Blake Baggett took the round win at High Point, as well as the championship lead from Musquin
Aussie Dean Ferris was second in Moto1 but ended up 7th overall after Moto2 with a 14th place finish

450MX – Tomac and Baggett take a win a-piece 

For the third time in four rounds at the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, the red plate has changed hands. Clearly having found his rhythm, Blake Baggett won a moto and the overall at High Point Raceway and will carry the 450 Class points lead into the next round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.

Blake Baggett - Image by Simon Cudby
Blake Baggett – Image by Simon Cudby

It’s Baggett’s second consecutive overall win in the 450 Class. Prior to Thunder Valley, he had never won a moto or an overall in his 450MX career. It wasn’t such a good day for the other title hopefuls. Although Eli Tomac got a moto win, he didn’t fare well in the first moto thanks to an early crash. And Marvin Musquin, who entered the day with the points lead, tore his meniscus two days ago and clearly was not 100 per cent out on the track.

Moto 1

Just when you think you’ve already seen it all this season, the racing at High Point started off with another curveball: a gate malfunction. With the 30-second card dropped and bike engines revved, everyone was set to go racing, but the gate failed to drop.

After a second false start, things finally got going on the third attempt, and Josh Grant narrowly took the holeshot over Blake Baggett, with Justin Bogle and Christian Craig among the riders close behind them. Eli Tomac quickly picked off a few riders to move into second, but then promptly went down and was shuffled to the back of the pack.

Marvin Musquin - Image by Simon Cudby
An injured Musquin had a tough weekend – Image by Simon Cudby

Meanwhile things didn’t go much better for Marvin Musquin. The 450MX points leader found himself 13th after the first lap.

When things shuffled out on the opening lap, the top three were Grant, Craig and Dean Ferris. Ferris, currently leading the MX1 point standings in the Australian Motocross Nationals, came to the U.S. solely to race High Point on his own dime. Despite having a ride with Red Bull KTM in 2014, Ferris ultimately never raced outdoors that summer, so this is his Lucas Oil Pro Motocross debut.

Ferris got around Craig for second on the second lap, leaving Craig to battle Baggett for third. Baggett would get the spot on Lap 4.

Up front, Ferris closed in on Grant and made some fierce challenges about eight minutes into the race. Ferris made an aggressive move that nearly resulted in the two riders coming together and ultimately emerged with the lead.

Baggett then went to work on Grant and made the pass at the 10-minute mark. That set up a battle between Ferris and Baggett for the top spot. With about 18 minutes left, a minor mistake from Ferris allowed Baggett — who was turning faster laps — to get by him and pull away with the lead.

Blake Baggett - Image by Jeff Kardas
Blake Baggett – Image by Jeff Kardas

Backing up the smack talk he put down on the PulpMX Show after his Thunder Valley win, Baggett went on to take the moto victory by 22 seconds.

Baggett’s moto win was his second consecutive one, ending a streak of five straight motos with different winners. If he replicates the result in Moto 2, he would become the first rider to win multiple 450 overalls this season.

Behind Baggett, Ferris was able to hold off Grant for second place, giving the Aussie an incredible result to kick off his Lucas Oil Pro Motocross debut.

Bogle, who turned heads by winning a moto last week, was riding in fourth for awhile but came together with Jason Anderson, putting both riders on the ground. That allowed Cooper Webb and Broc Tickle to move into the top five. Tickle caught fire in the closing laps, passing Webb for fourth, but was unable to chase down Grant.

Anderson ended up passing Webb for fifth, leaving Webb to take sixth. Bogle — who was clearly frustrated with Anderson after their collision — finished seventh. The top ten was rounded out by Weston Peick, Dean Wilson and Cole Seely.

Eli Tomac - Image by Jeff Kardas
Eli Tomac – Image by Jeff Kardas

Before the midway point, the top two in points — Musquin and Tomac — found each other on the track. But due to the events of the opening lap, it was a battle for 16th place. Tomac easily got around Musquin, who seemed off his game all day amid rumors that he may not be fully healthy. Tomac worked his way up to 12th, while Musquin, who got lapped during the course of the race, settled for 16th.

