The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, made its annual stop in New England on Saturday, hosting the ninth round of the season from Moto-X 338. Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn., continued his dominance in the 450 Class, capturing his seventh consecutive win, but needed a pit stop in order to do so. In the 250 Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Blake Baggett, of Grand Terrace, Calif., raced to his fourth victory of the summer, extending his lead in the championship.
MotoConcepts Suzuki's Mike Alessi, of Victorville, Calif., grabbed the holeshot in the opening 450 Class moto, while Dungey quickly worked his way forward from a third-place start. The points leader paced his main championship rival for five laps before making a pass for the lead and pulling away for the moto win.
In Moto 2, Dungey once again found himself slotted behind Alessi, who captured the holeshot. This time, Dungey wasted no time taking over the top spot, crossing the line at the front of the field at the conclusion of the opening lap. After opening up a multi-second lead, Dungey tipped over on Lap 6, losing the lead to Alessi.
Just two laps later, Dungey passed Alessi again and eventually extended his advantage to over 10 seconds. Over the course of those laps, Dungey's KTM team became aware that fuel had spilled from his gas tank in the earlier fall and for fear of running empty, determined Dungey would need to pull into the mechanic's area to replenish the tank.
Tyla Rattray becomes the 4th moto winner in the 450 Class this season
On Lap 13, Dungey pulled off the track to receive fuel, holding a 13-second advantage. After a quick exchange, he was back running, but had fallen to second behind Monster Energy Kawasaki's Tyla Rattray, of South Africa, who passed Alessi just one lap prior. Dungey stayed close to Rattray for the final four laps, but was unable to pass him for the moto win. Nevertheless, by virtue of his 1-2 finish, Dungey claimed the overall win.
"I got a little bit of a lead and felt like I was in a groove," explained Dungey. "Coming to the finish, my rear stepped to the right, hooked the jump, and made me cross rut. I tried to save it, but it took me right down. When I fell, I think I kicked the gas cap off. I got back into the lead, but I kept worrying if I had enough left.
"The TV footage allowed our guys to see what happened, which helped them decide to bring me in, which worked out because I wouldn't have made another lap. I tried to catch (Tyla Rattray), but he's a great sand rider. I'm bummed I made a mistake, but given the situation, things couldn't have worked out better."
A Moto 2 crash by Dungey results in him losing a lot of fuel
Alessi's 2-3 finishes landed him second overall, while Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Broc Tickle finished third (6-4) for his second career podium result.
Dungey's lead in the 450 Class standings now sits at 85 points over Alessi, giving him the potential to capture the title at the next round.
In the 250 Class, GEICO Honda's Zach Bell, of Cairo, Ga., turned heads in his professional debut by grabbing the opening moto holeshot and pulling away for an early lead. The 17-year-old rider paced the field for five laps before yielding to his teammate Eli Tomac, of Cortez, Colo., on Lap 6. Bell crashed moments later, while Tomac never looked back, winning by over 12 seconds.
It was an impressive debut for young Zach Bell
In Moto 2, Red Bull KTM's Ken Roczen, of Germany, made quick work of early leader, and Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda rider, Jessy Nelson, of Paso Robles, Calif., and asserted himself out front. Behind him, Baggett positioned himself into second and began his pursuit of the lead, setting the stage for a moto-long battle between the familiar foes.
After leading for nearly the entire moto, Roczen came under fire from Baggett on Lap 15, with the Kawasaki rider making a tough pass, only to be passed again by Roczen just a few turns later. Then Tomac, who had fallen earlier in the race, caught the lead duo and made a quick pass on Baggett, only to crash in the next turn and fall back to third. On the following lap, Baggett made another move on Roczen, making the pass stick and carrying it through to the finish, tying Tomac in points for the day, but securing the second-moto tiebreaker (3-1).
Baggett scores another overall win
"I got a good start in the second moto and rode the best I could," said Baggett. "I made a mistake early, but I dug as deep as I could and made it happen. Ken and I went after each other, but we kept it clean. I really enjoyed racing with him."
