2017 Southwick 450 MX Results

Steve Cox | July 8, 2017

2017 Southwick 450 MX Results: Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac has always been fast in the sand of Southwick, Massachusetts, and he was expected to have a really great day today. His closest title rival, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM’s Blake Baggett came into Southwick nursing tendon damage that he suffered to his thumb in the crash he had a week earlier when he collided with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson early in the second moto at RedBud, so he was hoping just to survive the day and lose the least amount of points possible.

As for Anderson himself, he came into Southwick third in points, but a huge getoff two days before the race, when he scrubbed a jump too hard and hit the ground like a ton of bricks, left him with an extremely sore lower back and kidneys. He tried to ride practice, but he couldn’t, so he ended up missing the event altogether.

2017 Southwick 450 MX Results

2017 Southwick 450 MX Results
Eli Tomac was expected to be hard to beat at Southwick today, and he proved to be impossible to beat, qualifying first and then going 1-1 to take the overall win and extend his points lead to 19 with five rounds left to run. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROB KOY

When the racers lined up for moto one, Baggett sat immediately to the right of the “dog house” and Tomac was immediately to the left of it. When the gate dropped, Baggett got a great jump and turned left, cutting Tomac off. Baggett got into turn one side-by-side with his teammate Dakota Alix, and when Alix bobbled slightly mid-turn, Baggett drilled him in the side and Alix went down, collecting a few privateers with him in the fall.

Baggett assumed the lead over privateer Isaac Teasdale, Honda-support rider Frederik Noren (using a borrowed, stock Honda CRF450R engine in his race bike), AutoTrader/JGR/Toyota Suzuki’s Weston Peick, Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin, and then Tomac, who had RCH Suzuki’s Justin Bogle right on his tail. Behind them came privateer Henry Miller, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Chapparal Yamaha’s Cooper Webb, and then Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Dean Wilson.

A few turns into the race, Noren got out of control entering a turn and ended up cleaning Musquin out, who took Bogle and Miller down with him, while Honda’s Christian Craig went down on his own in the outside line in the same corner.

Tomac wasted no time going around the top guys, and went around the outside of Peick for second early in the race before setting out after Baggett. There’s some bad blood between Baggett and Tomac, and when Tomac caught him, he cut across the inside of the corner, and if Baggett hadn’t seen it coming and jumped over the berm, Tomac would’ve taken him out.

2017 Southwick 450 MX Results

2017 Southwick 450 MX Results
Blake Baggett had a strong outing to minimize the damage at Southwick, going 2-2 for second overall despite a thumb-ligament injury suffered at RedBud a week earlier. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROB KOY

Tomac took the lead and ran away with it, eventually beating Baggett by about 16 seconds. Webb had a fantastic ride for third, just in front of Musquin, who benefitted by the unfortunate DNF of both JGR Suzukis; first Peick, whose machine appeared to seize less than halfway into the race, and then Barcia, whose bike appeared to run out of gas on the last lap when he was running fourth, just a second or so in front of Musquin. Honda’s Cole Seely ended up fifth just in front of Wilson, Wilson’s teammate Martin Davalos, Noren, Bogle, Craig and Tomac’s teammate Josh Grant, who started terribly in the moto and finished as the last guy on the lead lap.

In the second moto, Musquin got the holeshot while Baggett tried everything he could to pass him in the first few turns, but Musquin persevered to hold the early lead over Baggett while Tomac recovered from a pretty bad start at the tail end of the top 10. Tomac had just moved into fourth early in the race when Barcia, running third, swapped out and went down hard, handing the spot to Tomac. Tomac caught Baggett quickly in second, passed him, and then set out after Musquin. It only took him about a lap to catch Musquin, and although Musquin put up a fight, Tomac pushed his way around the KTM to take the lead. Musquin stepped up his speed to try to hang with Tomac, but it bit him when he swapped out into the transition between a couple large mounds and flew dangerously off the track, nearly hitting Southwick’s VIP area. He got up quickly in third, but his bike was bent up and he was beat up. Musquin pulled into the pits and dropped out of the moto.

2017 Southwick 450 MX Results

2017 Southwick 450 MX Results
Dean Wilson always said he hates the sand, but at Southwick he went 6-3 for the first podium finish of his 450cc career. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROB KOY

Webb inherited third with the crash, but fell with about five laps to go and remounted sixth. Unable to close the gap on Seely in fifth before the finish, the mistake knocked Webb off the overall podium.

Took the moto and overall win with a 1-1 over the 2-2 of Baggett, which meant Baggett lost three points in each moto, or six on the day. Behind Baggett came Wilson, whose 6-3 score landed him on the podium overall, just in front of Webb’s 3-6. Behind Wilson came his teammate Davalos with a fantastic ride for fourth, then Seely, Webb, Craig, Peick, Miller, Alix, and then Barcia the last racer on the lead lap.

Tomac now carries a 19-point lead over Baggett in the championship with five rounds left to run, and with Anderson sitting the event out and Musquin scoring a DNF in moto two, Musquin is now 72 points behind Tomac, although he’s third in points, and Anderson is another three points behind him in fourth. It looks like a two-horse race now.

The series takes a weekend off and then resumes on July 22nd at Spring Creek Raceway in Millville, Minnesota.

2017 Southwick 450 MX Results

2017 Southwick 450 MX Results

2017 Southwick 450 MX Results

2017 Southwick 450 MX Results

2017 Southwick 450 MX Results

2017 Southwick 450 MX Results

2017 Southwick 450 MX Results

2017 Southwick 450 MX Results

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steve@coxmx.com'

Steve Cox

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