The 250MX class in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series might be the most exciting class in the world, as most know that the riders battling it out in that division will leave it all on the line. I think that this season was no different. I mean, look at the final series standings – the class is full of top guys! In the end, the title fight wasn’t as close as it could have been. However, the series was still enthralling. Hopefully this season review will tell the story.
1st Eli Tomac (Geico Honda) 552 points:
When Eli Tomac burst onto the scene back in 2010, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that he was going to secure a Lucas Oil Pro Motocross title at some point in his career. However, I (and many others) thought that Eli would have the title to his name sooner than he did. But he has done it now, and in a dominant fashion too! Interestingly, Tomac seemingly became a better-rounded rider as the year progressed, his starts and race craft improved near Red Bud – he was pretty much unbeatable from that point. If you digest the following figures, you will see that they fully support this. In the first half of the season Eli scored twenty-two points on average. In the second half, he scored an average of twenty-four points, which is astonishing really.
2nd Ken Roczen (Red Bull KTM) 493 points:
Oh, what could have been for Ken Roczen this year? I am certain that the Millville crash cost him the title – he just was not the same guy following that, as he failed to match the pace of Eli. Obviously the Millville DNF left him in a deep points hole. But Ken could have gotten out of that. In the first half of the year, Roczen scored an average of twenty-two points. In comparison, Roczen scored (on average) nineteen points in the second half. So, there was clearly a dip in form there. But second was really a great performance, still, as he struggled last year. So a lot of people wanted to see if Ken could contend in the USA – he proved that he could this year.
3rd Marvin Musquin (Red Bull KTM) 411 points:
Marvin Musquin had a very up and down series, and I do not really know why. At the start of the year Musquin seemed to be right in the thick of the title hunt, as he was the first rider to have two overall wins to his name (Muddy Creek and High Point). But those two wins turned out to be his only victories this year. Marvin won just one race, also, shockingly. If I were to offer you a brief rundown of his season, it would go a little something like this. The start was good for him, the middle was average, and the end was pretty bad. The Frenchman was struggling to get into the top ten by the end of the season, which is quite peculiar. Musquin will be one of (if not) the favourites for the title in 2014, so he has to resolve these issues before then.
4th Blake Baggett (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) 395 points:
Blake Baggett had high hopes heading into the season. Obviously, as the reigning champion, Blake would have hoped to be in contention, at least. However, he was rarely a factor in the race for the win, let alone the title. Of course, Baggett was dealing with a wrist injury for the whole season, which hindered his performance. It was really quite strange how some weeks Blake would be quick enough to battle up front, and then at the next round it would be very hard for him to get into the top ten. So that led most to question if his wrist was an issue, as it would not explain his inconsistency. You would think that if the wrist was a real issue, it would have hindered him every single week.
5th Zach Osborne (Geico Honda) 356 points:
Zach Osborne finished a very comfortable fifth in the final series standings, as he was fifty-six points up on sixth (Jeremy Martin). Osborne was thirty-nine points down on Blake Baggett as well, so there is no doubt that he was the fifth best guy. It was very impressive that Zach was one of the only guys to break up the top four consistently, and make regular appearances up on the podium. The Geico Honda rider was also one of only three guys (alongside Tomac and Musquin) to score points in every single race, which is a commendable feat in itself. I believe that Zach will be one to watch in 2014 – he will be looking to put himself in title contention.
6th Jeremy Martin (Star Racing Yamaha) 300 points:
Undoubtedly, Jeremy Martin was deserving of the ‘Rookie of the Year’ award, as he was very impressive this season. I was actually surprised to see that Martin ended in sixth in the series standings, as he was under the radar for the most part. Jeremy did have a handful of podium finishes to his name, also, which really helped him to standout. Evidently, he really improved from the first half to the second half – Martin scored an average of just ten points in the first six rounds, compared to an average of fourteen in the second half. It is actually quite strange that those kinds of points left him sixth in the standings.
7th Justin Bogle (Geico Honda) 291 points:
Justin Bogle was a revelation this season, in my opinion, as no one expected him to appear in the fight for the lead – he did just that, on a few occasions. Really, this was the first time that we have seen what Bogle can do, as he injuries have held him back in the past. Although Justin finished in the top five in just four motos, he was fighting for those positions frequently. I am sure that his Geico Honda ride would have been jeopardized, had he not performed this year – fortunately he did.
8th Jason Anderson (Rockstar Energy Racing) 260 points:
Overall, Jason Anderson did not finish four races over the course of the year, which hindered him in the final series standings. With an average points haul of eleven (per moto), Anderson could have quite easily ended up in sixth, had he not failed to score points on four occasions. Jason is another rider that could easily elevate his game in 2014 and put himself in a position to battle for a couple of race wins. Undoubtedly, this is why the Rockstar Energy Racing team stuck by him through his difficult years, as they saw this potential – it just took slightly longer than expected for this to be unearthed.
9th Cooper Webb (MyPlash Star Racing Yamaha) 255 points:
Cooper Webb seemingly had a very up and down season. But, that is understandable, seeing as he was a rookie; he wasn’t going to get it right first time! The Yamaha rider burst onto the scene back at the start of the season – Webb proved that he can battle inside of the top five, immediately. Although Cooper had more flashes of brilliance in the first half of the series, he was more inconsistent. Admittedly he was not as noticeable in the second half. But he was a lot more consistent, as he was comfortably inside of the top ten for the most part. Of course his season ended with a bang, as he landed on the overall podium at Lake Elsinore in third. It is great that he did that, as that weight has been lifted from his shoulders heading into 2014.
10th Kyle Cunningham (MyPlash Star Racing Yamaha) 228 points:
Remarkably, the MyPlash Star Racing Yamaha team had all three of their guys in the top ten, which is a commendable feat – especially considering the troubles that they have faced in the past. Although Kyle Cunningham is the worst finisher on the team, he should have finished a lot higher than this. In practice at the final round, Cunningham broke his foot, which really is unfortunate, as it ended what had been a pretty good year, in the worst way possible. Still, it was clear to most that he should have finished around seventh – so at least his performance will not go unrecognised.
11th Cole Seely (Troy Lee Designs Lucas Oil Honda) 223 points:
I thought about featuring Cole Seely in our ‘Under the Radar’ column a lot this season, as he wasn’t really talked about by most, despite posting some solid results. Seely has never been as strong outdoors as he is indoors, so no one thought that he was going to set the world alight this season. At Red Bud, Cole finished fifth in one moto, but apart from that he didn’t make an appearance in the top five. Although he was capable of finishing inside of the top ten with ease, he spent most of the year around tenth. It wasn’t a great year for him – it wasn’t bad either though.
12th Justin Hill (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) 217 points:
I cannot decide if Justin Hill had a poor year or not. Mitch Payton seems to think that he was sub-par for the most part – however, he finished right where I expected him to. Honestly, he was never going to beat established guys like Cole Seely, or Kyle Cunningham, and when it was all said and done, Hill was the second best rider on his team, which really isn’t bad at all, is it? Sure, he did not have as many flashes of brilliance as we have come to expect from the rookies, but he was solid, which is sometimes that hardest skill to acquire.
Words by Lewis Phillips