5 surprising moments from the first quarter of the 2017 motocross season

June 8, 2017

After three of 12 rounds, the 2017 season has been defined by its unpredictability.



After his first career 450MX win, Blake Baggett is in the thick of the title hunt. (Photo: Rich Shepherd / Racer X Online)

The 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship has been defined by its unpredictability.

Both the 450 Class and 250 Class have seen five different winners in the first six motos of the season. Furthermore, the 450 Class has had a different overall winner at each of the first three rounds — something that has not happened to start a season since 2001.

The title races are also close.

In the 450s, Marvin Musquin holds the red plate but has Eli Tomac just 17 points back and Blake Baggett 19 points back. There's also Jason Anderson lurking 34 points behind Musquin — if he hadn't taken a rock to the eye in the first moto of the season, Anderson would likely be getting more hype as a potential title contender.

In the 250s, both of the Martin brothers are within striking distance of points leader Zach Osborne. Alex Martin is nine points back despite only having one podium finish in six motos, and Jeremy Martin is 18 points back despite a DNF in the season's first moto. And given the way the season has gone, it's certainly conceivable that one of the riders close behind them (Joey Savatgy, Austin Forkner, Colt Nichols, Adam Cianciarulo, Aaron Plessinger) could get hot for a few rounds and rise up the rankings.

After Thunder Valley, Jason Weigandt and Grant Langston weighed in on the parity we've seen so far:

 

In honor of what is shaping up to be one of the most memorable seasons of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross ever, we give five of this season's most surprising moments.

As for the next nine rounds, it's hard to say what sort of nuttiness is in store. You'll have to make sure to tune-in once the racing starts back up at High Point on June 17 to find out.

1. Blake Baggett brings back the "El Chupacabra" speed to assert himself as a title contender

The fact that Baggett won an overall and is in the title discussion is not a surprise in itself, but the way in which he won at Thunder Valley is. In the first moto, he overcame a first-lap crash to finish in third (even passing Tomac in the process). In the second moto, he caught and passed Tomac — who is always a tough rider to pass thanks to his raw speed — around the midway point of the race to run away with the win.

 

2. Justin Bogle wins a moto at Thunder Valley

Bogle had never won a moto in either the 250 Class or the 450 Class, and there was a small fire in his team's pit the morning of the race. In other words, this was a hard one to see coming. But something got into him in Moto 1 at Thunder Valley, as he was able to take the lead on the opening lap and was never seriously challenged after that. His best moto finish so far this year, apart from the win: fifth place (which also happens to be where he sits in 450MX points).

 

 

3. Jeremy Martin crashes with the lead

There have been a number of examples of riders going down while leading this year, but the most surprising probably came when Jeremy Martin crashed at Glen Helen on the opening lap of Moto 2 after taking his second holeshot of the day. Following the crash, Martin valiantly worked his way from last to seventh, but he had to be lamenting what could have been. If Martin had held on to win Moto 2 (like he did wire-to-wire in Moto 1), the points race would be a lot tighter than it already is.

 

 

4. Dylan Ferrandis returns from injury and runs away with a moto win

On its own, Ferrandis winning a moto isn't a surprise — he's won GP races overseas afterall — but he turned heads by thoroughly dominating the second moto at Glen Helen. Thanks in part to Jeremy Martin's crash, he led the race wire-to-wire and was simply untouchable. His 23-second margin of victory is by far the largest in the 250 Class so far this season, and it came just one week after suffering a concussion in a crash at Hangtown. He hasn't been able to replicate that performance though, as that moto remains his only top-five finish of the season.

 

5. Austin Forkner comes within one point of an overall win… but finishes off the podium

Both 250MX motos at Thunder Valley were wild, but Moto 2 had a little extra added intensity because the overall results were also on the line. When it was all said and done, four riders all finished with one point of each other in the overall results. Joey Savatgy (43 points) took the overall win, Alex Martin (also 43 points) finished second, and Jeremy Martin (42 points) won a tiebreaker for third place. That left Austin Forkner (also 42 points) on the outside looking in despite 2-3 moto finishes.

In case you missed how those 250 Class motos played out, do yourself a favor and watch the recaps.