With the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships upon us, let’s dig into the “dirty dozen” that comprise one of the toughest professional motocross events. Each track has its own challenges, twists and turns – and taken collectively, the group rattles even the best MX racers, including the riders on Team BTO!
Here is each track on the ’15 Lucas Oil Pro MotoX Championship circuit, listed chronologically as per the official Lucas Oil Pro MotoX schedule:
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One of the most celebrated MX courses on the circuit, Hangtown has impressive length, hairpin turns and a series of bumps & ruts about halfway through, immediately followed by a 180-degree left turn with a steep hill. Smooth yet surprisingly difficult, Hangtown is again the choice to start the ’15 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships.
Here’s what you need to know about Glen Helen: the track has a hill over 200 feet high dubbed Mt. St. Helen’s. Which Mt. St. Helen’s is more dangerous: the explosive volcano or this killer incline? Ask a pro MX rider, and you’ll probably get more votes for the track. Glen Helen is the baddest of all SoCal courses – and that’s saying a lot.
TV lacks pure straightaway stretches, so well-timed throttling and gearing are essential. Deep, soft dirt makes racing Thunder Valley particularly challenging for less-experienced MX riders. The track’s altitude – it’s nestled in the Rockies, not far from Denver – is also a hidden hazard. TV really grabbed the spotlight a few years back when the track hosted the first nighttime AMA Pro Motocross National event.
What else would you expect from the Lucas Oil Pro’s cleanup hitter? Fourth in line for the ’15 Lucas Oil Pro championships, this Muddy Creek raceway is a true heavy hitter. It features some of the best traction on the circuit, thanks to rich soil. Oh, and the natural surrounding scenery makes it one of the most idyllic locations to watch a motocross race.
Pennsylvania isn’t known as a hotbed of MX activity, but don’t tell that to the folks at High Point. Located about an hour south of Pittsburgh, HP is one of the “sleeper” courses on the Lucas Oil Pro circuit. This year, the track will help separate the leaders from the pretenders.
Similar to Thunder Valley, this southern Maryland track is jam-packed with tricky turns. Budds Creek has tons of interior trees, too – so riders have a tough time keeping tabs on what the competition is up to. Many would-be winners have given up the lead at Budds Creek, thanks to the built-in concealment.
One of the most popular MX tracks on the planet, RedBud National is known for its wide, roomy track. This gives anyone in the back of the pack the chance to make headway on the leader. RedBud is best known for the biggest hill on the pro MX circuit, called LaRocco’s Leap. The track regularly draws the largest crowds for pro MX events.
The second half of the championship trek begins at Spring Creek National. Packed with perilous pitfalls, SCN is a worthy entry on the Lucas Oil Pro circuit. The track’s legendary status is cemented with bountiful names for certain sections: Honda Hallway, Mount Millville, River Valley Power Jump and Thor’s Holy Schmit, just to name a few.
Washougal is an MX track lover’s dream: stunning local views, high-flying competition and something called Horsepower Hill, which ranks as one of the most problematic patches of track on the circuit. What really makes Washougal a challenge is the track itself – by many accounts, the roughest rumble-ready surface of the twelve Lucas Oil Pro motocross courses.
Known for its numerous jumps and tunnels, Unadilla National boasts some of the most iconic track features on the planet, let alone the Lucas Oil Pro MotoX Championships. Three jumps are usually where MX events are won and lost: The Wall, Gravity Cavity and the aptly-named Skyshot, which is probably the most-photographed jump in MX history.
Utah National is the crown jewel of Miller Motorsports Park, which has been named Motorsports Facility of the Year. Course difficulty borders on the insane. The winding track is well-stocked with challenges at practically every turn. Only the most skilled MX pros have a chance of winning at Utah National.
The final event of the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships is held in speed-crazy Indiana, not far from RedBud. Ironman is a fresh face for the pro MX circuit, but still has a few hidden surprises – the hallmark of favorite veteran tracks. A 2-D map of Ironman doesn’t do the course justice; sudden drops & dips, cruel climbs and soft dirt make Ironman a formidable foe for pros and amateurs alike.
Have a favorite course to ride? We want to hear about it in the comments!