Las Vegas Supercross Breakdown Report 2017 | Keefer’s Korner
The last round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series was the best racing we saw all year long! What a night filled with great battles, takeout’s and even lots of high-level drama. The high winds and high temps didn’t stop the title contenders from laying it on the line on the hard pack, slippery track. The 250 Main Event was a combined East/West showdown (which combined points) that didn’t disappoint and the 450 Main had a five-rider battle until the checkers. Let’s not wait any longer and dive into the last Keefer’s Korner of the season, because it’s a doozy!
Eli Tomac: You can’t say Eli didn’t try to win the championship Saturday night. Some may question his tactics, but he left it all out there on the track and all of us racing fans reaped the benefits. From the press conference Friday you could tell Tomac was trying to get into Ryan’s head and that leaked into the Main event on Saturday. Tomac got the lead, but couldn’t shake Dungey off of him, so he decided to ride just conservative enough to get a pack of five riders bunched up. A mistake let Dungey by, but Eli retaliated and made another pass for the lead. Once this happened you could tell Eli was trying to get Ryan to make a mistake (and almost did a couple times), but that let Jason Anderson make the pass on both of them for the win. I for one think you have to do what you have to do to win the championship at the last race right? Nothing that he did to Dungey was “too dirty or unsafe” and if anything, he was just trying to knock him over the berm. I for one think that is fair game when you are looking at a paycheck of about a million bucks. If he would of took Dungey down in a berm would that have been ok? For the last race of the year and the championship, I would say YES! If he was riding defensive and cross-jumped Dungey that would have been a different story. However, Tomac tried hard to make Dungey bobble several times, which in my eyes was a smart move. It didn’t work but at least he can hold his head up high and say he gave it his all. Tomac won 9 races and was the fastest rider of the year, yet he was consistent enough to beat RD1.
Ryan Dungey: Say what you want about last weekend, but Ryan rode gutsy in Vegas. He pushed the issue when he probably should of laid back and even his mechanic didn’t like what he was seeing. I feel Ryan wanted to make a statement in Vegas to let Eli and everyone else know I AM A CHAMPION and will not let you think I won this title because Marvin moved over for me in New Jersey. Come on people! In order to win a championship you have to be fast, win races and be consistent. Ryan is all of these things and more. When was the last time you saw a rider with a 9 point lead try to win the race and pass the rider that sat in second? I cant think of one neither! Congrats to KTM and Ryan Dungey on the title. From talking to some of the people around Ryan I would think this is his last Supercross season. Go out on top just like Peyton Manning did with the Denver Broncos. Go enjoy the fruits of your labor and hang out with your wife and kick your feet up Ryan. You deserve it!
Josh Grant: Look at “The Grizz” getting all up in the mix the last few rounds! Josh has been finding his form and putting his bike on the podium is a strong way to let everyone know you are going to be gnarly come outdoors. At one point I thought Josh was going to get second when Eli and Ryan were messing around, but a third on the night should make for a happy Kawasaki camp. Josh is especially good on hard pack coming from California and his flat tracking skills coming through Monster Alley was impressive.
Jason Anderson: Mr. Anderson punted Chad Reed off of the track to keep third position and then found himself on the back wheel of Tomac and Dungey. If it wasn’t for that move on Reed I don’t think Anderson would have won in Vegas. The quick retaliation move got him stuck like an endurocross rider on a set of tires, but he recovered, passed Baggett and went on to take advantage of the championship battle that was going on in front of him. Good on Anderson for being smart enough to get in the mix, but not screw it up for the top two dudes. Husqvarna had a night to remember in Vegas eh?
Chad Reed: Oh so close for Chad! If Anderson wouldn’t have hit Chad we could have seen another emotional win in Vegas. It’s no secret Chad isn’t happy with his bike, but admits that it works better on hard pack type tracks. A sixth place doesn’t look great on paper, but should make Chad happy about being in the mix. The new Yamaha chassis should make Chad happy in 2018. That’s if he stays around and on a blue bike.
Blake Baggett: Blake is getting good starts and has improved his Supercross race craft a lot. A spill late in the race put him back a bit, but look for him to be on the podium a lot come outdoors. I have said this numerous times, but I feel Chupacabra is back in 2017.
