The final round of the 2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship occurred earlier today at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas; the 2017 Championship is over now!
2017 has arguably been one of the most exciting supercross seasons ever, and it wrapped up in the most exciting way possible in Vegas. It’s hard to imagine that after such an exciting season leading up to Vegas, the finale in Vegas would actually be the most exciting round of the series. But with two championships concluding on the night (Justin Hill had already previously wrapped up the 250SX West title, leaving only the 450SX and 250SX East titles up for grab), the racing was bound to be exciting. As it turns out, “exciting” was an understatement!
To begin with, the 250SX East title entered Vegas with only a 1 point difference between the three title competitors: Jordon Smith was leading, with Zach Osborne and Joey Savatgy trailing by 1. All eye were on these 3 riders throughout the day.
Zach Osborne was fighting an uphill battle as soon as the gate dropped in the 250 East heat race. He got a bad jump, got cutoff by Adam Cianciarulo who hit a tuff block in front of him, which Osborne hit and crashed. Osborne worked his way up to 8th, but his title competitors Joey Savatgy and Jordon Smith finished 1st and 3rd respectively. And with the main event being an East/West shootout (i.e. lots of fast guys lining up for one race), Osborne’s 16th place gate pick was going to put him at a huge disadvantage before the gate even dropped.
Osborne did everything he could considering his bad gate pick. In the main, he got a good jump off the gate, and was looking to be in a good position heading into the first turn, when disaster struck. A crash on the inside of him got out of hand and Dakota Alix ended up flying into Osborne, knocking them both down off the track. It took Osborne at least 15 seconds to untangle Alix’s bike, and with that his championship hopes disappeared. Or so we thought.
Meanwhile, Adam Cianciarulo got off to the early lead, followed by the other championship contenders Savatgy and Smith. It looked to be a good battle the for the championship, but then the same thing happened that has happened the past 4 rounds now: Savatgy crashed while up front in a good position! This essentially gave Jordon Smith the championship, unless Savatgy could muster an incredible come from behind ride (and of course Osborne was way too back).
However, before you knew it, Smith had a massive mistake, and was off the track! He re-entered the track, but just in front of Savatgy, so the battle for the championship was back on! The two battled it out for about half a lap, but then Smith crashed! And it wasn’t just a slide out, it was a massive endo over the fastest part of the track coming out of Monster Alley. Smith’s night was done, and Savatgy had the championship back in his control. Surely this time it was locked in, as he was sitting in 4th with Osborne way back.
However, Savatgy seemed to sense that the championship was all his to lose, and he rode under the pressure of it. He started riding really defensively, and faded way back. As he dropped back to 8th, it looked like Adam Cianciarulo was going to win the championship! Cianciarulo, the person who was 14 points back and everyone counted out of the championship, was leading and was only one point back of Savatgy as it stood currently. Savatgy only had to lose one more position for Cianciarulo to win the championship, and Cameron McAdoo was closing in. Savatgy (realizing he needed to get it together) seemed to pick it up slightly though, and (with the help of a mistake from McAdoo and a huge fade from Mellross) was actually able to make his way up to 7th.
So Savatgy no longer needed to worry about losing the championship to Cianciarulo out front, but as the time dwindled down, Osborne drew closer and closer. The unthinkable was happening. Osborne was having an incredible come from behind ride, and on the last lap had drawn to within a few seconds of Savatgy. As Savatgy continued to play it safe, Osborne went wild, closing multiple bike lengths in the last whoop section. Osborne went for it, making an aggressive block pass which took out Savatgy, but ultimately allowed Osborne to win the championship!
So there you go, a crazy 250 main event which saw Osborne win the 250SX East Championship, but the 450s were still yet to come.
Eli Tomac entered the night 9 points down, so he would have to win and Dungey would have to get 5th or worse for Eli to win the title. From the get go, it didn’t look like this would happen though as both Tomac and Dungey got off to a good start within the top 3. Dungey moved into the lead quickly, followed by Tomac.
Tomac made the pass the following lap, running Dungey high, but Dungey was able to regroup and quickly got back into 2nd. For the ensuing 10 minutes, it looked as though the race had been decided, but Tomac decided to let off, slowing Dungey down, allowing the rest of the field to catch back up. Dungey actually ended up passing twice, both times Tomac passed back with aggressive moves in an attempt to knock Dungey slightly off the track. The attempts were clearly an effort to cause Dungey to either make a mistake or to get passed by others, but Dungey rode strong, and his 4th place finish granted him the 2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship.
In Tomac’s last attempt on Dungey on the last lap, Jason Anderson actually was close enough to capitalize, and went on to win. Josh Grant was also close enough to make the pass on Dungey, giving Grant his first podium of the year.
Marvin Musquin was riding off all day, and ended up pulling off during the main. It’s not sure why, but he seemed okay, and was present at the medal ceremony after the race.
Here are the official results:
250 East vs. West Shootout:S2F1PRESS
Scott’s Opinion: Ladies and gents, the unthinkable happened in Vegas (probably not the first time that phrase has been said)… that was a crazy night!
Craig’s Opinion: (Opinion coming soon)…
Cover photo from Supercross LIVE