Stewart Dominates AMA Lucas Oil High Point Motocross
The UPMC Sports Medicine High Point National hosted the fourth round of the 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania. Team Yoshimura Suzuki's James Stewart earned the 20th victory of his 450 Class career after sweeping the class in both motos. It was Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Blake Baggett who took the 250 class after posting his own back-to-back victories in the class.
When the first 450 moto kicked off, it was Discount Tire Racing TwoTwo Motorsports' Chad Reed who took the Motosport.com Holeshot Award that put him in an early battle for the lead with Stewart. Just off the lead duo were the most consistent racers in the class in Team Honda Muscle Milk's Trey Canard and the Red Bull KTM teammates Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen.
Reed’s place in the lead was short lived, as Stewart passed him to take early control of the race and pull away from the pack. Reed worked hard to hold off the field, but soon Canard, Dungey and Roczen moved past him, as those three riders battled for the runner-up spot for the remainder of the race. Dungey was forced off the track while trying to Canard, which opened the door for Roczen to take over second place after getting past Canard after he went down late in the race. Out front, Stewart took the win with a four-second margin, while Roczen finished in second and Dungey in third. Canard recovered from his crash to finish fourth, and Reed stayed in the mix to finish the race in fifth.
Reed was again the fastest start the second 450 Class moto, but his lead out front was even shorter than the prior race, as Stewart also had another fast start and moved into the lead before the end of the opening lap. And much like the first moto, Canard, Dungey, and Roczen quickly passed Reed to try and chase down Stewart.
Canard stayed in hot pursuit of Stewart for a number of laps, with Dungey close behind and in the mix for the top spot. Meanwhile, Roczen had settled into fourth and had was set on chasing down teammate Dungey for the final podium spot. Stewart was able to avoid lapped traffic and extend his lead further, leaving Canard, Dungey and Roczen in a battle for second place yet again. Canard managed to stay out in front of the KTM duo. Dungey made one final push to catch Canard but lost his front end and surrendered third place to Roczen. Stewart managed to capture his second moto win of the day to earn the sweep. Behind him, Canard finished second, Roczen took third and Dungey took fourth.
Stewart was happy to take the overall win and keep himself in the hunt for the championship.
"I was excited about coming this weekend because we made some good improvements on the bike," Stewart said. "It's been a while since we've had this speed and pace in reserve and I felt comfortable doing it. This track is one of the ones that I've had to overcome, but it was nice to get a win. It's actually the first time I've gone 1-1 in a while, so we'll go back and keep on working and go from here."
Roczen finished in the runner-up spot with his 2-3 and is the only rider in the class finished, making him the only rider to make the podium at each round this season. Canard earned his third podium in four rounds (4-2), while Dungey missed out on the top three for the first time this season in fourth (3-4).
Roczen was able to extend his lead to 16 points over Dungey in the 450 Class standings, while Stewart moved into third in points at 22 behind Roczen.
"I didn't get a start both motos and that makes it tougher, but I felt like I was riding good," Roczen said. "It's about keeping it consistent. I think I'm going to work on some starts and in a couple weeks we'll bounce back. I just need to get a jump and get up front. I think it will make it that much easier."
When the 250 Class fired off the line it was Valli Motorsports Yamaha's Christophe Pourcel racing to the Motosport.com Holeshot Award, though he time out front didn’t last long, as GEICO Honda's Justin Bogle moved into the lead. Behind the two leaders was Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha's Jeremy Martin, Baggett, and Red Bull KTM's Marvin Musquin.
Bogle extended his lead while Martin worked past Pourcel and looked to try and catch the leader. A few more laps in, Baggett was able to catch both Bogle and Martin to overtake the lead and never look back. Baggett finished with a solid 11-second lead ahead of Martin, while Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha's Cooper Webb was able to make a late-race pass on Bogle stick to earn the final podium spot.
As the second 250 moto started, Pourcel again earned the Motosport.com Holeshot Award. This time, it was Rockstar Energy Racing's Jason Anderson and Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Justin Hill rounding out the top three. Just outside of the top trio, Baggett sat in fourth waiting for his opening to make a move into the top three. Baggett was able to work into the top three and passed Anderson early, and his sights were set on the pursuit of Pourcel for a few laps before eventually jumping out into first.
Baggett then pulled away from the field and looked untouchable barring a major mistake. Behind him, Pourcel and Anderson had a great battle for second, with Anderson ultimately edging out the veteran for second. The top three remained in that order until the finish, with Baggett wrapping up his win with16-second margin of victory over Anderson. Pourcel finished in third, Bogle took fourth and Hill was in fifth.
Baggett's impressive 1-1 finish was his first since the RedBud race back in July of 2012, which is the same year he won the 250 Championship.
"The starts don't come easy out there and we're still working on that," Baggett said. "I feel that I should be up front. Those guys are riding great, but I'm going to do what I can to go after the championship."
Behind Baggett, Martin was able finish second overall (2-6). Anderson managed to secure his best finish of his career in third (7-2). Martin maintains control of the 250 Class standings, holding a 29-point lead over Webb. Baggett closed in to within 36 points in third.
The 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will take its first break of the season next weekend and will resume on June 28 for the fifth round. Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tennessee, will serve as the host site of the Red Bull Tennessee National. Action begins at 1 p.m. ET.
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Results
UPMC Sports Medicine High Point National - Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania
June 14, 2014
Round 4 of 12
450 Class Results
1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki (1-1)
2. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM (2-3)
3. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda (4-2)
4. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (3-4)
5. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha (6-6)
6. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki (10-5)
7. Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM (7-8)
8. Chad Reed, Australia, Kawasaki (5-10)
9. Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Kawasaki (9-7)
10. Phil Nicoletti, Bethel, N.Y., Yamaha (8-12)
450 Class Championship Standings
1. Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM, 183
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 167
3. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 161
4. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 150
5. Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Kawasaki, 115
6. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha, 104
7. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki, 104
8. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 90
9. Chad Reed, Australia, Kawasaki, 88
10. Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM, 74
250 Class Results
1. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki (1-1)
2. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (2-6)
3. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., KTM (7-2)
4. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda (4-4)
5. Christophe Pourcel, France, Yamaha (6-3)
6. Cooper Webb, Morehead City, N.C., Yamaha (3-7)
7. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (5-8)
8. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki (9-5)
9. Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda (8-9)
10. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (10-10)
250 Class Championship Standings
1. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha, 177
2. Cooper Webb, Morehead City, N.C., Yamaha, 148
3. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki, 141
4. Christophe Pourcel, France, Yamaha, 128
5. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda, 126
6. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., KTM, 117
7. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM, 111
8. Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Kawasaki, 93
9. Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda, 91
10. Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda, 87