Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Returns To Action This Weekend


Only three rounds and six motos remain in the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, and this Saturday, August 8.

Central New York's iconic Unadilla MX, located in New Berlin, has arguably the most illustrious history of any other track in motocross, hosting world-class events since 1969 and predating the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, which began in 1972.

The Red Bull Unadilla National will serve as the 10th round of the 2015 season, ushering the track into its 46th year of competition. Saturday's race will also signify the third event to be showcased on live network television on NBC.

Fresh off the championship's final off weekend of the season, the 450 Class and 250 Class field head to Unadilla prepared for a three-week run to the finish. Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey has sat atop the 450 Class standings since the third round of the season and has managed to consistently build his advantage over his rivals ever since. In the 250 Class, the season-long see-saw battle between Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Jeremy Martin, the current points leader, and Red Bull KTM's Marvin Musquin could take yet another surprise turn as they continue their incredible battle for the title.

Dungey looks for his fourth career win at Unadilla and another step towards the 450 Class title.Photo: Matt Rice

With a 69-point lead over both RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing's Ken Roczen, the defending 450 Class champion, and's Justin Barcia, Dungey appears to be inching closer to a third Lucas Oil Pro Motocross title.
Barcia has his sights set on second in the championship after moving into a tie for the position. - Credit: George Crosland
The KTM rider earned his class-leading fourth overall win at the series' previous stop at Washougal and brings back-to-back wins into Unadilla, where he is also the defending race winner. With another strong outing on Saturday, Dungey very well could position himself with the opportunity to clinch the championship a round early next weekend in Utah.

As a result of the comfortable lead Dungey enjoys in the championship, much of the focus in recent weeks has turned to the increasingly tight battle for the runner-up spot in the standings between Roczen and Barcia.

The reigning series champion has had a virtual lock on the position since the fourth round of the season. However, a midseason surge by Barcia, highlighted by back-to-back wins and four consecutive top-two overall finishes, has brought the pair into a deadlock with the final six motos looming.

While Roczen has been solid virtually all season, grabbing a win at the fifth round of the championship, Barcia has finished ahead of him for eight consecutive motos, with each finish inside the top three. As a result, the 26-point gap that once separated the two riders has been completely erased, setting the stage for a head-to-head fight for the runner-up spot in the championship over the final three rounds.

As a native of New York, Barcia is sure to have the home state support on his side at his home event, searching for his third win in the last five rounds. Alternatively, Roczen is surprisingly winless at a track known for its affinity from international riders.
Martin still has control of the red plate heading into Unadilla. Credit: Matt Rice
The 250 Class has featured one of the most interesting and wild title fights in series history.

Only Martin and Musquin have sat atop the championship standings, but they've traded the lead on multiple occasions and have experienced double-digit swings in the points at six of the nine rounds thus far, most recently at the previous round at Washougal.

The lead pair are the two winningest riders in the division, with Martin holding the most overall wins at four and Musquin carrying the most moto wins at eighth, but at no point this season have they battled head-to-head for any of those wins.

As the championship reaches the home stretch, only four points sit between the dominant rivals. Adding to the complexity of their title fight for the next three weeks is Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Cooper Webb.

The teammate to Martin is the hottest rider in the division, bringing back-to-back overall wins into Unadilla. His consistent positioning at the front of the field means there are points to be lost for both Martin and Musquin as they continue their fight, and while Webb may race out of the same Star Yamaha stable as Martin, don't expect there to be team tactics.

After missing most of the season with injury, Webb wants nothing more than to win to take the sting away from a lost season and it doesn't appear anything will keep him from that continued pursuit.
Musquin has moved to within striking distance of the championship lead. - Credit: George Crosland
As the only former Unadilla winner in the field, Musquin could have the edge he needs to potentially reclaim the points lead at the European-inspired track. However, the Yamaha tandem is sure to make things difficult and this ever-changing championship battle will likely take another intriguing twist.

Since its beginnings Unadilla has hosted Trans-AMA (1970-1978), Trans-USA (1979-1981), the 250cc USGP (1978-1992), the first ever Motocross of Nations in the United States (1987), and a round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship every year since 1989. Unadilla's history is full of epic battles, which make sense once you consider that every significant racer in motocross history has challenged Unadilla over the years.

Nestled in the rolling hills of the Unadilla River Valley, this is arguably the most famous track in all of American motocross, simply known as "The Home of Horsepower" in reference to its illustrious and influential history.

In fact, Unadilla is so well known on a global scale that it is often the site of guest appearances from international superstars who make the overseas journey to compete head-to-head against the U.S. elite on its most hallowed ground. A rider making that overseas quest this Saturday is Scottish rider Shaun Simpson.

Fresh off his dominant underdog victory at the last MXGP event this past weekend in Belgium, Simpson will bring the momentum stateside to accompany Dungey and fellow Scot Dean Wilson, who makes his 2015 debut on Saturday following a torn ACL, under the Red Bull KTM tent.

Top Image: Dungey looks for his fourth career win at Unadilla and another step towards the 450 Class title.

Credit: Matt Rice

Share Article:

Action Sports Decals

More News: Latest Headlines

More News: Latest Headlines


A Broken Leg Sees Matthias Walkner Sidelined From The 2024 Dakar Rally


Noah Ferguson signs with Honda for 2024


Expanded Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team Ready For 2024


Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Focused On Supercross Titles in 2024

Dirt Track

Bathurst Long Track Masters Going Bigger And Better In 2024


Standing Construct Honda MXGP Signs Alberto Forato

Dirt Track

Stars Align For The 2023 Corbett’s Group North Brisbane Cup


MXGP World Champion Jorge Prado Confirmed For First Three AMA Supercross Rounds Of 2024


Kirk Gibbs And Byron Dennis Lead Revamped GASGAS Racing PROMX Team

Off Road

Dates Locked In For The 2024 Australian Off-Road Championship


Post-Race Interviews From The Final Round Of The 2023 FIM World Supercross Championship

New Model

Triumph Motorcycles Unveil TF 250-X Details

What's On This Week

FIM SuperEnduro World Championship - R2
GP Poland, Krakow
Saturday, December 9th, 2023


2024 Yamaha YZ250F Review

Enhance Your Bike’s Protection With Force Accessories Custom Clutch Cover

2023 Sherco 300 SE Factory Ride Review

Michelin StarCross 6 – Inspected

Drink Wirelessly with SoleStream

Recover Better With Endurance Recovery Boots

What's On This Week

FIM SuperEnduro World Championship - R2
GP Poland, Krakow
Saturday, December 9th, 2023