Hard Truth: 2020 Supercross Champions, What’s Next?

With the tremendous effort put forth by the entire Feld Entertainment crew, we saw the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross complete all 17 rounds. Three champions were crowned, and no asterisk’s needed; this season was different, but with all the unexpected challenges of 2020, completing all 17 rounds left no doubt who the deserving champions were. Eli Tomac, Chase Sexton, and Dylan Ferrandis were left celebrating with their teams.

(Tomac removed a Gorilla from his back)

Eli Tomac’s win was historical; he has been the winningest Supercross racer without a championship. His run was similar to Dale Earnhardt finally winning the Daytona 500, John Elway winning the Superbowl, or Phil Mickelson eventually winning a major. It’s rare when one of the sports all-time greats doesn’t win the most prestigious championship. In the past three seasons, Eli had won 26 races but lost all three championships. It was insane, it’s hard to win that many races and not win a championship. Before the 2020 season, Eli was on a list with Dan Marino, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, and Barry Sanders as decorated athletes who never hoisted their most prestigious trophy. Eli no longer shares that burden.

(Eli joined this famous group of greats to finally get it done)

(Eli left this group of greats who Never held the championship trophy)

With this, gorilla lifted off his back, his competition should be scared. The stress of being an all-time great without a championship weighed heavy on Eli, this is no longer an issue. In an interview with DMXS Radio’s David Izer, Eli stated that he wanted to keep racing as long as he was a contender for podiums and wins, which could be a long time. I look for him to win at least one or two more Supercross championships and a couple more outdoor titles. I don’t see anyone on the horizon who could take the best rider crown from a confident and mature Eli. Cooper Webb will be there fighting each race, but Eli will be the perennial favorite for the next few years. I would say he is the clear cut favorite heading into the outdoors, but I think COVID-19 might claim the series.

(Webb will be the main challenger for Tomac in the coming years)

Chase Sexton backed up his unexpected 2019 championship, thus proving myself and many others wrong. I thought HRC Honda jumped the gun by signing him to a 450 contract last year, but he has shown he is exceptionally talented, and his style could make him a contender in the big class, sooner than later. I suspect Chase will be making his debut in January because I seriously doubt the Nationals will happen. Even if they do, don’t expect him to be an instant contender, let’s not forget he has never won a 250 National. If they do indeed take place, it will be a learning experience for the young rider. He will be used to the team and bike heading into 2021, but don’t look for podiums this summer.

(Sexton is signed sealed and delivered to HRC Honda)

Dylan Ferrandis, like Sexton, backed up his unexpected title from 2019. Dylan struggled in Utah but was fortunate to benefit from an Austin Forkner mistake at the final round. Look for Dylan to be the favorite to win the outdoor championship, if it happens. That will be his farewell to the 250 class as he is currently shopping for a 450 ride. I expect him to be on Yamaha alongside Aaron Plessinger, but I have heard there is a chance he could end up on RedBull KTM alongside fellow Frenchman Marvin Musquin.

(Where will Dylan end up in 2021?)

The outdoor series is hanging in the balance, but no matter these three riders can call 2020 a success. The next big monkey Eli Tomac needs to remove has to do with the MX Des Nations. Will he eventually remove this blemish from his resume, or will he settle for championships stateside? How will Sexton do in the 450 class, do you see him as a podium threat? Finally, where will Dylan wind up, if he rides Yamaha, can he overcome the YZ450 curse? Start the speculation, we might have an extremely long offseason, so let the bench racing begin

- Cooksey

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