Video: Washougal AMA National highlights
WASHOUGAL, Wash. (July 23, 2016) – The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, returned to the west coast on Saturday for the Pacific Northwest tradition of the Peterson CAT Washougal National from Washougal MX Park, Round 9 of the 2016 season. In the 450 Class, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac captured his second overall win in the past three rounds by outdueling RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s/Suzuki Factory Racing rider and championship leader Ken Roczen. In the 250 Class, Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Alex Martin used his first moto win of the season to vault him to his second overall victory.
The opening 450 Class moto saw Autotrader/Monster Energy/Yamaha’s Phil Nicoletti grab his first holeshot of the season ahead of BTO Sports/WPS KTM’s Andrew Short, Roczen, and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Christophe Pourcel. Nicoletti held the field at bay for nearly the entire opening lap and had his first lap led of the season within reach until Roczen surged past in the final whoops section before the finish to nip Nicoletti at the line. With a clear track ahead of him, Roczen surged out to a multi-second lead, with Nicoletti slotting into second and Short into third.
As Roczen continued to pull away Pourcel was making his move into second, working past Short and Nicoletti to assume control of the position by Lap 3. Behind him, Tomac was making a charge of his own from a sixth-place start, picking off riders until taking over third on Lap 2. Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin followed Tomac into fourth and soon closed in on the Kawasaki rider in front of him. However, a mistake put Musquin on the ground, from which he was able to recover quickly and maintain the position. The lead group then settled in throughout the heart of the moto.
While Roczen established an insurmountable lead out front, the most watched battle on the track centered on Pourcel and Tomac. The two riders were never more than a few bike lengths apart from one another and on Lap 14 Tomac’s patience paid off, making the pass on the Frenchmen to move into second. As he attempted to fight back Pourcel lost control of his bike coming off a jump and suffered a hard crash that took him out of the moto, allowing Musquin to assume third.
Roczen backed off the pace in the closing laps and took the checkered flag just over three seconds ahead of Tomac, while Musquin followed in third. Nicoletti’s strong start resulted in his best moto finish of the season in fourth, with BTO Sports/WPS KTM’s Benny Bloss doing the same in fifth.
As the field roared through the first turn to start the second moto, Musquin earned the holeshot by edging out his Red Bull KTM teammate Dean Wilson and Roczen, with Tomac not far behind. Roczen was able to make the pass on Wilson to take over second and proceeded to make an aggressive move on Musquin not long after to seize the lead on the opening lap. Tomac slotted into third before the completion of the opening lap and made an outside pass on Musquin to move into second shortly thereafter.
The pace of the championship’s top two riders allowed them to open a gap over Musquin, with Tomac appearing to be the quicker of the two. The determined Kawasaki rider bided his time, but then made his move on Lap 3 by setting up Roczen with alternate lines that allowed him to make an outside pass to take over the top spot. Once he was in the clear Tomac was able to pull away from Roczen, eventually establishing a double-digit margin. He cruised to his third moto win of the season, just over 16 seconds ahead of Roczen. Musquin went unchallenged for third throughout entirety of the moto.
With equal moto results Tomac (2-1) and Roczen (1-2) ended tied atop the overall classification for the afternoon, but Tomac’s triumphant effort in the final moto gave him the tiebreaker over Roczen. It was Tomac’s second overall win of the season and his second in the last three rounds. Musquin finished third (3-3).
“I don’t know [how to describe today]. The first moto was a little funky. I was a little off. I was tight in the first half and came around in the second half,” said Tomac. “I got to the front pretty quick in the second moto and when I got to Kenny he kind of just gave it to me. I took it and laid it down after that. I was just in a good rhythm.”
Roczen’s lead in the 450 Class standings remains at 55 points over Tomac. Musquin is third, 151 points out of the lead.
“I’m pretty happy with my day. This is not my favorite place for some reason,” said Roczen. “It was tough in the second moto. It was the driest I’ve ever seen this track and it was difficult with all the sun and shadows [to see and ride a normal pace]. I still got two good starts today and won a moto, so I’m leaving happy. It was one of those days where I’m finished second and I’m ok with it. I’m glad it’s over.”
The 250 Class got the afternoon underway with Alex Martin capturing his third consecutive holeshot with a stellar start, followed by his rookie teammate Mitchell Harrison and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy. Last week’s winner and defending back-to-back champion Jeremy Martin slotted into fourth aboard his Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha while his teammate and championship leader Cooper Webb was forced to battle his way from a 12th-place start.
Savatgy wasted little time getting around Harrison and was able to latch on to the rear fender of Martin. The lead pair then pulled away from the field. Behind them, Jeremy Martin moved into podium position on Lap 3, but all eyes were on Webb as the points leader made an impressive climb through the field and broke into the top five on Lap 4.
Halfway through the moto Alex Martin and Savatgy remained separated by mere bike lengths, and their pace allowed them to move out to more than 10 seconds ahead of third. That battle for the final podium spot intensified at the halfway mark as Webb’s march to the front continued, moving into fourth on Lap 6 and past Jeremy Martin for third just two laps later. However, at that point Webb faced a deficit to the leaders of over 14 seconds, which he would be unable to overcome.
