SOUTHWICK, Mass. – The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, made its annual stop in New England on Saturday, hosting the ninth round of the season from Moto-X 338. Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn., continued his dominance in the 450 Class, capturing his seventh consecutive win, but needed a pit stop in order to do so. In the 250 Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett, of Grand Terrace, Calif., raced to his fourth victory of the summer, extending his lead in the championship.

MotoConcepts Suzuki’s Mike Alessi, of Victorville, Calif., grabbed the holeshot in the opening 450 Class moto, while Dungey quickly worked his way forward from a third-place start. The points leader paced his main championship rival for five laps before making a pass for the lead and pulling away for the moto win.

In Moto 2, Dungey once again found himself slotted behind Alessi, who captured the holeshot. This time, Dungey wasted no time taking over the top spot, crossing the line at the front of the field at the conclusion of the opening lap. After opening up a multi-second lead, Dungey tipped over on Lap 6, losing the lead to Alessi.

Irvine, Calif. – Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert headed deep into the thick forests of Washougal, Wash., for Round 7 of the World Off Road Championship Series and finished third overall after going 4-3 on the weekend. All season the off-road team had been looking forward to the race at Washougal MX Park with its beautiful scenery, nice weather, and challenging off-road elements. Once the gate dropped, they found the course much more challenging with heavy silt and blinding dust quickly enveloping the tight, mountainous course. Justin Soule’ rode solid both days to finish 5-4 and took fifth overall. Destry Abbott, fresh off the plane from the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) in Finland, maintained a fast pace to finish eighth overall after going 8-8 on the weekend.

Getting the Jump
After the track walk, Robert knew the key to winning at Washougal was getting good starts. With the track loaded with silt, whoever got out front early would have a clear track and the clear advantage. Robert got good starts both days, but was not able to get to the front of the pack. He maintained a fast pace despite near zero visibility and battled his way to a third-place finish.

“The track was really dusty and very one-lined,” said Robert. “The key to winning up here is getting the holeshot, so you could get in front of the dust and get into a groove. On Friday I got a good start, my KX™450F launched out of the gate, but my wheel spun a little because I was too far forward and I got pinched off going around the first turn and ended up around sixth. I was able to get around a couple guys on the first lap and moved into fourth. I tried to push past (Mike) Brown several times, but just couldn’t see at all and ended up making a mistake and clipping a tree. It was hard to make up time after falling behind because once you got close to someone you couldn’t see anything unless you were right on their back tire. On Saturday, I got a decent start and by the end of the moto portion of the track I was in fourth. I eventually got around Brown and ended up finishing in third. I went 4-3 for the weekend which wasn’t bad, but it could have gone better. I just have to go back down to the southwest and finish strong in the last three rounds of the WORCS season.”

Eye On the Prize
Soule’ is a serious competitor whose impressive speed and ability make him a threat anywhere he lines up. Although he got a good jump off the gate both days, he found himself continuously getting knocked off his line by competitors. With his sights set on the EnduroCross championship, as well as three more rounds of WORCS, Soule’ rode smart all weekend to finish healthy and in the top five.

“My KX450F felt really good and had plenty of power, but I needed to ride more aggressive and not get pushed around so much,” said Soule’. “On Friday, I got a pretty good start, but I wasn’t aggressive enough and ended up in second around the first turn. A couple turns later I got pushed to the outside of a turn and lost a few more positions.  When we went into the off road portion of the track I got caught in a bottle neck where a guy crashed right in the middle of the trail, and lost a little more ground. I ended up finishing in fifth, but I really lost it right at the beginning, that first lap was so crucial. On Saturday, I wheelied too much off the gate and got pinched off into seventh going around the first turn. I was able to get a few spots back in the first lap and moved into fifth. After that everyone got pretty spread out and I ended up racing by myself for the rest of the race. I moved up a spot after another rider in front of me dropped out or crashed, so I ended up finishing fourth. I was fifth overall for the weekend, and felt like I rode good, but just got beat straight up. I’m happy that I’m leaving this round healthy and am looking forward to the upcoming EnduroCross event in Indianapolis.”

Picking Them Off
After grabbing a gold medal at the ISDE in Finland, Abbott had barely been back in the US for three days before lining up in Washougal. Because he excels in the more technical off-road type of courses, Abbott was looking forward to racing through this technical course which wraps through the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Although he didn’t get the best starts, Abbott maintained a fast pace and blasted through the near zero visibility to finish eighth overall.

“I really like this course because you have to be patient, pick good lines, and stand up a lot,” said Abbott. “The only downfall is that it was really hard to pass because it was so tight. I didn’t get good starts this weekend, but I think if I would’ve had a clear track I had the speed to finish in the top-five. I literally passed around fifteen people this weekend and only got passed a couple times. Friday didn’t go very well for me. I spun really bad off the gate, and was in dead last coming around the first turn. I tried to make passes in the motocross portion of the track because once we got into the off-road portion it was literally single file with people stopped in the middle of the track because of the limited visibility. I just kept picking guys off and by the fourth lap I moved into seventh and kept trying to get around (Gary) Sutherlin. I felt like I was riding fast and kept reeling him in, but with three laps left I crashed pretty hard, lost a spot, and ended up finishing in eighth. On Saturday, I got another bad start, and ended up at the back of the pack. This is a tough track to come from behind, but I was able to work my way up to seventh before the finish. I’m pretty disappointed that I finished eighth overall. Honestly, I thought I was going to do better than what I did, but all I did was work from the back every single race. Overall I really like this track and especially enjoyed all the fans that came out to cheer us on in the woods. For me the last four weeks have been wide-open with the X Games, ISDE, and WORCS, so I’m looking forward to a few weeks off with my family before the EnduroCross event in Ontario.”

