BUCHANAN, Mich. – The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, presented by AMA Pro Racing, reached the halfway point of the 2016 season on Saturday afternoon, celebrating Independence Day with the annual tradition that is the RedBud National.
It was more of the same from RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Ken Roczen in the 450 Class, sweeping the motos yet again for his fifth overall victory in six rounds. In the 250 Class, Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Cooper Webb earned his second straight overall win by sweeping both motos, which ultimately moved him atop the championship standings.
Roczen went on to open a double-digit margin over the field that he would never relinquish, taking his 10th moto win of the season by more than 13 seconds over Eli Tomac, who stalled his bike late in the moto but maintained control of second. Justin Barcia earned his best moto finish of the season in third, with Broc Tickle fourth and Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin fifth.
Roczen crossed the finish to secure his 11th career win over 31 seconds ahead of Tomac, with Tickle in third. The German rider now has wins in 11 of 12 motos for the best start to a season since James Stewart went undefeated during the 2008 campaign.
“We’ve been doing good work over the whole year,” Roczen said. “I have to give it up to my team because I went from riding maybe the worst bike I’ve had all year, we made some changes [going into the moto], to the best bike I’ve had all year [in the second moto]. We crushed it in that second moto, and I couldn’t be happier right now.”
Tomac posted 2-2 results for the second consecutive weekend to finish in the runner-up spot, while Tickle backed up his first podium since 2012 one week ago with another top-three effort at his home race (4-3).
Roczen’s 11th career victory extends his lead in the 450 Class standings to 53 points over Tomac, more than two full motos worth. Musquin, who finished fifth overall (5-6), moved to third in points and sits 126 points out of the lead.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rookie Austin Forker led the field into the first turn of the opening 250 Class moto, securing his first career holeshot over the Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha duo of Webb and Jeremy Martin. Webb was able to get alongside Forkner early and assume the lead, but the two riders proceeded to engage the position in a spirited battle for the top spot throughout the opening lap.
The lead changed hands four times, but Forkner ultimately led his first ever lap of Pro Motocross competition. Behind them points leader and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Joey Savatgy was making a charge into third, followed by Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger and defending class champion Martin, winner of the last two RedBud Nationals.
Joey Savatgy kept Webb in his sights for the entirety of the moto and as the pair took the white flag Savatgy was the closest he had been. However, Webb responded with one of his fastest laps of the moto to take the win by a second-and-a-half. Alex Martin followed in third, with Jeremy Martin fourth and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne fifth.
In the second race, Webb mounted a late challenge on Alex Martin for the lead and appeared to catch his teammate off guard as he made the pass just after the finish line to start Lap 13. From there Webb pulled away, leaving Martin to deal with a hard-charging Osborne, who took advantage of his fellow competitor’s misfortune to move into third. The two remained mere bike lengths apart for several laps before Osborne made the pass just before taking the white flag. Their battle continued through to the finish and carried them onto the rear fender of Webb.
Webb capped off his first ever 1-1 moto sweep by taking the checkered flag just over one second ahead of both Osborne and Martin, who finished second an third, respectively.
“It’s definitely not easy [to win]. The Nationals are not easy,” said Webb. “It got rough in that second moto. We all had good starts, so I figured it was going to be a battle. And it was. Everyone was riding well and I knew they’d be right there. We’re all going fast and everyone wants to win, so it’s not like you’re going to dominate. Luckily, I was able to get it done today.”
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
RedBud MX – Buchanan, Michigan
July 2, 2016
Round 6 of 12
450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki (1-1)
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (2-2)
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki (4-3)
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (3-4)
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (5-6)
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki (7-5)
Christophe Pourcel, France, Husqvarna (6-7)
Matt Bisceglia, Tualatin, Ore., Suzuki (8-8)
Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda (10-9)
Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM (11-10)
450 Class Championship Standings
Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki – 293
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 240
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 167
Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda – 151
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki – 147
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 146
Christophe Pourcel, France, Husqvarna – 136
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM – 131
Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda – 118
Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna – 113
250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (1-1)
Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (3-3)
Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (5-2)
Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (4-4)
Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM (9-5)
Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (7-8)
Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki (2-16)
Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (6-10)
Arnaud Tonus, Switzerland, Kawasaki (11-6)
Mitchell Oldenburg, Alvord, Texas, KTM (8-9)
250 Class Championship Standings
Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha – 243
Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki – 232
Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha – 209
Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha – 198
Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 190
Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki – 164
Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha – 152
Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM – 124
Mitchell Oldenburg, Alvord, Texas, KTM – 117
RJ Hampshire, Hudson Fla., Honda – 113