Welcome to the Race Day Feed, coming to you from Fox Raceway for the final round of the 2020 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. From practice reports to the blow-by-blow from today’s program, you’ll find it all right here on the Racer X Race Day Feed. Updates are posted in chronological order, so be sure to scroll down for the latest info. For even more updates be sure to follow us on Twitter, @Racerxonline.
It all comes down to this. After over nine months of schedule changes, long breaks, and the unknown, we finally close the book on 2020 for the AMA motocross and supercross circuit. It’s been one heck of a year with quite a bit of unpredictability in all facets of the sport. Never mind the on-track action, the off-track landscape of the paddock is set to be wildly different next year. We already know Gas Gas will make their entry to the American scene with Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM moving to the Gas Gas brand, but what about so many other questions? Will there be a Factory Connection Honda team next year? Is Yamaha really being absolved by Star Racing for their 450 Class effort? Where will so many free agent riders land?
By October during a normal year, we’d know the answer to a lot of these questions already. But as the racing will still commence for one more time today, the big question that looms is who will walk away with these Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships?
In the 450 Class, 31-year-old Zach Osborne enters with a 24-point lead on rookie Adam Cianciarulo in what could be ZachO’s first ever premier class championship. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider hasn’t looked back once since winning the first two races of the season and might well complete one of the more improbable championship runs in recent memory today.
The 250 Class sees Frenchman Dylan Ferrandis set to make his final 250 Class start today with a championship on the line. His 18-point lead on Jeremy Martin feels much smaller than it looks, especially when this very track has bitten championship leaders in the past. But regardless of the outcome, Ferrandis is set to leave the class behind no matter what and step up to the big bike next year.
As one book closes, another one will always be ready to open. A lot of people are likely ready to put 2020 behind them, but we still have four more gate drops this year to see if there’s one more shock this season. It’s time to go racing one more time this year.
QUALIFYING - SESSION ONE
In a bit of a surprise, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Cameron McAdoo will be lining up today. Initially, McAdoo was going to be out for the finale due to broken fingers, but he showed up today with his hand all taped up and wend out for the first practice sessions clocking the ninth fastest time.
Last week’s winner Justin Cooper wasted no time to show his recent form is no fluke as he jumped to the top of the sheets early and even lowered his lap time by a few tenths just two laps later. Cooper led home teammate Shane McElrath and GEICO Honda’s Jett Lawrence for the first session of the day. Championship rivals Jeremy Martin and Dylan Ferrandis would clock the sixth and seventh best laps, respectively.
|1||Justin Cooper||1:57.859||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
|1:58.068||Canton, NC||Yamaha YZ250F|
|3||Jett Lawrence||1:58.632||Landsborough||Honda CRF250R|
|4||Hunter Lawrence||1:58.919||Landsborough||Honda CRF250R|
|5||Brandon Hartranft||1:59.041||Brick, NJ||KTM 250 SX-F|
|1||Jeremy Ryan||2:05.031||San Jose, CA||KTM 250 SX-F|
|2||Brayden Lessler||2:06.311||Ramona, CA||KTM 250 SX-F|
|3||Kyle Greeson||2:06.961||Knightsen, CA||KTM 250 SX-F|
|4||Otto Berton||2:07.747||Canyon Lake, CA||KTM 250 SX-F|
|5||Tre Fierro||2:07.960||KTM 250 SX-F|
Adam Cianciarulo is going to try everything he can to take this title away from Zach Osborne today and he was certainly feeling comfortable in the morning. His time of a 1:56.456 was nearly a full second faster than anyone else while being over two seconds faster than Osborne down in P5.
Eli Tomac comes to the finale with almost no chance at the four-peat but riding his momentum high off the victory from a week ago, he was only able to manage eighth fastest in the first session.
|1||Adam Cianciarulo||1:56.456||Port Orange, FL||Kawasaki KX450|
|1:57.354||La Moille, IL||Honda CRF450R|
|3||Christian Craig||1:58.361||Hemet, CA||Honda CRF450R|
|4||Broc Tickle||1:58.390||Holly, MI||Yamaha YZ450F|
|5||Zach Osborne||1:58.828||Abingdon, VA||Husqvarna FC 450|
|1||Bryson Gardner||2:04.326||Paso Robles, CA||Honda CRF450R|
|2||Blake Hoag||2:07.745||Kennard, NE||KTM 450 SX-F|
|3||Corbin Hayes||2:08.182||Folsom, CA||Husqvarna FC 450|
|4||Kolton Dean||2:08.211||West Jordan, UT||Yamaha YZ450F|
|5||Ryan Peters||2:08.258||Mandan, ND||Kawasaki KX450|
QUALIFYING – SESSION TWO
The final qualifying session of the day for the 250 Class saw a lap time war commence between Cooper, Ferrandis, and Martin as the times were dropping throughout the session. Cooper was the first one to go to the top of the sheets before Ferrandis then became the first rider to dip into the 1:55s. Jeremy Martin took a momentary turn at the top before Cooper would battle back with time expiring in the session to become the first rider into the 1:54s.
