Eli Tomac sweeps Spring Creek AMA MX

Aaron Plessinger dominates 250s

Copy Cooper goes 15-24
Hayden Mellross 33-15 in 250 – Tyler McCoy 27-39

Images by Hoppenworld


The AMA Pro Motocross championship visited Spring Creek on the weekend and it was Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac that showed the field the way around the Minnesota layout.

Tomac topped qualifying and went on to win both Motos to leave round eight with a seven-point lead over Marvin Musquin in the overall standings.

Ken Roczen continues to regain speed after his spate of horrific arm and hand injuries and the German took second overall for the round.

AMA MX Starts MX JK SpringCreek
250 Start – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

In 250s Justin Cooper topped qualifying but it was Aaron Plessinger that won both Motos to further strengthen his championship lead. Justin Cooper was second in the 250s overal ahead of Alex Martin.

New Zealand’s Cody Cooper took a 15-24 result, while Hayden Mellross ended the weekend on a 15th in Moto 2 while Tyler McCoy carded 27-39 results.


450

Qualifying

The stretch-run shootout between Marvin Musquin and Eli Tomac begins now! For what it’s worth, the “win” in qualifying went to Tomac thanks to his 2:12.223 in the first session, but the two riders were much closer in the second session.

AMA MX Roczen Tomac Multiple MX JK SpringCreek
Eli Tomac – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

450 Combined Qualifying Results

  1. Eli Tomac, 2:12.223
  2. Marvin Musquin, 2:13.138
  3. Ken Roczen, 2:13.438
  4. Justin Barcia, 2:14.558
  5. Blake Baggett, 2:14.924

Moto 1

A lot of big names quickly found themselves near the front of the field at the start of the moto. Ken Roczen took the holeshot and led the first lap of the race while Marvin Musquin and Eli Tomac battled for second place.

AMA MX Roczen Starts MX JK SpringCreek Cover
Ken Roczen leads the 450 Start – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

On Lap 3, Tomac passed Musquin but by that point, Roczen had built up a four-second lead. Tomac quickly chopped down that lead and started applying a lot of pressure to Roczen. While they battled for the lead, Musquin struggled to catch up to them.

AMA MX Tomac MX JK SpringCreek
Eli Tomac – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

The Frenchman ultimately went down on Lap 6 and lost nearly 20 seconds. He also lost third place to Blake Baggett in the process — a two-point swing that could prove costly in his attempt to hold onto the red plate.

AMA MX Baggett MX JK SpringCreek
Blake Baggett – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

Meanwhile the battle for the lead raged on. All told, it lasted about 15 minutes before the lead finally changed hands. At that point, lapped traffic became a factor, with Roczen getting held up as Tomac zoomed by him through the whoops.

AMA MX Roczen MX JK SpringCreek
Ken Roczen – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

Tomac started to open up a lead over the final laps, but as RedBud proved, it’s not over til it’s over. This time though, Tomac averted any mechanical issues and took the checkered flag over Roczen by 13 seconds.

AMA MX Barcia MX JK SpringCreek
Justin Barcia – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

Third place went to Baggett, who earned his third moto podium of the season and his first since Round 3. Musquin and Justin Barcia rounded out the top five.

AMA MX Musquin Tomac Multiple MX JK SpringCreek
Marvin Musquin – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

After losing the points lead at RedBud, Tomac needed just one moto to recapture it. By picking up seven points in Moto 1, he now holds a four-point edge over Musquin as they head into the second moto. A top-two result later in the day would ensure that Tomac gets the red plate back.

450 Moto 1 Results

  1. Eli Tomac 2:12.690
  2. Ken Roczen +13.107
  3. Blake Baggett +23.423
  4. Marvin Musquin +53.117
  5. Justin Barcia +1:00.266
  6. Weston Peick +1:05.611
  7. Cooper Webb +1:06.068
  8. Phil Nicoletti +1:17.336
  9. Henry Miller +1:24.874
  10. Justin Hill +1:25.826
    …15. Cody Cooper +2:26.143

Moto 2

Yet another holeshot for Justin Bogle — that’s his fourth one in the last six motos — but Marvin Musquin and Ken Roczen both got around him on the opening lap. As those two began to battle for the lead, Eli Tomac was working his way into the top five.

