Sign of the (Lap) Times: Utah National

Sign of the (Lap) Times Utah National

August 26, 2014 5:00pm

By Chase Stallo and Jason Weigandt

After Eli Tomac went 1-1 at Millville, it looked like more wins were coming, but although he was fast he couldn’t quite replicate that day. “I wanted to get at least another win and not just be the one hit wonder at Millville, but it was a good learning year I guess,” he told our Steve Matthes. “I seriously never really stayed on a single setup either. But, last year on my 250 when I started clicking off the wins, I was on the same stuff all the way from Budds Creek. I never changed my suspension, and on this bike I’ve been changing it almost every weekend and dink around [on it] at home. I don’t like doing that.”

Toyota/JGR Yamaha’s Josh Grant didn’t end the season the way he started it, as he popped his shoulder out late in moto one and didn’t line up for moto two. Remember, he won the first moto of the season. Grant did snag fifth in the first moto and ended the year eighth in points.

Yes, speaking of that, a torrid Grant/Metcalfe/Short/Peick battle for top five in the series raged for most of the season. In the end, Metcalfe, Mr. Consistency, snagged it, with fourth for the year. Eli Tomac jumped in with fifth, then Short sixth and Peick seventh. The biggest difference was that Metcalfe scored points in every single moto.

Noren captured tenth in points, a career high.
Noren captured tenth in points, a career high. Photo: Simon Cudby

Perhaps no one—except for Roczen—was more thrilled with their finishing spot than Fredrik Noren, who edged out Chad Reed for tenth in the series. We know top-ten in the series meant virtually nothing to Reed, a former series’ champ, but both fought back after getting into a brutal first-turn crash in the final moto of the season. After both got near the top ten, Reed called it a moto with bike problems, while Noren soldiered on to finish ninth. We’ll have more on Noren’s dream season later this week. 

What happened to Reed in the second moto? “I guess the subframe was all bent over, and for whatever reason it was hitting on the wheel,” he explained to our Steve Matthes. “The way I was hearing it, it actually sounded like it was coming from the front and just seemed like it was getting worse. Every time the suspension would compress on the face of a jump it felt like I was kind of losing momentum…so then I’m like, ‘At this point I just want to cut my losses and be done with the season.’ I didn’t need a front wheel to lock up on me, or anything like that. So I just kind of played it safe and pulled her in. As I found out, it was the subframe not the front wheel.” As for that top-ten deal, Reed told Matthes: “I didn’t even know I was in the top ten, or out of the top ten. I haven’t looked at my position all year.”

In another rumor roundup, we now hear Weston Peick is set to go to Toyota/JGR Yamaha in 2015. His factory stint on RCH Soaring Eagle Suzuki got him onto a full-season factory ride for next year. We’d assume this means Broc Tickle will return to the team next year, but we haven’t heard for sure, which means we could get in serious trouble for even mentioning it. Teams love it when we print rumors and assumptions!

Since switching to the 450 at Millville, Mitchell Oldenburg has enjoyed success. 
Since switching to the 450 at Millville, Mitchell Oldenburg has enjoyed success.  Photo: Simon Cudby

With Justin Barcia also expected on JGR next year, that means it was the last ride for both Josh Grant and Justin Brayton with the team. Brayton, a holeshot master this year outdoors, had a bet going with his mechanic Patrick Barker, with $100 on the line in each moto for a holeshot. Brayton didn’t get any this time, so his wrench is $200 richer.

Jeez, Mitch Oldenberg! Since switching to a 450, the privateer has shown some serious speed, with moto finishes in the 12-13 range in most of the races, capped by a tenth in the final moto of the season. 

Jeez, Ryan Sipes! He followed his amazing third-place second-moto finish in the mud of Indiana with solid 9-6 scores and sixth overall in Utah. Now he returns to the Amsoil Grand National Cross Country Series, which resumes at Unadilla next weekend. 

