Two weeks following the conclusion of the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Championship, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship got underway Saturday with the 49th running of the Red Bull Hangtown Motocross Classic at Prairie City SVRA in California.Heading into 2017 MX, the biggest news in the paddocks was the retiring of Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey. At 27-years-old, the Minnesota native said at his retiring announcement that he “struggled mentally” in 2017 SX, and will continue to be involved in the sport.
The 450 SX-F pilot claimed his fourth 450SX title at the Las Vegas Supercross finale by a mere five points ahead of Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac. The Kawasaki KX450F pilot won nine races in SX compared to Dungey’s three, but Dungey’s consist podium finishes allowed him to clinch the SX title.Tomac was an immediate favorite heading into the outdoor Championship, and he lived up to this status with 1-1 sweep at Hangtown MX. He wasn’t the only double podium finisher; Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin claimed second in both motos, and Tomac’s teammate Josh Grant third.“There was some good battling today,” Tomac says. “In the first moto I got into a good groove quickly and made the passes early to go on and win, but the second moto was tough.“That was a good ole classic battle [with Musquin]. 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.”Tomac’s perfect scores give him a six-point lead over Musquin in the 450 Class standings, while Grant sits 10 points back in third.Following are the official recaps:
2017 Hangtown Motocross Results, Moto 1 Recap
The 450 Class began its first moto of the season with Team Honda HRC’s Christian Craig earning the Motosport.com Holeshot, ahead of Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin and Monster Energy/Yamalube/Chaparral/Yamaha Financial Services/Yamaha Factory Racing rookie Cooper Webb, last year’s 250 Class Champion. Tomac fought his way forward from a start of about seventh to conclude the opening lap in fourth.As he neared the completion of the opening lap Craig crashed out of the lead, allowing Musquin to assume control of the 30-minute-plus-two-lap moto. As that unfolded Tomac surged into second, passing Webb in addition to Craig.From there the race became a two-rider battle. Musquin kept Tomac’s advances at bay for a couple laps, but the Kawasaki rider made an aggressive move at the start of Lap 3 and slipped by on the outside of his KTM counterpart. Musquin made a slight bobble shortly thereafter, which established a separation between the two that would continue to grow.From there the attention focused on the battle for third between Webb and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Josh Grant, who started fifth. Grant patiently waited for his opportunity to strike and did so on Lap 5. From there the top three remained unchanged through to the finish. Despite a small crash late in the moto that cost him over 10 seconds to Musquin, Tomac still took the win by 15.4 seconds.
2017 Hangtown Motocross Results, Moto 2 Recap
Tomac had his work cut out for him in the second moto, which saw Grant take the Motosport.com Holeshot ahead of Musquin, RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Broc Tickle, and Autotrader/Monster Energy/Suzuki/JGRMX’s Justin Barcia. Tomac was outside the top 10 as the field entered the first turn, but managed to claw his way into eighth before the completion of the opening lap.The holeshot allowed Grant to take advantage of the clear track and he set a strong early pace to open a gap on Musquin, while Barcia slotted into third. Behind them Tomac was able to make some early passes to break into the top five and then engaged in a battle with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Dean Wilson for fourth. Tomac’s patience paid off on Lap 5 as he was able to make the pass on Wilson for fourth. Shortly thereafter he caught Barcia for third and put himself in podium position on the same lap.With Grant in the lead, Musquin in second, and Tomac in third the battle for the overall win was still up for grabs, with Grant in control of his own destiny. After leading the first seven laps of the moto, Grant slowly started to lose ground to Musquin, who picked up his pace following Tomac’s move into third.The lead duo battled for the lead briefly, but Musquin was able to make the pass on Lap 7 and put himself in position to win the overall. Tomac’s charge to the front wasn’t complete, and he quickly disposed of his teammate to move into second on Lap 9. He then closed in onto the rear fender of the leading KTM, producing an incredible battle for the lead that elicited roars from the crowd.Musquin and Tomac jockeyed for the top spot for several laps, with the Frenchman able to counter every one of Tomac’s advances. The leaders continued to trade lines all over the track, coming within inches of making contact with one another on numerous occasions. On Lap 12 Tomac was able to take advantage of a slight bobble by Musquin and make another impressive outside pass. Once in front Tomac quickly opened a lead, eventually crossing the finish line 8.7 seconds ahead of Musquin. Grant followed with a strong third-place effort.The 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship continues next Saturday, May 27, with its second round from Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, Calif. For on-air times, visit 2017 Motocross TV Schedule.
2017 Hangtown Motocross Results:
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (1-1)
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (2-2)
Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki (3-3)
Dean Wilson, Glasgow, Scotland, Husqvarna (10-4)
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki (7-7)
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (6-8)
Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (5-9)
Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda (4-12)
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Suzuki (11-5)
Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Suzuki (8-10)
2017 Motocross 450 Class Championship Standings (after one of 12 rounds):
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.