Green Stampede
With seven of the 10 round WORCS season already in the books, the KX450F has proven to be the most consistent bike on the circuit. With a top tier contingency payout program, unparalleled trackside support, and a machine that’s proven itself from Supercross to the ISDE, its no wonder 80 percent of the top-10 riders in the WORCS series were riding Kawasaki KX450Fs.

Headed to the Crossroads of America
Next week the Monster Energy Kawasaki off-road team heads to Indianapolis, Ind., for Round 3 of the AMA EnduroCross series at Pepsi Coliseum. Currently tied for third in points, Soule’ will be working hard to grab another podium and move up the leaderboard. Robert will also be looking to grab his first EnduroCross podium and move into the top ten in points. Abbott will be taking the weekend off, after four weeks of non-stop action, but will reconvene with the team in three weeks for Round 4 of the EnduroCross series in Ontario, Calif.

Red Bull/Teka/KTM Factory rider Ken Roczen dominated the MX2 class at the U.S. Grand Prix of Motocross held at Glen Helen Raceway to lead every lap in both motos and finish ahead of teammate Jeffrey Herlings on both counts. The GP also saw the return of Marvin Musquin after a long injury pause.

The German teenager, who celebrated his first career win in the AMA SX Lites in the closing round of the competition earned first gate pick after winning Saturday’s qualifier by 16 seconds over Herlings. He nailed the holeshot in the first moto with Herlings and Musquin on his tail. Roczen and Herlings pulled away but Musquin washed out in the second corner before scrambling to get back in the race from near last. The French rider, who is competing for the Red Bull KTM US team in the AMA outdoors in 2011, crashed once more on the deeply rutted track and had to return to the pits for some adjustment to his front brake.

Meanwhile Roczen had no trouble taking the first moto win. “I like to consider this as one of my home races now that I have been living in California the first half of the year. It feels great to get a win here for my European team but to also have my American team celebrate with me,” commented Roczen. Herlings went on to finish second while Musquin was back at nineteenth.

KTM fans were looking for a showdown between the team’s two talented teenagers and were not disappointed in the second moto when Roczen and Herlings again delivered stunning performances. Roczen pulled the holeshot with Herlings on his tailpipe and they stuck close together for three-quarters of the race before Herlings fell slightly off the pace and settled into second. At the finish they were 1-2 again, while Musquin had a much better showing to be a confidence building sixth at the flag.

Ken Roczen: “I had some good fights with Jeffrey. I made some mistakes, which I am not very happy about but I like to ride in the mud. Here its kind of sandy and I knew Jeffrey was going to be fast but I won both motos and it was good.”

Jeffrey Herlings: “I’m really satisfied and it was a good weekend. I wanted to go for the win in the second moto but I made a big mistake and almost crashed so I decided to slow down and just go for second.”

“We were very proud to see Kenny (Roczen) and Jeffrey (Herlings) finish so well today. It is great to see both of our team riders up front. I also would like to give credit to Marvin (Musquin) because I know how hard it is to return from injury and I am happy with his second moto result. He will need a few more weeks to build up his speed and he’ll be back on his game,” commented Red Bull/Teka/KTM Team Manager Stefan Everts.

MX2 GP
1, Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM (1-1)
2, Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, KTM (2-2)
3, Tommy Searle, Britain, Kawasaki
4, Max Anstie, Britain, Kawasaki
5, Zach Osborne, USA, Yamaha

Other KTM
8, Nick Aubin, France, KTM
9, Joel Roelants, Belgium, KTM
10, Jordi Tixier, France, KTM
11, Marvin Musquin, France, KTM
17, Pascal Rauchenecker, Austria, KTM
18, Nikolaj Larsen, Denmark, KTM

Standings after three GPs
1, Ken Roczen, German, KTM, 144 points
2, Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, KTM 130
3, Tommy Searle, Britain, Kawasaki, 120
4, Zach Osborne, USA, Yamaha, 90
5, Max Anstie, Britain, 87

Other KTM

9, Joel Roelants, Belgium, 67
11, Nicolas Aubin, France, 59
12. Jordi Tixier, France, 39
13, Jeremy van Horebeek, Belgium KTM 31, (currently injured)

*KTM leads the Manufacturer’s Standings by 24 points after three GPs

Torrance, CA: How much of a race is determined in the first fractions of a second?

With the level of competition in both Supercross and Motocross being so closely matched, getting the right start can literally determine the outcome of a race. And grabbing the holeshot is a huge advantage.

Just ask American Honda Racing’s Trey Canard, Josh Grant and Ashley Fiolek how important the start really is. We did.

Check out the “Art of the Holeshot” video shown below: