The UMPC High Point National from Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania, Round 4 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship produced a pair of sweeps by two former champions. In the 450 Class, Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart held off feverish charges from fellow counterparts Trey Canard, Ken Roczen and Ryan Dungey to capture his first overall of the season. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett got back to his winning ways with back to back comeback performances to sweep the 250 Class.
250MX Moto 2
In case you didn’t get the message in the first moto, Blake Baggett made it be known again in the second—he’s back. With his 1-1 sweep of High Point, Baggett has won three of the last four motos and two straight overalls. Let’s take a quick glance at how he got it done.
In a carbon copy of moto 1, it was Valli Yamaha’s Christophe Pourcel with the MotoSport.com Holeshot. Joined by Jason Anderson and Justin Hill, Pourcel darted to an early lead. Unlike moto 1, when Pourcel faded to sixth, the crafty Frenchman was strong down the stretch—holding onto third after caving from late pressure by Jason Anderson.
Back to Baggett, he was simply masterful. He charged early, often, and made quick, decisive moves to jolt to an early lead. And like moto 1, he would never look back. Baggett has look dominant the last three motos, and is moving closer in points.
As for points leader Jeremy Martin, the second moto proved challenging. After a bad start, Martin was never able to make things work and had to settle for sixth. His teammate Cooper Webb also had a tough second moto and finished seventh. – Chase Stallo
450MX Moto 2
Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart led the field into the first turn, but it was TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed that led them out of it. The two veterans once again found themselves battling at the front of the pack with fast company in tow. Trey Canard, Ryan Dungey, Phil Nicoletti and Ken Roczen were all right in the mix.
Reed held onto the lead for the following several corners before both Stewart and Canard found open lines around him. Dungey and Roczen were also able to move past Reed before the end of the opening lap.
The second moto provided noticeably more traction for the top riders as they launched over the Incredible Huck for the first time today. More of the top riders were also stepping up onto the tabletop preceding the section.
Phil Nicoletti looked to be having a great ride as he challenged Reed lap after lap before making a pass in the first half of the moto. Nicoletti rode well until fading later in the moto to a respectable 12th.
Canard caught up to Stewart and started to make him work to hold the lead position in the opening laps. Dungey and Roczen eventually pulled up into the lead pack as well and the top four riders started to separate themselves from the other 36 riders. By the time the riders entered lap five, Stewart began to pull away from Canard.
Dungey is typically known for sticking with what he knows will work consistently, but the Red Bull KTM rider began to experiment with various lines once he got a few laps under his belt. This proved to be beneficial after Roczen passed Dungey through the inside of the corner follwing mechanics row. Roczen hit the uphill triple, and to avoid a lapper, he went to the outside line leading into the start straight. Dungey took a gamble by hopping into the inside rut to pass his teammate and regain third place.
Stewart wasn’t completely gone as the moto dwindled down, and the battle for second was up in the air. Dungey, however, dropped out of the battle with two laps to go when he low-sided exiting the same corner he passed Roczen through. He dropped his bike and remounted somewhat quickly, but not fast enough to challenge his teammate for third. Roczen held onto the last podium position, while Canard claimed the second-place ride he was looking for in the first moto. Stewart secured the win in another flawless ride to take the overall in a clean sweep. -Jordan Roberts
250MX Moto 1
Say hello to the Blake Baggett of 2012. Get to know him, because he is back. Through four motos in 2014, Baggett was—for lack of a better word—struggling. Last weekend in the thin Colorado air, something clicked. Baggett became one with his bike, and we witnessed the return of el chupacabra. And the chupacabra was back in moto 1 at the UMPC High Point National.
Valli Motorsports’ Christophe Pourcel grabbed the MotoSport.com Holeshot in the first moto, but was quickly overtaken by GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle. Pourcel would slip all the way back to sixth before moto end. Current 250MX points leader, and winner of five of the first six motos, Jeremy Martin would join Bogle at the front but Baggett was lurking.
Baggett attacked quickly and moved past Bogle and Martin, taking the lead and never looking back. This win was Baggett’s second straight, dating back to Thunder Valley last week.
The ride of the day may have come from Martin’s Yamalube/Star Racing teammate Cooper Webb. For a majority of the first moto, Bogle was poised to capture his third consecutive moto podium. But Webb was relentless. The second-year pro zigzagged all over the track, pressuring Bogle late in the race. He would finally make a move stick on the final lap, ripping third from Bogle’s grasp.
Marvin Musquin, Pourcel, Jason Anderson, Cole Seely, Justin Hill and Alex Martin would round out the top 10. - Chase Stallo
450MX Moto 1
TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed grabbed the holeshot over veteran rival James Stewart and former 450MX champion Ryan Dungey. Dungey looked poised to make a pass on Stewart early on, but dropped back to the latter half of the top ten within the first half of the opening lap. Dungey’s Red Bull KTM teammate and current points leader Ken Roczen wasn’t in contention for the lead early on, having started a few positions outside of the top ten. Jake Weimer, Andrew Short and Trey Canard rounded out the top five as the riders entered lap one, and Stewart had acquired the lead from Reed as well.
Weimer floated around the top five through the duration of the first few laps, but then took a nasty digger following the Incredible Huck. Canard moved up to third and eventually got Reed on lap four as Dungey and Roczen continued pushing to the front of the pack. Stewart, however, was already working on checking out. The Yoshimura Suzuki rider had gapped the field and was quickly working on a healthy lead.
Roczen began to challenge his teammate as the two pulled up on Reed in third place, but made a mistake trying to clear a difficult step-up section—an obstacle few riders were attempting—and fell back momentarily. Dungey began to pressure Reed lap after lap, though the veteran is one of the tougher riders to pass in the field. Roczen was able to regain ground as the two battled.
Reed may still be rebuilding his program and fitness after suffering a serious injury during the supercross season, but he held off Dungey and Roczen for several laps before succumbing to the duo. Once the Red Bull KTM teammates passed Reed, the battle between the two lit up. They were the fastest on the track towards the end of the moto and found themselves closely trailing Canard in second place. Heavy traffic came into play, as did a brief crash from Canard. Roczen was able to pass his teammate over the same step-up section he had issues with earlier to go on and take second in front of Dungey. Stewart easily took the checkers and didn’t appear to be worked one bit. -Jordan Roberts
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross returns to High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania, for the 38th time in history. Heavy rains have pounded the luscious rolling hillsides all week, making for a muddy start to the day. The rain should hold off, with pristine conditions expected for today. With racing starting at noon Eastern—one hour earlier than the typical 1:00 p.m. start time—practice was off just hours after sunrise.
High Point’s European style roots have paved the way for past European success in both classes. With a record seven different international winners—tied with Hangtown for most on the circuit—the numerous off-cambers have played to the fitting of the boys across the pond. But it was American Jeremy Martin stealing the top time from Yamaha counterpart Christophe Pourcel. Martin, who has won five of the first six motos, clicked off a 2:07.218 to put almost a full second between himself and Pourcel’s 2:08.064. Marvin Musquin, Blake Baggett, Cooper Webb, Jason Anderson, Justin Bogle, and Justin Hill would round out the top 10.
In the 450 Class, rookie Ken Roczen continues to impress in his first season. The German set a 2:10.760 to capture the top spot over James Stewart (2:11.612), Ryan Dungey (2:12.604), Trey Canard (2:13.252) and Malcolm Stewart (2:13.397).
The heavy rains from earlier in the week could make today a battle of attrition, rather than pure speed. You can catch all the action live on ProMotocross.com or MAVTV beginning at 12:00 p.m. Eastern. Coverage of second motos begins at 2:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.