Sign of the (Lap) Times: Glen Helen

Sign of the (Lap) Times: Glen Helen

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With former national champions Dean Wilson and Blake Baggett on board, as well as recent SX winner Justin Hill, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki was expected to roll strong at Glen Helen. But it was a terrible day. All three riders were buried off the starts. Hill got a flat front tire in the first moto, which caused a crash and a visit to the mechanic’s area. He was then caught in the massive moto-two first turn crash that caused a restart. Battered and bruised, he finished the moto in 11th place, and took 19th overall.

Wilson looked set for so-so scores of 6-6 until crashing on a downhill—possibly caused by his bike cutting out—in moto two and suffering the most ridiculous/massive/gnarly laceration we’ve ever seen this side of Shark Week. He status for Hangtown is unknown. Baggett was a sub-par eighth in moto one but gated better in moto two to run second for a portion of the race. Cooper Webb passed him late to push him to third, for 8-3 scores and fourth overall. “I expected a bit more from myself,” said Baggett in a team statement. “But I’m happy to get the season started off decent. The track was super rough, but didn’t provide as many lines as I thought it would, which made it difficult to move forward.”

Glen Helen did not go as planned for Blake Baggett and the Pro Circuit team.  Photo: Simon Cudby
Glen Helen did not go as planned for Blake Baggett and the Pro Circuit team.  Photo: Simon Cudby

If Wilson indeed is out for Hangtown, that means the six rider Pro Circuit squad will be down to just Baggett and Hill. Adam Cianciarulo, Martin Davalos and Darryn Durham are already down with injuries.

Lack of lines was echoed by another would-be 250 title contender, Christophe Pourcel, who captured the Oakley Bomb award as the fastest rider in qualifying, but never really showed that speed in the motos. “It was super rough, and it’s been a long time since I’ve raced,” Pourcel said to our Aaron Hansel. “I didn’t want to crash in my first race back. I wanted to get a top five overall, so it’s good.” Pourcel indeed grabbed fifth overall with 7-5 finishes.

Kyle Chisholm is headed to Canada next weekend to compete in the Canadian Nationals, but he made an appearance at Glen Helen and rode well, carding 15-14 scores for 14th overall. That would make him the top privateer for the day depending on how you want to define the fuzzy line between privateer and factory rider. The Chizz will face SmarTop MotoConcepts’ Mike Alessi next weekend, but Alessi chose not to line up at Glen Helen after experiencing flu-like symptoms on Saturday morning.

Kyle Chisholm is headed to Canada for the summer, but before he took off he stopped by Glen Helen and put together a top 15 performance.  Photo: Simon Cudby
Kyle Chisholm is headed to Canada for the summer, but before he took off he stopped by Glen Helen and put together a top 15 performance.  Photo: Simon Cudby

Okay, if you want to run true privateer stats, credit to Sean Collier, who went 12-38 on a KTM. Collier seems to show up for these early Nationals and kill it every few years. While we’re talking privateers, a tip of the visor, also, to Tommy Weeck, who went 14-22 in the 450s and PJ Larsen, who went 18-39. That’s the first race all year for both of those boys, who didn’t race supercross. [Note: Weeck raced the San Diego SX] 

Let's take a look at the lap charts.

450 MX - Moto 1

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1  2 2:16.587 7 2:18.962 Ken Roczen
2  3 2:17.205 7 2:19.320 Ryan Dungey
3  7 2:17.437 5 2:21.187 Trey Canard
4  1 2:17.556 7 2:19.196 Josh Grant
5  6 2:17.808 5 2:21.333 James Stewart
6  34 2:18.329 5 2:21.112 Justin Barcia
7  4 2:20.355 5 2:23.193 Brett Metcalfe
8  35 2:20.412 7 2:22.941 Andrew Short
9  8 2:20.691 8 2:24.617 Malcolm Stewart
10  10 2:20.770 6 2:24.734 Jake Weimer

 

450 MX - Moto 2

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1  2 2:18.666 2 2:22.516 Ken Roczen
2  1 2:19.246 3 2:22.315 Ryan Dungey
3  3 2:20.499 3 2:24.257 Trey Canard
4  5 2:22.207 7 2:25.400 Brett Metcalfe
5  6 2:22.961 6 2:26.645 James Stewart
6  4 2:23.461 11 2:25.060 Justin Barcia
7  7 2:24.743 9 2:27.144 Jake Weimer
8  15 2:24.808 13 2:28.834 Josh Grant
9  8 2:25.177 7 2:27.219 Malcolm Stewart
10  13 2:25.541 3 2:29.761 Weston Peick

 

250 MX - Moto 1

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1  1 2:19.468 3 2:22.224 Jeremy Martin
2  3 2:20.427 14 2:22.817 Jason Anderson
3  2 2:21.331 11 2:22.634 Cooper Webb
4  5 2:21.493 5 2:24.173 Justin Bogle
5  4 2:21.545 4 2:24.100 Cole Seely
6  16 2:22.126 2 2:26.903 Zach Bell
7  9 2:22.301 9 2:25.810 Zach Osborne
8  10 2:22.594 9 2:26.134 Marvin Musquin
9  7 2:22.744 13 2:24.385 Christophe Pourcel
10  8 2:22.770 15 2:24.257 Blake Baggett

 

