High Point National Motocross Race Report 2016

What Really Happened at the High Point Motocross

Ken Roczen, High Point Motocross, 2016
Ken Roczen continues his roll through the 450 class in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Series.Photo By Jeff Kardas

Ken Roczen and Joey Savatgy solidified their status atop their respective classes at High Point Raceway this weekend, with Roczen going 1-1 to claim the overall in the 450 class while Savatgy came back from a fourth in moto one to take the 250 class overall with a 4-1 tally at round four of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Series in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania. Roczen is on a roll in the 450 class, and now that Ryan Dungey is out for 6-8 weeks with a cracked vertebrae there seems to be no one capable of stopping the RCH/Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns Suzuki rider. Meanwhile, in the 250 class, Savatgy now has four moto wins in four rounds and extended his lead in the class standings to 20 points over Cooper Webb.

Ken Roczen, High Point Motocross, 2016
Ken Roczen celebrates his High Point victory in front of an enthusiastic crowd.Photos By Jeff Kardas

450 Class

Right now Roczen appears to have all the ingredients needed to claim another outdoor national championship. He’s confident, his bike is working well, he’s getting good starts, and he’s riding better than everyone else. And despite all the talk going around about where he’s going to end up next year, the former MX2 world champ has managed to stay focused and has proven he’s not going to go conservative now that Dungey is on the sidelines by taking double moto victories this weekend, his third overall win of the season despite having to navigate a difficult course.

“I think this was probably the gnarliest track we’ve ridden all year,” said Roczen. “It got super rough. They added a lot of mulch and most of the stuff pushes to the side, especially when you water it, so it was really sketchy. It was definitely a tough track, which made for great racing. I grabbed the holeshot in the first moto and it’s always good to have a clear track. I think a couple of people crashed behind me so I had a little gap. I just tried to ride a smart race and take the checkers. I was super-happy with that.

“It was the 40th anniversary of High Point and that’s a pretty big number. Coming away with a 1-1, I can’t complain at all. Obviously, the most important thing is to be healthy … for all of us. It was good racing so I’m super happy.”

Jason Anderson, High Point Motocross, 2016
Jason Anderson's 3-3 was good enough for second overall.Photos By Jeff Kardas

Eli Tomac was in position to push Roczen early in moto one after getting off to a good start, however, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider fell on lap three and dropped outside the top-five. At that point, Jason Anderson assumed the role of pursuer, but the Monster Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing-backed rider had his problems, as well, which allowed Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin to move into second. At that point, Team Honda HRC's Cole Seely and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna's Christophe Pourcel fell into third and fourth. Out front, Roczen was well on his way to the moto win.

Musquin had his best race to date and pulled away to a comfortable second, while Anderson moved into third when Seely crash on lap 10.

At the finish, Roczen took the win by nearly 15 seconds ahead of Musquin with Anderson taking third almost 14 seconds behind Musquin.

Justin Barcia edged out Roczen for the holeshot in moto two, the Autotrader/Monster Energy/Yamaha rider holding the spot for nearly a lap before Roczen took the lead. Meanwhile, Musquin, Anderson and Tomac followed.

On lap four, Tomac picked up the pace and moved around Anderson for second as Barcia faded from podium position. Tomac’s second moto performance turned out to be one of his best of the season, and though Roczen easily took the win, it was by just over two seconds ahead of Tomac. Anderson rode to a solid third-place finish ahead of Musquin in fourth.

“It was a good ride for me today,” said Tomac. “The first moto cost me but we made up for it in the second. We practiced starts for the last two weeks straight and I believe it showed today with two great starts. If I keep that up and stay up on two wheels, we should be looking good for the rest of year.”

Marvin Musquin, High Point Motocross, 2016
Marvin Musquin grabbed his first 450 podium at High Point Raceway.Photos By Jeff Kardas

Musquin enjoyed his best day as a rookie in the 450 Class thus far, finishing third (2-4), while Anderson’s 3-3 finish gave him second overall on the day.

“I came in this weekend ready to go,” said Anderson. “I qualified first in both practices, which is cool – I’ve never done that. The motos went pretty well. I got a good start in the first moto then just tried to make my way through. I ended up falling, then I fell again, but I ended up coming back to third, which is good. I started behind Kenny in the second moto and just kind of stayed behind him in the same pace for three laps, but then Tomac went by me. We were all right there for a good twenty minutes. I’ve got some work to do. I really want to be riding with those guys. It’s pretty hot outside and I’ve got a little bit of a cold, plus I had altitude sickness at the last race that I’ve been trying to recover from.”

