Vital MX Perspective: The Struggle For Consistency


So far, the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship have been a battle for consistent results...which have been difficult to find. Between mechanical or electrical gremlins (like Jeremy Martin, the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki gang, and Eli Tomac's second moto at Glen Helen), injuries (Dylan Ferrandis' head-knocker and Jason Anderson's eye incident at Hangtown), and crashes (Adam Cianciarulo in moto one, and Jeremy Martin in moto two at Glen Helen), things have been tough. At Glen Helen, you even had unusual moto scores like 8-2 (Baggett), and 9-1 (Ferrandis) making the podium.

The points leaders (Osborne in the 250s, with a 1-1-4-2, and Musquin in the 450s with a 2-2-1-3) hold the winning hands so far. But behind them, the guys in second already have worsts of eighth (Cianciarulo in the 250s), and 19th (Tomac in the 450s).

Glen Helen was the opponent for round two, with a rough, jumpy, and all-around technical test for the riders. Let's dig in.

Member comments in the story? They're from the Vital MX Forum.

It looks like they burned some midnight oil at the GEICO Honda shop this week. After a frustrating opening round at Hangtown, Jeremy Martin fired back with a first moto win at Glen Helen. He had a huge holeshot in the second moto, as well.

SKlein: So much for the Honda not standing a chance on this GH start.

Joey Savatgy likely wasn't happy with his finishes at Hangtown, and came back with a strong second in moto one at Glen Helen. Unfortunately, he also had a bike problem that left him with a 29th in moto two. He's 40 points down from the leader in the 250 class standings.

Colt Nichols finds a kicker on the way down the Mt. St. Helens downhill. The track was rough from the first lap of practice, and it did have the effect of slowing it a bit, but also beating everyone up. Colt was fifth overall with a 5-4 day.

Motofinne wrote: Do you know what i find extremely annoying when it comes to MX or SX? The guys in the booth completely ignore the laptimes the riders put in. We who watch the live timing get an easier way to predict the race rather than listening to the experts.

That would never happen in MotoGP or F1.

Adam Cianciarulo had a crazy first moto, where he went down at the top of the new start, was in last, and passed something like 18 riders on the first lap alone. In a great show of persistence, he made it all the way back to seventh place. With a third in the second frame, he just missed the podium.

Sandwarrior752: Looking at the points, dang Osborne allready almost got a full moto lead on the riders. I hope AC starts to turn it up just a little bit more. He's been consistent so far, hopefully, he carries this all summer long.

After Hangtown, there were some fans calling out that Eli Tomac would go 24-0 on the season. Everything seemed to be pointed in the right direction, but then again, this is motocross.

Marvin Musquin scored the holeshot in moto one, and ran away with the moto win. He looked very fluid on the exceedingly tough course.

Eli Tomac was 12th at the end of the first lap, and methodically picked his way up the standings, but finished second behind Marvin Musquin in moto one.

keeptwostrokesalive: Can we just all agree that tomac should get bad starts every weekend so we can watch him pick apart riders like this?

Cooper Webb got an unwelcome blast as he came over this peaked jump before the finish line, and he was tenth in moto one. He pulled off in moto two, reportedly with a tweaked back.

Cole Seely had his consistency game together, finishing in sixth overall with a 7-8 score.

Josh Grant is always a favorite with the Glen Helen locals, and he showed off his prowess of the tough circuit with a third-place finish in moto one. He got bit by a rut in the second moto, and was 28th.

Jeremy Martin had another great start in moto two, but a crash on the first lap dropped him to last. He was able to motor through the pack, finish seventh, and still make it to the podium. If he'd been able to pass Austin Forkner near the end of the moto two, he'd have scored the overall for the day. Afterwards, he said that they'd continued to water the track after the parade lap, and it was considerably wetter in the corner where he crashed than when he'd previewed it.

After getting knocked goofy at Hangtown, and overcoming a concussion, Frenchman Dylan Ferrandis took advantage of Jeremy Martin's bobble by scoring his first National moto win here in the States.

jorgechavez: I thought Ferrandis getting podiums in SX in his first year was almost as impressive as him winning a moto. Guy's legit.

Zach Osborne didn't have the 1-1 day that he had at Hangtown, but a 4-2 score was still good for the overall here. Considering he's not particularly fond of the west coast tracks, leaving California with a 21-point lead is an outstanding start to the season.

kong0036: GH is definitely a man's tracks. Every rider said TV doesn't do those hills justice.

Talking with Zach, he said that in pre-season conversations with his team, that they figured finishing fifth or better in each moto could net the championship. He's on track so far.

The good news? Christian Craig scored another holeshot on the Team Honda HRC 450. The bad news? Much like Hangtown, he led for a few laps, and then crashed. This time around, it sounds like he broke a bone in his hand, and will likely miss Lakewood.

Remember back to the Dallas round of the Monster Energy Supercross season, when Eli Tomac had front brake problems? The same thing happened in moto two at Glen Helen, which required a trip to the mechanic's area. After trying to diagnose the problem, he ran without a front brake for the whole moto, and still finished 19th. We'd expect that you won't see the problematic component on the bike in the future, and it'll be replaced with something that's proven and the team is more comfortable with.

Badjak: I can't imagine those downhills with two brakes and an anchor...This guy is impressive!

Marvin Musquin worked his way from sixth to third, which was plenty good for the overall at Glen Helen. Did he take a page from Ryan Dungey's playbook and go for consistency versus trying to take the moto win? That's probably a fair guess.

RangerLee: Do not doubt that everyone lining up would LOVE to be the new Dungey. Stay healthy for a full career, able to stay with a single team making a bunch of money via contact and sponsors all while winning championships.

I do not doubt for a second Marvin would mind being the new Dungey.

Blake Baggett made some wholesale changes to his setup between week one and two, and they seemed to pay off here. He was eighth in moto one, but a strong second in moto two. There's definitely more coming from Blake.

Jason Anderson finished second overall at Glen Helen with a 5-1 score. Maybe even better is that he's not seeing any issues from catching the rock at Hangtown that cut him over his left eye.

Weston Peick continues to improve after his return from a serious wrist injury. A 9-6 fifth overall on a track as tough as Glen Helen is a big sign of progress.

crc245: Endurance wise - WP32 - Second race back from injury in SX, hanging it out there, racing back into shape, and carding a 5th O/A! Actually, all three RM-Z pilots (Tickle, Bogle, and Peick) in the 2nd moto were freight training 4-5-6 at speed...