Sign of the (Lap) Times: RedBud

Sign of the (Lap) Times RedBud

July 7, 2015 5:15pm

By Jason Weigandt and Chase Stallo

Jason Anderson dropped to 15 points back of fellow rookie Blake Baggett for fourth in the 450MX standings—he entered the weekend 8 back—after a flat tire in the first moto led to an eighteenth-place finish. Anderson also said he had a flat at Budds Creek! Anderson was running inside the top five at the time of the incident. The 450 rookie rebounded with a fifth in the second moto for eleventh overall. 

“In the second moto, I came out of the gate, shifted, was going pretty fast, and ended up fifth on the start,” he said in a team statement. “I was by myself for a while in fifth, and when you’re by yourself in the moto it does get kind of boring, but you try and spot the riders in front of you and figure out lines to go faster. It’s a top-five so I’ll take it.” 

A season-high fourth in the first moto at RedBud propelled Broc Tickle to fourth overall by 1 point over Weston Peick. The Michigan resident, by way of North Carolina, finally broke through for his first top-five since Thunder Valley. He entered the weekend averaging a 7.8 finish through twelve motos. 

Anderson sits fifth overall in points.
Anderson sits fifth overall in points. Cudby

I struggled to get going in the second moto,” Tickle said of a seventh-place finish in a team statement. “I pretty much gave it all I had, but I felt a little weak as the moto went on. The off-weekend should be good for me. I started cramping a little bit. I’ll take a couple days off and head back to California. Everything is going in the right direction, so we’ll keep working and the results will keep coming.” 

HRC Honda continues to wait on the return of Trey Canard, who has been out since Detroit Supercross in late March with a broken arm. Canard was recently cleared to ride again, but according to the team, further evaluation determined that the bone wasn’t properly healed. Canard will return to the doctor today to determine a more accurate return date. He also stopped by for the broadcast of the second practice sessions and explained he was hoping to possibly be ready for Washougal, but won’t know for certain until he visits the doctor again.  

It was a big weekend for the man filling in for Canard at HRC, Fredrik Noren, on and off the track. Noren and his fiancée Amy Schaaf, a photographer for Alli Sports whom he met at the Steel City National in 2012, wed near Cleveland, Ohio, in a small ceremony on Sunday afternoon. Canard, Noren’s teammate, was actually the pastor for the wedding, and current Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Designs rider Shane McElrath was one of the groomsmen. 

On the track, Noren scored a career-high seventh overall in front of family and friends that had traveled from Sweden to attend the wedding. “Today was even more special because I have so many friends and family here from Sweden that were able to experience this with us and to see what Amy and I do every weekend and put all our energy into,” he said in a team statement. “It [the day] started out a little slow; I struggled a bit during practice, but things got better during the motos. I felt like my riding was really good, with [Broc] Tickle in front of me and [Blake] Baggett behind me, so there weren’t any slow guys I was battling with. We made some small changes to the bike before the second moto, which helped.”

You can read more about Fredrik and Amy’s relationship in the August 2014 issue of Racer X Illustrated in the feature “The Ultimate Upgrade.”

It was a great weekend for the Honda HRC fill-in.
It was a great weekend for the Honda HRC fill-in. Cudby

HRC is expected to have Cole Seely back when the series resumes in two weeks in Millville, Minnesota. Seely missed the last two rounds with micro tears in his hamstring and a pulled abductor muscle. Seely tried to ride during the week last week, but after multiple visits to Dr. H. Rey Gubernick at Natural Health Sports Therapy in Costa Mesa, California, he decided to sit the weekend out. 

Blake Baggett had what he described as an “off day” at RedBud, going 6-9 for eighth overall. “In moto one I got a little bit sideways off the gate,” he explained in a Yoshimura Suzuki PR. “I came in contact with the rider next to me and didn’t get the greatest drive around the first turn. I started down in about twelfth and made it to sixth. I couldn’t work my way any farther forward than that. I didn’t have the greatest flow today.” 

Seems to be a nice exchange program building between the Yoshimura Suzuki and RCH/Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s Suzuki teams. Ken Roczen spent Tuesday riding at Baggett’s new place in Florida, and after the race Roczen thanked the Yosh team for some new settings that he tried. Baggett’s new place is just minutes away from Aldon Baker’s property and Ryan Villopoto’s old place, which is now called The Nest. Central Florida is the center of the MX universe during the summer.

A week after receiving the RC Hard Charger Award for his performance at Budds Creek, Wil Hahn may be in line for the award for a second straight week after RedBud. In the second moto, Hahn came from thirty-seventh place after lap one to card a fourteenth, salvaging thirteenth overall on the day.

