With just four of 12 rounds remaining in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, this weekend’s Motosport.com Washougal National will see the championship begin to take on even a higher level of urgency. Washougal precedes the final off weekend of the 2018 season, giving riders an extra bit of encouragement (not that they needed it) to post a strong result here before resetting for a final charge at Unadilla, Budds Creek, and Ironman.
The 450 title fight remains a two-horse race between Eli Tomac, who won here in 2016, and Marvin Musquin, the defending event champion; in 250, Star Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger has a sizable 49-point advantage over Alex Martin. With that in mind, here’s what we’ll be keeping an eye on in Washington with today’s motos:
What’s next for Tomac and Musquin?
Tomac’s disastrous weekend at RedBud may have briefly handed over the red plate to Musquin, but a 1-1 at Spring Creek enabled the defending 450 champion to return to the top of the standings. Tomac holds just a seven-point advantage over Musquin with four events to go, even after how dominant he was to start the 2018 season. With that in mind, even the slightest slip-up could prove costly for either rider this weekend in Washougal.
Can anybody else find a way to win a 450 moto?
Ken Roczen is the only rider other than Tomac and Musquin to win a moto this season. Even with Justin Barcia and Blake Baggett retaining their top-five form throughout the season, the dominance of the top two riders has pretty much locked out a majority of the big names. If Justin Bogle, whose holeshots have been among the best in the series since his return from injury, can hold onto the lead for longer than a lap, he could also be a threat to take a victory.
When will Austin Forkner win another overall?
The past three events have seen Forkner earn finishes of 1-20 at Southwick, 35-2 at RedBud, and 2-18 at Spring Creek. While he’s been a threat for the overall victory at all of these tracks, bad luck—including some high-profile collisions while fighting for the lead—has found a way to bite him at each. It’s been two seasons since the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider took his last overall victory, and he’ll be hoping that Washougal helps him steady the recent rollercoaster ride.