Atlanta Supercross: Dungey Dominates Final Georgia Dome Visit

Red Bull KTM’s Dungey scores his fifth career 450cc Atlanta Supercross win in the venue where he earned his first 250cc win, the Georgia Dome.

Ryan Dungey scored a convincing win in the final Atlanta Supercross to be held in the Georgia Dome to claim his 33rd career 450cc win an his fifth 450cc win at the venue. Dungey led the main event from wire to wire. PHOTO BY RAS PHOTO.

If anyone thought that defending Monster Energy AMA Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey was going to lie down after failing to earn a win in the previous three rounds of the series, Dungey responded to those critics as the Atlanta Supercross ran for the 26th and final time inside the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia, Saturday night.

If anyone thought that defending Monster Energy AMA Supercross Champion Ryan Dungey was going to lie down after failing to earn a win in the previous three rounds of the series, Dungey responded to those critics as the Atlanta Supercross ran for the 26th and final time inside the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia, Saturday night.

The Red Bull KTM star dominated the event as he so often does, by leading the main event from start to finish to earn his 33rd career AMA Supercross win. Dungey will also be forever locked with two fellow supercross legends, Jeremy McGrath and Ricky Carmichael, with five career wins in the Georgia Dome. It may also mark the last time that the series visits Atlanta, as there is reportedly no agreement between the series and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is being built right next door to the soon-to-be-razed Georgia Dome.

If it is the final Atlanta Supercross, Dungey made it one to remember as he grabbed the holeshot in the 450cc main event, leading Smartop/MotoConcepts Racing Honda’s Mike Alessi, RMATV/MC-WPS-KTM’s Blake Baggett and the rest of the field. Meanwhile, the two men closest to Dungey in the series points race, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac and Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin started ninth and 11th respectively.

Eli Tomac got a bad start in the Atlanta Supercross main event and ate a lot of roost on the sandy Georgia Dome track. Even so, Tomac came from midpack to finish second. PHOTO BY RAS PHOTO.

That allowed Dungey to charge the rutty, sandy Georgia Dome track and build an early lead that ultimately would be sufficient to claim the win. Behind him, Baggett was able to move into second place on lap two. RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Justin Bogle and Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely also moved past the fading Alessi early, with Seely moving from fifth to third in one move.

Tomac appeared to struggle early, but the Kawasaki man was quickly on the move, and he was able to work his way into a podium position by the halfway point of the race after turning in lap times that were as much as a second quicker than Dungey’s. Tomac was up to fourth place by lap seven, then encountered a brief battle with Seely before taking over third place on lap nine. Tomac then ate up the distance between himself and the smooth-riding Baggett before making a pass for second place on lap 16.

Blake Baggett enjoyed his best race of the year at the Atlanta Supercross, finishing third. His best finish of the season prior to Atlanta was seventh. PHOTO BY RAS PHOTO.
Tomac continued to stay on the gas, and he was able to cut Dungey’s lead from 7 seconds to just 1.5 seconds, but a little sand in the face from lapped traffic may have been just enough to spoil his chance to steal his fourth win in five races. Instead. Dungey crossed the finish line to claim his third consecutive Atlanta Supercross victory in the venue that hosted his first career supercross victory as a 250cc SX East rider back in 2007.

“The start [was key], for sure,” Dungey said. “I was really able to drive off the [start] gate good and held it into the [first] corner. As all the guys shot wide I was able to tuck under and get the holeshot. This track was key for that, it was very hard to really make a lot of time on guys. I wanted to get out front and we did that. I saw Eli [Tomac] coming at the end, but wanted to just keep things easy [on myself]. A win is a win.”

Tomac finished second, still landing on the podium for the fourth time in the past five rounds. He later admitted that his poor start in the main event didn’t help his cause.

“I’m satisfied [with the result],” he said. “That [race] was tough. [The start] didn’t really happen in the Heat Race either, and it’s something I’ll look back on. I really need to be better off the start. That’s how important they are. But no excuses, Ryan [Dungey] straight up beat us tonight and got the start. I did what I could.”

Despite winning as a 250cc rider, Baggett has yet to visit the top of the podium in the premier class. However, his third-place finish marked the second time in his 450cc career that he has finished inside the top three since 2015.

“It’s been a long road,” Baggett said. “We’ve been plugging away. The whole Rocky Mountain/WPS/KTM team has been behind 100 percent. They finally got me comfortable on the bike. Supercross was never my thing, but now I’m comfortable on the bike and I love supercross. We’re just getting better and better each week.”

Jason Anderson (21) finished fourth in the Atlanta Supercross main, while teammate Dean Wilson (15) finished 10th. PHOTO BY RAS PHOTO.

With the win, Dungey was able to push his points advantage back up to 25 points over Tomac, who is now second in the standings. Musquin, fifth in the Atlanta Supercross main after claiming his first career 450cc win at round 6 in Arlington, Texas, is now 27 points behind Dungey and two behind Tomac.

Although it may seem as if the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross season just got underway, it will eclipse the halfway mark when it heads north of the border into Toronto, Canada, March 4, for round nine at the Rogers Centre. Broadcast coverage will be via tape delay on FS1. The scheduled broadcast time is 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET.

2017 Monster Energy Supercross Series
Georgia Dome
Atlanta, Georgia
Results: February 25, 2017


450cc Main Event
1. Ryan Dungey-KTM
2. Eli Tomac-Kaw
3. Blake Baggett- KTM
4. Jason Anderson-Hus
5. Marvin Musquin-KTM
6. Cole Seely-Hon
7. Chad Reed-Yam
8. Justin Brayton-Hon
9. Josh Grant-Kaw
10. Dean Wilson-Hus
11. Trey Canard-KTM
12. Mike Alessi-Hon
13. Vince Friese-Hon
14. Broc Tickle-Suz
15. Malcolm Stewart-Suz
16. Justin Barcia-Suz
17. Justin Bogle-Suz
18. Jake Weimer-Suz
19. Nick Schmidt-Suz
20. Cody Gilmore-Kaw
21. Alex Ray-Hus
22. Scott Champion-Yam

2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series Points Standings (after 8 of 17 rounds)
1. Ryan Dungey-174/2 wins
2. Eli Tomac-149/3 wins
3. Marvin Musquin-147/1 win
4. Cole Seely-138
5. Jason Anderson-121
6. Davi Millsaps-98
7. Dean Wilson-84
8. Chad Reed-83
9. Blake Baggett-83
10. Broc Tickle-76