Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Kicks Off in Two Weeks
If you're an E3 Spark Plugs motorcycle racing fan, the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will start in two weeks with first of twelve events slated for the Hangtown Motocross Classic outside Sacramento CA on May 20th. For the third consecutive year, the series' final round will be the Ironman National in Crawfordsville IN. This year will see the Lucas Oil outdoor championship returning to the nation's most historic tracks including Glen Helen, Thunder Valley, High Point, Red Bud, Southwick, Washougal, Budds Creek and Unadilla. Click for the 2017 Pro Motocross Schedule.
The 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series promises to be one of the best outdoor seasons ever. Saturday night in Las Vegas, the indoor supercross season ended in spectacular fashion. Although the 250cc West Championship had already been decided with Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider Justin Hill claiming the number one plate, the East Coast title was up for grabs with three riders separated by a single point. When the gate dropped for the 250 Main Event, Daytona supercross winner Adam Cianciarulo avoided a huge first turn crash and never relinquished the lead. His Kawasaki teammate and title contender Joey Savatgy ran second before crashing and handing the points lead to KTM's Jordy Smith. Husqvarna's title hopes faded when Zac Osborne went down in the first turn melee.
What may have seemed an impossible challenge for the Husky rider running in 21st place turned into a historic ride. With Smith carted off with an apparent shoulder injury following his crash, Savatgy began to lose valuable track positions. Osborne caught the Pro Circuit rider on the last lap, but was still trailing Savatgy by one championship point going into the penultimate corner. With a very aggressive move, Osborne took the front wheel out from under Savatgy to claim seventh overall giving Husqvarna their first ever 250cc East Supercross Championship.
The 450cc National Championship saw KTM's Ryan Dungey and Kawasaki's Eli Tomac separated by a controversial seven points. Tomac would take the early lead but Dungey was stuck to his rear fender in second place. Not content with just winning the championship, Dungey passed the Team Green rider with a couple of laps to go. This gave Tomac a shot at stuffing the three-time supercross champ into the Tuff blocks like Osborne had done in his race. Unfortunately for Tomac, when he took Dungey high in the turn, Husqvarna's 450cc rider Jason Anderson went low to take the lead and the win. Dungey would finish fourth behind Kawasaki's Josh Grant but held a five-point advantage to claim his fourth 450cc Supercross Championship.
The majority of supercross riders and teams will change gears this week to prepare for the opening round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. The northern California track has always been a tough challenge for riders transitioning from the supercross series. Click for a 3D version of the animated Hangtown track map.