Metcalfe on the rise with a season-best fourth overall.
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship returned to the west coast on Saturday afternoon with its annual visit to the Pacific Northwest and Washougal MX Park for the Motosport.com Washougal National, presented by Peterson CAT.
For the second time in the last three rounds, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey topped the 450 Class, posting his first 1-1 sweep of the season for his third overall victory of 2014 and gaining significant ground in the championship standings.
In the 250 Class, Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin duplicated the efforts of his premier class teammate, earning the first 1-1 sweep of his career en route to his first win of the season.
Toyota/Yamaha/N-FAB/JGRMX’s Justin Brayton was first out of the turn in the opening 450 Class moto, securing the Motosport.com Holeshot Award just ahead of Dungey.
The KTM rider wasted little time in making his move on Brayton and took over control of the lead on the opening lap while his closest rivals, Red Bull KTM teammate Ken Roczen and GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac, battled from behind. With a clear track ahead of him, Dungey was able to consistently pull away but the battled behind him proved to be the highlight of the moto.
Roczen was able to pass Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard for second on Lap 4 and looked to settle into the position, but Tomac was on a charge through the field following an 11th-place start.
The Honda rookie and winner at the previous round methodically moved his way forward and had Roczen in his sights after taking over third on Lap 5. In the ensuing laps Tomac steadily closed the gap on his fellow rookie and after about five laps of pursuit, made the move for the runner-up spot on lap 10.
Out front, Dungey took the moto win by nearly 14 seconds with Tomac second and Roczen third. Canard followed in fourth while Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Brett Metcalfe rounded out the top five.
Brayton once again put himself at the forefront of the field at the start of Moto 2, sweeping the afternoon’s Holeshot Awards. Metcalfe and BTO Sports KTM’s Andrew Short rounded out the top three off the start, with Dungey in fourth. Tomac slotted in a few spots behind Dungey in about seventh, while Roczen was forced to battle his way from a start outside the top 10.
As he did in the first moto, Dungey seized the opportunity on the opening lap and jumped from fourth to first in one corner, immediately pulling away. Tomac wasted little time following Dungey through, moving into the top three, picking off multiple riders to secure second by lap two.
While the lead duo checked out, Roczen was doing his part by fighting his way into a podium position. While he had to do battle with Metcalfe over the course of several laps for third, Roczen eventually made the pass stick and asserted himself in the final podium spot.
The top three stayed the same through to the finish, with Dungey crossing the line over eight seconds ahead of Tomac. Roczen was a distant third.
“Today was just about coming in and not worrying about the championship. There’s a lot of racing left [this season],” said Dungey, who won for the fourth time in five tries in the 450 Class at Washougal.
“We just tried to put out our best effort and we did that. We got great starts and Eli kept us honest in that second moto, but I just really tried to put the hammer down and extend the gap. Fortunately we did that. I love it here and this just feels awesome.”
Dungey’s win was a landmark one, marking the 30th of his 450 Class career and his 37th combined victory (including the 250 Class) in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Tomac followed in second (2-2) with Roczen completing the podium in third (3-3). Metcalfe posted a season-best finish in fourth (5-4), while Short rounded out the top five (6-5).
“You always want to be up front, but it was another weekend of work for us,” said Roczen. “It’ll be good to have an off weekend and recharge the batteries. Ryan [Dungey] rode really well today and congrats to him. I’ll take some time to regroup and get some rest in. I really want to keep that red plate [as the points leader]. All that matters is who’s on top in the end, and we aren’t there just yet.”
With 10 points in Dungey’s favor on Saturday, Roczen’s lead in the 450 Class standings now sits at 14 points. Canard sits third, 77 points behind.
Australia’s Chad Reed was 15th overall after racing to 11th in moto one, however 35th in moto two ended his hopes of a better overall finish.
In the 250 Class, Valli Motorsports Yamaha’s Christophe Pourcel led the field into the first turn in moto one, claiming the Holeshot Award ahead of Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin. The French rider fended off the current championship points leader for a brief period, but Martin soon made his way around and set a solid pace.
Behind them, Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin took advantage of a third-place start to challenge the two Yamaha’s ahead of him. He passed his fellow Frenchman Pourcel on lap one and went to work on Martin for three laps before ultimately moving into first. Once out front, Musquin pulled away and was never threatened.
While Musquin established his dominance, the battle behind him turned into a captivating five-rider battle between Pourcel and Martin, in addition to Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett, Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson and Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Cooper Webb.
