Top 10: Ironman
Coming into the final race of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship season, the big story was the battle for the 450 title. With a sizeable points lead, Eli Tomac had a pretty easy path to the number one plate, but there was one little hitch...a visit by MXGP's Jeffrey Herlings, who opted in at the last minute. That added some intrigue, plus set the stage for one of the most memorable moto rides we've see in a while. Let's check the action.
1As we mentioned in the intro above, Jeffrey Herlings made a late decision to race at Ironman after a very short test session on one of the U.S. bikes. He did ride press day, so he had some experience on the track before the short practice sessions, where he set the fastest time. He won the first moto after going by Eli Tomac. In the second moto, he fell a few corners in, started dead last, and then worked through the entire pack to take the lead with two laps to go. That was an amazingly impressive 1-1 result.
2Marvin Musquin still had a shot at the title heading into the final round, but he'd have needed something really unexpected to happen to Eli...either a big crash or DNF. While Eli did go down in moto one, and Marvin did all he could on the day with a 2-2, he'll have to settle for second on the day, and for the season. One thing's for sure, there weren't any KTM team orders in play for Jeffrey...
3Blake Baggett nailed the start in the final moto of the year, and a pair of thirds on the day matched his final season overall finishing position. You have to wonder how he might have fared without the thumb injury that he suffered at RedBud.
4Cole Seely had a smooth and controlled day with a pair of fourth-place finishes. He was fifth in the season standings.
5This was Cooper Webb's final race on the '17 YZ450F, and he'll jump to the '18 at next weekend's USGP.
6Talk about a pressure-packed start. In the first moto, Eli Tomac lined up next to Jeffrey Herlings, and then Marvin Musquin made it a KTM sandwich with a Kawasaki filling. Eli responded with a holeshot, but later crashed, and had to work his way back to fifth. A safe sixth in moto two clinched the title for him. With the title wrapped up, it'll be interesting to see him unleashed at the MXGP next weekend. That'll be neutral territory for everyone.
7Weston Peick's 7-8 day was good for seventh overall.
8Christian Craig finished inside the top ten in the final round of the season with a 9-7 score.
9In the last race for the RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team, Justin Bogle finished it out with an 11-9 tally.
10Dean Wilson was feeling ill here, but soldiered on to a 12-10 day, and fourth in the final season standings.
1The 250 title may have been wrapped up by Zach Osborne at Budds Creek, but that mean he was any less motivated. He worked past Adam Cianciarulo in both motos, and finished up the season with another 1-1 day.
2Adam Cianciarulo nabbed the overall win at Budds, and backed it up at Ironman with a solid 2-2 day.
3Colt Nichols may have spent part of the moto battling with Aaron Plessinger, but afterwards, he was still eyeing up where Adam Cianciarulo was ahead of him on the track. His 3-4 score got him on the podium to end the outdoor season.
4Jeremy Martin holeshot the first moto, but a crash dropped him back in the pack. He battled back to eighth in that one, and then finished up the season with a third. We can't wait to see him on the new '18 bike.
5Mitchell Harrison's 5-8 day finished off a strong season for him.
6You had to feel bad for Chase Sexton. He was third in moto one, until a late crash. He had a 10-6 score for the day, but sure raced faster than the final tally showed.
7RJ Hampshire worked forward in moto one to finish 12th, and then came back strong in moto two with a fifth.
8Sean Cantrell grabbed a top ten overall to finish the season with a 6-12 day.
9With injuries to his teammates, Justin Hill got pressed into service for the final round. He made the best of it, with an 11-9 day.
10Bradley Taft used a 7-13 score to crack the top ten at the end of the season. That's a big step forward for him, and a good way to finish off the season. Way to go, Bradley.