The final round of the 2016 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship took place at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.As a tradition, the 250SX east and west coast racers meet for the one and only time during the season for the Dave Coombs Sr. East/West Shootout race. However, this year marked the first points paying combined region 250SX Class Main Event in 20 years.
Following the race, the 2016 250SX Champions were crowned – Yamahalube Yamaha’s Cooper Webb claimed the Western Regional 250SX title, and GEICO Honda’s Malcolm Stewart the Eastern Regional 250SX title.
The normally dry and dusty track became an absolutely mud bog within a matter of minutes after a massive hail and rainstorm hit the stadium in the afternoon time. The track crew worked hard to make the track rideable as possible before the night show began.The race featured a three-rider battle for the championship in both the Eastern and Western regions and was shortened to 12 laps due to the track conditions. Savatgy came around the muddy first corner with the SupercrossLive.com Holeshot Award ahead of his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Chris Alldredge and Stewart.As Savatgy tried to maintain his lead, CycleTrader/Rock River/Yamaha’s Colt Nichols had charged all the way to second before the end of the first lap while Stewart settled into third. On the next lap, Nichols was able to close in on Savatgy and make the pass for the lead. Savatgy stayed close and reclaimed the position on lap two. He remained in the lead for the duration of the race after that point.The top three remained unchanged through the halfway point until Nichols stalled in the whoops, allowing Stewart to take over second. Nichols faced more trouble on the next lap when he lost control and nearly went off the track, handing third place to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne. The late charge by Osborne carried him past Stewart for second on lap nine.Savatgy did what he needed to do and took the checkered flag nearly seven seconds ahead of Osborne, with Stewart edging out Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger at the line for third.“It was a good race [but] it’s setting in now [that I didn’t win the championship] and it’s a little disappointing,” said Savatgy. “We ended the year on a good note and we did what we had to do [tonight]. Cooper [Webb] came in here and did what he had to do as well, and hats off to him. It’s just good to end the year in this way.”Osborne was pleased with his second place result on the podium and is looking forward to the outdoor season.“Today had a great end result,” said Osborne. “I was third-fastest in practice before the rain came. The night show started pretty rough. I crashed in the first turn in the heat race and had to go to the LCQ. I didn’t fall in the first turn of the main but did get caught up in that little melee. I came from 17th to 2nd – 6 seconds out of the win. I’m pretty happy with how it went and I feel like I rode well. I’m looking forward to carrying this momentum into Hangtown.”Webb stayed in 12th place for the majority of the Main Event, but gained one additional position late in the race to finish 11th and edge Savatgy for the championship by one point. He became the first rider since Justin Barcia in 2011 and 2012 to win back-to-back 250SX Class regional titles.“It definitely wasn’t easy [to win the title], but we fought for it and that’s why we’re up here [with the number one plate],” said Webb, who admitted to dealing with an injury on the podium. “We fought hard all season and I wasn’t going to let an injury hold me back. I had a crash [while training for the race] but I had to come here and get it done.”Stewart’s third place finish was enough for him to clinch the Eastern Regional title, entering the night with a 14-point lead and needing a finish of 10th or better. It is the first career championship for the Florida native in his sixth season. He and his brother James are the first siblings to both win a title in Monster Energy Supercross history.“That was crazy right there, what a race,” exclaimed Stewart. “Everything I’ve gone through with myself and James [Stewart] this year, it’s been an up and down season for both of us. I feel like I owe half of this [championship] to him. I’m just speechless right now. All I know is I have this number one plate right now and I want to cry.”Photography by Simon Cudby2016 Las Vegas Monster Energy AMA 250SX Results – Round 17