VIR Here We Come

8 05 2017

Round three of the MotoAmerica Series is this weekend in Virginia

COSTA MESA, CA – May 8, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –  Two things have become abundantly clear after just two rounds and four races in the Motul Superbike class: the level of Superbike racing in the U.S. has never been higher; and a rivalry has started that takes us back to the heated days of Gobert vs. Mladin, Mladin vs. Spies, Young vs. Hayes. The result: A 2017 MotoAmerica Series that promises to thrill – both on and off the racetrack.

MotoAmerica Superbikes are coming to VIRginia International Raceway,
May 12-14, for round three of the 2016 MotoAmerica Series.

Bring on the Championship of Virginia at VIRginia International Raceway this weekend, May 12-14.

The man at the top coming into round three at VIRginia International Raceway is Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias. The diminutive Spaniard has won three of the first four races, leads the Motul Superbike point standings by 26 points, and was also the protagonist in the off-track war of words with two-time defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier in the post-race press conference at Road Atlanta.

It all started on Saturday at Road Atlanta. Beaubier made what Elias deemed a rough pass in turn 12 before riding on to victory, his first of the season. Elias basically promised retaliation and it came the next day, in race two on Sunday in Georgia. Elias moved over on Beaubier in the braking zone for turn 12 and then rode on to victory, his third of the season. The bad feelings between the two began right before the podium ceremony and spilled over into the post-race press conference. The rest is history and now the battle resumes at VIR for round three of the series, the Championship of Virginia.

Now the duo come to VIR as the only two to win a Motul Superbike race thus far this season with Elias winning three and Beaubier one. Although he hasn’t won a race yet, Elias’ Yoshimura Suzuki teammate Roger Hayden heads to Virginia tied for second in the championship with Beaubier with 69 points, 26 behind Elias. Hayden has been consistently fast and on the podium in three of the four races, with two second-place finishes.

Fourth coming into VIR is Helmet Sounds/Western Services/Meen Yamaha’s Josh Herrin, last year’s Superstock 1000 Champion moving to the Superbike class and making the most of it. Herrin was chomping at the heels of the factory Superbike men at Road Atlanta, running as high as second early in race one before finishing fifth. He was one better in race two, ending up fourth.

Bobby Fong gave the Superbike men fits in the opening round in Texas, ending up on the podium in race one on his Bazzaz Superstock 1000-spec Quicksilver Latus Motors Kawasaki as the Superstock class runs together on-track with the Motul Superbike class. Fong is currently fifth in the Superbike Championship and is tied for the lead in the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 Championship with M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis, the winner of race two at Road Atlanta.

Those two are just five points clear of Yamalube/Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, the South African winning his first career MotoAmerica race in the first of two races at Road Atlanta. In addition to holding down the top three spots in the Bazzaz Superstock title chase, Fong, Lewis and Scholtz are also ranked fifth, sixth and seventh in the Motul Superbike Championship standings, respectively.

Believe it or not, four-time AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes is mired back in eighth in the 2017 Superbike Championship, the Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing rider having suffered two crashes in the four races. In the opening race at Circuit of The Americas, Hayes was able to remount to finish 14th and score two points, but that wasn’t the case in race two at Road Atlanta. A day after earning his first podium of the season, Hayes had a high-speed crash at Road Atlanta that almost sent his Yamaha YZF R1 to VIR without needing the team’s semi. The bike cleared at least two fences before settling in the Georgian forest. Fortunately, Hayes escaped injury but is 64 points behind Elias. There’s plenty left in this season, however – with 16 races left to run.

Two Supersport races will also be held at VIR this weekend and thus far those races have been spectacular. After two rounds and three races (Supersport only raced once at COTA), only eight points separate the top three in the championship. At the top of the heap is Frenchman Valentin Debise, the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider winning his first race of the season and second of his MotoAmerica career in race two at Road Atlanta. He is four points clear of defending Supersport Champion Garrett Gerloff, the Texan winning race one in Georgia. Third place is held by 2015 Supersport Champion JD Beach, the Monster Energy/Yamalube/Y.E.S./Graves Yamaha teammate to Gerloff having won the opener in Texas before posting two thirds at Road Atlanta.

