GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac goes 1-1 in the 450ccc class, winning Moto 2 by over 90 seconds! Jeremy Martin wins the 250cc class.
GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac and Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha’s Eli Tomac sent clear messages to their competition during the 47th Annual GoPro Hangtown Motocross Classic near Sacramento, California, Saturday.
In the 450cc class, Tomac pretty much conveyed to his rivals that if they plan to beat him, they had better be in shape. The second-year GEICO Honda man, the son of mountain bike legend John Tomac, earned his second career Lucas Oil 450cc Pro Motocross overall win at the 2015 series opener, and he did so in just about the most dominant fashion one might imagine. It wasn’t enough that Tomac went 1-1 to sweep both motos, but in the second moto he destroyed his competition, winning the race by over 90 seconds, a virtually unheard of margin of victory in light of today’s competitive field. It wasn’t a matter of the competition crashing or dropping out of the race, either. They all finished upright. Tomac just flat smoked ‘em.
In the 250cc class, reigning Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Champion Martin’s memo to the field was simply this: I have the number one plate, and I am ready to fight to defend it. Martin, who swept to a perfect 4-0 moto start en route to winning that plate one year ago, showed today that he can also come from behind to win if need be. That’s what he did to get the job done at Hangtown, putting together 2-1 moto scores to earn the first 250cc overall win of the year and his second consecutive overall win at Hangtown.
Tomac established himself as the rider to beat by consistently setting the fastest laps during timed qualifying/practice, but when the gate dropped in Moto 1, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey snagged the holeshot and led the pack. However, Tomac was right on Dungey’s tail, and he made quick work of the newly crowned AMA Supercross Champion to move into the lead. From there, Tomac worked to set a fast pace, and Dungey was able to meet it.
As Tomac and Dungey gapped the rest of the field, a tussle broke out for third place between two promising 450cc stars, Autotrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha’s Weston Peick and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jason Anderson.
Meanwhile, reigning Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Champion Ken Roczen circulated around the track off the pace and well outside the top 10. As it turns out, the RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s Suzuki rider had suffered a compression fracture to his spine 10 days prior to the start of the series, and it was a wonder that he competing at all. As a result, Roczen would get his title defense off to a dismal start, finishing 19th in moto one.
Dungey was able to keep Tomac in his sights throughout the first moto, but he was unable to mount a challenge for the lead. Lapped riders would also hamper Dungey’s efforts, allowing Tomac to open the gap even farther. Tomac went on to win the moto by a comfortable 23.332 seconds over Dungey. Anderson finished third over 1 minute and 10 seconds behind Tomac and just barely ahead of charging Yoshimura Suzuki pilot Blake Baggett. Anderson’s teammate, Christophe Pourcel, finished fifth.
Tomac left even less doubt about his motivation in Moto 2. He grabbed the Motosport.com Holeshot Award and never looked back. Dungey didn’t get as good a start, but he was able to pass his way into second place on the opening lap. By then, however, Tomac had already amassed a huge lead that he would continue to extend for the rest of the moto.
Autotrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha’s Justin Barcia slotted into third early, while Roczen overcame significant back pain to run fourth. While Roczen appeared to be looser early in the second moto, he eventually faded and was passed by Peick, who had pushed his way to the front after starting seventh and was attempting to make up for his lackluster eighth-place finish in Moto 1. After passing Roczen, Peick challenged Barcia in the late stages of the moto for third place, and he would make the pass to secure the final podium position for the moto.
Tomac crossed the finish line 1 minute, 31.181 seconds ahead of Dungey to cap off the best 450cc moto of his career. Tomac (1-1) and Dungey (2-2) finish first and second overall, while Anderson (3-7) finished on the overall podium in his first 450cc outdoor start. Tomac’s win was the second of his career at the site of his first ever professional victory, which came in his debut back in 2010.
“It’s kind of always a guessing game coming into here [since it’s the opening round],” Tomac said. “I started off good in practice and was the top qualifier there. Then I had two great starts. I was just connected on the bike and felt great all afternoon. I was at the point today where I was able to ride a comfortable pace and just kept doing my thing. This is normally one of the roughest tracks, but this year it was the best I’ve ever seen it. I actually thought I struggled the last couple years here, so this was a huge jump up.”
Naturally, the win gives Tomac the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series point lead, with a perfect 50 points. Dungey is six points behind Tomac, while Anderson is third, 16 points back. Recall that unlike supercross, championship points are awarded based upon moto finishes and not the overall finish.
GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle race to the Motosport.com Holeshot Award just ahead of Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo and Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Cooper Webb when the first 250cc moto of 2015 got underway. Cianciarulo seized the opportunity to lead his first ever laps of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship competition, passing both Musquin and Bogle to take over the top spot. As Cianciarulo made his move forward, so did Webb, working his way past Bogle and Musquin as well to move into second and set the stage for a head-to-head battle with his longtime amateur rival.
