Published on May 13th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Set to Kickoff 2015 Season
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, will kick off the 2015 season in just a matter of days from Prairie City SVRA in Sacramento, California, for the GoPro Hangtown Motocross Classic on Saturday, May 16. Headlining the field of teams set to compete over the course of 12 rounds for the respective 450 Class and 250 Class titles are defending champions Red Bull KTM (450 Class) and Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha (250 Class).
Spearheading the title defense for Red Bull KTM in the 450 Class is Ryan Dungey, a two-time Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Champion and the newly crowned Monster Energy Supercross Champion. Several other past title-winning teams will also fill the field. Monster Energy Kawasaki has won two of the last four 450 Class titles and will be led by Wil Hahn, embarking on his first full season of premier class competition. Team Yoshimura Suzuki won its last title with Dungey back in 2010, and will have rookie Blake Baggett, a former 250 Class Champion, at the helm. Team Honda HRC hasn’t won a Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship since 2004, but it will look to end that 10-season interval with rookie Cole Seely and GEICO Honda rider Eli Tomac, a title contender in his sophomore season. Former 250 Class Champion Trey Canard hopes to potentially be ready as well coming off a broken arm suffered late in the supercross season.
Several other potent teams will push to earn their first championship. RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing will look to rise to the forefront of the series with reigning 450 Class Champion Ken Roczen leading the way. Autotrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha will rely on Justin Barcia, Weston Peick and Phil Nicoletti in its hopes for a first championship for JGRMX, while former champion Chad Reed will continue his historic career with his own Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports, which added Josh Grant for the 2015 season. BTOsports.com KTM will enter 2015 with Justin Brayton under the tent, while veteran Andrew Short recovers from an injury suffered in supercross.
A new factory effort will join the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship as Husqvarna makes its anticipated return to competition for the first time since 2002. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing will be in search of the manufacturer’s first title with rookie Jason Anderson and Frenchman Christophe Pourcel, a former world champion who was signed to the team mere days ago.
In the 250 Class, Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha will be in search of back-to-back titles with reigning champion Jeremy Martin and newly crowned West Region 250SX Class Champion Cooper Webb being flanked by sophomore rider Anthony Rodriguez and rookie Aaron Plessinger. The two winningest teams of the past decade, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki and GEICO Honda, will both field formidable lineups as well. Pro Circuit hopes Adam Cianciarulo can come back strong after missing both the 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season and this past supercross campaign with two separate injuries. The team will also feature Joey Savatgy, Chris Alldredge and hopefully Swiss rider Arnaud Tonus, who is recovering from an illness. GEICO Honda will be led by its veteran Justin Bogle as well as Matt Bisceglia, RJ Hampshire and rookie Jordon Smith.
Red Bull KTM has yet to win a 250 Class title, although Grant Langston gave the manufacturer a 125cc title back in 2003, and it will rely on newly crowned East Region 250SX Class Champion Marvin Musquin and Justin Hill to accomplish that. Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Red Bull/KTM now has the factory support of the Austrian brand as well, featuring a trio of riders in Jessy Nelson, Shane McElrath and veteran Darryn Durham. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing will also pilot a 250 Class effort with veteran Martin Davalos, Zach Osborne and Zach Bell.
CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha hopes to be formidable with its budding tandem of Alex Martin and Luke Renzland, while KTM Orange Brigade will look to ascend the ranks of the division with Dakota Alix. Motosport.com/GPI/Honda will field a 250 Class team as well, featuring veteran Tommy Hahn and Kyle Peters.