Much like the Motul Superbike/Bazzazz Superstock 1000 class, Superstock 600 also runs on track with the Supersport class and thus far it has been dominated by M4 medAge Suzuki’s Nick McFadden. The Kentucky rider won the first two races of the season at Road Atlanta (Superstock 600 did not race in Texas) and comes to VIR with a perfect points tally of 50. That’s 14 points better than Team MG55’s Michael Gilbert and Aguilar Racing’s Jason Aguilar, with the two Californians tied for second in the championship after swapping second and third place finishes at Road Atlanta.

The KTM RC Cup also made its season debut at Road Atlanta and both races were also won by one racer – Benjamin Smith. The 16-year-old from Pennsylvania was perfect at Road Atlanta, beating his 17-year-old Quarterley Racing/On Track Development teammate Draik Beauchamp in both outings, though both races were close as the KTM Cup races always are. Third place in the title chase after the opening round is held by 14-year-old Alex Dumas, the Canadian posting third- and fourth-place finishes in the two races in Georgia. Tyler Wissel also scored his first career MotoAmerica podium with a third in race two.

The Supersport class has also been hotly contested with just eight points separating the top three – Valentin Debise (53), Garrett Gerloff (1) and JD Beach (95).
Photos by Brian J. Nelson.

VIR Notes

The 2017 MotoAmerica Series rolls into VIRginia International Raceway for round three of its 10-round series. Last year VIR was also held on the second weekend in May, but it was the fourth round of the series.

With his first win of the season coming in race one at Road Atlanta, two-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier now has 20 career Superbike wins, which puts him in a tie for fifth on the all-time AMA Superbike win list with former AMA Superbike and World Superbike Champion Fred Merkel. Beaubier is eight wins behind former AMA Superbike and World Superbike Champion Ben Spies, the Texan sitting fourth on the all-time list.

When it comes to the history of the AMA Superbike Series, the active rider with the most victories is Josh Hayes, the veteran with 60 Superbike wins to his credit. Hayes won two races in last year’s MotoAmerica Series, including race one at VIR – his sixth on the 2.25-mile North Course. In 2015, Hayes collected victories in both races at VIR.

Hayes won race one last year at VIR with Beaubier taking race two over his Yamaha teammate. Roger Hayden was second and fourth in the two races with his teammate Toni Elias ending up with two third-place finishes in what was his first visit to the track.

JD Beach is the winningest Supersport racer in MotoAmerica history with the 2015 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion amassing 17 wins thus far in the series. Beach won eight races in both 2015 and 2016 and started this season with a victory in the series opener in Texas.

Defending Supersport Champion Garrett Gerloff can look back to last year’s races at VIR as a major reason he won the title, as two of Gerloff’s six wins in 2016 came in Virginia. Gerloff’s win in race one at Road Atlanta a few weeks ago was his ninth career MotoAmerica Supersport victory.

No matter who wins the KTM RC Cup races this weekend at VIR, they will be new to the VIR podium. Last year’s two races were won by Anthony Mazziotto III and he’s graduated to the Superstock 600 class for 2017. As for class champion Brandon Paasch, he’s made the move to the Supersport class.

The two Superstock 600 races last year were won by Michael Gilbert and Bryce Prince. Gilbert is back for another season in the class while Prince, who won the 2016 Superstock 600 title, has moved to the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 series.

About MotoAmerica

MotoAmerica is the new North American road racing series created in 2014. MotoAmerica is an affiliate of KRAVE Group LLC, a partnership that includes three-time 500cc World Champion, two-time AMA Superbike Champion, and AMA Hall of Famer Wayne Rainey, ex-racer and former manager of Team Roberts Chuck Aksland, motorsports marketing executive Terry Karges, and businessman Richard Varner. For more information on MotoAmerica, visit www.MotoAmerica.com. Also make sure to follow MotoAmerica on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Source: MotoAmerica

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American Flat Track returns to Phoenix May 13

8 05 2017

PHOENIX, AZ – May 8, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –  American Flat Track, the premier flat track motorcycle racing championship, returns to Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Ariz. on May 13. Defending Grand National Champion Bryan Smith returns to defend his title and repeat his dominant win last year on the Arizona Mile on an all-new machine – the Indian Scout FTR750.

The nation’s top professional motorcycle racers are expected in Phoenix to compete in the Law Tigers Arizona Mile, presented by Indian Motorcycles. Turf Paradise is the fourth stop of the 18-race American Flat Track series which began at the Daytona TT in March and will award the number-one plate to the top rider in Southern California in October.