AMA MX Starts MX JK SpringCreek
450 Start – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

He picked off Bogle for fifth, then got around Weston Peick for fourth and Blake Baggett for third. That left him with 23:30 on the countdown clock to make a run at Musquin and Roczen.

AMA MX Baggett MX JK SpringCreek
Blake Baggett – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

Tomac started closing in on Roczen but a mistake right around the midway point — he nearly crashed coming out of a turn — cost the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider a few seconds. Although Tomac reeled him back in, Roczen proved to be difficult to pass.

AMA MX Tomac MX JK SpringCreek
Eli Tomac – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

With a little over five minutes to go, Tomac went inside of Roczen as they went downhill and around a corner. The two rivals were side-by-side as they went back uphill, but Tomac got back inside as they went around the next turn and finally made the pass stick.

Now into second place, Tomac faced a five-second deficit with only a few laps to make it up. But by the time the countdown clock expired, Tomac was already all over the Frenchman.

AMA MX Barcia MX JK SpringCreek Cover
Justin Barcia – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

With two and a half laps to go, he charged through an uphill section and took the lead away from Musquin. That allowed Tomac to pull away for his class-leading 11th moto of the season. It also gave him his sixth overall win of the year and his fourth 1-1 sweep.

AMA MX Peick Tomac Multiple MX JK SpringCreek
Weston Peick – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

Even before passing Musquin, Tomac was already in position for the overall victory and already in position to take back the red plate. But the pass also created a six-point swing in the championship standings. So instead of leaving Spring Creek with a one-point lead over Musquin, Tomac will now leave with a seven-point advantage.

AMA MX Roczen Starts MX JK SpringCreek Cover
Ken Roczen – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

Musquin (4-2) finished third overall for the day behind Tomac and Roczen (2-3).

New Zealand’s Copy Cooper took a 15-24 result over the weekend.

Eli Tomac

“I had so much motivation from how the last race went and I carried it into this week. The team and I were focused on coming back with a good race and to get back on track. I always have fun here but I was really ready to go this week and happy to get the red plate back. We’re going to keep working hard and looking forward to some good racing at Washougal next week.”

AMA MX Tomac MX JK SpringCreek
Eli Tomac – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

Marvin Musquin

“Millville was definitely a tough weekend but I’m even more motivated now for Washougal. I expected a little more of a smooth day, to be honest. The starts were good but I was a little bit riding tight in the first moto. I started to get better but unfortunately, I cross-rutted down the hill and I couldn’t avoid going down. It was a scary crash down the hill – my clutch lever was all the way down when I picked it up but luckily, I was able to get back on it and salvage some points. In the second moto, I definitely wanted to do better and pick up more points. I was riding well and leading, but unfortunately it was not enough. It was a better feeling at the end of the second moto for sure, compared to the first one. We made some progress and now onto Washougal.”

AMA MX Musquin MX JK SpringCreek
Marvin Musquin – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

450 Moto 2 Results

  1. Eli Tomac 2:14.447
  2. Marvin Musquin +06.963
  3. Ken Roczen +36.412
  4. Blake Baggett +45.549
  5. Justin Barcia +1:11.823
  6. Weston Peick +1:18.282
  7. Justin Hill +1:20.433
  8. Benny Bloss +1:35.502
  9. Cooper Webb +1:41.484
  10. Phil Nicoletti +1:43.206
    …24. Cody Cooper 15L +1:44.134
AMA MX Podium MX JK SpringCreek
Eli Tomac on the podium – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

450 Overall Results

  1. Eli Tomac (1-1)
  2. Ken Roczen (2-3)
  3. Marvin Musquin (4-2)
  4. Blake Baggett (3-4)
  5. Justin Barcia (5-5)
  6. Weston Peick (6-6)
  7. Cooper Webb (7-9)
  8. Justin Hill (10-7)
  9. Phil Nicoletti (8-10)
  10. Benny Bloss (11-8)

