Welcome to Racer X's Race Day Feed of the Red Bull Tennessee National at Muddy Creek Raceway. To read how all the action played out in chronological order, start at the bottom and work your way up. Otherwise, jump straight to the moto summaries directly below.
250 moto two
Wow. Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Cooper Webb just put on one of the hardest charges I’ve ever seen to snatch a moto victory away from fellow North Carolina rider Shane McElrath in a dramatic last-lap pass. It would’ve been McElrath’s first-ever moto win—and he was even in contention for the overall—but Webb charged from well outside the top five--he was eighth after lap one--to score the overall win with 2-1 moto scores.
The holeshot went to Yamalube/Star Racing’s Alex Martin, who was looking to rebound from his nineteenth in moto one. However, as they crossed the line at the end of lap one, it was Red Bull/Troy Lee Design/KTM’s Shane McElrath leading the pack, followed by Alex Martin, Joey Savatgy, Jordon Smith and Adam Cianciarulo. Defending champion Jeremy Martin sat twelfth.
While it looked like Savatgy was being patient before making his move to the front, a series of tip-overs relegated the Monster Energy rider to ninth place, forcing him to play catch-up the entire race.
As the moto wore on in the 90-degree heat, McElrath looked well on his way to capturing his first-ever moto win, maintaining a very comfortable cushion between him and Alex Martin. However, unbeknownst to the top two, Cooper Webb was mounting his charge, and as the track got rougher, Webb got faster. In fact, in the last five laps he was able to shave over eleven seconds off of McElrath's lead. His charge put him in position to make the pass for the lead on the final lap, securing his first overall win of the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
While Webb isn't new to winning, runner-up finisher Shane McElrath was stoked to be up front that second moto, and ended his day on the last step of the podium. “North Carolina 1-2, that’s awesome,” said McElrath on the podium after the race. "This has been my best week of training and this is what I expect from myself all the time. And all of my friends are here, so thank you.”
Cooper Webb also used the fans of Muddy Creek for momentum. "I think testing has helped with my riding, but the fans, I could hear them cheering every lap," Webb explained in the post-race press conference. "I could see Joey [Savatgy] crash, so I just told myself to be smart and don’t crash. I could’ve easily settled for third, but I kept on pushing."
As for the 250 Class series leader, he owned up to his mistakes today, which included two small tip overs. "These little mistakes I keep making need to be minimized sooner than later," he said. "We lost some points today, and that’s never good, but we’ll fight another day."
450 Moto two
RCH/Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s Factory Suzuki’s Broc Tickle came across the paint with the holeshot in moto two, followed closely by BTOSports KTM’s Justin Brayton and Honda HRC’s Cole Seely. Moto one winner, Roczen, was comfortably in fifth with Tomac not far behind him. And at the end of lap one it was Tickle maintaining the lead, followed by Roczen, Brayton, Seely, Tomac and Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin.
It didn’t take long for Roczen to secure the point position, with Tomac following him into second, relegating Tickle to third. From this point throughout the moto, Roczen slowed stretched his lead to around five seconds over Tomac, as these two slowly gapped the field.
Much to the delight of the fans, Tomac was able to pull up right to Roczen’s back tire as the two-lap card was displayed at the finish line. With the fans cheering and the air horns blowing, Tomac gave it his all to try and make a pass, but Roczen was able to stave off any charge to take the moto win. Tomac finished 2-2 on the day, and Roczen’s teammate, Broc Tickle, secured the final step on the podium with a solid 6-3 on the day.
Further back in the top ten there was some great racing between Justin Barcia, Cole Seely, Blake Baggett and Christophe Pourcel, with Barcia charging from thirteenth to fifth by moto’s end. Weston Peick put in some solid laps around seventh position before ending up in ninth. Moto two and overall results can be viewed below.
250 moto one
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo wanted to show that his fastest lap time in practice was no fluke, as the #44 came out of the first turn with the holeshot, leading his teammate and current point’s leader Joey Savatgy and GEICO Honda’s Jordon Smith. Smith was able to get around Savatgy early, and as they circulated the track on lap two it was Cianciarulo, Smith, Savatgy, Martin Davalos and RJ Hampshire rounding out the top five. Several of the Yamalube/Star Yamaha riders were all mired outside the top ten, with Cooper Webb leading the Blu Cru in sixth position early in the moto.
On lap three Cianciarulo lost his front end in the corner before the finish line, allowing Smith and Savatgy around. Smith would lead until around the halfway point of the moto before Savatgy got around the Honda rider for the lead.
Further back, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne made a valiant charge through the pack from eleventh to third by moto’s end, setting him up for a run at the overall in moto two. The Yamalube/Star Racing teammates and brothers of Alex and Jeremy Martin hovered around tenth place for much of the moto before methodically chipping away at the field. Unfortunately, Alex Martin's bad luck continued when he crashed late in the moto, coming across the finish in 19th, salvaging two championship points.
So while Savatgy would take another moto win extending his points lead, Cooper Webb, Zach Osborne, Jordon Smith and Shane McElrath would round out the top five. (Three of the top five hailing from the neighboring state of North Carolina.)
There was action throughout the entire field, so if you’re able, be sure to check out the second moto live on NBCSN. Unofficial results could be viewed below:
450 moto one
Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely nosed his Honda CRF450R through the first turn with the holeshot, but early on the first lap, JGR Yamaha’s Phil Nicoletti made a move to the lead, while the field shuffled for position behind them. Before the field could cross the finish line for lap one, Seely was back into the lead with Nicoletti, Christophe Pourcel, Justin Barcia, Ken Roczen and Weston Peick in tow. By lap two, Seely began stretching his lead—a cushion he built to about eight seconds by lap five.
