The 2017 season in motocross has reached the finish line and we decided to make a top10 from MXGP and AMA.
10) Jeremy Seewer
After a successful 2016 season, where he finished as runner-up, behind Jeffrey Herlings, the Swiss rider remained in MX2 with Suzuki to fight for this season’s title.
Credited as the main favourite of 2017, Jeremy was the championship leader after the Indonesian GP and managed to stay there until the Latvian round. Although he didn’t gain back anymore the 1st position in the standings, he managed to bring the fight until the last round with pretty consistent results.
Another runner-up finish in MX2 was supposed to bring Seewer a seat in the MXGP category for Stefan Everts team, but the unexpected withdrawal of Suzuki makes both Jeremy and Jasikonis revalue their offers.
9) Adam Cianciarulo
After a lot of seasons cursed by injuries, Adam finally had an entire season to show his full potential. And he did: he fought for both 250 title in AMA and 250SX East in Supercross, maintaining the thrill for the last one until the Las Vegas finale.
He finished in top3 in both competitions and if he’ll keep himself away from injuries, we’ll see Adam very soon in the upper category.
8) Pauls Jonass
After missing the world title in MX2 in 2015, Jonass took his revenge this season, becoming the first ever Latvian world champion in MXGP. Sure, he had a difficult year, with strong opponents like Seewer, Paturel or Convington, but his experience didn’t let him down.
Pauls will remain in MX2 in 2018 with KTM Factory Racing to defend the crown, but it’s very possible to see him in the MXGP class from 2019.
7) Blake Baggett
2017 will be an unforgettable year for Blake, not only for his performance in Supercross, where he gained a podium in Atlanta and finished the season in 6th place, but especially for the results in AMA.
2 round wins and many other podiums kept Baggett in the title battle until the Ironman finale, completing the top3 of the category, behind the champion Eli Tomac and runner-up Marvin Musquin.
Considering the fact that Baggett didn’t have a factory bike and Ryan Dungey surprisingly decided to end his career, this season could be the beginning of a very nice career for the Grand Terrace-borned rider.
6) Zach Osborne
The Husqvarna factory rider had a hard season, especially with a fired-up Adam Cianciarulo as opponent. However, Osborne was able to beat him in the same 2 competitions and win the 2 titles, repeating Cooper Webb’s performance from last year.
The former Junior Motocross world champion will stay in 250SX East in Supercross next year, but he’ll promote to 450 class in AMA with the swedish manufacturer and who knows, he might become a star in the future.
5) Marvin Musquin
At his second season at the upper category in both american competitions, Musquin has shown another face and became a serious championship contender. At Arlington, he became the fourth frenchman to win a round in Supercross, finishing 3rd in the general classification.
After his teammate Dungey retired, Marvin had a bigger pressure in AMA, but he kept the title hopes until the Ironman finale and he was quite close to make the surprise in front of Eli Tomac.
Well, it’s more than likely that these 2 will be the men to watch in 2018, and if Ken Roczen manages to get back to his shape, the show will be granted.
4) Eli Tomac
After a very good 2016 campaign, the expectations for Tomac were pretty high. In Supercross he managed to win 9 out of 17 rounds and he also got the red plate, but the lack of consistency costed him the tile in the Las Vegas title.
Even with Dungey’s retirement, he had a tough season in AMA, with Marvin Musquin and the surprising Blake Baggett as main rivals. However, the Kawasaki factory rider clinched the title and has the main chance in 2018 in both AMA and Supercross championships.
3) Jeffrey Herlings
“The Bullet” has finally promoted to MXGP, and the expectations were high, especially after Febvre and Gajser’s performances from 2015 and 2016 respectively. But a hand injury created a lot of difficulties for Herlings in the first 5 rounds.
Everything changed after the first home round from Valkenswaard: 6 GP victories and many other podiums made him the championship runner-up, behind teammate Tony Cairoli.
The Dutch rider has also ridden in the final round of AMA 450, where he clinched a double win at his debut and not only that he’s now a big championship challenger for the 2018 MXGP title, but we’ll probably see Jeffrey moving to AMA soon.
2) Ryan Dungey
After a 2016 season that started with a Supercross title and finished with a serious injury, nobody knew what to expect from Dungey. He hasn’t got back on a MX bike for like 6 months and even he said that in the first rounds of Supercross he’ll try to find back his pace.
After Ken Roczen’s horrible crash, Dungey became surprisingly leader in the standings, but the hard was about to begin. A lot of start problems and a fired-up Eli Tomac were some of the difficulties that Dungey had to face.
But the unbelievable comebacks and especially: the consistence, brought the last title of the KTM’s career, Ryan deciding to retire in glory a few days later. But considering what he’s been through last year, it’s understandable.
1) Tony Cairoli
At his age or even earlier, most of the riders would retire, and after 2 seasons where he felt the pain of a seriuos injury and a very hard pack of opponents from 2017, Tony was very close to this point.
But the sicilian rider overcame all the odds and became world champion in motocross for the 9th time in his career. Indeed, Gajser and Herlings had some injuries this season and Febvre had problems with the pace, but once again, the consistence is probably the most important in motorcycling.
If Cairoli keeps it like that or even better, it’s not excluded to hear: Tony Cairoli, the 10 or maybe 11 times motocross world champion, at maybe 35 years old, the same age for Stefan Everts at his retirement. Who knows, Antonio might give an advice for his friend, Valentino Rossi. 🙂
photo – Ray Archer/KTM Media Library