Sign of the (Lap) Times: Unadilla

Sign of the (Lap) Times: Unadilla

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By Chase Stallo and Jason Weigandt

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki Blake Baggett’s championship aspirations may be over after he lost 12 more points to Jeremy Martin and trails by 66 with just two races left. In what is a reoccurring theme in 2014, starts held Baggett back. “I didn’t do myself any favors in the first moto with that start, but I made as many passes as I could to salvage a solid result,” said Baggett in a statement. “This is not a track you want to fight when you’re not 100-percent. I had a bad crash last week, and I’m still pretty sore all over.”

Baggett’s teammate Dean Wilson had a season-high fourth in the first moto. “I knew starts would be the key to being up front today, and I just missed it a bit in the final moto,” said Wilson in a statement. “… It got rougher it became that much harder to make up time and pass people. I didn’t want to push it too much and make a mistake so I tried to be consistent and here we are in a tie with Blake for fifth. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but I’m pretty satisfied with how everything played out.”

Dean Wilson had his best finish of the season at Unadilla. Photo: Simon Cudby
Dean Wilson had his best finish of the season at Unadilla. Photo: Simon Cudby

Poor Darryn Durham. He made his 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship debut at Unadilla, but was a DNS after a crash in practice. “I wasn’t knocked out or anything, but I wasn’t feeling good. I was a little foggy,” Durham told Racer X. “I wasn’t sure if it was practice one or practice two, so I was like, “It’s probably not a good idea to race.” Durham is expected back this weekend at the inaugural Indiana National after passing the concussion test Saturday.

Rockstar Energy Racing KTM Joey Savatgy’s steady rise since his return culminated in a seventh-overall finish at Unadilla. Savatgy is dealing with an ankle injury suffered at Washougal, and will have it looked at this week. “…I've kinda been dealing with tweaked ankle from Washougal and I hurt it about 6 laps from the end,” he said in a team statement. “I just made the best of it and went as fast as I could handle till the end. It's not what I want.” 

Jason Anderson struggled in his return from a bad crash at Washougal en route to a nineteenth-overall finish via 36-14 moto scores. "Today was just simply not good,” he said in a statement. “I felt off the entire day, and I could not put things together. After talking to the team I realize that these types of days happen, and all I can do at this point is learn from them."

GEICO Honda’s Zach Osborne made his long awaited return at Unadilla after tearing ligaments in his thumb at the season opener. Osborne qualified third fastest, but struggled with crashes. “It's tough to come back midseason when everyone else has been riding and competing at the top level," said Osborne in a statement. "They're all moto fit and I'm not quite there. You can ride all you want at home but nothing compares to riding motos on Saturday against the best in the world. It's a whole different level of fitness. My fitness is as good as it can be for my situation. I worked really hard to make it that way." 

Joey Savatgy has been consistent as of late. Photo: Simon Cudby
Joey Savatgy has been consistent as of late. Photo: Simon Cudby

Recent Loretta Lynn graduate (and 2014 Horizon Award winner) RJ Hampshire made his pro debut at Unadilla. At times, Hampshire struggled with the track, and crashes hindered his progress. “The biggest thing was the track itself. They make it as tough as possible at this level; amateur layouts are usually a little rolled off,” he said in a statement. “I'll adapt and have a better race this weekend in Indiana." 

Initial reports are that GEICO Honda rookie Matt Bisceglia suffered a broken hand at Unadilla and will miss the remainder of the season. “I'm not exactly sure how my hand got hurt,” he said in a statement. “I must have stuck it out when I went down. A lot happened in just a few seconds there. I'll get it looked at by my doctors at home and we'll decide what to do based on that diagnosis." We will provide more information as it becomes available.

JAB Motorsports’ Matt Lemoine has one of the best finishes of the season at Unadilla. The privateer went 15-12 for twelfth overall.