The track is wearing in well with multiple lines developing offering many different choices throughout the lap. Look for the surface to dry out throughout the day though with the soft ruts this morning becoming a bit harder and more square-edged.
|1||Justin Cooper||1:54.381||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2||Dylan Ferrandis||1:55.302||Avignon||Yamaha YZ250F|
|3||Jeremy Martin||1:55.344||Millville, MN||Honda CRF250R|
|4||Jett Lawrence||1:56.408||Landsborough||Honda CRF250R|
|5||Brandon Hartranft||1:57.099||Brick, NJ||KTM 250 SX-F|
As qualifying wound down for the final time this year, Chase Sexton was the man to take top honors with a blazing lap in the second session. As the first rider into the 1:53s, Sexton had gone back and forth with fellow rookie Cianciarulo for most of the session before finally laying down his best lap with time expiring.
Justin Barcia pulled out of the session early and headed back to the pits as the Monster Energy Yamaha rider continues to push through the pain following his race ending crash last week in Thunder Valley. Eli Tomac also had a couple close calls with some other riders while putting in his hot laps and could only manage the 11th best time of the day.
|1:53.682||La Moille, IL||Honda CRF450R|
|2||Adam Cianciarulo||1:54.025||Port Orange, FL||Kawasaki KX450|
|3||Christian Craig||1:54.932||Hemet, CA||Honda CRF450R|
|4||Marvin Musquin||1:55.388||La Reole||KTM 450 SX-F|
|5||Zach Osborne||1:55.946||Abingdon, VA||Husqvarna FC 450|
250 MOTO 1
Justin Cooper shot out to the early lead in the first moto with Jett Lawrence right behind him. Both riders made headlines last week after a strange social media dispute and found themselves right out front early. Championship rivals Ferrandis and Martin sat third and fourth, respectively, as Ferrandis was working to end the championship a moto early.
Quite quickly in the moto, the gaps between each rider seemed to even out as the top five riders spread out fairly evenly. Ferrandis was the first to start making a move as he worked up to Jett Lawrence ahead of him. Lawrence responded by closing up to Cooper ahead of him in an effort to get away from Ferrandis closing behind.
Lawrence tried for a few laps to make something happen around the finish line jump but just couldn’t quite get it done. Then Cooper made a small mistake about halfway through the moto and Lawrence pounced immediately to take the lead.
Suddenly, Lawrence opened up a small lead while Ferrandis and Martin immediately put pressure on Cooper for second. As time continued to tick away, the top four riders were closing up on each other creating a tight battle between two Monster Energy/Star Racing Yamaha riders and two GEICO Honda riders.
Shane McElrath was the rider in fifth for essentially the whole race, but he fell over 30 seconds behind the manic battle out front. All eyes were on the lead group as the sliced and diced through several waves of lapped traffic while battling each other.
Finally, Ferrandis broke through around Cooper for second and immediately closed up on Lawrence for the lead. If Ferrandis could win with Martin finishing fourth, he would be able to clinch the championship one moto early and not need to worry about the second moto.
Once Ferrandis caught up to Lawrence, the rookie was once again able to up his pace and the duo pulled out to a small gap on Cooper and Martin behind them. Ferrandis tried several times to make something happen but Lawrence had an answer for every move and eventually opened up a few seconds on Ferrandis with a lap to go.
Jett Lawrence claimed his first career race victory in 250 Moto 1 as he narrowly beat Ferrandis with Cooper following home in third. The result meant the championship stayed alive just barely for one more moto.
