Photos by Jeff Kardas
After twelve rounds of racing stretched over four months, the 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship came to a close with the 2014 Utah MX, held at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. Competiting on specially constructed course that runs along the infield of the auto racing facility, the event has seen its share of criticism and praise in its short time on the tour, but much needed rains the day prior to this year's running helped shape an exciting conclusion to the season.
Jeremy Martin | 1-1 | First Overall
After taking the 250 title a week prior in Indiana, many expected Jeremy Martin to cruise through the final two motos of the 2014 championship. But the Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha rider had vastly different plans and intended to end the season the same way he started it. A solid start in the first race helped him climb to second place before the close of lap one, and onto the rear fender of teammate Cooper Webb. The two friendly rivals did everything they could to best the other, with Martin ultimately getting by in the first quarter of the race. From there, the recently crowned champion ran uncontested to the checkered flag, besting second place by fourteen seconds. Martin was at the front in the last moto of the year, starting in second place and overtaking Joey Savatgy for the lead just corners into the race. The early pass was the last challenging moment of the moto for Martin, as he powered away from the field and built a seventeen second lead at the checkered flag.
Blake Baggett | 3-3 | Second Overall
Blake Baggett was one of three riders who had a shot at leaving Utah second overall in the championship standings, and although it was not the spot the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider hoped for, it did not keep him from putting in his best effort. A rough start in moto one put him deep in the pack early, but the former 250 titlist thrived in the adverse conditions and was soon up to fifth place. He and Marvin Musquin linked up during the middle of the moto, and the two charged through the field while fighting with one another. By lap five, Baggett had overtaken Musquin for third place, where he'd eventually finish the moto. An improved start in moto two put Baggett within the top-ten early on, but a long list of talented riders were ahead of him off the drop. By the midway point, Baggett had picked up the pace and put on a patented charge when the track was at its worst to pass five riders, moving into the top three. The surge continued until the last laps, with Baggett nearly catching Bogle for second place, before settling in and coasting to the finish line. This pair of moto scores allowed Baggett to keep his slight gap over the other two in the point standings, and he ended the year second overall.
Cooper Webb | 2-4 | Third Overall
Like Baggett, Cooper Webb was one of the three racers with a shot at taking second place in the championship standings after the Utah motos. And like many, the sophomore racer looked to finish the season with a bang and did so by putting his Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha at the front of the field early in the first 250 moto. Joining him in the lead was his teammate Jeremy Martin, with Webb's lead coming under fire almost immediately from the champion. Webb conceded the position to Martin after laps of intense action, but the pace run by the Yamaha riders had put them far ahead of the rest of the pack. Webb rode alone for the remainder of the moto, down fourteen seconds to winner Martin but ahead of third place Baggett by six seconds. Fifth on the first lap, Webb spent much of the moto battling with the field for his position in the running order without dropping out of the top-five. His lap times midway through the moto were comparable to teammate Martin's, as the two were the only to click off laps within the 1:47 range, and this helped Webb climb up to fourth place by the final flag.
Justin Bogle | 6-2 | Fourth Overall
A rough start buried Justin Bogle in the pack early in the first moto, but the GEICO Honda rider fought back through the field over the course of the nineteen-lap race. Benefitting from issues experienced by other riders, Bogle was soon into the top-ten and posting some of the fastest laps in the moto. The early issues would be too much for Bogle to overcome, however, and he finished the moto in sixth place, six and a half seconds behind Chris Alldredge. Bogle jumped into the front pack early in the last moto and began a pursuit of Musquin for the second spot. A charge midway through the race allowed him to pull even with the Red Bull KTM rider, and the two hit every obstacle as quickly as possible without losing control. Bogle's attack culminated with a pass just before the mechanic's area, and he sped off to a second place finish. This, paired with the sixth in moto one, put the GEICO Honda rider fourth overall on the day.
Marvin Musquin | 4-5 | Fifth Overall
Marvin Musquin was the final rider in the three-way fight for third place, and the Red Bull KTM racer came into the weekend with plenty of momentum following his Indiana overall. He started the first moto with a tall work order, running eighth place at the close of the opening lap, but began a surge through the field within a matter of moments. He and competitor Blake Baggett sliced through the field, with Musquin finishing the moto in fourth place. Musquin's second place start put him in prime position in the second moto, and the former two-time World Champion held the spot for much of the race until a series of inconsistent laps. One mistake while negotiating the track turned to many, and Musquin fell from second place to fifth rapidly. He would manage to regroup before losing any more ground, and ended the moto in the top-five.
1. Jeremy Martin 1-1
|2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship 250 Class (After 24 of 24 motos)
1. Jeremy Martin 500pts (10 moto wins)