The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross tour holds its third event of a consecutive four-week stretch today at The Wick 338, as the world’s top motocross riders return to New England for the Kubota Southwick National. The complex 1.35-mile course returned to the series in 2016, and has seen back-to-back wins from Eli Tomac since its return; in addition, Tomac joins Blake Baggett, Justin Barcia, and Cooper Webb as 450 riders who have won here in the 250 class in the past.
The first group of riders hits the track for practice bright and early at 8:15AM ET, while the first set of motos kicks off with the 250s at 1:10PM ET. Whether you’re watching the action on TV or streaming online, here are the three storylines that will surely shape the event:
Can Eli Tomac make it a perfect six for six to start the season?
Tomac’s dominance to start the 2018 season is well documented, but he’s not just the favorite this weekend because of that. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider also qualified first here last year by more than two seconds, and despite only ranking third and sixth in the two holeshots, led a total of 24 of the 32 laps—14 in the first moto after getting by Baggett, and 10 in the second after passing Marvin Musquin. It was his third overall win in a row last year; it’ll be his sixth in a row if he does it today.
Who’s the 250 class favorite for this weekend?
With injuries to both defending winner Zach Osborne and frequent front-runner Jeremy Martin, the 250 class is wide open coming into this weekend. Points leader Aaron Plessinger was 39th overall of 40 riders here last year. Dylan Ferrandis, who won the first moto in 2017 and finished second overall, has shown great pace but has only run two rounds so far. Last week’s winner, Shane McElrath, only came home 12th overall last season. Who wins the overall on Saturday is anybody’s guess.
How will Cooper Webb and Justin Bogle race in their return to action?
Webb and Bogle are each making their first start of the 2018 season in Southwick after coming back from various injuries. That’s never easy, as we’ve seen with Ken Roczen’s gradual return to form this summer, but the good news is that both riders took overall top 10s here last year. Webb podiumed in the first moto on the way to fourth place overall, while Bogle placed ninth and 13th in the two motos to crack the top 10 overall. Both will hope to start their abbreviated seasons strong.