Race report: Dungey and Martin win again!
BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (June 6, 2015) – The fourth round of the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, featured the series’ lone visit to the southeast region of the country and the Third Annual Red Bull Tennessee National from Muddy Creek Raceway. One week after taking over control of the 450 Class championship with his first overall win of 2015, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey made it back-to-back victories on Saturday with a consistent 1-2 outing. In the 250 Class, defending champion and current points leader Jeremy Martin raced to his third win of the season following a 2-1 effort aboard his Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha.
Dungey started the day off on a strong note by edging out RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Ken Roczen by seven one-hundredths of a second for the Bud Light Fastest Qualifier. However, when the opening moto got underway Dungey had his work cut out for him as he almost went down off the start following contact with another rider. He kept the bike on two wheels and positioned himself just outside the top five as Autotrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha’s Justin Barcia took the Motosport.com Holeshot Award just ahead of his teammate Phil Nicoletti.
On the ensuing straightaway after the first turn, Barcia tucked the front wheel and went down, allowing Nicoletti to assume the lead and dropping Barcia to the tail end of the field. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson took over second while Dungey made quick moves on the opening lap to slot himself in third. Dungey’s early march to the front continued as he passed Anderson on Lap 1 and then Nicoletti for the top spot on Lap 2. Once out front Dungey consistently pulled away.
After losing a position to Dungey, Anderson was able to reclaim the runner-up spot from Nicoletti on Lap 3. Shortly thereafter, Nicoletti started to feel the pressure of Roczen, who overcame a start deep inside the top 10 to power his way into podium contention. Roczen made the pass on Nicoletti for third on Lap 4 and stuck within a couple bike lengths of Anderson for several laps. Ultimately, the rookie was able to hold of the defending champion.
Dungey took his second consecutive moto win by 27.595 seconds over Anderson, who earned a career-best moto finish, with Roczen third.
Knowing the overall win was on the line, Roczen seized the opportunity in Moto 2 and earned his first Motosport.com Holeshot Award of the season ahead of Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely, Barcia and Team Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Baggett. Dungey did not get the start he needed and sat outside the top 10 as the field exited the first turn.
A quick sprint by Roczen allowed him to open a comfortable lead early, while Seely, Barcia and Baggett jockeyed for the remaining podium positions. Dungey impressively overcame his tough start to surge into the top five on the opening lap. Shortly thereafter Barcia lost his momentum while battling Seely for second and went off track, causing him to lose several positions and moving both Baggett and Dungey up one spot. Dungey then pressured Baggett and made the pass for third, setting his sights on Seely for second.
With a clear track ahead of him, Roczen’s lead continued to grow as Seely and Dungey battled for second for several laps. Eventually Dungey got the best of his rookie counterpart and moved into the runner-up spot on Lap 4, facing a near 10-second deficit to Roczen. Dungey began to pick up the pace and eliminated about half of his gap to Roczen before light rain began to fall. At this moment lapped riders also became a factor and as he battled both the changing conditions and other competitors, Dungey went down. While he remained second, Dungey lost all the ground he battled to get back as the skies began to clear. That allowed Roczen to take his first moto win of the season, 8.895 seconds ahead of Dungey. Baggett rode to a solid third-place finish.
In the overall classification, Dungey’s 1-2 finishes gave him back-to-back overall wins as well as his second win at Muddy Creek Raceway to make him the first repeat winner at the facility. It was also the 40th win of Dungey’s Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship career, combining both the 250 and 450 Classes. Roczen finished second overall (3-1) for the second straight week, while Anderson earned his second career podium finish in third (2-4).
“I spun the tire off the start [in the second moto] and that was all it took to put us in that position,” explained Dungey, who maintained KTM’s undefeated record at the Tennessee National. “I played catch up and was gaining [on Ken Roczen] but then a lapper got in the way and I went down. But that’s racing and like I said, we put in a hard charge all things considered and got second [in the moto], which was good enough for the overall win. We put in two hard motos today and that’s what counts. We’ve got to keep pushing, there’s a lot of racing left and we need to give each moto our all.”
Dungey was able to extend his lead in the 450 Class standings to 37 points over Roczen, who moved from third to second with his runner-up effort. Baggett, who finished fourth overall (5-3), sits third 40 points back.
Competition in the 250 Class began with Martin posting the fastest lap of practice to earn the Bud Light Fastest Qualifier. When Moto 1 got underway the division’s other title contender, Marvin Musquin, put his Red Bull KTM out front with the Motosport.com Holeshot Award ahead of Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Red Bull/KTM’s Jessy Nelson and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo. Martin followed in fourth.
