What Really Happened: RedBud Motocross 2015

Race Report

Justin Barcia claimed his second win in a row at RedBud Raceway, which proves that last week’s victory at Budds Creek in the mud was not just about being a good mud rider, but that the AutoTrader.com/Toyota/JGR Yamaha rider has finally come to terms with the Yamaha and is back to the form he showed when he first moved into the 450 class with Team Honda. Meanwhile, the 250 class saw some of the best racing of the year as all of the players were finally up front at the same time. After some interesting twists, Jeremy Martin came away with a 1-1 sweep of the class to claim his fourth win of the season. There’s a lot to talk about from the Independence Day race so let’s get to it.

Justin Barcia at RedBud MX
Justin Barcia went 2-1 to claim his second win in a row in the 450 class.Photo by Rob Koy

Justin Barcia seems to finally be gelling with the JGR Yamaha, and now has two-straight overall wins to his credit. A lot of people wrote last week’s win at Budds Creek off to the elements, but at Red Bud Barcia’s win amounted to raw speed and good conditioning as the AutoTrader.com/Toyota/JGR Yamaha outran series point leader Ryan Dungey for the full distance of the moto.

For sure, Barcia is getting great starts, and won both holeshots at RedBud, which is a big part of the equation. But he also showed he has good fitness by going head-to-head with Dungey in the final moto and not buckling under the pressure or making a mistake that would give up the lead on a rough and deteriorating track. RedBud is a favorite track among the riders because there are always a lot of lines to choose from, and Barcia had an answer for everything Dungey threw at him.

"In the first moto I got the holeshot, but Dungey closed in and made the pass,” said Barcia. “I closed back in but then some lappers got in the way and separated us a bit, but I was feeling confident and happy with the result. I won last week in the mud and I knew people would think that I won because of the conditions, so I really wanted to win in dry conditions and show I'm able to fight for the win every weekend. Ryan kept me honest in that last moto. He was on me the whole time. It was unbelievable. For me, it was just hammer down the whole time. This is a bigger win for me than last week because RedBud is such a challenging track."

Barcia’s performance the last two weekends have moved him up into third overall in the series standings, sitting 19 points behind Roczen, who is second.

Ryan Dungey at RedBud MX
Ryan Dungey pushed Barcia for the entire distance of the second moto, but settled to second place in the end and second overall.Photo by Rob Koy

You have to give it up for Ryan Dungey for going all out at RedBud in spite of the fact that he has such a big lead in the standings (the Red Bull KTM rider left town with a 44-point lead under his belt after RedBud). Dungey could very easily win the title by just coasting to podium finishes from here on out, but he chooses to go for the win every time he’s on the track, which is admirable.

In moto one, Dungey ran second behind Barcia until the halfway mark when he dove under the Yamaha rider in a turn and came out with the lead. From there, Dungey held off Barcia’s attempts to retake the lead and came away with the moto win.

In the second moto, Dungey got off the line right behind Barcia and pushed the Yamaha rider for the entire distance of the moto, eventually finishing second, 1.6 seconds behind the New York rider.

“We really wanted to go 1-1 this weekend but Justin was going really good,” said Dungey. “I would get up on his and then I would switch lines and I would lose ground. It was really challenging out there, but we gained ground in the championship which is the bottom line.”

Despite finishing second, Dungey still made headway in the series standings and now sits 44 points up on Ken Roczen, who sits second in the standings.

Ken Roczen at RedBud MX
Ken Roczen rode to a relatively quiet 3-3 for third overall.Photo by Rob Koy

RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing's Ken Roczen finished third in the opening moto after working his way forward from a fifth-place start. The defending series champ slotted into fourth early in moto two, just behind Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Christophe Pourcel. Roczen finally slipped past the Frenchman at the midway point of the race and moved into third, however, he was never in position to challenge the two front-runners, who had pulled away to double-digit leads over the rest of the pack in both motos.

