Welcome to the Racer X Race Day Feed, your one-stop shop for round 12 of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross from Crawfordsville, Indiana, at the Ironman National. We’ll be updating this post throughout the day with news, notes, and results from qualifying and the motos, so be sure to check back throughout the day. You can also follow Racer X on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to stay up on all the action.
Welcome to Ironman Raceway and the final round of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. For just the fourth time in history, the track, located in the small town of Crawfordsville, Indiana, will host a round of Pro Motocross. As Jason Thomas pointed out earlier this week, weather has shaped the narrative in three prior visits. The inaugural year (2014) was a complete wash due to heavy rain; the following year, the track was soft and rutted due to rain leading up to the event. We finally got small glimpses of what the track could offer last year, but most expect this year to be the best ever, as the track is expected to provide great traction and form multiple lines.
Before we go any further, it was a huge week regarding injury news, so we’ll break it all down quickly. Justin Barcia (concussion) and Justin Hill (nagging injuries) will both return from multi-race absences. Unfortunately, that’s the only good news. Martin Davalos (knee), Dylan Ferrandis (wrist), Shane McElrath (hand), Anthony Rodriguez (arm), and Joey Savatgy (foot) are all out due to injuries sustained last weekend at Budds Creek. For a comprehensive list of who’s in and who’s out, visit our Injury Report.
A first-time 450MX Championship will be crowned today, a week after Zach Osborne wrapped up his first career 250MX title. And while nothing is ever a guarantee—especially in this sport—Eli Tomac is the favorite to hoist the trophy. After admittedly going into “protection mode” over the last few rounds, Tomac found his focus again in the second moto at Budds Creek, riding to a dominating moto win, his first since Southwick.
“I was starting to lose my mind a little bit there,” Tomac said in the post-race press conference following the race. “Those three motos before the second one today were pretty disappointing and disheartening. You start going into protection mode and it doesn’t work. Found that out a lot at Unadilla. Was really uncomfortable there. Then even the first moto today, we were better here today all day, but it was tough conditions to make moves.”
Entering the weekend, Tomac holds a 28-point lead on Blake Baggett (and owns the tiebreaker—most overall wins) and 30 points on Marvin Musquin (Musquin would win the tiebreaker with an overall today). One major wrench in the championship came earlier this week when KTM announced that three-time MX2 World Champion Jeffrey Herlings would make his highly anticipated U.S. debut this weekend. Back in 2014, Herlings was going to race Unadilla, but broke his femur at then-KTM team manager Stefan Everts charity event “Everts and Friends” in Belgium while riding an 85.
After struggling with a hand injury early in his first MXGP (450) campaign, Herlings has come on strong in recent weeks and is currently second in the championship behind Antonio Cairoli. Herlings has spent the past week training with Aldon Baker in Florida and rode press day at the track on Thursday. As we pointed out yesterday, Herlings will have some adjustments to make in his debut.
Only pride will be on the line for the 250 Class this weekend, as Zach Osborne clinched his first career 250MX championship last weekend. Adam Cianciarulo is looking to build upon his first career moto win, and overall, last weekend and hang onto third in the championship, which would be a career-best finish. Aaron Plessinger, who won here in 2015 and finished second overall last year, is only 11 points back of AC.
Coverage of qualifying begins at 10:00 a.m. on the NBC Sports Gold App.
First Qualifying Sessions
As we mentioned yesterday in “10 Things to Watch” since Southwick, GECIO Honda’s RJ Hampshire has been a consistent podium threat, and was one rider that could snag his first moto win this weekend. In the first qualifying session of the day, Hampshire proved he’s up for the challenge, setting the fastest qualifying time over teammate Jeremy Martin. Hampshire was the only 250 rider in the 2:14s with a 2:14.958. Martin was second with a 2:15.065.
When we spoke with Joey Crown earlier this week, he told us that he doesn’t have support for next year and that he was hoping to garner attention at Ironman. Well, in just his third professional race, the Michigan native is off to a great start, qualifying third fastest with a 2:15.757. Crown just nipped Budds Creek winner Adam Cianciarulo, who set a 2:15.758.
In his first race back from injury, Justin Hill looked good in the first session, qualifying fifth fastest ahead of Zach Osborne, Chase Sexton, Aaron Plessinger, and Justin Cooper.
Well, it didn’t take long for Jeffrey Herlings to get accustomed to racing in the U.S. The three-time MX2 World Champion dropped a heater on the final lap of the first session to edge Eli Tomac for the fastest time. Herlings was the only rider in the 2:09s, with a 2:09.422. Tomac was second with a 2:10.051.
Herlings was nearly two full seconds faster than third place Marvin Musquin (2:11.527). The top three were well ahead of the fourth fastest qualifier, Cooper Webb, who set a 2:13.158. Blake Baggett, Justin Barcia, Christian Craig, Justin Bogle, Dean Wilson, and Weston Peick rounded out the top 10.
Second Qualifying Sessions
Momentum is a scary thing, and Adam Cianciarulo is carrying a ton into Ironman on the heels of his first career overall win last weekend at Budds Creek. GEICO Honda rookie Chase Sexton held the fastest time for much of the second session, but was shuffled back to third late when Cianciarulo dropped a 2:12.676 on lap six (of seven). On the final lap Jeremy Martin put in a 2:12.823 to secure second fastest overall. Sexton slotted into third with a 2:13.348. RJ Hampshire, fastest qualifier from the first session, was sixth fastest in the session and overall.
In just his third career race, Justin Cooper set the fourth fastest time ahead of Zach Osborne, Hampshire, Aaron Plessinger, Justin Hill, Sean Cantrell, and Colt Nichols.
The surprise of the first session, rookie Joey Crown, was just 16th fastest in the session. His first time was enough for 11th overall.
At different points in the second 450 qualifying session, Jeffrey Herlings was three to four seconds faster than the second fastest qualifier. While the pack would trim the gap, Herlings was more than a second faster than second place Eli Tomac.
Herlings bettered his time from the first session and dropped an amazing 2:08.230 late to capture fastest qualifier. On the final lap Tomac dropped down to a 2:09.680 to secure second.
Third fastest qualifier, Blake Baggett, was nearly two full seconds behind Herlings with a 2:10.168. Marvin Musquin was fourth with a 2:10.954. Cooper Webb, Justin Barcia, Christian Craig, Cole Seely, and Weston Peick rounded out the top 10.
We’ll have combined times once the 450 B second session is complete.
250 Moto One
Zach Osborne didn’t need to win the first moto at Ironman. The ultimate goal—the 250MX championship—had been achieved last weekend at Budds Creek. Yet, it didn’t stop the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider on a perfect afternoon at the season finale.
Out of the gate it was Jeremy Martin running off to the holeshot, with Osborne, Budds Creek overall winner Adam Cianciarulo, and a pair of rookies—Sean Cantrell and Chase Sexton—in tow.
On the opening lap, Osborne didn’t hit the uphill triple, which allowed Cianciarulo to get around a few moments later for second. Up front, Martin was hoping to open a gap but went down. He remounted outside the top 10. A few moments later, Aaron Plessinger also went down and would get up just in front of Martin.
Osborne hounded Cianciarulo for 20 minutes—less than two seconds separating the two. On lap 9, Cianciarulo drifted wide, which allowed Osborne enough room to get into the lead. Osborne proceeded to put the hammer down and pull away from AC.
Look at the times once Osborne got into the lead:
The gap would never waver from there, as Osborne raced to a 9.1 second moto win. Cianciarulo cruised home for second.
After disposing of Cantrell after a fierce battle early, Sexton held the final podium spot in his grasps until two laps to go. Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Colt Nichols had pulled to within a second of Sexton, but with a lap and a half to go Sexton ran into a lapper and went down. He remounted in fifth, but a few moments later went down for a second time. He went on to finish 10th. This allowed Nichols to earn his first-career moto podium.
Plessinger worked back through the field to get fourth. Mitchell Harrison joined his Star teammates inside the top five with fifth. Cantrell finished sixth after an early run at the podium. Bradley Taft finished seventh, ahead of Martin, Kyle Cunningham and Sexton.
450 Moto One
Eli Tomac is one step closer to his first career 450 title but it didn’t come without some shaky moments in the first moto at Ironman.
Tomac got off to a hot start with Blake Baggett and the visiting Jeffrey Herlings in tow. Herlings was on a mission early, blasting around Baggett and Tomac to take his first-ever lead in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. Early in the race Tomac was trying to stick with the three-time MX2 World Champion when his championship nearly unraveled. Tomac jumped to the outside, maybe trying to set Herlings up for a pass, when he hit soft dirt and high-sided. Fortunately for Tomac and the Kawasaki brass, he was able to quickly remount in sixth, but had problems with his clutch, as he continue to bang on the lever over the next couple laps.
