Sign of the Lap  Times: Steel City

Sign of the Lap Times: Steel City

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The aptly coined Steel City Raceway in Delmont, PA, located just 30 minutes east of The Steel City (Pittsburgh), played host to the penultimate round of the 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships. Deeply rooted in championship drama, Steel City has hosted some of the most memorable moments in history. And on a gloomy, overcast day last Saturday, Steel City once again reached into its bag of tricks and pulled out a gem of a race.

With title aspirations over in the 450 Class, the 250 Class continued to ignite the crowd with stunning performances by the GEICO Honda duo of Eli Tomac and Justin Barcia, along with Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen. Tomac used a dominant second moto—just hours after edging teammate Barcia during the first moto—to capture the overall and cut points leader Blake Baggett’s lead to 14 with just one round left.

With the highly anticipated championship duel in the 250 Class reaching its pinnacle at the final round at the inaugural Lake Elsinore National, some great performances in the 450 Class were smothered under the dark clouds that hung over Steel City. Andrew Short captivated the crowd with a brilliant ride in moto one, only to have it wash away in the rain, after a crash with Kyle Chisholm in the second moto. Josh Grant returned to the motocross podium for the first time in 2012 and looks to build upon that performance heading into 2013. And let’s not forget about Ryan Dungey and Mike Alessi continuing to lead the charge.

Let’s get to the lap charts to see how it all broke down.

450 Class
Moto 1

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 2 2:28.865 3
2:35.311 Andrew Short
2 1 2:29.083 4
2:32.011 Ryan Dungey
3 3 2:31.421 4 2:34.388 Mike Alessi
4 8 2:32.553 3 2:37.193 Nico Izzi
5 5 2:32.582 4 2:36.009 Davi Millsaps
6 6 2:32.631 13 2:35.823 Tyla Rattray
7 4 2:32.868 6 2:35.311 Josh Grant
8
7 2:33.128 13 2:36.513 Jake Weimer
9 32 2:33.193 6 2:37.305 Broc Tickle
10 9 2:34.570 6 2:37.121 Christian Craig

Moto 2

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1 2:32.003 2 2:37.324 Ryan Dungey
2 2 2:32.235 2 2:51.839 Mike Alessi
3 4 2:33.088 2 2:41.544 Josh Grant
4 3 2:35.818 2 2:40.544 Jake Weimer
5 32 2:36.377 2 2:53.309 Andrew Short
6 5 2:36.891 2 2:41.499 Broc Tickle
7 6 2:36.931 2 2:42.703 Phil Nicoletti
8
9 2:39.653 7 2:44.043 Tyla Rattray
9 7 2:40.027 2 2:42.966 Bobby Kiniry
10 11 2:40.311 13 2:45.889 Davi Millsaps

Check out that first moto. How about Shorty! After his blistering 2.28 lap, he had closed the gap to Dungey down to just 1.2 seconds. But Dungey answered back by staying strong with a 2.29 and then a series of laps in the low 2.30 range. Short was also fast, but about a second off of Dungey's pace from there on out. Still, it was Short's best moto of the season.

Meanwhile, Dungey has now won 16 of the last 18 motos, and nine consecutive overalls. If anyone thought that Dungey was going to "back it down" at Steel City after locking up the title a round earlier at Unadilla (and we seriously doubt anyone thought that of the machine called The Dunge) they were sadly mistaken, as he was flawless in Pennsylvania.


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Andrew Short set the fastest lap time in the first moto at Steel City.
Simon Cudby photo


250 Class
Moto 1

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1 2:28.340 6 2:29.956 Eli Tomac
2 2 2:28.956 6 2:30.425 Justin Barcia
3 3 2:28.956 6 2:31.212 Ken Roczen
4
4 2:29.281 5 2:31.405 Blake Baggett
5 5 2:29.897 6 2:33.909 Marvin Musquin
6
7 2:33.047 10 2:35.697 Blake Wharton
7 6 2:33.235 6 2:35.624 Malcolm Stewart
8 8 2:34.206 5 2:36.743 Alex Martin
9 14 2:34.230 6 2:37.083 Jeremy Martin
10 13 2:34.369 4 2:37.373 Jason Anderson

Moto 2

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1 2:29.397 2 2:33.000 Eli Tomac
2 2 2:30.025 2 2:33.517 Ken Roczen
3 3 2:30.495 2 2:33.882 Justin Barcia
4 4 2:31.153 8 2:34.061 Blake Baggett
5 5 2:32.110 5 2:35.830 Marvin Musquin
6 7 2:34.763 4 2:37.234 Justin Bogle
7
8 2:35.316 6 2:37.186 Jeremy Martin
8
6 2:35.426 7 2:36.678 Wil Hahn
9
12 2:35.532 8 2:39.153 Macolm Stewart
10
10 2:35.771 8 2:38.195 Jake Canada

Eli Tomac has been on a rampage down the stretch, looking to add to his 2012 Western Regional Lites title. Tomac cut Baggett's lead to 14 at Steel City and if he can do the same at Lake Elsinore, he will win his first career Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. But it will be a tough challange as Baggett has yet to make a big mistake all season. Yet, all Tomac needs is a sub-par performance from the points leader. And with Justin Barcia, Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin still there to mix it up at the front things should get interesting at the finale.

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Eli Tomac stole the show at Steel City.
Simon Cudby photo

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