Recognised as the track that has it all, racers came into Round 8 at the La Crescent Wine & Spirit Spring Creek National focused to lay down flawless laps against familiar faces as 450 riders returned from injury. With only five races left in the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Millville, MN marked the beginning of the end for racers trying to find crucial points for overall class rankings.
Justin Barcia snagged the holeshot and did so just in front of Ken Roczen which opened things up for Eli Tomac to come around the outside to take the lead and make a dash ahead of the pack.
Barcia, a.k.a. Bam Bam as he reminded us last weekend, did battle with Roczen and managed to close the door multiple times. However, Roczen hung on and kept after Barcia and ultimately found his way around him.
Tomac took his early lead and managed to make some serious distance to stretch things out between him and the rest of the front-runners of the moto. Behind Tomac a little ways was Roczen while Barcia maintained the third position just ahead of Marvin Musquin in fourth and Christopher Pourcel in fifth.
A few laps later Roczen would make a dash for Tomac as he took a major leap downhill the close the gap. For an entire lap Tomac had Roczen right over his shoulder in the straight aways and nearly side by side as they scrubbed each jump. With every downhill opportunity Roczen continued to push until he saw Tomac leaving the inside open. Roczen took the opportunity to use his momentum and slammed right inside of Tomac to take the lead.
Shortly after the pass up front, Musquin found another gear and made a pass on Barcia following a few very smooth jumps before he was able to shut Barcia down on an inside line. Musquin was riding at a great pace and quickly started to take off for the next racers ahead of him.
When the moto reached the halfway point the lead that Roczen had taken from Tomac grew to be more than eight seconds.
Deeper in the pack, vying for sixth place was Trey Canard on his return from injury trying to put the pass on Andrew Short who is riding in his final series for his career. Both riders riding fast and seemingly safe without getting to close in the corners or out of control on any straight aways.
Deep still, James Stewart was also found on the track hold down ninth place. Racing on his own return ride from both an injury in the beginning of the season as well as awaiting the birth of his first child the weekend prior. Just behind Stewart was yet another rider racing on the return, Dean Wilson was putting in his first laps of the outdoors series after sustaining an injury during the super cross season. Wilson, though, was not alone as he battled alongside Justin Brayton for a number of laps.
Another battle was unfolding between Weston Peick and Broc Tickle, but before they were able to finish the battle they found themselves both in the dirt. Coming a little crooked over the top of a jump, Peick was tagged in the back of the head by Tickle’s from tire coming in hot through the air. Both riders went down and took some time to recover while they fell to the back of the pack.
With a little more than a lap to Brayton found his away around both Wilson and then Stewart for Ninth. Brayton put on a clear display of how much of a difference it makes to be riding every race and keeping that stamina and rhythm working well. Stewart would hold on for 10th on the moto and Wilson would ride out in 11th.
Finishing moto 1 up front went Roczen first, followed by Tomac in second and Musquin in third.
Right out of the gate Roczen would be seen getting bumped around and slipping deep into the pack while Musquin took off for the holeshot. Just behind Roczen was his biggest competitor Tomac, but with so many riders on both sides of them they would fight together to through the thicket of riders early in the moto.
Roczen would quickly find lines to allow multiple passes. Roczen made a double pass on Barcia and Wilson at once, and with that same momentum he would find his way around Pourcel for third. Still on a roll, Roczen caught up to Short to make quick work and take over the second position.
Looking like he was riding on an all new level of excellence, Roczen catches up to Musquin and looks for an opening as Musquin did well to hold him off through two corners. Still pushing forward, Roczen finds a downhill section to jump down and fly past Musquin for the lead on the moto. From here he would be hard to catch.
With still 20 minutes and two laps to go, Tomac was anything but finished with his performance on the day. With Short dropping back behind Pourcel and then Tomac, Tomac took the change in order one step fourth by finding his way around Pourcel by taking a long outside line to line him up on the inside for the following turn. Still nine seconds behind Musquin in second, Tomac put his head down and pressed on.
With Pourcel settling down in fourth, the next racer in line was Canard. Canard was riding very well following his weeks out from injury and was doing his best to hold down a top-5 finish on the moto and the day. Barcia, though, was not far off and keeping the pressure on Canard alive. Over the course of three laps with two left to go, Barcia’s constant wearing on Canard paid off. Canard had crossed Barcia multiple times in a short series, but slip up on his way up a hill and it was over as Bam Bam blasted by for fifth.
Looking back up tot he from of the pack, Roczen rode uncontested to the win as did Musquin to second with Tomac coming up in third. The result on moto 2 would be the result on the day, and any question regarding Roczen’s reign on the 2016 series were answered as he rebounded with a 1-1 win on the day.
2016 Lucas Oils Pro Motocross – Spring Creek – 450cc Results
Ken Roczen (1-1)
Marvin Musquin (3-2)
Eli Tomac (2-3)
Christophe Pourcel (5-4)
Justin Barcia (4-5)
Trey Canard (6-6)
Andrew Short (8-8)
Benny Bloss (7-10)
Justin Barcia (9-9)
Phil Nicoletti (14-7)
2016 Lucas Oils Pro Motocross – Spring Creek – 450cc Championship Standings
Ken Roczen, 387
Eli Tomac, -55
Marvin Musquin, -144
Justin Barcia, -172
Christophe Pourcel, -185
Broc Tickle, -216
Cole Seely, -236
Justin Brayton, -243
Justin Bogle, -251
Ryan Dungey, -256
Jeremy Martin takes first overall win of 2016 Lucas Oils Pro Motocross Series at Spring Creek
The 250 class came to Round 8 at the La Crescent Wine & Spirit Spring Creek National ready to battle not only one of the toughest tracks on the series but against the local Brothers Martin on their family-owned turf. With the race in overall class point tight between many riders, Millville, MN served as a defining day for many in the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
With the drop of the gate and the rounding of the first turn it was a quick reminder to the field that they are absolutely racing at the track belonging to the family of Brothers Martin. With nobody on their elbows, Alex earned the holeshot with Jeremy the only other rider around him riding away in second.
Cooper Webb quickly passed Mitchell Oldenburg to make third position his, and then came Joey Savatgy to pass Oldenburg only a few turns later. With the brothers riding well out from and the series overall points leaders just next in line, Spring Creek started out living up to all the high expectations on the day.
A. Martin took his early lead and quickly pushed himself more than two and half seconds ahead of his brother only five minutes into the moto. With clean riding from every racer, the next five minutes went without much in the way of battles or passes. By the time the moto had been running for ten minutes A. Martin furthered his lead and was riding more than three seconds ahead of the pack for the time being.
Looking a little deeper into the pack was Zach Osborne leaving the action on the track due to his back tyre being completely seized. Osborne (who was sitting fifth in class points overall) and his mechanics took to the bike’s back wheel but with little success as he was unable to get things rolling again.
All the while, Webb was looking to catch his teammate J. Martin around a corner. Webb squared up with J. Martin coming into a turn by securing the inside line and by the exit of the corner he had pushed J. Martin off the track completely as he took second position and began to chase down Martin’s brother.
As the moto approached the end, Webb began to close on A. Martin with only three laps left to go. Then, while riding out front for the entire moto, A. Martin succumbed to the pressure from Webb and crumbled on his accord. As Webb passed A. Martin for the lead, J. Martin came up quick to take over the second place position while they both rallied up one of the larger hills.
With only two laps left, the order went Webb, J. Martin and A. Martin in third, but Savatgy was doing his best to upset A. Martin one more time.The final lap was a battle between A. Martin and Savatgy, but in the end the local boy held strong and salvaged a third place finish on the moto.
Starting out for Moto 2 was the almost an exact repeat from the first moto with A. Martin and J. Martin firing out of the gate showing their clear dominance on their home track.
Unfortunately for A. Martin he would run into quick trouble and dump the bike. By the time he picked it up and hit the track again and settled into a position he was in seventh.
Back at the front of the pack it was now Adam Cianciarulo that was leading the pack, and showing solid riding. Cianciarulo rode strategically as he held off the local boy of J. Martin for multiple laps. Only after a mistake in a corner rut, J. Martin found his opening to pass Cianciarulo.
Just behind the front two was Osborne hungry to make up from his moto 1 malfunctions. Osborne was taking every opportunity to open up and make up ground and slowly but surely found his way up to the rear tire of Cianciarulo. After a few laps, though, CianCiarulo would show similar form to races prior and relinquish his second place position to Osborne.
Next to pass Cianciarulo would be Savatgy. Savatgy riding with a lot on the line was on the brink of losing his overall points position to J. Martin and further behind Webb. Webb was also hot in pursuit and with a very aggressive downhill side-by-side battle he put the pass on Cianciarulo to take over fourth.
The next move would come from Aaron Plessinger as he found his way past Cianciarulo. Coming over a jump Cianciarulo went about three feet higher while Plessinger stayed low and pressed on to take the fifth place position away.
Savatgy was also finding ground as he approached Osborne. Realizing what he has on the line with the overall points race, Savatgy held nothing back to pass Osborne and fight his way forward in an effort to track down J. Martin.
Osborne would quickly find another threat by way of a lapper in his front and then Webb to his side and then passing him. However, as Webb and Osborne pressed on they would come up on Savatgy who seemed at a dead stop as they both flew past him. They rode away with Webb in second, Osborne in third and Savatgy in fourth.
Just deeper was A. Martin still recovering from his early slip. While Plessinger looked to close the gap on Savatgy, A. Martin came up from behind to make two passes essentially at once getting around both Plessinger and Savatgy for fourth on the moto and third on day.
J. Martin had essentially sealed the deal with a few laps left to go. Riding his family-owned track with the hometown crowd cheering, J. Martin not only found the moto win and the overall on the day but it was his first overall for the 2016 series.. Webb found himself finishing second on the moto and the day, while Osborne took third place in the moto.
Australia’s Jackson Richardson went 19-21 giving him 21st overall for the round and with 18 points amassed thus far in the series Richardson is now 25th overall in the championship standings.
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