Ryan Dungey uses consistency to claim the 450cc win while Alex Martin scores first 250cc National win at Glen Helen.
PHOTOS BY STEVE COX/COXMX.COM
Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey may not have been the fastest rider during round two of the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Glen Helen Raceway today, but the defending 450cc series champion was consistent enough, putting together 1-2 moto finishes to land his first outdoor National win of 2016.
“The day was overall pretty good,” Dungey said. “It’s always positive to gain ground in the championship points and get an overall win. It’s not a 1-1, but hey, we’ll take it and keep building on it. I feel like my riding is really good, the bike setup is right there and—if anything—there are a lot of positives to take from it. I know physically I can improve, and also on the track in certain areas, so we’ll fine tune a few things and keep moving forward.”
In the 250cc class, Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Alex Martin earned his first career outdoor National win, beating brother and reigning 250cc champion Jeremy Martin in an historic 1-2 finish for the Martin brothers, marking the first time two siblings have claimed the top two podium spots in an AMA National motocross.
After winning the series opener at Hangtown one week ago, RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s Suzuki Factory Racing’s Ken Roczen appeared to be well on the way to another overall win in Moto 1 on the long, fast, hilly and rough Glen Helen circuit. Team Honda HRC’s Trey Canard grabbed the holeshot before Dungey quickly made a pass for the lead, Roczen emerged from a multi-rider battle for third to pass Canard on lap two and set off after Dungey.
Dungey was riding a fast pace, and it took Roczen until lap eight before he was able to challenge Dungey for the lead. Roczen passed Dungey for the lead with an inside move on the back section of the course, and the German quickly began to pull away and build a huge lead before disaster struck with two laps to go: Roczen suddenly began to slow after the air valve on his fork failed, deflating the fork and leaving him with a sacked-out front suspension. Roczen was forced to slow, ultimately yielding the lead back to Dungey and losing two more positions before the checkered flag fell.
Dungey pulled away for an unlikely win by 28.4 seconds while Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson out-dueled fast qualifier Eli Tomac for second place. The Monster Energy Kawasaki-backed Tomac finished third, with Roczen fourth andTeam Honda HRC’s Cole Seely fifth.
Roczen was able to shake off his misfortune in Moto Two as he pulled the holeshot and pulled away from Dungey to claim season moto win number three by 19.8 seconds. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory’s Christophe Pourcel ran third early before Canard moved past Autotrader/Toyota/Yamaha’s Justin Barcia in fourth and passed Pourcel for third on lap two. However, Anderson was fighting his way back from a poor start and caught Canard, ultimately passing the Honda man on lap five.
Anderson was looking good until he nearly crashed and fell prey to both Canard and Tomac, the Kawi man ultimately passing Canard for third place on lap eight to seal the top three in the moto. Tomac’s second-moto charge also netted third overall (3-3).
Although his 4-1 moto finishes left him second overall behind Dungey (1-2), Roczen retained the 450cc series points lead by just two points over Dungey, 93-91, with Tomac third, 17 points out of the lead.
“In my heart I went 1-1 and that’s all that matters to me,” Roczen said. “There’s nothing I can do about [a bike issue. The air just went out of my forks, and I didn’t feel safe doing some of the jumps. So I just went out in the second moto and did what I needed to do. I just wanted to hit my marks and stay in control of the bike, because the last thing I wanted to do was throw [the win] away.”
It seemed clear from the start of the first 250cc moto that Yamaha was going to be giving the rest of the field “the blues.” After GEICO Honda’s Tristan Charboneau secured the holeshot and briefly led the race, Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Alex Martin, Cooper Webb and Jeremy Martin all dispensed with Charboneau to give the Blu Cru the top three positions on the track.
Only it wasn’t Jeremy Martin who was doing the real damage, it was older brother Alex who not only ra up front but built a solid lead of several seconds over his teammates. Meanwhile, Webb and Jeremy Martin ran right with one another before making contact on lap seven, which caused Jeremy Martin to crash, which handed third place to Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner. The contact only seemed to spur Webb, who is still healing from a broken wrist. You wouldn’t have been able to tell, however, as Webb methodically cut into Alex Martin’s advantage and began to challenge him for the lead just before the two-lap sign was shown to the field.
Webb pounced right after that, and he quickly pulled away from Alex Martin to claim his first moto win of the season by just under 2.6 seconds. Alex Martin finished second, with Forkner third and Jeremy Martin hanging on for fourth ahead of another Yamaha factory rider, Aaron Plessinger.
Jeremy Martin grabbed the holeshot in Moto Two, leading Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Jessy Nelson and Forkner. Alex Martin also got off to a good start, but Webb did not, the latter running eighth, just ahead of Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Hangtown winner, Joey Savatgy. While Jeremy Martin put time on Nelson and Forkner. The battle for second would change on lap seven when Forkner crashed, knocking himself out of podium contention.
That put Alex Martin third, and he needed to pass Nelson in order to avoid losing out to his younger brother on a tiebreaker if Jeremy Martin won the moto. Alex had the pace to reel-in Nelson and make the pass to secure the overall win. Jeremy Martin won the battle, but “big bro” won the war. Nelson held on for third, just ahead of Webb, whose fourth-place finish netted third overall, giving Yamaha a sweep of the FMF Glen Helen National 250cc podium.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time.,” Alex Martin said. “It’s my sixth or seventh season, and to get an overall win that far into it is pretty rare. To come out swinging [at the opening round] was awesome, but I wanted to back it up. That was my thought all week. As happy as I am today, I don’t want to get too ahead of myself. It’s a long season and I want to take it moto by moto so I’m there at the end [in the battle for the championship].”
With Savatgy finishing seventh overall (9-7), Alex Martin also moved into the 250cc series points lea d and will wear the red point leader’s plates when the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship resumes at the True Value Thunder Valley National from Thunder Valley MX Park in Lakewood, Colorado, June 4.
2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
FMF Glen Helen National
Glen Helen Raceway
San Bernardino, California
Results: May 28, 2016 (Round 2 of 12)
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (1-2)
2. Ken Roczen, Germany, Suz (4-1)
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kaw (3-3)
4. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Hus (2-5)
5. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Hon (7-4)
6. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kaw (6-6)
7. Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Hon (5-10)
8. Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Yam (10-9)
9. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (9-11)
10. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suz (8-13)
2016 Lucas Oil 450cc Pro Motocross Championship Series Standings (after 2 of 12 rounds)
1. Ken Roczen-93/1 overall win/3 moto wins
2. Ryan Dungey-91/1 overall win/1 moto win
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez-76
4. Jason Anderson-73
5. Trey Canard-62
6. Josh Grant-56
7. Cole Seely-54
8. Marvin Musquin-48
9. Phil Nicoletti-45
10. Justin Barcia-39
1. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yam (2-2)
2. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yam (4-1)
3. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yam (1-4)
4. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kaw (3-5)
5. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yam (5-6)
6. Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM (13-3)
7. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kaw (9-7)
8. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Hus (8-8)
9. RJ Hampshire, Hudson Fla., Hon (6-11)
10. Martin Davalos, Ecuador, Hus (14-9)
2016 Lucas Oil 250cc Pro Motocross Championship Series Standings (after 2 of 12 rounds)
1. Alex Martin-79/1 overall win
2. Cooper Webb-77/1 moto win
3. Joey Savatgy-76/1 overall win/2 moto wins
4. Jeremy Martin-75
5. Aaron Plessinger-63
6. Austin Forkner-58
7. Jessy Nelson-57
8. Zach Osborne-45
9. RJ Hampshire-41
10. Tristan Charboneau-36