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Tomac on top at Ironman

The motorsports mecca of the greater Indianapolis area welcomed the third round of the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, from Crawfordsville’s Ironman Raceway. The Guaranteed Rate Ironman National featured partly cloudy skies and moderate temperatures, resulting in the most competitive afternoon of the championship thus far. After a thrilling battle in the 450 Class reigning three-time champion Eli Tomac rebounded from the worst outing of his career one week ago to take his first overall victory of the season for Monster Energy Kawasaki. In the 250 Class, GEICO Honda’s Jeremy Martin made it back-to-back wins to tighten up the early season title fight.
The world’s fastest riders were greeted with perfect weather at Ironman Raceway.
Photo: Align Media
The opening 450 Class moto saw a pair of familiar rivals out front early as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin secured the Holeshot just ahead of Tomac’s Kawasaki, with point leader Zach Osborne in third aboard his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing machine.
The top three asserted themselves at the front of the pack, while the rookies of Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo and Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton gave pursuit to build a close fight amongst the top five. This group continued to trade momentum through the middle portion of the moto and at one point were collectively separated by just a handful of seconds. As the race wore on, the running order began to spread out, with Musquin and Tomac pulling away. Behind them, Osborne made a costly misjudgement trying to pass a lapped rider, resulting in contact that forced the point leader off his bike. That allowed both Cianciarulo and Sexton to get by, while Osborne continued in fifth. He then almost crashed again a short time later, which caused him to lose fifth to Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-KTM-WPS rider Blake Baggett.
Musquin withstood one final push from Tomac to capture his first moto win since suffering a knee injury at this same track one year ago, taking the checkered flag by 2.2 seconds over the champ. Cianciarulo finished in third, just ahead of Sexton, while Baggett rounded out the top five. Osborne lost another position late to finish a season-worst seventh.
Reigning champion Eli Tomac took his first win of the 2020 season.
Photo: Align Media
When the gate dropped on the second and deciding moto it was Osborne who prevailed to take the Holeshot ahead of Cianciarulo, while Tomac and Musquin gave chase right behind them. Musquin and Tomac battled for third briefly, but Tomac got the upper hand to secure the position. With a clear track Osborne looked to pull away, but Cianciarulo responded to the torrid pace of the opening laps.
With Tomac closing in from third Cianciarulo put the pressure on Osborne for the lead and successfully made the pass stick, leaving Osborne to fight with the reigning champion. Meanwhile, Musquin lost additional ground after getting passed by Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia for fourth.
The top four maintained their positions throughout the middle of the moto, but with 10 minutes remaining this group had closed in on one another and were separated by just a couple seconds. As they encountered lapped traffic Osborne was slowed, which allowed both Tomac and Barcia to get around and drop the point leader off the podium. The lead trio still sat within less than two seconds of one another and Tomac went on the attack, successfully taking the lead away from his teammate. Barcia followed through into second, and then Osborne dropped Cianciarulo off the podium by moving up to third.
The closing stages of the moto turned into a compelling head-to-head battle between Tomac and Barcia, and while Barcia appeared to be faster in some areas of the track, Tomac excelled in different areas as well to keep the Yamaha at bay. In the end, Tomac charged to the finish line to take his first moto win of the season by 1.1 seconds over Barcia, while Osborne finished in a distant third.
Marvin Musquin earned his first moto win of the season en route to second overall.
Photo: Align Media
By virtue of his 2-1 moto results Tomac was able to secure his 45th-career victory just one week after finishing a career-worst 16th overall. The win puts him in sole possession of fourth on the all-time wins list. Musquin finished in second (1-6), while Cianciarulo rounded out the overall podium in third (3-4). Osborne’s strong second moto helped him finish fifth overall (7-3).
“I just had a better feel [today]. The track came to us all day. We had good starts in both motos and that pace was insane there in Moto 2,” explained Tomac. “I had pressure from Barcia for a while there and we were really pushing it at the end. He kept me honest, but I was able to keep it going and get us a win. We’ve got some good tracks for us coming up and hopefully we can keep putting work in to make up some ground in the championship.”
Osborne’s strong finish to the afternoon helped minimize the ground he lost in the championship standings. He now holds a 13-point lead over Musquin, while Barcia sits 26 points behind in third. Tomac vaulted from seventh to fourth, and now faces a 27-point deficit behind Osborne.
“The first moto was just really bad for me. I made some mistakes and it was just a mess, really,” said Osborne. “It was a disappointment, but we bounced back in the second moto. I didn’t have the pace to run up front with those guys, but still put in on the box and still have the red plate [as point leader]. We’ll look forward to RedBud.”
Adam Cianciarulo earned his second straight podium result in third.
Photo: Align Media
The first 250 Class moto saw point leader Dylan Ferrandis grab the Holeshot aboard his Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing machine, just edging out Martin. With the clear track Ferrandis was able to sprint out to an early lead over his Honda counterpart, while the field jockeyed for position behind them. Ferrandis quickly built a multi-second advantage over Martin, who soon was forced to contend with Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Brandon Hartranft from third. Martin responded and soon asserted himself into the runner-up spot, while Hartranft solidified his hold of third.