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 4 1:44.664 3 1:49.929 Eli Tomac
2 2 1:44.670 2 1:48.568 Ryan Dungey
3 3 1:44.701 2 1:48.841 Ken Roczen
4 1 1:44.946 2 1:48.232 Trey Canard
5 7 1:47.922 2 1:52.749 Brett Metcalfe
6 5 1:48.379 3 1:52.306 Josh Grant
7 6 1:48.513 3 1:52.647 Andrew Short
8 14 1:49.831 3 1:56.928 Jimmy Albertson
9 9 1:49.978 3 1:53.143 Ryan Sipes
10 13 1:50.481 3 1:55.696 Weston Peick

450 Class Moto 2

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 4 1:44.080 1 1:50.501 Ken Roczen
2 1 1:44.098 1 1:44.098 Trey Canard
3 2 1:44.310 4 1:47.497 Ryan Dungey
4 3 1:45.251 3/4 1:48.133 Eli Tomac
5 5 1:47.623 3 1:50.710 Brett Metcalfe
6 6 1:47.816 3 1:50.974 Ryan Sipes
7 30 1:47.939 2 1:54.435 Chad Reed
8 7 1:48.582 4 1:52.742 Weston Peick
9 9 1:49.330 11 1:52.620 Fredrik Noren
10 8 1:49.901 2 1:53.131 Justin Brayton

250 Class Moto 1

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 2 1:47.302 3 1:49.662 Cooper Webb
2 1 1:47.613 3 1:48.883  Jeremy Martin
3 3 1:47.962 4 1:49.877  Blake Baggett
4 4 1:48.087 4 1:50.263  Marvin Musquin
5 6 1:48.973 5 1:50.969  Justin Bogle
6 5 1:49.306 7 1:50.684  Chris Alldredge
7 8 1:49.761 11 1:51.414  Joey Savatgy
8 7 1:49.819 15 1:51.374  Zach Osborne
9 10 1:50.051 4 1:53.877  Dean Wilson
10 15 1:50.078 2 1:56.450  Jason Anderson

250 Class Moto 2

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1 1:46.191 6 1:48.147 Jeremy Martin
2 3 1:47.131 13 1:49.209 Blake Baggett
3 2 1:47.417 4 1:49.029 Justin Bogle
4 4 1:47.663 7 1:49.862 Cooper Webb
5 5 1:47.678 4 1:49.994 Marvin Musquin
6 8 1:47.769 3 1:50.473 Chris Alldredge
7 7 1:48.215 3 1:50.595 Joey Savatgy
8 9 1:48.259 4 1:50.809 Zach Osborne
9 6 1:48.398 8 1:50.437 Dean Wilson
10 11 1:48.428 6 1:52.163 RJ Hampshire

More news and notes:

After five years with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki, Dean Wilson is moving on—and up. Wilson is reportedly set to join Ryan Dungey at Red Bull KTM, replacing the departing Ken Roczen, although nothing is official at this time. Wilson had his ups and downs in his last season in the class. “I would have really liked to finish out the year better than I did,” said Wilson in a team statement. “It’s frustrating because I know I have the best team behind me and I just couldn’t get it done. I’ve had a really good run and am thankful for everyone who has stood behind me.” Wilson is listed at 6’1” and has spoken throughout the years about how his height and weight can be a detriment. He reiterated the point on Instagram this week: “Bye bye 250. Thank god such a struggle racing thos light lads! Defo ready for some 450 bark!! Woof woo.” 

While Wilson is moving on, his teammate Chris Alldredge is just getting started. The recent Loretta Lynn graduate finished his brief debut strong with a sixth overall—including a career high fifth—in Utah. “I didn’t have any expectations, probably because I had no idea what to expect,” Alldredge told Racer X. “I just came in with the mindset that anything could happen.” Alldredge will make his 2015 debut with the team in Monster Energy Supercross, skipping arenacross because he’d already scored some pro-am points before the Ricky Carmichael Road to Supercross became mandatory.

