Every year the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series rolls into upstate New York for the Unadilla MX national, riders are prepped for a gnarly round. The weather this year, however, shook things up something serious. While it’s common to have isolated thunderstorms during the summer, you never know if they will actually deliver and how long they will last. After the skies opened up during the first 450 moto, followed by lightning, the red flags waved and the day turned sideways. A mud fest was born, but the riders and fans gritted it out like true members of the motocross community. Here’s what we saw and learned from a wild day in the mud of Unadilla…
– It's downright impressive how well Marvin Musquin has bounced back from is mid-season knee injury (that has gone unfixed.) He's won the last six motos, and that is no easy task in the premier 450 class. Still, Eli Tomac's 400 points sit 27 ahead of Baggett's 373, then comes Marvin with 369. It's still Tomac's title to lose, but Marvin is definitely the guy with momentum coming into the final two rounds. This could get good…
– Speaking of Blake Baggett in second place, the Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM rider has been doing anything he can to keep his title hunt alive through his thumb injury. Holding onto the bike is the biggest issue, and as you'll see in the pictures below he and his circle are using ingenuity to make it happen…
– The 250 class championship is a bit less exciting, with Zach Osborne showing championship quality consistency and grit. His results this weekend has him at a 63 point lead going into the last four motos.
– As the season rolls on, the injury list and amount of missing riders grows. AutoTrader/Monster Energy/Toyota/JGRMX/Suzuki's Justin Barcia was unfortunately not cleared to race from his doctor even after riding press day, Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna's Jason Anderson is out for the rest of the season after surgery on his foot, both Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Austin Forkner and Justin Hill are out from racing for the remainder of the season, GEICO Honda's Cameron McAdoo is still on the mend, RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki’s Broc Tickle is out, among a few others. Add in retirements and you have plenty of people that are missed. This sport can be tough on riders, but the talent pool that remains is throwing down.
– Motocross is gnarly, and racing in the elements are what make it that way. When it becomes a matter of safety, things stop quickly. Huge lightning bolts could be seen from the track during the middle of 450 moto one's downpour and that was the catalyst for the red flag. And then we waited…
– Once the storms (sort of) passed, AMA officials mentioned the option of a sight lap to the riders and had not one person interested in that. Yes, they sent it at full pace through what was a treacherous circuit filled with water. The abbreviated 20-minute motos were a solid call, and the racing delivered as expected.
– The biggest announcement of the da came in the form of the Team USA Motocross of Nations line up, which include Zach Osborne as team captain, Cole Seely, and American MXGP competitor Thomas Covington. Every member is ecstatic to go represent the USA and do their best, hoping to return the Chamberlain Trophy to the States this year.
– Lorretta Lynn's Nicky Hayden AMA Horizon Award winner Justin Cooper, a native of New York, made a very impressive pro debut among his home state fans. 12-2 scores were good enough for 5th overall, and that's a sign of good things to come. His bike skills are evident, and he'll be a guy to keep an eye on as he goes through his rookie rounds and beyond…
– Bike brand breakdown by class:
Yamaha – 18
Honda – 8
KTM – 6
Husqvarna – 3
Kawasaki – 3
Suzuki – 2
Honda – 13
KTM – 9
Yamaha – 6
Kawasaki – 3
Suzuki – 6
Husqvarna – 3