Photo by: Simon Cudby
Round number 9 and the season finale of the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series headed west to Pala, Ca. for the crowning of two AMA National Motocross Champions at the Fox Raceway National. The two Championship trophies handed out at the finale went to Rockstar Energy / Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne (450 Class) and Monster Energy / Star Racing / Yamaha’s Dylan Ferrandis (250 Class). Both left Fox Raceway with a new #1 plate and a couple more zero’s on their bank balances.
In the 450 Class, it was HRC / Honda’s rookie, Chase Sexton, taking the first overall win of his young 450MX career with a 3-1 day. Climbing on the overall podium with Sexton was the Monster Energy / Kawasaki duo of Eli Tomac (2nd) and Adam Cianciarulo (3rd). Rockstar
In the 250 Class just like in 450 Class, it was a rookie taking his first-ever overall win at the Fox Raceway finale. GEICO / Honda’s Jett Lawrence used a 1-2 score to put himself into the record books as an overall 250 AMA National winner with his teammate Jeremy Martin occupying the second step on the podium. Grabbing the third-place trophy along with his first-ever 250MX AMA National Championship trophy was Ferrandis.
After the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship racing was concluded for 2020, we gathered numerous quotes from riders about their ninth and final outdoor MX race of 2020.
Zach Osborne: (450 National Champ) “I considered actually retiring in March after I broke my back and my wife gave me a pep talk and we decided against it, went to Salt Lake and that went well and it just carried into this outdoor season. I came out swinging and was able to take home a national championship which is something I never ever dreamed of doing, I felt it was way out of my league – so dream big is the moral of the story and don’t ever give up. Find people that believe in you even when you don’t and keep pressing on. It’s such a relief to win this today. What an incredible day. Thank you to everyone who has been behind me.”
Dylan Ferrandis: (250 National Champ) “Winning this U.S. motocross championship is another dream goal accomplished. I really put a lot of work to get it and it was not easy at all. To finish my 250 career with the supercross and motocross championship the same year is so big that I never imagined myself to do it. It’s so awesome. I’m feeling in paradise right now.
It was good to race in California close to home. Unfortunately, the track was really tough to ride. I felt strong in Moto 1 and got P2 to put myself in a safe position for the championship. In the second moto, I had a small tip over and was ninth. I came back then rode easy at the end to enjoy those last laps in my 250 career.”
Chase Sexton: (1st in 450MX) “Final round here in Pala, California–I’d say it went pretty well! I qualified fastest and finished third in the first moto. I didn’t feel that great, so I told myself we have one 30-plus-two-laps, and I put it all out there and came out with the win I’ve been searching for all season. I waited until the last moto to do it, so it feels good and is a good way to go into the off-season and start testing on the new bike. I’m super happy with how everything went this season. I feel like it was pretty successful and I’m looking forward to the future and getting on this new bike and testing with the team.”
Jett Lawrence: (1st in 250MX) “It feels good. That’s what we work up to is to be on top of the box and it feels good to be up there finally. This year, I was shooting to be on the podium as much as I can and it’s funny we’re talking at my first-ever podium and it’s an overall win. It definitely feels great to get this done and under my belt to get a moto win and an overall win. Everyone’s told me that the first one is always the hardest and the next one is a lot easier because you mentally know it. I’m definitely happy with this. It puts you in a very good mentality for the next season.”
Eli Tomac: (2nd in 450MX) “Man, first off I want to say thank you to MX Sports for making this season happen, it was really cool to see everyone come together to make it through all nine rounds and it sure beats sitting at home on the couch. Next, I’d like to congratulate Zach (Osborne) on a hard-fought and well-earned championship this season. The competition was tough all year long and I’d like to think we put on a good show each and every weekend for the fans. We fell short of the goal this year of winning another championship, but we finished third overall in the series and I am proud of how my Monster Energy Kawasaki team never gave up. We’ll take about two weeks off and start getting ready for supercross.”
Jeremy Martin: (2nd in 250MX) “It’s a bummer not winning the championship today, but I knew it was a longshot—he had an 18-point lead. I have a lot of respect for Dylan, but for me to win it, I needed something to happen and I’d never wish that upon anybody. I hate to say it and it’s painful, but I was the second-best guy this year. ”
Adam Cianciarulo: (3rd in 450MX) “What a year! My rookie year of racing was one I will never forget, not just because of the global pandemic and unique racing schedule, but more importantly, it has shown me that I belong in this class. I love this sport and as a kid dreamed of one day being up here competing against the best in the world. If you told me I’d be fighting for the championship in my rookie season and finishing second overall a couple of years ago, I would not have believed you. This sport has a way of kicking you when you’re down, but it’s about how you get back up and the people you surround yourself with. I truly believe that I have the best support system around me and a team and company in Kawasaki that has never stopped believing in me. I can’t thank them enough for that. My Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450 was a rocketship all season long and always put me at the front of the pack each moto to fight for the championship. I am already fired up and ready to get this sophomore season of racing started!””
