450MX: Roczen Rebounds, Wins 1-1 at Spring Creek

Recognized as the track that has it all, racers came into Round 8 at the La Crescent Wine & Spirit Spring Creek National focused to lay down flawless laps against familiar faces as 450 riders returned from injury. With only five races left in the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Millville, MN marked the beginning of the end for racers trying to find crucial points for overall class rankings. 

Justin Barcia snagged the holeshot and did so just in front of Ken Roczen which opened things up for Eli Tomac to come around the outside to take the lead and make a dash ahead of the pack.

Barcia, a.k.a. Bam Bam as he reminded us last weekend, did battle with Roczen and managed to close the door multiple times. However, Roczen hung on and kept after Barcia and ultimately found his way around him.

Tomac took his early lead and managed to make some serious distance to stretch things out between him and the rest of the front-runners of the moto. Behind Tomac a little ways was Roczen while Barcia maintained the third position just ahead of Marvin Musquin in fourth and Christopher Pourcel in fifth.


 Eli Tomac came out early to lead for a few laps at Spring Creek, but would ultimately take second in moto 1. (Photo: Simon Cudby)

A few laps later Roczen would make a dash for Tomac as he took a major leap downhill the close the gap. For an entire lap Tomac had Roczen right over his shoulder in the straight aways and nearly side by side as they scrubbed each jump. With every downhill opportunity Roczen continued to push until he saw Tomac leaving the inside open. Roczen took the opportunity to use his momentum and slammed right inside of Tomac to take the lead.

Shortly after the pass up front, Musquin found another gear and made a pass on Barcia following a few very smooth jumps before he was able to shut Barcia down on an inside line. Musquin was riding at a great pace and quickly started to take off for the next racers ahead of him.

When the moto reached the halfway point the lead that Roczen had taken from Tomac grew to be more than eight seconds.

Deeper in the pack, vying for sixth place was Trey Canard on his return from injury trying to put the pass on Andrew Short who is riding in his final series for his career. Both riders riding fast and seemingly safe without getting to close in the corners or out of control on any straight aways.

Deep still, James Stewart was also found on the track hold down ninth place. Racing on his own return ride from both an injury in the beginning of the season as well as awaiting the birth of his first child the weekend prior. Just behind Stewart was yet another rider racing on the return, Dean Wilson was putting in his first laps of the outdoors series after sustaining an injury during the super cross season. Wilson, though, was not alone as he battled alongside Justin Brayton for a number of laps.

Another battle was unfolding between Weston Peick and Broc Tickle, but before they were able to finish the battle they found themselves both in the dirt. Coming a little crooked over the top of a jump, Peick was tagged in the back of the head by Tickle’s from tire coming in hot through the air. Both riders went down and took some time to recover while they fell to the back of the pack.

With a little more than a lap to Brayton found his away around both Wilson and then Stewart for Ninth. Brayton put on a clear display of how much of a difference it makes to be riding every race and keeping that stamina and rhythm working well. Stewart would hold on for 10th on the moto and Wilson would ride out in 11th.

Finishing moto 1 up front went Roczen first, followed by Tomac in second and Musquin in third.


Ken Roczen worked to get around Eli Tomac in moto 1, and after he did he would not be caught. (Photo: Simon Cudby)

Right out of the gate Roczen would be seen getting bumped around and slipping deep into the pack while Musquin took off for the holeshot. Just behind Roczen was his biggest competitor Tomac, but with so many riders on both sides of them they would fight together to through the thicket of riders early in the moto. 

Roczen would quickly find lines to allow multiple passes. Roczen made a double pass on Barcia dn Wilson at once, and with that same momentum he would find his way around Pourcel for third. Still on a roll, Roczen caught up to Short to make quick work and take over the second position.

Looking like he was riding on an all new level of excellence, Roczen catches up to Musquin and looks for an opening as Musquin did well to hold him off through two corners. Still pushing forward, Roczen finds a downhill section to jump down and fly past Musquin for the lead on the moto. From here he would be hard to catch.

With still 20 minutes and two laps to go, Tomac was anything but finished with his performance on the day. With Short dropping back behind Pourcel and then Tomac, Tomac took the change in order one step fourth by finding his way around Pourcel by taking a long outside line to line him up on the inside for the following turn. Still nine seconds behind Musquin in second, Tomac put his head down and pressed on.

With Pourcel settling down in fourth, the next racer in line was Canard. Canard was riding very well following his weeks out from injury and was doing his best to hold down a top-5 finish on the moto and the day. Barcia, though, was not far off and keeping the pressure on Canard alive. Over the course of three laps with two left to go, Barcia’s constant wearing on Canard paid off. Canard had crossed Barcia multiple times in a short series, but slip up on his way up a hill and it was over as Bam Bam blasted by for fifth.


Marvin Musquin found his best 450 career overall at Spring creek going 3-2 for second on the day. (Photo: Simon Cudby)

Looking back up to the from of the pack, Roczen rode uncontested to the win, as did Musquin to second with Tomac coming up in third. The result on moto 2 would be the result on the day, and any question regarding Roczen’s reign on the 2016 series were answered as he rebounded with a 1-1 win on the day.

 

450 CLASS OVERALL RESULTS

 

  1. Ken Roczen (1-1)
  2. Marvin Musquin (3-2)
  3. Eli Tomac (2-3)
  4. Christophe Pourcel (5-4)
  5. Justin Barcia (4-5)
  6. Trey Canard (6-6)
  7. Andrew Short (8-8)
  8. Benny Bloss (7-10)
  9. Justin Barcia (9-9)
  10. Phil Nicoletti (14-7) 

 

450 CLASS OVERALL POINTS

  1. Ken Roczen, 387
  2. Eli Tomac, -55
  3. Marvin Musquin, -144
  4. Justin Barcia, -172
  5. Christophe Pourcel, -185
  6. Broc Tickle, -216
  7. Cole Seely, -236
  8. Justin Brayton, -243
  9. Justin Bogle, -251
  10. Ryan Dungey, -256

 

450 MOTO 2: RACE RECAP

450 MOTO 2: MARVIN MUSQUIN'S HOLESHOT

450 MOTO 2: ROCZEN CHARGES FOR MULTIPLE PASSES

 

450 MOTO 1: RACE RECAP

450 MOTO 1: JUSTIN BARCIA'S HOLESHOT

450 MOTO 1: TOMAC PASSED BY ROCZEN FOR LEAD

450 MOTO 1: BROC TICKLE, WESTON PEICK CRASH