The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, presented by AMA Pro Racing, made its annual visit to Southern California on Saturday afternoon with the second round of the 2016 season from Glen Helen Raceway.
The FMF Glen Helen National hosted an incredible day of racing in front of a massive crowd, where Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey – the defending 450 Class Champion – captured his first overall victory of the season.
It was a historic afternoon in the 250 Class, with Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Alex Martin breaking through for the first overall win of his career, edging out his brother and defending champion Jeremy for the first ever 1-2 finish for siblings in series history.
Team Honda HRC’s Trey Canard kicked off the opening 450 Class moto with the holeshot, just ahead of Dungey. However, that lead was short lived as a hard-charging Dungey made an outside pass on Canard to assume control of the moto.
Several riders engaged in an early battle for third, with points leader and RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s/Suzuki Factory Racing rider Ken Roczen emerging with the position. A mistake by Canard on Lap 2 put him on the ground and dropped him outside the top 10, allowing Roczen to take over second and Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin to move into third.
Roczen hounded Dungey for several laps but a missed rhythm in the track’s first section of jumps allowed Dungey to extend his lead to multiple seconds. It appeared as though the gap between the lead duo would stabilise but Roczen started logging his fastest laps of the moto to close back in on Dungey and move into the lead on Lap 8. As soon as he put his Suzuki in first, Roczen pulled away to a double-digit margin.
Roczen was well on his way to victory until he suddenly slowed, unable to jump many of the track’s obstacles. The German rider’s misfortune was Dungey’s gain as the defending champion moved back into the lead with two laps remaining.
While Dungey pulled away Roczen was left with no option but to solider his bike home to the finish. He lost second place to a hard-charging Jason Anderson, who battled his way back from a ninth-place start aboard his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing machine, and fell off the podium on the final lap when Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac, the defending race winner who started seventh, passed him for third.
Dungey went on to unexpectedly take his first moto win of the season, with Anderson second, Tomac third and Roczen fourth. Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely was fifth.
Following the moto Roczen’s RCH Racing team confirmed he experienced a suspension issue, due to the failure of a fixture on the bike’s front forks.
Determined to bounce back from his first moto misfortune, Roczen put his Suzuki at the front of the field to start Moto 2, edging out Dungey for the holeshot. The top two sprinted out to an early lead over the field, while Anderson and Tomac were forced to battle their way back from eighth and 14th-place starts, respectively. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Christophe Pourcel fought his way into third, followed by Autotrader/Toyota/Yamaha’s Justin Barcia in fourth and Canard in fifth.
Canard continued his early push to the front and passed Pourcel for third on Lap 2, while Anderson was also surging to the front in fifth. Anderson passed his team-mate to take over fourth on Lap 3 and set his sights on Canard in third.
Out front, Roczen duplicated his efforts from the first moto and opened a multiple-second lead over Dungey, who would clinch the overall with a runner-up finish.
As the leaders continued to pull away from the field Anderson’s climb to the podium was complete after he passed Canard for third on Lap 5, but a near crash forced him to give the spot back. That miscue caused Anderson to fall into the clutches of Tomac, who fought all the way back into the top five and passed Anderson for fourth on Lap 6.
Tomac didn’t stop there and his determined effort carried him to the rear fender of Canard in third, eventually making the pass on Lap 8. Roczen went on and cruised to his third moto win of the season by a double-digit margin over Dungey, while Tomac followed in third.
Dungey’s 1-2 effort landed him atop the overall results for the 39th win of his career, with Roczen firmly in second. Tomac’s impressive come-from-behind ride in the second moto landed him third overall.
“The day was pretty good overall. It’s always positive in the grand scheme of things in the championship to gain ground and get an overall,” said Dungey. “Ken [Roczen] had a bike issue so we were gifted a little bit, but we’ll take it and keep building. [Ken] is riding really well right now, but so are we. I feel like we’re where we want to be. We’ve been in this position before and while I wouldn’t say we’re behind the ball, we need to make some adjustments and get better. It’s just little bits [of improvement] and in the end we’ll get to that point where [Roczen’s] at, getting the holeshot, leading, and getting wins.”
Roczen maintained his lead in the 450 Class standings, but had his lead trimmed from six to two points over Dungey. Tomac maintained his hold of third, 17 points out of the lead.
“My day was pretty good. In my heart I went 1-1 and that’s all that matters to me. There’s nothing I can do about [a bike issue],” said Roczen. “The air just went out of my forks and I didn’t feel safe doing some of the jumps. So I just went out in the second moto and did what I needed to do. I just wanted to hit my marks and stay in control of the bike because the last thing I wanted to do was throw [the win] away.”
