What Really Happened: Spring Creek MX

Race Report

Hometown boy Ryan Dungey took a big win at round eight of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Series in Millville, Minnesota, grabbing his first 1-1 sweep of the series so far this year. However, the other homegrown talent, Jeremy Martin wasn’t quite so lucky as the Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha rider and 250-class points leader had to settle for second behind his teammate Cooper Webb, who went 1-2 for the win.

Overnight storms (including hail and even tornado warnings) left the course muddy and wet, and practice was nasty, but by the time the second motos rolled around the course was in perfect shape, which made for some excellent racing. It was an eventful race and photographer Shan Moore was on hand to bring us all the action.

Ryan Dungey
Ryan Dungey passed Justin Barcia in both motos to take a 1-1 overall win.Photo by Shan Moore

Ryan Dungey dominated in his home state, grabbing his first 1-1 sweep of the series so far this year. The Millville win was also Dungey’s third of the season, however, the Red Bull KTM rider had to contend with a stubborn Justin Barcia in both motos.

“Barcia’s going good,” said Dungey. “The last three races he’s coming off of some confidence. He’s got some confidence from winning the races and then obviously beating me straight up at Red Bud. There were some things at Red Bud we needed to fine tune and that’s what we were able to do this week. His starts are good. It seems like he always gets good starts and he opens up good. He’s got that intensity so therefore I’m going to have to match that and then some. Then the second moto I was about fifth. I got shuffled back and then I made the passes happen real quick; I found myself on Barcia and it took about four or five laps I believe to get around him but once I was able to get around him then I know I can’t stop. Then I know I need to just keep on that pace and even try to pick it up because when you’re behind somebody it’s tougher because you’re getting roosted. But when you’re in front, now I’m able to ride my lines. So I was able to kind of raise that intensity even more. And yeah, it’s uncomfortable physically but that’s what it’s going to take to get away from him and open up that gap and win. So knowing that and then the last couple laps I was able to kind of chill out a little bit and run it in for the win.”

Dungey also talked about his motos.

“We got off to a good start and got into the lead the first moto and just tried to be consistent and put down good laps,” said Dungey. “It was really tricky because there was a lot of soft spots and hard spots so the bike wanted to get sucked up a lot in the soft areas. And then the second moto had a good start but then got shuffled there in the first turn. Kind of got back, made some passes and then got up to Barcia and then was able to make the pass and just really tried to push it from there. Opened up a gap and then came in for the win. Overall it was good. I was looking for that 1-1. I had won that first moto but I really wanted that 1-1 just because I hadn’t done that all year and I really feel like it was time to get that done as well. Not greedily or anything like that, but that was my goal today regardless of being at the hometown race.”

Heading into Washougal, Dungey now has a 56-point lead in the series standings over Ken Roczen, who went 3-4 for fourth overall.

Justin Barcia
Justin Barcia grabbed both holeshots in Millville.Photo by Shan Moore

Autotrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha obviously gained a lot of confidence from his win in the mud at Budds Creek and it carried over to his win at Red Bud, where he beat Dungey straight up, and to Millville, where he gave Dungey a hard time on Dungey’s home track.

Barcia has been especially good on his starts and grabbed both holeshots in Millville, although he said he only practiced one start the week before the race!

One of the only places Dungey was faster than Barcia was on the downhills, and in fact, that’s where Dungey passed him in the second moto.

“I knew he was fast (on the downhill),” said Barcia. “I seen it every lap and it was super frustrating for me because I was like, oh, you can’t go fast on a downhill? I don’t really understand that. I was telling myself, I know he’s fast down that hill and I was trying to hammer down it. But I don’t know, I couldn’t go faster for some reason. It’s like, what do you do? I got to go find a big hill this week and just hammer down it. For me it was a frustrating day because I knew I was good in certain places and just couldn’t make it happen so it was tough.”

Afterwards, Barcia commented on the fact that he was happy with a second place at Glen Helen, but he was not happy with getting second at Millville.

“I don’t know how to look at it really,” said Barcia. “It’s not like I can go home this week and work harder than I’ve been working because I’m hammering down. It’s just frustrating. But it’s a good thing for sure because we were happy at Glen Helen. I’ve been through so much, injuries and team stuff, and we worked through it and we got a second there and then we got those two wins in a row and it’s like, wow, this is the real deal. And then a second today is frustrating. J-Bone is like, yeah, it was a good day but there’s nothing we can really say. We need to go faster. And then it’s good because Buddy Antunez was here today and he knows… Like, I don’t know how I can go faster. I’m going as fast as I can. But Buddy knows how I can go faster so he tells me how to go faster and then I can put it all together, if that makes sense.”

Blake Baggett
A surging Blake Baggett went 4-3 for third overall.Photo by Shan Moore

Blake Baggett has been coming on strong this year, and Millville marked his third podium of the outdoor season.

