Summer is officially and finally here. The 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship kicked off with 2017 Hangtown MX, one of the longest running motocross races in American MX history. We have to say, after an exciting Supercross season we’ve spent plenty of time pondering how the two title fights will shape up over the next few months, especially since both 2016 champions are not able to defend their honors this time around (450 MX champ Roczen is out with injury, 250 MX champ Webb is up to the 450 class). The four motos at Hangtown had plenty of action for us to chronicle with a massive recap, so let’s get right to it…
– Who was your surprise of the opening round? Josh Grant/Cody Cooper/Colt Nichols/Mitchell Harrison/Broc Tickle/someone else?
– With the drama of the last few months, we expected some rough riding in the 250 class. The young guys kept things clean in the two motos, but with twenty-two races left in the summer, we bet that changes at some point.
– Heat was definitely a factor at the first round, with temps in the low 90s all day. This was probably somewhat of a shock to riders that spent their testing time in Southern California, which has been quite cooler than normal lately (June gloom came early). From the talk in the pits, it sounds like most of the field will spend the rest of their summer training in the humidity of Florida/Texas/the Carolinas.
– There were quite a few electrical issues for premier teams in the 250 class, including JGRMX, Pro Circuit, and GEICO Honda. No doubt these will be something that the techs pay attention to over the next few months.
– When we spoke with Colt Nichols after the race, the Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha rider told us that he broke the scaphoid in his wrist during a crash at the Minneapolis SX. Damn. That, place the knee injury, made the first part of his 2017 season quite the mess.
– Jason Anderson had a scary moment in the first moto when a rock hit his goggles and got the frame to pinch the area above his eye, which resulted in a boxer’s style cut. When Anderson hit a bump, blood pooled into his eye and understandably concerned, he bailed off of the track and to the medics. We saw his neck brace after the moto and it had a surprising amount of blood on it. Thanks to some stitches, he was all good for the second moto and finished sixth. Check our Instagram for a portrait with the wound.
– Trey Canard is expected to be cleared to resume riding by his doctors later this week after a recent collarbone break. Word from the team is that he intends to line up around High Point.
– Rundown of manufacturers by class
Yamaha – 18
Kawasaki – 8
Honda – 8
KTM – 4
Husqvarna – 2
Suzuki – 1
Honda – 10
Suzuki – 7
Kawasaki – 7
KTM – 6
Yamaha – 5
Husqvarna – 5
– Now you’re probably questioning our math on the 250 total, because 18+8+8+4+2+1 comes out to 41. Since there were only 41 riders entered in the class for the race and Ferrandis was out for the final moto, officials got creative with the substitute riders. McCoy Brough didn’t make the call for the first moto, so forty-first qualifier Tucker Cantrell lined up for the moto. And when Dylan Ferrandis missed the second moto, McCoy Brough was brought back to race. Okay…
– No doubt the new CRF450R is a big reason why Honda was the most popular bike in the 450 class. So we have to wonder if the same thing will happen with the all-new 2018 Honda CRF250R next year.