In desperate need for as many points as possible, Musquin, who had worked around Baggett earlier, started to apply pressure to Herlings for the lead. By lap 8, Musquin had cut his 3.1-second lead to 1.6 and was even pulling onto the rear wheel of the world champion. But Herlings remained in control under the intense pressure and a few laps later had stretched his lead back to over three seconds.
Herlings’ Gap on Musquin in Moto One:
Lap 3: Herlings 3.1
Lap 6: Herlings 2.3
Lap 8: Herlings 1.6
Lap 11: Herlings 3.8
Lap 13: Herlings 5.7
Lap 14: Herlings 6.9
Lap 16 (end of race): 8.0
Musquin wasn’t able to mount another charge and Herlings cruised to the moto win in his first-ever Pro Motocross race. Musquin finished second and pushed the 450 championship to the final moto of the year. Baggett took home third ahead of Cole Seely and Eli Tomac.
Cooper Webb, Weston Peick, Benny Bloss, Christian Craig, and Justin Barcia rounded out the top 10.
Tomac holds a 24-point lead over Musquin and Baggett entering the final moto.
250 Moto Two
The final 250 moto of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season featured a familiar name at the top of the leaderboard.
There was no backing it down for 250MX champion Zach Osborne today at Ironman Raceway. After hounding Adam Cianciarulo for 20 minutes in the first moto before finally taking the lead, and eventually, the win, Osborne ran away with the second moto for a perfect 1-1 day.
In a carbon copy to moto one, it was Cianciarulo, Jeremy Martin, Osborne, and Sexton up front early. This time Osborne wasn’t going to patiently sit behind AC. He struck quickly to inherit the lead from Cianciarulo, who had more trouble behind from Aaron Plessinger. On the same lap as he lost the lead, AC would also lose second to Plessinger. But shortly after taking over second Plessinger went down. He would remount in fifth but later pulled out of the moto.
Once out front, Osborne, like in moto one, dropped the hammer and pulled away. By the third lap he had already stretched his lead to more than six seconds. He’d never waver en route to a dominating 8.3 second moto win. Despite some late pressure, AC would hang on for a second straight runner-up finish.
Behind Osborne and AC, it got interesting for the final podium spot late in the race. Colt Nichols hounded Jeremy Martin for third for a majority of the moto before finally making a pass stick late in the race. Martin wasn’t giving up, though, and stuck with him over the final few laps before making a pass stick on the final lap. Nichols would hang on the fourth and take third overall, his first career overall 250MX podium.
Tough day at the office for Chase Sexton, as he crashed again late in the moto after coming together with teammate RJ Hampshire in a battle for fifth. Hampshire would finish fifth, while Sexton remounted to finish sixth.
Rookie Justin Cooper finished a solid seventh ahead of Mitchell Harrison, Justin Hill, and Nick Gaines.
|Abingdon, VA United States||1 - 1||Husqvarna FC 250|
|Port Orange, FL United States||2 - 2||Kawasaki KX250F|
|3||Colt Nichols||Muskogee, OK United States||3 - 4||Yamaha YZ250F|
|4||Jeremy Martin||Millville, MN United States||8 - 3||Honda CRF250R|
|5||Mitchell Harrison||Lansing, MI United States||5 - 8||Yamaha YZ250F|
|6||Chase Sexton||La Moille, IL United States||10 - 6||Honda CRF250R|
|7||R.J. Hampshire||Hudson, FL United States||12 - 5||Honda CRF250R|
|8||Sean Cantrell||Murrieta, CA United States||6 - 12||KTM 250 SX-F|
|9||Justin Hill||Yoncalla, OR United States||11 - 9||Kawasaki KX250F|
|10||Bradley Taft||Nixa, MO United States||7 - 13||Yamaha YZ250F|
|11||Justin Cooper||Cold Spring Harbor, NY United States||16 - 7||Yamaha YZ250F|
|12||Nick Gaines||Ringgold, GA United States||13 - 10||Yamaha YZ250F|
|13||Kyle Cunningham||Aledo, TX United States||9 - 14||Suzuki RM-Z250|
|14||Aaron Plessinger||Hamilton, OH United States||4 - 40||Yamaha YZ250F|
|15||Lorenzo Locurcio||Venezuela||14 - 11||Yamaha YZ250F|
