Supercross

Ryan Dungey KTM take out first Monster Energy SMX Cup

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The first ever Monster Energy SMX Riders‰Ûª and Manufacturers‰Ûª Cup is in the books and while most would have predicted that KTM would win the Manufacturers‰Ûª Cup, which they did, the rest of the event was completely unpredictable in terms of drama, action, and individual race results.

After two 15-minute practice sessions, riders were sent out in the order they finished in the second practice. Suzuki were first up with their fastest rider, Jake Weimer. Weimer laid down a relatively good lap although there were certain spots that had be groomed, which may have effected his overall time with no line carved, so the best he could do was a 51.573.
Ryan Dungey KTM take out first Monster Energy SMX Cup
Ryan Dungey leads the field into turn 1
Former MX2 World Champion Jordi Tixier followed on behalf of Team Kawasaki, and managed to beat Weimer‰Ûªs time with a 50.833. Next up was Yamaha‰Ûªs Romain Febvre, last year‰Ûªs MXGP World Champion. Febvre was a little too eager on his lap and over cooked the first triple in, which screwed up his rhythm completely. The former champed bounced it out and still managed to top both Tixier and Weimer with a 50.766.

Husqvarna‰Ûªs Zach Osborne probably put in the tidiest and smoothest lap of all for third, 49.721, while the real eye-opener was the speed of Honda‰Ûªs Tim Gajser and KTM‰Ûªs Jeffrey Herlings. MXGP-TV presenters Paul Malin and Lisa Leyland asked Ryan Dungey on the LIVE Studio Show who was going to be riding the Superpole for KTM, in which Dungey replied, ‰ÛÏwe all decided that whoever was fastest in the practice sessions would ride, and that was Jeffrey.‰Û
Ryan Dungey KTM take out first Monster Energy SMX Cup
Honda's Tim Gajser took the race 1 win
There was such an intense vibe at the start of race one as the best riders in the world, from both sides of the ditch, the USA and Europe, lined up next to each other. After winning the Superpole, Honda‰Ûªs Tim Gajser went to the line first ahead of KTM‰Ûªs Jeffrey Herlings, Husqvarna‰Ûªs Zach Osborne, Yamaha‰Ûªs Romain Febvre, Kawasaki‰Ûªs Jordi Tixier and Suzuki‰Ûªs Jake Weimer.

When the gate dropped it was Gajser who led the way into turn one, although KTM‰Ûªs Ryan Dungey had a lightening quick getaway and out of nowhere almost railed around the outside of everyone for the Fox Holeshot. Herlings was on the inside of Gajser, but the Honda rider slammed that door before drifting wide to cut off Dungey as well.

Osborne was the filling in a world champion sandwich when he chose to start in between Gajser and Herlings. Both riders got out of the gate quicker and squeezed him out, but somehow he managed to keep a tight line and emerged in fifth.

KTM‰Ûªs Marvin Musquin overshot the turn as the reigning MXGP world champion, Gajser, tried to gap the field. Dungey had company in the form of Febvre and Herlings, but those two made life a whole lot easier when they decided to haggle over the same piece of real estate, locked bars, lost balance and both toppled over.

Introducing the electric start! There aren‰Ûªt many Yamaha YZ450F‰Ûªs with electric starts, but one of the few that there are is plastered up ‰Û÷461‰Ûª, and that worked in Febvre‰Ûªs favor. He only lost one spot to Osborne while Herlings lost two spots, one to Osborne and one to Kawasaki‰Ûªs Tommy Searle.

A little flustered, Herlings didn‰Ûªt waste any time in hammering the throttle around the outside of Searle, who thought he‰Ûªd throw a solid move back for old-times sake. That battle didn‰Ûªt last very long though as Herlings made it clear he didn‰Ûªt line up to play games when he got the job done and gapped it.

Gajser put in a classic ‰Û÷holeshot and win‰Ûª performance ahead of the two supercross stars Dungey and Osborne while Febvre and Herlings rounded out the top five.

Monster Energy SMX Riders' Cup Race Two
Ryan Dungey KTM take out first Monster Energy SMX Cup
Yamaha's Romain Febvre took out the second race win
Race two was the craziest race of the night. It started with Gajser pulling his second Fox Holeshot ahead of Herlings who bobbled and went down, and almost collected his KTM teammate Ryan Dungey.

Gajser looked cool, calm and collective out front, on the gas early and braking late, until he left his braking a little too late and locked up the rear wheel into an edge which pitched him over the bars. Febvre took over the lead after he had found his way around Team Honda‰Ûªs Evgeny Bobryshev, who was trying to ride through the pain of an injured wrist.

Osborne showed Gajser a wheel or two in the battle for fourth, before Gajser spammed himself again and hurt his shoulder. While it should have been smooth sailing from there for Osborne, he seemed to tire and Team Kawasaki‰Ûªs Jordi Tixier passed him with ease to finish fourth behind fellow Frenchmen Febvre and Musquin, and American, Dungey, who all finished in that order.

