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Monster athletes compete during the 2016 Supercross season in Las Vegas Podium


May 102016

Anaheim I seems like a long time ago. A rainy Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas saw the pyrotechnics blow out 2016 Monster Energy Supercross last weekend and while champion Ryan Dungey fittingly scooped a ninth victory from the seventeen rounds of the campaign, a strong third place for Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac represented a second podium finish in a row. It was also a fifth for the season and an excellent sign that the 23 year old has figured out his game on the works KX450F after his first term in ‘green’ to be a major player next year in the stadiums…and this summer across the ripped terrain of American motocross terrain.

““I’m fortunate to get out of here with a third and I’m really excited to leave the season with a few podiums and some momentum for next year.””

Inclement weather was a slightly surprising find midway through the curtain-closing event in Nevada and the showers created a rough and demanding final Main Event of the year. “The Night Show became an absolute mudder and one of the most challenging Monster Energy Supercross races of my career,” said Tomac who recovered from an early race crash that dropped him to the fringes of the top ten to rally back to a podium spot. “I’m fortunate to get out of here with a third and I’m really excited to leave the season with a few podiums and some momentum for next year.”

Also finishing 2016 with his tail up was Yamaha’s Chad Reed. The season had been a mix of affirmation and frustration for the prolific Australian in is return to the manufacturer with whom he initially dazzled in 2002 and his arrival on American shores. A period of acclimatisation resulted in three podium appearances and Reed was close to chalking another uncorking-of-the-bubbly in Vegas but his ‘dice roll’ ended with a solid fourth. Reed will not enter the motocross fray in the coming months but has high-profile appearances in MXGP line up in the UK and Italy.

JGR Yamaha’s Justin Barcia has so far endured a 2016 to forget and tenth place was the former 250SX champion’s way of slamming the book shut on another frustrating and injury-perturbed season of supercross. 

Vegas was the scene of confirmation for the East and West Coast 250SX titles with Cooper Webb sealing a successful West defence while Malcolm Stewart polished his family name and their persistent impact on the sport with his first crown in the Eastern region. Actually winning the 250 Main Event at the Sam Boyd was Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy who finished as runner-up in the championship to Webb by just one point. “This is what it’s all about,” he after claiming his third triumph of the term. “I work hard during the week and I work hard all year, to end the season like this is great. We were fast in the dry and we got it done in the wet. It hurts that we lost the title but in the same breath we made a statement and ended the year very strong. I’ll be here next year battling for the title.”

A hectic spell of seventeen races in eighteen weeks might be over for race teams in the USA but testing and training for the Lucas Oil AMA Pro National motocross championship has been going on in the background and between supercross commitments. There is little respite for AMA athletes as the 2016 ‘Outdoor’ campaign blips into life on May 21st at Hangtown, California and where the likes of Tomac, Barcia, Reed, Weston Peick and the formidable Pro Circuit squad will be pushing for more flapping chequered flags.