2018 Ironman 450cc National MX Results

Steve Cox | August 25, 2018

2018 Ironman 450cc National MX Results: Coming into the 2018 Lucas Oil/AMA 450cc Pro Motocross Championship finale at Ironman Raceway in Indiana, the odds of Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin making up 21 points on Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac were very slim. But once the rain started falling, those odds became a bit less slim. Musquin won the muddy Unadilla MX National overall, after all.

2018 Ironman 450cc National MX Results

2018 Ironman 450cc National MX Results
Eli Tomac became the first racer to clinch two 450cc National Championships in a row since Ricky Carmichael in 2006. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROB KOY

Yamaha privateer Dylan Merriam got the holeshot in the first moto – the second time he’s done that in a mud race this year, as he grabbed the moto-one holeshot at Unadilla as well. Merriam just held off Chad Reed, who nearly snatched the holeshot in his one-off race for AutoTrader/Yoshimura Suzuki. Merriam soon gave way to Monster Energy Yamaha’s Justin Barcia, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Phil Nicoletti, Reed, and Tomac. Merriam ended up with a couple of falls in the first few laps and his moto ended on lap four.

Nicoletti took the lead from Barcia and led for a few laps before Barcia found his way back by, eventually winning the moto over Tomac, Honda’s Ken Roczen, Musquin, Reed and Nicoletti. Musquin’s late-race push to fourth place cost him four points to Tomac, which meant Tomac led the points by 24 going into the final moto of the year.

2018 Ironman 450cc National MX Results

2018 Ironman 450cc National MX Results
Justin Barcia went 1-1 at the series finale to take the overall. He ended up just a few points behind Ken Roczen in the points standings, ending the series fourth. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROB KOY

To win the title, Musquin had to win the final moto of the year, and Tomac had to fail to score any points whatsoever. Reed got the holeshot in the second moto, but Barcia immediately moved up into the lead with Roczen and Reed chasing him early. Webb soon moved past Reed for third and Musquin – who lined up next to Tomac off the start, and then immediately moved over on the defending champ to put Tomac way back in the field off the start – moved up into fourth. Reed had a fall on the first lap and rounded the lap in eighth.

Roczen pressured Barcia for the lead early on, but Barcia refused to give in, eventually pulling away to enough of a lead that, when he fell twice within 100 feet of each other with two laps to go, he still managed to hold on to the lead and take the win with 15 seconds to spare over Roczen. Musquin ended up third after a knock-down, drag-out battle with future teammate Cooper Webb that spanned the last 15 minutes of the moto. Webb hung on for fourth in front of Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM’s Blake Baggett, Husqvarna Canada’s Tyler Medaglia, Nicoletti, and Reed, who held off Tomac for eighth at the finish.

2018 Ironman 450cc National MX Results

2018 Ironman 450cc National MX Results
Ken Roczen went 3-2 at the series finale for second overall and ended the series third in the points standings. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROB KOY

Barcia took his first overall since 2015, going 1-1 in the Ironman mud, while Roczen (3-2) finished second overall and Musquin (4-3) finished third. Tomac (2-9) was fourth overall, but he’s now the first rider to win two 450cc National MX titles in a row since Ricky Carmichael 12 years ago.

Tomac and Barcia’s next race will be at the RedBud Motocross of Nations on October 5-6, where they’ll join newly crowned 250cc National Champ Aaron Plessinger on Team USA.

2018 Ironman 450cc National MX Results

2018 Ironman 450cc National MX Results

2018 Ironman 450cc National MX Results

2018 Ironman 450cc National MX Results

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Steve Cox

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