Round 3 of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship concluded earlier today at Thunder Valley. And wow! What a crazy day of racing.
To begin with, RCH Racing had a fire in their paddock shortly before moto 1. They got it under control, and then their rider Justin Bogle gets off to the early lead and holds on to win!
But that’s half the story, as behind Bogle all of the action unfolded. Right away in the first turn, Josh Grant, Blake Baggett, and Marvin Musquin crashed and found themselves in dead last. Additionally, Tomac was 3rd early on, but then crashed and dropped outside the top 5. Who did he find himself battling with then? None other than Baggett and Musquin, both having miraculous rides after their first turn crash. Tomac eventually got passed by both of them, and later in the race by Barcia as well.
But the battle between Musquin and Baggett continued. Baggett eventually found his way around, and then moved all the way up into 3rd by the end of the race. Musquin finished 4th.
In moto 2, both Baggett and Tomac got off to a much better start. Baggett was in the lead early, but got passed quickly by Tomac who began to pull away. However, about halfway into the moto Baggett picked it up again, and repassed Tomac! Baggett laid down some insane lap times and within a lap alone had already gapped Tomac by 4 seconds. Baggett went on to win, followed by Tomac and Musquin.
If the 450s weren’t exciting enough, the 250 race was perhaps even crazier. Intense racing amongst the top 5 in both motos made the racing very close. Especially in the first moto, as late in the race the top 6 were actually within 5 seconds of the leader.
250 points leader Zach Osborne didn’t have the best of days. He mentioned that he was feeling sick all week, and it showed. He got a good start in the first moto, but crashed and then couldn’t make up the time. He rode better in the 2nd moto, but still didn’t have the pace of the front runners.
After a disappointing opening two rounds for Pro Circuit Kawasaki with multiple bikes breaking, things looked better in the first moto with Adam Cianciarulo, Joey Savatgy, and Austin Forkner all finishing within the top 5. In fact, Forkner had a great ride through the pack moving up into second, nearly passing Alex Martin for the lead. However, it was Joey Savatgy who prevailed at the end of the second moto by taking the moto win and with it the overall victory. Unfortunately for Adam Cianciarulo and Pro Circuit, it looks like their bike breaking days aren’t over though because Cianciarulo’s bike broke in that last moto.
Here are the official results:
My Opinion: Not much to say other than: Wow, I’m speechless.
Blake Baggett folks! El Chupacabra is back, and he’s in full form. That ride in the first moto was unbelievable, and then he straight up catches and passed Tomac in the second. He pulled out a 10 second lead afterwards too. Tomac is probably one of the fastest racers in the world, but he had nothing for Baggett today. Absolutely incredible ride for Baggett.
That first moto ride for Musquin was pretty great as well. If Baggett wasn’t around, we would all be talking about him. Instead, his ride was kinda silenced, but is definitely noteworthy. Musquin leads in points and actually gained points on Tomac this round. I think it’s safe to say that Musquin is a real championship contender.
I don’t know what happened to Tomac in the first moto. He wasn’t riding incredible in the first half before his crash, but then rode even worse afterwards. Like come on… Barcia passed him! That’s just weird. I didn’t know what was up, but he seemed somewhat his normal self in that second moto. Nothing for Baggett though nonetheless.
This 450 championship has 3 title contenders in my opinion: Musquin, Tomac, and Baggett. It’ll be interesting to see what happens here on out.
In the 250s, wowza. VERY close racing… to think that 6 riders after 30 minutes of racing on a brutal track will end up within 5 seconds of one another? That’s unheard of, but it happened. That race will go down in the record books as being one of the most exciting ever. Savatgy, A-Mart, J-Mart, Forkner, all had great days. Not so great for Cianciarulo and Plessinger though (side note: wtf flaggers? Plessinger could have gotten back up and salvaged a top 10 if it weren’t for them.)
Last word: who is Justin Bogle? I’ll leave you with that, for I think Bogle himself is asking that question. Incredible ride in the first moto, not so great in the second moto.
Cover photo from Supercross LIVE (Twitter: @SupercrossLIVE)