It's not often a rider throws their fist in jubilation after crossing the finish line in fourth-place.
His record podium streak ended by less than two seconds Ryan Dungey started, inarguably, a much better streak when he secured the 2016 Monster Energy Supercross Championship during Round 16 on Saturday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ backing up last year's title. Dungey's three titles (2010, 2015, 2016) make him the sixth rider in history to have three or more Championships.
"(My competitors) were tough and they brought it, but we kept fighting and here we are, back where we wanted to be," Dungey said. "I couldn't have done this without the support of my entire team and family. There's definitely no I in team and this could have never happened without their commitment."
Dungey last finished off the podium on Jan. 3, 2015 at Anaheim 1 to start the 2015 Supercross season when he also finished fourth. He had three-race win streaks twice this year and had a record streak of finishing in the Top 2 end in Toronto at 20. He nearly fell off the podium last week but got back into position in the final laps. A victory next week in Las Vegas gives Dungey a career best nine wins in a season but he's got a lot of work cut out for him plus there's that already got the Championship thing.
Dungey finsihed in fourth-place at East Rutherford but celebrated nonetheless
Lost in the celebration was another resounding win by Ken Roczen who grabbed the holeshot and checked out winning by nearly 20 seconds. The field and Dungey have had nothing for Roczen who has come on fire of late winning two straight with five straight podiums. The win marked five on the year for Roczen. He's now 36 points behind Dungey in the standings but too little too late.
"We did exactly what we wanted to do. We got the holeshot and put in 20 solid laps," Roczen said. "The track was in great condition. We did what we have to do and we'll look ahead to try and get another one next weekend."
Ken Roczen checked out and checked off another win
Additionally, and perhaps a precursor to what's in store for the Motocross season, Eli Tomac finished second for the second straight week enjoying a late season surge riding much like the start of last year's Motocross season when he dominated five straight Motos before a season-ending injury at Round 3. Dungey became the eventual 2015 Motocross Champion with Roczen as runner-up but Tomac and Roczen have out-ridden Dungey in the last two rounds.
Tomac came out of nowhere after starting seventh and caught Dungey and Cole Seely on Lap 15 as those two engaged in a battle for the final podium spot. Tomac made the pass for third in the whoops and then took second from Seely on Lap 16. Dungey was unable to get past Seely for the final podium spot. Dungey said it was a bummer to have the podium streak end but the goal was to always back up his Championship.
"Last year being able to win, I wanted to repeat it and back it up and do it again," he said. "That I hadn't done before, I hadn't consistently won. That was the first goal we were chasing after. Obviously fourth place - the podium streak - I was definitely trying to go after Cole Seely just to get on the podium. I definitely gave him by best and did what I could but wasn't going to do anything stupid."
Elsewhere, Jason Anderson finished sixth and holds a 23 point edge over Tomac to end the season in third-place. Chad Reed finished in ninth, his sixth straight Top 10 finish and is in position to hold on to fifth-place with a 19 point cushion over Marvin Musquin, who finished seventh. Trey Canard endured a brutal practice crash but not only managed to walk away unhurt but qualified fourth (taking second in his Heat to Dungey) and finished eighth. He was tied with Justin Brayton for eighth but Brayton finished fifth and holds a three-point lead in that spot.
Malcolm Stewart celebrates his second win of the season and padded his lead in the Championship standings
The 250SX East class started its season with five different winners but three have since repeated, Malcolm Stewart the latest, coming in a most opportune time. Stewart entered East Rutherford with a five point edge and led 13 laps for his first victory since Detroit four rounds ago. He now has a 14 point cushion over Aaron Plessinger who was within one point of the lead after St. Louis but now has two straight fifth-place results.
Martin Davalos, who won a week ago, finished second but is officially out of Championship contention. His best hope is to catch Jeremy Martin or Plessinger to land on the Championship podium. Martin, the first two-time winner, took third for his third-straight stop on the box but rough outings in Detroit and Indianapolis appear to be the difference in his Championship hopes as he's now 19 points out from first but just five back from Plessinger in second. Stewart, Martin and Davalos have grabbed podium spots the last two rounds.
The 250SX East class meets the 250SX West class on Saturday in Las Vegas and points count towards each rider's total in their respective class. Stewart needs a 12th place to secure his first Championship and he's not finished out of the Top 10 all year.
The 2016 Supercross season comes to a close on Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Roczen is a lock for second and Anderson should wrap up third-place but titles in the 250SX East and West class have yet to be determined. Cooper Webb holds a 16 point lead in the West over Joey Savatgy and Stewart has a 14 point lead over Plessinger in the East.
Practice starts at 12 p.m. (PST) with opening ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. (PST) and racing at 7 p.m. (PST). Buy tickets online or at the box office. FOX Sports 2 provides television coverage.
2016 Monster Energy Supercross East Rutherford Results
East Rutherford Supercross 450SX Class Results
- Ken Roczen
- Eli Tomac
- Cole Seely
- Ryan Dungey
- Justin Brayton
- Jason Anderson
- Marvin Musquin
- Trey Canard
- Chad Reed
- Justin Bogle
East Rutherford Supercross 250SX East Class Results
- Malcolm Stewart
- Martin Davalos
- Jeremy Martin
- Shane McElrath
- Aaron Plessinger
- Tyler Bowers
- Gannon Audette
- Dakota Alix
- Luke Renzland
- Cedric Soubeyras
2016 Monster Energy Supercross Season Standings
450SX Class Season Standings
- Ryan Dungey (366) - 2016 Supercross Champion
- Ken Roczen (330)
- Jason Anderson (293)
- Eli Tomac (270)
- Chad Reed (232)
- Marvin Musquin (213)
- Cole Seely (207)
- Justin Brayton (186)
- Trey Canard (183)
- Weston Peick (125)
250SX East Class Season Standings
- Malcolm Stewart (160)
- Aaron Plessinger (146)
- Jeremy Martin (141)
- Martin Davalos (130)
- Shane McElrath (109)
- Tyler Bowers (108)
- Gannon Audette (105)
- RJ Hampshire (99)
- Anthony Rodriguez (78)
- Matt Bisceglia (68)
Written By: AndrewT