Ryan Dungey doubles Unadilla – Joey Savatgy breaks through for first win
By Shawn Smith – Images by Hoppenworld
With a third Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 450 Class championship squarely in his sights, Ryan Dungey did not let up at the Red Bull Unadilla National. The Red Bull KTM rider swept both motos to earn his third consecutive overall victory and his fifth of the 2015 season.
In the first moto of the day, Justin Barcia’s streak of seven consecutive holeshots finally came to an end. The Holeshot Award went to Justin Brayton, who put his BTO Sports KTM out front ahead of Ryan Dungey and Justin Bogle. Dungey quickly made his way around Brayton into the lead and from there went on to lead every lap of the race and win by 13 seconds.
Early in the race, Justin Barcia and Trey Canard made a charge through the field, moving into second and third, respectively, behind Dungey by the conclusion of the opening lap. Barcia, a New York native, ended up running his own race in second, but a tipover by Canard dropped him back behind Bogle. Bogle and Canard were grouped together in a battle for third place for much of the race, with newcomer Shaun Simpson close behind in fifth.
On Lap 12, Canard was able to capitalize on a mistake by Bogle to retake third. Bogle went down shortly after and also lost spots to Simpson and Fredrik Noren. Conditioning appeared to be a factor late, as Bogle struggled to run the same pace in the closing laps and dropped a few more spots. He finished tenth in his first-ever race in the 450 Class. Meanwhile Canard earned third, while Simpson – an MXGP regular – finished fourth in his U.S. debut and Fredrik Noren matched his season high with a fifth-place finish.
At the beginning of Moto 1, Ken Roczen and Christophe Pourcel got tangled up in a crash, causing Pourcel to lose his front number plate and dropping both riders to the back of the pack. After struggling to get his bike restarted, then spending some time in the pits, Roczen worked his way up to 16th to at least earn a couple points in the moto. Pourcel ended up 23rd.
Bogle continued to impress in his first appearance on a 450, as he grabbed the Holeshot Award in Moto 2. He was soon passed by Dungey for the lead and then dropped into a battle for second place with Barcia. Barcia was applying serious pressure, and as he raced Bogle for position uphill, Bogle lost control of the bike and crashed hard. Bogle’s first career 450 Class race ends with 10-36 motos results, but he looked much stronger than those numbers would suggest.
Up front, Roczen looked stronger than he has in several rounds. The defending champion passed Barcia for second, then closed the gap on Dungey down to less than two seconds. Roczen would not let Dungey’s KTM out of his sights for the rest of the moto and even made a hard charge on the final lap of the race in an attempt to overtake him. Dungey successfully held off his rival to take the checkered flag, while Roczen – who has been focused on tweaking his bike setup over the last few weeks – finished second, his best moto finish since winning at High Point nearly two months ago.
Christophe Pourcel rounded out the top three in the moto, with a pair of JGR Yamaha riders – Justin Barcia and Weston Peick – behind him. Between motos, Barcia and Peick both made bike changes. Barcia noted after the race that his changes had an adverse effect, as he struggled throughout the moto en route to his fourth-place finish, his worst moto result since High Point. Peick, on the other hand, charged all the way up from 11th to fifth over the course of the race, leading Barcia to suggest that he may adapt Peick’s change for his own bike this week.
Dungey (1-1) and Barcia (2-4) finished 1-2 on the overall podium for the third straight round. Trey Canard (3-6) earned his first overall podium of the season in just his second race back since returning from injury.
In his first ever Lucas Oil Pro Motocross race, Simpson’s 4-8 moto scores earned him an impressive fourth overall. He rode for the Red Bull KTM team this weekend but will now return back to Europe to resume racing the MXGP series. (He currently sits sixth overall in the standings over there and won the most recent round in Belgium.) Roczen (16-2) rounded out the overall top five.
Red Bull KTM also had Dean Wilson under the rig this weekend. Deano made his season debut after recovering from a torn ACL and MCL and finished inside the top ten overall with 11-10 moto results.
250cc – Joey Savatgy breaks through for first overall win
A pair of second-place moto finishes at the Red Bull Unadilla National were good enough for Joey Savatgy to earn the first overall victory of his career and snap a winless drought for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team in the process.
In the first moto, Savatgy grabbed the MotoSport.com Holeshot Award, with Christian Craig and Martin just behind him. Musquin soon got into the mix, overtaking Martin for third, but then Musquin went down while rounding a turn and lost several spots. Martin was able to capitalize, passing Craig and then Chris Alldredge to move into second place and set up a showdown with Savatgy.
Despite facing constant pressure from Martin, Savatgy was able to hold him off for awhile and lead much of the race. On Lap 11, Martin finally worked his way around Savatgy and wouldn’t be touched after that.
Savatgy finished second in the moto, and his teammate Alldredge held off Musquin for third, giving Pro Circuit Kawasaki two riders inside the top three. Because he was unable to pass Alldredge, Musquin settled for fourth, and Christian Craig rounded out the top five.
The second moto was a wild one, and it kicked off with RJ Hampshire edging out Savatgy for the Holeshot Award. By the end of the first lap, Savatgy had retaken the lead and was in position to win the overall if he could hold on for the moto win.
Meanwhile Musquin was able to capitalize on a litany of mistakes from his competitors to move his way to the front.
On Lap 5, Hampshire had caught back up to Savatgy and was battling for the lead until he went down and lost several spots. That moved his GEICO Honda teammate Jordon Smith into second and Alex Martin into third, but on the very next lap, Alex Martin crashed and dropped back to 8th. Then Smith had a hard crash of his own while running in second place and dropped out of the top 15.
As a result of all the chaos, Musquin inherited second place, with Cooper Webb right behind him in third. The two had a heated battle a week ago at Washougal that resulted in Webb in calling out Musquin on national television after the first moto. Although Webb apologized after the race, there was no love lost out on the track. At one point during this moto, Webb plowed into Musquin while attempting to make a pass on the inside. The maneuver wasn’t enough, as Musquin held on to the position and then appeared to turn up the speed in an effort to leave Webb in the dust.
On Lap 10, Musquin overtook Savatgy for the lead, and one lap later, Webb also passed Savatgy for second place. At that point in the race, Musquin would have both won the overall ahead of Savatgy and moved into a tie with Martin for the championship lead. But then the unthinkable happened – another hard crash, this one from Cooper Webb, who looked to be in some pain afterwards. (Webb also crashed in the first moto, leaving him saddled with 18-23 moto finishes.) That allowed Savatgy to retake second place and move back into position for an overall win.
Musquin and Savatgy finished the moto 1-2, while rookie Aaron Plessinger set a new career high with a third-place moto finish. Jessy Nelson took fourth, and Jeremy Martin bounced back from a poor start to finish fifth in the moto.
Behind Savatgy, Musquin (4-1) and Jeremy Martin (1-5) landed on the podium in second and third, respectively. Martin will hold the red plate for a fourth consecutive round next weekend at Utah, but Musquin successfully chipped away at his championship lead today. What was a four-point deficit entering today has been sliced in half. Martin and Musquin are now separated by just two points with two rounds remaining in the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
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