Due to those subpar performances, Baggett has taken over the points lead for now. He’ll enter the second moto with a one-point edge over Musquin.

Craig had to pull off the track in the second half of the race and did not finish.

Moto 1 Results
  1. Blake Baggett
  2. Dean Ferris
  3. Josh Grant
  4. Broc Tickle
  5. Jason Anderson
  6. Cooper Webb
  7. Justin Bogle
  8. Weston Peick
  9. Dean Wilson
  10. Cole Seely

Moto 2

After an impressive fourth-place ride in Moto 1, Broc Tickle emerged with the holeshot, narrowly staying ahead of Jason Anderson. The two battled around the opening turns, with Eli Tomac lurking not far behind, until Anderson eventually made the pass. The top three remained bunched together, with Tomac getting second place from Tickle and then charging at Anderson.

Meanwhile Blake Baggett and Marvin Musquin found themselves eighth and 10th after the opening lap. Tomac stalked Anderson for several laps, and with 23:45 on the countdown clock, Anderson made a mistake in the ruts that allowed Tomac to pass by him on the inside. About three minutes later, Anderson dropped second place to Tickle.

Jason Anderson - Image by Simon Cudby
Jason Anderson – Image by Simon Cudby

Behind the top three (Tomac, Tickle, Anderson), Dean Wilson and Cooper Webb battled for fourth until Wilson tipped over and ceded the spot. Baggett was on a charge behind them though and soon passed Webb for fourth.

Next up for Baggett was the lead group. At the 12-minute mark, Baggett moved past both Anderson and Tickle in quick succession to move into second place. Anderson also retook a spot from Tickle soon after to move into the top three.

Marvin Musquin - Image by Simon Cudby
Marvin Musquin – Image by Simon Cudby

By the time Baggett made his move to get into second place, Tomac had amassed a lead of around nine seconds. At the time, Baggett was turning faster lap times than Tomac — on one lap, Baggett even outpaced him by a full three seconds — but eventually Baggett backed down, and Tomac went on to win comfortably. The final margin of victory in this moto was 20 seconds.

But Baggett’s second-place finish was enough to net him the overall victory for the day. He ended up winning the overall by a massive margin of 11 points over Anderson (5-3) and Tickle (4-4), who scored his first overall podium of the season.

That result helped push Baggett into the points lead, as he’ll now hold a eight-point lead over Musquin and an 11-point lead over Tomac entering Round 5. Anderson is also lurking just 26 points back of Baggett.

Jason Anderson

“The day started out great with me being the fastest qualifier, I crashed a couple times in the first moto but still finished fifth. The second moto was a little more tough, but I’m just going to go back to the drawing board and will come back strong next week.”

Jason Anderson - Image by Simon Cudby
Jason Anderson – Image by Simon Cudby

Even with his Moto 2 win, Tomac (12-1) finished just fourth overall. Cooper Webb (6-5) rounded out the top five.

Musquin worked his way up a solid sixth-place finish in Moto 2, but when paired with his 16th from Moto 1, the Red Bull KTM rider finished 11th overall and lost a total of 27 points to Baggett.

After his blistering ride in Moto 1, Australia’s Dean Ferris managed just 14th in Moto 2. That ended up placing him seventh overall in his lone Lucas Oil Pro Motocross race for the season. He’ll head back to the Australian Motocross Nationals, where he is the defending MX1 champion and current points leader.

Dean Ferris

“P7 overall. Not quite the second moto I was working for with a pesty first turn crash, but overall was a great day! Huge thank you to everyone for your support.”

Dean Ferris - Image by Jeff Kardas
Dean Ferris – Image by Jeff Kardas

The series resumes next Saturday at Muddy Creek.