Meanwhile, the man with the red plate began chipping away, pulling Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac with him as they methodically worked their way toward the front. It took about half the moto for Roczen and Tomac to reel in Seely, but for a couple of laps you could throw a blanket over the top three as the enthusiastic Tennessee crowd cheered on the top riders in the world.
With the top three on top of each other, Tomac made a move on Roczen; however, his move was shortlived as Roczen retaliated on not only Tomac, but swiftly dispatched Seely from the lead. A few turns later Tomac moved around Seely as well, and they started gapping the Honda rider making this a two-man race for the moto win.
Lost in the battle of the lead was plenty of action behind the leaders. JGR Yamaha’s Barcia and Nicoletti collided into each other, forcing them to play catch-up for most of the moto.
With a few laps remaining, Tomac was able to close up to the rear tire of Roczen’s RMZ-450, but a few small mistakes in the turns before the dragon’s back section gave Roczen enough of a cushion for another moto win.
As the top ten came across the finish, it was cool to see six different bike manufacturers in the top seven.
Elsewhere, BTOSports/KTM’s Benny Bloss charged up to eleventh, and Got Gear Motorsports’ Heath Harrison hovered around the top ten, finishing 12th.
Both consolation races are in the books as the fastest 40 riders in each class at today's Red Bull Tennessee National are set to go racing at Round 5 of the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Remember, you can watch today's motos live at www.promotocross.com, or on TV on the stations below:
1:00 p.m. MAVTV - 1st Motos (both classes)
3:30 p.m. NBC - 2nd 450 Class moto
4:30 p.m. NBCSN - 2nd 250 Class moto
For photos from this morning's action at Muddy Creek, check out our Instapics feature.
250 Class - Consolation Race Results
450 Class - Consolation Race results
Best Lap Times - 250 Class - Practice #2
After the morning’s timed qualifying sessions, the fastest rider on the track--out of both classes--was Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo, who logged a 1:58.382 in the second session, giving him the first gate pick for moto one. Yamalube/Star Racing’s Cooper Webb followed him with a 1:59.024, with local hero Zach Osborne, who grew up in nearby Abingdon, Virginia, locking down the third gate pick with a 1:59.813. Will Osborne be able to keep the momentum rolling at his local track following his first-ever moto win last week at High Point?
-Jason Weigandt spoke with Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's team manager, Brad Hoffman, who quickly discussed the bike problems they had last week with Alex and Jeremy Martin. He said the bikes were overheating, which led to a blown head gasket. They're trying a slew of different fixes this week, including various changes to the mapping.
"They ride and ride all week and nothing goes wrong," Hoffman explained. "I think they're just riding the bikes that much harder in the races. Also, the deeper tracks put way more strain on the engines compared to practice tracks."
-One of biggest jumps on the track—the Bomber Triple—is proving to be a difficult obstacle for a lot of the 250 riders, as not all of them are able to clear the massive uphill jump. Keep an eye on this section while you’re watching the motos live today.
-Everyone's favorite two-stroke pilot, Gared Steinke, is headed to the 250 Class consolation race, as he was only able to record the 39th fastest lap time on his Husqvarna TC125. (The top 36 qualify for the motos.)
Best Lap Times - 450 Class - Practice #2
After both timed qualifying practice sessions, it’s Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Christophe Pourcel recording the fastest time in the 450 Class with a 1:58.971, followed by Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac (1:59.973) and RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Broc Tickle (2:00.290). Current point's leader Ken Roczen is fourth, with JGR Yamaha’s Justin Barcia rounding out the top five.
-Broc Tickle’s younger brother, Carson Tickle, made his second-consecutive 450 Class main event with the 36th fastest lap time. Muddy Creek is a track the Tickle brothers grew up competing on, as they both hail from nearby North Carolina.
Best Lap Times - 250 Class - practice Session 1
Best Lap Times - 450 Class - practice Session 1
The fifth round of the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series is at the famed Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, TN, today for the Red Bull Tennessee National. The weather forecast is hot and humid, as this will probably be the hottest round of the series thus far in 2016.
As many of you probably know, missing from the 450 Class today is the rider who currently holds down fifth in points, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson. Jason suffered a broken collarbone (broken in three places!) and minor AC separation during a practice crash earlier this week.
"I'm really bummed about this injury,” said Anderson in a statement. “I feel like I was building some momentum and last weekend's second was the best outdoor overall of my career. I feel pretty lucky however after one of the worst crashes of my life and not missing a race in six years. Sometimes these things happen. I can only stay positive and see how the recovery goes. I'm hoping to come back before the Nationals are over.”
Returning to racing today is Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Baggett, who suffered a broken collarbone in the second moto at this year’s season opener at Hangtown. Baggett scored a fourth-place finish in the 450 Class last year at this particular race, and Yoshimura Suzuki’s team manager is looking forward to the weekend.
“It will be great to have Blake back with us in Tennessee,” said Team Yoshimura Suzuki's Mike Webb in a press release earlier this week. “And with Matt [Bisceglia] filling in again, the weekend will be full of activity taking care of two riders and that’s the way we like it.”
The other full-time Yoshimura Suzuki factory rider, James Stewart, has missed races with an injured shoulder, and he's out this weekend due to more important matters: the press release explains that James will remain home in Florida with his wife for the pending birth of their baby.
For further updates on who's in and who's out this weekend, check out our weekly injury report, presented by Scott Motorsports.