Saturday Night Live: High Point

Saturday Night Live High Point

June 14, 2014 8:00pm

Round four of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships took place at the legendary High Point Raceway located in the town of Mt Morris, Pennsylvania. The series started off with some orange crush in the 450MX class and blue rain in the 250MX class but at the last two rounds, High Point especially, we saw some shake-up’s in both classes.

Yoshimua Suzuki’s James Stewart had a perfect day as he went 1-1 and led every lap but one. It was vintage James Stewart out there as he had a bit of heat from Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard in the second moto but every time he made a mistake or didn’t have a great lap he was able to answer that very next lap with a heater to re-establish his lead. This was Stewart’s first pro motocross win since 2013 and now having won three out of the last four motos, Stewart’s inserted himself into this points race after a slow start.

Big day for James Stewart.
Big day for James Stewart. Photo: Simon Cudby

The 450MX points leader, Red Bull KTM’s Kenny Roczen, had a fine day with 2-3 scores for second overall. Roczen took advantage of a Canard fall late in moto one to finish in the runner-up spot and in the second moto he was putting heat on his teammate Ryan Dungey when Dungey lost the front end. Roczen’s starts were his major downfall on the day as he couldn’t get up front in the opening laps and was left trying to come from the back. For many laps, in both motos, Roczen was the fastest guy on the track.

Canard used great starts to put himself into a good position and was the point man in a three-rider race-to-the-death for second in the second moto. As we said, Canard probably should’ve had a 2-2 on the day but with two laps left he tipped over.

Ken Roczen still holds the points lead in 450MX. 
Ken Roczen still holds the points lead in 450MX.  Photo: Simon Cudby

Stewart’s won three out of the last four motos as has Monster Energry Pro Circuit’s Blake Baggett. Baggett dominated the 250MX class to the tune of a 1-1 and what was once a two-race points deficit for Baggett is now down to a somewhat manageable 36 points. Baggett got better starts than usual and was very aggressive in moving to the front past leaders Justin Bogle (first moto) and Christophe Pourcel (second moto).

Baggett was very, very good on this day and the former national champion just threw down a gauntlet towards the Star Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin, the current points leader who went 2-6. Martin looked good but a late crash in moto two while charging for third did him in.

We saw a better Team Two-Two’s Chad Reed as he grabbed both holeshots and led a lap in the first moto. Reed hasn’t been the same guy as in the past so far this outdoor season (due to shoulder surgery) but High Point was a season best 8th overall for him and as we said, he ran his first laps near the front.

Blake Baggett was impressive. 
Blake Baggett was impressive.  Photo: Simon Cudby

In the second moto of the 450MX class, the top four (Stewart, Canard, Roczen & Dungey) were checked out. Over one minute lead on fifth place (RCH’s Weston Peick) showed that the rest of the 450MX class has a ways to go to get into the podium mix.

Pourcel showed his decent-first-moto/very-good second moto form once again with a 6-3 on the day. This is the third straight race that Pourcel has gotten a third in the second moto. River Yamaha’s Alex Martin had a nice day as the privateer got some decent starts and ran well for consistent 10-10 scores. It was the older brother Martin’s best finish of the season.

Jake Weimer had a good start in moto 1, but crashed. He did not return for moto 2. 
Jake Weimer had a good start in moto 1, but crashed. He did not return for moto 2.  Photo: Simon Cudby

JGR Yamaha’s Phil Nicoletti had a nice day going when he was sixth in the second moto for a while until he lost his rear brakes. Nicoletti would go on to finish twelfth.

GNCC racer Ryan Sipes came out of the woods for an appearance at High Point and as a complete privateer fared well in going 11-15 on the day. The #39 KTM rider will be riding select few nationals from here on out.

Some riders had rough days like Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer who crashed out in the first moto and hurt his back. Also missing the day was GEICO Honda’s Matt Bisceglia who dinged his head in a first moto crash.