Moto 2 Results
  1. Eli Tomac
  2. Blake Baggett
  3. Jason Anderson
  4. Broc Tickle
  5. Cooper Webb
  6. Marvin Musquin
  7. Dean Wilson
  8. Cole Seely
  9. Justin Bogle
  10. Martin Davalos
    … 14. Dean Ferris
Dean Wilson - Image by Simon Cudby
Dean Wilson was eighth overall – Image by Simon Cudby
450 Overall Results
  1. Blake Baggett (1-2)
  2. Jason Anderson (5-3)
  3. Broc Tickle (4-4)
  4. Eli Tomac (12-1)
  5. Cooper Webb (6-5)
  6. Josh Grant (3-11)
  7. Dean Ferris (2-14)
  8. Dean Wilson (9-7)
  9. Justin Bogle (7-9)
  10. Cole Seely (10-8)
450 Class Championship Standings
  1. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 155
  2. Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM – 147
  3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 144
  4. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna – 129
  5. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki – 115
  6. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Suzuki – 112
  7. Dean Wilson, Glasgow, Scotland, Husqvarna – 110
  8. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki – 106
  9. Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda – 105
  10. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha – 88

250MX: Martin takes a narrow round win from Osborne

For the third consecutive round of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, the 250 Class has a different overall winner. This time it was Jeremy Martin, the two-time champion, taking his first victory of the season at High Point Raceway. But Martin was unable to cut into Zach Osborne’s points lead, as the two split moto wins and ended up tied on the day for points.

Jeremy Martin - Image by Jeff Kardas
Jeremy Martin leads the 250 field – Image by Jeff Kardas

Moto 1

After sweeping both motos at the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season opener, Zach Osborne was kept winless at the next two rounds. But in Moto 1 at High Point, the current points leader returned to form with a victory.

Jeremy Martin rounded the first turn with the lead but had Aaron Plessinger and Zach Osborne close behind. Meanhwhile a big pileup claimed Alex Martin and Colt Nichols among its victims. Rookies Chase Sexton, who is making his debut this week, and Michael Mosiman were also held up by the incident.

Zach Osborne - Image by Jeff Kardas
Zach Osborne leads – Image by Jeff Kardas

After the opening lap, J-Mart, Plessinger and Osborne were the top three. A great battle ensued behind them featuring RJ Hampshire, Joey Savatgy, Sean Cantrell, Adam Cianciarulo, Austin Forkner and Dylan Ferrandis. After a lot of shuffling, Cianciarulo and Cantrell ended up fourth and fifth, respectively, at the five-minute mark of the race.

About nine minutes into the race, Osborne was all over the back of Plessinger, who was racing with a very painful groin injury after his practice crash. Osborne had trouble making a pass stick for awhile but eventually made the pass with about 19:30 left on the clock. But their ongoing battle had helped enable Jeremy Martin to open up a slight gap (about three seconds) on them.

Around the midway point, Osborne had basically cut that deficit in half. A few minutes later (on Lap 10), Osborne made a move while going through the downhill rollers to take the lead away from J-Mart.

Aaron Plessinger - Image by Jeff Kardas
Aaron Plessinger – Image by Jeff Kardas

Up front, Osborne checked out with the lead, taking the checkered flag by nearly eight seconds. Plessinger closed in on his Jeremy Martin, his former teammate, to set up a late battle for second place but never found himself in position to make the pass and ended up falling 10 seconds behind him by the end of the race.

Throughout all of this, a lot of shuffling continued behind the top three. Cantrell, the Troy Lee/Red Bull KTM rookie, was as high as fourth but ended up fading back to 14th. Hampshire, making his season debut after getting hurt during the supercross season, finished ninth after his top-four start.

Savatgy was up to seventh but went down and fell back to 15th before rebounding to eighth. Alex Martin bounced back from the first-lap pileup to salvage seventh place. Ferrandis closed in on Cianciarulo in the closing minutes to take away fourth place from the Pro Circuit rider.

Shane McElrath - Image by Simon Cudby
Shane McElrath – Image by Simon Cudby
Moto 1 Results
  1. Zach Osborne
  2. Jeremy Martin
  3. Aaron Plessinger
  4. Dylan Ferrandis
  5.  Adam Cianciarulo
  6. Austin Forkner
  7. Alex Martin
  8. Joey Savatgy
  9. RJ Hampshire
  10. Mitchell Harrison

Moto 2

Through Jeremy Martin and Aaron Plessinger got strong starts again, Alex Martin ripped through traffic to steal the holeshot. Plessinger pressed Alex for the lead on the opening lap but was unable to make a pass. Jeremy settled into third behind them.

