Only one round remains on the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross calendar, and only one championship remains up for grabs in America’s premier outdoor motocross series. With the 450 title locked up last weekend at Budds Creek, the 250 class will head to Indiana’s Ironman Raceway with its premier honor still up for grabs.
Saturday’s event will be the last time we see most of these riders in action for quite a while, as the sport takes its well-deserved fall and winter break before October’s annual Monster Energy Cup race in Las Vegas. With that in mind, here’s a look at what to expect in this weekend’s season finale:
Saturday is simply a victory lap for Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac, who clinched his third consecutive outdoor 450 title last weekend in Budds Creek with his fifth overall win of the year. That probably is just as well for Tomac, who only podiumed here once in the past two years and hasn’t yet won at Ironman.
Now tied with Ricky Johnson for fourth all time with 22 victories, Tomac will look to break that tie this weekend and secure wins in half of this year’s races. But to do it, he’ll have to stare down his two closest title rivals from this season, Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin, who were second and third here last year. Roczen is likely the bigger threat, with two wins and two runner-up performances in the four years the series has visited the track.
The battles for second and fourth will likely define Saturday’s action. Musquin holds a five point advantage, 426-421, over Roczen for the second spot. In fourth, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson is up 376-365 on teammate Zach Osborne for the position.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Justin Barcia capped off a fourth place run in 2018 points with a victory here last year, but the consistent top fives of last season have dropped back to top 10s this year. Though he’s finished sixth overall four times in the last six races, those are still tied for his best finishes of the 2019 season. Only once, a third place in the first Unadilla moto, has he cracked the podium in any individual race.
The biggest question in 250 isn’t who’s winning the title, but which moto he’ll lock it up after. Adam Cianciarulo’s 30-point lead (479-449) over Dylan Ferrandis is large enough that he can fairly easily clinch in the first moto and simply go out for a victory lap in the second.
50 points are on the line between the two motos, meaning Ferrandis’ maximum score for the season with a sweep is 499. If Cianciarulo wins (25 points) or finishes second (22) in the first moto, the championship battle is already over, and he’ll bid farewell to the class having made up for giving up the Supercross title to Ferrandis in the season finale from Las Vegas.
If all goes wrong for Ferrandis, his Monster Energy Star Yamaha teammate Justin Cooper is another 30 points behind him and could sneak into second. RJ Hampshire is solidly in fourth for GEICO Honda, while six riders are within 40 points of one another for fifth, including Shane McElrath, who ranks eighth but also swept last weekend’s action at Budds Creek.