Hats off to Jeffrey Herlings who diced his way through the pack from dead last for fifth.

Monster Energy SMX Riders' Cup Race Three
Ryan Dungey KTM take out first Monster Energy SMX Cup
KTM's Jeffrey Herlings took out the third and final moto.
Razor sharp bumps and limited traction made from a very technically challenging final race of the evening. Ryan Dungey got off to a ripper of a start and with clear track ahead it seemed like the supercross champ was set for 16 laps.

Gajser, who would have been feeling secondhand after body slamming the ground a couple of times in the race prior, seemed content in second ahead of two Frenchmen, Marvin Musquin and Jordi Tixier, but eventually faded back to fifth.

Meanwhile, Herlings was on the move after starting at the blunt end of the top ten. The Bullet was passing everyone like they were standing still and eventually found himself in second, taking chunks out of Dungey‰Ûªs lead. With six laps to go, Dungey swapped out in the sand section, and Herlings took full advantage. Simultaneously, the third of KTM‰Ûªs hotshots, Musquin, squared up on Gajser and passed the Honda ace for third.

While the Monster Energy SMX Cup is a team event as well, it became a battle of pride between Herlings and Dungey. Dungey tried to up his game, but a mistake riddled lap after seeing the two lap board saw the American back off and let Herlings have it. Dungey came home in second ahead of Musquin, Tixier and Gajser.

Monster Energy SMX Riders' Cup Overall
Ryan Dungey KTM take out first Monster Energy SMX Cup
Ryan Dungey took the riders cup for KTM and KTM won the manufacturers cup
KTM were the clear-cut winners of the first ever Monster Energy SMX Manufacturers‰Ûª trophy with all three of their riders finishing on the box in the ‰Û÷Riders‰Ûª classification too. Ryan Dungey, who is so often referred to as ‰Û÷The Diesel‰Ûª, remained true to that name with three consistent results, 2 ‰ÛÒ 3 ‰ÛÒ 2 for the win ahead of ‰Û÷The Bullet‰Ûª, Jeffrey Herlings, who binned it in the first two races, but bounced back with a win in the third moto to tie on points with Marvin Musquin. Herlings went 5 ‰ÛÒ 5 ‰ÛÒ 1 for second overall, while Musquin went 6 ‰ÛÒ 2 ‰ÛÒ 3 for third.

Ryan Dungey, who returned to racing after a four-month injury break said it was great to come back to competition with a win.

‰ÛÏIt was kind of nice because the pressure to do it individually was not there but you also wanted to win for the manufacturer," Dungey said.

"It was great to be alongside Marvin and Herlings and Prado and good to see the KTM team from Europe here. I‰Ûªm glad that we could get the Manufacturer‰Ûªs Cup and go 1-2-3 in the individual. A lot of people looked at the track and said I would have an advantage because it was a supercross track, but it wasn‰Ûªt. It got a lot rougher than you would want for supercross. We got the bike working well and the boys did a great job. They rode well and were consistent and if there was a mistake, they charged back. I thought we worked well as a team.‰Û
Ryan Dungey KTM take out first Monster Energy SMX Cup
KTM topped the podium
Results Race 1 SMX VELTINS-Arena 2016
1. Tim Gajser (SLO), Honda, 13:47.253 min, 1 point (15 laps)
2. Ryan Dungey (USA), KTM, +2.041 sec, 2 pts
3. Zachary Osborne (USA), Husqvarna, +8.878, 3pts
4. Romain Febvre (FRA), Yamaha, +13.687, 4 pts
5. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM, +16:628, 5 pts

Results Race 2 SMX VELTINS-Arena 2016
1. Febvre, 13.58.209 min, 1 pt, (16 laps)
2. Musquin, +3.811 sec, 2 pts
3. Dungey, +4.409, 3 pts
4. Jordi Tixier (FRA), Kawasaki, +8.242, 4 pts
5. Herlings, +12.965, 5 pts

Results Race 3 SMX VELTINS-Arena 2016
1. Herlings, 14:03.857 min, 1 pt, (16 laps)
2. Dungey, +5.381 sec, 2 pts
3. Musquin, +7.890, 3 pts
4. Tixier, +9.100, 4 pts
5. Gajser, +10.998, 5 pts

Final Standings Riders Classification SMX VELTINS-Arena 2016
1. Dungey, 7 pts
2. Herlings, 11 pts
3. Musquin, 11 pts
4. Febvre, 12 pts
5. Tixier, 16 pts

Final Standings Manufacturers Classification SMX VELTINS-Arena 2016
1. KTM, 18 pts
2. Honda 43 pts
3. Kawasaki, 61 pts
4. Husqvarna, 71 pts
5. Yamaha, 77 pts

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