Monster Energy Supercross’ anticipated return to New York for the first time in 23 years has the makings of a historic evening with Ryan Villopoto on the verge of securing a fourth consecutive title. Villopoto has been the rider to beat throughout the 2014 season and thanks to back-to-back wins, he needs just an 18th-place finish to continue his dominance of the sport. As a result, Villopoto tops the Power Rankings as he looks to do the same thing his hometown Seattle Seahawks did at the Super Bowl in February, win a world championship inside MetLife Stadium.
Each week, The Power Rankings will recognize the movers and shakers in Monster Energy Supercross.
1. Ryan Villopoto – Monster Energy Kawasaki (Previously: 2 / +1)
Just when we thought he might be “racing for points” on the heels of three-straight wins for James Stewart, the champ responds with back-to-back wins and two of his most impressive rides of the season. He’s had to go through the semi the last two rounds, but it’s done nothing to hinder his ability to dominate. Now he’s in position to take the next step in his illustrious career.
2. James Stewart – Yoshimura Suzuki (Previously: 1 / -1)
While his chances of catching Villopoto were probably minimal, Stewart has made the late stages of the season very exciting. His illness-plagued outing in Houston definitely deflated the buzz the championship had, but he proved in Seattle that he’s still willing to let it all hang out in hopes of victory. With the spotlight on the sport in the world’s biggest media market, you can bet we’ll see JS7 shine on Saturday night.
3. Ryan Dungey – Red Bull KTM (Previously: 4 / +1)
No flash, no flair. Just get the job done. That mentality has allowed Dungey to finish no worse than third in every championship season he’s entered in the 450SX Class. After a couple bumps in the road, Dungey bounced back in Seattle with a podium effort and could very well grab another win before the season is out as he contends with Stewart for second in the championship.
4. Justin Barcia – Team Honda Muscle Milk (Previously: 3 / -1)
Barcia has turned things around and it’s been a shot in the arm for the championship because there is now a good chance that a new winner could emerge over the final two races. Barcia’s had the speed to win over the last month or so, but he’ll need to be close to perfect if he’s to become the sixth different winner in 2014. As a New York native, MetLife Stadium could be the place where he gets it done.
5. Ken Roczen – Red Bull KTM (Previously: 5 / No Change)
Ever since his big crash in Indy at Round 9, it’s been up-and-down for the rookie. The wear and tear of the 17-race season has caught up with Roczen and he’s learning how to cope with each passing round. Before Indy, Roczen boasted a 3.5 finishing average. Since Indy, he’s dropped to an 8.8 average. Nevertheless, it’s still been a stellar rookie season for Roczen and he’ll be a continued threat for years to come.
6. Andrew Short – BTOSports.com KTM (Previously: 7 / +1)
While many of his fellow competitors have fallen by the wayside due to injury, Short has continued to be one of the most solid riders in the series. He’s finished inside the top 10 in all but one race and has really put together a great season for the underdog BTO Sports KTM squad.
7. Trey Canard – Team Honda Muscle Milk (Previously: 8 / +1)
In three starts, Canard has finished no worse than sixth. Given he hadn’t raced in the first three months of the supercross season, that’s truly incredible. We haven’t had the chance to see Canard battle for a podium yet, but clearly the speed is there. If he pulls a start over the next two weekends, it will be interesting to see if he can keep the pace of the lead group.
8. Eli Tomac – GEICO Honda (Previously: 10 / +2)
Tomac’s fourth-place ride in Seattle may have been his best effort of his rookie season. Things haven’t gone the way he would have hoped in 2014, but he appears to be getting to a level of comfort that could result in a continued presence in the podium hunt.
9. Josh Hill – RCH Racing/Soaring Eagle Suzuki (Previously: 9 / No Change)
Hill’s results haven’t been an indicator of how well he’s raced. Starts have proven to be Hill’s biggest challenge in 2014, but he’s been aggressive and shown stellar speed to secure some solid finishes. With just two races remaining as an RCH rider, he will look to end things on a high note.
10. Weston Peick – Motosport.com/FLY Racing Suzuki (Previously: Not Ranked)
It’s been a bit of an all-or-nothing kind of season for Peick. He’s been noticeably fast all season long, showing absolutely no intimidation towards his more experienced counterparts, but has also been plagued with misfortune. Regardless, Peick has earned the attention of a lot of people within the industry with his aggression and resiliency.
Biggest Mover: Eli Tomac (+2)
Biggest Drop: James Stewart and Justin Barcia (-1)
Dropped Out: Justin Brayton (Out for remainder of season with injury)