Alex Martin - Image by Simon Cudby
Alex Martin – Image by Simon Cudby

Not in that lead group was Moto 1 winner Zach Osborne, who was back in ninth after the opening lap.

A little more than seven minutes into the race, Jeremy passed Plessinger for second — a move that shifted the battle for the overall win into Jeremy’s favor. Austin Forkner soon followed Jeremy into third place.

Plessinger, potentially feeling the effects of his earlier injury, continued dropping spots over the next few minutes. As a result, Dylan Ferrandis moved into fourth and Osborne moved into fifth.

Up front, Jeremy Martin caught up to his older brother before the midpoint of the race. After several minutes of battling, Jeremy found an inside line that enabled him to take over the lead.

Shane McElrath - Image by Simon Cudby
Shane McElrath – Image by Simon Cudby

Following a tip-over from Forkner, the top five was J-Mart, A-Mart, Ferrandis, Osborne and Plessinger. With under 10 minutes to go, Osborne got around Ferrandis for third to move within two points of Jeremy for the overall victory. With Jeremy starting to open up a gap up front, that meant that Osborne would need to chase down and pass Alex before the checkered flag in order to tie Jeremy in the overall results and avoid losing any points.

Osborne would get his opportunity with about three minutes left on the clock. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider took the spot away but immediately had google issues and had to move over and cut off Alex’s line to avoid being re-passed while he got it sorted out. Osborne would then have to ride out the remaining laps without goggles.

Zach Osborne - Image by Simon Cudby
Zach Osborne – Image by Simon Cudby

Jeremy went on to win the moto by eight seconds over Osborne. Though they tied in points for the day, Jeremy won the overall by virtue of having the better finish in Moto 2. It’s Martin’s second moto win and first overall win of the season.

Though Osborne was unable to add any distance between himself and Jeremy in the 250MX points race, he still increased his championship lead. That’s because Alex Martin has fallen from second to third in the points. Alex entered the day nine points back of Osborne but will leave with a 26-point hole to dig out of. Jeremy remains 18 points back of Osborne but is now in second.

Zach Osborne

“Overall it was a good day, I extended my points lead to 18 and won a moto, so it’s a good rebound from where I was in Colorado a couple weeks ago. I feel great and I’m happy with the way I rode.”

Zach Osborne - Image by Simon Cudby
Zach Osborne – Image by Simon Cudby

In the closing laps, Plessinger also got around Alex to move into podium position. (Alex then dropped another spot to Ferrandis.) Plessinger ended up third on the overall podium after a pair of third-place moto finishes.

The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship resumes with Round 5 next Saturday at Muddy Creek.

Moto 2 Results
  1. Jeremy Martin
  2. Zach Osborne
  3. Aaron Plessinger
  4. Dylan Ferrandis
  5. Alex Martin
  6. Austin Forkner
  7. Joey Savatgy
  8. RJ Hampshire
  9. Mitchell Harrison
  10. Chase Sexton
250 Overall Results
  1. Jeremy Martin (2-1)
  2. Zach Osborne (1-2)
  3. Aaron Plessinger (3-3)
  4. Dylan Ferradis (4-4)
  5. Alex Martin (7-5)
  6. Austin Forkner (6-6)
  7. Joey Savtagy (8-7)
  8. RJ Hampshire (9-8)
  9. Adam Cianciarulo (5-13)
  10. Mitchell Harrison (10-9)
Alex Martin - Image by Simon Cudby
Alex Martin sits third in the standings overall – Image by Simon Cudby
250 Class Championship Standings
  1. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 166
  2. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda – 148
  3. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., KTM – 140
  4. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki – 120
  5. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki – 119
  6. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha – 118
  7. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 109
  8. Dylan Ferrandis, Avignon, France, Yamaha – 100
  9. Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Yamaha – 98
  10. Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Yamaha – 89