Lucas Oil Pro Motocross enters the fourth quarter of its 2018 championship with this weekend’s visit to Unadilla MX, one of the most important and iconic courses in the sport. Hosting events in numerous championships for nearly 50 years, many of the sport’s biggest names—from motorsport legends like Rick Johnson and Jeff Ward to modern heroes like Ricky Carmichael and Ryan Dungey—have all taken victories here.
Unadilla precedes both Budds Creek and Ironman in the championship, and with riders having just taken their final off weekend before the end of the year, everyone should be freshly recharged for the final few battles. Here’s a quick lowdown of what to look out for as you’re checking out Saturday’s motos in both the 450 and 250 classes:
Does the final off weekend of the season give the points leaders an advantage?
He’s held and lost the 450 points lead a couple of times this year, but both times that Pro Motocross has returned to action after an off weekend in 2018, Eli Tomac has come out the winner. He went 2-1 to win at High Point, despite losing his first moto of the season, and 1-1 at Spring Creek to reclaim the championship lead. In 250, class leader Aaron Plessinger has swept all four motos after 2018’s off weekends, although he was only seventh overall (4-10) in last year’s Unadilla event.
What’s up with Marvin Musquin being left off France’s Motocross of Nations team?
Despite this year’s MXoN being held at RedBud, where Musquin took the 450 overall victory with a 2-1 record last month, the Red Bull KTM rider isn’t on this year’s team roster. Maybe he’s just in need of a break after an intense 2018 season that has included championship challenges in both Supercross and Pro Motocross. Maybe it’s because Gautier Paulin and Romain Febvre have seven titles between them in the past four years. Either way, Musquin made a strong case for his first MXoN appearance since 2015.
How will cross-country champion Kailub Russell slot into the Pro Motocross field?
A five-time GNCC champion, Russell will join the Red Bull KTM lineup in the 450 class for the final three rounds of the season as an injury fill-in. The difference between GNCC and Pro Motocross is akin to desert racing versus short course, or rally versus rallycross, in terms of course consistency and event length, so stamina certainly shouldn’t be an issue. It’ll be an interesting few weeks to see how quickly Russell adapts to the new challenge.