Pick up your copy now and read about the loss of a historic motocross track, Zaca Station. Also, read about the uncertain future of Broc Tickle, Jimmy Button, and Bobby Moore's road to start to Road 2 Recovery and much more exclusively in the September 2018 issue of Racer X Illustrated.
Something that was apparent early in the 250 Class (and has changed slightly with some injuries to a couple of guys featured in the story—ah, motocross!) was that the vets in the class were really taking it to the kids. And that wasn’t a coincidence, really.
It started, as most things in the mag do, with DC suggesting it to me and thinking I’d be a good guy to write about it. Zach Osborne, Jeremy Martin, Alex Martin, and Aaron Plessinger were swapping 250 Class moto wins to start the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and the kids—a.k.a. the ones who normally shine in this class—were being, well, outclassed.
A few weeks earlier, I was talking to Osborne about the fact that he can really come on late in the moto to zap guys when he didn’t get a great start, and that conversation stuck in my mind. Then Phil Nicoletti and I were texting about the class and he, as he’s wont to do, made fun of Alex for being 40 years old, and Phil said he would hope he’d finally be doing well in the class. So, adding on DC’s suggestion, I thought there was a good idea here.
Osborne’s 28, J-Mart’s 25, A-Mart’s 28, and Plessinger, the youngest, is already 21 and a veteran in the class for the number of years he’s been in it. Austin Forkner, Chase Sexton, and the rest of the young’uns hadn’t found their sea legs quite yet at the beginning of the season.
In talking to Osborne, A-Mart, and Nicoletti for the story (as well as GEICO Honda team manager Dan Betley), they all said they built a base over the years of fitness and experience and, yes, they did think it helped them a ton.
Then I took the story into a spot where some fans of the sport get on these riders for being in the class too long, but the nationals have never ever had any rules about racing them before a certain age. The class has long had older winners, whether it’s Steve Lamson and his two titles (while racing the premier 450SX class), John Dowd winning or whomever, and it was fine. We never heard cries of any of these riders to get out of the class like we hear now. Somehow, over time, the 250 Class has also, like the 250SX class, been regarded as a feeder class.
And I’m here to say that no, it’s not. It has the same moto length (250SX is shorter than 450SX), the same pay (not the same in SX), no suspension rules, no pointing-out rules, and fans need to understand this. I even surmise—and Betley agrees with me—that some riders should stay in the 250 Class if their riding style and stature fit that bike while racing 450SX. I doubt that will happen, but not that long ago, factory Honda did that with Ernesto Fonseca. We can all remember that, right?
So pick up the newest issue of Racer X Illustrated and read about the 250 Class and how it’s not been very kid-friendly. Subscribe today.