Ken Roczen stretched his lead to fifty-five points after Saturday’s 1-1 performance at Round 8 of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota. Why’s that important? Well, if his points gap stands as is over the next three rounds, he would clinch his second 450MX title a round early at Budds Creek on August 20. The most impressive stat during Roczen’s incredible run this season may not be his thirteen wins in sixteen motos or his six overall wins in eight rounds or his six perfect 1-1 days, although they certainly do have a nice ring to them. No, what may be the most impressive is Roczen has led an amazing 211 laps of a possible 264. That nearly 80 percent of laps led!
Laps led in the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
The other seven riders have combined to lead 53 totals laps to Roczen's 211.
For a second straight week, the BTOSports.com-WPS-KTM team had all three riders—Andrew Short, Benny Bloss and Justin Brayton—finish inside the top ten overall. For Short, his 8-8 scores represented his best race of the season, with two top-ten motos for the first time this year. The prevailing factor? Starts, as referenced in their post-race comments:
Andrew Short: “It was another good day. My starts were there this weekend and battled inside the top ten. I have always liked this track and it felt good to leave here with a 7th overall.”
Justin Brayton: “I felt solid out there. My starts are there, along with my speed. I am going to keep working and ready to battle inside the top five at Washougal.”
BTO Start to Finish
Take a look at the start and finish of each BTOSports.com-WPS-KTM rider from Spring Creek.
|Rider||Moto 1 Start||Moto 1 Finish||Moto 2 Start||Moto 2 Finish|
The 450 Class got a much need shot in the arm this weekend as Trey Canard, James Stewart and Dean Wilson all returned from injury. Canard, was knocked out of racing after round three due to a bulging disc in his neck, but it turns out a bigger, and not funny, issue was his funny bone. Trey had injured that nerve in a practice crash but originally thought his hand was going numb due to the neck injury—once he realized the nerve in his arm was actually the problem, he was able to get therapy on it and get back to the track. He was the best of the returnees, going 6-6 for sixth overall. Canard did twist his ankle while battling Justin Barcia in the second moto, but should be okay for this weekend at Washougal.
“Today wasn’t too bad,” he said in a statement. “I didn’t ride as well as I wanted to, but it’s hard to miss a few weeks and come back right where you left off. I’m just really happy to be back at the races, so I can’t be too bummed. I didn’t get the greatest start in either moto and just had to work my way forward. In the second moto, I was in fifth but made a mistake in a section, twisting my ankle pretty hard and letting Justin [Barcia] by me. I just need to keep pushing forward, and I’m excited for the rest of the season.”
After tearing his ACL in January, Wilson was back for his first race in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and was a solid 11-11 for eleventh overall. By the way, when Wilson returned to racing late last year after ACL surgery, he went 11-10 at Unadilla. “Steady first race back. Ready to improve every weekend,” he wrote on Instagram after Spring Creek. “It was harder than I expected being back but I never pulled off and got through the day. Looking forward to each race and hoping by end of the season I'm on form.”
James Stewart scored points for the first time in the championship with a tenth in the first moto. The past champion of the class had been out since Hangtown with a shoulder injury, as well as awaiting the arrival of his first child, who was born last Saturday. For obvious reasons Stewart hasn’t been riding much and pulled out of the second moto early due to reported blisters. “I got an OK start and then got passed by a few guys,” Stewart explained in a Suzuki press release. “I kind of settled in and passed a few more guys and some of them went down and I got tenth. It was pretty solid. With all the stuff going on in my personal life I haven’t been able to ride as much. The second moto I was trying, but almost hit the deck a few times. It got to the point where I pulled out and I was bummed out about that.
“I’m happy to be back out here racing,” he continued. “I know what I need to do and that’s get more seat time to be able to race. The track was tough all day, especially in that second moto. I want to thank the team. I’m going to keep pushing here and building up and I think Washougal should be better for sure.”