Roczen made no excuses after the race and admitted he had work to do to get back to where he wanted to be.

“I twisted my ankle in the first moto and it hurt a little bit, but, no excuses, I just got beat straight up today,” said Roczen. “We just have to continue to put in the work.”

After landing on the podium the last two weekends at Budds Creek and High Point, Pourcel was the victim of an “off weekend” at RedBud, and went 10-4 for sixth overall.

“My day was ok,” said Pourcel. “I didn’t get a great start in the first moto. The track was pretty rough so it got kind of sketchy. I was going for seventh in the first moto, but then stalled the bike so I ended up tenth. I was a little mad about that mistake. I was in a good group in the second moto – top four guys. We were doing good and pulling away from the other guys. I felt like I could have pushed it a little more, but I still feel like there’s more potential. I feel like I could have ended up third or fourth in the second moto, but I stalled the bike again. I was almost top-five overall today so that’s not too bad. I feel like I should expect to be in the top-five every moto right now, then eventually I’ll try to be on the podium every weekend for sure.”

Jeremy Martin at RedBud MX
Jeremy Martin went 1-1 for his fourth overall win of the season in the 250 class.Photo by Rob Koy

Jeremy Martin's teammate Cooper Webb had the 250 class all but sewed up, but a late race crash in moto two opened the door for Martin to take the moto win and the overall victory with a 1-1 sweep of the class. The win was Martin’s second in a row and it helped him reclaim the point lead following a 17-point swing in the championship standings. Martin came into RedBud trailing Marvin Musquin by 10 points in the standings, but after his win, Martin now leads the title chase by seven points heading into his home race in Minnesota.

RedBud was the first race all year where we got to see all the players up front and battling head-to-head. Martin took the early lead in moto one, but his Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha teammate Cooper Webb was on fire and passed Martin on lap six to take the lead when Martin slowed with arm-pump. Webb would lead the next 11 laps, but on the final lap of the moto, Martin made an incredible pass for the win, as he made up a two-second deficit on the final lap to take the win.

Moto two saw GEICO Honda’s Christian Craig take the early lead, heading the pack until lap nine when Webb took control of the lead. Craig held onto second with Martin in third. On lap 13, however, Webb went down just before the roller section of the course, causing Craig to alter his line, and Martin was able to take advantage and pass both riders in the process to take the lead.

Martin held on for the victory ahead of Zach Osborne and Craig, giving him a 1-1 score for the day and the overall win.

"I got off to two really good starts,” said Martin. “I was leading the first moto and then my arms got tired. I really struggled for a while but I found a way to turn it around and get back up there. Marvin and I battled a lot today for the first time this season. We've been dodging each other all season, but today was the day we battled. He's a phenomenal racer and he keeps me on my toes. I saw a yellow flag and thought it was cooper and it ended up being him, so I just tried to pick a line and make a move and it worked. I got lucky there."

Zach Osborne at RedBud MX
Zach Osborne had one of his better weekends and posted a second overall finish.Photo by Rob Koy

Zach Osborne was ready to put himself on the box after finishing fifth overall at the last race held at the Budds Creek National. Consistency was key in Michigan as he rode strong and put on a repeat podium performance aboard his Husqvarna FC 250 for both motos, earning a 3-2 finish for an impressive second overall on the day. He is currently third overall in 250 rider point standings.

“Today was good,” said Osborne. “I had good speed in the first practice. I struggled a little bit in the second practice, but I turned it around for the first moto and got off to a good start. I was around the top five and then worked my way up into third. I stayed there and finished out with a solid moto. I got a really good jump in the second moto – almost had a huge holeshot but then wheelied halfway down the start straight and had to let off. I ended up about 15th. I made a couple passes on the first lap and got up to around 10th then started to pick people off one-by-one. I ended up getting all the way up to second and was only about four or five seconds away from winning the moto.”

