Round 12 of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series features a victory lap for a Champion and the crowning of another as the season concludes on Saturday at the Ironman National in Crawfordsville, IN.
The 450 class Championship goes down to the wire for the first time since 2014 as Eli Tomac leads Blake Baggett by 28 points and Marvin Musquin by 30. It's sizeable enough to place your bets on the leader because a second-place finish in the first Moto alone by Tomac clinches the title. A third-place forces Musquin and Baggett to win out thereby automatically eliminating one or the other. Musquin has three sweeps this year but Baggett hasn't won a Moto since Round 4 with no sweeps.
On the other hand, Tomac has finished fifth or lower in three of the last four Motos which combined with strong races from Musquin and/or Baggett forces the title fight to the final Moto of the year. Regardless, Musquin needs a 30 point gain (Musquin takes tiebreaker on overalls if he sweeps otherwise Tomac wins for most second-place finishes) and Baggett a 29 point gain (Tomac takes tiebreaker) - a tall order considering Tomac's worst round this year at Glen Helen (2-19) he still managed to scrape together 24 total points.
Marvin Musquin (left) and Blake Baggett (right) still have a shot at the title
Perhaps of little consolation to Musquin, but he's got a much bigger shot at finishing second on the year. He's just two points behind Baggett and has gained that much in points or more on Baggett in each of the last four rounds. Musquin's six Moto win streak ended last week at Budds Creek thanks to Justin Bogle's second Moto win of the year and first career overall win. Musquin managed second-place overall finishing one point ahead of Tomac, who took third overall.
Also of note is Tomac turned on the afterburners in Moto 2 last week winning handily by seven seconds over Baggett while noting after the race he rode in protection mode before returning to form. Prior to the win, Tomac had not won since Southwick when he held a 72 point lead over Musquin. Baggett's thumb injury in Moto 2 at RedBud prevented him from gaining much ground on Tomac while he dilly-dallied.
Elsewhere, Dean Wilson's Top 10 streak ended in Moto 1 at Budds Creek after a crash dropped him to 16th but he holds on to fourth-place and should close the season there despite a hard charging Cole Seely 26 points back. Wilson was the remaining rider this season to finish every Moto inside the Top 10 as Baggett took 11th in Moto 2 at Unadilla.
Speaking of Bogle, his win puts him in sixth-place on the heels of Seely just eight points from the Top 5. Another solid round could cement him in the Top 5 and certainly punch his ticket for a ride next year since his current team closes the doors after Saturday.
Jeffrey Herlings, the multi MX2 Champion (250 class) in the Motocross World Championships, who is currently second in the MXGP class (450), is planning to race at Ironman giving fans a chance to see how one of Europe's finest riders fares against America's best in an AMA Pro event. He is stateside for Round 17 of his series slated for September 3 in Florida where several US riders plan to line up including Tomac.
Oh wait, he's out.
Wait! He's in again.
No, no, no, he's out. Maybe. Maybe he's in. Nobody knows and neither does Ross Perot.
A Champion's pose for Zach Osborne
In the 250 class, Zach Osborne wrapped up the Championship last week and gets to ride the #1 plate on Saturday but he won't defend it next year since he's moving to the 450 class for Outdoors. Osborne overcame a Moto 1 pileup where he finished eighth but took the checkers in Moto 2 to finish second overall and clinch the title.
Osborne stepped on the podium every round this year except at Thunder Valley in what's turned into a dream season for the 27 year old. He's the reigning Supercross 250SX East Champ and held the Red Plate all year for the Nationals.
A win at Ironman ensures Adam Cianciarulo a third-place finish on the season
Osborne's Championship season denied Jeremy Martin's push for his third 250 class Championship but he'll easily finish second on the year. Adam Cianciarulo grabbed his first career Moto win and first career overall jumping from seventh-place to third in the standings though Alex Martin and Joey Savatgy were out and Dylan Ferrandis had a bad day. Shane McElrath, who tied Osborne in points taking third on the tiebreaker, rounded out the podium for his first step on the box this season but he reportedly suffered a hand injury in post-race celebrations and lining up at Ironman is in doubt.
Cianciarulo holds a decent shot for third on the season with a six point lead over Savatgy (no word on whether he'll race at Ironman) and an 11 point lead over Aaron Plessinger.
Our Podium Picks for Ironman:
- Marvin Musquin
- Justin Bogle
- Eli Tomac
We were going to put Herlings in second but well, you know. You snooze, you don't lose first.
- Zach Osborne
- Jeremy Martin
- Adam Cianciarulo
Check out the track map for Round 12:
Nice day expected for Crawfordsville with temperatures in the mid-70s. Gates drop for Round 12 at 1 p.m. (EST) on Saturday at the Ironman National. MAVTV carries Moto 1 for both classes live and the second Motos air on tape-delay at 5 p.m. (EST) on NBC Sports Network.
2017 Motocross Season Standings
- Eli Tomac (439)
- Blake Baggett (411)
- Marvin Musquin (409)
- Dean Wilson (320)
- Cole Seely (294)
- Justin Bogle (286)
- Martin Davalos (263)
- Weston Peick (241)
- Cooper Webb (237)
- Jason Anderson (216)
- Zach Osborne (451)- 2017 250 Class Motocross Champion
- Jeremy Martin (387)
- Adam Cianciarulo (330)
- Joey Savatgy (324)
- Aaron Plessinger (319)
- Dylan Ferrandis (305)
- Alex Martin (296)
- Colt Nichols (265)
- Mitchell Harrison (250)
- Shane McElrath (248)
Written By: AndrewT