“Flat track racing was born in America and has deep roots on dirt tracks where riders race handlebar to handlebar at triple digit speeds and draft each other on the front and back stretches NASCAR-style, which can produce several lead changes and exciting racing lap after lap,” noted Chris Morgan, event co-promoter. “It is the ultimate pure competition with the riders in full view of the fans as they wrestle their big-motor machines on the track and the weekend promises to be very entertaining.”

Smith, the widely acknowledged “mile master” of the American Flat Track series because of his skill on high speed big race tracks, launched his championship run with his win in Phoenix last year, the first of his four victories to claim the title by a mere five points over four-time champion Jared Mees.

That intense competition between Smith and Mees has carried over into 2017 as the pair have dominated the season’s first three races. Although the title fight is a bit of deja vu, the new year has a new twist as the pair are on the same machinery and account for two of the three riders on the formidable Indian Wrecking Crew, which also marks Indian Motorcycle’s return to flat track racing after more than a 64-year absence.

Smith is coming to Phoenix with momentum after winning in Charlotte, but Mees, who won the first two rounds in Daytona and Atlanta, leads Smith in the championship tally by a mere eight points. “I want it bad,” said Mees about what would be his fifth national title. “Bryan’s riding extremely well right now so it won’t be easy.”

The new Indian Scout FTR 750 is powered by an all-new race-only V-Twin designed exclusively for flat track racing. The new Indian formally made its debut late in 2016, with veteran Joe Kopp at the helm. Kopp had an impressive debut on the FTR750 with a seventh-place finish and a win in the Dash for Cash race. But what was more impressive was who would be the third member of the Indian Wrecking Crew, and Smith’s teammate – Brad Baker’s – dominant season finale race win at Santa Rosa.

Not to be outdone, Harley-Davidson unveiled an all-star team of riders – and a new bike, the XG750R – to respond to the challenge. The team is led by three-time Grand National Champion Kenny Coolbeth, Jr., and includes two-time title holder Jake Johnson and Brandon Robinson, who among them tally 59 Grand National race wins.

“With the fuel injection, the Harley-Davidson has a lot of potential and I think we have the bike to beat,” said Coolbeth.

The rider who may give the top riders a stiff challenge in 2017 is Ryan Wells, the 2016  GNC2 champion (now AFT Singles) who is moving up in class aboard a Kawasaki 650 Ninja. “Last season I achieved a life-long dream of winning my first professional championship,” said Wells. “For 2017, I have moved up to the premier class of American Flat Track and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

In addition to the premier twin-cylinder class, the AFT Singles class features the up-and-coming talent in the sport led by New York rider Kolby Carlile, will also race on the Arizona Mile.

A full day of events is planned at Turf Pardise, including music, a historic bike show and an autograph session with the top flat track riders in America. More info is available at www.arizonamile.com

Source: American Flat Track

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Polaris Motorcycle Division to Exhibit & Showcase New Model Lineup at 2017 AIMExpo

8 05 2017

Indian Motorcycle & Polaris Slingshot to Showcase its Model Year 2018 Lineup at American International Motorcycle Expo in Columbus, Ohio

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – May 8, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –  The Polaris Motorcycle Division announced it will make its American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) debut in September at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The appearance of both Indian Motorcycle, America’s first motorcycle company, and Polaris Slingshot, the bold three-wheeled roadster, will allow the motorcycle industry and consumers alike to be one of the first to view each brand’s full 2018 model year lineup.

Produced by the Motorcycle Industry Council, AIMExpo is the single most important event of its type in the North American market and has international impact within the motorcycle and powersports industry. Polaris Motorcycle Division’s support of AIMExpo further demonstrates the company’s continued support to grow and expand the motorcycle industry. In addition, the AIMExpo provides an ideal platform to reach consumers and entertain dealers.

“The AIMExpo provides both Indian and Slingshot the ideal platform to reach and engage the North American market and to showcase each brand’s new model year lineups,” said Steve Menneto, President, Polaris Motorcycle Division. “Additionally, the city of Columbus is strategically situated within the sweet spot of our consumer base, as well as our dealer network, making it an ideal location to showcase our products to key constituencies.”

The AIMExpo’s purpose is to serve as the catalyst to bring together industry, press, dealers and consumers in a single arena that creates a grand stage for motorcycling and powersports in the U.S. and North America. AIMExpo delivers an efficient and energetic market-timed expo platform for B2B and B2C in the powersports industry.

