East Rutherford last year. What about now? -Hansel

Better Late Than Never

After winning last week Ken Roczen told Racer X’s Jason Weigandt he felt like he was finally hitting his stride, and some bike changes had really helped him find some extra speed. Surely Roczen wishes he had unlocked the magic formula earlier in the season, but the good news is there are still two more races up for grabs, and you know Roczen wants nothing more than to take the checkers in both of them. In fact, he said so right here. Dungey might have a title to clinch, but he knows better than to let Ken build a ton of momentum right before the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross opener. This could be a real battle! -Hansel

Best Battle of All?

Top ten in a series as prestigious as Monster Energy Supercross really means something, and we’re betting some riders even get team bonuses for it on top of Feld Motor Sports year-end payout. The battle is on to make it, with Weston Peick and Jake Weimer tied for tenth with 115 points, Mike Alessi sitting on 113, and a surging Justin Bogle carrying 109. With two races left, this might be the best battle to watch of all! – Jason Weigandt

Podium Drought

Trey Canard can win races. That much we know. What we don’t know is what is happening with his starts, the cruel part of his game that is holding him back. “I just need to execute everything better next weekend and put myself right at the front with those guys at the beginning,” he said in a team statement after Foxborough. “My start was better this weekend but still not what it needs to be.” You have to go back to Indianapolis last year, when Canard was in the midst of a run of six podiums in eight rounds (including two wins) to find his last podium. As we’ve said 100000000000000 times, the speed is there, but HE REALLY, REALLY, REALLY NEEDS A START. Let’s hope he can get one; it would be nice to see Canard up front at the beginning. – Stallo

Can Bowers hold on to fifth?
Can Bowers hold on to fifth?Cudby


It’s hard not to think that Shane McElrath would be in the thick of this title chase if not for an off-season wrist injury. Clearly not 100 percent, McElrath struggled at the first three rounds, averaging a sixteenth place finish. Since then, he’s scored two podiums in the last four rounds and a finished no worse than fourth. He had his chances at a win last weekend, but said he was too patient. “We learned not to be so patient, which a lot of times I’m a little impatient but in other areas,” he told Racer X after the race. “So just missed opportunities tonight and that’s what cost me the race. I just felt like it was my night to win, but that’s all on me.” We can probably expect similar track conditions this weekend, so don’t be shocked if McElrath is battling for a win. – Stallo

Battle for Fifth

Yes, most eyes will be on Aaron Plessinger, Malcolm Stewart and (kind of) Jeremy Martin as they duke it out for the 250SX East Region title chase. Behind them is a tight battle for fifth in points. Just three points separate fifth (currently Tyler Bowers) from eighth (currently RJ Hampshire). As mentioned above, McElrath is the hottest of the four, which includes a rising Gannon Audette, but the East Region has been wild this season. Keep an eye on this, especially next week when the coasts combine. – Stallo   


As of today, it doesn’t look great. According to weather.com, Saturday night’s high is around 47 degrees with an 80 percent chance of showers. We should be okay during the day, with a high of 66 and no chance of rain yet. We’ll track this as the weekend approaches, but you should probably bring a winter coat and an umbrella if you’re heading to MetLife. - Stallo

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