MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – In the midst of a year filled with unpredictable challenges that yielded a cloud of uncertainty over the entirety of the 2020 season, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, completed a successful and captivating campaign. The highly competitive nature of this past season personified the notion that great things can happen when the motocross industry rallies together, and in celebration of the many individuals and organizations that helped make the 2020 season a reality MX Sports Pro Racing recognized several of the most significant contributions with a season-ending awards presentation after the Fox Raceway National.
Arguably the most important awards were handed out to the pair of newly crowned AMA National Champions, both of whom captured their first respective class titles. In the 450 Class, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne hoisted the Edison Dye Cup on the heels of four wins and six podium finishes. The Virginia native became the 25th different rider to earn a 450 Class title, and the 12th rider to earn championships across both of Pro Motocross’ competitive divisions. In addition to giving Husqvarna its first premier class title in the series, Osborne also cemented his own unique place in the record books as the oldest champion in the history of the sport at 31 years of age.
By virtue of Osborne’s exceptional season veteran technician Dave Feeney earned the “450 Class Champion Mechanic Wrench” while newly appointed team manager “Scuba” Steve Westfall commemorated his debut at the helm of the program with “Team Manager of the Year” accolades. The team’s semi driver, industry veteran Paul Delaurier, added to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s award haul as “Transport Driver of the Year.”
In the 250 Class, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis erased decades of heartbreak for French riders by becoming the first racer from the nation to raise the Gary Jones Cup. Ferrandis’ journey to become a champion on U.S. soil had been steadily building since he made the move to compete in American motocross for the 2017 season. His championship-winning run was a result of unparalleled consistency in which he captured three wins and eight podium finishes in nine rounds. Ferrandis is the 32nd different rider to win the 250 Class title and ended his stay in the division by providing Star Racing with its fifth championship in seven seasons.
Ferrandis’ title meant his mechanic, Alex Campbell, was the recipient of the “250 Class Champion Mechanic Wrench.” Additionally, after yet another impressive season by the Bobby Regan owned team, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing was also named “Team of the Year.” With Ferrandis leading the way, a trio of Star riders earned a top-five finish in the final 250 Class standings as Shane McElrath secured a pair of podium finishes en route to third in points and Justin Cooper grabbed a win and two podiums to finish fifth. The team also welcomed a pair of promising young talents to the professional ranks with Jarrett Frye and Nate Thrasher.
The first honoree of the newly named “Marty Smith Rookie of the Year” was GEICO Honda’s Jett Lawrence. On a bittersweet afternoon for the influential race team at the Fox Raceway National, the Australian capped off a stellar first full season of Pro Motocross competition by breaking through with the first win of what looks to be a promising career, which also helped him earn fourth in the final standings.
The 17-year-old is the first Australian to earn the award and his victory, combined with the first career win for Team Honda HRC’s Chase Sexton in the 450 Class that same day, helped vault American Honda Motor Company to “Manufacturer of the Year” accolades. The “Red Riders” amassed more points across both the 450 Class and 250 Class than any other OEM, wrapping up a banner afternoon and memorable season for the iconic Japanese brand.
In addition to celebrating the season’s most notable contributors, MX Sports Pro Racing also paid tribute to members of the motocross family that passed away this year. Marty Smith, the sport’s first true superstar, and his wife, Nancy, tragically lost their lives in April, which sent shockwaves through the racing community. As a tribute to Smith, and a testament to his impact on American motocross, the aforementioned yearly rookie award was renamed in his honor. The community was also hit hard with the passing of longtime flagger and Dirt Diggers North Motorcycle Club member Mike Mars, who succumbed to COVID-19 just prior to the start of the 2020 season in August.
MX Sports Pro Racing also recognized the collection of race teams, manufacturers, and the hundreds of participants who committed to embark on the 2020 season, no matter what obstacles arose. Additionally, the championship would not have been possible without the unwavering support from the group of series partners and sponsors that made hosting a nine-round series feasible, notably the broadcast partners at NBC Sports Group and championship title sponsor Lucas Oil. Crucial support also came from Red Bull, WPS, FLY Racing, GEICO Motorcycle, MotoSport.com, FMF Racing, Thor, Parts Unlimited, KTM, Deltran Battery Tender, MX vs ATV All Out, 100%, Husqvarna, Dunlop, Guaranteed Rate, KMC Wheels, VP Racing Fuels, Alpinestars, GoPro, Vertex Pistons, Acerbis, and Road 2 Recovery.
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