SOUTHWICK, Mass. (July 8, 2017) -
The seventh round of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned
by AMA Pro Racing, witnessed the worlds best riders
encounter the sandy soil at The Wick 338, which ultimately served as the most
physically demanding track of the season thus far. Points leader Eli Tomaccontinued on his recent hot
streak by putting his Monster Energy Kawasaki atop the podium for the third
straight round, and fourth time this season, to extend his championship lead.
In the 250 Class, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Zach Osborne
emerged with his second consecutive 250 Class win.
Despite Martin facing a clear track ahead,
Hampshire was on fire as he carried his momentum around the fast sweeping turns
and closed in for the top spot. Hampshire used a strong drive down one of the
straights and out-braked Martin to become the new race leader on Lap 1. Just
one lap later, Hampshire lost the front end through the rolling whoops, which
took him to the ground and allowed Martin to retake the lead. Hampshire's
misfortune allowed Plessinger to move back into
second, just ahead of Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha
teammate Dylan Ferrandis. By Lap 3, the Yamaha duo
paced one another and started to reduce the gap that separated them from race
Plessinger made a costly mistake while
stalking Martin for the first and hit the ground hard as he got sideways over
one of the tracks jumps, which prematurely ended his race. Martin continued to
lead out front, while Ferrandis and Hampshire took
advantage of Plessinger's mishap to control second
and third, respectively. On Lap 7, Ferrandis was hot
on the heels of Martin, eventually finding his way around to make the pass
stick. Ferrandis made a mistake and tipped over just
turns later, moving Martin back into the top spot as Ferrandis
quickly remounted in second.
With Martin and Ferrandis
setting the pace out front, Osborne, who started seventh, started picking
riders off one-by-one and overtook Hampshire for third. Ferrandis
had no problem brushing off his tip over from a few laps prior and looked to
have his sights set on the race lead once again. On Lap 9, the Frenchman
aggressively blitzed his way around Martin and back into the lead. Osborne
started to find his flow and closed in on the defensive Martin for second
before making the pass at the end of the lap.
Ferrandis rode flawless during the
final laps to score his second moto win of the season, with 6.9 seconds to
spare on Osborne in second. Martin, who led more than half of the race, would
complete the podium in third, narrowly edging out his brother and GEICO Honda
rider Jeremy Martin in fourth.
In Moto 2, Osborne edged out Alex Martin and
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Joey Savatgy to
take his second Motosport.com Holeshot of the year.
First moto winner Ferrandis was just behind the trio
and made short work of Savatgy to move into third,
which then led to him making the move on Martin for second just a few turns
later. At the completion of the opening lap it was Osborne, Martin, and Ferrandis who paced the field.
Osborne was in full sprint mode as he
attempted to break away from Ferrandis, however, the
Yamaha rider had different thoughts as he pushed hard to keep the championship
leader in sight. On Lap 2 Osborne had company with Ferrandis
in hot pursuit, battling side-by-side as the thousands of fans cheered them on.
Osborne was able to shut down each attempt that was
thrown at him by Ferrandis, while Martin was not far
behind with a front row seat to the action.
As rain began to fall on Lap 5, Osborne
gradually started opening a small lead on his rivals by charging the whooped out sand rollers that were scattered across the
track. Martin refused to give up as he went back and forth with Ferrandis and continued to match the Yamaha rider's lap
times throughout the 30-minute-plus-two-lap moto.
Osborne took his sixth moto win of the
season with an 8.6 second advantage over Ferrandis,
who held onto second. Martin fought hard until the very end, finishing just 2.8
seconds behind Ferrandis for third.