Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Season Celebration Honors Best Moments and Influential Individuals of 2012
NEWS September 11, 2012
On behalf of MX Sports Pro Racing:
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (September 11, 2012) - Just 24 hours after the on-track action of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, came to a dramatic conclusion, MX Sports Pro Racing and Alli Sports, a division of NBC Sports, honored and recognized the moments and individuals that helped make the 2012 season memorable with its annual Season Celebration this past Sunday evening.
South Coast Winery, located in Southern California's wine country of Temecula, was the setting for the festivities, as the industry gathered to celebrate 12 rounds of captivating Nationals competition across three classes, in addition to the 10-race AMA ATV Motocross National Championship Series.
FUEL TV and NBC Sports host Jason Weigandt (pictured) emceed the event, along with MX Sports' Tim Cotter. The pair led the way in bringing the motocross community together to pay respect to those who played an integral role in establishing 2012 as one of the most decorated seasons for each of these prestigious championships.
Prior to 2012, the Austrian-based KTM brand had never experienced success on U.S. soil in the 450 Class. This season, the manufacturer signed former champion Ryan Dungey to lead its Red Bull KTM effort, ultimately producing a historic and dominant season that resulted in the brand's first victories and inaugural championship in the premier division, and helped pushed the entire organization into the forefront of American motocross. On Sunday, KTM was recognized as the Motocross Team of the Year in addition to receiving the Manufacturer's Cup as the most competitive brand across the 450 and 250 Classes. Additionally, Hall of Famer Roger DeCoster (pictured, center) was given well-deserved recognition as Team Manager of the Year.
Mike Alessi (pictured) achieved arguably the most successful season of his career in 2012, finishing second to Dungey in the 450 Class title hunt and becoming one of just three riders to beat Dungey in a single moto this summer. All of Alessi's success came as a member of the privateer MotoConcepts Racing team, and despite not possessing the same factory support as most of his competitors, Alessi helped the team emerge as a formidable effort by consistently battling for wins every weekend. Because of his commitment to succeed despite not having the same resources as the top teams in the sport, Alessi was recognized as the Sportsperson of the Year.
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda rider Jessy Nelson (pictured, left) received Rookie of the Year honors for 2012, after finishing ninth in the 250 Class championship. The two-time AMA Amateur National Motocross Champion showed consistent improvement throughout the season and gained valuable experience by leading several laps of competition thanks to his ability to grab strong starts. With a full season under his belt, Nelson is sure to be a contender next summer and beyond.
For the second time in three seasons, Ryan Dungey (pictured, left) was crowned 450 Class Champion following a dominant 10-win season in which he won every overall since the third round. Dungey was awarded the coveted Edison Dye Motocross Cup on behalf of his Red Bull KTM team by MX Sports' Roy Janson (pictured, right). With 24 career victories in the 450 Class, Dungey already sits alone in third on the all time wins list after just three seasons of competition. Dungey shared the celebration with his mechanic, Carlos Rivera, who was also honored as the 450 Class Champion Mechanic.
Blake Baggett's (pictured, left) victory at last Saturday's season finale was the 100th Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship win for his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team. The triumph also solidified Baggett's inaugural professional title as the 250 Class Champion, which is the 10th title for Pro Circuit. As a member of the winningest team in motocross history, Baggett took control of the division, winning a class-leading five races and sitting atop the point standings since the opening race of the season in May. Baggett is the first rider lead the championship wire-to-wire since the inception of the red number plate, used to distinguish the current points leader in each class. Baggett accepted the Gary Jones Motocross Cup on behalf of his team, while his mechanic, Shawn Irwin, was recognized at the 250 Class Champion Mechanic.
Team Honda Muscle Milk's Ashley Fiolek emerged as the Women's champion following a wild and dramatic WMX Class season that witnessed three riders with a chance to win the title entering the final round. Fiolek's hard-fought championship was her fourth in five seasons as a pro and was made even more significant due to the fact that she missed a round of competition with an injury early in the season. Her mechanic, Nagatoshi Chiba, was honored as the WMX Class Champion Mechanic, while Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda's Tarah Gieger (pictured, right) provided some laughs following a career-best runner-up finish in the championship.
Wienen Motorsports/SSi Decals/Walsh Race Craft/Yamaha's Chad Wienen (pictured, left) helped Factory Yamaha achieve it's first-ever AMA Pro ATVMX championship in 2012, winning six of the AMA ATV Motocross Championship Series' 10 rounds. After suffering a serious back injury late in the 2011 season, Wienen vowed to fight for the title in 2012 and achieved his goal to secure a historic first-career championship and bring home the Gary Denton Motocross Cup to his team. While his mechanic, Ryan Cox, was recognized as the ATVMX Champion Mechanic, Yamaha was also awarded the ATV Manufacturer's Cup thanks to Wienen's impressive season. Earlier in the evening, the ATV Rookie of the Year was awarded to Honda rider Mark Madl, who finished eighth in the championship.
As the festivities concluded, attendees enjoyed the scenic landscape of South Coast Winery with live music, dancing, and appetizers under the stars.
Many other individuals and companies were recognized on Sunday, including Lucas Oil, whose commitment to the sport of motocross as title sponsor of the Nationals has helped the most prestigious championship on the planet reach new heights in terms of attendance and exposure. Additionally, Red Bull was honored for its first year as a premier sponsor of the Nationals, while GoPro's one-of-a-kind perspective of this physically-demanding, yet highly-competitive sport was given the Cutting Edge Award, recognizing innovation in raising the awareness and profile of the sport of motocross. Longtime supporters like the Asterisk Mobile Medical Center and Gear Services were also given special recognition, while the Oakley Bomb Award program highlighted the company's second year of series sponsorship.
The awards presented on Sunday evening included:
Edison Dye Motocross Cup: Ryan Dungey - Red Bull KTM
450 Class Champion Mechanic: Carlos Rivera - Red Bull KTM
Motocross Manufacturer's Cup: KTM North America
Motocross Team of the Year: Red Bull KTM
Team Manager of the Year: Roger DeCoster - Red Bull KTM
Gary Jones Motocross Cup: Blake Baggett - Pro Circuit Kawasaki
250 Class Champion Mechanic: Shawn Irwin - Pro Circuit Kawasaki
Women's Motocross Cup: Ashley Fiolek - Team Honda Muscle Milk
WMX Class Champion Mechanic: Nagatoshi Chiba - Team Honda Muscle Milk
Gary Denton Motocross Cup: Chad Wienen - Wienen Motorsports Yamaha
ATVMX Champion Mechanic: Ryan Cox - Wienen Motorsports Yamaha
ATV Manufacturer's Cup: Yamaha Motors Corporation
Sportsperson of the Year: Mike Alessi - MotoConcepts Racing
MX Rookie of the Year: Jessy Nelson - Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda
ATV Rookie of the Year: Mark Madl - Honda
Cutting Edge Award: GoPro
Transport Driver of the Year: Dirk Houghton - JDR/J-Star KTM
Oakley Bomb Award - 450 Class: Ryan Dungey - Red Bull KTM
Oakley Bomb Award - 250 Class: Eli Tomac - GEICO Honda
**All images courtesy of Carl Stone.
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MX Sports Pro Racing
MX Sports Pro Racing manages and produces the world's most prestigious motocross series - the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. The industry leader in off road powersport event production and management, its mission is to showcase the sport of professional motocross competition at events throughout the United States. Through its various racing properties, partnerships and affiliates, MX Sports Pro Racing organizes events for thousands of action sports athletes each year and attracts millions of motorsports spectators. Visit www.mxsportsproracing.com.
Alli Sports, is an action sports lifestyle brand whose mission is to connect fans with athletes and brands through best in class events, media, and authentic branded products. Alli Sports includes: the Dew Tour, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and the Red Bull Signature Series; Alli Media, which creates, produces, and distributes original content; Alli RideShop, an online retailer carrying top skate and BMX consumer products; and Alli MotoShop an online retailer carrying top moto consumer products. Alli Sports is owned by NBC Sports. More information can be found at www.allisports.com.
NBC Sports Group
When the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed in January of 2011, the broad reach and storied history of NBC Sports united with Comcast's 24/7 ability to super-serve fans to create the NBC Sports Group. The new sports media company consists of an array of broadcast television, cable television and digital sports assets, including NBC Sports & Olympics, Golf Channel, Versus, 11 SportNets (regional sports networks) and their respective websites. Together, the new combined assets of the NBC Sports Group possess an unparalleled collection of television rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the Olympics, NFL, NHL, PGA TOUR, PGA of America, USGA, IndyCar, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Wimbledon, French Open, Tour de France and Kentucky Derby.
FUEL TV is the only cable and satellite television network that features the exciting world of adrenaline and thrill-seeking sports including UFC, surfing, motocross, snowboarding and more. This new generation of sports provides a rich landscape of some of the most vibrant and action-packed television entertainment in the world. With more hours of UFC coverage than any other network, FUEL TV is the place to be for live fights, weigh-ins, prelims, pre- and post-fight coverage, specials and events you won't see anywhere else. See why adrenaline sports fans call FUEL TV the channel they never turn off. FUEL TV, part of FOX Sports Media Group, was launched July 1, 2003 and is seen in more than 36 million U.S. homes and can be accessed by broadband, mobile devices and other digital platforms such as iTunes®. FUEL TV programming is available in more than 50 countries around the world with 24/7 channels operating in Australia and Europe. To subscribe to FUEL TV, call 877-4 FUEL-TV. For program times and other information, visit www.fuel.tv.
Lucas Oil Products
Lucas Oil is a worldwide leader in the production of oils, lubricants and additives. Based in Corona, Calif., Lucas Oil Products is one of the fastest-growing additive lines in the consumer automotive industry, featuring a premium line of oils, lubricants and problem-solving performance additives. Through innovative product research and development, along with aggressive marketing programs, Lucas Oil Products has established itself as the top-selling additive line in the American truck-stop industry. Lucas Oil is involved in an array of motorsports sponsorships, including the "Official Motor Oil of the Pro Motocross Championship." Visit www.LucasOil.com.