Rider: Eli Tomac
Location: Washougal MX Park
Date: July 20, 2013
Photographer: John Basher
Camera: Canon 1D Mark III
Lens: 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II
Focal length: 160mm
Exposure: 1/1000 sec.
F-stop: 4.5
ISO: 400



“As a rider, you have to draw a line in the sand on where to say no on how many events to race a year. If I had done the Nations, it would have been 33 weeks of racing in something like 38 weekends. The schedule has gotten pretty heavy, and that has weighed on me throughout the year.”

Click here to read why Eli Tomac bowed out of this year’s Motocross des Nations.


By now you know that Roger DeCoster announced Team USA’s rider selections for the upcoming Motocross des Nations in Maggiora, Italy, next month. While it wasn’t a shock that Cooper Webb was hand-picked, given his outstanding performances in this year’s 250 National series, there were a number of surprises.

1. Cooper Webb won’t race on a 250 at the MXDN, but instead on a 450 like he did last year in France.
2. Webb will also be the team captain, meaning that he’s the MX1, or 450 class, rider. That’s quite an honor. Last year Cooper was the MX3, or Open class, rider.
3. Any number of riders could have filled the MX2, or 250 class, position. However, the list dwindled after Washougal, when Jeremy Martin sustained two broken ribs. That left Cooper Webb, Alex Martin and Joey Savatgy as the likely candidates. With Webb moving up to the 450 class, Alex Martin and Joey Savatgy were the only two riders at the table. DeCoster went with Martin. Why? In his own words, “Alex has been very strong in the outdoors and is one of a few guys who can come from behind and finish strong.”
4. Jason Anderson wasn’t on anyone’s radar, given how he only raced four Nationals and went out with a broken collarbone. However, Anderson scored four moto podiums in the races he did complete.   It’s fair to state that Jason would have been a consistent top-three 450 rider had he remained healthy.

How are Team USA’s chances looking with the looming MXDN on the horizon? Maybe it’s patriotism kicking in or hopefulness, but I believe they have a good chance of winning. The trio have a high level of competitiveness and won’t roll over like some other U.S. racers might. On top of that, all three are excited to represent their country. That says a lot right there. These guys might not be the household names that the U.S. normally sends to the MXDN, and that’s a good thing. Remember that Team USA hasn’t won the Chamberlain Trophy since 2011. Something needed to change, so that’s what Roger DeCoster did (partly by choice and partly due to rider injury/lack of interest from some riders). Will it pay off? Time will tell.

Cooper Webb, Alex Martin and Jason Anderson took to social media in the days following the announcement to express their thoughts on representing Team USA in the Motocross des Nations. Their quotes are below.

Cooper Webb (MX1/450, team captain)

Webb will be trading in his Star Racing YZ250F for a YZ450F in Italy next month. Photo by Adam Merrow.

“[I’m] extremely excited and blessed to be able to head back to motocross of nations [sic] and represent Team USA as team captain in the MX1 class! Will be getting back on the 450 and couldn’t be more excited. Stoked to have [Alex Martin] and [Jason Anderson] as teammates. We are hungry and WANT to race and win for our country. #teamusa.”

Alex Martin (MX2/250)

Alex Martin had an off-weekend at Unadilla. Still, he’s America’s best 250 hopeful in the upcoming MXDN. Photo by Adam Merrow.

“Unadilla was very much a roller coaster of highs and lows. Stomach issues, and crashes kept me from the podium, but beyond excited to be competing for Team USA in Italy, and also to be tied for 2nd in points with 2 rounds left!”

Jason Anderson (MX3/Open)

Jason Anderson was a pleasant surprise addition to Team USA. Photo by Daryl Ecklund.

“Very honored to be selected to race for USA in the MXDN! I’m sure many think I’m a questionable decision since I haven’t raced all summer but I guarantee you I’ve been working my butt off. I wouldn’t have accepted the offer to go if I didn’t htink I would be ready to go out and win. So [Cooper Webb], [Alex Martin] and I are going to try our [butts] off to bring that trophy back!”


“I would like to submit my 1989 YZ250 / Ohlins 360cc kitted two-stroke for the MXA Mid-Week Report ‘Two-Stroke Spotlight’ feature! Please see pics attached. 

“I found a new old stock Ohlins 360cc big bore kit for sale in the Netherlands five years ago. I immediately purchased the kit, as I was always a fan of Doug Dubach racing the YZ360 against the 500’s back in 1989. I’m also a massive fan of the unobtanium YZM500. Ohlins only made 1000 of these kits back in the day, so they are quite rare. Noleen USA was the U.S. distributor for Ohlins at the time.

“I painstakingly restored this bike from a very used and abused all-original 1989 YZ250 that was almost a complete wreck. I imported this bike to Australia from California, as there were never any for sale locally. Every part on this bike was restored or replaced. The motor was surprisingly in good condition, so we replaced all the bearings and seals throughout. The frame was nice and straight so we powder coated it back to the original Yamaha white. The motor required the longer YZ490 connecting rod and bigger 360cc piston, so we rebalanced the crankshaft to suit.

