Features 28 May 2015

Q&A: The shape of 2015 Pro Motocross

What we've witnessed so far in the championship's early stages.

We’re two rounds into the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and the drama has been coming thick and fast in both the 450 and 250 classes. From Eli Tomac’s incomprehensible pace to the Martins vs Musquin showdown that’s brewing, there’s plenty to talk about and a lot of questions that need fleshing out. Read on then, as MotoOnline.com.au gives you the answers you seek.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Q: Can Eli Tomac do a clean-sweep?

A: It’s a huge ask, but if the friendly Colorado native manages to retain the same raw speed and blistering form that he’s shown over the opening two rounds at Hangtown and Glen Helen, there’s every chance that Tomac could enter the book of elite riders who have managed to go unbeaten all season. Only Ricky Carmichael (2002 and 2004) and James Stewart (2008) have ever completed a perfect season, proving just how tough a feat it is to pull off.

Q: Who will be the first person to beat Tomac?

A: If anyone can stick it to Tomac, it’s Ryan Dungey. The two were heads and shoulders above the rest of the field (as in, 30 seconds clear of third place) at Hangtown, and he’s placed runner-up at three of the four motos so far this year. The 2015 supercross champ is looking like the only guy who can hold a candle to Tomac outdoors and will be eager to stop the runaway train as early as this weekend… which happens to be Tomac’s home round at Thunder Valley.

Q: What are Reed’s chances of a podium finish in the championship?

A: Reedy’s fourth-place finish in the opening moto at Glen Helen proved the class veteran still has the pace and motivation to take wins, and if he can harness that form early, he can certainly give the podium a damn good crack. There are still 18 motos left to run and while Reed is currently sitting in ninth, expect him to start turning the screws over the next couple of rounds.

Q: Are there any other Australians racing?

A: There are three others besides Reed. South Australia’s Brett Metcalfe is currently 13th in the 450 Class after he did the first two rounds on a privateer Kawasaki, but from here he’ll head up north to Canada. Hayden Melross (Young, NSW) and Jackson Richardson (Cairns, QLD) are both privateer Honda riders and are sitting 22nd and 23rd respectively in the 250 Class.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Image: Simon Cudby.

Q: Who’s the favourite to win the 250 Class?

A: The fastest brothers in motocross, Jeremy and Alex Martin are both in with a damn good chance to claim the championship, especially Jeremy, who’s currently defending his title after claiming his first pro championship last year. However, Red Bull KTM’s Eastern Regional 250 Supercross Champion Marvin Musquin is on a mission to make 2015 the best of his career. The Frenchman is currently leading the championship after a dominant display at Glen Helen, which has put his record early on at three wins and a second place after four races. He’s going to be tough to stop.

Q: Are there any new tracks on the circuit this year?

A: No. All the venues on the calendar for 2015 were used last year. This year’s final round at Indiana is the most recent addition to the championship after making its (muddy) debut appearance last year.

Q: Is it true that 2015 is the last year Utah national will be used?

A: It’s looking that way. In a press release a couple of weeks ago the Miller Group announced it wasn’t going to renew its lease on the land, and as a result, the Miller Motorsports Park track will be closed. Round 11 of the Pro Motocross at Utah will go ahead as planned on 13 August, after which time the facility will close. There could be a chance that someone will take over the lease, but for now at least, it looks like 2015 will be the last time we see the man-made track in action (much to the relief of the riders, no doubt, who all unanimously hate the place!).