PHOTOS | Swanberg
It’s almost over. During one warm Saturday in August, riders lined up for the eleventh round of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, the 2017 Budds Creek MX. The four motos on the Maryland track were thrilling, as riders did all they could to keep their title hopes alive for another week.
250 Moto One
Adam Cianciarulo expertly navigated the tight first-turn the track is known for a sped away with the early lead on his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki. Others in the field were not so fortunate, as a small mistake by one rider created a chain reaction that claimed a handful of others, including incoming point leader Zach Osborne. The Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna rider narrowly avoided a disaster with Steven Clarke's flipping KTM, went down, and remounted unfazed.
Back up front, Cianciarulo clicked off laps just ahead of GEICO Honda's Jeremy Martin and RJ Hampshire. The two teammates ran a pace very similar to Cianciarulo's and closed in on the leader in the middle of the moto, with Hampshire posting some of the fastest laps of the class and Martin maneuvering his bike around unique lines. Even with this, Cianciarulo managed to hang tough and held the lead all the way through the finish for the first outdoor moto win of his career.
Zach Osborne and Chase Sexton spent the entire race overcoming the first turn crash, and their efforts paid off with top-ten finishes, eighth for Osborne and ninth for Sexton. This was an important finish for Osborne, as it allowed him to keep just enough of a point advantage over Jeremy Martin in the championship for the possibility of clinching the title one round early.
Total Race Time | 36:02.122 minutes, 17 Laps
Fastest Lap Time | RJ Hampshire – 2:03.809
Margin of Victory | 6.260 seconds
Laps Led | Adam Cianciarulo – 17
250 Moto Two
The GEICO Honda team had a mix of emotions at the start of 250 Moto Two when Chase Sexton slammed the gate by letting the clutch out too early but then saw Jeremy Martin snag the holeshot and early lead. Shane McElrath stayed with Martin through the first two lanes of track and snatched away the lead just as they crossed the scoring stripe for the first lap. Zach Osborne soon got by Martin for second place on the opening lap as well.
McElrath maintained the lead over the field on his Troy Lee Designs/GoPro/Red Bull/KTM for much of the moto, as he outpaced Osborne for the top spot and controlled the best lines in certain segments. This brought a bit of concern for Osborne's crew because the heavy abuse of the engine caused the Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna bike to release puffs of smoke in the middle of race. This proved not to be too important a few laps later. Two key moments in the moto happened at the same time, yet were completely independent of each other. First was Jeremy Martin's simple crash on an incline of the track that dropped him from third to sixth, which allowed Cianciarulo to pass by into third place. The other was Osborne's push by McElrath for the lead just a few seconds later.
After Martin's crash, the top-three riders went to the finish in a set order. McElrath confirmed his place on the podium for the first time this year with second overall on the day. Cianciarulo clinched the victory for the 250 class with 1-3 scores, the first time that he took the overall outdoors. With a first place finish in the race, Osborne managed to clinch the 250 MX National championship for the first time in his career.
Total Race Time | 36:15.941 minutes, 17 Laps
Fastest Lap Time | Zach Osborne – 2:02.951 minutes
Margin of Victory | 1.758 seconds
Laps Led | Zach Osborne – 10, Shane McElrath – 7
450 Moto One
Matt Bisceglia claimed the holeshot in moto one, but within a lap Martin Davalos had pried the top spot away from the RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing rider. With a string of podium finishes to his credit, the Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna rider seemed confident at the front of the field and put a small gap on the competition in the opening third of the race. Davalos had his time up front cut short by another the RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing rider, as Justin Bogle capitalized on a small mistake and slipped into the top spot.
The top three riders in the championship were scattered throughout in the field early stages. Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac made a small mistake exiting the first turn on lap one and was quickly dropped back to twentieth place, while Blake Baggett and Marvin Musquin were sixth and seventh, respectively, five minutes into the moto. Although Monster Energy Kawasaki's Tomac passed the most riders and got up to ninth place and Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM's Baggett finished a respectable fifth, Red Bull KTM's Marvin Musquin had the most impact. Musquin picked his way through a dense pack, closed the distance built by Bogle and Davalos, and eventually passed into second place.
The final minutes of the moto were frantic. Leader Bogle and pursuer Musquin charged around the track and through lapped traffic in an effort to control the race. At one point the distance between the two riders was just a few feet, as Musquin posted faster laps times than Bogle, but there was no clear opportunity for a pass attempt. With this, Bogle crossed the finish line less than a second ahead of Musquin to take the win.
Total Race Time | 35:55.417 minutes, 17 Laps
Fastest Lap Time | Marvin Musquin – 2:02.633
Margin of Victory | 0.847 seconds
Laps Led | Justin Bogle – 14, Martin Davalos – 3
450 Moto Two
Matt Bisceglia claimed his second holeshot of the day in 450 moto two, but RCH teammate Justin Bogle snagged the lead away in the opening portion of the race. Blake Baggett and Eli Tomac faired much better at the start of moto two and after a few minutes both had leader Bogle in sight. Baggett was the first to strike on his Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM at the ten-minute mark and Tomac followed a few moments later. Tomac reeled in Baggett with sweeping lines that allowed him to maintain momentum around the track, which resulted in a high-speed pass over the off-chamber rollers. For Tomac this win was crucial, as it was his first since the second moto at Spring Creek nearly a month prior.
Even with the two spots lost, Bogle was able to settle into third place and kept a gap over Red Bull KTM's Marvin Musquin all the way to the finish. This was key because it allowed the RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing rider to claim the first overall win of his career in the 450 class. Musquin's finish, however, dropped him a few points further behind Baggett in the championship chase.
Total Race Time | 35:47.605 minutes, 17 Laps
Fastest Lap Time | Eli Tomac – 2:01.605 minutes
Margin of Victory | 7.434 seconds
Laps Led | Eli Tomac – 11, Justin Bogle – 4, Blake Baggett – 2