Out front Ferrandis continued to add to his advantage and eventually opened up a margin of more than 20 seconds on the rest of the field. He went wire-to-wire to earn his third moto win of the season in dominant fashion, crossing the finish line 26 seconds over Martin, followed by Hartranft in third. GEICO Honda’s Jett Lawrence finished in fourth, while Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s RJ Hampshire completed the top five.
Jeremy Martin earned his second straight 250 Class victory.
Photo: Align Media
As the field emerged from the first turn to start Moto 2 it was Martin who surged to the head of the pack to secure the Holeshot ahead of Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Justin Cooper. Behind them Ferrandis was on the ground after an incident with his Star Yamaha teammate Shane McElrath, with the Frenchman finally returning to action in dead last.
With Ferrandis forced to battle his way through the field of 40 riders the window of opportunity opened for Martin to take advantage. The Honda rider was able to put some space between he and Cooper early on and continued to build that lead into a multi-second advantage, with Hartranft once again asserting himself in third. As Martin continued to lead the way out front, Ferrandis was making an impressive climb up the running order. He needed just one lap to break into the top 20, and continued to charge his way into the top 10 before the halfway point of the moto. The Frenchman’s determined comeback didn’t end there. He continually picked off riders, one-by-one, and eventually fought his way back into podium position.
Martin went unchallenged en route to his second moto win of the season, taking the checkered flag 5.7 seconds over Cooper, while Ferrandis made the most of a moto that started with him in the worst possible position by finishing third.
Dylan Ferrandis rebounded from a last-place start in Moto 2 to still finish second overall.
Photo: Align Media
Martin’s Moto 2 triumph gave him 2-1 finishes for the afternoon, which was enough to put him atop the overall standings for the second week in a row, and the 16th time in his career. Ferrandis’ impressive performance helped him secure the runner-up spot (1-3), while Hartranft earned the first overall podium finish of his career in third (3-4).
“Last week was a special moment [winning my first race since 2018], but I didn’t win a moto. It made it more special to get a good start and ride my own race to get a moto win,” said Martin. “Dylan [Ferrandis] was on it today, but I knew I needed to get a good start and that would put me in a position to win. I know Dylan didn’t get the start he wanted [in the second moto], but my GEICO Honda was working really well in these conditions and I’m just happy to be back on top of the podium. It’s going to be a fun battle [for the championship].”
By virtue of his damage control in the final moto Ferrandis maintained his hold of the point lead, losing just two points to Martin. The top two are now separated by four points.
“I just ride as fast as I can and pass the most riders I can. I have nothing to lose,” said Ferrandis. “I wish there was more laps, but it is what it is. It’s a disappointment to lose out on the second moto, but this is racing and sometimes things like that happen. We’ll just keep fighting and try again next week.”
Brandon Hartranft earned his first career podium finish in third.
Photo: Align Media
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will celebrate Labor Day weekend with its first-ever doubleheader from Michigan’s legendary RedBud MX, which will host the fourth and fifth rounds of the 2020 season. The Circle K RedBud I National will begin the holiday festivities on Friday, September 4, with broadcast coverage of the first motos airing live on MAVTV Motorsports Network, beginning at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET. Coverage of the second motos will air via tape delay on NBC Sports Network, beginning at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET. All four motos will also stream live via the Pro Motocross Pass on NBC Sports Gold, starting at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET. The second half of the doubleheader will take place on Labor Day, Monday, September 7, as the Circle K RedBud II National will feature a full slate of live coverage all afternoon long. Opening motos will air live on MAVTV, beginning at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET, followed by second motos live on NBC Sports Network, beginning at 12 p.m. PT / 3 p.m. ET. All four motos will also stream live on NBC Sports Gold, beginning at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET.
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
Guaranteed Rate Ironman National
Ironman Raceway – Crawfordsville, Indiana
August 29, 2020
450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (2-1)Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (1-6)Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (3-4)Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (6-2)Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (7-3)Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (4-5)Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (5-7)Dean Wilson, Scotland, Husqvarna (8-8)Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha (9-10)Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda (11-12) 450 Class Championship StandingsZach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 122Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 109Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 96Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 95Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 89Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 81Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 78Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha – 71Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda – 59Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna – 58Dean Wilson, Scotland, Husqvarna – 58250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda (2-1)Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (1-3)Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., KTM (3-4)Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (8-2)Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (4-5)Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki (7-6)Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., Yamaha (6-10)Jo Shimoda, Japan, Honda (12-7)Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Kawasaki (11-8)Carson Mumford, Simi Valley, Calif., Honda (13-9)250 Class Championship StandingsDylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha – 135Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda – 131Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki – 100Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., Yamaha – 95RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 90Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki – 79Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 75Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 63Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., KTM – 61Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Kawasaki – 61