Three Races left in Dungey's Career: Tomac vs Dungey


Chris Cooksey

Three rounds left in Dungey's Supercross career: Tomac vs. Dungey 

All the recent talk in Monster Energy AMA Supercross has been centered on Dungey and his mental state, but what about Eli?  Doesn’t anyone remember Eli floundering in 2013 in Salt Lake City?  How about Las Vegas in 2011?  This season, other than the first few rounds, Eli has been pressure free with his only task to go out and win.  Now with the points tied (Tomac owns the tie breaker) the pressure falls directly on his shoulders.  With two weeks before SLC, how is he dealing with the pressure?  Has he matured from his 2013 and 2011 chokes or is he doomed to repeat the same mistakes he is prone too, (Colorado 2015 huge crash, Dallas 2017 smashed front brake and Seattle 2017 endo in Main)?  Eli is in for a stressful month and Dungey is the underdog that can ride with nothing to lose.  Let's not forget Eli struggled with arm pump early in the season and two things that contribute to arm pump are stress and high altitude, SLC will have both. Dungey also has quite a bit of helpers available if needed.  Baggett, Millsaps and Musquin are racing Dungey as if he signs their paychecks.  I am not saying team orders have been given, but who really wants to be the guy who costs KTM a Championship without having a contract for next season?  Millsaps didn't fight Dungey very hard for 4th place in Seattle, in fact it looked like he moved out of the way. With three races left in Dungey's career (assuming he is retiring this year) I look for him to pressure Eli into a mistake taking his 4th SX title and riding off into the sunset as the champion.

In the 250 class Arron Plessinger looked like a world beater!  He was the only rider, other than Tomac in the 450 class, to go 3/3/3 in the rhythm section.  Plessinger is a bit of an enigma, sometimes he looks like the fastest rider on earth but only in bursts.  If he could harness his speed he could be a superstar, maybe a move to the 450 class is what he needs.  We all know he is good on deteriorating tracks, if he could translate this speed to a regular track he could be a contender on a 450.  If I were him I would be talking to RCH, Kawasaki and KTM about a 450 ride in 2018.  Justin Hill did exactly what a guy with a 21 point lead and three rounds left should do, ride to a safe 2nd place.  Hill is another guy that should be shopping for a 450 ride but not because it suits him better but once he wins he has earned enough points out of the 250 class.  If I were Kawasaki I would politely tell Josh Grant his services won't be needed in 2018 and put Hill there.  

With three rounds left in the 2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series it is shaping up to be one for the ages.  If this is Dungey’s swan song, win or lose, what a way to go out.  With a week off before SLC some guys will be testing outdoors but don't look for Eli or Dungey to be riding anything but Supercross during their Easter break.  I will be in SLC for the race and yes the post-race press conference.  This is my first press conference since the infamous Glendale “no crown incident.”  Let me know the questions you want asked.

5 people like this




User Feedback


Eli's technique on the Kawasaki seems to have changed early in this season. He rides the rear wheel more and uses outside lines more. Has Villopoto been helping him in some way? 

1 person likes this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

He does seem to be riding the rear more, I don't think Villapoto has anything to with his setup.  Villapoto is the rider coach for Jeremy Martin.  I think it is more the linkage change they made before Glendale.  

 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok on the coaching part. My guess is that someone took notice of how well that technique worked for Villopoto and he incorporated that into his practice sessions. I should make the distinction that I was referring to using the rear in turns to pivot. As far as using the rear wheel thru whoops, rhythm sections etc, he's setting a new bar similar to Stewarts scrub technique as something others will be sure to emulate and we've seem him doing that on the Honda before. 

1 person likes this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I live at 5,800. Arm pump is more a hereditary condition that is exacerbated by elevation. I'm a Dungey fan but don't see arm pump as a likely problem but stress. Yea, it can not only influence physical problems but cognitive ones as well.  

1 person likes this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe he lived there during the first 3 rounds when he suffered severe arm pump.  I think the combination of pressure, altitude and cold weather could cause his arm pump to return... maybe.

1 person likes this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sure hope not Chris. As mentioned I'm a Dungey fan but above that I'm a bigger fan of MX. Though I want Dungey to win, I want him to win against Eli at his best. One things for sure, as fans, the potential for a truly epic showdown in Vegas is almost a certainty barring injury or an MDNF. Momentum has been Eli's friend recently but in part, I agree that no one should underestimate the weight that carrying the Red plate puts on a rider. Can't help but recall the Bradshaw vs Stanton battle for the championship. If there ever was a prooftext as to what stress can do, that was it. 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tomac's arm pump was due to being uncomfortable with his bike and holding on too tight. Elevation has nothing to do with it. Obviously, they have found a set up that works for his style and he looks better on the bike now than even in his Geico 450 days. I was in Seattle this weekend, and there was absolutely no doubt that Eli was the fastest guy on the track. His crash was due to taking a different line to make a pass that resulted in too much wheel spin to make the double. 

All of the pressure is on Ryan. There isn't anyone who would argue that Eli has everyone covered on speed at this point, and he has also proven that he can come through the pack after a bad start. So the only thing Ryan has in his corner for beating Eli in these last few rounds are a first turn crash for Eli, or a big mistake that results in a wreck. Eli knows he is faster, and is proving it every weekend. So why would he all of a sudden have a breakdown and feel pressure? He is in the ultimate position. It is Ryan that knows that he let a 20+ point lead slip away and there wasn't anything he could do about it.  

