Sign of the (Lap) Times: RedBud

Sign of the (Lap) Times: RedBud

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By Chase Stallo and Jason Weigandt

All in all, it was a banner/awesome/spectacular weekend at RedBud, with darned good racing in every moto, the usual RedBud crazy fans, and even perfect weather for racing. We asked a lot of people the last time they remember RedBud having temperatures in the 70s, and the general answer was “I really can’t remember it.”

The track sported a few changes, like a new twist through the infield after the ski jump, and the run up to LaRocco’s Leap was shorter, which made it nearly impossible to jump for the 250s (a few riders did it in practice, but we didn’t see it in the motos). Also, a new double appeared at the bottom of the ski jump, but we don’t think anyone expected it to become a jump—the riders just turned a big single and some braking bumps into a legit jump!

It was a big weekend for RCH Soaring Eagle Suzuki in some ways. Soaring Eagle is a Michigan Casino, so the sponsors came out like they did at the Detroit Supercross earlier in the year. Both Ricky Carmichael and Carey Hart were on hand for press day, and Hart even raced Friday’s amateur day and went 1-1 in his 30+ class! Carmichael also hosted the Ricky Carmichael University on Wednesday. Unfortunately, race day was terrible. Ivan Tedesco had a fever and couldn’t race, and Weston Peick hit his head in moto one and had to call it a day.

A solid welcome back to racing for Christian Craig, who announced his retirement at the end of the 2013 season, but will race a few rounds on a GEICO Honda 450 just for fun (Craig is married to the daughter of one of the GEICO Honda team owners, hence the connection. He’s riding a modified stock bike, not a full-works item like Eli Tomac). He rode darned well for coming off the couch, with 14-14 scores for fourteenth overall. Numbers that would make Kevin Windham proud!

Christian Craig made his 2014 debut at RedBud with GEICO Honda. Photo: Simon Cudby
Christian Craig made his 2014 debut at RedBud with GEICO Honda. Photo: Simon Cudby

A week after just missing the top ten in a total privateer effort, Kyle Chisholm decided to make the even longer (20 hour) drive from Florida to RedBud and made it happen, getting tenth via 13-13 scores.

Toyota/JGR Yamaha’s Justin Brayton was happier with his RedBud ride than with his return at Muddy Creek a week ago, and he was in the 5-10 battle in the 450 class most of the day. On the other hand, Brayton said the rough RedBud track was actually harder on his just-healed-up knee than Muddy Creek was.

Ryan Sipes is now sorta-kinda filling in for Davi Millsaps on the Rockstar Energy Racing KTM team. He now has graphics on one of their bikes (Sipes was racing his GNCC bike at High Point and Muddy Creek) and is pitted in a tent just off to the side of the main area. First moto wasn’t great for Sipes, but he bounced back for eleventh in moto two. The ride is his for the rest of the Nationals unless Millsaps’ foot finally heals up enough for him to make a return. As team owner Bobby Hewitt told us last week, “I just want to help Ryan because he’s always been one of my favorite riders.”

Ryan Sipes is kind of filling in for Davi Millsaps.  Photo: Simon Cudby
Ryan Sipes is kind of filling in for Davi Millsaps.  Photo: Simon Cudby

After an injury-ravaged season in Monster Energy Supercross, CycleTrader.com Rock River Yamaha’s Ben LaMay is putting together a solid outdoor season. He’s scored points in eleven of the twelve motos, with three twelfth place finishes as his best so far. You’ve got to expect a top-ten breakthrough sometime soon.

Snocross king Tucker Hibbert made his season debut at RedBud and just missed the points in the 450 class, going 24-21 for twenty-fifth overall. We’re not sure if that’s awesome or just agonizingly close.

Let's take a look at the lap charts!

 450 Class Moto 1

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1 2:01.850 4 2:05.092 Ken Roczen
2 4 2:02.767 2 2:05.724 Eli Tomac
3 3 2:03.536 2 2:05.828 Ryan Dungey
4 2 2:03.685 3 2:05.827 Trey Canard
5 5 2:04.017 2 2:08.689 Andrew Short
6 9 2:05.781 3 2:10.557 Malcolm Stewart
7 7 2:05.798 2 2:09.626 Brett Metcalfe
8 6 2:06.874 4 2:09.530 Josh Grant
9 10 2:07.886 4 2:11.017 Justin Brayton
10 23 2:07.952 2 2:15.161 Ryan Sipes

450 Class Moto 2

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 4 2:04.194 3 2:08.671 Trey Canard
2 3 2:04.440 6 2:08.326 Ryan Dungey
3 1 2:04.425 6 2:06.257 Ken Roczen
4 2 2:04.526 3 2:06.757 Eli Tomac
5 5 2:07.090 3 2:10.510 Andrew Short
6 8 2:07.145 2 2:11.574 Brett Metcalfe
7 10 2:07.999 3 2:12.371 Fredrik Noren
8 38 2:08.134 2 2:08.134 Killy Rusk
9 7 2:08.281 2 2:10.781 Chad Reed
10 6 2:08.411 2 2:10.558 Josh Grant

