Southwick Motocross Report 2016

What really happened at Southwick

Eli Tomac, Southwick Motocross 2016
Eli Tomac put an end to Ken Roczen's win streak, going 1-1 in Southwick.Photo By Jeff Kardas

After a three-year hiatus, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship returned to Southwick where Eli Tomac finally put a stop to Ken Roczen’s rampage through the schedule by claiming the overall win with an impressive 1-1 performance at the Red Bull Southwick National. Meanwhile, Cooper Webb grabbed another win in the 250 class, his third straight, parlaying a 2-1 moto score into a win over Jeremy Martin. Here’s a look at what really happened in Southwick.

Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen, Southwick Motocross 2016
Eli Tomac (3) and Ken Roczen battle in the sand during the second moto at Southwick.Photos By Jeff Kardas

Ken Roczen has been on a roll, having won every moto but one so far in the 450 class, and that one loss was due to a mechanical failure. Heading into the “Wick”, the RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John's/ Suzuki Factory Racing-backed rider held a 53-point lead in the standings. However, Tomac came prepared for Southwick’s deep and endless whoops and worked his way from outside the top-10 in moto one to take the lead from Roczen at the halfway mark of the race. From there, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider extended his lead to 24 seconds by the finish for his first moto win of the season.

Roczen admitted later that he had struggled in the first moto with his suspension, having misjudged the sugary sand and hard base.

Justin Barcia, Southwick Motocross 2016
Justin Barcia had to come from behind in the first moto, but still managed to grab his first podium finish of the season.Photos By Jeff Kardas

In the second moto, after making suspension adjustments, Roczen was ready and looked intent on keeping Tomac from taking the overall by jumping quickly into the lead. After getting off the line inside the top five, Tomac moved into second by the end of the opening lap. For the next 15 minutes, Roczen and Tomac battled wheel to wheel in the deep sand, and on lap seven, Tomac railed an outside berm and took the lead over Roczen, only to hand it back when he tipped over with five laps to go. Two turns later, Tomac regained the lead and never looked back, his 1-1 performance giving him his first overall win of the season and

“It feels great to win again,” said Tomac. “We’ve been working so hard as a team to improve every weekend and to see it pay off feels good. The track conditions were really rough today, so it really came down to maintaining momentum and riding as smooth as possible through the bumps. Overall I’m pumped to be back on top. This is only the beginning.”

Marvin Musquin, Southwick Motocross 2016
Marvin Musquin was a solid third in moto one, but a crash in the second moto kept the Red Bull KTM rider from doing better than seventh.Photos By Jeff Kardas

Despite finishing second, Roczen still owns a 47-point lead in the standings over Tomac and will look to rebound next weekend at Spring Creek.

Autotrader/Monster Energy/Yamaha's Justin Barcia continues to improve from week to week and came away with his first podium appearance of the year with a 6-3 moto tally, just edging out Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin, who went 3-7.

Barcia went down in the first turn of moto one, but was able to charge back from 24th to sixth, demonstrating that he had the speed to be a podium contender.

“I used a lot of energy in that first moto, working my way to the front, and I was a bit flat, though I was able to make my way up to third,” said Barcia. “By the time I got there, though, those two guys were long gone.”

In the second moto, Barcia was fifth at the end of the opening lap and passed Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Christophe Pourcel on lap six to move into there, where he remained for the rest of the race.

Musquin made a late race pass on GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle to take third in the first moto, however, the KTM rider went down in moto two and could do no better than seventh.

“The first moto I felt happy with my ride, I got a good start and felt like I had a really good flow,” Musquin said. “The second moto was a little more tough, I got caught up behind Justin Barcia and then I crashed and after that it was really hard to get back into a flow.”

Musquin finished fourth overall for the day and he now sits third in the 450 Class Championship standings.

Fifth went to Barcia’s JGR teammate Weston Peick, who finished seventh in the first moto despite burning up a clutch. In the second moto, Peick went down on lap seven but put on a late-race charge to finished fourth for the moto and fifth overall.

Pourcel turned in a consistent ride for sixth overall (5-5), while BTO Sports’ Benny Bloss grabbed his best finish of the season with an 8-6 for seventh overall.

Roczen continues to hold a comfortable lead in the 450 Class standings, which now sits at 47 points over Tomac. Musquin, who finished fourth overall (3-7), is third, 136 points out of the lead.

Cooper Webb, Southwick Motocross, 2016
Cooper Webb's 2-1 gave him his third win of the season.Photos By Jeff Kardas

250 Class

Cooper Webb proved he has sand-riding skills by coming from behind in the first moto to finish second to Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha teammate Jeremy Martin. In the second moto, Webb grabbed the holeshot and led from start to finish, crossing the line more than 20 seconds ahead of Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner.

Martin’s first moto win marked his third moto victory of the season. The defending series champ crashed midway into the second moto while running fourth and dropped outside of the top-10 before working his way back into fourth. His 1-4 was good enough for second overall.

Jeremy Martin, Southwick Motocross 2016
Jeremy Martin was in contention for the overall after winning the first 250 moto, however, a crash in moto two put a damper on the Yamaha rider's chances.Photos By Jeff Kardas

Forkner filled out the podium for the first time, his 5-2 giving the Missouri rider third overall.

“Today was really good,” said Forkner. “After setting the fastest lap in qualifying, I got two decent starts in both motos and charged as hard as I could. I was absolutely “sending it” in moto two and it felt great to battle for the lead with the points leader. I feel great with how I performed today and am looking forward in continuing to learn and grow.”

Webb's sixth career win extended his lead in the championship standings to 37 points over Savatgy, who finished ninth overall (10-11). Savatgy sits just one point ahead of Jeremy Martin in third, who faces a 38-point deficit to Webb.

Austin Forkner, Southwick Motocross 2016
Austin Forkner claimed his first-career podium finish with a third.Photos By Jeff Kardas

RESULTS

450 Class

  1. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (1-1)

  2. Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki (2-2)

  3. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (6-3)

  4. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (3-7)

  5. Weston Peick, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha (7-4)

  6. Christophe Pourcel, France, Husqvarna (5-5)

  7. Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM (8-6)

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

  9. Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, KTM (9-9)

  10. Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM (11-11)

250 Class

  1. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (2-1)

  2. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (1-4)

  3. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (5-2)

  4. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (7-3)

  5. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (4-5)

  6. Arnaud Tonus, Switzerland, Kawasaki (3-8)

  7. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (8-7)

  8. Luke Renzland, Hewitt, N.J., Yamaha (12-9)

  9. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki (10-11)

  10. Martin Davalos, Ecuador, Husqvarna (16-6)