What we're witnessing three rounds into the 2017 season.
We’ve been served up with a tonne of action during the opening three rounds of the 2017 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship and it’s exciting to see so many battles and stories occurring on-track. With nine rounds still remaining, we’ve barely touched the surface when it comes to championship battles and everything else that comes with a motocross championship, but in saying that, we’re definitely seeing some trends building. In this latest edition of Q&A, MotoOnline.com.au takes a look at these trends and answers the hot questions as the series takes a weekend off.
Has Eli Tomac been as dominant as expected?
Tomac definitely hasn’t been as dominant as expected. In fact, he’s been far from it. During the pre-season there were even terms such as ‘perfect season’ being thrown around throughout various media outlets, but that was all quickly wiped out following round one. Tomac has suffered bad luck at Glen Helen with another front brake malfunction, but at Thunder Valley he just didn’t have the pace to claim victory. Tomac will remain strong throughout the series, but he’s definitely not in a league of his own for 2017 as some expected.
Is the 450 Class still as engaging without Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen?
Without a doubt the 450 Class is still exciting without these two heavyweights of the sport in the class. It’s definitely nice to see those guys out there, but with Dungey retiring and Roczen dealing with a serious injury, we’re still seeing some awesome on-track action and there’s been some great racing to date.
Who are the dominant riders this season to date?
Surely, from a rider’s standpoint, they won’t be happy about this, but for the fans and media we’re definitely glad to see no real dominant riders out there in either class. Yes, in the 250 Class Zach Osborne did win the opening two rounds, but he missed the podium at Thunder Valley and we saw Joey Savatgy claim the top spot to mix things up. Obviously we’ve seen three different winners in the premier class, so right there it’s proof that there’s nobody dominating that class. Great stuff!
Can Zach Osborne claim supercross and motocross titles this year?
He can make it happen in 2017, as Osborne has found another gear this year and he’s definitely on-track to doing the double. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider has reportedly been dealing with some health issues recently and definitely wasn’t at top form at round three, but he’s working alongside Aldon Baker, he has his program fine-tuned and he’s surrounded by some of the best riders in the game such as Marvin Musquin and Jason Anderson during the week, so it could just be Osborne’s year to shine.
Who has been the biggest surprise so far?
Justin Bogle’s opening moto victory at Thunder Valley has to stand out as one of the biggest surprises so far. That was a solid ride for the RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team rider, especially because not only did he claim his first-ever premier class moto win, but he did it after a lot of drama pre-race under his team awning. Race fuel caught fire in the team pit and it was quite a scene as personnel worked to get the flames under control… Australia’s own Blake McCarthy had his hands burned in the incident as he was fueling up Broc Tickle’s machine at the time.
Will we see another European claim the premier class crown this year?
The Americans probably won’t be stoked on this, but there’s a strong chance it could happen for the second year running. Marvin Musquin is a multi-time MX2 world champion and he’s found his form this season aboard the Red Bull KTM machine. He’ll have his hands full with the likes of Tomac, Blake Baggett, Anderson and more, but it’s definitely looking good for the Frenchman as he shoots for his first American motocross title.