For the first time in his 450-class career, Autotrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha-sponsored Justin Barcia took the overall win in a Pro Motocross National. It was a wild and muddy day, but Barcia managed to ride consistently, taking the overall win on his Yamaha YZ450F with a 3rd in Moto 1 and a win in the second Moto. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Christophe Pourcel, one of the smoothest and creative riders on the Pro Motocross circuit, took second overall on his Husqvarna FC 450, courtesy of a 2nd and 3rd.
In the 250 class, Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin turned a 7th in Moto 1 and a win in Moto 2 into a surprising win on a day when inconsistency ruled the day. CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha’s Alex Martin, mounted on a YZ250F, tied Musquin on points with a mirror 1-7 finishes on his , but lost the chance to take his first-ever overall due to the Moto 2 tiebreaker. Musquin, riding a KTM 250 SX-F Factory Edition extended his championship series lead over Alex Martin’s brother, Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin, who turned in a 2-6 performance in the slop for 4th overall. The podium was rounded out by Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy, who managed a bit of consistency, going 4-3 on his KX250F.
450 class series leader, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey dominated Moto 1 stretching out a lead as large as 20 seconds at one point. RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Ken Roczen and Pourcel battled it out for second early in the moto, with Roczen eventually fading, falling behind Pourcel, Barcia, and Team Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Baggett. Pourcel closed to 10 second back of Dungey by the end, but was never a threat.
The Moto 2 f the 450 class was delayed by lightning and flooding, forcing the gate to drop two hours late. Barcia grabbed the holeshot with Dungey in hot pursuit. However, when the riders hit the first jump, Dungey dropped the front end and jumped off his KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition. This put Barcia in the lead, ahead of Pourcel, Baggett, and Roczen.
Barcia cruised through the mud to take the win in Moto 2 by nearly 18 seconds, and the overall win. Pourcel and Baggett battled the entire moto, with both riders landing in the mud at different points. Baggett managed to best Pourcell on the final lap of Moto 2, but not in the overall, though both joined Barcia on the podium.
“I had so much fun out there. I kept it positive all day. We went through three engines today, and I’m so proud of how hard the entire teamed worked to make this happen,” said Barcia. “I got the start I needed, and I just rode the best I could without making any major mistakes. This has been a long time coming and I’m just so happy to get my first win and put this JGR team on top of the box.”
Dungey eventually worked his way up to 12th in Moto 2, giving him a 5th overall (his worst finish of the year) and maintaining a strong cushion in the championship lead, as Roczen’s 5-4 finishes meant his didn’t gain a single point on Dungey. Barcia moves into 3rd in the standing with his win.
“I’m glad I’m ok [after the crash on the first lap]. I just hit a soft spot and it ejected me when I landed. I’m ok and that’s the main thing, to be safe and healthy,” said Dungey. “I tried to regroup and come back, and do the best I could, but I tucked the front end right before the end and it cost me another spot. But, we’ll come back stronger next weekend.
“It was a good day,” said Pourcel. “I had two decent starts. I feel good on the bike, and have good settings and suspension. Being in front is good. The goal is to try and be in the top five every moto. I had a good battle with Justin in the first moto, and a good battle with Blake in the second moto, so I think it was a great weekend overall for me to improve.”
“This place is always awesome to me,” Baggett said, “whether I win or I don’t. I love this place and I always love coming back; rain or shine, it doesn’t matter.” Baggett is 4th in the standings, eight points shy of Barcia.
Mud is especially hard on the 250s, and provided unexpected results. With Trader Racing Kawasaki’s Justin Starling taking the Moto 1 holeshot on his KX250F, it was obvious this wouldn’t be a normal race. GEICO Honda’s RJ Hampshire passed Starling quickly, with Alex Martin joining him. Hampshire went down, putting Martin in the lead, which he never relinquished. Alex’s brother Jeremy eventually moved into second, followed by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne. Series leader Musquin finished Moto 1 in a dismal 7th place, focusing on survival.
Moto 2 was quite different, though the rain kept the mud in no short supply. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo, who finished 8th after going down in Moto 1, managed the holeshot ahead of Musquin. Moto 1 winner Alex Martin was mired in 10th.
Musquin’s fast pace pressured Cianciarulo into a tip-over, giving Musquin the lead that he took to the Moto 2 checkered flag. Jeremy Martin attempted to take 2nd from Cianciarulo, but never managed to best him. Eventually, Jeremy Martin also went down, dropping him to 6th place at the end of the race. Quietly, Savatgy landed on the overall podium with 4-3 finishes.
“I didn’t get a good start in the first moto,” Musquin acknowledge,”but I tried to be patient and follow the guys ahead of me. Then I got together with Adam and ended up seventh, so I was not happy. I got a better start in Moto 2 behind Adam. He crashed again and I got the lead. From there, I wanted to make sure I just focused on my lines and stayed out of trouble.It was definitely challenging and I am grateful to get the win. It’s not the way I want to win an overall, but I’ll take it.”
Alex Martin, who normally rides in the shadow of his championship-winning brother Jeremy, was happy to be on the podium, having only lost the overall due to the Moto 2 tiebreaker.
“Two big milestones in one day for me. I’m ecstatic,” Alex Martin sadi. “Today was tough. It was one of those races that could probably decide the championship. I’m just stoked to get the first moto win and first overall podium of my career.”
The second half of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship begins on Saturday, July 4, at RedBud MX in Buchanan, Michigan, with the Red Bull RedBud National.
Photography by Simon Cudby.
Results: 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship: GEICO Motorcycle Budds Creek National.
450 Class (Moto Finish)
- Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (3-1)
- Christophe Pourcel, France, Husqvarna (2-3)
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki (4-2)
- Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki (5-4)
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (1-12)
- Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna (7-7)
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki (6-9)
- Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Yamaha (11-5)
- Tommy Hahn, Great Bend, Kan., Honda (12-6)
- Wil Hahn, Great Bend, Kan., Kawasaki (8-14)
450 Class Championship Standings
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 256 points
- Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki, 219
- Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha, 193
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki, 185
- Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna, 178
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 158
- Christophe Pourcel, France, Husqvarna, 157
- Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Yamaha, 140
- Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Yamaha, 132
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 125
250 Class (Moto Finish)
- Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (7-1)
- Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (1-7)
- Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki (4-3)
- Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (2-6)
- Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (3-5)
- Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (8-2)
- Christian Craig, Plymouth, Minn., Honda (5-10)
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (6-14)
- Matt Bisceglia, Tualatin, Ore., Honda (21-4)
- Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM (12-12)
250 Class Championship Standings
- Marvin Musquin, France, KTM, 258 points
- Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha, 248
- Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki, 178
- Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki, 173
- Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna, 165
- Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM, 164
- Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha, 154
- Matt Bisceglia, Tualatin, Ore., Honda, 124
- Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM, 121
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha, 118