Buffalo, NY: At this weekend’s Ironman National in Crawfordsville, Indiana, the final showdown for the 2017 AMA Pro 450 Motocross Championship came down to three riders: Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin, and two Team Dunlop alumni, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM’s Blake Baggett and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac.
In motocross, anything can happen, and it almost did. In the first moto, points-leader Tomac, who wasn’t going to take the easy road to the title, challenged for the lead early on. In a nail-biter moment for the championship, Tomac went down trying to make a pass, but was able to get up, rejoin the race and salvage a fifth-place finish. Musquin finished second with Baggett third.
In the second moto, Tomac only needed a single point to take the title. But a bad start put him back in the field. He put his head down and began working his way to the front. At the end, Musquin and Baggett finished second and third respectively again, and Tomac crossed the line in sixth. It was all Tomac needed to take his first 450 National Motocross championship.
In winning both the 250 and 450 AMA Pro Motocross titles in 2017, Dunlop’s Geomax® series of tires have won every AMA Pro Motocross title since 2010. That’s 16 championships in a row. In 2017, riders who made the choice to run Dunlop tires instead of another brand contributed to 377 moto wins for the Geomax line, extending Dunlop’s record of owning more AMA Pro motocross titles than all other tire companies combined.
“Eli really earned that one,” said Mike Buckley, Dunlop Motorcycle’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “He’s overcome a lot over the past few years to win the most prestigious motocross title in the U.S. This is personally a big one for all of us at Dunlop. We never dreamed when we started the Team Dunlop amateur support program over a decade ago that so many of the kids and their families we supported would achieve so much success in the pro ranks. Both Eli and Blake were on Team Dunlop the very first year, and it means a lot for us to see how Blake battled through injury to stay in this championship to the very end, and to see our first Team Dunlop graduate take the 450 national title. Hats off to Eli, his family and team, and all the riders who continue to count on Dunlop to chase their dreams.”