250 Class Moto 1

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
 1 14 2:05.558 2 2:10.982 Cooper Webb
 2 2 2:05.635 3 2:07.308 Blake Baggett
 3 4 2:05.868 5 2:08.393 Marvin Musquin
 4 1 2:05.954 2 2:07.359 Jeremy Martin
 5 39 2:05.959 4 2:07.816 Christophe Pourcel
 6 5 2:06.057 3 2:10.818 Justin Bogle
 7 9 2:07.865 3 2:11.389 Dean Wilson
 8 8 2:08.352 2 2:10.780 Cole Seely
 9 3 2:08.369 5 2:09.987 Jason Anderson
 10 7 2:08.776 11 2:10.818 Kyle Cunningham

250 Class Moto 2

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
 1 2 2:08.014 3 2:09.571 Jeremy Martin
 2 1 2:08.048 3 2:09.340 Cooper Webb
 3 7 2:08.393 6 2:11.530 Blake Baggett
 4 12 2:08.616 3 2:12.299 Justin Bogle
 5 4 2:08.890 7 2:10.931 Jason Anderson
 6 3 2:09.010 5 2:10.627 Marvin Musquin
 7 8 2:09.040 3 2:12.195 Justin Hill
 8 6 2:09.087 5 2:11.313 Cole Seely
 9 5 2:09.644 5 2:11.285 Dean Wilson
 10 9 2:09.722 6 2:12.084 Alex Martin

Pretty cool that in only one moto (450 moto 1) did the race winner actually turn in the fastest time.

More news and notes:

After missing Muddy Creek with stretched ligaments in his elbow, GEICO Honda’s Matt Bisceglia returned at RedBud and promptly led for the first time in his career in the first 250 moto. “I had a pretty good holeshot, that was my first lap led at an outdoor National, so that was pretty cool,” he told Racer X. “I wish I could have stayed up there a little longer, but I haven't been able to ride much since my crash. My dad and I are going to go back this week and work on the bike even more than we’ve been so far, and try to improve my speed and intensity.”  

Matt Bisceglia jumped out front for the first time in his career at RedBud. Photo: Simon Cudby
Matt Bisceglia jumped out front for the first time in his career at RedBud. Photo: Simon Cudby

It’s been a long road back for Rockstar Energy Racing KTM’s Joey Savatgy, but the MTF product was back at the front of the class in moto two. "The second moto I got the holeshot which was really cool,” he said in a team release. “I'm still not feeling completely comfortable and I fell back to tenth. Still, it was a step in the right direction and at least I finished a moto in the top ten." Savatgy fell twice in the first moto and came back to finish nineteenth.  

Zach Bell can breathe a sign of relief. His shoulder injury suffered in practice at Muddy Creek turned out to be just a bruise. Bell wasn’t limited throughout the week and spent time riding with James Stewart at his compound. “When I was driving home I was kind of scared because it was bugging me a little bit,” Bell told Racer X. “I just completely forgot about it when I started riding. It feels completely fine again.” Bell’s atypical bad starts led to a fourteenth overall finish at RedBud.

In a surprising move, Team Crosley Radio/RiderSurance/Bee Line/H&O Contracting’s Jake Baumert has announced that he will step away from professional racing effective immediately and attend college. “I would like to thank the media and fans for all the PR we have received as a new team, and I want to thank my sponsors for the support and dedication they have shown me over the years, and a special thanks to Brandon Parrish with RiderSurance for all his hard work for putting a professional level program together for me," he stated in a team release. Jake is currently twenty-third in 250 points. We will have more on this developing story later in the week.

Joey Savatgy also returned to the front of the pack this weekend. Photo: Simon Cudby
Joey Savatgy also returned to the front of the pack this weekend. Photo: Simon Cudby

Following a sluggish start, SmarTop/MotoConcepts’ Kyle Cunningham is rounding into form. Through the first eight motos, Cunningham had zero top tens. In the last four, he’s had two—including a season-high seventh in moto one at RedBud. “I dehydrated last week, so I took it pretty easy this week,” he told Racer X. “I felt like I rode a solid moto, my body felt good. I got off to a decent start in the second moto, for me, being eleventh off the start is pretty good. Then I made a huge mistake in the sand whoops, got cross-rutted, went down. I think I came across in thirty-fifth and ended up in fifteenth. I’m happy with the way both motos went, just one mistake on my part.”

Jeremy Martin wasn’t the only Martin taking advantage of a track that closely resembles Millville. The elder Martin, Alex, had his best ride of the season, going 6-9 for eighth overall. “Second moto I was actually a little bit bummed, I was running with the top guys and then I bent my shifter and was having a really tough time shifting,” Martin told Racer X.

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson was much better in his second race back, but is still not 100 percent. “I’m happy with the day,” said Wilson in a team release. “Lining up against these guys just takes some time to get back into it. I got good starts and know the pace. I felt strong throughout the moto, so now I just need to be there from the start.”

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