A standout performance from a rider one week could easily turn into a performance not worth mentioning by the next week, or worse, by the next moto.

Podium math is ever-evolving by the time the gate drops for the second moto of each round – every lap and every moto counts, with the obvious goal of walking away with the most points possible from each round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.

Round Three took place in Lakewood, Colorado, at Thunder Valley Park and with it came the unique challenge of the circuit – altitude.


Teams, sponsors, and riders want to go out each week and collect the most points possible for their on-track performance. Unfortunately, nearly every rider runs into challenges of some sort that risks knocking them out of the Hot List and into the Not List.

Here we’ll take a look at who impressed and who was left kicking themselves after their two motos.

Who’s Hot

Things can change rapidly in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, but it’s definitely worth giving these riders their time in the spotlight, here’s our look at the hot rides at Thunder Valley.

Alex and Jeremy Martin

For the first time this season, brothers Alex and Jeremy Martin found themselves book-ending the overall podium.

Big brother, Alex, took a commanding lead in Moto 1, easily claiming the victory. Little brother, Jeremy, has taken time to adjust to his new Honda after riding Yamahas for many years of his career. However, he seems to finally have found a groove and we are back to seeing the vintage Jeremy Martin we became so accustomed to.

While they raced separate classes in Supercross, the Martin Brothers both race the 250 class in Pro Motocross and may end up being a force to be reckoned with throughout this entire season. If you can come out with a podium finish in Colorado where the track is rough and rugged and the altitude is challenging, then you’re likely in good shape for continuing on the path of remaining on the Hot List.

Jason Anderson

The #21 of Jason Anderson has been steadily improving, and consistently showing he has what it takes to be one of the frontrunners, week in and week out.

A podium finish in Colorado is particularly noteworthy for Anderson, as it is no secret that he has previously found himself very negatively affected by altitude sickness.

To combat the challenges he faces with racing in high altitude, he weighed options like chartering a plane and flying private so as to spend the least amount of time possible in the higher elevations.

He ultimately revealed that he slept with an oxygen mask upon arrival and utilised to good effect in between practice and the motos as well. It seemed to do the trick, as Anderson reportedly had no problems with altitude sickness this year and managed to leave with a third place overall. Anderson currently sits fourth in the points and is ready to make the charge to the front in hopes of obtaining his first overall win in the coming weeks.

Blake Baggett

Blake Baggett has steadily been adjusting to his new team and new bike over the Supercross season. Of course, switching to motocross means that there is yet another adjustment period that takes place. However, it has not taken Baggett long at all to get the settings dialled in order to release “El Chupacabra”. When Baggett is comfortable, there is no stopping him. After earning Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM their first-ever team podium the week prior in Glen Helen, Baggett backed that finish up with his first-ever career 450 overall win in Colorado.

El Chupacabra has been released and should pose an immediate threat to other contenders like Tomac, Anderson, and Musquin.

Marvin Musquin

The Frenchman is off to a commendable start for the 2017 Pro Motocross season – currently sitting in first in points and prominently displaying the red plates.

Marvin is also the only rider to have finished with an overall podium position in all three rounds of racing thus far. Could it be that Marvin is even better a racer now that his long-time team-mate Ryan Dungey is no longer lining up next to him?

Of course, Ryan is still heavily involved with his team – only now, instead of competing with Musquin, he is helping him and advising him on line choice and the best way around the track. It certainly hasn’t taken long for Marvin to adapt to being the ‘Lone Ranger’ under the KTM rig and we can expect to see him on the Hot List for most of the season.

He is a definite threat to Eli Tomac and as it’s been stated by both Marvin and Ryan, “no one is crowned until they are awarded that number one plate”.

Who’s Not

What would a Hot List be, however, without those on the Not List? Here’s a look into a few riders who missed the mark at Thunder Valley, despite a valiant effort to remain otherwise.

Justin Hill

The #46 Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider of Justin Hill started the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Season fresh off securing his career-first 250SX Western Regional Championship, with hopes of carrying that momentum with him directly to ‘the Great Outdoors’.

Unfortunately for Justin, the Pro Motocross season is off to a less than desirable start. Between some bad luck and mechanical problems, the #46 has only broken into the Top 10 in three of the six motos thus far. Colorado proved to be another race that kept Hill mid-pack for the majority of the motos.

Justin currently sits 14th in points in the 250 class – which is likely about 13th places lower than he’d prefer to be racing at. However, luck can change any time in Pro Motocross and there are still plenty of motos and plenty of points to be divvied out, leaving plenty of time for the current Monster Energy AMA Supercross champion to come back with a vengeance and work his way back to the top of the leader board.

Shane McElrath

Shane McElrath is another name we’d expect to see nearer the top of the points standings after his breakout year in Supercross but currently sits 12th overall. Even though historically, McElrath has performed better under Supercross settings, the pieces have been adding up in hopes that he will soon have his breakout year in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross as well.

Shane hasn’t encountered the bad luck with mechanical problems such as those dealt with by the Pro Circuit team, but his racing hasn’t yet earned its time in the spotlight for outdoors. He has, however, steadily been improving each week with a 13th overall, followed by an 11th overall in Glen Helen, and finally a ninth overall this weekend in Thunder Valley. While he hasn’t made a podium appearance yet, there is still plenty of the season left for improvement.

Cooper Webb

It’s no secret that Cooper Webb struggled with his first Monster Energy Supercross season in the 450 class and so far seems to be running into the same challenges during Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. For many riders in their rookie season, already securing one Top 10 overall finish this early into the series would definitely be something to write home about, but not for Webb.

Copper went from top of the world as a back-to-back Supercross champion in the 250SX class and 250 champion in Motocross to the new kid in the 450 classes.

Although he has finished in the Top 10 in four of the six motos run so far, he is hungry for more. But, the bouts of brilliance have been overshadowed by a 22nd and 34th place finish.

If Webb is able to connect the dots and string together two good motos, his confidence will rise and he’ll start to make his own luck.

He’s got the speed to be at the front of the pack, but now just needs to find the missing link that will get him there. It is his rookie season in the class, so most people would give Webb some slack, but Cooper lines up to win and will not be satisfied until he gets back on the top step.

Eli Tomac

One name we definitely wouldn’t expect to see in a ‘not so hot’ list is the #3 of Eli Tomac.

While Eli is undoubtedly one of the fastest riders in the world, little mistakes, bad luck, and mechanical failures have cost him podium finishes in all but the opening round of racing.

But Tomac is a fighter. We can chalk up his finishes at Glen Helen and Thunder Valley as a string of bad luck, nothing more. It is likely that this will be one of the very few appearances on the Not List because we know that Eli has enough speed to cause every other rider in the field to be Kawasaki green with envy. Even with the off-podium overall finishes in two of three rounds, Tomac still sits second in the points standings.

The series takes a weekend off from racing on Saturday, and with the extra time to train our list could receive quite the shakeup when we resume racing at High Point on June 17.