“I’m trying to get better and better each weekend,” said Barcia. “Some weekends definitely don’t show it but just trying to learn and get better and eventually be able to be up front with Dungey and Barcia and be battling for wins like I did on the Lites bikes. Just still figuring out the big bike and trying to eliminate mistakes. Of course I still make a lot in a 30-minute moto, but just trying to get better and improve. Taking each weekend and each moto one at a time.”

Baggett sits fourth overall in the series standings behind Dungey, Roczen, and Barcia.

Fredrik Noren
Fredrik Noren grabbed his best moto finish with a fifth in moto two.Photo by Shan Moore

Fredrik Noren was HRC Honda’s lone representative in the 450 class after Cole Seely suffered an injury in practice. The pressure was on the Swedish transplant but Fredrik responded with his best-ever finish, going 8-5 for seventh overall.

Cooper Webb
Cooper Webb was on fire in the first moto, taking the win over Joey Savatgy.Photo by Shan Moore

Cooper Webb grabbed the win in the 250 class at Millville just three races after returning to action from a lengthy injury he suffered in Supercross. The Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha rider went 1-2 to beat out Jeremy Martin and Joey Savatgy for the win.

Afterwards, Webb said conditioning was not a concern.

“We’re getting close,” said Webb. “The goal is to try to be able to sprint basically a 30 plus 2 moto. I feel Jeremy is at that level. He’s had all the off-season and plenty of time to get the motos in. For me the biggest thing is the riding and the racing knowing how they do it. At the end of the day it’s a chess game. Knowing when to push and when to stay smart. It’s just kind of finding the best of both worlds. I would say probably 80%, but we’re getting there. It was a hot one today, probably the hottest so far. That’ll take it out of you. And being here these two weeks, it’s nice to be here.”

Webb was especially delighted to take the overall win ahead of teammate Jeremy Martin, especially since it was on Martin’s own track.

“I think if there’s one place I want to beat him it’s definitely here at his home track,” said Webb. “Unfortunately he beat me in the second moto straight up but to be able to pass him in the first one and win was good.”

Jeremy Martin
Jeremy Martin may have finished second with his 3-1 performance but he still retains the points lead heading into Washougal.Photo by Shan Moore

Jeremy Martin narrowly missed out on finishing second in moto one when he couldn’t quite catch Joey Savatgy on the final lap, which cost him the overall. The Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha rider had an excuse, though, since his clutch lever fell off shortly after the moto started.

“The first moto was good” said Martin. “I got off to a pretty good start, but missed a shift about halfway down the start straight and those guys kind of caught me, otherwise I think I would have been further up there on the start. The end of the second lap I went to grab the clutch before the Holy Schmidt jump and I noticed that it wasn’t there. Then the bolt came out and I had no clutch for the rest of the moto. It took me probably four or five laps to figure out how to ride without a clutch. I was in first gear in almost every corner and then I’d have to slow down and let Joey go so I could see the line and carry speed through so I wouldn’t stall the bike. He’s a more aggressive rider. I kind of know what he’s going to do. I can kind of predict it. So the last lap I put in a push because I was like, if you can get second you can get the overall. I tried but he was hanging tough.”

Despite finishing second, Martin was able to add to his points lead, and he now has a 19 point advantage over Marvin Musquin.

Marvin Musquin
Marvin Musquin, second in points, had a rough day and went 8-3 for fourth.Photo by Shan Moore

Marvin Musquin had a rough day at Millville. The Red Bull KTM rider took the lead in the first moto on the second lap but then overshot a turn and got stuck in some deep mud, which took him a while to get going again. Once he did, he found himself outside the top 10. Despite falling later in the moto, Musquin was able to salvage an eighth place finish for the race.

In the second moto, Musquin was fourth on the opening lap, and passed Joey Savatgy on lap five to move into third behind Martin and Webb. At that point, Martin and Webb had a good cushion over Musquin and the Frenchman had to settle for third, his 8-3 giving him fourth overall.

Millville Notes: Cole Seely fell in the second practice session and injured his shoulder, forcing the HRC Factory Honda rider to sit out the Millville race. According to a source at Honda, the extent of Seely's injury was not fully known on race day, but he was having it evaluated on Monday after the race.

Ken Roczen had a relatively off day, going 3-4 for fourth overall and gave up a position to Blake Baggett in the final moto.

Andrew Short returned to action at Millville after a lengthy recovery period after breaking his patella during the Supercross season. The BTO KTM rider went 16-15 for 14th overall.

Spring Creek MX Results

450 MX

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

250 MX

  1. Cooper Webb (Yam) 1-2
  2. Jeremy Martin (Yam) 3-1
  3. Joey Savatgy (Kaw) 2-4
  4. Marvin Musquin (Kaw) (8-3)
  5. Zach Osborne (Hus) 7-7
  6. Aaron Plessinger (Yam) 6-9
  7. Jordon Smith (Hon) 12-5
  8. Shane McElrath (11-6)
  9. RJ Hampshire (Hon) 5-12
  10. Alex Martin (Yam) 4-1