Motocross

Ken Roczen Claims First Overall Win of 2015 at High Point Raceway

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The 39th running of the UPMC Sports Medicine High Point National showcased some of the best racing of the season during the fifth round of the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, thanks to a recently changed track layout.

The changes seemed to fit RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing's Ken Roczen, who earned his first overall victory of the season and his first as the defending 450 Class series champion.

Bad starts plagued entering point's leader, Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Jeremy Martin, allowing a 14-point swing in Musquin's favor to mark the third time this season that the points lead has changed hands.

The 450 Class opening moto started with Autotrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha's Justin Barcia taking his third Motosport.com Holeshot Award of the season. He had quick company in Bud Light Fastest Qualifier Christophe Pourcel, who traded spots with Barcia several times on the opening lap aboard his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing machine.

After the field came around for Lap 1, the top six riders were within three seconds of each other with Weston Peick, Broc Tickle, Roczen and points leader Ryan Dungey all staying close to the front two riders.

Despite his sixth-place start, Dungey was able to get by three riders on the next lap and quickly put his Red Bull KTM into a podium spot. He wouldn't stop there as he stalked and eventually overtook both Pourcel and Barcia by the fourth lap. Roczen followed suit and made his move into the runner-up position just before the halfway mark.

Roczen kept Dungey honest all moto, only finishing four seconds behind the current points leader. Dungey claimed his third moto win of the season. Roczen was second, and Pourcel held onto third, his first podium finish of the year.
Ryan Dungey didn't lose any points to overall winner Roczen with his 1-2 finish. - Credit: Simon Cudby
Familiar riders led the pack around the first turn in Moto 2 with Pourcel earning the Motosport.com Holeshot Award and Barcia in tow. Roczen and Dungey also grabbed good starts and by the second lap, Roczen did exactly what he needed to do and made his way to the lead. Dungey hunted down his closest championship contender and made his way into the runner-up spot by the end of Lap 2.

The duo played cat and mouse for the entire moto, with Dungey having his best opportunity to try for the lead with less than five minutes remaining. He closed the gap to less than a second, but Roczen answered the call and quickly widened the gap to three seconds.

Behind the championship contenders, Pourcel, Barcia and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Jason Anderson battled for the final podium position. After Pourcel had a small bobble, Anderson got by the Frenchman and then quickly pursued Barcia, moving into third in the first half of the race and maintaining a comfortable distance in front of Barcia.

By the end of the moto Roczen stretched the gap to 10-plus seconds, giving the German titleholder his first overall win of the season with a 2-1 finish. It also signified the first Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship victory for RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing.

"I am so stoked to finally get an overall," said Roczen. "The fans were incredible. The track was a little tricky so you had to stay on it. I love racing and it's good to go into an off weekend with a win and have the motivation to get even stronger. It's a bummer we didn't gain any points, but we're taking it step by step right now. It's a good step in the right direction."

Dungey (1-2) finished second overall after the tiebreaker while rookie Anderson scored his third overall podium finish of the season with a 4-3.

With Roczen and Dungey splitting the motos at High Point, Dungey maintained his 37-point lead heading into the first break of the season. Anderson made a big jump from sixth to third in the point's standings.

Australia's Chad Reed recorded a DNF in the opening moto and did not start race two.
Musquin retook the points lead from Martin after his moto sweep. - Credit: Simon Cudby
In the 250 Class, Red Bull KTM's Marvin Musquin led all but one lap of the day to secure his second overall win of the season with a 1-1 moto sweep.

250 Class championship contender Musquin established himself early at High Point Raceway when he earned his first Bud Light Fastest Qualifier of the season. He didn't miss a beat once the gate dropped on the first moto, grabbing the Motosport.com Holeshot Award over GEICO Honda's RJ Hampshire and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Adam Cianciarulo. GEICO Honda's Christian Craig followed close in fourth.

Musquin utilized a clear track in front of him to quickly pull a gap over the rest of the field, while entering point's leader Martin was caught mid-pack and came through the first lap in 10th. As Musquin extended his lead, behind him Hampshire tried his best to hold off pursuit from Cianciarulo, with the Kawasaki rider eventually taking over the runner-up spot on Lap 5.