“I had to dig deep, especially when you have Dylan behind you,” said Lawrence. “He definitely wasn’t making it easy for me, but I had so much motivation in me to get this win, especially with my brother this morning, he had some bad luck. That was definitely for him, I love him. I rode my heart out for him, myself, the team, especially because this is going to be the last race for all of us with GEICO Honda. So, it’s really special to do it here. Really special at the last round to finally get that win and it just puts you in a good mood for next year and hopefully I can continue on next season.”
|1||Jett Lawrence||18 Laps||1:54.273||Landsborough||Honda CRF250R|
|2||Dylan Ferrandis||+03.584||1:54.592||Avignon||Yamaha YZ250F|
|3||Justin Cooper||+05.001||1:54.883||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
|4||Jeremy Martin||+11.635||1:55.141||Millville, MN||Honda CRF250R|
|+51.649||1:56.185||Canton, NC||Yamaha YZ250F|
450 MOTO 1
Zach Osborne selected one gate inside of Cianciarulo and utilized it to grab the holeshot in the first 450 Class moto. Marvin Musquin quickly shot into the lead and then Cianciarulo also made a quick pass to get around Osborne for second.
Musquin led for a couple of laps before Cianciarulo squeezed by the Frenchman as they went by the mechanics area on the fourth lap. Osborne was trying to keep both of them close in front of him to potentially pounce at any opportunity. Even Chase Sexton was hot on their heels as well.
Eli Tomac was the man on the early charge as he disposed of Justin Bogle early and clawed his way up to the lead group rather quickly. Christian Craig was the first to fall behind Tomac, but the lead six riders continued to run nose to tail for much of the middle part of the moto.
Musquin then went off the track and the train went by him moving Osborne up to second and Sexton into third. Sexton wanted to waste no time as he made a quick move on Osborne into second and then Tomac was next to make it happen as well as he moved into third. Christian Craig pounced right after Tomac and also got up to fourth around Osborne.
Tomac continued his march forward with eight minutes left in the moto as he moved around Sexton to get up into second. With a six second lead, the attention was on whether Tomac could once again close things down on his teammate or not.
With four laps to go, Tomac was all over Cianciarulo out front putting the pressure on. Cianciarulo did everything he could to respond but Tomac eventually cracked the dam and was able to bust through into the lead.
“A little bit behind on the start there,” said Tomac. “The track has really good character today. I was able to use probably the most lines I’ve been able to use, from the left side of the track to the right side of the track, all year here. So, nice for the change up there even though I was back at the start, then I got to the front and I had those lines and had some good momentum.”
|1||Eli Tomac||18 Laps||1:55.389||Cortez, CO||Kawasaki KX450|
|2||Adam Cianciarulo||+03.416||1:55.923||Port Orange, FL||Kawasaki KX450|
|+08.121||1:56.224||La Moille, IL||Honda CRF450R|
|4||Christian Craig||+09.275||1:56.722||Hemet, CA||Honda CRF450R|
|5||Zach Osborne||+36.806||1:55.941||Abingdon, VA||Husqvarna FC 450|
250 MOTO 2
With a championship on the line, the final 250 Class moto launched into the California sunshine with Shane McElrath grabbing the holeshot and early lead. Martin found himself in second early, but he would need a win and Ferrandis finishing 19th or worse in order to win the title.
As Martin took the lead from McElrath, Ferrandis fell and dropped down to ninth. Jett Lawrence was the man in another gear early on as he quickly passed McElrath for second and set his sights on teammate Martin out front.
Jo Shimoda was putting together his best ride of the season as he moved around McElrath as well to get into third. As the Factory Connection Honda team may be done after this season, they held down the top three spots in what could be their very last moto ever.
Ferrandis was working on conservatively working his way forward as he wanted to end the season strong but needed to avoid another costly mistake. Before long, he was knocking on the door for the top five as he battled Jarrett Frye and Carson Mumford ahead of him.
Once Ferrandis made it into fifth, he settled into that spot clearly attempting to bring it home in one piece. Ahead of him, McElrath pulled away from him in an attempt to run down Jo Shimoda up ahead in third, which he was able to do with about three laps left to go in the moto.
Nobody was able to catch Martin out front though as he wins the battle but loses the war in the final moto of the season. Jett Lawrence came home in second and with it claimed his first career overall win in the USA. Shimoda held onto third.
But in the end, Dylan Ferrandis was able to clinch the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship in the 250 Class. As the heads to the 450 Class next year, he takes with him three 250 championship combining his two supercross titles with this motocross one.
