Eli Tomac gave one final "hold your breath" moment but clinched the 450 class 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday in the final season Moto at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, IN.
Tomac needed 22 points to take home his first premier class Outdoor title and after grabbing his first holeshot of the season in Moto 1 looked more than promising to get it done without sweating through a Moto 2. However, Jeffrey Herlings, currently second-place in the Motocross World Championship and competing for the first time in American Motocross quickly passed Tomac. At that point, Tomac held on to the necessary points to clinch... until he decided to race Herlings.
Tomac crashed off a jump and bent his clutch lever. He lost a bunch of spots while Marvin Musquin and Blake Baggett, still mathematically in the hunt, sped past. Uninjured but with a damaged bike, Tomac finished fifth as Musquin took second and Baggett took third. The second Moto began with Musquin and Baggett tied in points and Tomac needing just one to clinch. Tomac dialed it back a bit for Moto 2 finishing sixth for sixth overall and easily getting the Championship by 17 points.
Musquin (2-2) crashed with a solid lead in Moto 2 but settled for second and second overall for the day enough to put him in second-place for the year while Baggett went (3-3) for third overall and third on the year. Herlings smoked the field sweeping Ironman in his debut.
In the 250 class, Zach Osborne, who wrapped up the title last week, took a victory lap in style taking his first sweep since the opening round at Hangtown. Adam Cianciarulo went (2-2) for second overall and Colt Nichols finished (3-4) for third overall, his first career podium. Jeremy Martin (8-3) finished fourth overall taking second on the year while Cianciarulo finished third for the year.
It's all over for US-based racing. Next week, catch some American riders including Tomac and Cianciarulo, as well as Herlings and Antonio Cairoli face off for Round 17 of the MXGP series at WW Motocross Park in Jacksonville, FL. Until then, check out all the action below at Ironman. All photos by Ryne Swanberg.