What Really Happened: Ironman Motocross 2015

Race Report

A great day from Aaron Plessinger; a bummer day for Marvin Musquin; a 250 champ crowned and a fifth consecutive win for Dungey. There was a lot going on at the Ironman National MX in Crawfordsville, Indiana, this weekend, and thanks to photographer Rob Koy, we have the proof, so let’s get to it.

Ryan Dungey finished off a long season with another win after going 1-2.Photo by Rob Koy

Despite having wrapped up the 450MX title the week before, the determined Ryan Dungey put a punctuation mark on the year by claiming his fifth consecutive overall win of the season on his Red Bull KTM at the Ironman MX in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

"We were running fourth at the beginning of moto two, so it's a little tougher to take the lines you want when you aren't out front. I hit a little bump and it caused a little tip over, so I just got back up and put my head down the rest of the moto," said Dungey. "We were able to make up the ground we needed to get the win and end the season the way we wanted. It's been a great year and I'm excited for what lies ahead."

After getting off to a suspect start with Eli Tomac dominating the first few rounds, Dungey finished out the year as the strongest and one of the most aggressive riders of the season.

Next year is going to be an interesting one, for sure.

Ken Roczen won the final moto of the season.Photo by Rob Koy

Perhaps the big news in the 450 class, was RCH Soaring Eagle Suzuki’s Ken Roczen stealing second in the final standings away from AutoTrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha’s Justin Barcia, the Suzuki rider going 3-1 for second overall, while Barcia went 7-3 for fourth.

Roczen has had his ups and downs all year, but finished off the season in style with a moto win.

“The track was gnarly out there, probably one of the toughest of the year. It feels great to end the season this way," said Roczen, the winner of the second moto after finishing third in the first. "I knew we had the ability to get into second in the championship, and we came out here and did that. I was confident coming into the day because the bike's been great and we did what we needed to do."

Jason AndersonPhoto by Rob Koy

Jason Anderson took advantage of great starts all day to go 2-6 for third overall. Anderson moved into third in the first lap of moto one and made the charge for second shortly after. Anderson was third off the start in moto two, before dropping to sixth by the end of the race. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider delivered a 2-6 moto result for third overall to wrap up his outdoor season at sixth in the 450-class point standings.

"My weekend was pretty good,” said Anderson. “I had two good practices and a good first moto. I was kind of fatigued a bit in the last moto, but I was still able to stay in sixth and get an overall podium. It’s pretty great to end the season like that. The next step for me is to test out the new bike at the GP."

Aaron Plessinger came away with his first career 250MX win in Indiana.Photo by Rob Koy

After making waves off and on throughout the season, Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s rookie Aaron Plessinger grabbed the first overall win of his career at Ironman Raceway with a 2-1 performance, thanks in part to a second moto crash by first moto winner Cooper Webb, although Plessinger showed his speed by moving to with in striking distance of the Yamaha rider at the end of the first moto.

Plessinger has shown steady improvement throughout the season and it was quite appropriate that he took his first win at the very venue that his father, Scott Plessinger, had won a GNCC several years ago.

In the moto one, and with Musquin out of the race on lap two with electrical problems, Plessinger moved through the pack after starting just inside the top 10 and passed teammate Jeremy Martin to take over second for the moto, though Martin knew he could cool his heals and concentrate on just finishing thanks to Musquin’s DNF.

In moto two, Plessinger found himself in sixth position after the start, as TLD/KTM’s Jessy Nelson and Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy battled for the lead. On lap two, Plessinger passed Nelson for second when the KTM rider crashed, leaving only Savatgy in front of the flying Yamaha rider. On lap seven, Plessinger was able to overtake Savatgy and move into the lead, which he held until the finish.

“This is amazing. I only live about two-and-a-half hours from here in Ohio,” said Plessinger. “I was able to charge hard in both motos and it ended out working really well for me in the end. Today was a great learning experience. I’m just a rookie but I have many years ahead of me and I’m looking forward to continue improving.”