“We’re excited to welcome Indian Motorcycle and Polaris Slingshot to the AIMExpo for the first time,” said Larry Little, Vice President & General Manager, MIC Events. “Both brands bring a unique story unlike any other brand – with Indian’s historic place in motorcycling and Slingshot’s category-creating design. We fully expect both brands to be well received from attending industry professionals and consumers, and believe Indian and Slingshot will help contribute to make this the best show yet.”

ABOUT INDIAN MOTORCYCLE

Indian Motorcycle Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII), is America’s First Motorcycle Company®. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America’s most legendary and iconic brands through unrivaled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion is reignited under new brand stewardship. To learn more, please visit www.indianmotorcycle.com.

ABOUT POLARIS® INDUSTRIES

Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) is a global powersports leader with annual 2015 sales of $4.7 billion. Polaris fuels the passion of riders, workers and outdoor enthusiasts with our RANGER®, RZR® and POLARIS GENERAL™ side-by-side off-road vehicles; our SPORTSMAN® and POLARIS ACE® all-terrain off-road vehicles; VICTORY® and INDIAN MOTORCYCLE® midsize and heavyweight motorcycles; SLINGSHOT® moto-roadsters; and Polaris RMK®, INDY®, SWITCHBACK® and RUSH® snowmobiles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with parts, garments and accessories sold under multiple recognizable brands, and has a growing presence globally in adjacent markets with products including military and commercial off-road vehicles, quadricycles, and electric vehicles. www.polaris.com

Source: Polaris Industries Inc.

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Cortech Back As MotoAmerica Sponsor For 2017

8 05 2017

Gear Brand Also The Presenting Sponsor of Timing & Scoring

COSTA MESA, CA – May 8, 2017 –  MotoAmerica has announced that Cortech will continue as a supporting partner of MotoAmerica for the 2017 season and will again be the presenting sponsor of the Cortech Timing & Scoring system that is currently used at all 10 rounds of the MotoAmerica Series.

MotoAmerica Supersport Champion Garrett Gerloff proudly wears Cortech leathers.
Photo by Brian J. Nelson

“Cortech is thrilled to once again be MotoAmerica’s timing and scoring sponsoring partner,” said Richard Kimes, Chief Marketing Officer, Director of Training. “Cortech is dedicated to all things ‘performance,’ and MotoAmerica road racing provides the dedicated, opinion-leader audience that loves motorcycling and that truly appreciates what Cortech gear is all about.”

Based in Calabasas Hills, California, Cortech is Helmet House’s performance gear brand for motorcycling and snowmobiling and offers a full array of performance products for riders, including apparel, boots, gloves, luggage, and snowmobile gear. Cortech also sponsors MotoAmerica Supersport Champion Garrett Gerloff and Superstock 1000 rider Jake Lewis, in addition to other riders. Both Gerloff and Lewis have already won races in the 2017 season, which resumes with round three at VIRginia International Raceway, May 12-14.

“Cortech has been a solid partner of ours since we started MotoAmerica,” said MotoAmerica President Wayne Rainey. “They’ve been the sponsor of our Timing & Scoring system since the beginning so they are definitely a big part of what we do. It’s also good to see the level of support they give to their riders in keeping them protected and safe.”

About MotoAmerica

MotoAmerica is the new North American road racing series created in 2014. MotoAmerica is an affiliate of KRAVE Group LLC, a partnership that includes three-time 500cc World Champion, two-time AMA Superbike Champion, and AMA Hall of Famer Wayne Rainey, ex-racer and former manager of Team Roberts Chuck Aksland, motorsports marketing executive Terry Karges, and businessman Richard Varner. For more information on MotoAmerica, visit www.MotoAmerica.com. Also make sure to follow MotoAmerica on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Source: MotoAmerica

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Polaris is Recalling certain 2016-2017 GEM E2, E4, E6, and ELXD electric vehicles

8 05 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 8, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –

Front Steel Wheel Lug Nuts may Loosen

If a wheel separates from the vehicle, it can increase the risk of a crash.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 17V279000

Manufacturer: Polaris Industries, Inc.

Components: WHEELS

Potential Number of Units Affected: 1,254

Make Model Model Year(s)
GEM E2 2016 – 2017
GEM E4 2016 – 2017
GEM E6 2016 – 2017
GEM ELXD 2016 – 2017

Summary: Polaris Industries, Inc. (Polaris) is recalling certain 2016-2017 GEM E2, E4, E6, and ELXD electric vehicles, equipped with steel wheels. The lug nuts on the front wheels may loosen, potentially resulting in a front wheel detaching from the vehicle.

