When Monster Energy Supercross rolls into Sam Boyd Stadium, you know you’re in for a special night.
Las Vegas plays host to two Supercross races every season. The first is tonight’s season finale, the culmination of 17 weeks of beating and banging in marquee stadiums across America before the Pro Motocross season kicks off at Hangtown in two weeks’ time. The second is October’s Monster Energy Cup, the triple crown all-star event that Marvin Musquin swept last year to earn a $1 million paycheck.
Musquin defeated Jason Anderson in all three of those races in 2017, and will need to outduel him once again tonight in order to take his first 450SX championship from the season-long points leader. With that in mind, we’ll be watching out for the following storylines in tonight’s action:
What are the chances that Jason Anderson has bad luck twice in a row to end the year?
As much as anything can happen in a Supercross final, we’re not betting on this one. Anderson has been head and shoulders above the field for most of the 2018 season, and it wasn’t until a freak situation and a required wheel change in Salt Lake City that anyone thought second-place Musquin really had a chance to steal the championship in Las Vegas. The good news for El Hombre is that his 14-point advantage in the standings means he only needs a top-10 finish to clinch the championship.
How will the combined 250SX East/West finale shape both regional championships?
The most fun part about the combined 250SX races is seeing the future stars of the sport take each other on for the first time. That said, we’ve got two championships to award tonight in Las Vegas, and seven riders with a mathematical shot at them: Aaron Plessinger, Adam Cianciarulo, Joey Savatgy, and Shane McElrath in the West, and Zach Osborne, Jordon Smith, and Jeremy Martin in the East. Martin won the most recent East/West Showdown in Indianapolis, just over a month ago.
What can Eli Tomac take away from the 2018 Supercross season?
Last year, after beating and banging with Ryan Dungey here in Las Vegas, Tomac fell five points short of his first Supercross title. Despite winning nine races on the season, Dungey’s incredible consistency—no finishes worse than fourth all year—won out. In some ways, this year was more of the same: seven wins, but two last-place runs and a DNS in Houston. Tomac is a safe bet if you need to pick a winner on any given Saturday, and won last year’s Pro Motorcross title, but will he ever find that reliable form in 450SX?