Tomac finished second (1-3), while Roczen rounded out the podium in third (4-2).
Baggett's lead in the championship now sits at 24 points over GEICO Honda's Justin Barcia, of Monroe, N.Y.
It was Fiolek vs. Patterson again in Southwick
The Women's Motocross Championship hosted its penultimate round on Saturday. Reigning champion Ashley Fiolek, of St. Augustine, Fla., captured her third consecutive victory (1-1) aboard her Team Honda Muscle Milk machine, setting the stage for a dramatic final round battle for the championship. Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki's Jessica Patterson, of Tallahassee, Fla., finished second (2-2), while Munn Racing KTM's Sara Pettersson, of Sweden, finished third (4-4).
Currently, only 10 points separate the top three riders in the standings, with Patterson holding a five-point lead over Fiolek. Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda's Tarah Gieger, of Puerto Rico, sits an additional five points behind in third.
Travis Pastrana was onhand to show his support for Ashley
The 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship travels to New Berlin, N.Y., next weekend for the 10th round of the season. The Red Bull Unadilla National commences next Saturday, August 18, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern.
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
Moto-X 338 National
Moto-X 338 - Southwick Mass.
August 11, 2012
Round 9 of 12
450 Class (Moto Finish)
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (1-2)
2. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki (2-3)
3. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki (6-4)
4. Davi Millsaps, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha (7-6)
5. Tyla Rattray, Durban, South Africa, Kawasaki (20-1)
6. Mike Brown, Johnson City, Tenn., KTM (9-7)
7. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki (8-8)
8. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda (5-11)
9. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Kawasaki (11-9)
10. Tommy Hahn, Great Bend, Kan., Honda (3-35)
450 Class Championship Standings
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 430
2. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki, 345
3. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki, 290
4. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 273
5. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki, 253
6. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki, 195
7. Justin Brayton, Ft. Dodge, Iowa, Honda, 185
8. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Kawasaki, 159
9. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 151
10. Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki, 142
250 Class (Moto Finish)
1. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki (3-1)
2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda (1-3)
3. Ken Roczen, Apolda, Germany, KTM (4-2)
4. Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM (2-5)
5. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda (7-4)
6. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., KTM (6-7)
7. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda (8-6)
8. Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda (5-11)
9. Travis Baker, Temecula, Calif., Honda (10-10)
10. Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, Ky., Yamaha (12-12)
250 Class Championship Standings
1. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki, 400
2. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda, 376
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 368
4. Ken Roczen, Apolda, Germany, KTM, 345
5. Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM, 294
6. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda, 230
7. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki, 197
8. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M, Suzuki, 181
9. Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda, 170
10. Travis Baker, Temecula, Calif., Honda, 156
WMX Class (Moto Finish)
1. Ashley Fiolek, St. Augustine, Fla., Honda (1-1)
2. Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki (2-2)
3. Sara Pettersson, Sweden, KTM (4-4)
4. Tarah Gieger, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico., Honda (3-5)
5. Mariana Balbi, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Honda (7-3)
6. Sade Allender, Sanford, Maine, Honda (6-6)
7. Jacqueline Strong, Sedona, Ariz., KTM (5-7)
8. Sarah Whitmore, Cheboygan, Mich., KTM (8-8)
9. Christina Older, Harner, S.C., KTM (10-9)
10. Alexah Pearson, Sacramento, Calif., KTM (9-11)
WMX Class Standings
1. Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki, 280
2. Ashley Fiolek, St. Augustine, Fla., Honda, 275
3. Tarah Gieger, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico., Honda, 270
4. Mariana Balbi, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Honda, 227
5. Sara Pettersson, Sweden, KTM, 209
6. Jacqueline Strong, Sedona, Ariz., KTM, 206
7. Kasie Creson, Vallejo, Calif., Honda, 174
8. Alexah Pearson, Sacramento, Calif., KTM, 149
9. Sade Allender, Sanford, Maine, Honda, 148
10. Sayaka Kaneshiro, Osaka, Japan, Honda, 137