250 MX - Moto 2

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1  1 2:21.411 6 2:24.332 Jeremy Martin
2  3 2:22.920 5 2:25.973 Blake Baggett
3  2 2:23.133 10 2:25.332 Cooper Webb
4  31 2:24.159 9 2:25.971 Jason Anderson
5  4 2:24.244 5 2:27.376 Cole Seely
6  6 2:25.078 5 2:28.658 Jessy Nelson
7  33 2:25.265 3 2:26.948 Dean Wilson
8  5 2:25.833 4 2:28.162 Christophe Pourcel
9  7 2:26.046 6 2:29.244 Matt Bisceglia
10  9 2:26.842 5 2:28.840 Justin Bogle

Worst luck at Glen Helen? BTOSports.com KTM’s Andrew Short. Bike problems in moto one, big crash in moto two. He would have ended up somewhere around 6th or 7th overall but instead finished 23rd and scored two points.

Bike problems were also a points killer for Justin Barcia, who snapped a chain while running fourth in moto one on his Honda Muscle Milk machine. Instead of going 4-4 for third overall he went 34-4 for 13th.

Barcia snapped a chain in the first moto. Photo: Simon Cudby
Barcia snapped a chain in the first moto. Photo: Simon Cudby

Jimmy Albertson’s big Motosport/Crossland racing semi isn’t going to make it to the Nationals (which means neither is Kyle Regal) but Jimmy isn’t giving up. He packed up a Sprinter van and drove out to Glen Helen from Oklahoma, with his brother Greg handling driving and mechanic duties. Jimmy went 17-17 in 450MX on the day for, you guessed it, 17th overall.

Here are the listed sponsors for 17th-20th in the 450 Class. For Jimmy Albertson: Jimmy Albertson Racing. For Tommy Weeck: Weeck Racing. Fredrick Noren: NorenMX. Evgeny Mikhaylov: Mikhaylov Racing.

The Barcia-like bummer of the 250 Class was Rockstar Energy KTM’s Jason Anderson, who was set for third overall until his bike quit late in the second moto. Anderson would have gone 3-4 on the day but instead took a 34th in moto two, for 10th overall. Surely the 18 points he lost right there has to sting, too.

GEICO Honda’s expected title contender, Zach Osborne, left the race wounded as well. "I rode pretty well after a so-so start [in moto one] and got into fifth or sixth place," Osborne said in a team statement. "But then I tipped over though and went back to like 15th. After that, I had a pretty solid ride and was able to get back to ninth. I actually was feeling really good at the end of that race.

"In the second race I got caught up in a little first-turn crash and hurt my thumb. We don't know the severity of the injury yet but hopefully I can get in to see a specialist right away and get back out here soon."

It was a decent day for other GEICO Honda riders. Justin Bogle went 5-9 for sixth overall. "The first moto I had a bad start but rode well through the rest of it, made it up to third, but got a little tired and fell back to fifth,” he said. “In the second moto I pulled the holeshot because my GEICO Honda was a rocket ship and incredibly fast. I got passed, crashed on the hill, and ended up in a mudhole on a pass back. I got up and was pretty far back but ended up back in the top 10 for the finish. I feel really good, and there are lots of positives going into Hangtown next weekend.”

Zach Osborne suffered a thumb injury in the second 250 moto.  Photo: Simon Cudby
Zach Osborne suffered a thumb injury in the second 250 moto.  Photo: Simon Cudby

"I'm going to spend this week working on my speed," said GEICO Honda’s Matt Bisceglia in a team statement. He went 11-7 for seventh. "I liked everything we did in Glen Helen; I just want to be a tick faster and I'll be with the front group. My fitness is good and my confidence is high. I know I can get closer to the front.

"I can't wait for Hangtown,” continued Bisceglia. “I lived in Oregon for a while and I have a bunch of crazy friends from there coming down on a road trip to cheer me on. I have to do well for them or they'll give me a hard time forever. Should be a lot of fun."

Best news of all for GEICO Honda is that Zach Bell made it through the race safely—he was out for the series last year after the opener. "It's probably going to take a few motos to totally get back to race level," Bell said. "Still, it felt great to be back on my bike after so many months off. The main thing is to stay healthy and finish every race. The results will come.

"The GEICO Honda team has been so good to me and I want to reward them in the worst way with some good results, but I've learned you have to stay upright and make it to the end of these races to really make an impact."

Jason Anderson was done in by bike problems in the second moto.  Photo: Simon Cudby
Jason Anderson was done in by bike problems in the second moto.  Photo: Simon Cudby

Well done by Frenchman Valentin Teillet, who went 12-16 for 13th overall in the 250s on his Bud Racing Kawasaki.

JAB Motorsports’ Matt Lemoine raced his first National since 2012 after a torn ACL ended his ’13 season in supercross. He went 13-17 for 14th in the stacked 250 Class. While the 450 Class is generally an easier (and cheaper) fit for a privateer, Lemoine thinks his bike is fast enough to battle the factories—but he hasn’t ruled out a switch in classes if things don’t go well.

Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha went 1-2 in 250MX, but the third rider, rookie Anthony Rodriguez, had a bad day. He was 24th in moto one and then went down hard in that mega first-turn crash in moto two, knocking himself out. And the poor guy was just coming back from a gnarly collarbone break in supercross, where he snapped the bone in three places. Get well soon, A Rod.

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