Feature photo by: Octopi
The 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship left Tennessee after two rounds at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch and headed to Indiana for round 3, and the Ironman National. In the 450MX Class, Eli Tomac finally showed up and showed he is looking to defend his #1 plate that he has had in his Monster Energy / Kawasaki since 2018 with his first overall win of 2020. Eli was flanked on the podium by Red Bull / KTM’s Marvin Musquin (2nd) and his factory Kawasaki teammate, Adam Cianciarulo (3rd).
In the 250MX Class, GEICO / Honda’s Jeremy Martin used good starts, consistency, and his first moto win of ’20 to grab his second-straight overall win in a row. The man with all the speed once again at round three was once again the red plate holder, Monster Energy / Star Racing / Yamaha’s Dylan Ferrandis. After winning the opening moto by 25-seconds, a crash in the first turn of moto two and a charge from last to 3rd netted Dylan his second-straight 2nd overall finish. Finishing third on the day was Troy Lee Designs / KTM’s Brandon Hartranft—his first-ever outdoor podium.
After the racing was over, we gathered numerous quotes from riders about their third outdoor MX race of 2020.
Eli Tomac: (1st in 450MX) “t was a much better weekend for us out at Crawfordsville. We had somewhat normal conditions, it was still a pretty soft track with lots of ruts. I’d say half of the track was really nice and the other half was soft still and pretty technical. We started off a little slow in practice, but I knew once the track dried out a little, we would be good to go. Grabbing the overall today was huge for us. We’re taking it race by race and doing just what we did today by finishing on top. I appreciate the Monster Energy Kawasaki team for all their hard work this past week, that was a great rebound for us.”
Jeremy Martin: (1st in 250MX) “Last week was a special moment, but I didn’t win a moto. It made it more special to get a good start and ride my own race to get a moto win. Dylan [Ferrandis] was on it today, but I knew I needed to get a good start and that would put me in a position to win. I know Dylan didn’t get the start he wanted [in the second moto], but my GEICO Honda was working really well in these conditions and I’m just happy to be back on top of the podium. It’s going to be a fun battle.”
Marvin Musquin: (2nd in 450MX) “It’s huge right now to get a moto win and to be back where I am right now. Even though it’s a second overall and the second moto didn’t go as planned, that first moto was awesome – I was not tired or anything. In the second moto, the start was decent but I was behind the top guys and I knew it would be hard to pass those guys back. I wasn’t riding quite the same as the first moto, so I, unfortunately, lost the rhythm and contact with those guys – they were on it. Overall, I’m happy. It’s an improvement on last weekend with a moto win and second overall.”
Dylan Ferrandis: (2nd in 250MX) “The morning was really muddy, but we had the best conditions that we could have for the afternoon moto. The track was really, really good today. Everything that we want to have on a motocross track was there today. So it was really good. I got the holeshot in the first moto and won. It was an easy moto. I felt awesome. In the second moto, I crashed at the start, in the first corner. Then I had to come back, so I gave it everything I had. I really tried my best to finish third and second overall and we salvaged some points. That’s a little bit frustrating to have to salvage points. I wish I could have been far from the trouble and just do the 1-1. That’s what I want to do again. Next week we will bounce back.”
Adam Cianciarulo: (3rd in 450MX) “The day started off really good, especially with qualifying fastest. I had a lot of comfort on the bike from the start thanks to the great communication with the team; they really had my KX450 dialed. I kind of blew it off the start in the first moto but I was able to pass what felt like 15 guys in the first lap and finished third. I got a great start in the second moto, which was awesome, and it felt really good to lead some laps. Obviously, the goal is to win each time we get out on the track, but I’m proud of the effort we put out there today. I can’t be too frustrated because I had the speed and I gave it everything I had. I’m so stoked for the entire Kawasaki team. We’ll work to improve on some of those minor things and just keep proving I belong up front and on the podium.”
Bradon Hartranft: (3rd in 250MX) “I think I was 4th fastest [in qualifying] and I knew I had the speed to stay with the guys. It was a matter of doing it, instead of just talking about it. I put a lot of hard work in during the week and I wanted to show it. I’ve was complaining to the team about just how much effort I put in and how good I’ve been riding during the week but it’s not showing on the weekends. Like last weekend, I went DNF-DNF because of a bike problem, but that’s part of it. In the first moto, I didn’t get that good of a start, but I rode the dozer marks and just passed everybody. I think I was in 3rd place after the second lap. I just tried to tag along with Jeremy [Martin]. It was good for me to follow his lines. In moto two, I knew I could have a good overall finish. I had to get a good start. I about got the holeshot, but I checked up, held her tight, and got into 4th. Then I passed into third and followed Justin [Cooper] and Jeremy.”
Justin Barcia: (4th in 450MX) “We got a bad start in the first moto but had a good charge to sixth. The second moto was another one of those not so great starts, but the charge was one for the books, for sure. I made a lot of passes on guys and had some great battles. Then the last few laps, Eli (Tomac) and I were up front and I was chasing him hard, but I just wasn’t able to quite get him. It was a really fun race though and I gave it everything I had. The bike worked really well today. The track was awesome. It was really rough. We had deep ruts, slick spots, wet spots… it was a little bit of everything. We needed that to see where the bike was actually at because the first two races were kind of different so you didn’t know what you had. This was a good race to show us that we’re here for the championship and we’re going for it. All in all, I’d say it was a positive day. We’re just going to keep plugging away and try to get some wins.”
