Zach Osborne turned a dream into reality by becoming the oldest rider to ever win an AMA 450 National Championship at 31 years of age.

It was a miracle that the 2020 Pro Motocross season happened, but thanks to MX Sports, the teams and the riders, we got the opportunity to witness one of the most exciting seasons of the AMA Pro Motocross National Championship in recent memory. But it was quite odd for several reasons: (1) The National schedule was reduced from 12 races to 9.  (2)  Two of the Nationals were held at the same race track and it was far from an AMA National quality track—even if every rider in the events had raced their when they were pimple-faced teenagers. (3) There were two two doubleheaders and the first-ever Monday race. (4). The 2020 National season was also the end of the line for the Geico Honda team, as they lost Geico as a sponsor and couldn’t find a new one.  (5) Out of all the top story lines in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic had the largest impact on our sport and, for that matter, the world. All things considered, we were thankful to witness any AMA National racing at all. So, 2020 was a big success—albeit an odd one! Here is a wrap-up of all the drama that occurred in the 2020 season. 

At the beginning of the 450 National season Marvin Musquin was a contender for the championship, although his inconsistency got the best of him.


For the first round of the National Motocross series, the Pro ranks visited one of the most famous locations of Amateur racing. Located in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, the Loretta Lynn’s Dude Ranch is the site where many young racers tested their talent against the top Amateurs from all over the world. With the delay of the first rounds of Nationals due to the pandemic, the Loretta Lynn’s Dude Ranch was picked to host the first round of the 2020 season. It wasn’t picked because the track was AMA National caliber, but because it was available. 

The first round at Loretta’s would be the one and only round where there was a scheduled press day, only for it to be canceled due to poor weather and track conditions before it ever happened. The first National of 2020 would result in Dylan Ferrandis going 1-1 in his 250 motos, followed by R.J. Hampshire and Jeremy Martin. It was clear that the Star Yamaha team meant business by snagging both holeshots and qualifying most of their riders high on the time charts. Ferrandis obviously wasn’t in hangover mode from winning the AMA 250 West Supercross Championship a few weeks earlier. He made it clear he wanted to win both the indoor and outdoor titles in his last year as a 250 racer. He will be racing the 450 class in 2021. 

In the 450 class, Zach Osborne would take a surprising overall win and mark his territory for the rest of the season. He also put his name in Husqvarna’s history books by being the first Husky rider to win a premier-class Supercross—Jason Anderson won the Supercross title, but didn’t win a race) and the first Husky rider to win an AMA National since Kent Howerton won three 500 Nationals in 1976. Osborne’s teammate, Jason Anderson, would get second overall, followed by three-time champ Eli Tomac at the makeshift Loretta Lynn National. 

Cooper Webb injured his back when he “landed weird” off a jump and jammed his back. This injury ended Webb’s 2020 season, and would be the first of many riders sidelined in the 2020 AMA Nationals. 

Jeremy Martin went toe-to-toe with the Frenchman the entire season by swapping the red plate. Jeremy will be back on Star Yamaha where he won his two 250 National titles in 2021.


When the Washougal National was canceled at the last minute, the decision was made to stay in Tennessee and hold a second round at Loretta Lynn’s. This would be the first time in AMA National Championship history that an AMA National was held back to back at the same venue. The weather would take a serious turn for the worse as a huge rainstorm swamped the track. The racing went on, but it was a daunting test of man and machine against the elements. During qualifying, Zach Osborne’s bike malfunctioned resulting in him missing his qualifying session and having to ride in the B group’s qualifying session with the privateers. 

In the 250 class, Jeremy Martin took the overall on the day and moved to second in points behind Frenchman Dylan Ferrandis. Jeremy’s brother, Alex Martin, won the second moto in the mud, breaking Suzuki’s 252-long moto losing streak. Alex went 7-1 for third overall. 

In the 450 class, Justin Barcia raced with flying colors in the first moto, completely mastering the mud and wet riding conditions. In the second moto he had a bike failure that gave Zach Osborne the opportunity to take his second win in two weeks. Adam Cianciarulo would get second overall and Marvin Musquin third. Just like Justin Barcia, Eli Tomac would also suffer a similar fate and have not just one bike malfunction but two. The two DNFs knocked the wind out of the three-time 450 National Champ’s sails, and he did not look like the normal bulldog we had become used to seeing.

Jeremy’s big brother, Alex Martin had some sparks of brilliance but he wasn’t able to keep it up front for an entire season. He finished sixth overall in 250 points.


Fortunately for the riders, Ironman would provide considerably better weather and track conditions. Jeremy Martin would continue his close battle with Dylan Ferrandis for the leader’s red plate in the 250 class. In the first moto, Dylan took the win, but got a dead-last start in the second moto. Dylan rode like a man possessed to salvage valuable points to Jeremy Martin. Dylan reached third place with three laps to go behind his Star Yamaha teammate Justin Cooper and Geico Honda’s Jeremy Martin. Martin’s 2-1 moto scores gave him the overall and closed the points gap to 4 points behind Ferrandis. 

As expected, the 450 class continued to be more exciting than it had been in the last three years of Tomac dominance. There were five riders contending for the 450 Championship. The defending 450 Champion, Eli Tomac, redeemed himself to get his first of two 450 overall win of the season and capture his 70th career win in Indiana. He was followed by Marvin Musquin, Adam Cianciarulo, Justin Barcia and points leader Zach Osborne rounding out the top five. Osborne kept the red plate, because Tomac was way back in the points standings after his double DNF at Loretta #2.

The 3-time champ Eli Tomac and the new champ Zach Osborne race into the first corner at WW Ranch.


The series traveled north to Buchanan, Michigan, for a very strange Friday and Monday doubleheader at Red Bud. Despite the usual racers dominating the first round of Red Bud, other riders like Adam Cianciarulo, Chase Sexton, Shane McElrath and R.J. Hampshire gave the Championship contenders a run for their money. 

In the 450 class, Zach Osborne grabbed holeshots in both motos, leading every one of the total 34 laps on the day. This sweep extended Osborne’s points lead over Marvin Musquin to 26 points as Musquin went 2-6 for fourth overall. Rookie Chase Sexton captured his first 450 podium placing in second. 

The 250 points leader, Dylan Ferrandis, again put himself in a bad position by crashing early in the first moto at the first of the two Red Bud events. Dylan landed hard on his shoulder and head when the rear of the YZ250F stepped out on a steep downhill. Although he was dizzy, the points leader raced back up to seventh place, while Jeremy Martin took the win. In the second moto, Ferrandis came around on the first lap in 18th place and managed to pick himself up to third for a fourth overall finish. Jeremy’s 1-1 moto score was good enough to knock Ferrandis out of the points lead and give the Geico Honda rider a 12-point cushion between himself and the Frenchman heading into the second Red Bud round. 

The Pro Circuit team was plauged with injuries for the 2020 season. Their only full-time rider to make it through the season was Cameron McAdoo. Mitchell Harrison and Darian Sanayei filled in for the full-time riders Austin Forkner and Jordon Smith.
Adam Cianciarulo showed maturity for a rookie 450 rider by being consistant and fast. He will be a great threat in coming years.


With the first of the two rounds at Red Bud held on a Friday and the second scheduled for Monday, racers were only given two days to recover before going head to head for another serving of the Michigan dirt. Zach Osborne had built up a full moto points lead coming into round five. Despite not performing as well as he did on the previous Friday, Zach’s consistency would pay off in his favor as he finished ahead of Marvin Musquin, who was second in points. It was a big day for the 450 rookie sensation Adam Cianciarulo, as he won his first-ever 450 National with 1-3 motos scores. In another surprise, Blake Baggett got his first podium of the year with a win in the second moto. 

Dylan Ferrandis looked to regain the red plate and the points he lost in the first Red Bud round, but he would throw away the win and take out Jeremy Martin in the process when he tried to squeeze his bike between Jeremy and the edge of the track. It resulted in Ferrandis and Martin going down in a heap. That crash caused the worst moto finish of the year for Jeremy Martin with an 11th-place finish. This crash, which wasn’t exactly a take-out move but just a really bad judgment call on Dylan’s part, would eventually be what stopped Martin from potentially winning his third AMA 250 National Championship. The drama between the Championship contenders allowed factory Husqvarna rider R.J. Hampshire to take the overall win at Red Bud #2 with a 2-3 moto score. It was Hampshire’s first victory since Budd’s Creek in 2018. He also became the latest Husky rider to win an overall in the 250 class since Zach Osborne at the 2018 Hangtown National. Osborne has won seven 250 Nationals in his career. The next closest is Kent Howerton with four during the 250 two-stroke days. 

We all thought that Eli Tomac would be making a run at his 4th 450 National title. Although Tomac didn’t look like himself till later in the season.
Justin Barcia had his time in the sun, but it got rained on (literaly) at the Loretta round were he didn’t finish the second moto due to a bike failure. He then started to regain steam as the season went on until he got injured in Thunder Valley. For 2021 Barcia will be riding a GasGas MC 450F.


When the Spring Creek 250 National rolled around, it felt like fall as leaves fell on the racetrack. But, summer still held some surprises on the thermometer before we’d see the Champions crowned. The Martin brothers had an advantage at Millville, Minnesota, because the track is owned by their family and they grew up racing there. If there is anything remotely like home-court advantage, it is the Martins at Millville. However, that would not help in 2020. Dylan Ferrandis upset the Martin boys on their own turf. Despite the older Martin brother, Alex, qualifying the fastest, the brothers could not beat the Frenchman. Dylan would take the overall win and retake the 250 National points lead with a 1-1. Millville would be the last time the red plate would change hands between Jeremy and Dylan. 

In the 450 class, a sparse crowd of fans witnessed one of the most critical moments for points leader Zach Osborne’s title chase. Zach would suffer a flat front tire with 10 minutes to go in the second moto. His team wanted him to come in and let them change the wheel, but Zach ignored their pit signals. It was a risky call, as his lap times dropped significantly, and he finished the moto in 16th place. His 4-16 score allowed him to keep the points lead by 15 over Adam Cianciarulo, who went 1-1 at Millville to take over second in the points chase. Interestingly, Adam and Zach were both helped in the season points race when their major competitions—Marvin Musquin and Eli Tomac—went 3-10 and 6-5 respectively. Millville thrust Adam Cianciarulo into the 450 title chase, and he gave it his all for the rest of the season to try to close the points gap on Osborne. 

Justin Cooper was the fastest man in qualifying many times, although he couldn’t convert that into wins. Cooper had only one win on the season.


After getting beat out by his competition at his home track, everyone expected Jeremy Martin to put up quite the fight in Jacksonville, Florida. However, Jeremy’s 3-3 cost him 10 points to Dylan Ferrandis’ 1-1. Coming to Jacksonville, the Frenchman only had a 3-point lead on Jeremy Martin. Leaving Jacksonville, Ferrandis was 13 points ahead. 

In the 450 class, Chase Sexton qualified the fastest, which should be no surprise as he rides in the Florida sand almost daily. Sexton had been coming up steadily all season long, but the top four—Osborne, Cianciarulo, Musquin and Tomac—weren’t ready to give the first-time 450 rider a leg up. The 450 contenders would go back and forth throughout the day. Zach Osborne won the first moto, with Cianciarulo second, Marvin Musquin third, Sexton fourth, Justin Barcia fifth and Tomac sixth.

The second 450 moto would offer some heartbreak and some inspiring rides. Right off the bat Justin Barcia crashed and had to go to the mechanic’s area to have his radiator and shroud dislodged from his YZ450F. He would finish 15th. Adam Cianciarulo showed good speed as he led the second moto, but was knocked down, strangely enough when Marvin Musquin tried to go around him on the outside of a berm. Marvin didn’t fall and inherited the lead. Zach Osborne took advantage of every incident to catch and pass Marvin Musquin for the lead. It looked like Osborne would cruise to the second moto win when somewhere in Eli Tomac’s brain a switch was flipped. With speed reminiscent of the Tomac of 2019, Eli closed a big gap to catch Osborne. The battle raged between Zach and Eli, but the surprise was that Osborne wasn’t going as fast as he was capable of, and that burst of speed forced Eli to try too hard. On the last lap, Eli made a mistake and Zach left Florida with a 29-point lead over Cianciarulo, 30 points over Musquin and 52 over Tomac with two races left. 

Dylan Ferrandis may not be very well liked in the States, but sooner or later people will respect him. Dylan won both 250 championships in 2020.


Usually, when the National series finds itself at the Thunder Valley National in Colorado, the hills are bright green and beautiful. However, since the Nationals were two months later this year, the hills were brown and drab after facing a drought earlier in the year. The dirt was slick on top and formed large, deep ruts that tested the riders’ precision. 

The Star Yamaha YZ250Fs were exceptionally strong at high elevation, and they swept the podium in the first moto, with Dylan Ferrandis first, Justin Cooper second and Shane McElrath third. Martin would finish just off the podium in fourth and redeem himself in the second moto with a second. At day’s end, Justin Cooper finally showed some form to take the win with a 2-1 over Dylan Ferrandis’ 1-3, Jeremy Martin’s 4-2 and Shane McElrath’s 3-5. Ferrandis’ points lead grew to 18 points with one race left.  

The 450 class was very exciting, as Adam Cianciarulo would show incredible strength on the track to bridge his gap in points to Osborne. Adam went on to win the first moto, with Osborne finishing 38 seconds behind him in fourth. In the second moto, Adam took the lead with Osborne in tow, when suddenly Tomac came alive and looked like he was back to his old Championship self. Eli passed Osborne and his Kawasaki teammate Cianciarulo for only his second overall win of the season. Zach would head into the last round in California at Fox Raceway with a healthy 24-point lead over Cianciarulo, 42 points on Musquin and 47 points on Tomac.

Chase Sexton won his first 450 National while wearing Alpinestars made replica Michael Jordan gear at the Fox Raceway National.


The ninth and final round of the 2020 Pro Motocross season was one of the most exciting and jam-packed races of the year. Spectators, which had been in short supply at the previous eight rounds, came to witness the season finale, and because of the race being held on Native American land, the laws that govern normal events in California didn’t apply. The event felt somewhat normalized, as the fans didn’t have to wear masks or social distance, but the pits weren’t open and masks were still required in the rider enclave. 

It was a bittersweet day, as before the race it was announced that the Geico Honda team would not return for the 2021 season. The Geico insurance company was not renewing its sponsorship deal, and by the time Geico was informed, the team didn’t have enough time left to find a new title sponsor for the 2021 season. Additionally, with the 2021 season still uncertain because of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the former Factory Connection Honda team didn’t have much leverage to find new sponsors. The Factory Connection Honda team was formed in 1998 and has been going strong since it first supported Mike LaRocco, but they did have a sweet ending when the Geico Honda 250 riders swept the podium in the final moto, with Jett Lawrence getting his first win in the Pro ranks. 

The 250 National Championship was a battle between Ferrandis and Martin. Ferrandis had an 18-point lead over Martin, but in the heat of SoCal, that wasn’t a sure thing. Dylan rode hard and had numerous close calls, but managed to keep it on two wheels to go 2-5 for fifth overall. He became the first French rider to win the AMA 250/125 National Championship. It has been won in the past by South African Grant Langston (2003) and Scott Dean Wilson (2011). 

In the 450 class, Adam Cianciarulo grabbed the holeshot in both motos and gave it his all in hopes of closing the 24-point gap to Osborne. Adam came close to winning the first moto, but his teammate, Eli Tomac, ran him down for the win, while Osborne finished fifth. In the second moto, it was Adam and his training partner Chase Sexton who were battling it out with Christian Craig in tow. As the track deteriorated, every rider started making mistakes. Adam ended up hitting a hole at the top of a step-up, which kicked him off his bike. Adam didn’t go down hard, but it was enough for Chase Sexton to get by him and take the moto win and his first-ever 450 overall win with a 3-1 to Tomac’s 1-4 and Cianciarulo’s 2-3. Christian Craig also slipped by Adam, and he went on to get second in the moto for a 4-2 fourth overall on his son Jagger’s birthday. 

All the while, Zach Osborne was riding his own race. He didn’t try to challenge any riders, didn’t fight anyone for a place and played it safe to take home Husqvarna’s first 450 motocross title with a 5-7.

After 23 years of racing, the Factory Connection team’s last race was at the Fox Raceway National.

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