2017 Tennessee 250MX Results and Coverage |After some hotly contested races in the previous Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross 250MX rounds, things were a bit more processional at Muddy Creek. Yes, there were passes, but large gaps and consistent riding was the norm. Aaron Plessinger was the runaway winner for the day, and scored his first moto and overall wins of the 2017 campaign. Here are the essential facts to take away from the Tennessee National at Muddy Creek Raceway.
Osborne Stretches Lead
- Aaron Plessinger cruised to a Moto 1 victory. Plessinger (Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha) pulled a huge holeshot in Moto 1 and never looked back on the drying track (it had rained for two days, as well as in qualifying practice). Plessinger was typically about three seconds ahead of challenger Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki), and stretched it out to five seconds at the end.
- Moto 1 had a critical first turn pile-up. Jeremy Martin (GEICO Honda), Joey Savatgy (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki), and Dylan Ferrandis (Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha)—all moto winners in 2017—got tangled up in the first corner, and it was costly. The three remounted and offered the most ferocious battle of the day, as they moved through the pack as a trio. Ferrandis came out on top with a ninth, while Savatgy took 11th, and Jeremy Martin went down again and ended up in 13th. On the day, Savatgy dropped from fourth in the standings down to seventh.
- Zach Osborne got a good start in Moto 2, and that made all the difference. Early on, it was a four-way battle with Plessinger, Austin Forkner (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki), Sean Cantrell (Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM) and Osborne (Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna Factory Racing). Plessinger took the lead, but Osborne was hounding him. Plessinger eventually made an error on Lap 6 (of 18), getting sideways out of a turn before a long straight. Osborne powered into the lead and was never headed, winning by over four seconds at the end.
- Although it wasn’t Austin Forkner’s best round, Tennessee was his first overall podium of 2017. You might remember that Forkner’s 2-3 at Thunder Valley put him in fourth overall—an anomaly of the points distribution. At Muddy Creek Raceway, 3-3 got him on the overall podium. Forkner was as consistent as it looks. He was in third place every lap in Moto 1, and all but the first lap of Moto 2 (when he was in second place).
- Alex Martin chased Forkner the entire day, but could never catch him. Scoring a 4-4 behind Forkner’s 3-3, Alex Martin (Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM) kept Forkner extremely honest. Martin always had Forkner in sight, but never was able to show him a wheel. Martin was right behind Forkner every single lap in Moto 1, and all but Lap 1 in Moto 2. It had to be a frustrating day for Alex Martin, though his performance allowed him to pass his brother Jeremy for second in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 250MX Championship Series standings. Alex is now 31 points behind Osborne, and five ahead of Jeremy.
- Osborne was inconsistent, but gained points on all but one rider. An eighth place start doomed Osborne to a fifth place finish in Moto 1, so he was 5-1 for the day. While Plessinger gained seven points on Osborne, Plessinger is still 42 points back. The Martin brothers are Osborne’s main protagonists—Osborne added five points to his lead over Alex and a whopping 17 points to his cushion ahead of Jeremy.
- Adam Cianciarulo was a quiet fourth overall. He was second in Moto 1, but it was a lonely ride. In Moto 2, Cianciarulo started sixth, moved up to fifth on Lap 2, and that’s where he stayed until the end. Jeremy Martin made occasional inroads, but never threatened to head him. At the same time Cianciarulo moved up toward Alex Martin, but couldn’t get close enough to take fourth in Moto 2.
- In 10 motos there have been five winners. That sounds like parity, but Osborne has managed four moto wins and only one finish outside of the top five. That speed and consistency gives him a commanding 31-point lead over Alex Martin. Alex has also been consistent, never finishing farther back than seventh—no other rider has a better worst-finish—but his only trip to the podium was his Moto 1 win in Thunder Valley. Jeremy Martin and Plessinger both have DNFs, and that has cost them dearly in the 2017 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross 250MX Championship Standings. The series hits the halfway point next week at the Rockford Fosgate RedBud National at RedBud MX in Michigan.Photography by Jeff Kardas
- Aaron Plessinger, 1-2, 47
- Zach Osborne, 5-1, 41
- Austin Forkner, 3-3, 40
- Adam Cianciarulo, 2-5, 38
- Alex Martin, 4-4, 36
- Colt Nichols, 8-8, 26
- Shane McElrath, 6-11, 25
- Joey Savatgy, 11-7, 24
- Jeremy Martin, 13-6, 23 points
- Mitchell Harrison, 10-10, 22
- Chase Sexton, 15-9, 18
- Dylan Ferrandis, 9-15, 18
- Luke Renzland, 12-14, 16
- Sean Cantrell, 7-38, 14
- Justin Hill, 17-13, 12
- RJ Hampshire, 38-12, 9
- Kyle Cunningham, 16-17, 9
- Lorenzo Locurcio, 18-16, 8
- Steven Clarke, 14-29, 8
- Nick Gaines, 39-18, 3
1. Zach Osborne, 207 points (4 moto wins)
2. Alex Martin, 176 (1 moto win)
3. Jeremy Martin, 171 (2 moto wins)
4. Aaron Plessinger, 165 (1 moto win)
5. Austin Forkner, 159
6. Adam Cianciarulo, 147
7. Joey Savatgy, 144 (1 moto win)
8. Colt Nichols, 124
9. Dylan Ferrandis, 118 (1 moto win)
10. Mitchell Harrison, 111
11. Shane McElrath, 102
12. Sean Cantrell, 83
13. Justin Hill, 68
14. Michael Mosiman, 64
15. Lorenzo Locurcio, 43