The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship made its first east coast stop of the 2019 at the High Point National for Round 4, with High Point having become a Father’s Day tradition, and saw Eli Tomac come-from-behind in both motos to take his second 450 victory of the season.
In the 250s Adam Cianciarulo kept his winning streak alive by capturing his fourth consecutive victory, taking the win with a 2-1 result from Hunter Lawrence with a 1-3.
450 Moto 1
As the gate dropped for the opening 450 moto, it was Blake Baggett who emerged with the holeshot ahead of Cooper Webb, Joey Savatgy and Eli Tomac. With Baggett out front, the defending champion Tomac quickly went to work and managed to cross the opening lap second, followed by Webb in third.
Baggett set a blistering pace early in the race as he attempted to breakaway from the field, but Tomac matched his pace and started to inch his way up to the KTM riders rear fender. As Tomac looked to make a move on Lap 4, he made a costly mistake that shuffled him back into the fourth position, allowing Webb and Jason Anderson to slip by.
On Lap 6, Baggett continued upping his pace by breaking into the 2:02 lap times, which allowed him to build a comfortable lead over his championship rivals. Webb began to fall under heavy pressure from both Anderson and Tomac, losing second to Anderson on Lap 7 and third to a hard charging Tomac just one lap later.
Baggett was dominant as he took his first moto victory since the 2017 High Point National, winning by 9.8 seconds. Anderson rode to an impressive runner-up finish, giving him his best moto result of the season. Tomac rebounded to finish third.
450 Moto 2
The deciding 450 Class moto saw Savatgy take his first holeshot of the season ahead of Webb and Justin Barcia. Webb immediately attacked Savatgy heading into turn two, taking over the race lead. At the completion of the opening lap it was Webb, Savatgy and Anderson out front, while first moto winner Baggett found himself buried deep in the pack.
Webb put his head down and went to work as he looked to rebound from a challenging first moto, however, Savatgy had other plans as he matched the leaders pace and kept the gap to within a couple of seconds.
Championship point leader Ken Roczen began to find his stride and blitzed his HRC Honda around Anderson for third on Lap 6. Roczen was relentless in his push to the front, muscling his way by Savatgy and eventually around Webb with an inside pass for the lead on Lap 9.
As Roczen quickly opened a lead over Webb, both Savatgy and Anderson engaged in the battle for third, with Anderson getting the upper hand, followed by Tomac in hot pursuit. On Lap 13, Tomac moved himself into a podium position by overtaking Anderson. The final stages of the moto saw Tomac and Webb pull alongside each other several times before Tomac took control of second on Lap 15.
Roczen carried on to his third moto win of the season, by 4.9 seconds ahead of Tomac. Webb followed in third, matching a career-best moto finish.
Tomac’s 3-2 effort gave him his second overall victory of the season and the 19th of his career, which puts him into sixth on the all-time list. Roczen’s second-moto win vaulted him into the runner-up spot (6-1), while Anderson finished third overall (2-5).
Eli Tomac – P1
“Today was a unique situation by winning with 3-2 moto scores, I’m not sure if I’ve ever won a race without winning a moto. We did what we could and battled towards the front, so overall the day was good. The track had a lot of good character today, the ruts were plenty deep and the track was rough.”
With the win, Tomac move to a tiebreaker with Roczen in the championship point standings with 176 points apiece. Teammates Osborne and Anderson are tied for third, 32 points out of the lead.
Jason Anderson – P3
“My weekend was good, I came really close to winning my first overall, I got pretty good starts today and I’m happy with the way I rode. I’m getting better every weekend and getting closer to the win.”
Cooper Webb – P4
“Today at High Point was a much better day and a huge turnaround for me. My starts were great all day and I made a few mistakes but I was happy to battle up front like I did. I even lead the second moto for about 20 minutes – I haven’t been able to do that so far this season, so that was awesome. Fourth is my best overall, so it was a good weekend and I’ll keep building from here.”
Zach Osborne – P5
“Overall, it was a pretty positive day, we made some good changes to the bike during the week off and they translated to be good today. I just need to improve on my first couple of laps, I have the fitness down on the final stretch, so I feel like I’m in a good position moving forward. I have some good tracks coming up – this was a good track for me but I just didn’t make it happen, I was only able to muster up a 5-4 so overall a good a good day, strong points and we’ll just keep trucking.”
Marvin Musquin – P6
“It was a tough day. I was feeling great but unfortunately, I didn’t have a good start in the first moto and I couldn’t make good passes right away, so I lost a bunch of time in the first few laps. In the second moto, I went around the outside off the start and was really aggressive and ran into the back of another guy. I was dead last and came back to seventh, so it’s very disappointing because I love that track and I felt pretty good but when you crash on the start there’s nothing you can do. The top six riders were up front and the gap was just too big to catch them.”
Justin Barcia – P10
“Not the day we wanted, obviously. I struggled a bit getting comfortable with the setup and things like that. We definitely are going to work hard and try to figure it out to be really good for Jacksonville. On a positive note, I had a really good start in the second moto I. I just didn’t have a good, comfortable feeling today overall. We’ve got to regroup and put the not-so-great finishes behind us and move forward into next weekend. I believe that we’ll figure out how to get that comfort and when the time is right, we’ll be right there. All in all, not the best day, but a few positives to take out of it. We have to do a lot of work to get where we want to be.”
