The 2012 AMA Supercross series returned to the West Coast on Saturday night for round 15 in Seattle, leaving the Lites East class on break until the series finale in Las Vegas, and welcoming back the championship fight for the Lites West title.
After a multi-race stint in the Supercross class while the series circulated the East Coast, Frenchman Marvin Musquin jumped back on his familiar Lites machine to put in an incredible ride from mid-pack all the way up to second in the Lites main event.
In the premier Supercross class, the enthusiastic Seattle fans welcomed Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey back to racing after a five-week absence due to a collarbone injury. But the big story in Emerald City was the incredible debut ride of Ken Roczen as he battled his way to a second-place finish in the Supercross-class main event.
It was an exciting night of racing to say the least; here’s how all the action unfolded in the Pacific Northwest…
Supercross Qualifying Heats
- With the Lites East class on break until the series finale in Las Vegas, Ken Roczen jumped aboard KTM’s potent 350 SX-F to do battle in the premier Supercross class and kicked off his debut ride by snatching the holeshot and early lead in Heat #1.
- After being passed by Ryan Villopoto on lap two, Roczen held tough for the remaining six laps, cruising in for a solid second-place finish.
- Supercross-class Heat #2 marked the return of Ryan Dungey to the series, and he celebrated the occasion by grabbing the holeshot aboard his factory 450 SX-F.
- Looking smooth and strong despite the five-week break due to his broken collarbone and subsequent surgery, Dungey led wire-to-wire to take the heat win.
Supercross Main Event
- Ripping a great start for the second time in Seattle, Roczen swept through turn one in the second spot and set his sights on Andrew Short out front.
- Also getting out to a solid start, Dungey circulated lap one of the main event just outside the top five but clearly had the speed to work his way into the lead battle.
- On lap six, Roczen put a pass on Short for the lead but Shorty immediately retaliated with a pass of his own.
- On lap eight, while battling with Justin Brayton for fourth, Dungey went down in a tight right-hander after getting clipped by Brayton’s rear wheel.
- Dungey was able to remount relatively quickly but had unfortunately lost too much time on the leaders and was only able to work his way into sixth when all was said and done.
- Roczen dug deep in an effort to put himself into contention for the win, but would eventually settle into the second spot with just a couple laps to go.
- Though incredibly stoked to finish second in his first-ever Supercross-class main event, Roczen was equally as happy for Short for winning his first main event in the premier class.
- “This has been such a fun night,” Roczen commented after the race. “I’m so happy to get second on the 350… It just proves how good this bike is. But I’m also very stoked for Shorty. He deserves to win.”
1. Andrew Short
2. Ken Roczen
3. Jake Weimer
4. Justin Brayton
5. Davi Millsaps
6. Ryan Dungey
7. Mike Alessi
8. Broc Tickle
9. Weston Peick
10. Nick Wey
Supercross Lites Qualifying Heats
- TLD/Honda/Red Bull’s Travis Baker kicked off his Seattle campaign with a top-ten start and immediately worked his way into fifth by the end of lap one.
- After a last-lap battle with Vince Friese for the position, Baker dropped to sixth just before the checkers but safely qualified for the night’s main event.
- In Lites Heat #2, Musquin rocketed out of the gate to grab the holeshot and began clocking consistently smooth laps up front.
- Though challenged by Wil Hahn late on the last lap, Musquin held strong to take his first-ever Supercross heat race win.
- Behind Musquin, TLD/Honda/Red Bull’s Cole Seely got out to a top-five start and moved his way into third early on.
- After being passed by Jason Anderson on lap three, Seely went to work on the Suzuki rider to steal the position back just after the start of lap four and held on for the remaining laps.
- Seely reeled off the quickest lap of the heat (53.066) en route to his third-place effort.
Supercross Lite Main Event
- When the gates dropped for the Lites main event, Musquin, Seely and Baker all jumped out to top-ten starts.
- Musquin got his main event started from the tenth spot -- not the ideal starting position with such an incredible field of Lites riders ahead -- but immediately began making passes.
- As the rough Seattle track continued deteriorating, Musquin continued to pick off one rider at a time, and with a half a lap to go put a pass on Eli Tomac for second.
- Unable to challenge eventual winner Ryan Sipes for the lead, Musquin put in an incredible effort, finishing the main in second.
- Behind Musquin, Seely put in a solid ride of his own, passing his way into the fourth spot when all was said and done.
- With just two more races to go (Salt Lake City and Las Vegas), Seely now sits in third and Musquin in fourth in the Lites West championship points chase.
Supercross Lites Results
1. Ryan Sipes
2. Marvin Musquin
3. Eli Tomac
4. Cole Seely
5. Wil Hahn
6. Jason Anderson
7. Dean Wilson
8. Billy Laninovich
9. Travis Baker
10. Vince Friese
Follow Red Bull on Twitter for more news, updates and exclusive info.