The first-ever Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing doubleheader was completed at Michigan’s world-renowned RedBud MX for the fifth round of the 2020 season. The Circle K RedBud II National kicked off America’s Labor Day holiday with perfect racing weather that led into an afternoon of thrilling, bar banging action in both classes. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s premier class rookie Adam Cianciarulo emerged victorious to stand atop the podium for the first time in his 450 Class career. In the 250 Class, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire put together two consistent motos to capture his first victory of the season and second of his career.
The opening 450 Class moto saw Cianciarulo launch out of the gate to emerge with the Motosport.com holeshot, followed by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin. Cianciarulo quickly set the pace up front with Osborne in tow, while Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac found his way around Musquin for third before the end of the opening lap.
The top three riders continued to pace one another out front, keeping each other within striking distance as they gave it everything they had around the rough and rutted RedBud circuit. With two minutes remaining in the moto, Tomac saw an opportunity and struck by drag racing Osborne into a corner to take second. As Tomac put his head down in an attempt to track down his teammate, the battle behind him raged as Musquin muscled his way by Osborne for third.
Cianciarulo withstood the pressure and Tomac’s late-race charge to capture the moto win, the first of his 450 Class career. Tomac finished just 1.9 seconds behind in second, while Musquin held on to take third. The championship point leader Osborne finished fourth.
As the gate dropped on the final 450 Class moto it was Cianciarulo who took his second Motosport.com holeshot of the afternoon with JGR/Yoshimura/Suzuki Racing’s Joey Savatgy and Osborne in tow. Musquin was just behind the lead group and took advantage of a mistake by Savatgy early in the race to inherit third place.
Cianciarulo continued his opening moto form by using the clear track to his advantage to open a small lead over Osborne. Musquin, who was third, became under attack and soon surrendered the spot to Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-WPS-KTM’s Blake Baggett. Just when Cianciarulo looked to have things in control, he collided with a lapped rider when their lines intersected and found himself on the ground. The mistake by Cianciarulo moved Osborne to the race lead, Baggett to second and he was able to remount third.
Osborne’s lead began to diminish with a hard-charging Baggett approaching. With seven minutes remaining in the moto, Baggett went to work and used every inch of the track to pass Osborne for the number one spot. His pace would prove too much for his competition as he went on to win his first moto of the season by 13.8 seconds over Osborne. Cianciarulo held on to finish third.
The 3-1 moto scores gave Cianciarulo his first-career overall win in the premier class, which came in just his fifth attempt. Baggett’s second moto win carried him to second (6-1) and Osborne completed the podium in third (4-2).
“It’s been a long time since I’ve won and you start to miss that winning feeling,” explained Cianciarulo. “This is a cool place to grab my first 450 Class win. I had a rough start to the day in practice and I think my finger might be broken, but I just tried to keep a positive mindset. I felt a lot more comfortable in the second moto after leading the first moto but had a small mishap that prevented what I wanted which is a 1-1. You’re always going through ups-and-downs in this sport, which I experienced a few weeks ago, and now here I am on top of the world.”
Osborne continues to lead the championship, extending his lead to 28 points over Musquin who finished fourth (3-4) on the day. Cianciarulo’s win moved him to third, 14-points behind Musquin.
“Today, I just felt a little flat all day,” explained Osborne. “To come out ahead of some of my championship rivals was good and we did damage control. I’m stoked with the day. I didn’t feel as good as I did on Friday, which is something I sort of expected. Overall, I’m happy with the day.”
The first 250 Class moto saw Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Ty Masterpool grab his second Motosport.com holeshot of the season, just edging out teammate Shane McElrath and Hampshire. While McElrath and Hampshire battled for position in the opening turns, championship point leader Jeremy Martin was credited with ninth at the completion of the opening lap on his GEICO Honda and Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis was back in 13th.
Similar to the opening moto during the RedBud I National on Friday, Masterpool opened a comfortable lead early as the riders behind him duked it out for the second and third. Just as Hampshire mounted another charge on McElrath and took control of second, Masterpool tucked the front end in a corner, allowing Hampshire to inherit the lead and GEICO Honda’s Jett Lawrence to move into a podium position in third.
Drama ensued behind the leaders as Ferrandis charged down the inside of Martin with an aggressive move that saw both riders hit the ground after their lines came together. Both riders would lose several positions with Ferrandis remounting quickest.
While Hampshire pushed the pace out front, McElrath and Lawrence kept the leader within striking distance as the moto began winding down. With two laps remaining, Hampshire made a costly mistake as he shot off of the track, allowing McElrath to slip back by and into the lead. The top three were separated by just bike lengths entering the final lap, but it was McElrath who held on to take his first moto victory of the season by 1.3 seconds over Hampshire. Lawrence rounded out the podium for a career-best third. Ferrandis would charge up to fifth, while Martin could only manage 11th following the incident with Ferrandis.
As the field emerged from the first turn to start Moto 2 it was once again Masterpool who emerged to sweep both Motosport.com holeshots on the day ahead of Martin and Hampshire. Just like the first moto, Masterpool quickly sprinted out front, while his Yamaha teammate Ferrandis got off to another slow start outside of the top-10.
Masterpool demonstrated once again his speed early in the race, maintaining a comfortable cushion over Martin. As riders started to settle into their pace, Martin began to chip away at Masterpool’s lead and eventually found himself on the youngster’s rear wheel before making the pass stick leading up to the famed Larocco’s Leap. Hampshire was just behind in third.
With a clear track ahead, Martin consistently laid down fast laps to pull away from the 40-rider field. The early race leader Masterpool made a mistake and tipped over, which ultimately allowed Hampshire to take second and moved Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Mitchell Harrison into third. Harrison’s run in third would be short lived as Ferrandis was on the move and quick to take control of the position.
Martin took the checkered flag unchallenged for his fifth moto win of the season by 4.6 seconds over Ferrandis who used an incredible come-from-behind ride to take second on the final lap. Hampshire was just behind Ferrandis in third.
Hampshire’s consistent 2-3 moto scores were good enough for his second career overall victory and first win since the 2018 Budds Creek National. The hard charge by Ferrandis helped him finish second overall (5-2) on the day, while McElrath’s first moto win carried him to third (1-10). Martin narrowly missed the podium in fourth (11-1).
“This one is special,” said Hampshire. “I gave it everything I had and Dylan [Ferrandis] was just riding so strong at the end of that second moto. I had to make a decision and I decided to go outside, which didn’t work out. I’ve worked my butt off to get back to this position after the knee injury and I didn’t want to let this win slip away.”
Martin continues his hold of the red plate and holds a nine-point advantage over Ferrandis in the championship. Hampshire’s win helped him move to third in the championship, 46 points out of the lead.
“I’m not going to deny I was pretty pissed after that first moto,” said Martin. “I knew we were racing for the championship and that it was going to come down to this and that Dylan [Ferrandis] was going to get aggressive. That’s racing and I guess it’s on now. You’re not going to break me. I remember laying in the hospital with a broken back and the road I had to take to get back to where I am now. I’m ready to dig deep and put up a fight.”