Chris Alldredge had three top tens in three rounds. 
Chris Alldredge had three top tens in three rounds.  Photo: Simon Cudby

Cole Seely is moving on from Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Designs Honda, who he had been with from 2010 through now. It became official this week that Seely will join Trey Canard at factory Honda. Seely will continue to wear TLD racewear, though. Seely was also in a points battle with teammate Jessy Nelson for most of the year, and edged his teammate for eighth in points, by just 8 points.

Justin Bogle wasn’t able to get the elusive first moto win he’s desperately been seeking, but from where Bogle began 2014, his season has been a success. “I saw him in the hospital before supercross, and if you would have told me he was going to have the season he just had, I would have thought you were crazy,” GEICO Honda teammate Wil Hahn told Racer X last week. Bogle won his first career Monster Energy Supercross title in 2014 and found success in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross as well, raking up six moto podiums, a career high. "It's pretty funny," Bogle said in a team statement. "Last year I kind of ended up in the same area as far as points, but this year was ten times better than last year. I just had a couple DNFs, a couple bad races that really hindered me in points, but all in all it was a good year to build off of to come in next year and be a title contender." 

Bogle will be back with GEICO Honda next season, but two other members of the team—Zach Osborne and Zach Bell—are reportedly moving on. Injuries limited Osborne to just four rounds in his final season with the team. He is expected to join Rockstar Energy Husqvarna in 2015. Osborne finished ninth overall in what was expected to be his last race with the team. “It was OK; I'm glad to be leaving here safe. On to next year," he said in a team statement. The future is a little less clear for Bell, who found out he broke his collarbone last Monday following the Indiana National. He finished sixteenth overall at Utah. "Today was a good day for me considering how I am," Bell said in a team statement. "I was glad I was able to race and score some points. Last week I broke my collarbone in the first moto but did not even know I did until after I finished out the day, so I raced the first and second moto with that broken collarbone and not knowing. I found out last Monday it was broken.”

Savatgy ended the season with ten straight top tens.
Savatgy ended the season with ten straight top tens. Photo: Simon Cudby

Rookie RJ Hampshire finished out the season strong with 9-11 moto scores, the best in his short stint. "This is my first time ever racing at a high altitude like this. This track is probably 3,000 feet above what I am used to racing at, so it hurt my body bad, but it's all a learning process and I'm glad I did these last three races to get my feet wet,” Hampshire said in a team statement. Hampshire, who already completed the Ricky Carmichael Road to Supercross earlier this year, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut with the team in 2015.

Rockstar Energy Racing KTM’s Joey Savatgy was strong down the stretch, finishing the season with ten straight top-ten finishes. Savatgy, who came back from a multitude of injuries over last off-season, is happy to end the year healthy. “I had a bit of a hard time today; the track was gnarly,” he said in a team statement. “It's one of those deals where I'm pumped to be walking out of here in one piece and ending the season on a good note. From where we started to where we ended was a huge step forward. At the end of the day I will take that." Savatgy has yet to announce where he will be riding in 2015, but is reportedly receiving interest from a number of teams.

Savatgy’s Rockstar Energy Racing KTM teammate Jason Anderson will return to the team when they move to Husqvarnas in 2015, but he will be moving to the 450 Class. Anderson struggled in his final 250 motos. “Today was pretty much a wash,” he said in a team statement. “Not the way I wanted to end my career in the 250 Class. I went down in practice and cut my arm up pretty bad. I had to go and get stitched up a couple times, and I tried to ride the first moto. It didn't go that well and I had to sit out moto two. Going to go get some X-rays on my elbow and start focusing on moving up to the 450 Class." 

Rookie Watch: Nick Gaines, who is getting help from Traders Racing, capped his season with his second consecutive top-fifteen performance. Gaines had finishes of 11-30-17-14 during his two-race stint. CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha’s Luke Renzland ended 2014 with a sixteenth in moto two to finish eighteenth overall. In three races Renzland had finishes of 18-15-28-29-36-16.