Remedy: GEM will notify owners. The manufacturer has not yet finalized a remedy plan, nor provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact GEM Consumer Service Department at 1-855-743-3436. Polaris’ number for this recall is L-17-01.

Notes: Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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Ducati is Recalling certain 2016-2017 Multistrada 1200 Enduro motorcycles

8 05 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 8, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –

Rear Shock Absorber may Crack and Detach

If the rear shock absorber detaches from the swingarm, the motorcycle’s handling would be affected, increasing the risk of a crash.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 17V274000

Manufacturer: Ducati North America

Components: SUSPENSION

Potential Number of Units Affected: 568

Make Model Model Year(s)
DUCATI MULTISTRADA 1200 2016 – 2017

Summary: Ducati North America (Ducati) is recalling certain 2016-2017 Multistrada 1200 Enduro motorcycles. The motorcycle’s rear shock absorber lower shock-end eyelet may crack and possibly detach from the swingarm.

Remedy: Ducati will notify owners, and dealers will replace the rear shock absorber assembly, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 22, 2017. Owners may contact Ducati customer service at 1-800-231-6696. Ducati’s number for this recall is SRV-RCL-17-002.

Notes: Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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Dungey Withstands Fierce Battle with Tomac to Clinch Fourth Monster Energy Supercross Championship in Las Vegas

7 05 2017

Osborne Overcomes First-Turn Crash to Emerge
with East Region 250SX Title

LAS VEGAS, NV – May 7, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –  After a long and thrilling title fight that began the first full weekend in January, Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, came to a dramatic conclusion with its 17th and final race on Saturday night in front of a sold out crowd of 39,509 inside Sam Boyd Stadium. Nine points sat between Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ryan Dungey and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac entering the night, but when the dust settled after a thrilling 450SX Class Main Event it was Dungey who walked away with his fourth title, and his third in a row. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson took the Main Event win, his first of the season.

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 Main Event win, 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.

Dungey earned his fourth Monster Energy Supercross World Championship.
Photo: Feld Entertainment, Inc.

The highly anticipated 450SX Class 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 1 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 4. The race stabilized a bit at that point, with Tomac enjoying a multiple-second lead, but as the 20-minute-plus-one-lap Main Event 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.

Veteran Chad Reed made his presence felt on Lap 17, working his way into the lead group and passing Anderson for third. However, in the final turn before the finish Anderson attempted to retake the position, forcing heavy contact with Reed and sending the Monster Energy/Yamalube/Chaparral/Yamaha Financial Services/Yamaha Factory Racing rider off the side of the track. Reed would reenter the race in sixth. The incident also allowed Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Josh Grant to briefly take over third from Anderson, but the Husqvarna rider fought back and reclaimed the position.

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. As the leaders approached the track’s lone triple jump for the final time Tomac went high and suddenly dropped off the pace, which allowed Dungey to easily move back into the lead. Tomac’s brief slowing appeared to be intentional as he jumped right behind Dungey and came in with another aggressive pass in the next corner. The two made contact again, forcing both to stop completely and nearly go off the track. That allowed Anderson to dive under the lead pair and jump from third to first with just a few turns remaining. Grant briefly followed into second, but Tomac regained his momentum and got back by. Dungey received the worst of the situation, falling from second to fourth, but he kept his KTM on two wheels and settled for the spot he needed in order to ensure the title.

Anderson went on to take an unexpected win, the third of his career and his first of the 2017 season, by 1.8 seconds. Tomac followed in the runner-up spot after leading 17 laps, with Grant claiming his first podium finish of the season behind his teammate in third. Needing a finish no worse than fourth, Dungey brought his KTM home just off the podium.

Anderson earned his first win of the 2017 season.
Photo: Feld Entertainment, Inc.

Dungey shared his frustration with the Kawasaki teammates for their race tactics after crossing the finish, but a fourth Monster Energy Supercross Championship was his.

“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.”

Dungey is the fifth rider in Monster Energy Supercross history to win three consecutive 450SX Class titles. He also becomes just the fourth rider in the history of the sport to win at least four championships, joining Ricky Carmichael, Jeremy McGrath, and Ryan Villopoto. His three wins are the lowest for a champion since Jeff Stanton won the same amount in 1992. Alternatively, Tomac’s nine wins are the most for a rider that failed to win a title since Damon Bradshaw won the same amount, also during the 1992 season. Dungey and Tomac finished the season separated by just five points. It’s the smallest gap between first and second since 2011 when Villopoto won the title by four points over Reed.