Plessinger, Tomac, Decotis, Hill, McElrath, Brayton, Millsaps, and Webb all pulled off the 3-3-3 section. Seeing it on TV did it no justice!! Those ruts were a foot deep in between each jump. There is no way a mortal would uncork a triple in those conditions, let alone committing to doing them in a series. I was blown away. Much, much respect for all of those guys. I'd be willing to bet that the majority of us couldn't have made a full lap around that track without crashing - not to mention doing it at the ridiculous speeds that those professionals can maintain for 22 minutes... 

1 person likes this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I live a 7K and ride at 7k to 8.5k, arm pump has little to do with elevation.  I say this with confidence, as I get it just as bad at sea level......

I love Dungey, I believe him to be a great person, and an excellent representative of our sport.  I wish him the best.  This is Tomac's moment, and I believe he will win the championship this year (It was Roczen's prior to the crash).  

I say this because all stress is on Dungey, not Tomac.  Dungey is the champ getting beat down, Tomac is the rising star (riding a huge wave of confidence).  May the best man win. 

I wish to thank both of them for making this year's 450 SX interesting.  

 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a 3 time champ and defending champ, it seems to me all the pressure is on RD. Tomac's team just needs to focus on Eli doing the same weekly routine he's been doing and putting no pressure on him. Let the cards fall where they will sort of mentality. What ever he's doing, it for sure is working for him and the Kawi team. Dungey needs a start, something he hasn't had in a long time. And KTM needs to divert his focus from the fact that they blew a nearly 30 point lead in the series and focus on what's ahead.

2 people like this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now is the time for Tomac to forever put the "old" Eli Tomac behind him for good, or there will never be a "new" Eli Tomac.  The past few years pulling "a Tomac" is synonymous for choking and making a retarded mistake.  I'm a big fan of Dungey's, he has done wonders for the sport and the image, but it is Tomac's time...I hope.  (And being a local boy I really have to root for him ;) )

1 person likes this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

My opinion only...Dungy has been at the top for a lot of years, and in all honesty, nothing to prove to anyone but himself.  Also, there comes a time when the passing of the torch will inevitably happen.  This may be the year but IMO Dungy has given it his all for a long time.  I'd hate to see him retire but, I also understand the toll that being a top shelf SX/MX racer takes on you physically and mentally.  My only question is....will Roger also retire.

Edited by yzernie
1 person likes this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Been a Dungey fan since I first saw Roger taking interest in him. I'd love to see the story book ending where the reigning champ pulls out the championship at the last race and retires the champ. I'm also ready to move on regardless, realizing that even if that doesn't happen, he'll still be a formidable champ in the record books and I'll be choosing the next "Dungey" to cheer for. 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
On 4/11/2017 at 9:23 PM, Spooge said:

Well I live a 7K and ride at 7k to 8.5k, arm pump has little to do with elevation.  I say this with confidence, as I get it just as bad at sea level......

I love Dungey, I believe him to be a great person, and an excellent representative of our sport.  I wish him the best.  This is Tomac's moment, and I believe he will win the championship this year (It was Roczen's prior to the crash).  

I say this because all stress is on Dungey, not Tomac.  Dungey is the champ getting beat down, Tomac is the rising star (riding a huge wave of confidence).  May the best man win. 

I wish to thank both of them for making this year's 450 SX interesting.  

 

Try living at sea level and racing at altitude... It affects me!

 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
On 4/11/2017 at 11:20 AM, timberview01 said:

Tomac's arm pump was due to being uncomfortable with his bike and holding on too tight. Elevation has nothing to do with it. Obviously, they have found a set up that works for his style and he looks better on the bike now than even in his Geico 450 days. I was in Seattle this weekend, and there was absolutely no doubt that Eli was the fastest guy on the track. His crash was due to taking a different line to make a pass that resulted in too much wheel spin to make the double. 

All of the pressure is on Ryan. There isn't anyone who would argue that Eli has everyone covered on speed at this point, and he has also proven that he can come through the pack after a bad start. So the only thing Ryan has in his corner for beating Eli in these last few rounds are a first turn crash for Eli, or a big mistake that results in a wreck. Eli knows he is faster, and is proving it every weekend. So why would he all of a sudden have a breakdown and feel pressure? He is in the ultimate position. It is Ryan that knows that he let a 20+ point lead slip away and there wasn't anything he could do about it.  

Plessinger, Tomac, Decotis, Hill, McElrath, Brayton, Millsaps, and Webb all pulled off the 3-3-3 section. Seeing it on TV did it no justice!! Those ruts were a foot deep in between each jump. There is no way a mortal would uncork a triple in those conditions, let alone committing to doing them in a series. I was blown away. Much, much respect for all of those guys. I'd be willing to bet that the majority of us couldn't have made a full lap around that track without crashing - not to mention doing it at the ridiculous speeds that those professionals can maintain for 22 minutes... 

Plessinger and Tomac were the only ones to do it consistently.

 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Chris Cooksey said:

Try living at sea level and racing at altitude... It affects me!

 

Gotcha, but the fact is, Eli Tomac lives in a place that is higher in altitude than Salt Lake City.

1 person likes this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got it wrong as to when the mistake would be made, but pretty close.

 

[With three races left in Dungey's career (assuming he is retiring this year) I look for him to pressure Eli into a mistake taking his 4th SX title and riding off into the sunset as the champion.]

1 person likes this

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, indirectly. Once you have to carry the Red Plate, you realize you have something to lose and everyone else wants it. All of the sudden, everyone around you is telling you to do something different than before. If you buy into that you've now changed everything about what got you there in the first place and are riding in uncharted territory. No longer feeling that you have nothing to lose, you naturally attempt to protect what you have and overthink each obstacle. Still, it's far from over.  

Edited by MotoXImage
Wrong word

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with: