After a two-week break in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, round nine is here today at the legendary MX-338 at Southwick, Massachusetts. The sand track has proved many times before to be a make-it or break-it kind of track and this year, with only three rounds remaining in the series, it’s looking like it might be that way again.
In the 250 Class, only eleven points separate points leader Blake Baggett of the Monster Pro Circuit team from GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia. Barica has won three out six career motos here at his home track and is looking to close that points battle even more after today. Close behind the top two riders are Barcia’s teammate Eli Tomac and Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen.
In the 450’s, it’s a given that Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey will clinch his second career 450 motocross title in the coming weeks but behind him a battle for second in the points between MotoConcepts' Mike Alessi and Monster Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer rages on.
Returning to action is JGR Yamaha’s Davi Millsaps who has been out with an ankle injury as well as Rockstar Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry. Kiniry normally races the Canadian series but he’s racing here today and then driving up for Sunday’s sand race at Sand de Lee. Also making his motocross debut is KTM’s Kurt Caselli who is a top off-road racer. Privateer Phil Nicoletti has split from the Eleven10 Mods team and is on his own, now in the 450 Class.
The track here at Southwick starts off pretty smooth and then changes throughout the day as more and more bikes pound on it. In fact, in most nationals, your first practice time holds up as your best as it gets impossible to log a good time in the second sessions.
Other big news is the upcoming announcement of Team USA for the Motocross of Nations and it’s expected to be captained by Ryan Dungey in the MX1 Class, Blake Baggett in the MX2 Class and Justin Barcia in the MX3 Class. Congrats to those three riders and go USA!
In the 450’s it was Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle who had the best time followed by Dungey. Monster Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray, Honda Muscle Milk’s Tommy Hahn and local rider Robbie Marshall.
In the 250 Class it was GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac who logged the best time in both practices and showed that today could be his day. Barcia had a poor first practice but went three seconds faster in his second one to go to the gate second. Baggett was third and Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin was fourth followed by Roczen. So the top five in practice is the top five in the points and we’re set up for a great day of racing here.
1 25 Broc Tickle Kawasaki KX 450F 1:57.325
2 5 Ryan Dungey KTM 450 SX-F 1:57.637
3 28 Tyla Rattray Kawasaki KX 450F 1:57.710
4 32 Tommy Hahn Honda CRF450R 1:57.922
5 85 Robert Marshall KTM 450 SX-F 1:58.593
6 800 Mike Alessi Suzuki RMZ 450 1:58.715
7 18 Davi Millsaps Yamaha YZ 450F 1:58.891
8 11 Kyle Chisholm Kawasaki KX 450F 1:59.851
9 26 Michael Byrne Suzuki RMZ 450 1:59.984
10 715 Phillip Nicoletti Honda CRF450R 2:00.072
1 17 Eli Tomac Honda CRF250R 1:58.914
2 20 Justin Barcia Honda CRF250R 2:00.681
3 12 Blake Baggett Kawasaki KX 250F 2:00.777
4 38 Marvin Musquin KTM 250 SX-F 2:01.012
5 70 Ken Roczen KTM 250 SX-F 2:01.075
6 44 Jason Anderson Suzuki RMZ 250 2:02.220
7 37 Malcolm Stewart KTM 250 SX-F 2:02.267
8 956 Blake Wharton Suzuki RMZ 250 2:02.278
9 167 Zachary Bell Honda CRF250R 2:02.309
10 49 Justin Bogle Honda CRF250R 2:02.534