Fortunately both Broc Tickle and Weston Peick escaped a violent crash in the first 450 moto at Spring Creek without any serious injury. The crashed was caused when Peick got cross-rutted prior to a jump and came shooting directly into Tickle’s line. Tickle was unable to avoid Peick and landed on his head. “I was close to Peick and he cross-rutted on this little tabletop. I went to the outside and he came across the track. I ended up landing on his head and both of us crashed and didn’t race in the second moto,” said Tickle in a team statement. “It was a tough weekend for me. I didn’t want to accept not racing in the second moto but I felt like it was the best choice to make at the time. I’m going to get looked at this week and make sure there’s nothing too serious and hopefully head to Washougal, into the break, and hit the last three. I feel like I have some more podiums to get and that I’m capable of doing it. The focus for me right now is see what’s going on with my body, make sure there’s nothing too serious and go from there.”
We spotted the ever-tough Peick hanging out at the JGR rig after the race with a small bandage on his hand, and some gnarly road rash on his back. Otherwise he said he was just banged up, and while his hand took a hit, X-rays at the track seem to indicate it's not broken.
Lap times from the first 450 moto are currently unavailable. We will update this post once they are.
450 Class Moto 2
|Lap Rank||Finish||Best Lap||In Lap||Avg Lap Time||Rider|
A lot of buzz about Ken Roczen's second moto performance being one of the best rides anyone has ever seen. To further pound that point home, have a look at the lap time here.
250 Class Moto 1
|Lap Rank||Finish||Best Lap||In Lap||Avg Lap Time||Rider|
250 Class Moto 2
|Lap Rank||Finish||Best Lap||In Lap||Avg Lap Time||Rider|
Jeremy Martin is making strides. He not only won his first overall of the season, but note he had the fastest lap in both motos. Prior to this race, J-Mart had three moto wins but didn't have the fastest lap time in any of them.
More News and Notes
Don’t look now, but Cooper Webb has opened a thirty-eight-point lead in what was once a tight championship chase. Remember, leaving Round 4 Webb actually trailed Joey Savatgy by twenty points. Since that time Webb has accumulated 191 points to Savatgy’s 121. Let’s take a look back at the top five in points following each round to further illustrate the ebbs and flows of this title chase.
|1. Joey Savatgy||50|
|2. Alex Martin||35|
|3. Cooper Webb||34|
|4. Jeremy Martin||32|
|5. Aaron Plessinger||32|
|1. Alex Martin||79|
|2. Cooper Webb||77|
|3. Joey Savatgy||76|
|4. Jeremy Martin 75||75|
|5. Aaron Plessinger||63|
|1. Joey Savatgy||123|
|2. Jeremy Martin||120|
|3. Alex Martin||114|
|4. Cooper Webb||110|
|5. Aaron Plessinger||81|
|1. Joey Savatgy||166|
|2. Cooper Webb||146|
|3. Jeremy Martin||142|
|4. Alex Martin||136|
|5. Zach Osborne||121|
|1. Joey Savatgy||205|
|2. Cooper Webb||193|
|3. Jeremy Martin||173|
|4. Alex Martin||158|
|5. Zach Osborne||152|
|1. Cooper Webb||243|
|2. Joey Savatgy||232|
|3. Jeremy Martin||209|
|4. Alex Martin||198|
|5. Zach Osborne||190|
|1. Cooper Webb||290|
|2. Joey Savatgy||253|
|3. Jeremy Martin||252|
|4. Alex Martin||232|
|5. Zach Osborne||217|
|1. Cooper Webb||337|
|2. Jeremy Martin||299|
|3. Joey Savatgy||287|
|4. Alex Martin||270|
|5. Zach Osborne||237|
Webb has certainly looked invincible since Muddy Creek, but if this season has taught us anything, nothing is a given.
Another banner day for the Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha squad, who had four riders in the top five and five in the top eight. Of the six available podium slots in the two motos, Star took up five, with only Zach Osborne’s third in the second moto holding them back from sweeping all six moto podiums on the day.
