Promotocross.com

NBC extends partnership with Lucas Oil Pro Motocross

Leave a comment

On Wednesday, NBC and MX Sports Pro Racing announced they will continue their partnership with Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. NBC will be the television and digital home of the series. The deal runs through the 2021 season, which gives the partners a decade together.

It was also announced that Luca Oil will return as the series sponsor.

As part of the agreement, all main practice sessions, qualifiers and Motos 1 and 2 will be shown live and commercial-free via NBC Sports Gold’s “Pro Motocross Pass”. Via the pass, more than 60 hours of live coverage will be shown.

Additionally, viewers will have access to full replays of all events from 2017 and 2018.

Photo: Chris Ortiz/ProMotoross.com

“As the home of motorsports, we’re proud to continue our strong relationship with the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and MX Sports Pro Racing into the next decade, further establishing our presence in the motocross community,” said Rob Simmelkjaer, senior vice president, NBC Sports Ventures. “Fans know NBC Sports is the home for all things motocross, from our linear coverage on NBC and NBCSN, to our robust offering on our direct-to-consumer product, NBC Sports Gold.”

Last year, Eli Tomac beat Marvin Musquin for the 450cc class by only 16 points. Aaron Plessinger outpaced Alex Martin in the 250cc class.

“We’re thrilled that NBC Sports will remain the home of American motocross for the foreseeable future, which will ultimately culminate in a decade-long partnership for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship,” said Carrie Coombs Russell, MX Sports Pro Racing CEO. “We are committed to providing our dedicated and loyal fanbase with as much live content as possible, and the continued development of a digital platform with NBC Sports Gold shows what the future can hold as we collectively push to grow the sport.

“We are delighted to continue on with this relationship and do our part to help the sport keep growing.”

Coverage begins with the Hangtown Classic on Saturday, May 18.

2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Telecast on NBC and NBCSN

Date Event Time (ET) Network
Sat., May 18 Hangtown Classic* – 2nd Motos 6 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., May 25 TBA* – 2nd Motos 6 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., June 2 Thunder Valley National* – 2nd Motos 4 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., June 15 High Point National – 2nd Motos 3 p.m. NBC
High Point National – 2nd Motos 4 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., June 22 Florida National – 2nd Motos 3 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., June 30 Southwick National* – 2nd Motos 10:30 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., July 6 RedBud National – 2nd Motos 3 p.m. NBC
RedBud National* – 2nd Motos 7 p.m. NBCSN
Sun., July 21 Spring Creek National* – 2nd Motos 1 a.m. NBCSN
Sat., July 27 Washougal National* – 2nd Motos 10 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., Aug. 10 Unadilla National – 2nd Motos 3 p.m. NBC
Unadilla National*- 2nd Motos 7 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., Aug. 17 Budds Creek National – 2nd Motos 4 p.m. NBCSN
Sat., Aug. 24 Ironman National* – 2nd Motos 11 p.m. NBCSN

Cooper Webb leaps from obscurity to Supercross lead

Leave a comment

Cooper Webb could not even locate the radar tower before the 2019 season began – let alone expect to see his number dead center in the radar screen.

His ascent to 450 competition came with little fanfare. Finishing 13th in Supercross in 2017 and then eighth in Motocross, Webb did not turn many heads as a rookie. Last year was more of the same.

Through Round 7 at Arlington, Webb failed to record a single top five. That elusive result would come the following week at Tampa with a fourth-place finish. Two weeks later, he stood on the podium at Daytona for the only the second time in his Supercross 450s career. But at season’s end, Webb was only ninth in the standings in both Supercross and Motocross.

No one expected much from him when Anaheim rolled around this year.

Webb started the season much the same as he ended 2018. A fifth-place finish in Anaheim I in muddy and equalizing conditions was followed by a modest 10th at Glendale, but the rider from North Carolina believed in himself.

In professional racing, nothing is more difficult than winning the first race. Webb’s first taste of victory came in Heat 1 of the Triple Crown at Anaheim II. Everyone remained skeptical – it was only one heat race after all. The skepticism turned to interest when he won Heat 2. Then Webb finished third in Heat 3 to take the overall victory. It was his first win in the 450 class.

That was all it took to unleash his potential. Webb won the following week in Oakland and then again two weeks later in Minneapolis.

The Supercross riders left Minnesota and headed straight down Interstate 35 to Arlington with four of them separated by two points. All eyes were focused on Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac, Marvin Musquin – and, oh yeah Webb who sat in second.

Someone was likely to stumble in Arlington and the odds on favorite to do so was Webb. That seemed to be confirmed once the feature started. While the three more experienced riders led by Tomac scooted away from the field, Webb was mired outside the top five for the first six lap.

It was Tomac who tripped and fell, however. Webb passed the stricken rider and surged to fifth on Lap 7. He was in fourth by Lap 10 and third on Lap 16.  As Webb and teammate Musquin battled for the second, they slowly reeled in the leader Roczen. Once Webb broke free on the conflict with the runner-up position firmly his, he could see the red plate on Roczen’s Honda like a cape being waved in front of a bull.

Webb charged through the final six laps getting closer and closer until he edged Roczen for the closest finish in Supercross history. It was Webb’s fourth victory of the season, coming only four weeks after he scored his first career win.

Relive the final laps in the video posted above.

As incredible as Webb’s rise to the points lead is, it has been done before.

Last year Jason Anderson seemingly came out of nowhere to lead the standings after Round 2. Anderson held the advantage for the remainder of the year, while Webb has been part of a game of hot potato in which no one seems to want to don the red plate for more than a week.

The pressure continues to mount. Webb now has a two-point advantage over Roczen, who is the only rider to sweep the top five this season.

Webb’s advantage over third is a mere four points, while Musquin has a current five-race streak of podium finishes to his credit.

Tomac’s trouble in Texas serves as a cautionary tale that a single loss of focus can be devastating and Webb still lacks the seat time of his three principal rivals, but last week’s incredible come-from-behind victory is showing that Webb is riding above experience level.

Follow the complete Supercross and Motocross seasons on NBC Sports, Gold.