2015 Las Vegas Supercross Finale Commentary
There was not a lot of drama at the final round of the 2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, as the champion had already been crowned, and the 250SX East/West Shootout has been rendered meaningless.
The battles were less heated, so fewer mistakes were made and, in a season where only five riders raced all 17 rounds, the field had thinned. Let’s see who was Upside and who was Downside at the last round.
2015 Las Vegas Supercross Finale, Upside
Ryan Dungey – Red Bull KTM: Dungey finished out the season like the champion he had already become in Houston by taking the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot award and never looking back. He won nearly half the races, and his consistent performance had him on the podium 16 out of 17 rounds, decimating the competition with an 85-point lead when the final checkered flag flew.
Already looking ahead, Dungey has his sights set on the Nationals. “This is exactly how you want to end the season,” stated Dungey, who rides the KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition. “I’m very excited to get this win and use this confidence to head into the outdoor season in two weeks.”
Eli Tomac – GEICO Honda: Better late than never, Tomac got off the line fast at Sam Boyd Stadium, taking the holeshot in his Heat, which he won, and then getting out right behind Dungey in the Main. Tomac put pressure on Dungey for the first quarter of the race, but tucked his front end on Lap 5, and that was the end of any possibility of catching Dungey.
Weston Peick – Autotrader.com/JGR Yamaha: Collecting his second podium of the season, it was great to see Peick keeping it together all 20 laps. He has shown bursts of speed and aggression on his YZ450F in previous races, but frequently fades in the latter half of the race or makes mistakes and crashes.
Cole Seely – Team Honda HRC: With his eighth Top 5 finish in a row, Seely capped off an awesome rookie season by finishing fourth at Sam Boyd Stadium. Seely was comfortably third in the overall points, earning him 450SX Rookie of the Year honors. It was qite a comeback from a rocky start where he finished 14th at the first two rounds.
Clearly satisfied with his season, Seely said, “Getting Rookie of the Year and being handed the third-place medal was a pretty big deal to me. It’s a huge honor because there are some fast guys who came up this year; it was a very talented rookie class.” Other top rookies included Suzuki’s Blake Baggett and Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson, both of whom have titles in the 250 class.
Chad Reed – Discount Tire Racing/Team TwoTwo Motorsports: Suffering from an aggravated shoulder injury that kept him out of the previous round, Reed lined up in Vegas to try and maintain his overall fourth in the standings ahead of Blake Baggett. After running most of the race just one step off the podium, Reed dropped several positions on Lap 17 when he appeared to have tire problems, finishing the race in seventh, just in front of Baggett. Tweeting afterward: “Thankful SX is over One of if not the most frustrating season of my career Somehow we still finished 4th Thanks for the support”
Justin Brayton – BTO Sports/KTM: Though the 9th place result was his best finish of the season and a highlight of the year, Brayton was hoping for more, tweeting afterwards: “Not the result I was wanting last night but had times throughout the day where I felt really good. Take the positives from it and move on. Thankful for everyone who has had my back through this tough sx season.”
Two Guys: Getting it done at the eleventh hour, Michael Akaydin and Travis Bannister qualified for their first Mains of the year at the last round of the year and scored 450 points, finishing 19th and 22nd, respectively. Congrats.
2015 Las Vegas Supercross Finale, Downside
Justin Barcia – Autotrader.com/JGR Yamaha: Barcia still appears to be struggling to find his rhythm after having missed over half the races this season due to serious injuries. Although his 8th place finish in Las Vegas was his best since returning to the series, we haven’t seen the speed and form that Barcia is capable of.
Jason Anderson – Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna Factory Racing: It was surprising to learn that Anderson wasn’t going to line up for the last Main of the season when he would easily have passed the injured Trey Canard for 6th in overall points, but a fall in practice changed his priorities: “I had good practices going and I felt really good on the track. Came into a corner and lost my front end going down hard. We decided as a team to call it a night. I’m going to go out and focus on outdoors. I’ve been riding MX really good, so that’s one reason why I didn’t want to take risk by riding tonight.”
Andrew Short – BTO Sports.com KTM: It was a shame to see Short miss the final round of the series as he had been become the Mike Alessi of holeshots this season, and had finished in the Top 10 eleven times. Short fractured his kneecap in the New Jerseuy race, and it’s not clear how soon he’ll be back. However, an Instagram picture of the #29 flying over a jump is upbeat: “It’s been eight days since I had surgery on my knee. I’m improving everyday. Pictures like this remind me of the good feelings and memories from riding.”
2015 Monster Energy Supercross, 450SX Class Results: Las Vegas
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda
3. Weston Peick, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha
4. Cole Seely, Laguna Beach, Calif., Honda
5. Josh Grant, Wildomar, Calif., Kawasaki
6. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki
7. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki
8. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., Yamaha
9. Justin Brayton, Mint Hill, N.C., KTM
10. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki
2015 Monster Energy Supercross Final Standings, 450SX:
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 390
2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 305
3. Cole Seely, Laguna Beach, Calif., Honda, 277
4. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Kawasaki, 226
5. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki, 223
6. Trey Canard, Edmond, Okla., Honda, 204
7. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna, 200
8. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 194
9. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 180
10. Weston Peick, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha, 160