Break time is over, and it’s time for the riders and teams of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship to saddle up and resume what has already been a surprisingly interesting series with the Red Bull High Point National in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania, this weekend.
No question in our minds that the the AMA National series, which pits most of the best riders in the world head-to-head, is the most competitive motocross tour on the planet, and yet it seems that year in and year out there’s always someone who steps up and dominates each class. That’s sort of what we expected to happen in the 450cc ranks right off the bat. With the defending series champ, Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen still sidelined with the brutal arm injury sustained during the 2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series, and with the recent retirement announcement of multi-time AMA motocross and supercross champion Ryan Dungey, it was logical to assume that Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac would be the man to beat in the 2017 Lucas Oil campaign. But racing is anything but logical.
After a brilliant start to the season where he swept the with a come-from-behind win at the series-opening Red Bull Hangtown Motocross Classic, Tomac suffered a setback after suffering a front brake issue in the second 450cc moto during round two of the series, the FMF Glen Helen National. Tomac wound up 19th in the moto and ninth overall. Meanwhile, Red Bull KTM was able to breathe a sigh of relief in the wake of Dungey’s retirement as team rider Marvin Musquin showed that he has the speed to run at the front of the field. The Frenchman took the overall win with 1-3 performances.
Expectations were high that Tomac would rebound in his homestate race, the True Value Thunder Valley National in Lakewood, Colorado, the site of the spectacular crash that ended his charge in the 2015 Lucas Oil 450cc Pro Motocross Championship. Instead, in a rather unusual round that saw RCH Yoshimura Suzuki’s Justin Bogle score the first 450cc moto win, RMATV/MC-WPS-KTM’s Blake Baggett landed his first career 450cc class victory by not only winning the second 450cc moto to go 3-1 but also by convincingly putting away Tomac en route to the win.
So it is that with three rounds in the books, there is yet to be a repeat overall winner in the 2017 Lucas Oil 450cc Pro Motocross Championship. With this weekend’s Red Bull High Point National right around the corner, Tomac still has to be considered a prime contender. Musquin is clearly riding as well as he ever has, and Baggett is brimming with newfound confidence. So we want to hear from you: Who do you think will win the 450cc class at High Point? Will it be one of these three or someone else? Answer our poll question and voice your opinion!