Dungey, Osborne crowned champions in drama-filled Vegas finale
Ryan Dungey has won his third straight Monster Energy Supercross championship, outdueling Eli Tomac in what was one of the most dramatic title battles in history.
The Red Bull KTM rider entered Saturday night’s Supercross finale with a nine-point lead over the Kawasaki rider and just needed to finish fourth or better to win the title.
Dungey traded the top spot with Tomac all night long but seemed content to finish second behind Tomac on the final lap. However, Tomac began to check up knowing that he couldn’t allow Dungey to finish second, but all it did was allow Jason Anderson to pass them both for the race win. Tomac would cross the line in second with teammate Josh Grant joining him on the podium.
Dungey finished fourth, giving him his fourth career title. He joins Jeremy McGrath, Ricky Carmichael and Ryan Villopoto as the only riders to win four or more premier class championships.
"That was a season of never give up. It was tough from the get go, but we did it," said Dungey, who was forced to wrap up the title in Las Vegas for the first time in his career. "In the last race [of the season] I didn't expect it to be like that. I expected it to be a clean race, but those cheap shots were unbelievable.
"But, we survived it and we got through it. It's [more gratifying]. We didn't win the most races [this season], but the points are what matter at the end. We fought hard, tooth and nail. This was these most challenging and the hardest season of my entire career. It's just nice to be here and sit on top."
The 450SX race came just moments after an eventful 250SX East/West Showdown, which saw Zach Osborne pull off a miraculous comeback to win the 250SX East championship.
Entering the race, the top three in East points - Jordon Smith, Joey Savatgy and Osborne - were separated by just one point. It was a dream situation as each rider controlled their own destiny. But as the race got underway, the pressure immediately got to all three championship contenders.
Osborne crashed in the first turn and was left last in the running order. Savatgy and Smith slotted in second and third, but would suffer crashes. First Savatgy lost the front end and dropped back to seventh. Then Smith crashed heavily in the high-speed "Thunder Alley" section, ending his race.
With Smith now eliminated from contention and Osborne seemingly out of it, Savatgy had all but won the title. However, as the laps winded down, Savatgy faded as Osborne charged, setting up a last-lap duel for the 250SX East championship.
Osborne pulled within striking distance in the first set of whoops and then made an aggressive pass at the end of the second set of whoops, taking out Savatgy in the process. The Husqvarna rider stayed upright and finished seventh to secure his first career Supercross championship. Savatgy finished 14th.
Adam Cianciarulo would win the race over 250SX West champion Justin Hill and Yamaha's Aaron Plessinger.
450SX Class Results
1. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna
2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
3. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki
4. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
5. Dean Wilson, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna
6. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha
7. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM
8. Davi Millsaps, Cairo, Ga., KTM
9. Justin Brayton, Mint Hill, N.C., Honda
10. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha
Final 450SX Class Championship Standings
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM - 359
2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki - 354
3. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM - 293
4. Jason Anderson, Rio Rancho, N.M., Husqvarna - 273
5. Davi Millsaps, Cairo, Ga., KTM - 221
6. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM - 220
7. Cole Seely, Sherman Oaks, Calif., Honda - 212
8. Dean Wilson, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna - 185
9. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha - 182
10. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki - 175
250SX Class East/West Regional Showdown
1. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki
2. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki
3. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha
4. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha
5. Mitchell Oldenburg, Alvord, Texas, KTM
6. Jimmy Decotis, Peabody, Mass., Honda
7. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna
8. Hayden Mellross, Australia, Yamaha
9. Mitchell Harrison, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha
10. Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Honda
Final Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
1. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna - 173
2. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki - 171
3. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki - 166
4. Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., KTM - 161
5. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha - 144
6. Christian Craig, Corona, Calif., Honda - 97
7. Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Yamaha - 86
8. Luke Renzland, Hewitt, N.J., Yamaha - 84
9. Anthony Rodriguez, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha - 82
10. Kyle Cunningham, Willow Park, Texas, Suzuki - 77
Final Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
1. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki - 202
2. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM - 164
3. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha - 163
4. Martin Davalos, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna - 145
5. Jimmy Decotis, Peabody, Mass., Honda - 137
6. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki - 114
7. Dan Reardon, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha - 104
8. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Honda - 90
9. Cole Martinez, Rimrock, Ariz., Yamaha - 77
10. Mitchell Oldenburg, Alvord, Texas, KTM - 76