“I just want to thank everyone at the Monster Energy/Star Racing Yamaha team,” said Ferrandis. “These guys put in so much work. It’s crazy. I’ve dreamed about Mike [Pelletier] giving me this plate for a long time now and it’s so good. Everyone at the team is unbelievable. I’m so proud of what they did for me. It’s been hard. It’s been a big journey to finish here on the top step but I’m really happy.”
|1||Jeremy Martin||18 Laps||1:57.891||Millville, MN||Honda CRF250R|
|2||Jett Lawrence||+18.337||1:58.026||Landsborough||Honda CRF250R|
|3||Jo Shimoda||+20.690||1:59.618||Suzuka||Honda CRF250R|
|+22.563||2:00.546||Canton, NC||Yamaha YZ250F|
|5||Dylan Ferrandis||+37.007||1:59.914||Avignon||Yamaha YZ250F|
|1||Jett Lawrence||Landsborough||1 - 2||Honda CRF250R|
|2||Jeremy Martin||Millville, MN||4 - 1||Honda CRF250R|
|3||Dylan Ferrandis||Avignon||2 - 5||Yamaha YZ250F|
|Canton, NC||5 - 4||Yamaha YZ250F|
|5||Jo Shimoda||Suzuka||9 - 3||Honda CRF250R|
450 MOTO 2
The final race of 2020 saw Adam Cianciarulo grab the holeshot away from Christian Craig and Chase Sexton. Osborne started the race inside of the top five and would only need a 14th place finish to win the championship if Cianciarulo held on to win the race.
Christian Craig was putting together the best day he’s had all season and found himself battling for the lead with Cianciarulo in the early running. Eli Tomac was making amends for another rough start to his moto as he worked around Osborne for fifth with about 20 minutes left to go.
Chase Sexton was the next man to start putting things together as he reeled in and passed his teammate Craig for second. That left the training partners of Cianciarulo and Sexton out front again to dispute the moto win, while Craig tried to latch onto them and go.
Tomac couldn’t quite get the ball rolling the same way that he did in the first moto, but he did manage to reel in Marvin Musquin ahead of him for fourth and the two commenced into battle. Tomac showed a wheel here and there before Musquin opened up a small gap again with eight minutes to go.
Suddenly, Cianciarulo crashed away the lead out front in dramatic fashion allowing Sexton through into the lead. Cianciarulo was able to remount and continue on in third, but clearly had lost the flow he was feeling out front and was quickly losing time to the leaders.
Tomac finally made his way around Musquin to get up into fourth and tried to close down on his teammate Cianciarulo for third ahead of him with just three laps to go. Cianciarulo had got back into a groove but was just seven seconds ahead of Tomac.
Chase Sexton was able to hold on out front to take his first career moto and overall win of his 450 Class career. His teammate Christian Craig followed him home in second with Cianciarulo rounding out the race in third.
But the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship would go to Zach Osborne as he brought it home in seventh place for the moto to clinch the title.
“It’s been the longest nine weeks of my life honestly, and this last one’s been really tough,” said Osborne. “You know, you think of a million ways to win and a million and one ways to lose. It’s a battle of good and bad. I just have to give it up to the Lord, I wouldn’t be here without his grace and mercy. I considered retiring in March after I broke my back and my wife kind of gave me a pep talk and we decided against it. We went to Salt Lake, against our better judgement, that went well. It just kind of carried into this outdoor season and I came out swinging and was able to take home a National championship which is something I never ever dreamed of doing honestly. I felt it was way out of my league. Dream big is the moral of the story and don’t ever give up. Find people who believe in you, even when you don’t, and just keep pressing on.”
|18 Laps||1:56.895||La Moille, IL||Honda CRF450R|
|2||Christian Craig||+05.202||1:57.484||Hemet, CA||Honda CRF450R|
|3||Adam Cianciarulo||+18.037||1:57.570||Port Orange, FL||Kawasaki KX450|
|4||Eli Tomac||+20.606||1:58.269||Cortez, CO||Kawasaki KX450|
|5||Marvin Musquin||+40.740||1:59.174||La Reole||KTM 450 SX-F|
|La Moille, IL||3 - 1||Honda CRF450R|
|2||Eli Tomac||Cortez, CO||1 - 4||Kawasaki KX450|
|3||Adam Cianciarulo||Port Orange, FL||2 - 3||Kawasaki KX450|
|4||Christian Craig||Hemet, CA||4 - 2||Honda CRF450R|
|5||Marvin Musquin||La Reole||6 - 5||KTM 450 SX-F|