The aftershock of Eli Tomac's massive crash at Thunder Valley proved even bigger as his team announced Tuesday that his season is over.
After ticking off five straight Moto wins in dominating fashion, Tomac was already riding away with the 2015 Lucas Oil Championship Motocross series. In many respects, after two full rounds and one Round 3 Moto, the Championship seemed his to lose but now that he's out it feels like a brand new series coming into Round 4 on Saturday at Muddy Creek in Tennessee.
As was widely reported, Tomac suffered a 100 percent tear of the rotator cuff in his left shoulder and his right shoulder which was dislocated likely needs surgery as well. Considering how hard his head hit the ground he's lucky that's all the damage he endured.
Ryan Dungey assumed the lead position with his overall win on Saturday in Colorado and as a result gets an automatic large lead. Tomac is in second three points back but removing him from the equation, Blake Baggett is 29 points behind Dungey which is further back then where Dungey would be if Tomac hadn't crashed and went on to win Moto 2.
If Round 3 indicates anything, Dungey's biggest competition is now Ken Roczen who evidently looks pretty comfortable riding despite that stress fractured back of his. Roczen took third overall and if not for a flat tire would have beat Dungey in Moto 2 at Thunder Valley. Roczen, the defending Champion, has some serious ground to cover, 35 points, if he's to defend his title but has nine rounds to do it. He'll need wins and a lot of them.
Baggett's consistency could prove formidable and what keeps him in the Top 3 but he's only got one third-place finish though nothing below seventh. He'll need to challenge Dungey and Roczen week in and week out on the podium if he's to be a serious threat and close the points gap on Dungey.
If Tomac had managed to open a 25 point lead over Dungey with a third-straight sweep talk of him winning the Championship would be secondary to whether he could pull of the perfect season. That being the case, it's is too early to give the crown to Dungey even though he's in a better position and has been on the podium every round thus far.
In the coming weeks, Trey Canard is expected back and though he has no shot of a Championship he can win which could either help or hurt Dungey. Davi Millsaps is also returning though whether he can ride in the Top 5 every week remains to be seen. Other than Baggett, all of the riders below him in the Top 10 have had their ups and downs just three weeks into the season.
If Weston Peick can stay upright and off the dirt he could pull of some upsets. He took third in Moto 2 at Hangtown, saved what would have been a gnarley crash at Glen Helen but crashed twice in Moto 1 at Thunder Valley. He dropped from third-place in the standings to sixth. Justin Barcia is second to Baggett in consistency and would be in third for points if not for getting dirt in his eyes and crashing in the first Moto of the season. Cole Seely, who finished third in Supercross in his first year in the 450 class, took fourth in Moto 2 and has improved each time out since a crash at Hangtown at the start of Moto 1 ended his day there. Jason Anderson opened the year taking third but had a bad start and two crashes in Moto 1 at Glen Helen and a rough Moto 2 at Thunder Valley.
Tommy Hahn is recovered and ready to go for Round 4
In the MotoSport class, Tommy Hahn who crashed in practice and then pulled out of Moto 1 at Thunder Valley because of dizziness went on a training run earlier this week in hot weather and had no complaints.
"He had no dizziness and felt pretty good," said Guy Cooper, team manager for the MotoSport.com/GPI/Honda team. "Right now we're on schedule to ride."
In the 250 class, points leader Marvin Musquin also crashed hard but got back to finish 14th for Moto 1 and on the podium in second-place for Moto 2. He lost his lead to Jeremy Martin who erased the memory of Round 2 with a dominating sweep. So for now, both are healthy and their back-and-forth should continue on Saturday in Tennessee. Both riders could have 50 point leads over their closest competitor after this weekend.
The much-hyped Adam Cianciarulo is healthy after missing the Supercross season thanks to a crash overseas in December and grabbed his first ever podium in third. He's in fourth-place, just four back from Jessy Nelson who had a rough opening round but has bounced back nicely.
Look for Kyle Peters to finish in the Top 10 this week
Justin Starling joins Kyle Peters on the MotoSport.com/GPI/Honda team this weekend filing in for the injured Colt Nichols. Cooper said Starling got in a couple of good riding days as preparation and to expect him to be strong on the starts which is where he excels.
Peters just missed out on his second Top 10 overall at Thunder Valley and is in 15th place in the standings. Cooper said Peters is a Top 10 rider and he'd be there if not for the empty gas tank that ended Moto 2 at Hangtown. Expect a continued climb up the standings in the coming weeks.
Motocross Round 4 starts a long leg of East Coast dates on Saturday at the Tennessee National in Blountville, TN. Buy tickets online or check out the TV schedule.
2015 Motocross Season Standings
450 Class Standings
- Ryan Dungey (128)
- Eli Tomac (125)
- Blake Baggett (99)
- Ken Roczen (93)
- Justin Barcia (87)
- Weston Peick (79)
- Broc Tickle (75)
- Jason Anderson (72)
- Christophe Pourcel (72)
- Phil Nicoletti (62)
250 Class Standings
- Jeremy Martin (128)
- Marvin Musquin (126)
- Jessy Nelson (80)
- Adam Cianciarulo (76)
- Joey Savatgy (72)
- Alex Martin (68)
- Zach Osborne (67)
- Shane McElrath (65)
- Matt Bisceglia (64)
- Chris Alldredge (62)
Written By: AndrewT