With “THE FIGHT OF THE CENTURY” taking place on the same night, Supercross fans may have been wondering what type of show they would be getting while attending “the other event” taking place in Las Vegas on May 2nd, 2015 - of course I am talking about the Monster Energy Supercross Finals. The fight for first place was long over (Dungey took the win in the 450 class on April 18 in Santa Clara) with two more rounds to run in the series, so there really was no wondering what the final outcome would be.
250SX West 6 laps
#16 Zach Osborne, Husqvarna came out strong and lead the first lap until #34 Malcolm Stewart, Honda took it away from him in the second lap and held the lead until the finish. #44 Zachary Bell Husqvarna passed Osborne in the third lap and battled Osborne for second, a battle Osborne won in the sixth lap. Bell rounded out the top three.
250SX East 6 laps
#1E Marvin Musquin, KTM grabbed a lead early in the 6 lap heat with #77 Justin Starling, Honda behind him in second. #80 RJ Hampshire, Honda passed Justin in the second lap to finish in the second place spot. Starling would be passed again and again to finish the race in the sixth spot. #62 Anthony Rodriguez, Yamaha battled up from a fifth place start to finish third.
450SX First Heat 6 laps
#3 Eli Tomac, Honda took a strong 4 second lead early in the race and lead the pack. #22 Chad Reed, Kawasaki sat in the second place spot for the duration of the heat. #23 Weston Peick, Yamaha followed behind Reed to finish in third place and was able to quicken his lap times and close the gap between himself and Reed towards the end of the heat. #20 Broc Tickle, Suzuki was the fourth place rider, the top four racers advance to main event.
450SX Second Heat 6 laps
This heat was led by (surprise) #5 Ryan Dungey, KTM. Close behind Dungey in the second place spot was #14 Cole Seely, Honda. #51 Justin Barcia, Yamaha took his place in the pack at third. Race order seemed to be set as there wasn’t any change in the order after the second lap. #4 Blake Baggett, Suzuki took the fourth spot to continue on to the main event.
KTM Junior Challenge
In the KTM Junior Challenge the kids race three laps around the track. #10 Andrew Schulz, KTM took a brave lead in front of the pack. Schulz was tailed by #14 Landin Pepperd, KTM, until Landin took the lead in the second lap. Schulz finished the race in the second . #8 Riley Drickersen, KTM held on to the third spot for the entire race. #15 Storme Hawks finished in the forth place spot. Good job to all the racers who ran a great race and to all their Moms and Dads who support them and get them to the race!
250SX Last Chance Qualifier 4 laps
#31 Alex Martin, Yamaha charged his way to the front with a two second lead in front of #38 Matthew Bisceglia, Honda . It is historic to mention that Victoria Golden #423 was racing in this LCQ on a Suzuki, but did not advance to further race tonight. #343 Luke Renzland, Yamaha finished third but also did not advance to race in the finals as only the top four finishers get to continue on.
450SX First Semi 5 laps
#27 Nicolas Wey, Kawasaki took a huge lead early on and lead the pack. #11 Kyle Chisholm, Kawasaki followed in second . Third went to #42 Ben Lamay, Husqvarna. The race order was set in the first lap and that was how the racers crossed the finish. In a Semi, the top 5 riders advance on to the main event, racers who finish 6th – 16th will advance to the Last Chance Qualifier.
450SX Second Semi 5 laps
#10 Justin Brayton, KTM battled in front of #33 Joshua Grant, KTM. #199 Kyle Partridge followed the leaders 18 seconds behind in third. Both racers #58 Killian Rusk, who finished fourth on a Yamaha and #181 Dustin Pipes, Suzuki get to race in the LCQ. The top 5 riders advance on to the main event, racers who finish 6th – 16th will advance to the Last Chance Qualifier.
450SX Last Chance Qualifier 4 laps
#285 Tony Archer, Kawasaki was able to build momentum and keep his lead in front of the pack. Race order changed a few times in the laps the followed. The racers crossed the finish in the following order #662 Travis Bannister, Honda who battled up from forth to second. #447 Deven Raper, Kawasaki who finished in third after a good try for second spot. #918 Michael Akaydin, Honda came up from fifth to forth and #291 Kyle White, Honda finished fifth.
250SX Main 15 laps
The 250SX Main Event exploded with a powerful start, #1E Marvin Musquin charged in front of the pack. #34 Malcom Stewart won the crowd poll for winner of the 250SX race, sat behind Musquin in second. #80 RJ Hampshire trailed behind Stewart who had a two second lead on the #80 Honda rider. By the sixth lap Musquin had a 7.3 second lead in front of the pack. #38 Mathew Bisceglia, Honda rode into third spot pushing Hampshire to forth until the 14th lap when Hampshire was passed again, this time by #157 Aaron Plessinger, Yamaha. In the last lap #31 Alex Martin took the fifth place finish from #80 Hampshire by crossing the finish line in the fifth place spot.
450SX Main 20 laps
#5 Ryan Dungey, KTM shadowed by #3 Eli Tomac on a Honda.#23 Westin Peick, Yamaha started strong in the first 4 laps. #22 Chad Reed worked his way up the board to fourth place in the fourth lap until the fifth lap when #14 Cole Seely battled past Reed until Reed passed Seely back on the Sixth lap. With the race leaders set the fans attention drifted back to the pack and the exchange between Reed and Seely. Though even with a bit of jostling the pack order seemed set in stone as if the race was predetermined in the first couple of laps. Fans were on their feet for the final event. In the 17th lap, Reed appeared to have technical difficulties and was passed by #14 Cole Seely. #33 Joshua Grant, Kawasaki replaced Reed in the fifth place spot. Champion #5 Ryan Dungey, remember he took home the trophy in April, won the main event tonight.
I don’t know the decisions that lead to the construct of the sport, but from a fan’s point of view there aren’t too many other sports that can award the trophy well before the end of a series. They don’t give out the Super Bowl before the last game is played, but if they did who would be going to the remaining games?
In Vegas, Supercross fans don’t seem all that bothered that the race was over before it had even started. Monster Energy Supercross ALWAYS puts on a good show, so that may be what is keeping the fans filling the seats. Speaking of “the show”, it will be interesting to see who the key players will be in the 2015/2016 Season. It wasn’t that long ago that fans would be able to see Ryan Villopoto get into a scrap on the track. Everybody currently racing in the series just seems too nice, too nice to fight back. It’s that hunger to win at any cost that builds a good racing series, especially if you have a bunch of hungry racers, not just one or two.
There seems to be no “Wrestle Mania” type opposition…when Chad Reed and James Stewart were head to head, everyone in the stands had an opinion, and a voice on who should win. They were passionate and loyal to the team they supported. It will take some real effort with a lot of different people working together to build a series that the bulk of fans will once again be passionate about. Supercross fans who are not just coming to a single race for a night’s entertainment, but following an entire series until the championship is awarded.
Hopefully next year that will be at the end of the last race of the series, not somewhere in the middle, and it will be interesting to watch who Supercross will produce for the next generation of fans to view as Heros.
View our full 2015 Las Vegas Supercross gallery