Zach Osborne: (5th in 450MX) “t was a decent weekend. The first moto was a bit of a struggle for me, I just couldn’t find a rhythm from halfway on. The second moto, I was able to rebound and come out with a holeshot and get a third place. In the end, it was a decent salvage and I’ll keep plugging away.”
Justin Cooper: (4th in 250MX) “Overall it was a good day of progress. I’m still making changes with the bike to find what works for me. I haven’t had much time to test with the team because of the injury I’m coming back from. I made a good change for Moto 2 which put us back on the podium. Like I said, we’re making good progress. I’m looking to keep moving up the chart and I’m feeling better and better each time out.”
Chase Sexton: (6th in 450MX) “Today was a much better day for me. I was a lot more consistent and had two solid motos–a fourth and fifth. Overall, I’m making progress and learning a lot every race. My goal was to jump on the podium and win races by the end of the series, so we’re on the right track. Hopefully, at RedBud we get up on the podium and mix it up with the top guys.”
Dean Wilson: (8th in 450MX) “The third lap of the first practice I had a big crash and went over the bars, so it was a little rough heading into the motos. You have your good days and your bad days, but we never gave up and kept pushing through it. I’m looking forward to just improving every weekend.”
Alex Martin: (6th in 250MX) “We had some good speed this weekend with a fifth in qualifying. Unfortunately, my starts were just not what they should’ve been and I spent all day passing other racers. I was able to salvage a sixth overall and I’m looking forward to Red Bud!
Broc Tickle: (9th in 450MX) “I’m not 100% happy with my results overall today but I felt like I rode my hardest. We made some changes throughout the day. In the second moto, I was able to push as hard as I could. I really made it tough on myself in both motos by starting way back, the first moto especially. The goal this week is to focus on getting some good starts at Red Bud and throughout the rest of the season. I think I can put myself in a good position in dry conditions if I can do that. I’m a little bummed out because I left a lot on the table by being so far back in the first half of the race, but I’m stoked on my fitness and on the progress we’ve made with the team and the bike. I want to thank them and I also want to thank my sponsors and everybody who has been supporting me over the last three years. It’s awesome to come back and be competitive. It’s kind of a surreal feeling for me.”
Shane McElrath: (7th in 250MX) “It was tough conditions out there today. I started off the day better as the fastest qualifier, but two bad starts put me in a hole from the beginning. The track was super technical and hard to pass. Some lines were very good and some were very bad. I was trying hard not to follow but line choices really hurt me as well. I learned a lot today and I’m taking every piece of momentum I can get”
Christian Craig: (10th in 450MX) “I went into the motos really confident and ready to show what I had, but unfortunately I had a bad start again. Bad starts have kind of been my thing all season, so I need to turn that around. I was ninth until the second-to-last corner. I tipped over and ended up 11th, which wasn’t terrible, but not great. I got off to a better start in the second moto, but fell in the first turn and then tipped over again. I ended up being dead last coming around the first lap. I put my head down and charged as hard as I could after that and actually rode a lot better. I made my way up to 12th. I ended up with 11-12 results and 10th overall. It wasn’t a terrible day, but I know I belong in the top 10 consistently, so I look forward to RedBud.”
Mitchell Harrison: (9th in 250MX) “Overall, Ironman was okay for me as I started the day off struggling a little bit with finding my groove in qualifying, which didn’t exactly give me the best gate pick. However, in both of the motos, my Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki KX250 just rocketed out of the gate and both times I was fighting for the holeshot. I felt like overall I rode really well and showed the speed to run with that front pack of guys for the first 20 minutes of each race. A couple of the top guys in the class started to catch me both times. The good news is I know what I need to work on next week and I know that I have the speed to be up front, so we’re in a good place overall. I couldn’t be happier to be returning back to my home state of Michigan this coming weekend for the doubleheader at RedBud. I’ve had some of my best career rides there, so I am looking forward to returning.”
Freddie Norten: (11th in 450MX) “My speed was good this weekend and I’m excited to continue to work on that as we race on this summer.” Noren gave his plan for stronger results, “I had too many smaller mistakes that I need to clean up but my starts were good and the speed is there so we’re looking forward to the next race at Red Bud to improve.”
RJ Hamposhire: (12th in 250MX) “My day started off with a big crash in practice and kind of spiraled from there. I crashed mid-way through the first moto but I felt pretty good on the bike and was able to come back to fifth. I’m looking to have good starts at RedBud and stay on the bike.”
Cameron Mcadoo: (13th in 250MX) “Today was a rough day overall for us at Ironman. I had a bad start in Moto 1 and struggled a bit in the beginning, but I ended up coming through to ninth place. I got tangled up in the first turn in Moto 2 and I was doing my best at charging back, but I ended up falling over again mid-way through the moto, so it was just a bit of a struggle. I’m already looking forward to redemption next week and taking on the doubleheader at RedBud.”
Joey Savatgy: (14th in 450MX) “It was a tough weekend for me. These first three rounds haven’t gone according to plan at all,” Savatgy said after the race. “On paper, it doesn’t look like much but I am improving slowly. I just need to keep going in the right direction.”
Jason Anderson: (41st in 450MX) “The day didn’t end up the best for me. I ended up having a decent practice and then went into the first moto and had a little mishap injury-wise and wasn’t able to finish out the motos.”