Tomac (3) and Dungey (1) put on a show for the sold out crowd in their duel for the title.
Photo: Feld Entertainment, Inc.

The 250SX Class East/West Showdown kicked off with Cianciarulo storming to the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot, just ahead of his teammate Joey Savatgy and Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Jordon Smith, the Eastern Regional points leader. This trio, along with Osborne, entered the night mathematically eligible to win the title and while three of the four sprinted out to an early lead, Osborne found himself picking up his Husqvarna off the ground following a first-turn crash that collected several riders. Osborne began his race at the tail end of the field, completing the first lap in 21st.

The clear track allowed Cianciarulo to sprint away, but Savatgy kept pace. As they crossed the line to officially start the first lap, Savatgy washed out his front end in the first corner and went down. That allowed Smith to take over second, with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Martin Davalos moving into third.

The Lap 1 excitement sparked again when Smith went off the side of the track while running second. He kept his KTM on two wheels, but lost several positions and reentered the race in fifth. That moved Davalos into second and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Justin Hill, the newly crowned Western Regional Champion, into third. Davalos would encounter misfortune on Lap 2 and fall out of contention, moving Hill into second and 51Fifty Energy Drink Yamaha’s Hayden Mellross into third. Smith endured even more misfortune of his own on the same lap, suffering a frightening crash that would bring his race to an end and eliminate his hopes of a first career title.

With Cianciarulo in full control of the race out front, Savatgy running in fourth, and Osborne slowly working his way back into the mix in 20th, the championship intrigue was only beginning. Over the middle portion of the 15-minute-plus-one-lap Main Event both Savatgy and Osborne began heading in opposite directions. Savatgy, who controlled his own destiny in the title fight, continued to lose ground to the riders behind him, falling from fourth to seventh on Lap 5. Meanwhile, Osborne was charging through the field and broke into the top 15. Savatgy would lose another position and fall to eighth three laps later.

With the Main Event winding down, Savatgy’s vulnerable hold of the championship lead left him with just a single-point advantage over Cianciarulo as they ran on track, while Osborne’s continued improvement also allowed him to close to within single digits of the points lead. On Lap 12 Osborne valiantly fought his way into ninth, with only Savatgy sitting between he and his first career title. A large gap sat between the two as the time on the Main Event clock expired, but with one additional lap remaining the Husqvarna rider was able to make a charge to Savatgy’s rear fender and within striking distance on the final lap.

Cianciarulo dominated the race and posted a wire-to-wire effort to capture his second victory of the season, likely unaware of the bedlam ensuing behind him. He crossed the line 5.7 seconds ahead of Hill, while Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger made an impressive climb from a 15th-place start to round out the podium in third. As they approached the final set of whoops on last time, Osborne committed to making a pass attempt on Savatgy for seventh and did just that, diving to the inside of an unsuspecting Savatgy and drawing heavy contact that ripped Savatgy off the back of his Kawasaki after it briefly hooked onto Osborne’s Husqvarna. Osborne continued, leaving Savatgy to pick up his bike, and ultimately clinched a title that didn’t seem possible after the opening lap.

Osborne overcame a crash in the first turn to clinch an unlikely East Region title.
Photo: Feld Entertainment, Inc.

“I can’t believe I came from that far back. I was down in the first turn. Not just down, but down for a long time. It’s just unreal,” exclaimed Osborne. “I can’t believe I made that pass. I could see him [Savatgy], but he was so far away in my mind. To come back and pass him with one corner to go is unreal. I’ve worked my whole life to be here. There’s just so many people that have shaped and molded my career to get me to this point, and I just cant thank them and my team enough.”

Osborne’s seventh-place finish, coupled with Cianciarulo’s win, left them just two points apart in the final standings. Cianciarulo entered the night 14 points out of the lead, while Osborne and Savatgy sat just a single point behind Smith. Savatgy ended up 12th, and wound up seven points back.

Osborne became the 53rd different 250SX Class Champion in Monster Energy Supercross history, and gave the Husqvarna brand its first ever title in the division.

Cianciarulo dominated en route to his second win of the season.
Photo: Feld Entertainment, Inc.

Monster Energy Supercross
Sam Boyd Stadium – Las Vegas
May 6, 2017

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

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