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 3 2:11.774 4 2:16.291 Eli Tomac
2 2 2:12.130 5 2:14.954 Ken Roczen
3 1 2:12.201 5 2:14.546 Ryan Dungey
4 4 2:14.227 6 2:17.261 Trey Canard
5 5 2:16.067 5 2:19.662 Andrew Short
6 12 2:16.723 4 2:21.441 Brett Metcalfe
7 7 2:18.205 4 2:20.769 Phil Nicoletti
8 6 2:18.286 5 2:20.113 Justin Brayton
9 40 2:18.380 6 2:19.422 Chad Reed
10 8 2:18.448 3 2:20.882 Fredrik Noren

450 Class Moto 2

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 3 2:12.239 8 2:15.958 Eli Tomac
2 4 2:12.920 4 2:16.768 Ken Roczen
3 2 2:12.936 5 2:15.324 Ryan Dungey
4 1 2:13.081 2 2:15.205 Trey Canard
5 5 2:17.177 9 2:20.974 Weston Peick
6 6 2:18.452 8 2:21.481 Brett Metcalfe
7 10 2:19.600 2 2:23.976 Fredrik Noren
8 9 2:19.850 5 2:23.829 Phil Nicoletti
9 7 2:19.918 8 2:22.752 Justin Brayton
10 8 2:20.578 10 2:22.564 Andrew Short

250 Class Moto 1

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 2 2:14.826 4 2:17.304 Marvin Musquin
2 6 2:14.894 8 2:17.972 Blake Baggett
3 1 2:15.782 4 2:17.374 Christophe Pourcel
4 3 2:16.444 3 2:17.874 Jeremy Martin
5 4 2:16.487 14 2:17.958 Dean Wilson
6 5 2:16.759 14 2:17.991 Justin Bogle
7 16 2:16.892 3 2:22.441 Jessy Nelson
8 7 2:17.135 8 2:19.576 Cooper Webb
9 36 2:17.331 6 2:20.052 Jason Anderson
10 8 2:17.438 5 2:19.600 Cole Seely

250 Class Moto 2

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1 2:17.325 10 2:19.271 Jeremy Martin
2 2 2:17.826 5 2:19.773 Christophe Pourcel
3 4 2:18.148 7 2:20.201 Blake Baggett
4 7 2:18.257 8 2:21.216 Zach Osborne
5 3 2:18.266 7 2:20.030 Justin Bogle
6 6 2:18.524 13 2:20.395 Dean Wilson
7 36 2:19.027 6 2:21.384 Cooper Webb
8 5 2:19.061 4 2:20.275 Marvin Musquin
9 8 2:19.190 4 2:21.283 Chris Alldredge
10 9 2:19.259 14 2:21.519 Joey Savatgy

More news and notes:

Can we just say this in all caps? JUSTIN BRAYTON’S STARTS ARE RIDICULOUS! Cool? Those Toyota/JGR Yamahas are clearly putting out some power, and several noted not only the start prowess, but the way the bikes could get away on the long straights and out of the corners. Brayton’s two holeshots resulted in fifth overall via 6-7 scores. RCH Soaring Eagle Suzuki’s Weston Peick figured out one way to get past a fast Yamaha, by practically riding through Brayton in a corner in moto two. Peick ended up getting the spot—fifth—and took seventh overall via 10-5 scores.

Jake Weimer made another return from the back injuries suffered back at High Point and faired better this time (he tried racing Millville but couldn’t go for the second moto). The Monster Energ Kawasaki man went 11-15 on the day. Hey, one step at a time.

Michael Byrne was back in action this weekend, riding alongside longtime friend (and fellow Aussie) Chad Reed on the Discount Tire TwoTwo Motorsports Kawasaki. Byrne scored a few points in moto one with an eighteenth, but a smashed header pipe early in moto two ended his day early. As for Reed, a crash while battling for sixth in moto one jammed his shoulder, and he called it day.

The JGR bikes are fast! Photo: Simon Cudby
The JGR bikes are fast! Photo: Simon Cudby

Local boy Phil Nicoletti has completed his season for Toyota/JGR Yamaha, as Unadilla was his last scheduled race. At the end of the day, Nicoletti said it was the first 450 national where he’s finished both motos in the single digits, with 7-9 scores for eighth overall.

BTOSports KTM’s Andrew Short put in a remarkable second moto, going down in the third turn, getting up in thirty-ninth, and coming all the way back for eighth. Still salvaged sixth overall. He also jumped the idle James Stewart in the standings … but also got passed by the surging Eli Tomac. Tomac has an outside shot at fourth in points this year despite missing the first third of the season!

But it will be tough for Tomac to get there, because the ever-consistent Brett Metcalfe doesn’t hand over many points. Unadilla was one of Metty’s worst races of the season, but he still finished in ninth overall. “We had an up and down day,” said Metcalfe in a Monster Energy Kawasaki release. “We had our worst finish of the season in the first moto and it was the first time I’d placed outside the top-10. We made some changes on the bike for the conditions and felt better the second moto. I got a much better start and rode to sixth. I really want to be on the box and have two more chances to do so.”

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