With Martin, Plessinger, Webb and Barcia on their side, Yamaha looks to be sitting pretty for 2016.

Jeremy Martin claimed his second consecutive 250 title.Photo by Rob Koy

Despite all the drama and speculation coming into the final event of the year, the battle for the 2015 250 MX title between Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Jeremy Martin and Red Bull KTM's Marvin Musquin was virtually over after the second lap of the opening moto when Musquin’s bike stalled to a stop on lap two, allowing Martin to easily take his second consecutive 250-class title.

Actually, the first moto had all the trappings of an epic race, as the two title contenders started the race right next to each other, slotting into fifth and sixth, however, before the second lap was over, Musquin’s bike came to a stop and the former MX2 champ had to pushed his KTM back to the pits with the help of his mechanic Frankie Latham. With that in mind, Martin played it safe and cruised home with a fourth place finish as teammate Cooper Webb ran away with the race out front.

Needing only a 15th place finish in the second moto to wrap up the title, Martin was content to ride to a ninth place finish after finding himself on the ground on the first lap of the race. Still, the finish was more than good enough to give the Minnesota rider a second consecutive 250 title, the first to do so since Villopoto did the deed in 2007-2008.

"What a crazy year. Marvin was really strong this season and pushed me to my limit. He's a great competitor," said Martin. "It was a weird summer. I'd get great starts and good finishes, but I also had trouble at times when Marvin would do well, so it was a constant battle until the end. This year was a much tougher championship to win. It was tough last year, but this was a dogfight all season long and I'm even more proud to end the year on top."

Marvin Musquin walks back to the pits with his mechanic after his engine let go in the first moto.Photo by Rob Koy

Coming into the final race of the season with a chance to capture the title, Red Bull KTM Factory rider Marvin Musquin’s dream of a 250MX title ended with his DNF.

After gating just ahead of Martin in the first moto, Musquin suffered an unfortunate mechanical issue that caused him to drop out of the moto, giving him no points towards the championship.

The Red Bull KTM Team worked tirelessly between motos to get his bike issue resolved. He lined up for the second moto and off the start, Musquin was mid-pack after having to start on the far outside. He worked his way through the pack and was sitting in third place around the halfway point. He held on to that position to end the season with a podium result.

“It’s unfortunate that we had the mechanical issue in the first moto,” stated Musquin. “It is something we would have never expected to happen but that is part of racing. This was still the best year of my career and I am really proud of myself and my team for our accomplishment. I am looking forward to moving up to the 450 for next year.”

"It was a great year. The best year of my career in the U.S., so I feel like I can't really complain," added Musquin. "My team was fantastic all season. We came into the first moto really strong and I was ready to battle. Unfortunately my bike had a problem. It was the only time I had an issue all year long. I've had so much support from all the fans in America, France and throughout Europe. I kind of feel like I let everyone down, but we still had a great season."

Ricky Carmichael won the Legends race during intermission.Photo by Rob Koy

2015 Ironman MX Results

450MX

  1. Ryan Dungey (KTM) 1-2
  2. Ken Roczen (Suz) 3-1
  3. Jason Anderson (Hus) 2-6
  4. Justin Barcia (Yam) 7-3
  5. Christophe Pourcel (Hus) 4-7
  6. Trey Canard (Hon) 8-5
  7. Blake Baggett (Suz) 6-9
  8. Broc Tickle (Suz) 15-4
  9. Josh Grant (Kaw) 10-8
  10. Phil Nicoletti (Yam) 11-10

250MX

  1. Aaron Plessinger (Yam) 2-1
  2. Joey Savatgy (Kaw) 5-2
  3. Jessy Nelson (KTM) 3-6
  4. RJ Hampshire (Hon) 8-4
  5. Matt Bisceglia (Hon) 6-5
  6. Jeremy Martin (Yam) 4-9
  7. Zach Osborne (Hus) 10-7
  8. Christian Craig (Hon) 9-8
  9. Cooper Webb (Yam) 1-37
  10. Marvin Musquin (KTM) 40-3