What Really Happened: Unadilla Motocross 2015

Ryan Dungey continues to steamroll towards a third 450MX title after claiming his fifth overall of the season this weekend at Unadilla. He now sits 79 points ahead of second place and will most likely wrap the championship up next week in Utah. Meanwhile, the battle for the 250 championship title got tighter by two points at Unadilla, as title contenders Marvin Musquin and Jeremy Martin finished in second and third positions respectively, while Joey Savatgy claimed his career first overall win. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get with it.

Ryan Dungey refuses to play it safe and went 1-1 for the overall at Unadilla.Photo by Rob Koy

Ryan Dungey has been an animal the last few races, showing a more aggressive style and refusing to take it easy, despite holding a massive lead in the series standings.

The Red Bull KTM rider’s only real challenge came in the second moto, when RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Ken Roczen started to push him for the lead.

“I saw at the bottom of Screw-U one lap I had a good size little gap and I was trying to open that up,” said Dungey. “Then the next lap I saw Roczen right there closing in. I’m like, all right, he’s putting on a really big push. We were pushing a good pace the whole moto and really fighting for it. I know he really wanted it and as did I. Even though it didn’t affect the overall for me I still would like to take home maximum points and an overall. I was thinking a little bit about High Point, that one time he edged me out there, so I really wanted to fight for this one. It was a good to “hang on strong” kind of moment and come away with a 1-1 win today. It was exciting.”

With just two races remaining, Dungey holds a 79-point lead heading into Utah, and will most likely wrap up the championship next weekend.

Justin Barcia saw his holeshot streak end at seven but still came away with second overall in his home state of New York.Photo by Rob Koy

Justin Barcia considers Unadilla to be his home race and we all know you’re expected to do well at your home race. However, die hard fans started to get nervous when the Autotrader.com/Toyota/Yamaha rider was 13th during qualifying.

However, Barcia came away with second overall, after finishing with a second and a fourth in the two motos, however, he was quite unhappy with how he rode and also about the fact that his holeshot streak had end.

“Practice is never very great for me so that’s nothing new,” said Barcia. “I’m a racer. I made everyone nervous when I qualify 12th, but we get it done when the gate drops. I really wanted to run with Ryan the first moto. I started fifth, and was able to pass up to second. And then charged hard but just couldn’t close the gap, our times were so close. During the break before the second moto I told myself, obviously I want to go for the overall and get the win. I struggled a little with setup the first moto so I wanted to make a change.”

In only his third race back from injury, Team Honda HRC’s Trey Canard finished third.Photo by Rob Koy

After a freak injury at the Detroit Supercross left Trey Canard with a broken arm, the Team Honda HRC CRF450R returned to racing last week in Washougal, and this week in Unadilla, in just his second race back from injury, the Oklahoman put his Honda on the podium in third, surprising a lot of folks.

“Moto number one was good,” said Canard. “I had a pretty decent start and I got a couple gifts with Roczen and Pourcel going down. I was able to get right up behind Barcia, but lost it down at the bottom of Screw-U and lost a position. After that, I just couldn’t get around Bogle. Justin was kind of gone by then.”

Canard was obviously disappointed with his second moto finish, but said he gave it his best.

“I wasn’t comfortable at all the second moto,” said Canard. “I know everyone’s kind of said that the track was really tough. It was hard packed and soft and rutty all at the same time, bumpy and blue groove and mushy. It was tough. It’s hard for me to really want to hang it out and take those risks when It’s only my second race in. I know in prior years I’ve made those mistakes and got hurt again. I’m trying to just be smart about it and let it come. I know that I won’t be right there by any means but I still want to do my best. But I’m not going to hang it out. I was mostly bummed that I lost that spot in the last two laps. I was talking to Barcia on the podium and I told him the steamroller was coming. Peick was just steamrolling the bumps out there.”

“I’m happy to be back racing. It’s tough,” added Canard. “It’s really hard to come back and race with these guys that have been doing it all year. In general it’s just tough to come back from injury. I’m just happy to be here and trying to make the most of it.”

Joey Savatgy gave Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki its first win in almost a year.Photo by Rob Koy

It sounds crazy, but its been almost a year since Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki won a race (last July was the last time), however, team rider Joey Savatgy has been getting better with every race and at Unadilla he went 2-2 to finally get the monkey off Mitch Payton’s back.

“To get the overall, the first one ever, is kind of an unreal feeling,” said Savatgy. “The main thing for me was getting off the gate. Going back to the farm for the weekend off, I had two solid good weeks with Ricky and Jeannie Carmichael. The bike’s amazing now, man. We’re putting all the pieces to the puzzle together. We learned a lot in the first moto here at Unadilla and I was able to lead almost until the end. And then that moto I led again for a while and Marvin and Cooper were going faster than what I could go. But when I came over the hill and I saw Webb down, I had to do a quick math to figure out where everyone was. At that point I was like, oh man, I think I’m going to win. And then I came around with two laps to go and then the last lap Justin, my mechanic, wrote first overall. It’s a crazy feeling. I’m pumped for the team, for Mitch, for Bones, for Adam, just everyone behind the scenes that puts in the hours with me. It’s all worth it on weekends like this.”

