Although the title was locked, racers took to the track to close out the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship outdoor season with a solid performances in techincal conditions. With a muddy and rutted track, the mechanics know tire selection is key, as riders do everything in their power to maintain traction at what was a very technical Ironman National for the Round 12 finale.
Austin Forkner fired out with the drop of the gate to snag the holeshot, and after a series of opening turns Cooper Webb merge from the middle of the pack to overtake Mitchell Oldenburg for the second place position. However, Webb would not retain second for long. Coming around the corner and on his own accord, Webb dumped the bike and went down allowing many to pass it and it left him deep in the pack to settle down in 19th.
Sitting behind Forkner and Oldenburg at the front of the pack was Joey Savatgy and Adam Cianciarulo. Following Webb’s crash sending him back to the center of the pack, Alex Martin came firing up from behind to overtake both Cianciarulo and Savatgy or third place behind Oldenburg. Shortly after A. Martin's arrival Cianciarulo went down on his own accord and drop back a little bit in time but not in position.
Adam Cianciarulo rode as a front-runner during moto 1 after finding a solid start at the gates. (Photo: Simon Cudby)
At the 23-minute mark, Webb beasted through the pack and moved from 19th to seventh in just 3 laps to prove that no leader was safe on the muddy track at that point in the moto.
A. Martin and Savatgy rode in the second and third position for about three laps before Savatgy found an opening to overtake A. Martin after making a small mistake. The two opened up and charged into a downhill sprint, but it was Savatgy that would ride into the next turn with the lead and ride out with a hold on second.
With less than 10 minutes before the 2-lap marker came out, Arnaud Tonus came near the front of the pack to overtake Cianciarulo for 5th place. A few short minutes later it would be Webb up from the depths to be next in line to overtake Cianciarulo and find sixth place. Webb would keep his momentum moving forward and take Tonus before the 5 minute mark for fifth place in the pack.
Oldenburg would lose his hold on second to A. Martin and would eventually fall further back to settle in seventh behind Webb, Tonus and Cianciarulo as well.
With 2 to go, Webb attempted to make the pass on A. Martin on the inside of a turn. Falling victim to the muddy rut, Webb went down face first over the handlebars. Rushing to get back on the bike and headed for a moto 1 hail mary, Webb ripped off the goggles and raced toward the finish.
By the end of the moto there wasn’t any change to the front of the pack. Forkner won his second career moto while Savatgy and A. Martin rounded out the podium behind him.
Austin Forkner found the moto 1 and 2 holeshots as well as his career first overall win at Ironman. (Photo: Simon Cudby)
The sun came out and the conditions heated up, and the effects were felt on the track, as it morphed into a quicker firmer track for the second motos, but there was no change out of the gate as Forkner his second holeshot on the day.
Straight off the holeshot, a heated first-lap battle developed between Forkner, Plessinger, A. Martin, Cianciarulo and Webb.
Plessinger made a hard charge for the front and passed Forkner to ride out front for a little more than a lap. Plessinger made a mistake, though, and despite not falling down he did lose the lead back to Forkner. All the while, A. Martin, Cianciarulo and Webb continued to exchange positions over a few laps. After 10 minutes of riding the leaderboard was tight in time and read Forkner, Plessinger, Cianciarulo, Webb and A. Martin in order for the Top-5.
A little more than halfway into the moto A. Martin picked up speed and found his way around Cianciarulo. Shortly after he saw Webb up ahead continued to push forward. Webb had just returned to his feet after a crash on his own accord. Webb managed to regain his composure in time to hold off A. Martin.
Riding way out ahead of the pack, Forkner was seemingly racing the best day of his professional career. Then, coming up and over a small jump, Forkner caught his front end and crashed on his own accord. Able to stand up and make moves quickly, Forkner only lost one position after creating his own crash and rode out in second for the time giving the lead to Plessinger.
A lap later, though, Forkner was passed coming out of a corner by Webb. Webb would ride strong in second but by the time of the 2-lap marker he would be 15 seconds behind Plessinger in the lead.
The moto finished with Plessinger taking the moto win with Webb and Forkner behind him, but the day overall went to Forkner for his first career overall win.
250 CLASS RESULTS
- Austin Forkner (1-3)
- Aaron Plessinger (8-1)
- Cooper Webb (5-2)
- Alex Martin (3-4)
- Adam Cianciarulo (6-5)
- Arnaud Tonus (4-9)
- Mitchell Harrison (10-6)
- Mitchell Oldenburg (7-13)
- Joey Savatgy (2-34)
- Justin Hill (15-7)
250 CLASS STANDINGS
- Cooper Webb, 495
- Alex Martin, 422
- Joey Savatgy, 383
- Austin Forkner, 376
- Aaron Plessinger, 351
- Jeremy Martin, 321
- Zach Osborne, 312
- Adam Cianciarulo, 266
- Arnaud Tonus, 243
- Mitchell Oldenburg, 237
250 MOTO 1: AUSTIN FORKNER'S HOLESHOT
250 MOTO 1: JOEY SAVATGY PASSES ALEX MARTIN FOR 2ND
250 MOTO 1: RACE RECAP
250 MOTO 2: AUSTIN FORKNER'S 2nd HOLESHOT
250 MOTO 2: COOPER WEBB PASSES AUSTIN FORKNER
250 MOTO 2: RACE RECAP