LAS VEGAS (AP) — Ryan Dungey twice collided with Eli Tomac, including during a tense final lap, but still finished high enough Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium to win his fourth Monster Energy AMA Supercross season title and third in a row.
Dungey finished fourth, two spots behind Tomac — his closest competitor for the championship — and behind Jason Anderson, who won the event.
Dungey, a Red Bull KTM factory rider, entered with a nine-point edge over Tomac in the standings. On Lap 14, Tomac briefly forced Dungey off the track while reclaiming the lead, but Dungey recovered and held his place in a pack of six riders within three seconds of Tomac.
Dungey temporarily moved ahead of Tomac on the final lap, and Tomac’s attempt to aggressively pass on the next corner resulted in contact that stopped both riders completely. That allowed Anderson to fly by for his first win of the season, and Tomac managed to get going quickly enough for second. Dungey was also passed by Josh Grant, but his fourth-place result was still enough to win the title.
Dungey beat out Tomac for the title by five points, the smallest gap since 2011.
“In the last race (of the season), I didn’t expect it to be like that,” said Dungey, who was forced to wrap up the title in Las Vegas for the first time in his career. “I expected it to be a clean race, but those cheap shots were unbelievable. But, we survived it and we got through it.”
Dungey is the fifth rider to win three straight 450SX titles. He’s the fourth rider to win four championships, joining Ricky Carmichael, Jeremy McGrath and Ryan Villopoto. He won just three races this season, the fewest by a champion since Jeff Stanton won three in 1992.
Zach Osborne won the 250SX title after battling back from a first-turn crash, though Adam Cianciarulo won the main event.
Osborne began the race in 21st place, but was helped when Joey Savatgy — another title contender — washed out in the first corner and went down. Jordon Smith, also in contention, crashed in Lap 2 and exited the race.
Osborne charged back and attempted to pass Savatgy for seventh on the final lap. He made contact with Savatgy and ripped off the back of his bike. Osborne powered on and finished seventh in the race while Savatgy picked up his Kawasaki.
“I can’t believe I came from that far back,” Osborne said. “I was down in the first turn. Not just down, but down for a long time. It’s just unreal.”