Eli Tomac displays early dominance as AMA Pro Motocross season 2017 got underway at Hangtown
Tomac is asserting himself as the 450MX title favorite. (Photo: George Crosland)
Tomac is asserting himself as the 450MX title favorite. (Photo: George Crosland)

With no previous 450MX champions in the field, it’s a foregone conclusion that Lucas Oil Pro Motocross will see a brand new champion crowned this summer. The consensus pick has been Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac, who has shown dominant potential at times throughout his career.

Despite a fall in Moto 1 and a poor start in Moto 2, Tomac lived up to the hype by sweeping both motos at the season-opening Red Bull Hangtown Motocross Classic. He had to work hard for the victory though. Read on below for a moto-by-moto recap of what went down at Hangtown.


450 Moto One Report

Christian Craig, who bumped up to the 450 Class for Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and is riding the injured Ken Roczen’s Honda, claimed the holeshot in Moto 1. Not far behind him were Marvin Musquin in second and Cooper Webb in third.

Eli Tomac
Eli Tomac

Eli Tomac, this year’s leading title favorite thanks to the absences of the injured Roczen and the retired Ryan Dungey, quickly worked his way up to fourth, then passed Webb for third. Three minutes into the race, Craig went down, setting up a battle for the lead that a lot of fans were hoping to see: Musquin vs. Tomac.

Musquin did his best to take away Tomac’s lines, but on Lap 4, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider was finally too much to handle. Once he moved into the lead, Tomac checked out. He built up such a large lead that even after falling off the bike with about three minutes left, Tomac was still 10 seconds ahead of Musquin when he remounted. Tomac ultimately crossed the finish line 15 seconds ahead of Musquin for the victory. It’s reminiscent of his performance at Hangtown two years ago, when he dominated the field in both motos, though his margins of victory were even larger that year.

Musquin appears to be the top challenger to Tomac this season. (Photo: Chris Ortiz)
Musquin appears to be the top challenger to Tomac this season. (Photo: Chris Ortiz)

Musquin held on for second place. Webb, in his 450 Class debut, dropped multiple spots to Josh Grant (about 11 minutes into the race) and Cole Seely (about 15 minutes into the race) to finish fifth. Blake Baggett, Broc Tickle, Justin Bogle, Craig and Dean Wilson rounded out the top ten.

The early stages of the race included a crash that collected Wilson, Justin Barcia and Jason Anderson. Although Wilson and Barcia were able to resume racing, Anderson left on a cart and could be seen with blood around his left eye. Anderson tweeted after Moto 1 that he had been hit by a rock and had to stop racing because blood was filling up his goggles. He also said that the cut has been stitched up and he will be back on the line for Moto 2.

450 Moto One Results

1. Eli Tomac
2. Marvin Musquin (-15.4 seconds)
3. Josh Grant
4. Cole Seely
5. Cooper Webb
6. Blake Baggett
7. Broc Tickle
8. Justin Bogle
9. Christian Craig
10. Dean Wilson
11. Justin Barcia
12. Weston Peick
13. Fredrik Noren
14. Cody Cooper
15. Martin Davalos
16. Kaven Benoit
17. Dakota Alix
18. Rhys Carter
19. Brandon Scharer
20. Heath Harrison

Tomac swept Hangtown for the second time in three years. (Photo: Chris Ortiz)
Tomac swept Hangtown for the second time in three years. (Photo: Chris Ortiz)

450 Moto Two Report

Marvin Musquin stormed out of the gate, but he was edged out for the holeshot by Josh Grant. Meanwhile the other podium finisher from Moto 1, Eli Tomac, was plagued by a poor start and had to come from outside the top ten.

Dean Wilson took advantage of a good start to move into the top five within the first five minutes of the race. About nine minutes into the moto, Wilson and Tomac overtook Broc Tickle to move into fourth and fifth, respectively. That resulted in an exciting battle for fourth place between Wilson and Tomac. Although Wilson held his own for awhile, Tomac got around him with about 19 minutes left on the countdown clock.

At that point, the running order was as follows: Grant, Musquin, Justin Barcia, Tomac, Wilson. Tomac soon caught up to Barcia and passed him for third.

