AMA Supercross

Ryan Dungey and Cooper Webb Primed To Wrap Up 2015 Championships in Houston

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After 13 consecutive Saturdays of grueling competition, the world's best riders took advantage of the opportunity to rest. The final four races of the season kick off this Saturday, April 11, inside Houston's NRG Stadium.

As a result of his dominant consistency and nine-race reign as the holder of the red plate signifying the points leader, Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey enters the weekend with the opportunity to clinch the second 450SX Class championship of his career.

As a result of his historic consistency, Dungey has built a healthy 80-point lead over GEICO Honda's Tomac, who has done well to match his rival's pace the past two races with a win and runner-up effort. Unfortunately for Tomac, it might be too little, too late, even if he is able to earn his third victory of the season.

Considering the clinching scenarios, Dungey would need to finish at third or better if Tomac were to take the win. Considering the string of results he's amassed this season, that is as close to a certainty as someone like Dungey could have with his worst result being of the season being a 4th place finish with that result being the only time he has finished off the podium this season.

While a title may be on Dungey's mind coming into Houston, the rest of the 450SX Class field will be looking for opportunity. While Dungey, Tomac, Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports' Reed, Team Honda HRC's Trey Canard and RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John's Factory Suzuki Racing's Roczen have all been victorious this season, many other elite contenders are still hoping for their breakthrough wins.

Leading this group is the rookie trio of Team Honda HRC's Seely, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Anderson and Team Yoshimura Suzuki's Baggett. All three riders have finished on the podium this season and each believes he has the speed to win before the season comes to an end. Another rider with aspirations of winning is Monster Energy Kawasaki's Davi Millsaps, who has battled through illness to start hitting his groove as the season winds down.

While the battle for victory, and potentially the title, will no doubt garner the most attention, many will be watching to see if both Roczen and Autotrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha's Barcia will be able to return to action following injuries. Both riders are considered two of the best in the world and their presence in the field only adds to the intrigue surrounding the race.
Current Western Regional 250SX Class points leader, Cooper Webb is also in a position to wrap up the championship this weekend. - Credit: Hoppenworld
The annual visit to Houston also signifies the highly anticipated return of the Western Regional 250SX Class Championship, which has not raced since the sixth race of the season in San Diego in February.

The near two-month break in competition provides the opportunity for virtually the entire field to get back to full strength and close out the season on a high note. Prior to the break, Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Webb had been on a tear, capturing four wins in five races. Thanks to his dominant stretch, Webb opened up his points lead to 30 over Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/KTM's Nelson.

Like Dungey, Webb has the opportunity to clinch the title in Houston, which would signify the first of his professional career. He needs to maintain a 25-point lead over the field when the checkered flag falls, giving him at least a five-point margin to work with.

Should Nelson win, Webb needs to finish third or better to wrap up the title one race prior to the Western Regional finale. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Bowers and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Osborne are also within mathematical contention, sitting third (-32) and fourth (-34), respectively.

During last year's 450SX Class Main Event in Houston, Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto dominated the 450SX Class Main Event to secure his fourth win of the season and extend his point lead on a path to becoming a four-time Monster Energy Supercross Champion. In the return of the Western Regional 250SX Class Championship, Rockstar Energy Racing's Anderson captured his fourth win of the season to extend his point lead, en route to earning his first career professional title.

Top Image: Holder of the red plate, Ryan Dungey only needs to finish third or better this weekend to gaurantee the 2015 Supercross title.

Credit: Kardy Photos

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