2017 Unadilla Motocross Preview

The 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is winding down with a three-round sprint to the finish.

The 2017 Unadilla National starts the dash, an iconic venue in New Berlin, NY. Unadilla MX has been the site of epic motocross battles since 1969, including MXGP and MX des Nations events.

1. You can watch the Unadilla National on MAVTV, NBC Sports Gold, and NBCSN. Saturday qualifying is at 10 a.m. Eastern Time on NBC Sports Gold only (a paid subscription is required for on-demand streaming—all racing and qualifying is live and mostly commercial-free). From 1 to 3 p.m ET, you can watch the first 450MX and 250MX motos live in each class on MAVTV. The second motos for both classes live on NBC Sports Gold at 3 p.m ET. NBCSN is delaying the showing of the second motos until 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. The hour-long Highlight Show on NBCSN is scheduled for 2 a.m. ET on Wednesday, August 16.

2017 Unadilla Motocross: Kawasaki's Eli Tomac
Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac
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2. There are six motos remaining, and that means a maximum of 150 points can be scored. With Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac sitting at 373 points in the 450MX class, the only riders mathematically capable of catching him are KTM’s Blake Baggett, KTM’s Marvin Musquin, Husqvarna’s Dean Wilson, and Honda’s Cole Seely. In the 250MX class, there are still six riders with a shot at leader Zach Osborne. However, only Tomac and Osborne control their own destiny. If any other rider wins the final six motos, they still aren’t guaranteed a championship.

3. Expect another Eli Tomac vs. Marvin Musquin battle in the 450MX class. Musquin went 3-2 last year, while Tomac was 2-3. Roczen took the double win, but he’s out. Musquin is on a huge roll, with four moto wins in a row coming into the Unadilla National. The big difference—Musquin has to win and Tomac doesn’t.

4. At this point, all Musquin can do is try to keep himself from being eliminated before the final round in Indiana. To do that, Musquin will have to gain 14 points on Tomac in four races—not easy, but doable. If Tomac manages four runner-up rides in the next four races, he is the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 450MX Champion no matter what Musquin does.

2017 Unadilla Motocross KTM's Blake Baggett
KTM’s Blake Baggett

5. Blake Baggett is trying to hold onto second in the series, as his thumb awaits surgery. Things looked bright for Baggett after Round 4 at High Point, but he hasn’t won a moto since then. Plus, Baggett has just one podium in the last four motos. Musquin will be looking to take second in the standings from Baggett.

6. Cole Seely, Martin Davalos, and Dean Wilson may be battling for the last podium spot in 2017 Motocross. Davalos has definitely found his groove, with four top-four finishes in his last five motos. Wilson had a string of three third-place finishes before going 5-6 at Washougal, though Wilson struggled last year with an 11-5 result at Unadilla. Davalos won’t catch fourth-place Wilson in the standings, but Davalos has a shot at finishing in the top five at the end of the year—right now Davalos is eighth in the standings, 20 points behind fifth place Cole Seely.

7. Cooper Webb will be back for Unadilla, and he went 1-1 there in the 250MX class last year. While we all know Webb hasn’t brought his 250MX speed to the 450MX class, this is a track where he knows how to go fast. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance from Webb in 2017, and he could find his way to the podium at Unadilla.

8. Joey Savatgy will try to make make it three overalls in a row. He went 1-2 at Spring Creek, and then 7-1 at Washougal—both good enough for overall wins. It has been a strange year for Savatgy—he has three moto wins, but went eight consecutive motos without a podium. Savatgy is fourth in the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 250MX Championship Standings, with second being within sight by the end of the year.

2017 Unadilla Motocross Tomac and KTM's Marvin Musquin
Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac and KTM’s Marvin Musquin

9. Aaron Plessinger and Austin Forkner were on the 250MX podium last year. Forkner is coming back from a concussion that forced him to sit out Washougal, so he is an unknown this year at Unadilla. Plessinger, who was 3-3 at Unadilla last year has gone 3-12 and 1-9 at the last two rounds. Plessinger needs to work on his Moto 2 game. If he does, he’s got a shot at the overall.

10. Alex Martin is out and Jeremy Martin is not performing. Jeremy was a pre-season favorite and put in some good rides the first half of the season. However, since a win in Moto 1 in Round 6 at Redbud, Jeremy hasn’t had a podium ride in seven motos. Jeremy is still second in the standings, but unless Zach Osborne doesn’t ride, he’s not going to make up a 72-point gap.

11. Zach Osborne is in a bit of a slump, but it doesn’t matter. He hasn’t put in two podium rides at the last two rounds, but he’s up by 72-points. At this point, he may be simply managing his series lead and cruising to the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 250MX Championship.

2017 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross 450MX Championship Standings (9 of 12 rounds):

  1. Eli Tomac, 373, (8 moto wins)
  2. Blake Baggett, 341 (2 moto wins)
  3. Marvin Musquin, 319 (5 moto wins)
  4. Dean Wilson, 269
  5. Cole Seely, 228
  6. Jason Anderson, 216 (2 moto wins)
  7. Justin Bogle, 212 (1 moto win)
  8. Martin Davalos, 208
  9. Weston Peick, 197
  10. Cooper Webb, 177
  11. Justin Barcia, 172
  12. Fredrik Noren, 161
  13. Broc Tickle, 146
  14. Josh Grant, 143
  15. Christian Craig, 139
  16. Dakota Alix, 112
  17. Henry Miller, 77
  18. John Short, 50
  19. Heath Harrison, 42
  20. Trey Canard, 39

2017 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross 250MX Championship Standings (9 of 12 rounds)

  1. Zach Osborne, 377 points (7 moto wins)
  2. Jeremy Martin, 303 (3 moto wins)
  3. Alex Martin, 296 (1 moto win)
  4. Joey Savatgy, 281 (3 moto wins)
  5. Dylan Ferrandis, 264 (2 moto wins)
  6. Aaron Plessinger, 256 (2 moto wins)
  7. Adam Cianciarulo, 254
  8. Colt Nichols, 213
  9. Mitchell Harrison, 212
  10. Shane McElrath, 192
  11. Austin Forkner, 184
  12. RJ Hampshire, 135
  13. Sean Cantrell, 131
  14. Chase Sexton, 115
  15. Luke Renzland, 108
  16. Nick Gaines, 95
  17. Justin Hill, 88
  18. Lorenzo Locurcio, 85
  19. Kyle Cunningham, 79
  20. Michael Mosiman, 64