Eli Tomac Earns First Career 450 Win at Spring Creek MX
Spring Creek MX Park in Minnesota's Mississippi River Valley played host to the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship this past weekend with the La Crescent Wine & Spirit Spring Creek National. GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac used his local knowledge to sweep both motos to earn his first career win in the 450 class, joining the list as only the fourth different rider to earn a win this season. Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha Jeremy Martin also won in his hometown state in the 250 class to earn his fourth victory of the season.
At the start of the first 450 moto, Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey started out strong fresh off his second win of the season by taking the MotoSport.com Holeshot. Red Bull KTM teammate Ken Roczen took over the top spot from Dungey, as the pair kept their season-long battle raging at Spring Creek, though eventually Roczen started to pull away and extend his lead.
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Just behind the KTM teammates, Eli Tomac sat in third looking for an opening to move up, which came on the third lap when Dungey crashed and went down. Tomac then worked to track down Roczen, reigniting the battle two 450 rookies had during their championship rivalry in the 250 Class. Tomac was persistent in his chase for the lead, and he finally made his move on the twelfth lap to take control of the race and cruise to a 16-second victory. Roczen held on to finish the first moto in second, while Dungey recovered from his earlier crash to take third. Team Honda Muscle Milk's Trey Canard earned fourth, while Toyota Yamaha N-FAB JGRMX's Josh Grant rounded out the top five.
Tomac looked to carry his momentum from the first moto win into the second, as he earned the MotoSport.com Holeshot Award ahead of the pack – though a starting gate malfunction forced a red-flag restart. Tomac once again earned the holeshot on the restart, though he briefly lost the lead to Toyota Yamaha N-FAB JGRMX's Justin Brayton but was able to recover the lead. Tomac then stayed out fromt with Dungey following close behind in second. Behind them, Canard and Roczen has their own battle going for third place, as the two had also worked their way around Brayton.
Tomac and Dungey waged a war for the win out, and although Dungey pressured Tomac hard he was unable to overtake the lead and fell late in the race after tangling with a lapped rider. Tomac earned another solid victory to take his first career 1-1 sweep in the 450 Class.
"Today was a tough one the way the track was," Tomac said. "Going into the second moto I knew I had to get out there and get a good start. We ended up getting the holeshot then the red flag came out and I thought to myself 'is this really happening?' Luckily enough I got another one. Brayton was right there, but after that I was just hitting my marks and I felt really comfortable."
Dungey, who recovered to finish second overall, earned his 50th podium finish in 56 starts in the 450 class, moving him into fourth all time. Roczen finished third (2-4) and lost a few points to Dungey in the championship standings, and it was also his first race this season where didn’t finish on the podium. Canard finished in fourth (4-3), and Grant earned fifth (5-5). Team Yoshimura's James Stewart, one of four racers earning a victory this season, did not start the final moto with team officials citing an illness.
"I put in a solid run in the first half [of the second moto], but then bogged down a bit," Roczen said. "We'll go back, figure it out and come back better for the next race."
Roczen's lead over Dungey in the 450 Class standings now sits at 24 points. Canard sits third, 65 points behind. Tomac's victory vaulted him into the top 10 in the 450 Class standings, currently sitting ninth.
For the first 250 moto of the day, Valli Motorsports Yamaha's Christophe Pourcel showed his fastest lap in practice was no fluke by earning the MotoSport.com Holeshot Award over GEICO Honda's Justin Bogle and Jeremy Martin. But it didn’t take long for Martin to assume a spot out front, passing Bogle on the opening lap and then eventually pressuring Pourcel into a small mistake before opening up a solid lead on the field.
Barring a mistake while leading, Martin has essentially secured the victory, so the battled was on for second. Pourcel was pressured by fellow Frenchman Marvin Musquin aboard his Red Bull KTM, with Musquin able to overtake second place after a previously tough battle with Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Dean Wilson earlier in the race. Martin took his first moto win at his hometown track over 10 seconds ahead of Musquin, while Pourcel held on for third. Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Blake Baggett overcame a tough 18th-place start to rebound and finish in fourth, with his teammate Wilson following in fifth.
At the start of the second moto, Pourcel put his Yamaha in the early lead again with the holeshot, with Cycle Trader Rock River Yamaha's Alex Martin looking to earn a moto win in front of his hometown crowd. Pourcel was able to lead the early stages of the race, while behind him Baggett passed Martin for second and began his pursuit of Pourcel. Baggett eventually made the pass on Pourcel for the lead, but only one lap later he crashed and handed over the lead to Bogle and Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha's Cooper Webb, with Webb coming out ahead in the battle to take control of the lead.
Behind the lead pack, Martin was able to overcome a sixth-place start to move into third and then pass Bogle for second just a few laps later. Martin was unable to close the gap on Webb and had to settle for second, while Webb earned his third career moto win by over three seconds. Martin's runner-up result was enough to secure his class-leading fourth overall victory of the season and a breakthrough win at his home track. Rockstar Energy Racing's Jason Anderson rounded out the moto podium in third.
"I just made a few mistakes there off the start [in the second moto]," Martin said. "Cooper [Webb] was behind me [initially] but I got stuck behind a rider and kept hearing him behind me. He got around me and rode really well. I tried to put on a charge for the hometown crowd and make things exciting, but I just came up short [of the moto sweep]. I'm having fun and I'm looking forward to next weekend."
Following eventual DNF's by both Baggett and Bogle in the final moto, Musquin moved into second overall on the afternoon (2-4) while Webb's second moto win vaulted him into third overall (9-1). Pourcel finished fourth (3-6) with Wilson in fifth (5-5), while Baggett and Bogle's misfortunes dropped them to 13th (4-33) and 15th (6-32) overall, respectively.
Martin jumped to a 43-point lead in the 250 Class standings over Webb, who moved into second. Baggett fell to third, 56 points behind Martin.
The 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship continues next weekend with the ninth round of the 2014 season and the Motosport.com Washougal National. Washougal MX Park in Washougal, Washington, will host the world's best riders on Saturday, July 26. The first moto of the day begins at 4 p.m. ET.
Results - Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
La Cresent Wine & Spirit Spring Creek National
Spring Creek MX Park - Millville, Minnesota
July 19, 2014 (Round 8 of 12)
450 Class (Moto Finish)
1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda (1-1)
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (3-2)
3. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM (2-4)
4. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda (4-3)
5. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha (5-5)
6. Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Kawasaki (6-6)
7. Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM (9-7)
8. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki (8-8)
9. Fredrik Noren, Sweden, Honda (11-10)
10. Matt Goerke, Sun City, Calif., KTM (12-11)
450 Class Championship Standings
1. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM, 367
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 343
3. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 302
4. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 226
5. Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Kawasaki, 222
6. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha, 218
7. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki, 188
8. Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM, 187
9. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 168
10. Chad Reed, Australia, Kawasaki, 146
250 Class (Moto Finish)
1. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (1-2)
2. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (2-4)
3. Cooper Webb, Morehead City, N.C., Yamaha (9-1)
4. Christophe Pourcel, France, Yamaha (3-6)
5. Dean Wilson, Scotland, Kawasaki (5-5)
6. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., KTM (11-3)
7. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., KTM (8-9)
8. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (12-7)
9. Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda (7-13)
10. Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda (14-8)
250 Class Championship Standings
1. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha, 341
2. Cooper Webb, Morehead City, N.C., Yamaha, 298
3. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki, 285
4. Christophe Pourcel, France, Yamaha, 246
5. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM, 241
6. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda, 240
7. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., KTM, 236
8. Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda, 188
9. Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda, 164
10. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki, 150
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