Cooper Webb at RedBud MX
Cooper Webb was in position to win the 250 class overall, but a crash late in the second moto relegated the Yamaha rider to third overall.Photo by Rob Koy

Webb rode a spectacular race considering it was just his second race back from injury his ankle. Webb tore two tendons in his ankle at the final round of the Supercross series, and then aggravated the injury at the opening round of the outdoor series, so he missed five rounds of the series recuperating before returning to action last week at Budds Creek.

“I really think I could have gone 1-1 today, but it didn’t happen,” said Webb. “We know we have the speed, but things just didn’t work out, so we’ll be back for Millville and be ready to go.”

Marvin Musquin at RedBud MX
Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin had his worst showing of the year with a 4-6 for sixth overall.Photo by Rob Koy

Marvin Musquin had one of his worst races of the season and it cost him the series points lead, dropping the Red Bull KTM rider to a seven-point deficit behind Jeremy Martin heading into Martin’s home race in Minnesota.

Musquin ran as high as second in both motos, but dropped off the pace late in each moto to ultimately post 4-6 moto scores for sixth overall.

"Today could have been worse,” said Musquin. “When I crashed at Thunder Valley I bruised the bone in my wrist and stretched the ligaments, so it's been tough and I've been dealing with this since Round three. I've actually been doing really good at the races but this week I tweaked it again. I heard a pop in my wrist and it hurt again. I knew today would be tough, but not that tough. This was one of my worst races. It felt good at the beginning of the motos, and my speed was good, but it just got worse and worse later in the race."

Musquin entered RedBud with a 10-point lead over Martin in the 250 Class championship standings, but a 17-point swing in Martin's favor now puts the defending titleholder back top the points for the third time this season. He carries a seven-point lead over Musquin into the next round of the season, while Osborne currently sits third, 91 points out of the lead.

Christian Craig at RedBud MX
Christian Craig led the first part of moto two.Photo by Rob Koy

Christian Craig claimed his first-ever podium finish in the 250 class in the second moto after leading the first eight laps of the race. The GEICO Honda rider’s 6-3 ultimately gave him fourth overall, a career best finish.

"That's my first ever podium and that's what I've been working for," Craig said. "I believe I can be up there. That is my goal, to be on the podium. I'm looking for an overall podium at the next race. I missed it by one spot here, but I'm still happy about my podium in the second moto. My bike was awesome today."

Craig didn't make the best start in the first moto but moved his way into the top five and was running fifth until he was passed on the final lap.

"Sixth place, not bummed about it but not too happy," Craig said. "I wanted to be a little more up front."

That's where he was in the second moto.

"I focused on my start and ended up pulling the holeshot and running up front for 15 minutes," Craig said. "The guys caught me, Cooper Webb and Jeremy Martin. Cooper got me at about 18 minutes, and I tried to stay with him and he ended up going down. Jeremy got me, and then with two laps to go Zach Osborne got me."

RedBud MX Results 2015

450 Class

  1. Justin Barcia (Yam) 2-1
  2. Ryan Dungey (KTM) 1-2
  3. Ken Roczen (Suz) 3-3
  4. Broc Tickle (Suz) 4-7
  5. Weston Peick (Yam) 5-6
  6. Christophe Pourcel (Hus) 10-4
  7. Fredrick Noren (Hon) 7-8
  8. Blake Baggett (Suz) 6-9
  9. Justin Brayton (KTM) 9-10
  10. Tommy Hahn (Hon) 8-12

250 Class

  1. Jeremy Martin (Yam) 1-1
  2. Zach Osborne (Hus) 3-2
  3. Cooper Webb (Yam) 2-5
  4. Christian Craig (Hon) 6-3
  5. Alex Martin (Yam) 5-4
  6. Marvin Musquin (KTM) 4-6
  7. Aaron Plessinger (Yam) 9-9
  8. Chris Alldredge (Kaw) 8-10
  9. Jessy Nelson (KTM) 7-11
  10. RJ Hampshire (Hon) 14-8