Ken Roczen dominates Unadilla AMA MX
German and French riders go 1-2 in AMA Pro Motocross Round Ten at Unadilla
Extremely steep hills and humidity greeted the racers at the Unadilla National for their return from the two-week break to start in on the final stretch of races for the outdoors series. With only two rounds left to follow Unadilla, Round 10 of the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
The first 450 moto kicked off with a ton of action with all of the fastest riders up front. Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac sprinted out of the gates toward the holeshot, and with Tomac getting the official holeshot it was Barcia that took the lead. Ken Roczen, Marvin Musquin and Phil Nicoletti were the next three riders right on their tails.
After only a few turns and jumps Roczen came flying out from behind both Tomac and Barcia to quickly take the lead. Roczen showed his speed and began to stretch a small lead, leaving Tomac close to Barcia to battle and settle back into position.
Nicoletti went down a few laps later, allowing Weston Peick, Fredrik Noren, Benny Bloss and Justin Brayton ahead of him. Nicoletti settled back into ninth position.
Musquin lost ground and had to work to regain the ground on Barcia to make a fight for a podium position. Musquin closed on Barcia then raced around the outside of Barcia to steal the lead going out of a corner, but Barcia would answer back with an aggressively close pass back. Musquin would return out of another exchange to take off out front into third place.
A little more than halfway into the moto Nicoletti turned back on the heat and burned past Brayton and charge forward once again. Nicoletti would carry that momentum forward and take on Bloss for only a short series of turns before taking seventh place.
With 4 minutes left before the 2-lap flag came out, Roczen was leading with a 13-second lead over Tomac who was riding with a 13-second lead over Musquin. Barcia sat deeper still behind Musquin with a reasonable buffer from Peick and Noren. Nicoletti, however, was not able to hold seventh from Bloss for long and fell back in the pack into eighth.
By the end of moto 1, Roczen had dominated with a 14-second lead over Tomac in second who held a 14-second lead over Musquin in third.
Rolling right into moto 2 like he left moto 1, Roczen rode straight out of the gates and into the front of the pack for the holeshot and a lead.
Musquin rode out of the first series of turns in second with Dean Wilson right behind him in third. Nicoletti, though, was just behind him putting the pressure on. Nicoletti and Wilson would square up and battle for an entire lap battle. Then Peick and Bloss would near them and ultimately allow Bloss to pass for third.
Musquin made a major mistake by losing all of his momentum while on one of Unadilla’s super steep hills. Though he didn’t stop for long, the steep face of the hill had him very slow to recover into ninth place for the time being.
Not even ten minutes into the race, Roczen had extended his holeshot and lead over the pack to more than 22 seconds.
Bloss, kept his forward motion going and found lines that allowed him to pass for second while the leaderboard (apart from first place) shook up around the halfway mark. In third it was Musquin but Tomac was coming up through the pack after fighting his way out of a slow start in the moto.
Tomac was still turning up, with passes on both Musquin and then Bloss, it was clear he had more in the tank with ten more minutes to burn. Still, Musquin held on to his speed and would keep fighting to take back second from Tomac.
Just behind them was speed coming from Peick in fifth and Wilson in sixth, who were exchanging solid combinations of turns to push up and close in on Bloss in fourth. Then Peick began to fade. Wilson bumped up into fifth wile Noren found sixth, Barcia in seventh and Nicoletti in eighth pushing Peick to ninth.
As the race came to a close, Roczen’s dominant lead was in excess of 37 seconds, which gave him a 1-1 finish for the day. Musquin finished second on the moto and the day, while Tomac did the same in third on the moto and the day.
Roczen extended his lead to 63-points heading towards final two rounds; Budds Creek on August 20, and then Ironman for the season finale on August 27.
450 CLASS OVERAL RESULTS
- Ken Roczen (1-1)
- Marvin Musquin (3-2)
- Eli Tomac (2-3)
- Benny Bloss (7-4)
- Justin Barcia (4-7)
- Fredrik Noren (6-6)
- Weston Peick (5-9)
- Dean Wilson (11-5)
- Phil Nicoletti (8-8)
- Matt Bisceglia (9-10)
450 CLASS OVERAL POINTS
- Ken Roczen, 484
- Eli Tomac, 421
- Marvin Musquin, 325
- Justin Barcia, 276
- Christophe Pourcel, 217
- Benny Bloss, 183
- Justin Brayton, 173
- Broc Tickle, 171
- Phil Nicoletti, 168
- Andrew Short, 163
250MX: COOPER WEBB WINS 1-1 AT UNADILLA
A red flag welcomed back racers five minutes into the first moto for the 250 class at the Unadilla National following the two-week break. With Round 10 marking the final three-race stretch of the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, riders were quickly winded and sent back to restart the late-season campaigns at the very steep and rocky track in New York.
Alex Martin kicked the day off with the fastest qualifying time for the first time in his career, looking still as solid as he did before the break when he won at the day overall at Washougal. A. Martin was also announced just prior to the race start that he will be representing Team USA in MX of Nations for the first time as well, though he has ridden in the event twice for Puerto Rico.