Hahn may have earned another RC Hard Charger Award at RedBud.
Hahn may have earned another RC Hard Charger Award at RedBud. Cudby

“Practice times went really well, but I couldn’t quite find my flow in moto one,” Hahn said in a statement. “Second moto I came out of the gate feeling awesome, but unfortunately, ended up crashing and playing catch up all moto. Overall, I felt like my aggression and speed was there, and the weekend off will allow us to work on a few things.” 

Since his return from a concussion sustained at Thunder Valley, Tommy Hahn, Wil’s older brother, has racked up consecutive top-ten overall finishes. Coming off a ninth at Budds Creek, Tommy went 8-12 at RedBud for tenth overall. “Finally found a new pace,” Hahn wrote on Instagram. “Just need to get comfortable doing it for 30 minutes.” 

450 Class Moto 1

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 1 2:00.405 3 2:04.300 Ryan Dungey
2 2 2:00.702 3 2:04.588 Justin Barcia
3 3 2:02.029 7 2:04.830 Ken Roczen
4 5 2:02.496 4 2:06.707 Weston Peick
5 4 2:03.116 2 2:06.431 Broc Tickle
6 8 2:03.346 3 2:08.424 Tommy Hahn
7 12 2:03.435 3 2:08.785 Phil Nicoletti
8 6 2;04.375 3 2:07.088 Blake Baggett
9 7 2:04.547 3 2:07.718 Fredrik Noren
10 11 2:04.561 3 2:09.332 Wil Hahn

Dungey and Barcia had a sizable lap-time advantage here, which doesn't seem that shocking considering the results. But as you'll see below, all-out best-lap speed doesn't mean everything. Also, are we seeing a quiet surge from Tommy Hahn?

450 Class Moto 2

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 2 2:02.669 3 2:04.386 Ryan Dungey
2 3 2:02:757 3 2:06.512 Ken Roczen
3 1 2:02.781 2 2:04.394 Justin Barcia
4 4 2:03.046 3 2:07.060 Christophe Pourcel
5 5 2:04.133 4 2:07.686 Jason Anderson
6 11 2:04.726 4 2:10.391 Phil Nicoletti
7 6 2:04.867 5 2:07.655 Weston Peick
8 12 2:05.212 4 2:09.877 Tommy Hahn
9 7 2:05.578 5 2:08.066 Broc Tickle
10 8 2:05.761 4 2:08.215 Fredrik Noren

Look at this! Barcia only third-fastest while also taking the moto win. Dungey's average lap was faster too, because that doesn't factor from the drop of the gate to the finish line on the first lap (the official timing doesn't begin until lap one is complete). By the way, Dungey topped Roczen in qualifying by one hundreth of a second. We saw some really close times throughout the weekend.

250 Class Moto 1

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 2 2:00.756 2 2:04.845 Cooper Webb
2 1 2:01.487 2 2:04.782 Jeremy Martin
3 4 2:01.583 2 2:05.958 Marvin Musquin
4 3 2:01.846 3 2:05.733 Zach Osborne
5 8 2:02.194 2 2:06.624 Chris Alldredge
6 6 2:02.539 2 2:06.013 Christian Craig
7 11 2:02.792 2 2:07.720 Justin Hill
8 9 2:03.365 3 2:06.702 Aaron Plessinger
9 10 2:03.545 3 2:07.230 Jordon Smith
10 12 2:03.932 3 2:07.730 Joey Savatgy

Oh, Cooper! Webb had everything dialed in except the last lap. Shoutout to Justin Hill, who told us after the race he tried some setting changes to his bike since his last race, and they didn't quite work as he'd hoped. Still had some good speed though.

250 Class Moto 2

Lap Rank Finish Best Lap In Lap Avg Lap Time Rider
1 5 2:04.788 3 2:08.979 Cooper Webb
2 3 2:05.271 3 2:08.370 Christian Craig
3 2 2:06.098 4 2:07.711 Zach Osborne
4 4 2:06.180 3 2:08.331 Alex Martin
5 1 2:06.396 3 2:07.646 Jeremy Martin
6 9 2:06.523 4 2:09.362 Aaron Plessinger
7 6 2:06.626 2 2:09.163 Marvin Musquin
8 10 2:06.748 4 2:09.780 Chris Alldredge
9 7 2:06.897 4 2:09.199 Matt Bisceglia
10 8 2:07.492 10 2:09.392 RJ Hampshire

Oh, Cooper! He was fast again here but faltered late, again. Give him some time and he'll be winning. Jeremy Martin was only fifth-fastest but won the moto. You don't see that every day.