450 Point Standings

  1. Eli Tomac, 351
  2. Marvin Musquin, 344
  3. Justin Barcia, 296
  4. Ken Roczen, 288
  5. Blake Baggett, 270
  6. Weston Peick, 223
  7. Benny Bloss, 199
  8. Phil Nicoletti, 196
  9. Justin Hill, 114
    10-T. Kyle Cunningham, 107
    10-T. Cody Cooper, 107

250

Qualifying

For the fourth time this season, Justin Cooper was the top qualifier in the 250 Class thanks to a 2:13.729 lap time in the second practice session. After a hot start to the season, Cooper’s best finish in his last five motos is just seventh place. Still third in the 250MX point standings despite the recent downturn, he’ll try to get back on track today.

AMA MX Savatgy Starts MX JK SpringCreek
Savatgy leads 250 Start – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

For the first time, his teammate Aaron Plessinger saw his name near the top of the leaderboard. Entering the day with an average qualifying position of 9.3, the points leader came out and set the fastest lap in the first session, then followed it up with another good time in the second session.

250 Combined Qualifying Results

  1. Justin Cooper, 2:13.729
  2. Joey Savatgy, 2:13.966
  3. Aaron Plessinger, 2:14.977
  4. Austin Forkner, 2:15.913
  5. Dylan Ferrandis, 2:16.306
    …19. Hayden Mellross, 2:21.116

Moto 1

After getting good starts, Joey Savatgy, Jordon Smith, Austin Forkner and Justin Cooper emerged with the top four spots, but Savatgy’s time out front was short-lived. He tipped over in a turn, which allowed Smith to take over the lead. Meanwhile Cooper got around Forkner on the opening lap to move into second place behind Smith.

AMA MX Plessinger Multiple MX JK SpringCreek
Aaron Plessinger – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

Within a few laps, Aaron Plessinger joined the fray. Having already made a couple passes to move into third, he battled his teammate Cooper for second and finally took the position about eight and a half minutes into the race. Cooper then gave up third place to Forkner shortly after.

AMA MX Savatgy MX JK SpringCreek
Joey Savatgy – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

After getting around Cooper, Plessinger quickly caught and passed Smith to become the new race leader. There was no one left to challenge him at that point, so Plessinger cruised to his third straight moto win.

AMA MX McElrath MX JK SpringCreek
Shane McElrath – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

With Plessinger checking out, the second half of the race featured a good battle between Smith and Forkner for second place. Though Forkner managed to get side-by-side with him, Smith was initially able to hold him off.

McElrath Forkner Multiple MX JK RedBud AMAMX Rnd
Austin Forkner – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

The battle went on for a few laps until, with seven and a half minutes left on the countdown clock, Forkner went outside of Smith to grab second place. Forkner finished the moto in second with Smith in third. Cooper and Shane McElrath rounded out the top five.

AMA MX Justin Cooper MX JK SpringCreek
Justin Cooper – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

Not only did Plessinger win the moto, he was able to boost his championship lead by 11 more points thanks to Alex Martin’s seventh-place finish.

250 Moto 1 Results

  1. Aaron Plessinger 2:15.594
  2. Austin Forkner +07.574
  3. Jordon Smith +14.189
  4. Justin Cooper +21.535
  5. Shane McElrath +23.540
  6. RJ Hampshire +25.407
  7. Alex Martin +26.422
  8. Chase Sexton +27.649
  9. Colt Nichols +28.742
  10. Joey Savatgy +29.890
    …27. Tyler McCoy
    …33. Hayden Mellross

Moto 2

The second moto immediately produced a battle with championship implications after Alex Martin took the holeshot with Aaron Plessinger right behind him.

Plessinger moved into the lead on the opening lap after getting past Martin on a downhill section of the course, and though Martin kept it close at first, Plessinger started to open things up after a few laps.