Osborne wasn’t able to challenge for an overall podium after a DNF in the first moto. The veteran crashed while running fifth and then had rocks stuck in his wheel, which caused the DNF. “I turned a bad day into a good day,” said Osborne in a team statement. Despite having a terrible gate pick for the second moto, Osborne ended up with a rare good start. “I pulled a really good start in the second moto and ended up getting third. That was actually my first good start of the season. I was really happy with that. The first moto DNF kind of hurt me in the points but I pulled it together for moto two. We’ll soldier on.” Osborne finished eleventh overall on the day.
Considering he had just five moto top tens prior to Spring Creek (and only two in the same day once), it’s hard to judge a 7-8 for sixth overall as a disappointment. Yet, when your name is Adam Cianciarulo and you lead for three laps before dropping back to eighth, most think of it as such. As for Adam, he’s willing to take it as a positive. “Today was a step in the right direction,” he said in a team statement. “I got off to a decent start in moto one, was able to charge the whole moto and made a few passes near the end to finish seventh. In moto two, I was top-five around turn one and made a few quick passes to get into the lead early. I was able to charge and lead for about 10-minutes, which felt awesome to be back upfront again. I’m looking forward to next week.”
Arnaud Tonus has been much better after a slow start to the season due to a shoulder injury. He has six moto top tens over the last seven following an 8-9 performance at Spring Creek. “Every week I’m feeling faster and stronger and I believe it’s showing on the race track,” said Tonus, who finished seventh overall, in a team statement. “I had two great starts and rode strong all moto to finish seventh overall. It’s nice to see that all the work I’ve been putting in over the years is beginning to pay off.”
GEICO Honda, who is without Jordon Smith (shoulder) and Christian Craig (leg), got rookie Tristan Charboneau back for the first time since Glen Helen. Charboneau actually came together twice with teammate Jimmy Decotis in the first moto en route to twenty-first. He finished twentieth in the second moto in what he called a “terrible weekend.” “Practice was difficult for me, trying to jump right back into that fast pace was hard,” he said in a team statement. “First moto I got a top 10 start or so, but on the first lap me and Jimmy D got together and crashed, putting us back a good bit. Then we came together again on the second lap, putting us both back in last! I managed to make it back to 21st by the end of the first moto. Second moto that gave me a bad gate pick leading to a bad start, I got pinched pretty bad in the first corner and was really far back, I struggled more in the second moto trying to make my way around people and ended up 20th. To say the least, it was a terrible weekend for a comeback race. Move on to Washougal (Washington) this weekend and run that hometown soil.”
Decotis also struggled in his second race back from arm pump surgery. He finished nineteenth overall at Spring Creek.
“Weekend was okay, had a good first practice but second one wasn’t as good,” he said. “First moto I had a good start, around top five, I got shuffled back to maybe eighth or ninth then I tipped over and me and Chaboneau came together. He didn’t mean it, but after that crash I had no front brake. We got up together and were trying to come through the pack together, and me and Charboneau crashed together again! He came through pretty good to get 21st, but my front brake was totally messed up. I went into the mechanic’s area and we cut the line and by then I was two laps down, so I just went back to the truck.
“Second moto I got 18th which wasn’t what I wanted,” continued Decotis. “Need some more intensity, fitness seems good. I haven’t raced outdoors in awhile so that intensity just takes some getting used to. We’ll keep working on it.”
On the good side for the GEICO Honda squad, RJ Hampshire—the only rider on the team to make each outdoor round this year—was a consistent ninth.
“Weekend was better. My bike and riding was better than what it has been,” said Hampshire. “Starts sucked again, which was a bummer because I feel like I had the speed to be up there. Crashed first lap of first moto and came from outside of the top 20 to 10th, second moto worked my way up to 10th again and stalled it, lost a couple spots and a lot of time. I’ll take the ninth overall and get ready for next weekend.”