Musquin faced a brief challenge from Cianciarulo, who passed Nelson for second, but soon opened up a comfortable margin that allowed him to settle into a consistent rhythm. Cianciarulo and Nelson stayed within a few bike lengths of one another for the bulk of the moto, with Martin lurking on this podium battle throughout. Just after the halfway point Martin picked up the pace and after a brief battle with Nelson, he took advantage of a slight bobble to take over third on Lap 10. Just a couple laps later, Martin was in a position to take advantage of another one of his competitor’s mistakes as Cianciarulo lost control of his bike coming out of a turn and went down. Martin made the pass for second while Nelson followed through to take over third. Cianciarulo remounted in fourth, but would drop another spot before the completion of the moto.
Musquin led every lap to capture his fourth moto win of the season by 18.401 seconds over Martin. Nelson rounded out the podium in third.
Nelson put himself in a good position again in Moto 2 with his second Motosport.com Holeshot Award of the year, edging out Martin and his Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha teammate Aaron Plessinger. As the field came into the second corner, Plessinger used an outside line to his advantage to take the lead for the first time in his career. As that unfolded Musquin, who was fourth, was hit from behind and went down, allowing the entire field to go by.
Out front, the rookie Plessinger opened a three-plus second lead over Nelson and Martin as they battled for second and paced the field for nearly half the moto. After a fierce battle with Nelson, Martin took over second on Lap 3 and methodically closed in on Plessinger. On Lap 7 Martin got by his teammate and never looked back. Plessinger lost more positions in the ensuing laps to Nelson and Cianciarulo and eventually finished seventh.
Martin took his fourth moto win of the season by 5.990 seconds over Nelson in second and Cianciarulo in third. Musquin made an incredible recovery from his early crash to fight his way back to the front, narrowly missing out on a podium finish in fourth.
Martin’s 2-1 effort gave him his second straight overall win and his third victory in four races this season. He also became the third different 250 Class winner in three years at Muddy Creek Raceway.
“I got a better start [in Moto 2] and was able to be more aggressive in the beginning, and that really helped,” said Martin. “It was a good day. Last year I think I went 10-6 for sixth overall, but this year I went 2-1 for first overall so I couldn’t be happier. I’m enjoying racing right now and things are going great.”
Musquin’s resiliency in the final moto allowed him to secure second overall (1-4), while Nelson landed on the overall podium in third (3-2) for the second time this season.
“I maybe put myself in a bad position in the second moto because I didn’t expect to crash like I did,” said Musquin. “I know I impressed some people with my comeback, but I’d rather not impress anybody and get second or first [in the moto]. I’m still happy with the finish. I gave it 100 percent in the moto and we still were on the podium even though we had the crash on the first lap. When you look at all that, fourth in the moto wasn’t too bad.”
Martin’s win allowed him to maintain control of the 250 Class standings, where he currently holds a six-point lead over Musquin. Nelson continues to hold on to third, 53 points back.
The 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship continues next Saturday, June 13, with the UPMC Sports Medicine High Point National from High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
Red Bull Tennessee National
Muddy Creek Raceway – Blountville, Tennessee
June 6, 2015
Round 4 of 12
450 Class (Moto Finish)
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (1-2)
Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki (3-1)
Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna (2-4)
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki (5-3)
Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Yamaha (4-9)
Cole Seely, Laguna Beach, Calif., Honda (8-5)
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki (7-7)
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (9-6)
Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Yamaha (6-11)
Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, KTM (11-8)
450 Class Championship Standings
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 175
Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki, 138
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki, 135
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 125
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha, 114
Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna, 112
Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Yamaha, 104
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 103
Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Yamaha, 92
Cole Seely, Laguna Beach, Calif., Honda, 79
250 Class (Moto Finish)
Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (2-1)
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (1-4)
Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM (3-2)
Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (5-3)
Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki (4-11)
Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (8-7)
Chris Alldredge, Powell Butte, Ore., Kawasaki (7-8)
RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Honda (11-5)
Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (9-9)
Matt Bisceglia, Tualatin, Ore., Honda (6-13)
250 Class Championship Standings
Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha, 175
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM, 169
Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM, 122
Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki, 112
Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki, 100
Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna, 91
Chris Alldredge, Powell Butte, Ore., Kawasaki, 89
Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM, 87
Matt Bisceglia, Tualatin, Ore., Honda, 87
RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Honda, 85