Eli Tomac just needs to keep winning and he'll capture the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Championship.
Ryan Dungey just needs to start winning and he'll capture the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Championship.
Either way, the title chase continues for both riders on Saturday at the penultimate round of the season at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Tomac has sole possession of the Red Plate for the first time in his 450 career after riding on rails last week in Salt Lake City climbing from a 10th place start and passing Dungey for the lead 18 laps later.
Eli Tomac (left) used the whoops to blaze past the competition and Ryan Dungey (right) last week
The victory broke a points tie with the two-time defending Champion and finishing the season with two more wins guarantees Tomac his first 450 class Supercross Championship. It was Tomac's ninth win of the season and seventh in the last nine rounds. He's certainly riding on another level this season, reminiscent of his total domination to start the 2015 Motocross season, but it's all for not if Dungey can figure out how to stay in front.
Dungey brings only two wins for the year into Round 16 but has yet to finish below fourth-place. It's kept him in the points race for sure, but since Round 7 in Minneapolis he's lost 32 points to Tomac, this despite a win and seven podiums during that stretch. A victory on Saturday puts him in a tie, at a minimum with Tomac, and a final win in Las Vegas gives him three-straight Championships and four overall. If Dungey pulls it off, he'll take the title with four wins the lowest amount for any of his Championship seasons.
It's certainly one of the most memorable and closest finishes in recent Supercross memory and unless one of these two riders hit the dirt this weekend in a bad way expect an all-out brouhaha in Las Vegas on May 6.
Mathematically, Marvin Musquin remains in the hunt but he's 49 points from Tomac, a long shot at best as he needs both Tomac and Dungey take the next two weeks off. Instead, he'll settle for third to end the season, undoubtedly a solid feat for his second year on the big bikes. Musquin finished fourth last week and has a stat line of 2-2-3-1-4 in the last five rounds. Good enough to keep Jason Anderson well behind in fourth, 42 points back.
Can Jason Anderson keep his podium streak alive in East Rutherford?
Speaking of Anderson, he's rounded out the podium the last two weeks along with a season best three week stretch of 4-3-3. Anderson hasn't placed higher than third this season and it's unlikely with Tomac and Dungey out front battling for the Championship at high speeds he'll have much of a chance to podium higher but with Cole Seely injured and his status unclear for the rest of the season, Anderson looks like a lock for fourth-place.
Tomac, Dungey and Musquin take up the podium spots in the last five rounds and in the last three rounds those three along with Anderson make up the Top 4 riders. Expect more of the same on Saturday where the New York Jets play.
Jordan Smith (left) needs a win on Saturday to close the points gap on Joey Savatgy (right)
But don't expect the crowning of a Champion in the 250SX East class. Though Justin Hill wrapped the 250SX West class title in Salt Lake City thanks to an unfortunate get-off by Aaron Plessinger the point spread in the East is much closer.
Joey Savatgy carries the edge with a six point gap over Jordan Smith who has a six point gap over Zach Osborne in third who has a six point gap over Adam Cianciarulo in fourth. So many sixes. Here's some wisdom: All four riders have crossed the finish line first this season and Osborne has the most wins with three. A first turn crash in Detroit negated a nine point lead for Osborne after finishing 18th which dropped him to third-place.
Zach Osborne needs a big weekend to stay in the 250SX East title hunt
Smith has the most momentum winning the last two rounds while Savatgy only has one win on the season but finishing second the last four rounds and five total podiums, tied for most on the box with Osborne.
Warm and muggy on Saturday with possible thunderstorms in the evening.
Our Podium Picks for East Rutherford:
- Eli Tomac
- Ryan Dungey
- Jason Anderson
250SX East class
- Zach Osborne
- Joey Savatgy
- Jordan Smith
Check out the track map for Round 16:
Practice and qualifying for Supercross Round 16 start at 10 a.m. (EST) with Opening Ceremonies at 4:30 p.m. (EST) and the Main Event at 5 p.m. (EST) on Saturday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Buy tickets online or at the box office. And wait. What's this? The regular FOX broadcasting network provides live television coverage.
2017 Supercross Season Standings
- Eli Tomac (319)
- Ryan Dungey (316)
- Marvin Musquin (270)
- Jason Anderson (228)
- Cole Seely (211)
- Blake Baggett (190)
- Davi Millsaps (190)
- Broc Tickle (167)
- Chad Reed (158)
- Dean Wilson (158)
250SX East Class
- Joey Savatgy (146)
- Jordon Smith (140)
- Zach Osborne (134)
- Adam Cianciarulo (128)
- Dylan Ferrandis (104)
- Christian Craig (81)
- Luke Renzland (70)
- Anthony Rodriguez (69)
- Mitchell Harrison (66)
- Kyle Cunningham (62)
Written By: AndrewT