With Grant, Musquin and Tomac running in the top three at the midway point, the standings were in inverse order from their Moto 1 results, meaning that any shuffling would have an impact on the overall results.

Around the 13-minute mark, Musquin was all over the back of Grant. When Musquin finally made the pass (which put him in control for the overall victory), his gap on Tomac was just under five seconds. Grant had led the race’s first seven laps before getting passed.

Grant led the first seven laps of Moto 2 after securing the holeshot. (Photo: Chris Ortiz)
Grant led the first seven laps of Moto 2 after securing the holeshot. (Photo: Chris Ortiz)

First, Tomac had to get around his teammate, Grant — that move came around the 8:30 mark. About two minutes later, Tomac had cut Musquin’s lead down to nearly nothing. Despite a series of fierce challenges, Musquin successfully kept himself in front of Tomac for awhile, although the two nearly made contact going through the halfpipe.

With under four minutes to go, Tomac made his most aggressive challenge yet, making contact and temporarily getting in front of Musquin, but Musquin got him back as they proceeded to race aggressively through the halfpipe once again. As the countdown clock ticked under two minutes, Tomac finally found a line to the outside of Musquin to move into first place.

Eli Tomac
Eli Tomac

Things settled down after that, with Tomac, Musquin and Grant finishing top three, just as they did in Moto 1. That made them the top three in the overall standings as well. Wilson and Barcia hung on for top-five finishes, while Tickle, Cooper Webb, Blake Baggett, Jason Anderson (back from his eye injury in Moto 1) and Justin Bogle finished top-ten.

Eli Tomac

“There was some good battling today,” said Tomac. “In the first moto, I got into a good groove quickly and made my passes early to get out front and get away, but the second moto was tough. I really had to dig deep and try every line possible to make time up on the leaders. It feels good to get through the first round and leave with the red plate.”

Marvin Musquin

“I’m really happy to leave Hangtown 2nd overall and with good starts. I really want to thank the Red Bull KTM Team, they have put in a lot of work for me right now, and with Ryan retiring, but he is right there for me if I need so I appreciate that, thanks Ryan. I’m happy to start the season like that. Today it was hot but we fought through it. Eli was strong – there was nothing I could do. I’m missing a little bit of speed at the end but we tried to be consistent the whole moto and 2nd overall today, battling with Eli, it’s a good thing.” 

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

“Today wasn’t easy,” said Grant. “The track got rough quickly and I struggled in morning qualifying trying to find smooth lines around the track, but the team and I found the perfect setting when it mattered and finished the day on the box. I couldn’t be happier going into Round 2 at my home track sitting third in the standings.”

Josh Grant
Josh Grant

With 10-4 moto finishes, Wilson ended up fourth overall, giving the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider his career-best result in the 450MX Class.

450 Moto Two Results

1. Eli Tomac
2. Marvin Musquin (-8.7 seconds)
3. Josh Grant
4. Dean Wilson
5. Justin Barcia
6. Jason Anderson
7. Broc Tickle
8. Blake Baggett
9. Cooper Webb
10. Justin Bogle
11. Weston Peick
12. Cole Seely
13. Martin Davalos
14. Christian Craig
15. Fredrik Noren
16. Dakota Alix
17. Rhys Carter
18. Heath Harrison
19. Angelo Pellegrini
20. Josh Mosiman

Overall AMA Pro Motocross 2017 Round One Hangtown Results

1. Eli Tomac (1-1)
2. Marvin Musquin (2-2)
3. Josh Grant (3-3)
4. Dean Wilson (10-4)
5. Broc Tickle (7-4)
6. Blake Baggett (6-8)
7. Cooper Webb (5-9)
8. Cole Seely (4-12)
9. Justin Barcia (11-5)
10. Justin Bogle (8-10)
11. Weston Peick (12-11)
12. Christian Craig (9-14)
13. Jason Anderson (39-6)
14. Martin Davalos (15-13)
15. Fredrik Noren (13-15)
16. Dakota Alix (17-16)
17. Rhys Carter (18-17)
18. Cody Cooper (14-37)
19. Kaven Benoit (16-38)
20. Heath Harrison (20-18)


Zach Osborne takes command of the red plate with a pair of moto wins to start the 250 season
Zach Osborne is the year's first 250MX moto winner and overall winner. (Photo: George Crosland
Zach Osborne is the year’s first 250MX moto winner and overall winner. (Photo: George Crosland

After winning a regional 250SX title in supercross, Zach Osborne entered the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship season opener as one of the sport’s hottest riders. He also considers himself even better suited for outdoor motocross than supercross, which has made him one of this year’s top championship contenders.

