The 2017 AMA Supercross Championship battles comes down to the final race in Las Vegas


5/5/2017

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Whether it's called a clash of the titans or the showdown of the decade, the battle for the 2017 AMA Supercross Championship has come down to the series finale this weekend in Las Vegas.

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After an even more interesting race than the previous one in Salt Lake City, last Saturday's Round 16 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. was almost indescribable. 

Following one of the most unbelievable come-from-behind wins in the sport's history in Salt Lake City, Eli Tomac completely un-did the three point lead he had previously gained on Dungey. Instead of controlling a solid lead heading into the Vegas finals as most had predicted, Tomac now finds himself without the red number plate he had earned being the points leader, but siting at a 9-point deficit to defending champ Ryan Dungey.

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It was not a good weekend for Tomac, and despite working his way into the lead in the 450SX main event, one big mistake started a chain of events that he'd probably rather forget about. With a simple tip-over in a rutted turn, Tomac may have kissed his championship hopes goodbye. 

The crash itself didn't seem to alarm many, as Tomac has proven he can charge from the back for race wins, but the apparent lack of urgency to re-mount his machine and begin the chase for Dungey and Marvin Musquin made the incident a nail-biting few moments for fans. 

As if the crash wasn't enough, once the number three was finally again rolling, it seemed like he still wasn't trying. With nothing apparently, physically wrong with neither bike nor Tomac himself, his performance had everyone scratching their heads. He event went on to make a few more mistakes - one that lead him off the track after casing the second jump of a triple. 

Tomac was only able to muster up an 8th-place finish by the checkers. Accompanied with Dungey's win, Tomac's result gave the champ a fairly comfortable 9-point gap heading into Las Vegas.

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More questions arose in East Rutherford, N.J. with the case of Dungey's teammate Marvin Musquin, who seemed to be the fastest and most consistent rider on the track during the Main Event. 

After shadowing and then passing Dungey, Musquin looked well on his way to his third win of the season when, on the final lap, he cross-rutted and allowed Dungey to get back by him and into the lead.

This mistake not only cost Musquin the win, but it also put three more points between Dungey and Tomac to give the number five that 9-point lead.

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Similarly intriguing, the 250SX East Regional Championship resumed racing in New Jersey this past weekend, and what a race that was. 

There is now only one point separating the top three positions in the championship standings with just one race remaining. 

While Zach Osborne (above) went on to take a dominating come-from-behind win in New Jersey, it didn't come without a fair bit of drama.

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That drama was dished out by previous points leader Joey Savatgy who - while riding comfortably in second place - fell in a section of the track that put him in an adjoining lane of the track. When he re-entered the track, Savatgy did not return to same part he had crashed in ended up skipping a couple of jumps and an entire corner in the process. This is a violation of the AMA rules and Savatgy was docked five positions. 

As a result, Savatgy not only lost a somewhat comfortable points lead, but went from first, to tied for second in the points standings.

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Who gained the most from Savatgy's mistake? TLD/KTM's Jordon Smith.

After Smith - who provisionally finished fourth in New Jersey - was bumped to third with the Savatgy incident, he was able to gain just enough points to steal the points lead as the fight for the championships heads into the last race in Las Vegas. 

One point now separates the top three which is going to lead to one epic battle in Dave Coombs, Sr. East/West Shootout this Saturday night!

For the time year ever, riders from both coasts face off together in one, single Main Event race to decide the 250SX Class championships. Had Justin Hill not claimed the West Regional 250SX title early in Salt Lake City with a large points gap, he and the other West Regional 250SX racers would be battling alongside the East Regional 250SX racers to win their respective titles. 

With both regions racing together, it will be much more difficult to judge where riders are and how the points will be playing out. 

The stakes are much higher for the Eastern Regional riders, especially with such a close points battle. The bottom line for these riders: whoever beats the other two will win the title!

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As mentioned above, here's one guy who doesn't have anything whatsoever to worry about in Las Vegas - Justin Hill. 

Hill locked up his first-ever 250SX regional title two weekends ago in Salt Lake City. He'll come into Las Vegas with nothing to prove. He's just fighting for possible bragging rights. 

Hill's record at the finale and at the Monster Energy Cup - where he's done well in the 450SX class in the past -is very good. He may be right up front in the Dave Coombs 250SX East/West Shootout, rockin' a big red AMA National No. 1 plate!

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The stage is set, the track is ready and the weather is going to be hot, sunny, and very, very windy. 

The track is expected to be dry, blue grooved and dusty but most of all it will be fast! This is sure to be another awesome Las Vegas AMA Supercross race - you don't want to miss it. 

Follow along with live timing and scoring right here on amasupercross.com, on Facebook for photo updates, or on television's Fox Sports 1 at 10p.m. EDT/7p.m. PDT.


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