On a day in which he’d already captured his first career moto victory in the 450 Class, Ken Roczen punctuated his weekend with a sweep and an overall win.
The race two victory did not come quite as easily as the opening moto with the holeshot going to Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer, who had his teammate Brett Metcalfe right behind him. Metcalfe made the pass on Weimer on the opening lap and was followed by the trio of Justin Barcia, Ken Roczen and Ryan Dungey.
For the next ten minutes, Metcalfe, Barcia, Roczen and Dungey would all go at it for position. After holding off Roczen, Barcia would catch up to Metcalfe and challenge him for the lead. The two were neck-and-neck and times, but Barcia couldn’t make a pass stick. Roczen was able to seize the opportunity though – getting Barcia for second, then almost immediately surpassing Metcalfe as well
It was only a matter of time before Dungey would get around Barcia and Metcale too, making it a Red Bull KTM breakaway once again. Roczen and Dungey would hold down the 1-2 spots for the rest of the race, giving Roczen his first career overall win in the 450 Class and putting him in possession of the red plate as the points leader headed into Round 3.
After three subpar motos to start the year, James Stewart stepped things up as this race went on, getting around Metcalfe and Barcia to move into third place.
Trey Canard also rose through the pack throughout the moto. To grab fifth place, he made a move to the inside of Metcalfe, forcing Metcalfe into the side of the track and nearly off the bike. Canard then found himself matched up with his Honda Muscle Milk teammate Justin Barcia once again, this time for fourth place. Unlike the first moto, Canard was able to get around Barcia in this one – passing him in the same spot of the track where he got Metcalfe. He nearly caught Stewart for third as well, crossing the finish line less than three-tenths of a second behind the Yoshimura Suzuki rider.
As for Metcalfe, after his great start, he was later passed by Weson Peick, Malcolm Stewart and Weimer, fading back to ninth by race’s end. The push from Peick helped earn him a sixth-place overall finish when combining his 8-6 moto finishes. Andrew Short rounded out the top-ten.
Josh Grant, who placed ninth in Moto 1, pulled into the pits midway through the race and would not finish.
In the opening moto It was his teammate Ryan Dungey coming out and grabbing the MotoSport.com Holeshot, but Roczen was right there with him and made the pass for the lead a few turns later. Behind Roczen and Dungey, Trey Canard, Brett Metcalfe and James Stewart setlled into the remainder of the top-five positions.
Stewart came into this race hoping to rebound from last week’s disappointing 6-6 finishes. He eventually got around Metcalfe, but that was negated when Barcia made the pass on Stewart. Stewart would settle for fifth – a modest improvement from last weekend, but not where he ideally wants to be. His brother, Malcolm, meanwhile turned in another solid top-ten result, which comes on the heels of 8-8 finishes last week.
Out front, Roczen began to put some distance between himself and Dungey. There would be no last-lap drama, as Roczen finally captured the checkered flag after his runner-up finishes in both motos last week. He finished over eight seconds ahead of Dungey, who would settle for second place as he continues to show why he rarely finishes off the podium.
The Honda Muscle Milk duo of Trey Canard and Justin Barcia followed the Red Bull KTM boys, finsishing third and fourth, respectively. They had a battle going later in the race but seemed so evenly matched, with Barcia unable to pass his teammate.
Hangtown 450 Class Overall Results
Ken Roczen (1-1)
Ryan Dungey (2-2)
Trey Canard (3-4)
James Stewart (5-3)
Justin Barcia (4-5)
Weston Peick (8-6)
Jake Weimer (7-8)
Brett Metcalfe (6-9)
Malcolm Stewart (10-7)
Chad Reed (11-12)
Andrew Short (14-10)
Fredrik Noren (12-13)
Josh Grant (9-39)
Sean Collier (15-16)
Phil Nicoletti (23-11)
Ben LaMay (19-15)
Kellian Rusk (13-23)
Ivan Tedesco (32-14)
Jimmy Albertson (17-18)
PJ Larsen (16-24)
Jeremy Martin Still Undefeated, Doubles Hangtown
If anyone doubted the legitimacy of Jeremy Martin’s 1-1 sweep at Glen Helen, those doubts can be put to rest. Martin finished off another 1-1 sweep at Hangtown to remain undefeated on the season.
The race opened with Martin grabbing his first MotoSport.com Holeshot of the season. We’ve already seen what Martin has done without getting holeshots, so what developed over the course of Moto 2 was no surprise.
A pair of fellow Yamaha riders – Cooper Webb and Christophe Pourcel – got off to great starts as well but watched Martin start to get away as they battled for second place. Pourcel made the pass on the outside of Webb, making some contact in the process. Neither rider would be able to keep pace with Martin, and by the midway point of the moto, Webb had gotten back around Pourcel to re-take his customary second-place spot.
Justin Bogle was riding in fourth, sitting in position for an overall podium, when a big crash about 12 minutes into the race knocked him out of the moto. He looked to be in pain as he pulled into the pits.
While Bogle would miss out on a podium spot, Christophe Pourcel took advantage of his misfortunate. It’s not often that 8-3 moto scores are good enough to get you on the overall podium, but that was the case today.
Behing the three Yamahas, Jason Anderson finished a respectable fourth, his second top-five moto finish of the season
Jessy Nelson turned in one of the best rides we’ve seen from him in awhile, working his way up to fifth after making a pass on Justin Hill with under three minutes to go on the countdown clock. With two laps to go, Hill was back on the heels of Nelson. A pass not only would have given Hill his second top-five moto finish of the day, it also would have put him on the overall podium. Nelson successfully fended him off over the final laps though despite a fierce challenge from Hill as they crossed the checkered flags. The two riders would share a fist-bump after the battle.
Still, for Hill, his fourth-place overall finish (4-6) at Hangtown was a dramatic turnaround from last weekend’s 36-11 finishes.
While Hill rode one of the best races of his career, his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Blake Baggett had a day to forget. After an uninspiring performance at Glen Helen, Baggett was plagued by bad starts today. He recovered in Moto 1 to finish sixth but was forced to drop out of the second moto with bike problems. He said that the bike started getting slower, then quit running – suggesting that something must have broke.
Cole Seely was also unable to finish the moto, posting his second DNF of the day after last week’s trip to the overall podium.
While some big names struggled in this race, two privateers found themselves inside the top ten when it was all said and done. Jackson Richardson and Dillan Epstein finished ninth and tenth, respectively.
Alex Martin – Jeremy’s older brother – was also hanging around the top-ten for much of the race but fell back to 13th.
With the win, Martin now holds a 12-point lead over Webb in the 250MX point standings. The rest of the field has some work to do though, with Pourcel – the closest to the duo – a full 25 points back of Webb.
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