As the riders took off from the gate, What looked like could have been a holeshot for Joey Savatgy became an Austin Forkner early success and holeshot with Adam Cianciarulo close behind them both. As for A. Martin, he found himself tangled up in an early mess right out of the gate that would result for him in a flat front tyre.
Within the first five minutes and opening laps of the moto, A. Martin had somehow recovered his position a bit to the fourth position, but Cooper Webb came up to make a pass for that spot pushing A. Martin to fifth.
Webb continued to make moves around Cianciarulo for the third position, but before he had the opportunity to continue pressing forward the moto was flagged.
With a red flag out on the track, the first five minutes of the race were to be scrubbed and forgotten as the riders were set back to the gates to reset.
With the second gate drop it was Cianciarulo taking the holeshot and webb right on his tail. A. Martin suffered another issue immediately again and found himself down and picking himself back up early on. Unfortunately Forkner found himself stuck behind A. Martin rather the front of the pack for the restart of the moto.
Arnaud Tonus emerged in the restart toward the front of the pack and was quickly pressing on Webb attempting to take the second place spot. However, Savatgy would gain on Tonus before any moves could be made, which ultimately spread the riders back out to settle again into their postions. For the opening ten minutes of the moto Webb would continue to work on Cianciarulo while Savatgy battled to gain on Tonus, with no change in position througout the halfway point of the race had hit.
Rounding out the top-5 racers was Zach Osborne by the halfway point, but that came after a sharp pass on RJ Hampshire. However, Osborne would drop off very quickly after with an apparent mechanical error that would send his crew running trackside to his aide.
Returning to the front of the pack, Webb finally found his line around Cianciarulo and that would leave him to battle his teammate, Savatgy, for the second place position. After a series of corners and a battle between teammates, Savatgy emerged in second.
Aaron Plessinger seemed to be uninvolved for a great majority of the moto, but with three laps left to go he had wound his way up into third and was putting incredibly fast lap times. Plessinger was putting in five and six second faster lap times then his competitors. Plessinger not only worked his way into third, he was pushing forward onto Savatgy for second. Plessinger would get it within bike lengths multiple times during the final two laps of the moto.
By the end of the moto Savatgy would continue to hold off Plessinger. The finish would go in order of Webb, Savatgy and Plessinger to round out the moto 1 podium.
For the second moto there was no restart and Forker’s earned holeshot remained intact for a solid showing of redemption at the gates. Just behind, Savatgy and Webb came firing out of the gates and held the second and third positions for the first series of turns, while Osborne experienced bike issues and pulled off the track.
Savatgy then lost control coming around a corner and up a hill to give way to Webb for second. Next was A. Martin who nearly lost control moving up the same hill but continued to press on and hold onto fifth with Hill and Plessinger just behind him.
A. Martin began to put the pressure on Savatgy for a few turns, then it was Hill putting the pressure on A. Martin. While those three stayed tight in battle, Forkner stretched out his lead over the 250 pack.
A little deeper in the pack was Brad Taft in seventh place holding off Cianciarulo. Then, Oldenburg found ground on Cianciarulo and made a successful pass for eighth, while Cianciarulo continued to fade fast still within the first ten minutes of the moto.
Then they would both be overtaken. The middle of the pack shuffled past Taft going Hampshire, Jordon Smith, Martin Davalos, Oldenburg and rookie Tristan Charboneau taking 10th.
Meanwhile Savatgy quickly started to slip back out of third and through the pack until after a loss of position he found himself pulling off of the track entirely. Without a clear explanation as to why, Savatgy was in the pits and out of the moto.
Rookie professional, Forkner had held the front of the pack for a long majority of the race, but his gap from Webb had closed. Webb, known for his strong riding late in motos, eventually closed the gap of Forkner and took the lead away.
Then, past the 20-minute mark, Jessy Nelson crashed so hard on the course that it caused for red flag to stop the race. Because the race had past the 20-minute mark the results are decided on the order at that point.
The moto2 podium resulted going Webb, Forkner and Plessinger. Webb ended his day going 1-1 to further his points lead over the 250 class. Plessinger going 3-3 allowed him to finish second on the day, while rookie Forkner finish third on the day with 7-2 on the motos.
Leaving Unadilla only two rounds remain with the next stop being Budds Creek on Aug. 20, before the season ends at Ironman on Aug. 27.
250 MOTO OVERALL RESULTS
- Cooper Webb (1-1)
- Aaron Plessinger (3-3)
- Austin Forkner (7-2)
- Justin Hill (5-4)
- RJ Hampshire (9-6)
- Mitchell Oldenburg (8-9)
- Alex Martin (13-5)
- Martin Davalos (11-8)
- Tristan Charboneau (10-10)
- Joey Savatgy (2-33)
250 MOTO OVERALL CLASS POINTS
- Cooper Webb, 422
- Joey Savatgy, 341
- Alex Martin, 341
- Jeremy Martin, 321
- Austin Forkner, 293
- Aaron Plessinger, 285
- Zach Osborne, 253
- Adam Cianciarulo
- Arnaud Tonus, 195
- Mitchell Oldenburg, 194