Christian Craig: (4th in 450MX) “This weekend was great. Pala is my home track, so I knew I was going to be up front and be comfortable. I started off qualifying third, which was my best all season. In the first moto I made my way up to fourth and then third at one point. After that Chase [Sexton] got me with two laps to go, so I was pretty frustrated with that one; I almost got that moto podium and ended with fourth. In the second moto I came out second, which was my best start all season, so that was nice. I followed [Adam] Cianciarulo around for a while and got close, but Chase was on a mission. He caught us both, passed me and then was on Cianciarulo; then Cianciarulo fell, so me and Chase just rode it in for first and second. I ended 4-2 for fourth overall, unfortunately, but got my first moto podium ever in an outdoors series, especially in the 450 class, so we’ll take it. It was a super fun season and I’m looking forward to next year.”
Shane McElrath : (4th in 250MX) “I’m glad to be finished racing for the year. It’s been a very long year, but it’s also been the best year of my career. I’ve loved my Yamaha all year long and I’m looking forward to what’s next!”
Marvin Musquin: (5th in 450MX) “It’s good to be here and to see that the season happened. For me, I got lucky that we started the season later in the year because I had a big knee surgery done in December and it took me a very long time to come back. It was a tough season, I ended up fourth overall so I’m disappointed on my last three rounds but I gave my best and at least I was behind the gate and trying to battle. It was definitely a big challenge for the last three rounds after having two big crashes but I’m glad I finished the season. I’m ready for a break but I’m looking forward to coming back healthier for supercross.”
Jarrett Frye: (6th in 250MX) “It was a good way to end the season with my best race of the year. I felt good all day qualifying sixth and finishing 8-6 in the motos for 6th Overall. I had a lot of fun these last four races, and I’m pumped with the progress I made each race”
Max Anstie: (7th in 450MX) “It was nice to round out the Pro Motocross series with a 7th on the day at the final round and 9th in the championship. The whole HEP Motorsports team and I grew and learned at each event. We stayed solid and was in the race each week. My whole crew did a great job for our first season of outdoors!”
Mitchell Harrison: (8th in 250SX) “The field in this class is stacked and while we didn’t get it up the podium, we stayed consistent all year. That’s something we can be proud of as we go into the off-season. I’m very honored that the team chose me to help fill the shoes of some very fast guys.”
Broc Tickle: (9th in 450MX) “Summing up the season after Pala, I would say it wasn’t what I was hoping for. I had a couple of bad motos this season and missed, honestly, four motos. That being said, it was a solid effort after not having raced in three years, and in the end, we were able to finish the championship inside of the top 10. I’m grateful for this opportunity with the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing team and thankful that I was able to come out and race and enjoy being with the team I was around. I’m hoping I can get things in line for next year and give myself another shot to accomplish some of the things I haven’t yet.”
Alex Martin: (DNS, injury in 250MX) “Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to compete at the final race because of a practice incident leaving me with an injury to my right leg. I’m pretty disappointed, but we had many positive races this year and we were in the hunt for a top three in the championship down to the last race.”
Cameron Mcadoo: (10th in 250MX) “I was really happy that my hand was not as bad as originally thought and I was able to line up for the final race,” said McAdoo. “We weren’t even really sure how today was going to go, so to get a top-10 is a nice way to end the season. I’ll be making sure my hand heals properly so we can start working hard in the off-season to be a threat in 2021.”
Justin Cooper: (11th in 250MX) “It was a really good day for me. I just wish I could have given it my all for the last race of the season. It’s definitely not how I wanted to end it, but that’s racing. We will just have to wait for the Supercross season to roll around so we can get back to where we want to be.”
Nathanael Thrasher: (12th in 250MX) “My day went pretty good overall. I had top-10 starts in both motos. Unfortunately, in my first moto, I got a flat front tire and salvaged what I could to end up 12th! In the second moto, I broke the top 10 to end the day 11th. These past two races have been awesome. I’m looking forward to this offseason with the team and putting in the work to come out swinging next year!”
Joey Savatgy: (DNS, injury in 450MX) “I wasn’t able to race the final round, unfortunately. A nagging injury from the previous round stayed around longer than I thought it would. I was glad to be back at the races but it was a tough year.”
Freddie Noren: (DNS, injury in 450MX) “I was told that I definitely shouldn’t race so decided not to. After the race new X-rays showed nothing. It’s frustrating but I’m also happy I’m not injured. Overall I’ve had a great time with the team and I had some good highlights this season; I’m especially happy about my first holeshot and career-best moto finish. I want to give a big thank you to the team and all of our sponsors that have made this happen. I’m happy that we could race considering these crazy times.”
Isaac Teasdale: (12th in 450MX) “After learning I was the lone JGR Suzuki rider I was ready to get my best result. In moto one I had a great start but got pushed wide. I had a fast pace but rode tight and finished 13th. In my second Moto, I felt better throughout and was close to the top 10, but finished 11th, which is my best finish to date. I really wanted to be in the top 10 this weekend; I was right there, but I’m content and happy with the progress I made in these last four races! It was so awesome to be with JGR and Suzuki and I grew a lot. I’m excited for the future.”