Monster Energy AMA Supercross – Las Vegas 2014 | Winners & Losers
With the 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross champ crowned the previous week, there wasn’t expected to be much drama at Sam Boyd Stadium on Saturday night. The stands were packed with Monster Energy Supercross fans, but the only Las Vegas flash out on the track came from some of the riders’ gear and gold-rimmed wheels as battles in the Main were mostly non-existent. Let’s see how it played out.
Ryan Villopoto. Monster Energy Kawasaki. Picking up momentum and absolutely crushing his competition in the last five races of the series, Ryan Villopoto finished out the 2014 series with another 20-lap leading race aboard his KX450F. With a 65-point lead over his closest rival — when he’s not even 100-percent healthy — the rest of the field certainly has its work cut out for them in 2015. Villopoto rode like a winner, even when he wasn’t winning, and we’ve gotten to enjoy one of the all-time greats the past few years. Win.
Ryan Dungey. Red Bull KTM. I’ve given Ryan Dungey a hard time this season when he didn’t make the most of opportunities handed to him, but in the end, his consistency carried him yet again. Dungey doesn’t have the raw speed to match Villopoto or James Stewart on a Monster Energy Supercross track, but what he does have is the tenacity to stick with what works for him and let the cards fall where they may. Runner up to Villopoto in a strong field is no mean feat. Win.
Ken Roczen. Red Bull KTM. A third place finish for the 450 rookie is an excellent result for the former two-time MX2 World Champion. Expecting Ken Roczen to best veteran Supercross champions Villopoto and Dungey in his first season is unrealistic, but given Roczen’s performance — eight podiums and two wins — it seems quite reasonable that he will give both Ryans a run for their money in 2015. Win.
James Stewart. Yoshimura Suzuki. Arguably, Stewart had the second most successful season this year, despite his fourth place overall finish. While it doesn’t look good on paper to have finished the Monster Energy Supercross season almost four full races behind Villopoto, when he wasn’t DNFing due to bike problems or crashing, he had the raw speed of old to run with, and pass, Villopoto. A mixed season, for sure, but Stewart is far from done. Win.
Muscle Milk Honda. On paper, 2014 looked to be a strong year for the Muscle Milk Honda team, mounted on CRF450Rs, but injury and mediocre performances from the two riders left the team shut out from wins. Trey Canard can’t catch a break. In 2011, he broke his femur twice. In 2012 he broke his back. And before the start of the 2014 season, he broke his arm, and made only 5 of the 17 rounds. It doesn’t matter how talented you are if so much of your prime riding years are being spent rehabbing major injuries.
Everyone expected more from Justin Barcia in his sophomore year in the 450 class. The stats tell the picture — in 2013 he had 2 wins and 5 podiums; in 2014 he had 0 wins and 4 podiums. That means Barcia slipped down a spot to 5th overall, from last year’s 4th place finish. “I’m really disappointed in myself; I can’t believe I wasn’t able to get a win this season.” Lose.
GEICO Honda. 450 rookies Eli Tomac and Wil Hahn missed eight rounds and four rounds, respectively, due to injuries. Both riders were inconsistent when they were healthy enough to race, though Tomac managed two podiums, and Hahn just missed with a fourth. It’s hard for a team to gain any traction when both riders are not racing every week, but at least the team won the 250SX East Championship when the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team crashed out. Lose.
With the 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series finished, it’s time for everyone to start fresh outdoors. Ryan Villopoto won’t be there, so the race for the 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is wide open. Here’s what we have to look forward to outdoors:
2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Schedule
May 24…Glen Helen National…San Bernardino, Calif.
May 31…Hangtown Motocross Classic…Sacramento, Calif.
June 7…Thunder Valley National…Lakewood, Colo.
June 14…High Point National…Mt. Morris, Pa.
June 28…Tennessee National…Blountville, Tenn.
July 5…RedBud National…Buchanan, Mich.
July 12…Budds Creek National…Mechanicsville, Md.
July 19…Spring Creek National…Millville, Minn.
July 26…Washougal National…Washougal, Wash.
August 9…Unadilla National…New Berlin, N.Y.
August 16…Indiana National…Crawfordsville, Ind.
August 23…Utah National…Tooele, Utah
Plus, the 2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series Schedule
January 3…Angel Stadium…Anaheim, Calif.
January 10…Chase Field…Phoenix, Calif.
January 17…Angel Stadium…Anaheim, Calif.
January 24…O.Co Coliseum…Oakland, Calif.
January 31…Angel Stadium…Anaheim, Calif.
February 7…Petco Park…San Diego, Calif.
February 14…AT&T Stadium…Arlington, Texas
February 21…Georgia Dome…Atlanta
February 28…Georgia Dome…Atlanta
March 7…Daytona International Speedway…Daytona Beach, Florida
March 14…Lucas Oil Stadium…Indianapolis
March 21…Ford Field…Detroit, Michigan
March 28…Edward Jones Dome…St. Louis
April 11…NRG Stadium…Houston, Texas
April 18…Levi’s Stadium…Santa Clara, Calif.
April 25…MetLife Stadium…East Rutherford, N.J.
May 2…Sam Boyd Stadium…Las Vegas, Nevada
Photography by Simon Cudby and Jake Klingensmith.