AMA MX MartinA MX JK SpringCreek
Alex Martin – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

While Plessinger was sitting in good shape for the overall win, battles materialized that would determine the rest of the overall podium. Justin Cooper, Jordon Smith and Austin Forkner were all running in the top five early, but Joey Savatgy was on the charge.

AMA MX Savatgy MX JK SpringCreek
Joey Savatgy – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

He made the move on Forkner for fifth place about seven minutes into the moto, then worked his way around Smith shortly before the race’s midway point.

AMA MX Plessinger MX JK SpringCreek
Aaron Plessinger – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

Then it was Forkner’s turn to make a charge. After displacing Smith for fifth place, Forkner caught back up his teammate Savatgy and took over fourth place. That tentatively put Forkner in position for a second-place overall finish, but for the third week in a row, a crash knocked him off the podium completely.

AMA MX Forkner MX JK SpringCreek
Austin Forkner – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

This time he went down on a jump because of a collision with a lapped rider, and he ended up with a bent radiator in the aftermath of the crash. That required Forkner to stop in the pits — as a result, he fell out of the top 20 before ending the race in 18th.

With Forkner out of the picture, it was Cooper who now sat in position for second place overall. With lapped riders becoming a factor, he caught up to Martin at one point and was applying pressure, but Martin made it through unscathed and put some cushion back between himself and Cooper.

AMA MX Justin Cooper MX JK SpringCreek
Justin Cooper – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

The top three remained unchanged for the rest of the race. Plessinger took the victory to earn his fourth 1-1 sweep of the season and his second consecutive sweep, putting to rest — at least for now — all the questions about his inconsistent performances.

AMA MX MosimanM MX JK SpringCreek
Michael Mosiman – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

Martin took second place in the moto and Cooper finished third. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Michael Mosiman set a career best with a sixth-place moto finish.

As the only rider aside from Plessinger to finish top five in both motos, Cooper (4-3) earned second place overall. Martin (7-2) edged out Smith (3-7) for third overall.

AMA MX Plessinger MX JK SpringCreek
Aaron Plessinger – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

With four rounds left in the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Plessinger now holds a 49-point lead over Martin in the 250 Class championship standings.

AMA MX SmithJ MX JK SpringCreek
Jordan Smith – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

Hayden Mellross finished the weekend on a high with a 15th place, following his 33rd result in Moto 1. Tyler McCoy went 27-39.

250 Moto 2 Results

  1. Aaron Plessinger 2:16.913
  2. Alex Martin +06.488
  3. Justin Cooper +17.239
  4. Joey Savatgy +21.773
  5. Chase Sexton +26.186
  6. Michael Mosiman +32.607
  7. Jordon Smith +35.011
  8. Dylan Ferrandis +35.482
  9. Colt Nichols +39.214
  10. Mitchell Harrison +56.857
    …15. Hayden Mellross
    …39. Tyler McCoy
AMA MX Aaron Plessinger Podium MX JK SpringCreek
Aaron Plessinger on the podium – Spring Creek AMA MX 2018

250 Overall Results

  1. Aaron Plessinger (1-1)
  2. Justin Cooper (4-3)
  3. Alex Martin (7-2)
  4. Jordon Smith (3-7)
  5. Joey Savatgy (10-4)
  6. Chase Sexton (8-5)
  7. RJ Hampshire (6-11)
  8. Austin Forkner (2-18)
  9. Colt Nichols (9-9)
  10. Dylan Ferrandis (11-8)
    …18. Hayden Mellross (33-15)

250 Point Standings

  1. Aaron Plessinger, 333
  2. Alex Martin, 284
  3. Justin Cooper, 239
  4. Austin Forkner, 216
  5. Shane McElrath, 214
  6. RJ Hampshire, 201
  7. Jordon Smith, 197
  8. Chase Sexton, 195
  9. Joey Savatgy, 177
  10. Jeremy Martin, 176
    …24. Hayden Mellross, 31