Osborne took a great first step toward a possible title Saturday at the Red Bull Hangtown Motocross Classic. After posting the top time in both of the morning’s practice sessions, he swept both motos and will now take control of the red plate as the series prepares to shift to Glen Helen. Read below for a moto-by-moto recap of what went down in the 250 Class at Hangtown.

Zach Osborne

“This was the perfect day to start the season,” said Osborne. “It feels really good to carry my momentum from Supercross and get the outdoors started on the right foot. It feels awesome to be fastest in both practice sessions then go out and win both motos. It’s a huge way to start the season – so I’m happy.”


250 Moto One

The first holeshot of the year went to Adam Cianciarulo. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider, who came close to winning a supercross title earlier this year, was followed by Sean Cantrell and Zach Osborne out of the first turn.

Cantrell, a rookie with Troy Lee/Red Bull KTM, is making his pro debut today. After starting second, he dropped a spot to Osborne early in the race, then fell into a battle with Aaron Plessinger for third.

Eight minutes into the race, Plessinger finally got around Cantrell, then charged toward Osborne. Along with Cianciarulo, the top trio of riders began pulling away from the rest of the field.

Just before the halfway mark of the race, Osborne caught Cianciarulo and made a move for the lead. The two briefly went back-and-forth until Osborne emerged with the top position. With the lead in hand, Osborne began to pull away from the rest of the field.

Osborne went on to win by 5.3 seconds over Cianciarulo, with Plessinger rounding out the podium.

Osborne's Moto 1 win was a sign of things to come at Hangtown. (Photo: George Crosland)
Osborne’s Moto 1 win was a sign of things to come at Hangtown. (Photo: George Crosland)

Dylan Ferrandis was putting in a solid ride early in the moto. The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross rookie had worked his way up to fourth, but with under eight minutes left on the countdown clock, he went down hard and struggled to get going again. Ferrandis ultimately did not finish the race. Due to his strong times in recent testing sessions and his experience racing the Grand Prix series, the Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha rider is considered a possible dark horse this year.

One of the beneficiaries from Ferrandis’s crash was Alex Martin, who is in his first year with Troy Lee/Red Bull KTM. Martin overcame a bit of a disappointing start (eighth place after the opening lap) to finish fourth. His brother, two-time 250MX champion Jeremy Martin, was not so lucky. J-Mart experienced bike problems in the final four minutes and had to pull out of the race.

Colt Nichols rounded out the top five with a career-best finish, while Mitchell Oldenburg, Joey Savatgy, Justin Hill, Mitchell Harrison and Cantrell all finished inside the top ten.

Joey Savatgy
Joey Savatgy

One of the biggest movers during the race was Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rookie Michael Mosiman. Despite sitting 26th at the conclusion of Lap 2, he worked his way up to 12th by the end of the race.

Another rookie, GEICO Honda’s Cameron McAdoo finished 15th.

250 Moto One Results

1. Zach Osborne
2. Adam Cianciarulo (-5.3 seconds)
3. Aaron Plessinger
4. Alex Martin
5. Colt Nichols
6. Mitchell Oldenburg
7. Joey Savatgy
8. Justin Hill
9. Mitchell Harrison
10. Sean Cantrell
11. Austin Forkner
12. Michael Mosiman
13. Nick Gaines
14. Luke Renzland
15. Cameron McAdoo
16. Shane McElrath
17. Jerry Robin
18. Lorenzo Locurcio
19. Cody Williams
20. Jimmy Decotis

Osborne doubled his number of career moto wins in one day. (Photo: Chris Ortiz)
Osborne doubled his number of career moto wins in one day. (Photo: Chris Ortiz)

250 Moto Two

Once again in Moto 2, Zach Osborne got another strong start — this time taking the holeshot. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki teammates Joey Savatgy and Adam Cianciarulo battled for second just behind him.

Savatgy takes an early lead before battling for second
Savatgy takes an early lead before battling for second

Savatgy cleared Cianciarulo and set his sights on Osborne. You may recall the last time these two met on the track was at the supercross finale when Osborne put Savatgy on the ground on the final lap to win the 250SX East title. The racing was a lot less aggressive this time around, but thoroughly entertaining. Savatgy was able to use an inside line to take the lead away from Osborne on the opening lap. But Savatgy was unable to pull away, and they went head-to-head again not long after. This time Osborne retook the lead and proceeded to drop the hammer.

With a victory in Moto 2, Osborne swept both motos to win the second overall race of his career.

After losing ground to Osborne, Savatgy came under attack from Alex Martin, who had spent the first seven minutes of the race working his way up the leaderboard. A-Mart was able to take second place away from Savatgy on Lap 4.

After falling behind Aaron Plessinger into fourth, Savatgy was involved in a tight three-way battle with teammates Adam Cianciarulo and Austin Forkner. Forkner emerged from the pack and passed Plessinger to come away with a top-three spot, but Savatgy and Cianciarulo ultimately faded to the backend of the top ten.

Alex Martin kicked off the season with a pair of fourth-place moto finishes. (Photo: Chris Ortiz)
Alex Martin kicked off the season with a pair of fourth-place moto finishes. (Photo: Chris Ortiz)

While sitting in third, Forkner faced a lot of pressure late in the race from Jeremy Martin. J-Mart, who had a DNF in Moto 1, had to overcome a slow start for the second straight race. With about three minutes left on the countdown clock, Jeremy tried to get around Forkner but couldn’t find the momentum. Forkner eventually put some distance between himself and Jeremy and closed in on the other Martin brother, Alex, for second.

Austin Forkner
Austin Forkner

With two laps remaining, Forkner made the move on Alex, and Jeremy was close behind, shuffling Alex back to fourth. Jeremy continued to go after Forkner but ran out of time.

Despite dropping those two positions and finishing off the podium in both motos, Alex Martin still ended up second overall with his 4-4 moto finishes.

Behind Osborne, Forkner and the two Martin brothers, Aaron Plessinger finished out the top five. They were followed by Colt Nichols, a trio of Pro Circuit riders (Savatgy, Cianciarulo, Justin Hill) and Shane McElrath.

Plessinger (3-5) finished third overall behind Osborne and Alex Martin.

250 Moto Two Results

1. Zach Osborne
2. Austin Forkner (-2.9 seconds)
3. Jeremy Martin
4. Alex Martin
5. Aaron Plessinger
6. Colt Nichols
7. Joey Savatgy
8. Adam Cianciarulo
9. Justin Hill
10. Shane McElrath
11. Mitchell Harrison
12. Mitchell Oldenburg
13. Sean Cantrell
14. Michael Mosiman
15. Nick Gaines
16. Cameron McAdoo
17. Lorenzo Locurcio
18. Gustavo Souza
19. Brandan Leith
20. Luke Renzland

AMA Pro Motocross Round One Hangtown 250 Overall Results

1. Zach Osborne (1-1)
2. Alex Martin (4-4)
3. Aaron Plessinger (3-5)
4. Adam Cianciarulo (2-8)
5. Austin Forkner (11-2)
6. Colt Nichols (5-6)
7. Joey Savatgy (7-7)
8. Justin Hill (8-9)
9. Mitchell Oldenburg (6-12)
10. Mitchell Harrison (9-11)
11. Jeremy Martin (35-3)
12. Sean Cantrell (10-13)
13. Shane McElrath (16-10)
14. Michael Mosiman (12-14)
15. Nick Gaines (13-15)
16. Cameron McAdoo (15-16)
17. Luke Renzland (14-20)
18. Lorenzo Locurcio (18-17)
19. Jerry Robin (17-40)
20. Gustavo Souza (34-18)