Matthes Report: Las Vegas

Matthes on the finale.

Matthes on the finale.

Wow. What a race in Las Vegas the final round of the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross series was. Four days later and it’s still got people buzzing about what a night it was in both classes. Ryan Dungey and his Red Bull KTM team have the 450SX title, his fourth overall and third straight. Rockstar Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne has the 250SX Eastern title and Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Justin Hill got the 250SX West title. Monster, Rockstar, Red Bull, KTM, Kawasaki and Husqvarna are all happy and life goes on in ten days as the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships start up.

But, wait, I’m not done with Vegas just yet! My mind is still blown from all the nuttiness we saw in both classes. Let’s count down the crazy stuff we saw from the least surprising to the most insane, okay?

10: Jason Anderson won the race! Yes, not that crazy, because the Rockstar Husqvarna rider had racked up a podium streak here at the end of the season and was riding better than he had all year. The fact he won a 450SX main event isn’t that crazy really. I can totally buy that.

9: Chad Reed was good! Yeah, I know that’s weird to say, but trust me. Have you seen the #22 lately? On a surface that he feels is better for the Yamaha, the ‘22’ put in a hell of a ride and, right after passing Anderson for third, he was punted off the track by the Husky rider. There’s no doubt if he hadn’t been, he would’ve won the main event based on what happened after he was forced off the track. This still isn’t that crazy though.

(Monster Energy Media)

8: Monster Kawasaki’s Josh Grant got third! Now we’re approaching nutty status. JG had been riding well lately, but it had been four years since he scored a podium. Well, in Vegas, he did just that with a bit of help. Still, it was odd to see him up there.

7: Privateer heroes Adam and Tyler Enticknap both get hospital visits when Tyler breaks his lower leg in the semi race while in a qualifying position and Adam goes down on the last lap of the main event and suffers rib, lung and collarbone damage. Weird, right?

6: There’s an eighty-foot quad there that only a few factory riders jump but so does Angelo Pellegrini, a privateer from Italy, on what looks like a pretty stock Suzuki RMZ. Somehow/ Pellegrini doesn’t make the main, but he does jump the quad.

5: Jordon Smith, winner of two 250SX races and the points leader coming into Las Vegas, flies off the track while in second and then absolutely eats sh*t on the jump coming into the stadium that saw the 450SX guys reach over 70mph. Not that crazy until you remember that, out of the whole day, he was the only rider to crash off that jump. Pressure, anyone?

4: Star Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger falls in the first turn with Osborne and a bunch of other dudes, gets up with basically no one but Osborne and Dakota Alix (who didn’t carry on) behind him and races through the field to get a third! What’s crazy about that is NO ONE NOTICES.

3: About five minutes after the race where seemingly anything and everything happened, the skies open up and it starts pouring. In Las Vegas. Had it hit during the race that would’ve been it for me. I would’ve been 100% convinced the apocalypse was coming.

(Monster Energy Media)

2: Monster Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac, after passing into the lead, checks up and lets Dungey back by. He then proceeds to go after Dungey with another aggressive pass that pushes Dungey off the track. Then he repeats that same process like a cat with a ball of yarn! His hopes that other racers catch up while he treats Dungey like said ball of yarn actually works; Reed, Grant and Anderson caught up to the top two. Chaos ensues and Anderson cruises by a preoccupied Tomac and Dungey to take the win. Tomac was doing just enough to not be dirty but Dungey, for whatever reason, kept taking the bait.

1: Without a doubt, the only thing that could top the Tomac bunch-up deal was Osborne coming from dead last in the first turn to passing for the title with one corner to go in the main event. It was amazing, unbelievable and incredible all wrapped up. He was SO far back to start there was no way anyone thought that what he did was possible. The final result was only seventh and he was fined $7500 for rough riding (the pass was aggressive) but it was an absolutely crazy, balls out ride that won’t ever be forgotten.

That’s Las Vegas wrapped up. Whew. I’m going to go have a smoke.

Words: Steve Matthes | Lead Image: Monster Energy Media

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