The following is from MAVTV…
CORONA, California (May 13, 2014). – MAVTV will deliver live broadcasts of both the 250 and 450 classes opening motos-40 minutes each plus two laps of high-flying, bone-crunching racing-for the entire 12-round Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, starting with the Red Bull Glen Helen National in San Bernardino, California, on May 24.
Previous champions Ryan Dungey, James Stewart and Chad Reed are entered in the 450cc premier class. Dungey of Belle Plaine, Minnesota, was champion in 2012 and 2010. Reed took the 2009 title and Stewart won it in 2008.
Even with 2013 and 2011 national champion Ryan Villopoto pulling out of the series to undergo knee surgery, the championship has a world-class field with Dungey, Stewart and Reed joined by Trey Canard, Justin Barcia, Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac.
“Villopoto has missed this championship before with injuries and each year Ryan Dungey has dominated,” Jason Weigandt, the lead broadcaster for the series said. “But there’s a lot of talent lined up that wasn’t there for most of Dungey’s championship seasons–a healthy James Stewart, Chad Reed and Trey Canard and young kids like Justin Barcia, Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac. With the champ out, this time it could be wide open.”
“There are injuries, mistakes, bad luck over the course of a 12-round, 24-moto season. If Dungey, Stewart and Reed have any edge in the championship, it’s that they know how to take advantage of the situation,” Weigandt added.
Stewart enjoyed a comeback season in Supercross, winning five main events. The 28-year-old from Haines City, Florida, won all 24 motos in his 2008 championship, but injuries have frequently derailed his career. Stewart’s most recent crown was in 2009 in Supercross.
“We’ve seen a different James Stewart in Supercross,” Weigandt said. “He’s getting his mojo back, he’s a new James Stewart.”
Reed, a 32-year-old Australian who has been racing in America since 2002, missed most of the Supercross season with a shoulder injury that required surgery in February. He had two wins and two third places in the opening five events.
“When the odds are stacked against him, he always does better,” Weigandt said. “I don’t care if he’s 50, you can’t count him out.”
Weigandt regards Canard, Barcia, Tomac and Roczen as riders who could break through to win the championship.
Canard of Edmond, Oklahoma, was fourth in last year’s 450cc Class championship and was the 250cc Class champion in 2010.
“Trey Canard has overcome injuries to bounce back strongly,” Weigandt said. “His fourth a year ago was evidence that he’s capable of winning it.”
Barcia was third behind Villopoto and Dungey in the 450cc Class championship a year ago. Tomac was the 250cc Class champion and Roczen was runner-up.
“Justin Barcia, that’s a lot of talent,” Weigandt said. “He was new to the 450’s last year and you’ve got to think he’ll get better. Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen are moving up into the 450 Class and they could do it if the circumstances are right.”
Canard is 23, Barcia 22, Tomac 21 and Roczen 20. At 24, Dungey is the oldest among the former champions.
“It’s clear the old guard hasn’t gone away and we’ve got kids moving up,” Weigandt said. “It’s a pretty good collision of the generations.”
The 2014, 250 Lucas Oil Motocross Championship is up for grabs this year with National Champ Eli Tomac 22, from Cortez, Colorado and Ken Roczen 21 from Mattstedt, Germany jumping up to the 450 Class. However, third place finisher Marvin Musquin 25 from La Noele, France, a former two-time F.I.M. MX2 World Champion should be tough to beat.
Among Musquin’s competition will be 2011 Champion Dean Wilson 22,Glasgow, Scotland and 2012 Champion Blake Baggett 22, of Grand Terrace, California. Both Wilson and Baggett are returning to the fray following injuries last summer.
MAVTV American Real is an American leader in the broadcasting of motor racing on two and four wheels. This will be its inaugural season televising the opening moto of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
“We’re very excited to add both first motos ofthe Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship to our lineup of programming,” MAVTV President and Lucas Oil Executive Vice President Bob Patison said. “It’s world-class motocross and cuts to the core of our audience.”
“We’ll be working in conjunction with our television partners from the NBC Sports Group so that fans will not miss any of the mind-blowing action.”
For additional information, visit www.mavtv.com.