|Hewitt, NJ United States||15 - 15||Yamaha YZ250F|
|17||Gustavo Souza||Brazil||25 - 16||Honda CRF250R|
|18||Jon Ames||Riverside, CA United States||36 - 17||Yamaha YZ250F|
|19||Dylan Wright||Courtland, ON Canada||20 - 18||Honda CRF250R|
|20||Steven Clarke||United Kingdom||17 - 39||KTM 250 SX-F|
|21||Jayce Pennington||Walnut Hill, IL United States||18 - 22||Yamaha YZ250F|
|Metamora, MI United States||21 - 19||Kawasaki KX250F|
|23||Cody Williams||Barneveld, WI United States||19 - 38||Yamaha YZ250F|
|24||Cody Vanbuskirk||Harvard, IL United States||24 - 20||KTM 250 SX-F|
|25||Jeremy Hand||Mantua, OH United States||22 - 21||Honda CRF250R|
|26||Austin Root||Chester, SC United States||23 - 23||Husqvarna FC 250|
|27||Jimmy Weeks||Fort Pierce, FL United States||34 - 24||Yamaha YZ250F|
|28||Dakota Kessler||Farmingdale, NJ United States||40 - 25||Honda CRF250R|
|29||Cheyenne Harmon||Ovilla, TX United States||28 - 26||Suzuki RM-Z250|
|30||Cody Chisholm||Seminole, FL United States||29 - 27||Kawasaki KX250F|
|31||Jarett Pesci||Shelby Twp, MI United States||26 - 28||Yamaha YZ250F|
|32||Greg Durivage||Waterville, OH United States||31 - 29||KTM 250 SX-F|
|33||Jesse Kirchmeyer||Arcade, NY United States||33 - 30||KTM 250 SX-F|
|34||Timothy Crosby||Confluence, PA United States||30 - 31||Yamaha YZ250F|
|35||Alexander Nagy||Richmond, IL United States||37 - 32||Suzuki RM-Z250|
|36||Luke Hempen||Argyle, IA United States||32 - 33||Yamaha YZ250F|
|37||Steve Roman||Apollo, PA United States||38 - 34||Suzuki RM-Z250|
|38||Justin Wolf||franklin, WI United States||35 - 35||Kawasaki KX250F|
|39||Hunter Sayles||Merrill, WI United States||39 - 36||KTM 250 SX-F|
|40||Lane Shaw||Alvin, TX United States||27 - 37||Honda CRF250R|
|2||Jeremy Martin||Millville, MN||420|
|Port Orange, FL||374|
|4||Aaron Plessinger||Hamilton, OH||337|
|5||Joey Savatgy||Thomasville, GA||324|
|7||Colt Nichols||Muskogee, OK||303|
|8||Alex Martin||Millville, MN||296|
|9||Mitchell Harrison||Lansing, MI||279|
|11||R.J. Hampshire||Hudson, FL||222|
|12||Chase Sexton||La Moille, IL||188|
|13||Austin Forkner||Richards, MO||184|
|14||Sean Cantrell||Murrieta, CA||176|
|15||Kyle Cunningham||Aledo, TX||144|
|17||Nick Gaines||Ringgold, GA||124|
|19||Justin Hill||Yoncalla, OR||110|
|20||Bradley Taft||Nixa, MO||90|
450 Moto Two
That’s a wrap on the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and we have a new champion.
The championship was pushed to the final moto after points leader Eli Tomac crashed early in the first moto and finished fifth, while title rivals Marvin Musquin and Blake Baggett finished second and third, respectively. Entering the moto he held a 24-point lead on both and just needed to finish in the points to claim his first career 450 championship.
Baggett and Musquin did what they needed to do on the start as they ran 1-2 early. Moto one winner Jeffrey Herlings got a bad jump, as did Tomac. Herlings ran into more trouble when he tangled with Fredrik Noren and went down and would remount near the tail end of the field. From there, it was a masterful display of riding from the world champion as he carved his way through the field with relative ease.
By the second lap, Herlings was already up to 14th and climbing quickly. A lap later he had already caught Tomac and was soon around him as well. Herlings continued to push hard and had worked up to Baggett in second with around a minute plus two to go. He quickly got around Baggett as well and was setup for a second place finish as Musquin had built around a ten second lead. But on the final lap, Musquin went down before the Godzilla jump and handed the lead over to Herlings, who went on to a 2.6 second win in an amazing display of riding. He also claimed the overall with 1-1 scores. Musquin went 2-2 for second overall and Baggett brought home third with 3-3 finishes.
With Herlings in the lead, Tomac’s finish didn’t matter. He was in no hurry on this day to charge his way through the pack. Yet, he was able to work up to sixth and clinch his first career 450 title.