Alex Martin and Savatgy remained locked in with one another, and as they began to approach lapped riders Savatgy attempted to mount a challenge on Lap 9. The Kawasaki rider was able to get alongside Martin, but didn’t have the momentum to make the pass stick. Martin fended off the heavy pressure and then looked to use the lappers to his advantage to keep Savatgy at bay. Martin was able to pull away on the final lap to secure his first moto win of the season in a wire-to-wire effort, more than two seconds ahead of Savatgy. Webb followed in third, with Jeremy Martin fourth and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne rounding out the top five.
The second moto saw Webb seize the holeshot just ahead of Savatgy and his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rookie teammate Austin Forkner. As the field jockeyed for position Savatgy made an aggressive pass on Webb, resulting in contact between the two riders that forced them wide and allowed Forkner to slip under for the top spot. Not long after that Webb attempted to return the favor on Savatgy, with both riders coming together again. The contact forced both Webb and Savatgy to stall their motorcycles, creating a bottleneck at the tightest part of the track that caused both Webb and Jeremy Martin to gown down, with Martin dropping to the tail end of the field. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Martin Davalos emerged from the fray in second, with Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Jessy Nelson in third. Both Webb and Savatgy were able to restart their motorcycles, but fell outside the top 20. The incident ultimately benefitted Alex Martin the most, as he overcame a bad start that left him outside the top 10 to jump into fourth.
Out front, Forkner was left to fend off a hard-charging Davalos and Nelson, who kept the rookie in their sights throughout the majority of the moto. Forkner’s consistency ultimately worked into his favor, allowing him to establish some breathing room. Behind him, Davalos continued to maintain control of second but Alex Martin was making his move to the front, passing Nelson for third on Lap 11. On the following lap Davalos crashed out of the race, moving Martin into second and Nelson into third. Forkner took his maiden moto victory over four seconds ahead of Martin, while Nelson claimed his second moto podium result of the season in his first race back from an injury that sidelined him for five rounds. Webb battled back from a wild opening lap to finish sixth, while Savatgy settled for 11th.
Martin’s 1-2 effort easily landed him atop the overall classification while Forkner’s triumphant second moto vaulted him to a career-best runner-up finish (10-1). Webb’s resilient ride allowed him to secure third overall (3-6). It was Martin’s second career victory and second of the season.
“Hard pack conditions [like at Washougal] can be tough for me, so I’ve tried to train in California to help with that. I was pretty excited to get third holeshot and lead every lap. I had pressure from Joey [Savatgy] the whole time and I’ve been so close [to winning] all year, so it feels so good to get that out of the way,” said Martin. “I didn’t get a good start in the second moto but there was a little chaos and I was able to get through it in fourth. I had a battle with Jessy [Nelson] and got by him and then Martin [Davalos] had his problems, so we were able to get up to second and wrap up the overall.”
Webb’s recovery to secure a podium result allowed him to still gain ground in the 250 Class standings over Jeremy Martin, who finished 11th overall. A total of 51 points separate the top two championship contenders with three rounds remaining. Savatgy, who finished fourth overall, is third, 53 points out of the lead.
“We want to win and we weren’t close to that today, so that’s kind of a bummer. I didn’t get a good start in the first moto but I got back to third so I was happy with that,” said Webb. “In the second moto I got the holeshot but then we [Joey Savatgy and I] got tangled up. From there it was a mad dash to make up as many positions as we could, so that’s what I did. It was tough to charge on the track [in the second moto] so I’m happy with how far back I was able to get [in the running order].”
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will observe its final break of the 2016 before closing out the season with three consecutive rounds. The Unadilla National will commence on Saturday, August 13, for the 10th round of the championship in New Berlin, New York.
450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
1.Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (2-1)
2.Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki (1-2)
3.Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (3-3)
4.Weston Peick, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha (7-5)
5.Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (10-4)
6.Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM (6-7)
7.Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM (5-9)
8.Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Yamaha (4-11)
9.Dean Wilson, Scotland, KTM (8-10)
10.Fredrik Noren, Sweden, Honda (15-8)
450 Class Championship Standings
1.Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki – 434
2.Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 379
3.Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 283
4.Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 244
5.Christophe Pourcel, France, Husqvarna – 217
6.Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki – 171
7.Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM – 155
8.Justin Brayton Fort Dodge, Iowa, KTM – 152
9.Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda – 151
10.Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM – 151
250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
1.Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (2-1)
2.Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (10-1)
3.Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (3-6)
4.Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki (2-11)
5.Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., KTM (8-4)
6.Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (6-7)
7.Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (9-5)
8.Arnaud Tonus, Switzerland, Kawasaki (7-8)
9.Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM (16-3)
10.Mitchell Oldenburg, Alvord, Texas, KTM (11-9)
250 Class Championship Standings
1.Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha – 372
2.Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha – 321
3.Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki – 319
4.Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha – 317
5.Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki – 257
6.Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 253
7.Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha – 245
8.Arnaud Tonus, Switzerland, Kawasaki – 190
9.Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 179
10.Mitchell Oldenburg, Alvord, Texas, KTM – 169