MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – Following a captivating 2015 season in which Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey and Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Jeremy Martin emerged as champions in the 450 and 250 Classes, respectively, MX Sports Pro Racing and NBC Sports have unveiled the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, schedule.
The world's most prestigious championship will once again consist of twelve rounds of competition in its forty-fourth season, composed of twenty-four motos that will take the star-studded field of international riders to eleven different states, including the highly anticipated return of the Southwick National in Southwick, Massachusetts, for the first time since the 2013 season.
"When we made the decision to leave Southwick at the conclusion of the 2013 season there was always a belief that we would return there in the near future. We are proud to say that the time has come to bring the championship back to 'the sandbox,' filling a void many fans and members of the industry have felt the last three years," said MX Sports Pro Racing President Davey Coombs. "We are excited to return to the passionate fans in New England and showcase one of the most beloved and unique venues of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship."
The 2016 season will open with back-to-back rounds in California, once again kicking off with the iconic Hangtown Motocross Classic just outside the state capital of Sacramento on May 21. The oldest round of the championship has served as the season opener for nine of the past twelve seasons and surprisingly is the only track in the championship at which defending champion Dungey has never won. From there, the series will travel south to the heart of the motocross racing community in Southern California with its annual visit to Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino on May 28 over Memorial Day Weekend.
The championship will make one more stop in the western portion of the country at Colorado's picturesque Thunder Valley MX Park just outside Denver on June 4 before heading east for the heart of the 2016 season. Following the first off weekend of the summer, Mount Morris, Pennsylvania's High Point Raceway (June 18) will start a six-week stretch that will take the world's best riders to Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tennessee (June 25), Buchanan, Michigan's RedBud MX for Independence Day (July 2), the sands of Southwick MX Park (July 9), Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota (July 16), and Washougal, Washington's Washougal MX Park (July 23).
Following a final two-week break in action, the stretch run of the 2016 season will span across three consecutive weekends, beginning at the hallowed grounds of Unadilla MX in New Berlin, New York, on August 13. Southern Maryland's Budds Creek MX Park, in the shadow of the nation's capital of Washington D.C., will host the penultimate round of the championship on August 20 before a pair of champions are crowned at Lucas Oil Pro Motocross' newest venue of Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana, on August 27.
"The 2016 championship schedule consists of the most renowned facilities in all of American motocross and fittingly comes to an end at the sport's newest track that is quickly making a name for itself after just two seasons," added Coombs. "It was a year to remember for Ryan Dungey and Jeremy Martin in 2015, but they will need to fend off an exceptionally talented field of challengers at the country's finest race tracks if they hope to make even more history and defend their titles. It’s sure to be an incredible season of motocross."
2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Schedule
|May 21||Hangtown Motocross Classic||Prairie City SVRA||Sacramento, California|
|May 28||Glen Helen National||Glen Helen Raceway||San Bernardino, California|
|June 4||Thunder Valley National||Thunder Valley MX Park||Lakewood, Colorado|
|June 18||High Point National||High Point Raceway||Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania|
|June 25||Tennessee National||Muddy Creek Raceway||Blountville, Tennessee|
|July 2||RedBud National||RedBud MX||Buchanan, Michigan|
|July 9||Southwick National||Southwick MX Park||Southwick, Massachusetts|
|July 16||Spring Creek National||Spring Creek MX Park||Millville, Minnesota|
|July 23||Washougal National||Washougal MX Park||Washougal, Washington|
|August 13||Unadilla National||Unadilla MX||New Berlin, New York|
|August 20||Budds Creek National||Budds Creek MX Park||Mechanicsville, Maryland|
|August 27||Ironman National||Ironman Raceway ||Crawfordsville, Indiana|
Not only will Dungey and Martin have to master the diverse challenges of these twelve world-class motocross tracks, they will also face a deep field of talented competitors that includes past series champions like Ken Roczen, Chad Reed, Trey Canard, Eli Tomac, Blake Baggett, Dean Wilson, and the long-awaited return of James Stewart, but also rising stars like Justin Barcia, Cooper Webb, Marvin Musquin, Joey Savatgy, Aaron Plessinger, Jessy Nelson, Adam Cianciarulo, and many more.