Today was an eventful Red Bull Spring Creek National in Millville, Minnesota, no doubt about it. The day was unseasonably cool and the track was a different kind of Millville than we’ve seen in the past. Apparently, the track crew expected rain and didn’t rip the track up as deep as usual, and it wasn’t watered as heavy as usual, either. Rain came, but never quite as hard as expected. Most riders had a hard time getting used to the track conditions and there were a lot of setup changes being made during practice. Once the racing began, there were some upsets on the day along with some great performances.
In the 250MX class, we saw a major turn of events as GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac again went 1-1 on the day just like he did last week. However this week, points leader Kenny Roczen on the Red Bull KTM went down hard and DNF’d the first moto. Roczen gamely lined up for the second one and scored a second but the DNF hurt him badly. Tomac gained 28 points on the day to create a 27-point cushion in the standings. It’s the first time Tomac has had the points lead in this series since the first week of his pro career back in 2010.
Tomac didn’t even get good starts in either moto, but he was absolutely on fire in both races and raged to the front.
In the 450MX class it’s been a tough year for Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart but at Millville he rode fantastic to take the overall win with a 1-3 on the day. Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard went 2-2 for second overall. The two dominant riders (Ryan Villopoto and Ryan Dungey) both had tough days with Dungey losing a chain in the first moto, remounting it, and scoring a 5th. Dungey dominated the second moto in front of his hometown fans to go 5-1 and get third overall on the day. Villopoto had a rough day on his Monster Kawasaki crashing four times in total in both motos and went 6-4. All in all, Dungey only made up 8 points on Villopoto, and three races remain. Dungey is now down 34 points on Villopoto.
Some other news and notes from Millville:
Both 450MX motos featured some great racing as the top three riders were within just a few seconds of each other all day. In the first moto it was Stewart, Canard, and Justin Barcia in just a terrific race, with Canard and Stewart battling all the way to the finish. Then they did it again battling for second in moto two! You have to check this one out on the DVR.
Andrew Short is now comfortable on his BTOSports KTM and has been solid the last few weeks. He was 6th at Millville.
Chad Reed is improving, too, going 10-7 for 8th overall.
Broc Tickle went 8-10 for 10th overall.
Stewart has clearly been riding better as of late, with 2-2-3-3-1-3 scores in his last six motos. Canard’s run was also the best of the season for him. Canard actually credited some of his improvement to what changing from a works hydraulic clutch in his Honda back to a traditional cable clutch.
Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin came into the race nursing some injuries after a crash on press day (Thursday). He put in consistent rides (4-4) in both motos to end up with the second spot in the podium in the 250MX class.
In the first 250 moto, the fans got what they wanted when home track rider Jeremy Martin passed Wil Hahn (who once again pulled the holeshot in both motos- is this guy on fire with his starts or what?) and led for a long time before Eli Tomac got by and motored away. It was still a great ride for Martin and with his 7th in the second moto, Martin finished fourth overall. Older brother Alex Martin finished fifteenth overall. The Martin’s father John promotes the race and owns the track, and the brothers sometimes live on the property.
Rockstar Energy Racing's Jason Anderson had a career best national with a third overall via his 3-5 scores. Anderson was coming from the back both motos and is gaining confidence every week.
GEICO Honda’s Zach Osborne had an off day, he had bike problems in the second practice and in the second moto. Afterwards he wasn’t making any excuses for his 11-9 day.
BTOSports KTM’s Andrew Short had a good day with good starts and good speed on the way to a 7-8 day. He also re-upped with the BTO team for the next two years as well.
JGR Yamaha’s Josh Grant was fast at Millville with the third fastest qualifying time and a strong 4th in moto one. Unfortunately he was second on the first lap going into the sand whoops and crashed hard which ended his day.
A fear of rain led to different track prep this year. Millville still served up great racing, though.
Canard and Stewart were about this far apart all day long.
You can count on RV hitting the reset button for Unadilla on August the 10th.
Rockstar Racing’s Ryan Sipes crashed while just outside the top five in the first 450MX moto and was done for the day with an injury—possibly a re injury to he hand he broke in supercross.
Pro Circuit’s Tyla Rattray had a tough day after a good qualifying practice time. In the first moto he crashed while up toward the front and he had to come from way back. In the second moto he had to stop for goggles on lap one. Rattray put in a lot of work on this day.