A mistake forced Martin to drop from second to fifth, putting the battle for second between Pourcel and Baggett. Eventually Baggett made the pass on Pourcel, but gave the position back just one lap later.
Anderson began to put pressure on Baggett for third but suffered a big crash and dropped deep into the field. That allowed Webb to assume the position after passing his teammate and soon all four riders were separated by just over a second. As he looked to close in again on Pourcel, Baggett went down and fell to fifth, while the Star Yamaha teammates of Webb and Martin swapped third on multiple occasions.
In the end, Musquin cruised to his first moto win of the season by over eight seconds ahead of Pourcel while a late pass by Webb with two laps to go awarded him third over Martin. Baggett soldiered home to finish fifth.
Pourcel raced to his fourth straight Motosport.com Holeshot Award in the final moto, with GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle on his rear fender. Bogle took advantage of the strong start to pass Pourcel on the opening lap and assume control of the moto.
Behind them, Musquin and Baggett also were looking to make the most of their strong starts, while Martin and Webb jockeyed for position deeper in the field.
While Bogle maintained a strong pace out front, Musquin made the move on Pourcel for second and set his sights on the lead. Pourcel continued to lose positions and eventually dropped out of contention up front. Bogle was impressive in his defense of the position and was able to keep Musquin at bay for the majority of the moto. However, on lap nine the Frenchman made his move and easily pulled away once out front.
Bogle then fell into the clutches of Baggett, who rebounded from his misfortune in the opening moto to put himself in podium contention. Baggett methodically wore Bogle down and the Honda rider soon tipped over to put Baggett into second. Bogle quickly recovered to hold on to third, but then had to fight off Martin for the position in the final stages of the moto.
Musquin maintained his lead on Baggett through to the finish, while Bogle was able to hold on for third. The victory was Musquin’s first since the fourth round of the 2013 season and comes off his best finish of the season a week ago. He now has four career wins in the 250 Class.
“I’m so glad, that was a perfect day. I was fastest qualifying and got both moto wins,” said Musquin. “It was my first time in American going 1-1. My teammate Ryan went 1-1 and I wanted to join him. I found an outside line that helped me make passes all day and I’m really happy to know I got some good starts and was able to make the passes I needed to get into the lead.”
Baggett’s runner-up effort in the final moto helped him finish second overall (5-2), while Martin (4-4) edged out his teammate Webb (3-5) for third, needing a tiebreaker to finish on the podium. Bogle completed the top five (7-3).
“I’m pumped,” exclaimed Martin. “Last year I went 29-12 at Washougal and this year I went 4-4, so I’m super, super happy. I was able to get some good starts, find some good lines and get into a rhythm.”
Martin retained control of his lead in the 250 Class standings, with a 43-point lead over Webb. Baggett sits third, 54 points back.
Australia had a fresh face in the field at Washougal with freestyle motocrosser Jarryd McNeil making a surprise appearance and impressing with 29-23 finishes for 25th overall aboard a Kawasaki.
The 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will take a week off before returning to action on Saturday, 9 August, with the 10th round of the season from Unadilla in New Berlin, New York.
2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
Round nine – Washougal, WA
450 Class overall results:
1. Ryan Dungey
2. Eli Tomac
3. Ken Roczen
4. Brett Metcalfe (AUS)
5. Andrew Short
6. Weston Peick
7. Trey Canard
8. Fredrik Noren
9. Justin Brayton
10. Christian Craig
15. Chad Reed (AUS)
450 Class championship standings:
1. Ken Roczen 407
2. Ryan Dungey 393
3. Trey Canard 330
4. Brett Metcalfe (AUS) 256
5. James Stewart 226
6. Josh Grant 218
7. Andrew Short 218
8. Weston Peick 217
9. Eli Tomac 212
10. Chad Reed (AUS) 156
250 Class overall results:
1. Marvin Musquin
2. Blake Baggett
3. Jeremy Martin
4. Cooper Webb
5. Justin Bogle
6. Joey Savatgy
7. Dean Wilson
8. Christophe Pourcel
9. Cole Seely
10. Jessy Nelson
25. Jarryd McNeil (AUS)
250 Class championship standings:
1. Jeremy Martin 377
2. Cooper Webb 334
3. Blake Baggett 323
4. Marvin Musquin 291
5. Justin Bogle 274
6. Christophe Pourcel 274
7. Jason Anderson 236
8. Cole Seely 212
9. Jessy Nelson 185
10. Alex Martin 156