Marvin Musquin suffered goggle issues in moto one, but came back to win the second moto for second overall.]Photo by Rob Koy

Marvin Musquin was on a charge through the pack when all of a sudden he started having goggle issues and wound up finishing the race in fourth. However, the Red Bull KTM rider returned to win moto two giving him second overall.

“In the first moto I made a really small crash right away,” said Musquin. “I was not happy but then I made some good passes and I got to 4th place. Something happened with my goggles. I think I maybe got a rock or something and my lens popped out. That’s really bad luck. I was struggling with the vision. A lot of dirt inside the goggles just flying every time I would jump. I slowed down a couple times trying to shake my goggles and get rid of that dirt and it would help but every time I would catch the guy in front of me I would get more and more dirt inside. So it was a big struggled. Watching Jeremy Martin winning that first moto and me right there, I couldn't make the pass and got fourth. It was tough.”

Musquin now trails Martin by just two points in the title chase with just two races remaining on the schedule.

Jeremy Martin looked as though he would take it all after winning the first moto, but a poor start in the second race left him with a 1-5 for third overall.Photo by Rob Koy

Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin looked like the Martin of last year, winning the opening moto after passing early leader Joey Savatgy. However, in moto two, the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider suffered a poor start (outside the top 10) and had to fight his way just to salvage a fifth for the moto. His 1-5 left him third overall.

“I just spun pretty good on the gate,” said Martin. “At this point it’s just down to the starts. Everyone’s fast. Marvin and I were having a good battle. It makes it interesting for the fans and I love feeling that pressure. That’s why I started racing in the first place. Last year was significantly easier and this year’s tough, and I like it. I like the challenge. I’ve always been a fighter. Growing up things were kind of tough so it’s nothing new.”

The US MXoN Team was announced at Unadilla and it consists of Justin Barcia, Jeremy Martin and Cooper Webb.Photo by Rob Koy

The Motocross of Nations team was announced before the first moto at Unadilla and the team will be comprised of Justin Barcia, Cooper Webb and Jeremy Martin. Webb will jump up to a 450 to ride the MX3 class. To the surprise of many, for the first time in six years the team did not include Ryan Dungey. Dungey responded after the Unadilla race. “The last six years I’ve gone,” said Dungey. “The years we’ve won obviously have been amazing. The years we’ve lost, still ended up on the podium, still amazing. I enjoyed it. I had a lot of fun without a doubt. I realized last year that it just comes at a time that’s… We finish up our season way earlier these days. When it’s five weeks away, and I did it last year, you take two weeks off and you’re trying to get ready for that and I go over there half ready. I don’t like to race any race half assed. Not only that but it cuts into the off season. So your window’s smaller than that. And then we have Monster Cup and now we have Red Bull Straight Rhythm which are fine, that we’ll do still. But I really feel like this is good for me just to be able to get some time off. By no means am I disrespecting the country. I definitely want to do this but it just doesn’t come at a good time. But also then you line up at Anaheim and if you don’t really give yourself that break, I realized last year how important that is to just unwind and be able to step away from it a little bit because if I take two weeks off I’m going to have to get back on the dirt bike and go racing and back in race mode. So this way I get a nice break. I don’t really feel like it’s fair to my fans and my team and my sponsors when I show up on the gate half assed at Anaheim 1, granted that we’re all healthy and ready to go. Long story short, that sums it up. But I wish the guys the best. I want to see them take it home. Last three years it’s been hard to stand on the 3rd or the 2nd step. It’s nice to stand on top. They got a good team. Those Yamahas are pretty strong off the gate.”

2015 Unadilla Motocross Results

450 Class 1. Ryan Dungey (KTM) 1-1 2. Justin Barcia (Yam) 2-4 3. Trey Canard (Hon) 3-6 4. Shaun Simpson (KTM) 4-8 5. Ken Roczen (Suz) 16-2 6. Broc Tickle (Suz) 6-9 7. Weston Peick (Yam) 12-5 8. Blake Baggett (Suz) 13-7 9. Josh Grant (Kaw) 9-11 10. Dean Wilson (KTM) 11-10

**250 Class ** 1. Joey Savatgy (Kaw) 2-2 2. Marvin Musquin (KTM) 4-1 3. Jeremy Martin (Yam) 1-5 4. Jessy Nelson (KTM) 6-4 5. Alex Martin (Yam) 8-6 6. Shane McElrath (KTM) 7-8 7. Christian Craig (Hon) 5-10 8. Aaron Plessinger (Yam) 16-3 9. Matt Bisceglia (Hon) 12-9 10. RJ Hampshire (Hon) 15-7