The 2017 AMA Supercross season held its grand finale in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, May 6. And was it ever grand. While Kawasaki’s Justin Hill had already clinched the 250SX West championship in Salt Lake City, Utah in April, when the series rolled into Las Vegas both the 250SX East and the premier 450SX titles remained up for grabs.
In a riveting night of racing, Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne barely snatched the 250SX East title while KTM’s Ryan Dungey narrowly claimed his fourth 450SX crown – all in the final moments of the events. However, never in doubt was that all 2017 title contenders used Dunlop Geomax tires, reinforcing Dunlop as the winningest manufacturer in AMA Supercross and Motocross history. Dunlop now owns 146 championships, and the Geomax remains the dominant tire line as AMA Motocross competition begins on May 20.
250SX East Final – A Three-Way Battle
It’s hard to imagine a season ending any more dramatically than this. In Las Vegas, three 250SX East riders – Honda’s Jordon Smith (2 wins for the year), Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy (1 win) and Husqvarna’s Osborne (4 wins) – entered the combined East/West final separated by one point, with Smith holding the edge. Almost immediately in the 15-lap race at Sam Boyd Stadium, things went sideways for Osborne as he was knocked down entering the first turn. It took Osborne precious seconds to dislodge his bike from a competitor’s machine, before beginning a desperate charge through the pack.
Meanwhile, Savatgy was second behind eventual race winner Adam Cianciarulo, also Kawasaki-mounted, and just ahead of Smith. But Savatgy fell on the second lap, handing the position to title rival Smith, who soon fell even harder and retired. Although Cianciarulo led the race, this put Savatgy ahead in the points with Osborne still back in the pack at the halfway point. Incredibly, Osborne rallied and marched forward toward his title rival. Starting the final lap the Husqvarna rider closed to within a couple of seconds and, with just three corners left, made a maniacal run through a whoops section, dove inside Savatgy, and executed a forceful pass to take the title by two points.
450SX Final – Heady vs. Steady
The highly anticipated 450SX final was a chess game between defending champ Dungey and Kawasaki-mounted challenger Eli Tomac. Tomac had blitzed to nine wins vs. three for Dungey during the season, erasing a massive point deficit to take a three-point lead with two races to go. But mistakes in the penultimate round brought Tomac to Las Vegas nine points behind Dungey, and so he needed another win – and for Dungey to finish fifth or worse. The problem was, Dungey hadn’t finished worse than fourth all season long.
In the race Tomac did all he could, taking the lead early and then slowing the pace down, hoping other riders would catch Dungey. It was a smart strategy that could have worked, if other racers could have matched the pace up front. As it played out, Anderson snuck past on the last lap to take the win ahead of Tomac, and Josh Grant snuck past Dungey for third. But Dungey’s calculated fourth-place finish was all he needed to win his fourth Supercross title, and third in a row.
All of Dungey’s titles were won on Dunlop Geomax tires, but the 2017 Supercross Championship will be his last. Shortly after the season ended, Dungey announced his retirement from competition.
Congratulations to all the Dunlop riders for an incredible Supercross season!
Ryan Dungey’s 450 Career
Every one of these accomplishments were achieved on Dunlop Geomax tires.
- 2010 AMA/FIM Supercross World Champion
- 2010 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 450 Class Champion
- 2010 Motocross of Nations Champion
- 2010 AMA Athlete of the Year
- 2011 Motocross of Nations Champion
- 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 450 Class Champion
- 2015 AMA/FIM Supercross World Champion
- 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 450 Class Champion
- 2016 AMA/FIM Supercross World Champion
- 2017 AMA/FIM Supercross World Champion
- Two-Time ESPY Award Winner – Best Male Action Sport Athlete
- First Motocross Racer to be Featured in ESPN The Magazine’s “Body Issue”
- First Motocross Athlete to Appear on a Wheaties Box