Zach Osborne: WOW! WOW! WOW! What a race! If you want to know the definition of heart look no further than this guy right here. My wife and I lost our voice and shed some tears after Zach’s come from behind championship winning ride. Zach has been the fastest east coast 250 rider all year, but has had some bad luck. His bad luck continued in Vegas with a first corner pile up and I am sure we all thought it was over. But Zach didn’t. He was a half a lap down at least on the first lap and proceeded to put on one of the most impressive come from behind championship rides that I have ever seen. Having the mental strength to pull it together (from the first corner fall) and put your head down to not only catch Savatgy, but also make a move in the second to last corner takes so much heart! With two laps to go Zach was behind Savatgy eight seconds! Eight seconds! He made up eight seconds in two laps! The move he made on Savatgy was not dirty and had to be done when he saw that opening. Osborne has been at this Supercross thing for a while and is one of the nicest humans in the paddock. The tears he shed after the race is something I will never forget. It’s almost like you could feel what he has been through all year (and all his life) to get to that point. What a ride by Zach and thank you for showing all of the younger generation what “heart” is once again.
Adam Cianciarulo: Adam almost won the whole dang thing. He won the battle, but came up two points short of winning the east coast war. With so much going down during the main event Adam said that he had no idea he was that close to winning the title until he did his post race interview and saw the points up on the jumbotron. Adam has two wins to his credit this season and he attributes most of his success to his team and new trainer Blake Savage. Blake is an ex-professional racer turned trainer and is living back in Florida helping Adam with his on and off bike habits.
Joey Savatgy: Poor Joey. You have to feel for the guy after that crazy race in Vegas. Savatgy just seemed to make at least one big mistake per Main event this year and just couldn’t put it all together enough to win this east coast championship. Watching Joey ride in Vegas and going back and watching tape of Joey earlier in the year, you can tell the pressure of the championship got to him. I hope he comes out and does an interview fairly soon and lays it all out there for us. Hopefully he doesn’t go into hiding and refuses to speak to the media, which will not be good for his fan base. Joey is one heck of a rider and still is a title threat outdoors as well. I am sure he will use that last lap pass as fuel to the fire and comes out swinging in this summer. At the end of the race you can see he wasn’t too happy with Zach, but come on, it’s the last lap for the championship you had to see this coming!
Jordon Smith: Jordon looked to be in a good position, but an evil crash coming down Monster Alley looked brutal. He is lucky he want seriously injured! There was a braking bump going up the face of the Monster Alley roller and his back end swapped and that was all she wrote. Smith wasn’t considered a title threat at the beginning of the year, but he rode great and I am sure the TLD KTM team is happy with what they have for the 2018 Supercross series.
Aaron Plessinger: What is there to say about Aaron that hasn’t been said already in 2017. The guy needs better starts. That’s it! If he got a good start he can win. Period. His whoop speed is insane and he can technically outride anyone on a 250 (besides Hill). Plessinger will be a title threat again in 2018, but his Vegas podium was a quiet one.
Hayden Mellross: The Aussie rode his butt off in Vegas, but tuckered out near the end. Still an eighth place in a combined East/West Shootout is impressive. The 5150 Energy Yamaha rider will be looking for a ride come outdoors but you might see him at the first two on a Yamaha.
Notes From Vegas:
250 Main Event Laps: 15
450 Main Event Laps: 19
250 Main Event Bike Breakdown:
450 Main Event Bike Breakdown:
Suzuki= 5 Kawasaki= 3
The Vegas Track: It was nice it wasn’t a mud race this year and it wasn’t muddy from the track crew over watering before the night show started. The whoops were your standard concrete whoops and the bowl turns were slick. It was your typical Vegas, but it was nice that the ripped Monster Alley and gave the riders some soft stuff back there to work with. The infield section was tighter in years past and if the riders wanted to use an inside line, they were tiptoeing around the tighter line.
Get Well Soon: All of us here at Dirt Rider send our love and support for two of our test riders and brothers Adam and Tyler Enticknap. Tyler broke his tib/fib in the Semi and Adam broke his collarbone, a rib and punctured his lung in the Main Event. Tough night for these two guys, but you can’t keep them down for long. They will be back with all of their crazy antics soon!
Best Dressed Award: I had Mookie to win this award early! Once I saw the white and teal Seven-gear set up along with the white and teal Suzuki he had, I was all in. The bike tying in with the gear is such a nice touch by Roger and the fellas over there at Seven MX. It was clean, wasn’t busy and popped under the lights in Vegas. Congrats Seven and Mookie on winning the award twice this year!
450SX Class Results:
- Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
- Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
- Dean Wilson, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna
- Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM
- Davi Millsaps, Cairo, Ga., KTM
- Justin Brayton, Mint Hill, N.C., Honda
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha
East/West Regional 250SX Class Results
- Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki
- Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha
- Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha
- Mitchell Oldenburg, Alvord, Texas, KTM
- Jimmy Decotis, Peabody, Mass., Honda
- Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna
- Hayden Mellross, Australia, Yamaha
- Mitchell Harrison, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha
- Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Honda