Eli Tomac continued his overall unbeaten streak in the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Series with a round 5 win at the Tennessee National at Muddy Creek Raceway. Tomac went 1-3 to take the overall, with Justin Barcia making his way onto the podium via a pair of second place finishes. Marvin Musquin took the final podium spot with a 5-1 day.
With the exception of Marvin Musquin moving through the pack after a first lap crash in Moto 1 and Eli Tomac’s charge from outside the top 15 in Moto 2, it was a fairly uneventful day. Gaps between riders were fairly large at the end, with little in the way of bar banging. Even the rides of Musquin (Red Bull KTM) and Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) were without drama, as most of their passes along the way were quick and clean.
Musquin and Tomac each rode to easy moto wins after good starts and taking the lead early. Tomac grabbed the Moto 1 lead from Roczen on lap 6, while Musquin trailed leader Barcia in Moto 2 for only three laps. From there, the two riders quickly established comfortable leads in their respective motos and were never challenged.
Justin Barcia was in position to take the overall until lap 12 (of 18) in Moto 2. As long as Ken Roczen stayed ahead of Tomac, Barcia (Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing) had the overall in his pocket. However, when Tomac caught up to Roczen, Tomac blew right by for third place in Moto 2 and the overall win. After the Roczen pass, Tomac looked primed to catch Barcia. However, when Barcia picked up the pace, Tomac backed it down and settled for a safe third place in Moto 2 and an overall win.
Ken Roczen rode well, but didn’t quite have the pace of the leaders. Despite leading early in Moto 1, Roczen (Team Honda HRC) never looked like he was a threat for the overall. Roczen was passed by Tomac and Barcia in Moto 1 as well as Tomac and Musquin in Moto 2—all without drama. They were simply faster around Muddy Creek Raceway than Roczen.
Blake Baggett needs to work on his starts. Baggett (Rocky Mountain ATV-MC/WPS/KTM) started 7-8, and finished the two motos 4-5. In Moto 1, Baggett was less than two seconds behind early leader Roczen when the checkered flag fell, so the mediocre start possibly cost Baggett a Moto 1 podium.
Weston Peick has established himself as a consistent finisher. Peick (Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing) has finished in the top 7 in all but one moto in this year’s Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Series. However, he has no podium finishes, despite some good starts. This week, he started 3-5, and then dropped to 6-6 by the end of the motos.
Justin Hill and Phil Nicoletti have impressed as fill-in riders. Hill (Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing) has had a miserable year in the 250s, yet he hasn’t finished outside of the top 8 in the four 450 motos he has raced this year. Nicoletti (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) is filling in for the sidelined Dean Wilson and 2018 Monster Energy Supercross Champion Jason Anderson. After a rough first moto last week, Nicoletti has three top 10 moto finishes and sits eighth in the standings.
The 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Series returns to action at the Southwick National next Saturday. They will be racing in the deep sand of The Wick 338 in Massachusetts on June 30. Qualifying starts at 10:10 a.m. (all times Eastern Daylight Time) on the NBC Sports Gold paid streaming service. The first motos of both classes are live on NBC Sports Gold and MavTV beginning at 1 p.m. You can catch the second motos live on NBC Sports Gold starting at 3 p.m. If you want to watch the second motos for free, NBCSN is delaying coverage until 8 p.m.
2018 Tennessee Motocross Results, Muddy Creek Raceway, Blountville, TN
Eli Tomac, Kawasaki, 1-3, 45 points
Justin Barcia, Yamaha, 2-2, 44
Marvin Musquin, KTM, 5-1, 41
Ken Roczen, Honda, 3-4, 38
Blake Baggett, KTM, 4-5, 34
Weston Peick, Suzuki, 6-6, 30
Justin Hill, Suzuki, 8-7, 27
Phil Nicoletti, Husqvarna, 7-9, 26
Benny Bloss, KTM, 9-8, 25
Kyle Cunningham, Suzuki, 11-10, 21
Jacob Hayes, Kawasaki, 16-12, 14
Dylan Merriam, Yamaha, 12-17, 13
Henry Miller, Yamaha, 10-19, 13
Brandon Scharer, Yamaha, 15-15, 12
Cody Cooper, Honda, 20-11, 11
Alex Ray, Yamaha, 18-13, 11
Ben Lamay, Honda, 13-20, 9
Cade Autenrieth, KTM, 21-14, 7
Jake Masterpool, Yamaha, 19-16, 7
Heath Harrison, Honda, 14-32, 7
Nick Gaines, Yamaha, 17-38, 4
Brandan Leith, Kawasaki, 37-18, 3
2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Series Standings (after 5 rounds of 12)
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at email@example.com and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!