Eli Tomac got off to a great start defending his #1 plate. Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) showed that he is having no problem bouncing back from his disappointing Supercross season, taking a pair of wins in a convincing manner after a dominating qualifying session. Despite two mediocre starts, Tomac was able to lead more laps than anyone at Hangtown, taking the lead on Lap 7 (of 15) in Moto 1 and Lap 9 in the following race. Tomac established his dominance, passing Musquin both times to take the lead. Impressively, Tomac went down on Lap 7 of Moto 2, only to immediately bounce back to reel off the two fastest laps of the moto—both 2:19s when his competitors couldn’t beat 2:23s—on his way to taking the lead. Fifty points is what you want to pick up at Round 1, and that is just what Tomac did.
Marvin Musquin was fast, though he had no answer to Tomac. Musquin (Red Bull KTM) led three laps of Moto 1 and a lap of Moto 2, after passing Jason Anderson. However, Tomac was unstoppable and all Musquin could do was watch from a distance after Tomac blew by him both times—spectacularly in the half-pipe in Moto 2. Still, a pair of seconds is a strong start, and it’s a long season.
Justin Barcia is for real outdoors, after an impressive Supercross season. Although Barcia (Monster Energy Factory Yamaha) was nowhere near Tomac (35 seconds back in Moto 1 and 24 seconds off Tomac in Moto 2), Barcia was still on the podium twice for a strong third overall. Barcia also showed that he can run up front, as he led the first two laps of Moto 2—not bad for a rider who started the Supercross season as a limited contract fill-in rider.
Ken Roczen’s return was disappointing, with Moto 2 falling apart at the end. Coming off horrific injuries to both arms in the last 18 months, Roczen (Team Honda HRC) ran up with the leaders in Moto 1 for a while. Settling into fifth place, Roczen was riding a measured race when Weston Peick caught him with two laps remaining. Things got ugly in Moto 2. For the first six laps, Roczen was putting in respectable laps in the 2:25 range. From Lap 7 on, Roczen couldn’t do better than a 2:32, eventually clocking a 2:41 on the final lap. Although Roczen was cautious about his comeback, his 16th place in Moto 2 with his lap times falling off the cliff at the midway point had to be demoralizing. Roczen is already 30 points behind Tomac in the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Series.
Winning the Supercross Championship might have taken something out of Jason Anderson at Hangtown. Although he led two laps of Moto 1 and five laps of Moto 2, Anderson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) didn’t quite look himself. He wasn’t as loose as we’re used to seeing, and his tight riding dropped him to fourth in Moto 1. In Moto 2, Blake Baggett and Benny Bloss passed Anderson on the final three laps to end up sixth. Still, fourth overall in the wake of the Supercross title isn’t too bad.
Blake Baggett, Weston Peick, and Benny Bloss each finished in the Top 5 in one Moto. Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM teammates Baggett and Bloss both passed a fading Anderson late in Moto 2 to take Top 5 finishes, while Peick (Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing) passed Roczen with two laps to go in Moto 1 to take fifth place. Baggett ended the day fifth in the standings, two points ahead of Peick who leads Bloss by three points—decent season starts for all three riders.
Christian Craig was the lead rider for Team Honda HRC for the Supercross season, and led all the Hondas at Hangtown. Craig grabbed the holeshot in Moto 1 and led for a lap, but went down on Lap 4. In Moto 2, a poor start doomed any podium hopes for Craig. Although he got them in dramatically different ways, Craig notched a pair of eighth place finishes. Compare that to the 11th overall for Roczen and 19th overall for Japanese import Toshiki Tomita.
Marque riders who didn’t line up for Hangtown included Dean Wilson, Cooper Webb, Cole Seely, Josh Grant, and Justin Bogle. It’s a tough sport and injuries have taken their toll, even before the season gets underway.
Photograph by Simon Cudby
2018 Hangtown Motocross Results, Sacramento, CA
Eli Tomac, Kawasaki, 1-1
Marvin Musquin, KTM, 2-2
Justin Barcia, Yamaha, 3-3
Jason Anderson, Husqvarna, 4-6
Blake Baggett, KTM, 7-4
Weston Peick, Suzuki, 5-7
Benny Bloss, KTM, 10-5
Christian Craig, Honda, 8-8
Phil Nicoletti, Suzuki, 9-9
Bradley Taft, Husqvarna, 11-10
Ken Roczen, Honda, 6-16
Kyle Chisholm, Yamaha, 12-11
Cody Cooper, Honda, 15-12
Dylan Merriam, Yamaha, 13-15
Jake Masterpool, Yamaha, 14-14
Kyle Cunningham, Suzuki, 39-13
Ben Lamay, Honda, 16-18
Brandon Leith, Kawasaki, 17-20
Toshiki Tomita, Honda, 21-17
Brandon Scharer, Yamaha, 18-21
Dare DeMartile, Honda, 20-19
Cade Autenrieth, KTM, 19-22
2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Standings (Round 1 of 12)
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly Podcast—Motos and Friends.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
This week’s Podcast is brought to you by Yamaha motorcycles. Discover how the YZF-R7 provides the perfect balance of rider comfort and true supersport performance by checking it out at YamahaMotorsports.com, or see it for yourself at your local dealer.
This week’s episode features Senior Editor Nic de Sena’s impressions of the beautiful new Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST that is loosely based around the original FXRT Sport Glide from the 1980s. Hailing from The Golden State, these cult-status performance machines became known as West Coast style, with sportier suspension, increased horsepower, and niceties including creature comforts such as a tidy fairing and sporty luggage.
In past episodes you might have heard us mention my best friend, Daniel Schoenewald, and in the second segment I chat with him about some of the really special machines in his 170 or so—and growing—motorcycle collection. He’s always said to me that he doesn’t consider himself the owner, merely the curator of the motorcycles for the next generation.
Yet Daniel is not just a collector, but I can attest a really skilled rider. His bikes are not trailer queens, they’re ridden, and they’re ridden pretty hard. Actually, we have had many, many memorable rides on pretty much all of the machines in the collection at one time or another.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!