Early Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Title Fight Between Roczen and Dungey Heads a Mile High at Colorado's Thunder ValleyAlex Martin Sits Atop 250 Class Standings for the First Time EverMORGANTOWN, W. Va. (May 31, 2016) - For the past two seasons Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey and RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John's/Suzuki Factory Racing's Ken Roczen have positioned themselves at the forefront of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. They've traded 450 Class championships, with Roczen winning in 2014 and Dungey in 2015, and are once again engaged in a hotly contested title fight to start the 2016 season. After Roczen opened the season with a dominant victory Dungey responded with a win of his own this past weekend, and now just two points separate the longtime rivals heading into Round 3 this weekend in Colorado and the mile-high altitude of the True Value Thunder Valley National on Saturday, June 4. Lakewood's picturesque Thunder Valley MX Park will provide one of the season's most unique challenges thanks to its high elevation, setting the stage for another highly competitive afternoon of racing.
The championship's foray to the Rocky Mountains marks the first round outside of California in 2016 and while Roczen and Dungey have both made their presence felt in the 450 Class, the competition within the 250 Class has intensified. Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Alex Martin sits atop the championship standings for the first time in his career, fresh off his inaugural victory this past weekend, and will have the enviable distinction of wearing the red number plate on Saturday afternoon.
Broadcast Coverage of the True Value Thunder Valley National:First Motos (250 & 450 Class) - LIVE on MAVTV at 11 a.m. PT / 2 p.m. ETSecond Motos (250 & 450 Class) - LIVE on NBC Sports Network at 1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ETLIVE Coverage can also be streamed via ProMotocross.com and NBC Sports Live Extra App.Thunder Valley Highlight Show - June 9 at 2 a.m. ET on NBC Sports NetworkVideo highlights of the FMF Glen Helen National.
At last Saturday's FMF Glen Helen National, Southern California's marquee motocross track provided a stiff challenge to the world's best riders, resulting in a grueling battle for victory across both classes. In the 450 Class, Roczen picked up where he left off at Hangtown and put his Suzuki at the front of the field. He appeared to be on his way to an easy Moto 1 victory until an unusual issue with his motorcycle's front suspension slowed him dramatically and allowed Dungey, who ran second for nearly the entirety of the moto, to make a late pass and steal the win. The misfortune dropped Roczen off the podium into fourth and ultimately prevented him from securing back-to-back overall wins to start the season.
The opportunity in the first moto not only gave Dungey his first moto win of the season, but allowed him to control his own destiny on Moto 2. Dungey started strong yet again, but Roczen reasserted himself out front and pulled away. Knowing the runner-up finish would be enough to give him the overall win on the afternoon Dungey settled into second while Roczen went on to take his third moto win in four attempts. While the moto win provided retribution to his first moto woes, Roczen no doubt left with a bit of a sour taste knowing what could have been. On the flipside, Dungey enjoyed the spoils of victory and shaved off four points of the six-point deficit he faced entering Glen Helen.
Dungey has his first win of the 2016 season and has closed to within two points of Roczen in the 450 Class standings.Photo: Simon CudbyFittingly enough, last year's battle for the win at Thunder Valley also came down to these two riders under similar circumstances. Roczen was poised to secure his first overall win as the defending 450 Class Champion, but a flat tire late in the second moto allowed Dungey to take advantage of the misfortune and carry on to his first win of the season. The win allowed Dungey to take over the points lead, from which he never looked backed.
The battle for victory at Thunder Valley one year ago came as a result of heartbreak for Colorado native Eli Tomac. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider opened up the 2015 season by winning the first five motos in dominant fashion until a big crash while leading the final moto at his hometown race not only took him out of contention for the win, but ended his season with major injuries to both shoulders. It's been a challenging road back for Tomac, but his resiliency and determination has put him in a position to make a storybook return to the stop step of the podium at Thunder Valley. While he's yet to challenge either Roczen or Dungey for victory thus far in 2016, Tomac has back-to-back overall podium results to start the season. At Glen Helen he showed signs of what made him so successful last season and with the emotion surrounding this weekend's return to his home race it wouldn't be a surprise to the racing community if Tomac became the third different overall winner in as many rounds this season. One way or another, all eyes will be on Tomac at Thunder Valley with the undying support of his home crowd.
Speaking of hometown support, another rider that will be closely watched this weekend is BTO Sports/WPS/KTM's Andrew Short. The Colorado Springs native will make his final visit to Thunder Valley on Saturday in his final season of professional competition. Although he has never won at his home race, Short has enjoyed great memories at Thunder Valley, including two runner-up finishes, four podium results, and a win as a member of Team USA at the 2010 Motocross of Nations, which were hosted at the facility. He has not raced at his home track since the 2014 season, but Short is eager to return to his home state and give the hometown crowd a proper farewell.
