While Ryan Villopoto and Eli Tomac were locking up their respective MX titles at the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship round in Salt Lake City, Cody Webb came out on top of the Kenda Tennessee Knockout in Tennessee. Here’s the scoop on both events.
Two champions were crowned at the inaugural Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship round in Tooele, Utah. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto wrapped up the 450 title by virtue of a 1-1 moto sweep, while GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac did the same thing in the 250 class, also going 1-1 to clinch the title with one round remaining on the schedule.
Like he did the week before at Unadilla, Villopoto began the day with his third consecutive holeshot in Moto one of the 450 Class. And just like he did at Unadilla, the Washington rider pulled away to an enormous lead, beating Ryan Dungey to the line by over 26 seconds.
Villopoto jumped to the early lead in moto two, as well, but had to pass Rockstar Energy Racing’s Ryan Sipes on the opening lap to do so. Dungey stuck close behind as the 2012 450 Class Champion this time, in an effort to keep his title hopes alive, however, Villopoto set a pace that couldn’t be matched, finishing eleven seconds ahead of Dungey in Moto two.
“It is gnarly to be at this level of racing but you just take it year by year and race by race. There’s really no time to sit down and look at it as how many races do we need to win,” Villopoto said regarding his career number of championships. “The thing that keeps us going as racers is definitely winning. Yeah, winning is fun but during the week it’s tough.”
Team Muscle Milk Honda’s Trey Canard put forth a strong performance, claiming third overall with a pair of third place finishes.
In the meantime, Hyper-X Suzuki’s Weston Peick turned in the ride of a lifetime to finish fourth overall with a pair of fifths in the two motos.
1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
2. Ryan Dungey (KTM) 2-2
3. Trey Canard (Hon) 3-3
4. Weston Peick (Suz) 5-5
5. Justin Brayton (Yam) 6-7
6. Justin Barcia (Hon) 11-4
7. Jake Weimer (Kaw) 8-6
8. Phil Nicoletti (Yam) 12-8
9. Matt Goerke (KTM) 9-11
10. Ben LeMay (Yam) 13-10
Eli Tomac started Moto one of the 250 class in fifth position, which was a big improvement over his starts the week before at Unadilla. The GEICO Honda rider needed just two laps to move into the lead ahead of teammate Zach Osborne before stretching his lead to 13 seconds at the finish. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett came on strong at the end of the race to pass Rookie Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Adam Cianciarulo for second. Cianciarulo held on for a career best third ahead of Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen.
Tomac needed another good finish to put away the 2013 250 title and the Honda rider came from ninth on lap one to take the lead and eventually the win. This time, Tomac got heavy resistance from title rival Roczen before finally taking the lead with four laps to go in the race.
Once again, Baggett came from behind to finish second, passing Roczen on the final lap, while GEICO Honda’s Justin Bolge finished fourth ahead of Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Darryn Durham.
Baggett’s last-lap pass on Roczen was enough to give Tomac the edge he needed to secure the 250 Class Championship with a 1-1 sweep at the penultimate round.
“I didn’t really know I had the championship wrapped up, I was just going with the flow,” Tomac said. “I didn’t really think it was going to happen today, I am sort of in shock right now. I think it will sink in more after I get some rest, right now I’m pretty tired and just out of energy.”
The 2013 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship season finale will take place next Saturday, August 24 in Lake Elsinore, Calif., with the Red Bull Lake Elsinore National.
1. Eli Tomac (Hon) 1-1
2. Blake Baggett (Kaw) 2-2
3. Ken Roczen (KTM) 4-3
4. Adam Cianciarulo (Kaw) 3-9
5. Justin Bogle (Hon) 9-4
6. Darryn Durham (Kaw) 8-5
7. Marvin Musquin (KTM) 5-8
8. Cooper Webb (Yam) 7-7
9. Zach Osborne (Hon) 6-10
10. Justin Hill (Kaw) 10-14
One of the highlights of the Salt Lake City race was the announcement by the AMA that Ryan Dungey, Eli Tomac and Justin Barcia would be representing the Stars and Stripes at this year’s FIM Motocross of Nations in Teutschenthal, Germany, Sept. 28-29.
As usual, long-time team manager Roger DeCoster will guide the team in its hunt to reclaim the world championship that is lost at last year’s race in Belgium.
“The strength for the Americans is that everybody always works together as a team,” said DeCoster. “Often, that is not the case for other teams, where the 250 guy often tries to prove he’s better than the 450 guy or vice versa. Another of our strengths is our fans. The American fans are very much behind this race. For me, personally, this is my favorite event of the year, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Dungey, who returns for his fifth time to the FIM Motocross of Nations, said he is thrilled for the opportunity.
“I’m excited and obviously it’s an honor,” said Dungey, who is the defending 450 class champion in the AMA Pro Racing Motocross Championship. “Last year was a little rough, but this year will be better. We’re all pretty good riders. We all work hard, we all get along and we’re on the same page seeking a world team title. We’ll work together and push each other and bring it, and if we can do that I think we’ll win back the title this year.”
American Beta’s Cody Webb used his trials riding skills to dominate the field at this weekend’s Kenda Tennessee Knockout extreme race at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee. Webb moved into the lead of the slippery and rocky eight-lap final at the end of the opening lap and finished out the race with a three-minute margin over Taylor Robert to take the win. “This is definitely my kind of stuff,” admitted Webb after the race. “It was a tough event and I think my trials skills paid off today. It was a great day and everything went my way.”
Despite living in Arizona and riding mostly in the desert, Taylor Robert adapted well to the east coast conditions, which were made much more difficult by an overnight rain. “I ride in the dry desert all the time and it was really slippery out there, so it took me a while to get in the groove,” said Robert. “In the main, I got a pretty decent start but then I made two really big mistakes. I fell over once and several guys go around me, and then I fell of a ledge Qjust before the waterfall section and my bike ended up down in a ditch, so I had to drag it out.”
Robert was around eighth after his mishap, but started picking riders off until me moved into second behind Webb.
“I got all the way back up into second, but then Cory (Graffunder) was right there behind me,” said Robert. “I was tired and I just wanted to settle down and get to the finish, but he was right there, pushing me. That definitely made it one of the toughest races I’ve even been in with how slippery it was and with him right there pushing me.”
Cory Graffunder rounded out the podium on his factory Husqvarna, the Canadian coming from behind to do so after a couple of mistakes at the start of the race. “I was up to second or third by the second lap, but then I made a big mistake on one of the hill climbs and had to go back down and get another run at it, and that’s when Taylor and Kyle Redmond got by me,” said Graffunder. “I was able to work my way back up into fourth at about the halfway point, so it was Brown, Taylor and me fighting for second behind Webb. I knew that I was in fourth but I also knew that second was within my reach, so I was looking for good lines to make it happen. I got past Brown, but I just couldn’t get close enough to pass Taylor. He would make a mistake and I would reel him in, but then I would make a mistake and he would pull away. So it was a good race, just back and forth, but I never could get him.”
1. Cody Webb (Bet)
2. Taylor Robert (Kaw)
3. Cory Graffunder (Hsq)
4. Max Gerston (Bet)
5. Fabien Planet (Shr)
6. Kyle Redmond (KTM)
7. Mike Brown (KTM)
8. Nick Fahringer (Hsb)
9. Jordan Ashburn (Yam)
10. Grant Baylor (KTM)