More News and Notes

Christian Craig’s great weekend turned into an even better week, as GEICO Honda announced they signed Craig for the remainder of 2015 and the entire 2016 season. "Christian has been a very comfortable and easy fit when we've needed him to fill in," team co-owner Rick "Ziggy" Zielfelder said in a team statement. "A person's integrity means a lot to me, and to be a part of this team you have to work extremely hard and earn your spot.”

Back to Craig’s weekend though. In just his fifth race back, Craig led for eight laps in the second moto before being passed late in the race by Cooper Webb, and then by Jeremy Martin when Webb went down. Craig finished third, his first career 250MX moto podium. "I believe I can be up there,” he said in a team statement. “That is my goal, to be on the podium. I'm looking for an overall podium at the next race. I missed it by one spot here, but I'm still happy about my podium in the second moto.” Craig moved to within 10 points of teammate Jordon Smith for eleventh in points, despite missing the first two rounds.    

Savatgy struggled to find his footing.
Savatgy struggled to find his footing. Cudby

Before his return at Budds Creek last weekend, Cooper Webb told us he wouldn’t return unless he felt he could contend. Well, it didn’t take long for Webb to get up to speed, as he led sixteen laps at RedBud on Saturday. The bad news for Webb: It only led to 2-5 finishes for third overall. Webb was passed on the final lap in the first moto by teammate Jeremy Martin and fell while leading late in moto two. “I felt today like I could have went 1-1 besides those mistakes,” Webb said to NBC Sports’ Georgia Lindsay. “But, hey, we’ll learn. I’m pumped to have the speed, just need to work on fitness, but I think that’s just bike time.”

After the race, we couldn’t find Webb for comment, as he was slated to take a Saturday-night flight home, but we did talk to his team owner Bobby Reagan, who told us, “Yeah, Cooper was pretty mad. He came here wanting to do only one thing: win this race.”

Following an overall podium at Budds Creek, Joey Savatgy struggled to 12-12 finishes at RedBud. Savatgy tucked the front end early in moto one and never recovered. “First moto started really well, until I lost the front end at the bottom of one of the downhills on the first lap and never really rebounded from it,” he said in a team statement. “On the start of the second moto, I tangled handle bars with another rider, causing me to drift back into the field, and I never got comfortable with the bike or track for the rest of the moto.” 

Prior to RedBud, GEICO Honda’s Jordon Smith had averaged a 14.3 finish in the first moto, compared to an 8.6 in second motos. Smith got the ball rolling in the first moto with a tenth, his best first moto finish since a sixth at Thunder Valley. Then, this time disaster struck on the first lap in the second moto, when he fell and had to work back from thirty-third to fourteenth. He finished thirteenth overall.  

RJ Hampshire had his first moto top-ten, an eighth in the second moto, since a seventh at High Point in moto two. Hampshire snuck into the top ten overall with 14-8 scores. "It was a new track for me, so I was feeling it out a little bit in practice," Hampshire said in a statement. "I was in the top ten [in the first moto], went down, and was pretty far back, but I made my way back to fourteenth. Not too bad, but I definitely wanted more.” 

Bisceglia got a rough start in the first moto but found his groove, going 17-7 on the day.
Bisceglia got a rough start in the first moto but found his groove, going 17-7 on the day. Cudby

The one-good-one-bad moto thing has infected the whole GEICO Honda team. Matt Bisceglia has had first-lap crashes far too often this year, and this time it happened in moto one. "I was in third on the first lap but slid out," Bisceglia said. "I tried to pick my bike up but got hit from behind by a couple riders, and ended up dropping my bike and going down again. It was a sketchy situation, but I came from dead last back to seventeenth. I wasn't too pumped about the finish, but I rode well." In the second moto he ran a solid seventh, getting to Marvin Musquin late and chasing him to the finish.

Chris Alldredge secured consecutive top-ten moto finishes for the first time since a 7-8 performance at Tennessee. Alldredge admitted that while his results improved, he needs to continue to work on his starts. “I got two bad starts today but felt like I improved from last week, which is good,” he said in a statement. “The off weekend coming up gives me a chance to work on my starts and get back on the podium like I was at Hangtown.”  

Scary moment in the second 250 moto after Anthony Rodriguez and Dakota Alix collided, sending both riders to the ground, while A-Rod’s bike went flying over the fence line. Luckily, everyone escaped injury. On Twitter, Rodriguez said he was doing “much better” after the crash. Alix also said he was okay on Twitter: “I'm all good thankfully just a little scraped up.” Below is a grainy video of the crash.