Dean Ferris – P11
“Today I qualified twelfth and went 11-11, so I guess that’s where I belonged at the moment. I really struggled to go with the faster guys, which was kind of disappointing for me as I went so well here three years ago. We’ll keep trucking forward and keep trying to improve.”
The first 250 Class moto of the afternoon saw Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Justin Cooper emerge with the Motosport.com Holeshot followed closely by teammate Colt Nichols and GEICO Honda’s Hunter Lawrence.
The three riders led the 40-rider field across the line on the opening lap, while Dylan Ferrandis and Cianciarulo were credited in fourth and fifth, respectively. The first several laps witnessed the top-five riders going bar-to-bar as they aggressively challenged one another.
With Cooper riding at the front of the field, the battle behind him began to intensify as Lawrence moved within striking distance of Nichols for second, eventually making the pass stick on Lap 6. Lawrence would continue his march to the front and made the move just one lap later to overtake Cooper for the race lead.
The third placed Nichols was using every inch of the racetrack as championship rivals Ferrandis and Cianciarulo battled for position and found their way past, sliding Nichols outside of a podium position.
On Lap 9, Cooper had a rear view mirror full of his teammate Ferrandis, which led to Ferrandis aggressively pushing Cooper out of his way to take the second, costing Cooper several positions. Cianciarulo took advantage of Cooper’s bobble to inherit third, and shortly after second, thanks to a mistake by Ferrandis.
The Australian Lawrence managed the race out front and rode brilliantly to take his first-ever Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship moto win with 8.2 seconds to spare on Cianciarulo. A hard-fought third went to Ferrandis.
250 Moto 2
As the 250 Class field exited the first turn to start Moto 2 it was Nichols who succeeded in taking the holeshot, with Cianciarulo and Chase Sexton giving pursuit. Lawrence, who won the opening moto, started the race in fourth, while Ferrandis had his work cut out by completing the opening lap in 10th.
Nichols used his holeshot to log fast laps out front as he navigated the challenging track conditions and kept championship point leader Cianciarulo at bay during the opening laps. Just behind the top two were teammates Sexton and Lawrence who pushed one another to help keep the leaders within sight.
Cianciarulo grabbed a handful of throttle by over jumping one of the obstacles to force his way to the inside and around Nichols for the race lead on Lap 5. Moments later, a mistake by Nichols in the roller section would allow for Sexton to overtake second.
Out front, Cianciarulo and Sexton pushed the pace turning fast laps, which allowed them to build a comfortable lead over the riders behind them. Lawrence closed in on Nichols and briefly made the pass until a mistake would allow Nichols to retake the position. On Lap 11, Lawrence once again clawed his way to the rear fender of Nichols and made the pass for third.
Cianciarulo charged the entire 30-minute-plus-two-lap moto to take his fourth moto win of the season by 6.2 seconds over Sexton. Lawrence followed in third.
The second moto win helped Cianciarulo prevail for his fourth consecutive victory (2-1) of the season. Lawrence’s consistent (1-3) moto scores carried him to a career-best second overall, while Sexton also had the best finish of his career with third (4-2).
Adam Cianciarulo – P1
“I’m so grateful for these wins, they’re hard to do and I’m just stoked. The first moto was a battle from the beginning, I had a terrible start. By the time I was able to get into second, I just kind of struggled and that was it. The second moto I obviously put myself in a much better position to get the win and that is what I was able to do. I just want to keep the ball rolling heading into Jacksonville.”
The win helped Cianciarulo extend his championship point lead to 26 points over Cooper who could only muster ninth overall (6-9). Ferrandis remains in third, 42 points out of the lead.
Hunter Lawrence – P2
“High Point you da boy!! Awesome weekend of racing at Mt Morris, got my first Moto win which was huge so stoked for that and a third in second moto landed me on the box for second overall. Can’t wait to go racing again next weekend. Massive thank you to everyone who is helping and supporting me! Your all the best thank you guys!”
Dylan Ferrandis – P4
“I didn’t feel comfortable on the bike for the first moto. I was struggling a little bit, but still managed to finish third. In the second moto, we changed my bike setup and it was way better, but my start was not the best and I got stuck in fifth position for a long time. I had to give everything I had to finish fourth, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to finish on the box this weekend. Now onto the next round in Jacksonville.”
Colt Nichols – P5
“The bike was awesome today, but the track was very challenging. It was really bumpy, a lot of ruts and that made it difficult to stay consistent. Overall, though, it was a good day. I pulled two really good starts. I was happy to lead some laps in the second moto, just happened to be a fifth-place guy today. We made a lot of really good improvements and we are making progress, so I can’t complain.”
Michael Mosiman – P8
“I wouldn’t say it was a bad day, I felt like I rode really well but the problem was that I had to come through the pack in both motos. My starts were not good today but I came back to finish both motos inside the top-10 and I know I have the speed to run the pace of the leaders.”
Justin Cooper – P9
“Overall, we just struggled today. The track was different and technical. I just couldn’t seem to find my flow all day. It was one of those weekends that you have to learn from and move forward. I can’t wait for next weekend. We will move forward from here and get back to where we belong.”
The 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will continue next weekend on Saturday, June 22, with the first-ever US Assure Florida National in Jacksonville, Florida.
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