Riders just enjoyed the first of three two-week breaks this season in the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series and now head into the halfway point of the season on Saturday for Round 6 at Budds Creek in Mechanicsville, MD.
Around the track, if you could find them, many riders expressed a desire to simply go home and relax. Their last two-week break? When Supercross ended. It's been a long six months.
However, you'd think it was the middle of silly season with some of the news announced in recent days. Chad Reed had surgery on his shoulder, smoldered the flames of retirement but announced the end of his team - TwoTwo Motorsports. Shortly after, Josh Grant who rode under the TwoTwo banner said he might not race next year. He hasn't been back since injuring his knee in Round 3 and now without a team who knows where he'll end up, if at all, this season.
We know where Eli Tomac is. Trey Canard is still out though he is riding. Davi Millsaps was supposed to be back for Round 7 but it's looking like he'll miss his third straight Motocross season, according to Transworld. James Stewart could make it interesting at the end of the season if he wanted to but he won't. No word on Ryan Villopoto's status. Oh, wait. Nevermind. Wrong series.
Lots of riders out of action but lots of action happening on the track. The 2015 season could turn into a historic showdown for the ages. After limping to a 19th place finish to open the first Moto of the season, defending Champion Ken Roczen bounced back with a fifth-place in Moto 2 and opened the throttle thereafter. He's been on the podium the last three rounds and won the overall at High Point. All of this while dealing with a stress fracture in his back.
He chases Ryan Dungey, the reigning Supercross Champion who inherited a big lead after Round 3 when Tomac went down and out for the season. Dungey extended his points lead to 37 with a win at Tennessee and maintained the lead after tying Roczen in points the last round. The next closest competitor is Jason Anderson already 72 points back of Dungey and 35 behind Roczen. Anderson has two straight podiums and three for the season but has yet to win a race.
Plus, right on his tail is Justin Barcia and Blake Baggett and both are no strangers to the box. Barcia took second at Glen Helen and has nine straight Top 10s. Baggett took third at Thunder Valley and started the season with eight Top 7s until a rough last outing at High Point. Five points separate Anderson, Barcia and Baggett for third-place.
Tommy Hahn is healthy and ready to ride
As for MotoSport riders, Tommy Hahn is recovered from his Thunder Valley crash resulting in a concussion and plans to race on Saturday. Guy Cooper, team manager for the MotoSport.com/GPI/Honda team, said he's ready to race and wants a Top 10.
Fredrik Noren remains with the Honda Factory team and won't return under MotoSport's banner until Canard begins racing. Noren has four Top 10 finishes this year including a season best eighth at High Point.
The 250 class is not much different as Marvin Musquin and Jeremy Martin hold commanding leads over the rest of the field. Each have held the top spot at least once this season. Martin, the defending Champion, has two wins compared to Musquin's six but is only eight points back thanks to some strong riding after a few hiccups and hang-ups dumped him to the back of the pack forcing him into salvage points mode.
Musquin and Martin showed the chinks in their armor so while their leads are safe for now from the rest of the field, neither seem safe from one another. Don't be surprised to see Martin sweep Budds Creek and take back the top spot.
Cooper Webb should be in the mix here, at least in the point standings, but his Round 1 Moto 1 injury leaving him with two torn ligaments and an ankle sprain sidelined him. The good news is he will be in the mix for Budds Creek. He announced on his Instagram page this week he'll be lining up at the gates.
Webb is out of the title hunt but winning Motos could impact anyone of the riders in the Top 5. Jessy Nelson is in third-place 73 points back from Musquin and 65 points back from Martin. Adam Cianciarulo is right behind Nelson in fourth. If Webb can knock some guys off the podium, leads can shrink or grow a lot quicker.
Kyle Peters is well-rested after the two-week break
As for MotoSport riders, Kyle Peters is healthy and ready to get into the Top 10 and Justin Starling's time under the MotoSport.com/GPI/Honda banner ended after High Point and he's moved on with another Kawasaki team.
It's going to be a warm day and rain is expected. Gates for Moto 1 drop at 1 p.m. (EST) Sunday. Buy tickets online or check the TV schedule.
2015 Motocross Season Standings
450 Class Standings
- Ryan Dungey (222)
- Ken Roczen (185)
- Jason Anderson (150)
- Justin Barcia (148)
- Blake Baggett (145)
- Brock Tickle (131)
- Weston Peick (129)
- Eli Tomac (125)
- Christophe Pourcel (115)
- Phillip Nicoletti (106)
250 Class Standings
- Marvin Musquin (219)
- Jeremy Martin (211)
- Jessy Nelson (146)
- Adam Cianciarulo (143)
- Joey Savatgy (135)
- Zach Osborne (129)
- Alex Martin (115)
- Shane McElrath (109)
- Aaron Plessinger (108)
- Matthew Bisceglia (106)