Cole Seely took fourth ahead of Cooper Webb, Tomac, Weston Peick, Christian Craig, Justin Bogle, and Dean Wilson.
|1||Jeffrey Herlings||Netherlands||1 - 1||KTM 450 SX-F|
|2||Marvin Musquin||La Reole France||2 - 2||KTM 450 SX-F|
|3||Blake Baggett||Grand Terrace, CA United States||3 - 3||KTM 450 SX-F|
|4||Cole Seely||Newbury Park, CA United States||4 - 4||Honda CRF450R|
|Newport, NC United States||6 - 5||Yamaha YZ450F|
|6||Eli Tomac||Cortez, CO United States||5 - 6||Kawasaki KX450F|
|7||Weston Peick||Wildomar, CA United States||7 - 8||Suzuki RM-Z450|
|8||Christian Craig||Temecula, CA United States||9 - 7||Honda CRF450R|
|9||Justin Bogle||Cushing, OK United States||11 - 9||Suzuki RM-Z450|
|Scotland United Kingdom||12 - 10||Husqvarna FC 450|
|11||Justin Barcia||Monroe, NY United States||10 - 13||Suzuki RM-Z450|
|12||Matt Bisceglia||Weatherford, TX United States||15 - 11||Suzuki RM-Z450|
|Rochester, MN United States||16 - 12||Yamaha YZ450F|
|14||Fredrik Noren||Lidköping Sweden||13 - 15||Honda CRF450R|
|15||Benny Bloss||Oak Grove, MO United States||8 - 28||KTM 450 SX-F|
|16||Kyle Chisholm||Clearwater, FL United States||18 - 16||Honda CRF450R|
|17||John Short||Pilot Point, TX United States||21 - 14||Yamaha YZ450F|
|Jay, VT United States||17 - 18||KTM 450 SX-F|
|Cochecton, NY United States||14 - 38||Suzuki RM-Z450|
|20||Ben LaMay||Anchorage, AK United States||20 - 17||KTM 450 SX-F|
|21||Josh Mosiman||Sebastopol, CA United States||25 - 19||Husqvarna FC 450|
|22||Heath Harrison||Silverhill, AL United States||19 - 23||KTM 450 SX-F|
|23||Isaac Teasdale||Robbinsville, NC United States||22 - 20||KTM 450 SX-F|
|24||Toshiki Tomita||Kanazawa Japan||26 - 21||Honda CRF450R|
|25||Zack Williams||Elko, MN United States||24 - 22||Honda CRF450R|
|26||Jared Lesher||Elderton, PA United States||29 - 24||KTM 350 SX-F|
|27||Dakota Tedder||Surfside, CA United States||32 - 25||Kawasaki KX450F|
|28||Vann Martin||Houston, TX United States||28 - 26||Honda CRF450R|
|29||Eric Grondahl||Portsmouth, NH United States||34 - 27||Honda CRF450R|
|30||Jacob Runkles||Sykesville, MD United States||35 - 29||KTM 450 SX-F|
|31||Joseph Perron||Elko, MN United States||38 - 30||Kawasaki KX450F|
|32||Ronnie Stewart||Easton, PA United States||23 - 31||Suzuki RM-Z450|
|33||Michael Akaydin||Louisville, KY United States||36 - 32||KTM 450 SX-F|
|34||Austin Wagner||Niles, MI United States||30 - 33||Honda CRF450R|
|35||Jake Loberg||Ham Lake, MN United States||37 - 34||Husqvarna FC 450|
|36||Theodore Pauli||Edwardsville, IL United States||31 - 35||Kawasaki KX450F|
|37||Carson Tickle||Cary, NC United States||39 - 36||Honda CRF450R|
|38||Brandon Scharer||Gardena, CA United States||27 - 37||Yamaha YZ450F|
|39||Samuel Redman||Clarksville, TN United States||33 - 39||Kawasaki KX450F|
|40||Nick Fratz-Orr||Oakland, MD United States||40 - 40||KTM 450 SX-F|
|1||Eli Tomac||Cortez, CO||470|
|2||Marvin Musquin||La Reole||453|
|3||Blake Baggett||Grand Terrace, CA||451|
|5||Cole Seely||Newbury Park, CA||330|
|6||Justin Bogle||Cushing, OK||308|
|7||Weston Peick||Wildomar, CA||268|
|10||Christian Craig||Temecula, CA||216|
|13||Justin Barcia||Monroe, NY||191|
|15||Broc Tickle||Holly, MI||146|
|16||Josh Grant||Riverside, CA||143|
|18||Matt Bisceglia||Weatherford, TX||78|
|19||Benny Bloss||Oak Grove, MO||73|
|20||John Short||Pilot Point, TX||70|