Hampshire held onto the podium position for half the race until a mistake allowed both CycleTrader.com/Rock River Yamaha's Alex Martin and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Zach Osborne to get by. Jeremy Martin took most of the moto to make it into the top five, pulling in behind his brother Alex with the white flag waving, but was ultimately unable to get by and settled for fourth. Cianciarulo held onto second, while Alex Martin finished third.

For the second time this season, Musquin led from start to finish and claimed his fifth moto victory in Moto 1.
Osborne collected his second podium finish of the season with his 5-2 effort. - Credit: Simon Cudby
Threatening skies stayed at bay as the second 250 Class moto gate dropped, with Osborne claiming the Motosport.com Holeshot Award ahead of Musquin and GEICO Honda's Matt Bisceglia. Craig and Alex Martin rounded out the top five on the opening lap.

Again, Jeremy Martin got a bad start coming around the first lap in 19th, while up front Musquin took advantage of a small mistake by Osborne on the opening of Lap 2 to take the lead. Osborne didn't let Musquin pull away and kept the Frenchman close throughout most of the moto. Joey Savatgy, who came from sixth on the opening lap, managed to work his way into third early on and pull a sizeable gap on the rest of the field aboard his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki.

Jeremy Martin made his way to the front much quicker this time around, and unlike the first moto was able to pass brother Alex after halfway as he continued to minimize the damage of a bad start. Once into fourth, he had more than a 10-second gap to third and nearly claimed the position. He finished just 1.6 seconds back from Savatgy in fourth.

Musquin claimed his second 1-1 sweep of the season on his way to overall victory number two. Osborne finished just 6.6 seconds back of Musquin in second, which was good enough for second overall (5-2). Third overall went to the resilient Jeremy Martin with a 4-4 moto score.

"I have to win races and have great starts to try and win this championship," said Musquin. "I had to pass really quick in that second moto because the track was a little rougher that Moto 1. The first moto I was able to get out front right away and have a clear and smooth track. It did get hot in that second moto and I tried to be smooth. As soon as I got a gap, I just tried to maintain it. It was a perfect day."

Musquin's second sweep of the season, along with Jeremy Martin's two fourth-place finishes, propelled the Frenchman to the top of the 250 Class points standings. He will take an eight-point lead into Round 6 in two weeks. Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Red Bull/KTM's Jessy Nelson (10-8) held onto third in the standings, while Cianciarulo (2-12), who had a rough second moto, managed to close the gap on Nelson in fourth.

It was another positive day for Australia's Jackson Richardson finishing 19th overall with a pair of 18th place moto finishes. The day was not so kind for fellow Aussie Hayden Mellross. After a sensational 13th overall at last round, the Honda privateer suffered crashes in both motos at High Point, leaving him to finish 38th and 26th in the two races.

The 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will enjoy a one-weekend break and will return Saturday, June 27, with the GEICO Budds Creek National from Budds Creek Motocross Park in Mechanicsville, Maryland.
Anderson earned his third podium of the season and moved into third in the standings. Credit: Simon Cudby
450 Class (Moto Finish)
Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki (2-1)
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (1-2)
Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna (4-3)
Christophe Pourcel, France, Husqvarna (3-5)
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (5-4)
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki (6-8)
Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Yamaha (11-6)
Cole Seely, Laguna Beach, Calif., Honda (7-10)
Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Kawasaki (10-9)
Fredrick Noren, Sweden, Honda (8-12)

450 Class Championship Standings
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 222
Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki, 185
Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna, 150
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha, 148
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki, 145
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 131
Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Yamaha, 129
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 125
Christophe Pourcel, France, Husqvarna, 115
Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Yamaha, 106
Martin salvaged third overall with a 4-4 moto result. - Credit: Simon Cudby
250 Class (Moto Finish)
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (1-1)
Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (5-2)
Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (4-4)
Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (3-5)
Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki (6-3)
Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (2-12)
Christian Craig, Plymouth, Minn., Honda (8-7)
Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM (10-8)
Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (9-10)
Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM (11-9)

250 Class Championship Standings
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM, 219
Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha, 211
Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM, 146
Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki, 143
Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki, 135
Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna, 129
Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha, 115
Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM, 109
Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha, 108
Matt Bisceglia, Tualatin, Ore., Honda, 106

Top Image: Roczen with his RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing team after their first overall win.

Credit: Simon Cudby

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