The first 250 Class moto of the day saw GEICO Honda’s Tristan Charboneau secure the holeshot ahead of the Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha trio of Alex Martin, Cooper Webb and Jeremy Martin.
Alex Martin acted quickly and made his way to the front by passing Charboneau on the opening lap to seize control of the lead, quickly establishing a gap over the field. Webb soon made his way by Charboneau into second, with Jeremy Martin following into third not long after that. Entering points leader Joey Savatgy was forced to battle his way back from a 16th-place start aboard his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki.
Martin’s lead grew to several seconds, leaving his team-mates to battle for second. Webb and Jeremy Martin paced one another throughout the middle portion of the moto until a mistake by Martin on Lap 7 caused him to make contact with Webb and crash, losing third to Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner.
Without the pressure from his team-mate Webb was able to mount a charge on the elder Martin and the two slowly grew closer together as lapped riders came into play.
As time in the 30-minute-plus-two-laps moto wound down, Webb had completely erased the deficit and soon made a pass for the lead with two laps remaining. Once out front he pulled away for his first moto win of the season. Martin’s runner-up result was his second straight, while the rookie Forkner finished on the podium for the first time. Jeremy Martin ended up fourth, with his Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha team-mate Plessinger in fifth. Points leader Savatgy battled back to finish ninth.
The second and deciding 250 Class moto saw Jeremy Martin grab the holeshot and sprint out to an early lead ahead of Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Jessy Nelson and Forkner. Alex Martin placed himself inside the top five, while Webb started deep inside the top 10 in eighth, just ahead of Savatgy.
The clear track allowed Jeremy Martin to move out to just over a second over Nelson and Forkner, which put the pressure on his brother and Webb in the battle for the overall win.
Martin continued to add to his lead while Forkner closed in on Nelson for second, taking over the position on Lap 3. The top three stabilised for the middle portion of the moto until a crash by Forkner on Lap 7 dropped him out of contention for the overall podium and into seventh. Nelson reassumed control of second while Alex Martin was on a charge in third.
Jeremy Martin’s lead put him in a position to clinch the overall win via tiebreaker over Webb, but Alex Martin’s fortune rested in his own hands. If he was able to pass Nelson for second Martin would surpass his brother for the win and he did just that, taking over the runner-up spot on Lap 10. Jeremy Martin went on to win his first moto of the season, leading his brother across the line. Nelson held on for third, just ahead of Webb, who would have claimed the overall win with a podium result.
Alex Martin’s 2-2 results were enough to give him a one-point edge over his brother for the first overall win of his career in his 83rd start, making him the 78th different winner in 250 Class history. Jeremy’s second-place finish overall resulted in the first ever 1-2 effort for siblings in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross history, while Webb’s third-place effort completed the first ever 1-2-3 sweep for Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time. Its’ my sixth or seventh season and to get an overall win that far into it is pretty rare,” said Alex Martin. “To come out swinging [at the opening round] was awesome, but I wanted to back it up. That was my thought all week. As happy as I am today I don’t want to get too ahead of myself. It’s a long season and I want to take it moto by moto so I’m there at the end [in the battle for the championship].”
Thanks to a seventh-place overall finish by Savatgy, Alex Martin also seized control of the points lead in the 250 Class standings and will carry the red number plate for the first time in his career next weekend.
He holds a two-point lead over Webb, who moved into second, with Savatgy third, three points back, and Jeremy Martin fourth, four points back.
The 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship continues next Saturday, June 4, with the True Value Thunder Valley National from Thunder Valley MX Park in Lakewood, Colorado.
Results Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship – FMF Glen Helen National
450 Class (Moto Finish)
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (1-2)
- Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki (4-1)
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (3-3)
- Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna (2-5)
- Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda (7-4)
- Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki (6-6)
- Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda (5-10)
- Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Yamaha (10-9)
- Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (9-11)
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki (8-13)
450 Class Championship Standings
- Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki – 93
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM – 91
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 76
- Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna – 73
- Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda – 62
- Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki – 56
- Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda – 54
- Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 48
- Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Yamaha – 45
- Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 39
250 Class (Moto Finish)
- Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (2-2)
- Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (4-1)
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (1-4)
- Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (3-5)
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (5-6)
- Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM (13-3)
- Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki (9-7)
- Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (8-8)
- RJ Hampshire, Hudson Fla., Honda (6-11)
- Martin Davalos, Ecuador, Husqvarna (14-9)
250 Class Championship Standings
- Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha – 79
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha – 77
- Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki – 76
- Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha – 75
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha – 63
- Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki – 58
- Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM – 57
- Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 45
- RJ Hampshire, Hudson Fla., Honda – 41
- Tristan Charboneau, Tenino, Wash., Honda – 36
- Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 36