Watch live coverage of Round 8 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship from Spring Creek today on NBC Sports Live Extra. The pre-race show will start at 1 p.m. ET, followed by first motos in both classes at 2 p.m. ET and then second motos at 4 p.m. ET. (Click here to access the live stream.) NBCSN will also have television coverage of second motos at 11 p.m. ET.
Here are the key stories to watch heading into today’s motos.
250 CLASS: HOMECOMING FOR THE MARTIN BROTHERS
When Spring Creek Motocross Park is described as the “home track” of brothers Jeremy and Alex Martin, that statement could not be any more true. Their parents, John and Greta Martin, have owned the facility – which is located in Millville, Minnesota – since 1987, and the track is situated right in the backyard of the house that the Martin brothers grew up in.
Today, Spring Creek will host the eighth round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, and while the Martin brothers are a hot topic every year when the series races here, this time around looks to be the most intriguing visit to the track yet for Jeremy and Alex.
The defending champion of the 250 Class, Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin has been in a back-and-forth battle all season long with Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin. Thanks to a 1-1 sweep two weeks ago at RedBud, Jeremy regained the championship lead and carries a seven-point advantage into Spring Creek.
As for Alex, the CycleTrader.com/Rock River/Yamaha rider has made a huge jump this year. A borderline top-ten rider in past years, he currently sits fifth in points and has repeatedly found himself in a position to challenge for podium finishes. Just a few weeks ago at Budds Creek, he broke through for the first moto win of his career.
Jeremy won at Spring Creek last year for the first time in his career, and it comes as no surprise that Alex has historically raced well there too. Thanks to Alex’s breakout year, the two brothers have found themselves battling head-to-head on the track multiple times this season. Might it happen again today?
“Alex and I train together, and we’re still gonna do it leading up to Millville,” Jeremy said after RedBud, before jokingly taking a shot at his older brother. “It’s been good racing. He’s gonna try to beat me [at Millville], but I’m gonna show him who’s boss.”
250 CLASS: WEBB READY TO STRIKE BACK?
Aside from Musquin, the biggest threat to a second straight Millville win may not come from Jeremy Martin’s brother – it may be his teammate, Cooper Webb.
In his second race back from injury, Webb looked strong at RedBud and very well could have swept both motos. He was en route to a win in the first moto until Martin kicked things up a notch late in the race and stole the win with a last-lap pass. Webb still found himself in position to win the overall with a victory in Moto 2, but he crashed while leading and allowed Martin to pass him once again.
Martin and Musquin may be dominating the standings, but prior to his injury at the opening round, Webb was expected to be right in the mix with those two. With two races under his belt and coming out of an off-week, Webb should be even more prepared and may have a chance to spoil his teammate’s homecoming. He finished third overall at Millville last year but won the second moto.
450 CLASS: DUNGEY WANTS BACK ATOP PODIUM
The Martin brothers aren’t the only Minnesota natives lining up as favorites. In the 450 Class, Belle Plaine’s Ryan Dungey carries a 44-point lead into this round.
While he has a solid track record at Spring Creek – capturing a victory in five straight seasons from 2008-2012 – Dungey has been winless in his last two appearances there.
The Red Bull KTM rider is also looking to snap a recent drought this season. Although he is tied for the lead with two overall wins in the 450 Class, Dungey has not won an overall since Round 4 at High Point, instead watching Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia emerge with first-place trophies. Roczen is the defending champion of the class, and Barcia is riding a sky-high wave of confidence after two straight wins, so both will be formidable foes for Dungey today.