Tomac needs to get dirty!
With Las Vegas left in the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross series, countless storylines are still in development. The most important is The 450 Championship. Eli Tomac needs to win which would require Ryan Dungey to finish 5th or worse, and that's the simple version. Looking closer at last week’s race we find a frustrated and even angry Eli Tomac. Typically when racing one of the sports all-time greats, you want to maintain a clean and respectful race. After KTM took their gloves off last week, having Marvin Musquin pull over and hand Dungey the win, the door is wide open for Tomac to play dirty. KTM cast the first stone, unfortunately if Tomac takes Dungey out in spectacular form, he will definitely take heat. KTM is playing with a loaded deck in Vegas. Eli is battling Dungey, Musquin, Millsaps, Baggett, Anderson and Wilson. That is 5 guys that will move out of Dungey's way in order to get Dungey into the top 4. Eli might have placed himself in this situation with his “choke job” in East Rutherford, despite the controversial “team orders.” If this was Carmichael, Reed, Johnson, Hannah or Villopoto they all would be planning an attack against Dungey. Is Tomac willing to get dirty to win the most prestigious MX/SX championship in the world? If Tomac decides to execute this strategy he can only become more popular. Tomac is single handily taking on the current evil empire of Supercross (KTM/Husqvarna) and not many would blame him for fighting the bully using dirty tactics. I think Eli will take a shot at Dungey on Saturday night.
In the 250 class team tactics could also get out of control. With the East and West Regions combined, and the West already claimed by Josh Hill, a group of riders are vulnerable to being forced to “help” their teammates. We all know the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team isn't shy about using team tactics. I guarantee KTM and Husqvarna won't be shy about using their guys either as this is the only time any Supercross Championship has been a winner take all finale with 3 riders. Joey Savatgy is likely to be the guy with the most teammates at his disposal, but Hill is looking for a 450 ride. I don’t think Hill will risk angering a future employer. Adam Ciancirulo is still alive in the championship. Austin Forkner is still looking for his first win, would he sacrifice that for Hill? Let's not forget Tyler Bowers isn't Savatgy’s teammate this year and even though Bowers hasn't been a top guy this year his disdain for Joey Savatgy has not subsided. Bowers has mentioned on multiple occasions that he would love to get a shot at Savatgy. Jordan Smith has a couple of good teammates in Shane Mcelrath and Mitchell Oldenburg. Both guys appear to be team players and would sacrifice their race so TLD KTM can earn their first championship. Zach Osborne has been the fastest guy in the East and should be able to win this outright with no help. His teammate Martin Davalos should be willing to help Zach, but at times Davalos looks more like a human torpedo on the track. His best offering might be staying out of Zach’s way.
Don't miss the race on Saturday night! This season will be dissected for years to come. 2017 is Dungey's last season (maybe) along with Roczen’s too (I hope not). This will be the last year with the modern format. We will see many changes coming in 2018, whether it's a Chase Format, a 2 moto format or something new. This will be the last series under the current format and no matter how Saturday ends it has been one for the ages!