2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Red Bull Tennessee National Results
With 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Series leader Ken Roczen’s two primary protagonists out due to practice injuries, it was up to Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac to keep the Suzuki racer honest as the series moved to Round 5 at Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tennessee.
Not only did Tomac step-up to battle Roczen with KTM’s Ryan Dungey and Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson out, but Honda’s Cole Seely and Roczen’s teammate Broc Tickle also joined the fray, albeit in different motos.
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Moto 1 got off to a wild start with Seely grabbing the holeshot, only to be quickly passed by Yamaha’s Phil Nicoletti and Justin Barcia, as well as Husqvarna’s Christophe Pourcel. However, by the end of the first lap, Seely had repassed all three and repossessed the lead.
Barcia was left in fourth place, which meant he was going to have to defend against a surging Roczen and Tomac. With Seely holding the lead and Roczen closing, Pourcel passed Nicoletti, putting Nicoletti and Barcia in direct competition. When the teammates came together, Tomac went by and set out for Roczen, eventually catching him. Seely built a lead up to six seconds.
With about 12 minutes and two laps remaining, Roczen and Tomac caught Seely and a three-way battle for first ensued. With Roczen aggressively attacking alternative lines, Roczen passed Seely decisively after about one minute.
Tomac also passed Seely going into the corner, with Seely retaking second from Tomac on the exit. Another corner later, Tomac passed Seely again, this time for good.
Tomac was never able to catch Roczen, while Seely settled into third. “They’re (Roczen and Tomac) running a fast pace,” Seely said. “I was able to run a good pace there for the first part, but just wasn’t able to hold onto it (the lead) at the end.”
After the race Roczen focused on his difficult start, saying, “They dropped the gate really quick. I wasn’t ready for it, and I had to fight my way through. I had to be aggressive almost the whole moto.”
Behind the three podium runners, Pourcel protected his position in fourth place, with Yamaha’s Weston Peick taking fifth.
Moto 2 began with Suzuki’s Broc Tickle, who finished sixth in Moto 1, taking the holeshot, with KTM’s Justin Brayton and Marvin Musquin behind him. Heavy hitters Roczen, Tomac, and Seely followed closely. After a number of position changes among the riders, Roczen had put himself into second behind teammate Tickle.
It took only five minutes for Roczen to find the front, though Roczen wasn’t able to pull away for an easy win, as he had done a number of times this year. Tomac made a move on Lap 15 when Roczen faltered, as Tomac went from nearly three seconds behind Roczen to just over a half-second behind.
For the final two laps, Roczen stuck to the fastest lines while Tomac took alternative lines in an effort to pass Roczen. Roczen made an error on a jump, and Tomac showed a front wheel to him, though Roczen never relinquished the lead.
As the penultimate lap was concluding, Tomac took a tight line that sapped his drive down a long straight, allowing Roczen to get some breathing space. Roczen was challenged one last time on the final lap, but it was another corner where Tomac’s inside line cost him time on the following straight. From there, Roczen had a comfortable cushion to the checkered flag. Roczen took the win to go 1-1 at the Red Bull Tennessee National.
“This is the way you want to win a race,” Roczen said. “He (Tomac) was pushing in the last couple of laps; it’s all about how bad you want it—got away with another one, so I can’t complain.”
Early leader Tickle hung onto third place, giving him third overall for the round despite a sixth place finish in Moto 1. Seeley, who was third in Moto 1, dropped to sixth place in Moto 2, losing the overall podium spot to Tickle on the Moto 2 tiebreaker.
“There’s no better feeling than this right here,” Tickle said on the podium. “I didn’t know if I had it or not. I just kept charging and pacing myself with the guy behind me (Musquin) and stayed in third.”
Pourcel and Peick, who were top five finishers in Moto 1 dropped to eighth (Pourcel) and ninth (Peick) with Musquin and Barcia moving into the top five in Moto 2. Barcia dropped out with a mechanical in Moto 1. Suzuki’s Blake Baggett, returning from a shoulder injury went 8-7, putting him in eighth overall.
Roczen extends his 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Red Bull Tennessee National 450 Championship Series lead to 47 points over Tomac, and the injured Dungey drops to fifth place, 92 points back. Seely moves into third, 45 points behind Tomac and 15 points clear of fourth place Musquin.
2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Red Bull Tennessee National Overall Results
- Ken Roczen, 1-1
- Eli Tomac, 2-2
- Broc Tickle, 6-3
- Cole Seely, 3-6
- Marvin Musquin, 7-4
- Christophe Pourcel, 4-8
- Weston Peick, 5-9
- Blake Baggett, 8-7
- Justin Brayton, 9-11
- Justin Bogle, 13-10
2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Red Bull Tennessee National 450 Championship Series Standings (after 5 of 12 rounds)
- Ken Roczen, 243 points (9 moto wins)
- Eli Tomac, 196
- Cole Seely, 151
- Marvin Musquin, 136
- Ryan Dungey, 131 (1 moto win)
- Jason Anderson, 113
- Broc Tickle, 109
- Justin Barcia, 108
- Christophe Pourcel, 107
- Trey Canard, 97