Despite some misfortune, Roczen maintains control of
the red number plate as points leader.Photo: Simon Cudby After an impressively dominant start to the season at Hangtown in which he swept both 250 Class motos, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Joey Savatgy was surprisingly not a factor at Glen Helen, ultimately finishing seventh overall. In his absence at the front of the field was the Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha trio of Alex Martin, Jeremy Martin, and Cooper Webb. In the first moto Alex Martin moved into the lead early and paced the field for the majority of the moto until lapped riders allowed Webb to close the deficit and make a late pass for the win.
In the final moto, Jeremy Martin bounced back from some minor misfortune in the first moto to effectively dominate the entire race and earn his first moto win of the season. The reigning back-to-back 250 Class Champion was in position to secure the overall for most of the moto as well, but a late charge to second by older brother Alex turned the points into the elder sibling's favor and resulted in his first career overall win in his 83rd start. The Martin brothers' historic 1-2 effort signified the first time in history that siblings finished first and second. The addition of Webb in third overall resulted in the first ever 1-2-3 sweep for Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha, which put four riders in the top five for the second consecutive round.
Alex Martin will carry the red number plate as points leader for the first time in his career.Photo: Simon CudbyMartin's career breakthrough vaulted him to the top of the 250 Class standings for the first time, overcoming the 15-point deficit he faced to Savatgy entering Glen Helen. He carries a slim two-point lead over Webb in the 250 Class standings entering Thunder Valley, while Savatgy now sits third, three points out of the lead. Jeremy Martin is fourth, four points behind his brother, and heads to Colorado as the defending race winner.
Back-to-back podium finishes has Webb just two points out of the championship lead.Photo: Simon Cudby Event Schedule True Value Thunder Valley NationalRound 3: Lucas Oil Pro Motocross ChampionshipJune 4, 2016 - Lakewood, Colorado
Race Day Schedule:
7:00 a.m. PT / 10:00 a.m. ET Practice & Qualifying
10:30 a.m. PT / 1:30 p.m. ET Opening Ceremonies
11:00 a.m. PT / 2:00 p.m. ET First Motos (250 Class & 450 Class)
1:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. ET Second Motos (250 Class & 450 Class)
June 4 - 11:00 a.m. PT / 2:00 p.m. ET (LIVE) MAVTV 1st Motos (250 Class & 450 Class)June 4 - 1:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. ET (LIVE) NBCSN 2nd Motos (250 Class & 450 Class)June 9 - 11:00 p.m. PT (June 8) / 2:00 a.m. ET NBCSN Highlight Show
**BOLD indicates live broadcast.***All times subject to change.
Tomac returns to his home race looking for redemption following
last season's heartbreak at Thunder Valley.Photo: Simon CudbyPrevious Round Results
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
FMF Glen Helen National
Glen Helen Raceway - San Bernardino, California
May 28, 2016
Round 2 of 12
450 Class (Moto Finish)
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (1-2)
- Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki (4-1)
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (3-3)
- Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna (2-5)
- Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda (7-4)
- Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki (6-6)
- Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda (5-10)
- Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Yamaha (10-9)
- Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (9-11)
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki (8-13)
- Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki - 93
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM - 91
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki - 76
- Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna - 73
- Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda - 62
- Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki - 56
- Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda - 54
- Marvin Musquin, France, KTM - 48
- Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Yamaha - 45
- Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha - 39
- Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (2-2)
- Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (4-1)
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha (1-4)
- Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (3-5)
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (5-6)
- Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM (13-3)
- Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki (9-7)
- Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (8-8)
- RJ Hampshire, Hudson Fla., Honda (6-11)
- Martin Davalos, Ecuador, Husqvarna (14-9)
- Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha - 79
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., Yamaha - 77
- Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki - 76
- Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha - 75
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha - 63
- Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki - 58
- Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., KTM - 57
- Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna - 45
- RJ Hampshire, Hudson Fla., Honda - 41
- Tristan Charboneau, Tenino, Wash., Honda - 36
- Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki - 36
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, features the world's fastest outdoor motocross racers, racing aboard the best bikes each factory offers, on the roughest, toughest tracks in the world. The 12-rounds series begins at Hangtown in May and ends at Indiana's Ironman Raceway in August. It includes stops at the premier motocross racing facilities in America, with events in California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Washington, New York and Indiana. The pro riders race on Saturday afternoon, with competition divided into two classes: one for 250cc machines, and one for 450cc machines. The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is managed by MX Sports Pro Racing, the industry leader in off-road power sports event production. The series is televised on NBC, NBCSN and MAVTV and streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra. Series partners include Lucas Oil (series title sponsor), Red Bull, GoPro, WPS, Fly Racing, GEICO Motorcycle, Kawasaki, Motorcycle Superstore, FRAM, KTM, Oakley, FMF, Deltran Battery Tender, Pirelli, Suzuki, Husqvarna, Pivot Works, Vertex, ProGrip, EBC Brakes, KMC Wheels, MotionPro, VP Racing Fuels, Acerbis and Racer X. More information can be found at www.ProMotocross.com.
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