Cianciarulo thrilled the crowd by attempting to clear the Fly Racing 150 triple step-up jump on the Hangtown course, coming just a bit short each time but still maintaining a small lead over the field. However, his hopes for a win ended in heap on lap six when he crashed out of the lead and lost multiple positions. Webb was forced to take evasive action to get around Cianciarulo, and that allowed Musquin to close in and ultimately make the pass for the lead.
Once out front the Frenchman pulled away, leaving Webb to battle with his teammate Martin, who started sixth and moved into third after a long battle with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy. While Musquin cruised to the moto win, Webb and Martin battled throughout the moto with Martin getting the upper hand with two laps remaining. Martin went on to finish second, which would become all the more important after the second moto.
As Moto 2 got underway, Martin got off to a much better start, made a quick pass on Motosport.com Holeshot Award winner Matt Bisceglia and never looked back. Musquin found himself in a hole early in the moto after starting eighth, and he was forced to fight his way through the field in order to salvage his chances for the overall win.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rookie Chris Alldredge started fifth and moved his way forward, passing GEICO Honda’s Jordon Smith to take over fourth place on lap one, and Alldredge soon found himself in podium position after he got by Bisceglia on lap two. Musquin was still on the move, however, and he passed Alldredge for third and then took over second from Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Red Bull KTM’s Jessy Nelson that same lap, passing six riders in just five laps.
Martin continued to pull away out front to take the win, while Musquin followed in second. Alldredge earned the best moto finish of his career in third, holding off a late charge from CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha’s Alex Martin.
When the overall scores were tallied, Martin (2-1) and Musquin’s (1-2) identical moto scores left them knotted atop the points. By virtue of his second moto win, Martin earned the tiebreaker for the sixth victory of his career.
“I didn’t get the start I wanted in the first moto and just tried to go on a mission and reel everyone in,” Martin said. “I was actually surprised to find out I was second when the moto finished. I just felt I was so far back,” explained Martin. “We made a change heading into the second moto and it was a lot better. I got the start as well, which made things a lot easier and allowed me to run my own race.”
Musquin’s runner-up effort was his best at Hangtown in four attempts. Alldredge finished off a career-best day with his first pro podium in third overall (5-3). Martin and Musquin sit tied atop the 250 Class standings with 47 points apiece, while Alldredge is 11 points back in third.
The 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship continues next Saturday, May 30, with the FMF Glen Helen National in San Bernardino, California.
2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
47th GoPro Hangtown Motocross Classic
Prairie City SVRA
Rancho Cordova, California
Results: May 16, 2015 (Round 1 of 12)
1. Eli Tomac-Hon/1-1
2. Ryan Dungey-KTM/2-2
3. Jason Anderson-Hus/3-7
4. Weston Peick-Yam/8-3
5. Blake Baggett-Suz/4-6
6. Broc Tickle-Suz/6-8
7. Brett Metcalfe-Kaw/7-9
8. Christophe Pourcel-Hus/5-12
9. Fredrik Noren-Hon/10-10
10. Phil Nicoletti-Yam/9-14
Lucas Oil 450cc Pro Motocross Championship Series Point Standings (After 1 of 12 rounds)
1. Eli Tomac-50/2 moto wins/1 overall win
2. Ryan Dungey-44
3. Jason Anderson-34
4. Weston Peick-33
5. Blake Baggett-33
6. Broc Tickle-28
7. Brett Metcalfe-26
8. Christophe Pourcel-25
9. Fredrik Noren-22
10. Phil Nicoletti-19
1. Jeremy Martin-Yam/2-1
2. Marvin Musquin-KTM/1-2
3. Chris Alldredge-Kaw/5-3
4. Alex Martin-Yam/6-4
5. Anthony Rodriguez-Yam/7-6
6. Aaron Plessinger-Yam/10-8
7. Joey Savatgy-Kaw/4-15
8. Adam Cianciarulo-Kaw/9-11
9. Matt Bisceglia-Hon/12-10
10. Cooper Webb-Yam/3-37
Lucas Oil 2450cc Pro Motocross Championship Series Point Standings (After 1 of 12 rounds)
1. Jeremy Martin-47/1 moto win/1 overall win
2. Marvin Musquin-47/1 moto win
3. Chris Alldredge-36
4. Alex Martin-33
5. Anthony Rodriguez-29
6. Aaron Plessinger-24
7. Joey Savatgy-24
8. Adam Cianciarulo-22
9. Matt Bisceglia-20
10. Cooper Webb-20