Anderson Wins, But Dungey Is Champion

0
853
Ryan Dungey, Roger DeCoster and the KTM team celebrate their third straight Supercross title on May 6. (Feld Entertainment photo)

LAS VEGAS — Jason Anderson grabbed his first Monster Energy AMA Supercross victory of the season, while Ryan Dungey secured his third consecutive and fourth overall series champion in Saturday night’s season finale at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.

Dungey entered the event with a nine point lead over Eli Tomac, and his fourth-place finish coupled with Tomac’s runner-up effort handed him the title by five points before a sold out crowd of 39,509.

In the 250SX class, a title was on the line for the Eastern Regional Championship in the annual East/West Showdown. After one of the wildest and most memorable races in the history of the division, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo walked away with the victory, but it was Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne who emerged with his first career title after battling back from a first-turn crash.

The highly anticipated 450SX main event got underway with RMATV/MC-WPS-KTM’s Blake Baggett edging out Dungey for the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot. Dungey used the momentum of an outside line to quickly move into the lead, while Tomac fought his way into third behind Baggett. With his championship rival out front, Tomac wasted little time in working his way around Baggett for second.

Tomac’s push continued into lap one when he made an aggressive pass on Dungey, who took counter action to avoid contact and ended up losing another spot to Anderson, dropping to third. It was then Anderson’s turn to apply pressure on the lead. He stalked Tomac for several laps, and even briefly nosed his Husqvarna to the front, but his aggressiveness allowed Dungey to close back in and take over second on lap four. The race stabilized a bit at that point, with Tomac enjoying a multiple-second lead, but as the 20-minute-plus-one-lap race neared the halfway point Dungey began to close back in on his rival.

A miscue in a rhythm section on lap 14 allowed Dungey to surge past Tomac and back into the lead, but the Kawasaki rider stayed right on his rear fender. A short time later Tomac dove to the inside of Dungey, forcing contact and sending the KTM rider off the track.

As Tomac reclaimed the lead, Dungey was forced to safely reenter the track and did so without losing a spot, but came out just in front of Anderson. At this point in the race, the top six riders sat within three seconds of another, adding to the tension both on the track and in the stands.

As the field took the white flag for the final lap the capacity crowd rose to its feet as Dungey continued to manage about a bike-length deficit to Tomac, seemingly waiting for a final opportunity to make a move and potentially steal the win.