Barcia seems to be slowly working his way back into last year’s form, and turned a 7-5 moto tally into fifth overall. Meanwhile, Pourcel’s 4-9 finish gave him sixth overall.

“I was battling with Jason for awhile, and felt good all day,” said Pourcel. “I had a great first moto and finished fourth, then finished ninth in the second moto so I ended up with sixth for the day, which makes me excited for next weekend at Muddy Creek.”

GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle posted his best ride of the year with 6-7 moto finishes for seventh overall.

“Getting better every weekend,” said Bogle. “This weekend was another good step in the right direction. Went 6-7 for seventh overall, obviously best race of the year. I was finally able to ride during the week for the first time this outdoor season. I think you’re supposed to do that? So that was good. Track was gnarly, but we’re getting things worked out. Felt good, bike is good.”

Eli Tomac, High Point Motocross, 2016
A tip-over in moto one nullified a good start by Eli Tomac and the Kawasaki rider went 5-2 for fourth overall.Photos By Jeff Kardas

250 Class

Joey Savatgy entered Saturday’s race with a three-point lead in the 250 standings, and the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider was hoping to prove he deserved the top spot with a good performance at High Point. However, a bad start left Savatgy buried deep in the pack on moto one, forcing him to fight his way through the traffic to an eventual fourth.

Joey Savatgy, High Point Motocross, 2016
Joey Savatgy extended his point lead to 20 points in the 250 class with a 4-1 performance.Photos By Jeff Kardas

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Adam Cianciarulo perfectly timed the start and led the field into the opening lap of moto two, ahead of Jeremy Martin, Osborne, and Savatgy. Savatgy took over third when Osborne bobbled, and the Kawasaki rider carried the momentum all the way to the front of the pack, passing Cianciarulo on lap four to take the lead.

Hoping to make up for his disappointing first moto, Alex Martin moved ahead of his brother on lap four and then passed Cianciarulo on lap five to move into second. At that point, the Yamaha rider and Savatgy began to gap the field.

Further back, Jeremy Martin ran into a similar problem that his brother experienced in the first moto and dropped out of the race on lap 10.

At the finish, Savatgy took the checkers with a one-second advantage over Alex Martin, with Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger finishing third by taking advantage of Jeremy’s misfortunes.

“It was great weekend,” said Savatgy. “Moto one was a little tough on all of us, as the track was super rough and the ruts were deep. We made a few good changes in between motos and came out on top at the end of Moto two.”

Zach Osborne, High Point Motocross, 2016
Believe it or not, Zach Osborne's first moto win in the 250 class was his first in the AMA outdoor series.Photos By Jeff Kardas

Osborne settled for fourth in moto two and his 1-4 gave him second overall.

“Today was a step in the right direction,” said Osborne. “It was an awesome day. I was fastest in practice, got off to a really good start in the first moto, and ended up winning. It was my first ever AMA national moto win. I got off to a good start in the second moto but then made some mistakes right off the bat. I ended up fourth, so I went 1-4 for second overall. It moved me up to fifth in the championship, and I’m feeling good for Muddy Creek. It’s awesome to get the monkey off my back and win a moto and just be moving in the right direction. I’m really happy.”

Cooper Webb, High Point Motocross, 2016
Cooper Webb was the top finishing Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha rider in third.Photos By Jeff Kardas

Cooper Webb went 3-5 for third overall.

After four rounds, Savatgy now holds a 20-point lead over Webb with Jeremy Martin in third another four points back.


450 Class

1 Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki (1-1)

2 Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna (3-3)

3 Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (2-4)

4 Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (5-2)

5 Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (7-5)

6 Christophe Pourcel, France, Husqvarna (4-9)

7 Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda (6-7)

8 Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda (9-6)

9 Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki (8-10)

10 Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Yamaha (13-8)

250 Class

1 Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki (4-1)

2 Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (1-4)

3 Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (3-5)

4 Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (6-3)

5 Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (5-8)

6 Mitchell Oldenburg, Alvord, Texas, KTM (7-7)

7 Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Yamaha (13-6)

8 Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (30-2)

9 Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (2-33)

10 Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (10-11)