“I race this bike in the Australian Viper Vintage Motocross Series in the Pre 90 All Powers race class. It is awesome fun to ride and race. The power is noticeably more than a stock YZ250, especially the increase in overall torque, but the bike feels just as light as the stock YZ250. It’s not big and heavy like a 500cc big-bore bike.

“Here is a breakdown and detailed description of my bike:
– Ohlins 360cc big-bore kit
– Ohlins rear shock
– WP4054 front forks
– Krooztune suspension
– GMX Radiators UK custom alloy gas tank
– Factory YZ360 pipe, manufactured by SPES matched to the larger core 1988 YZ250 silencer
– DeCal Works radiator shroud decals and number plate backgrounds
– Excel rims
– SCAR triple clamps
– Magura hydraulic clutch kit
– Renthal sprockets, handlebar and Kevlar grips
– Pro Circuit ignition cover
– Fastway F3 footpegs
– RK MXZ4 gold chain
– Liquid Intelligence full synthetic super coolant

“Thanks for featuring my prized bike in ‘Mid-Week Report.”

If you would like your bike to be featured in the “Two-Stroke Spotlight,” please email me at All I ask is that you give a breakdown of your bike and a detailed description of the thing. Please also send a few photos of your steed. By submitting your bike for the “Two-Stroke Spotlight,” you agree to release all ownership rights to the images and copy to MXA. Please don’t email me spam or try selling me beachfront property in Arizona. Happy submitting your smoker!



The AMA just passed a rule that might keep Junior on a 250cc for two more years

[Press Release]

The following rule change was created through AMA Congress and approved by the AMA Board of Directors in October 2015. This rule will go into effect Jan. 1, 2017. Changes for the 2017 season are reflected in red, bold type. Items that are struck through will no longer be valid.

Chapter 1.1; Chapter A; Paragraph 6:

The minimum age for amateur riders is 12. In all events, a rider must be 14 or older to ride motorcycles above a 250cc. In motocross events, a rider must be 14 or older to ride a 250cc 4-stroke/2-stroke motorcycle. In motocross events, a rider must be 16 or older to ride a 450cc or above motorcycle.

Example: A racer who is 13 years old on the day of the event is not permitted to compete on 250cc model motorcycle. A racer who is 15 years old on the day of the event is not permitted to compete on a 450cc model motorcycle.


The motocross industry was abuzz last week over the 2017 Honda CRF450 unveiling. Honda has recommitted to the CRF450 by making a laundry list of radical changes to a bike that had lost its way. It will be great to throw a leg over the bike and hit the track, but that won’t happen until October. Even so, the 2017 Honda CRF450 stats and figures are a telling story. Below is a specification list of the 2017 model on the right, with the 2016 CRF450 on the left.

Category…………….2017 Honda CRF450……..…2016 Honda CRF450
Compression ratio………13.5:1………………………………..…12.5:1
Final Drive…………………13T/49T…………………………..….13T/48T
Forks……………………..49mm Showa spring……………..…48mm Kayaba PSF air
Seat Height…………………37.8 inches…………………………37.6 inches
Ground Clearance……..…12.9 inches……………………..…13.1 inches
Wheelbase………………..…58.3 inches……………………..…58.5 inches
Fuel Capacity………………1.6 gallons……………………….…1.7 gallons
Curb Weight…………….…243 pounds……………………..…243 pounds



Benny Bloss (right) towers over Justin Bogle (left).

At 6’5”, Missouri native Benny Bloss has to be the tallest Pro racer currently on the circuit. Benny has had a roller coaster season, beginning the year on the Blue Buffalo/Slater Skins Yamaha team. Then he departed the team just before the Supercross series started. He became a fill-in rider on the River Yamaha team and scored a seventh at the Toronto round. When the injured Luke Renzland returned to the team, Bloss was back racing as a privateer. Fortunately for Bloss, he was offered a fill-in spot for the injured Davi Millsaps on the BTO Sports/KTM team. He remains on the team for the 450 Nationals, and his results are picking up. Hear what Benny has to say about his wild ride as a Pro.

By Jim Kimball

Benny, you had a tenth overall at Red Bud, followed by a seventh at Southwick. What do you attribute to your improved results?
I was super excited to get that finish at Red Bud. After that race I was happy, but I wanted to keep progressing. Red Bud was just a big confidence boost for me, and I am trying to carry it over to each weekend. I felt like I did that at Southwick with getting seventh overall. I feel like I do pretty well in the sand, and I am pretty smooth in that stuff. So overall it was a very, very good weekend.

You had been racing a Yamaha YZ250F in Supercross, but then got a call from BTO KTM to race the 450 class. Was it a difficult adjustment racing the bigger bike?
It was pretty different at first, but I really fell in love with the KTM 450SXF during my first day of riding it. Now I feel at home on it. This is a pretty exciting time for me, and the 450 fits my style better than the 250. I am somewhat heavy for a 250, and in the sand the bigger bike really suits me better. I really like everyone involved with the BTO team, and I truly believe that we have the best bikes on the track.

You have been beating your veteran teammates in the results. How cool is that?
I finished in front of them the past couple weekends, but that has been the first time that I have. It has been a big step for me, but sometimes they may have a bad weekend like everyone else does. I’m just trying to be consistent, but of course it is nice to finish in front of them.

What did you think when you heard that the BTO/KTM semi was on fire?
Honestly, my mind was blown. So many thoughts were going through my head. I was at the hotel, so I wasn’t able to witness all the chaos in person, but we were getting pictures from people at the track. When they first pulled the bikes from out of the truck it seemed like there was a good chance that we wouldn’t be able to ride. Then I heard that the other KTM teams and the Husqvarna guys were headed there to try to salvage some bikes. That made me feel a little bit better. I want to give a big thanks to everyone for coming out and helping us get to race.

You rewarded them with the best results of your career. How does that feel?
The motos were definitely ones to remember, especially the second moto! The track was super difficult. It was the toughest one of the year in my opinion, but I really liked it. In the first moto I didn’t get the start that I wanted. In the second moto I had a better start and made faster passes. I ended up making my way into second, and opening a pretty good gap between myself and third place. It was almost surreal to be up there for some laps, but later around the halfway point I got passed by Marvin Musquin and Eli Tomac. I tried to stick to them and keep a nice flow with as few mistakes as possible. I finished the moto in fourth, and got fourth overall. To finish that well after that crazy Friday night was really cool. Everyone was super pumped and telling me that I did a great job. That was a nice feeling.

We spoke a month ago and at that time you had not received any offers for 2017. Has that changed?
I am not able to release any details, but I can say that I have come to an agreement and will announce my plans here shortly.


Photo: Adam Merrow

“On the first start I earned the holeshot and held the lead until the red flag. On the restart I was in a rut behind another rider that went down and was held up pretty bad. I pushed all the way to the end, passed a couple guys on the final lap and finished seventh. In the second moto I had an amazing start and lead the race for almost the whole moto. I was passed towards the end of the moto and immediately afterwards they red flagged the race. Had I known that was going to happen I would have sent it to keep first, but you live and learn. The track was really tough today and the conditions were even worse, but I managed to have solid results and I’m looking forward to the next one.”







Troy Lee Designs Red Bull KTM’s Jessy Nelson crashed during the second moto at Unadilla this past weekend and was hit in the back by his bike. Road2Recovery has set up a donation page for Jessy and his family. If you would like to contribute to the downed rider’s medical expenses, please click here. Regardless of whether you donate money, please keep Nelson in your thoughts. He has a long road to recovery ahead of him. We wish Jessy the best.


An ongoing list of the top qualifiers and holeshot winners from each round of the 2016 Lucas Oil AMA 250/450 Nationals.
Photos by Scott Mallonee


Hangtown…Eli Tomac
Glen Helen…Eli Tomac
Lakewood…Eli Tomac
High Point…Jason Anderson
Muddy Creek…Christophe Pourcel
Red Bud…Christophe Pourcel
Southwick…Justin Barcia
Millville…Ken Roczen
Washougal…Eli Tomac
Unadilla…Ken Roczen


Hangtown…Joey Savatgy
Glen Helen…Cooper Webb
Lakewood…Jeremy Martin
High Point…Zach Osborne
Muddy Creek…Adam Cianciarulo
Red Bud…Adam Cianciarulo
Southwick…Austin Forkner
Millville…Joey Savatgy
Washougal…Cooper Webb
Unadilla…Alex Martin


Hangtown…Cole Seely / Ryan Dungey
Glen Helen…Trey Canard / Ken Roczen
Lakewood…Ken Roczen / Trey Canard
High Point…Ken Roczen / Justin Barcia
Muddy Creek…Cole Seely / Broc Tickle
Red Bud…Justin Bogle / Justin Bogle
Southwick…Justin Bogle / Justin Bogle
Millville…Justin Barcia / Marvin Musquin
Washougal…Phil Nicoletti / Marvin Musquin
Unadilla…Eli Tomac / Ken Roczen


Hangtown…Joey Savatgy / Jessy Nelson
Glen Helen…Tristan Charboneau / Jeremy Martin
Lakewood…Cooper Webb / Adam Cianciarulo
High Point…Jeremy Martin / Adam Cianciarulo
Muddy Creek…Adam Cianciarulo / Shane McElrath
Red Bud…Austin Forkner / Shane McElrath
Southwick…Jeremy Martin / Cooper Webb
Millville…Alex Martin / Alex Martin
Washougal…Alex Martin / Cooper Webb
Unadilla…Adam Cianciarulo / Austin Forkner

2017 honda crf450AUSTIN FORKNERbenny blosscooper webbELI TOMACfastest of the fastfox racingJOHN BASHERMID-WEEK REPORTmotocross des nationspro taperrace techteam usathey said itwhipitwednesday