MORGANTOWN, W. Va. - For the 37 years, the world's greatest motocross riders have come to the hills of Pennsylvania to contend for precious championship points. This past weekend, High Point Raceway opened its doors to the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, to host the annual UPMC Sports Medicine High Point National, presented by United Bank and Coastal Drilling East. With the series being dominated early by the "Orange Brigade" of KTM in the 450 Class and the "BluCru" of Yamaha in the 250 Class, High Point offered some exciting racing that shook up the championship hunt.
Through partnerships with series sponsors, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will recognize the riders who are able to lay claim to the Oakley Bomb Fastest Lap Program, the MotoSport.com Holeshot Award in each moto, and the Ricky Carmichael Hard Charger Award throughout the 2014 season.
The Oakley Bomb Fastest Lap Program is designed to present a unique challenge for the 2014 season, providing a different twist by recognizing the rider who sets the fastest lap of practice in both the 250 and 450 Classes. Each rider will receive special Oakley Bomb trophy, specially designed by the brand.As the season wears on, the total number of Oakley Bomb awards a rider receives will be tallied into a final season total. The competitor with the most awards at season's end will be presented with an Elite Oakley Time Bomb II Swiss Automatic Watch.
At High Point, Red Bull KTM's Ken Roczen took home his second Oakley Bomb Award of the 2014 season. The 450 Class rookie laid down a chart-topping lap time of 2:10.760, beating out former series champion James Stewart and his Team Yoshimura Suzuki at 2:11.612. Based on his near one-second advantage, it was apparent that Roczen was the man to beat in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, a lack of consistent starts obstructed Roczen's path to the lead pack, but the young German continued to lay down the fastest laps of the day en route to second overall.
In the 250 Class, the Yamaha prowess continued as Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Jeremy Martin was the fastest rider in practice with a time of 2:07.218, to claim the Oakley Bomb Award for the first time this season. With Valli Motorsports Yamaha's Christophe Pourcel hot on his heels in search of his fourth consecutive Oakley Bomb Award of the year with a time of 2.08.064, Martin snuck in the class-topping lap late in practice to make his presence known and show why he sits atop overall championship standings. While a win wasn't in the cards for Martin, he still walked away with his fourth straight overall podium result.
The Motosport.com Holeshot Award is brand new to Lucas Oil Pro Motocross this season and it awards $500 to the rider who gets the holeshot of each moto - in both the 450 Class and 250 Class - at every round of the 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. A total of $2,000 will be up for grabs at each event between the two classes, thanks to Motosport.com.
For the first time this season the $500 prize was swept in the 450 Class, allowing one rider to go home with his pockets full. Bringing home his first Motosport.com Holeshot Award of the season, Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports' Chad Reed dominated the uphill start of High Point to take the holeshot in each of the motos. Coming back from recent injury, this was Reed's first time at the front of the pack this season as he races his way back into shape and he used his age and experience to his advantage as he continues to try and return to being a contender. Unfortunately, Reed was unable to handle Stewart's early charge in each moto, giving way to passes for the lead early both times out.
In the 250 Class, Pourcel was able to bounce back from missing out on the Oakley Bomb Award by sweeping the Motosports.com Holeshot Awards, making him the second 250 rider of the 2014 season to do so. The Frenchman's dominance of holeshots at High Point demonstrated how he uses his experience to his advantage in remaining at the forefront of the class. However, it wasn't enough to slow down Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Blake Baggett as he cemented his winning streak, taking the overall on the day.
The RC Hard Charger Award is entering its sixth season in 2014. Named after Ricky Carmichael, the most winning motocross rider of all time, the award recognizes the one competitor at each of the 12 rounds of the championship who overtakes the highest number of his fellow racers in any of the four championship motos between the 250 and 450 Classes.The award is a testament to "The Greatest of All Time" or "The GOAT" and his never-give-up attitude over the span of a career that warranted 10 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross titles and 102 wins - two feats that will likely never be duplicated. All recipients of the RC Hard Charger Award are given a custom-designed trophy.
For the first time in the 2014 season, two different riders earned the RC Hard Charger Award, each showing impressive come-from-behind charges in attempts to better his overall results. Privateers Shane Sewell, aboard a Munn Racing KTM, and Zack Williams, riding for RSR, each earned the award in their respected classes. Westville, Indiana native Sewell charged hard through the 450 pack in the second moto, closing a gap from 36th to 22ndto pass an impressive 14 riders. Williams, from Elko, Minnesota, closed the same 14-rider gap in the 250 Class, climbing from from 34th to 20th in the first moto. Each rider showed resiliency in each moto and proved that the award was well deserved.
Round 5 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship heads to Blountville, Tennessee, for the Red Bull Tennessee National on Saturday, June 28.
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