Rested and rejuvenated after a two-week break in the action, the riders of the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship made their annual stop in New England on Saturday for round number nine of the series at Moto-X 338 in Southwick, Massachusetts. In what proved to be one of the most dramatic races of the year, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey continued his dominant streak by capturing his seventh-straight overall win in the 450 class, but not before having to make an impromptu pit stop late in moto two to do so.
In the 250 class, the Red Bull KTM duo of Ken Roczen and Marvin Musquin finished in third and fourth overall, respectively, each claiming second-place moto finishes in the process.
Ashley Fiolek dominated the WMX class aboard her Red Bull-backed factory Honda with impressive 1-1 moto finishes and closed to within five points of current championship leader Jessica Patterson with just one round of action remaining on their schedule.
Before the racing got underway at Moto-X 338 on Saturday, the 2012 Motocross of Nations representatives for defending champions Team USA were announced, and Dungey was stoked to learn that he’d be heading up the team with Blake Baggett and Justin Barcia by his side in their quest to bring home the Chamberlain Trophy for the eighth straight year.
“It’s a great honor to be named to the Motocross of Nations team again,” said Dungey before the race. “I love the event, and I couldn’t be more proud to represent Team USA, but we still have a little bit of work to get done here in our series before I can really focus on it. I’m looking forward to racing in Belgium, though.”
450 Class Highlights
With threats of rain showers looming overhead, the gates dropped for the first 450 moto of the day, and true to form, Mike Alessi grabbed the holeshot with Dungey sitting just inside the top-five early on. After moving into second by lap two, Dungey began pressuring Alessi for the lead while trying to dodge the gnarly Southwick sand roost in the process.
With light rain beginning to fall, RD made his move to get by Alessi on lap seven and with clear track ahead he immediately began stretching out a comfortable margin. After 17 grueling laps on the rough Moto-X 338 circuit, Dungey took the checkers over 16 seconds ahead of Alessi, who was followed by Tommy Hahn in a distant third.
Moto two got underway with another Alessi holeshot but Dungey wasted little time as he stormed by to take over the top spot before the conclusion of lap one. After checking out and opening up a huge gap during the first six laps of the race, RD made a mistake and went down on lap seven, handing the lead back over to Alessi. Mike’s time up front was short-lived, however, as Dungey was just too strong in the Southwick sand and blew back by to secure the top spot just two laps later.
During the crash, Dungey inadvertently kicked the gas cap off of his bike, causing fuel to run out of the tank. Uncertain if he’d have enough left to finish the moto, the Red Bull KTM crew signaled RD into pit row on lap 14 and quickly threw a splash of gas back in the tank. The stop, though impressively efficient, allowed Tyla Rattray to move into the lead. RD rejoined the race slotted in the second spot just ahead of Alessi, who had fallen to Rattray one lap earlier.
With just three laps to go, Dungey was unable to challenge Rattray for the moto win but his second-place result was all that was needed to secure his seventh-straight overall victory.
“That was a crazy moto,” Dungey commented from the podium. “I wasn’t able to catch Tyla, but given the circumstances, things really couldn’t have worked out any better.”
Dungey now holds down an 85-point lead with just three rounds to go in the series.
|450 MOTO 1 RESULTS||450 MOTO 2 RESULTS||OVERALL RESULTS|
|1.||Ryan Dungey||1.||Tyla Rattray||1.||Ryan Dungey|
|2.||Mike Alessi||2.||Ryan Dungey||2.||Mike Alessi|
|3.||Tommy Hahn||3.||Mike Alessi||3.||Broc Tickle|
|4.||Robbie Marshall||4.||Broc Tickle||4.||Davi Millsaps|
|5.||Andrew Short||5.||Michael Byrne||5.||Tyla Rattray|
|6.||Broc Tickle||6.||Davi Millsaps||6.||Mike Brown|
|7.||Davi Millsaps||7.||Mike Brown||7.||Josh Grant|
|8.||Josh Grant||8.||Josh Grant||8.||Andrew Short|
|9.||Mike Brown||9.||Kyle Chisholm||9.||Kyle Chisholm|
|10.||John Dowd||10.||Les Smith||10.||Tommy Hahn|
250 Class Highlights
Marvin Musquin jumped out to a second-place start behind series newcomer Zach Bell to kick off 250 moto one, but a bobble on lap number two forced him back to the third spot. Behind Musquin, teammate Ken Roczen suffered from a mediocre start but pressed hard early on to pass his way into sixth by the end of lap two.
As the moto continued to unfold, Musquin was able to work his way back into second behind new leader Eli Tomac and by the midway point Roczen had moved into fourth some seven seconds behind series rival Blake Baggett.
When the checkers waved it was Tomac who crossed the line first, but Musquin was still stoked with his second-place effort -- the best moto result of the series thus far for the likeable Frenchman.
In moto two, TLD Honda’s Jessy Nelson grabbed the holeshot to lead lap one, but Roczen made a pass to take over the top spot on lap two. Roczen went on to lead the next 14 laps of the race before engaging in a fierce battle with Baggett for the win.
The talented German fought hard to hold onto the lead as the two riders battled bar-to-bar, but Baggett eventually broke him with just two laps to go and Roczen was forced to settle for second. Combined with his fourth-place finish in moto one, Roczen finished the day on the podium with a third-place overall.
Musquin struggled to get a good flow going in moto two after a poor start but managed to rally late in the race to climb into the fifth spot to secure fourth overall honors for the day.
|250 MOTO 1 RESULTS||250 MOTO 2 RESULTS||OVERALL RESULTS|
|1.||Eli Tomac||1.||Blake Baggett||1.||Blake Baggett|
|2.||Marvin Musquin||2.||Ken Roczen||2.||Eli Tomac|
|3.||Blake Baggett||3.||Eli Tomac||3.||Ken Roczen|
|4.||Ken Roczen||4.||Justin Barcia||4.||Marvin Musquin|
|5.||Jessy Nelson||5.||Marvin Musquin||5.||Justin Barcia|
|6.||Malcom Stewart||6.||Alex Martin||6.||Malcom Stewart|
|7.||Justin Barcia||7.||Malcom Stewart||7.||Alex Martin|
|8.||Alex Martin||8.||Jason Anderson||8.||Jessy Nelson|
|9.||Blake Wharton||9.||Wil Hahn||9.||Travis Baker|
|10.||Travis Baker||10.||Travis Baker||10.||Ryan Sipes|
The ladies of the WMX series battled it out in the penultimate round of their series at Southwick on Saturday, and Ashley Fiolek capitalized on two great starts to lead every lap of the day en route to a dominant 1-1 performance.
The moto wins supplied the maximum 50 points needed to continue reeling in current championship leader Patterson, setting the stage for a dramatic final round at Lake Elsinore in Southern California on September 8.
Red Bull-backed TLD Honda’s Tarah Gieger struggled to a fifth-place finish in moto two at Southwick, relegating her to an uncharacteristic fourth overall finish for the day. Still, Gieger sits just 10 points back in the championship points chase, making it a three-rider battle when the series returns for the finale in SoCal.
|WMX MOTO 1 RESULTS||WMX MOTO 2 RESULTS||OVERALL RESULTS|
|1.||Ashley Fiolek||1.||Ashley Fiolek||1.||Ashley Fiolek|
|2.||Jessica Patterson||2.||Jessica Patterson||2.||Jessica Patterson|
|3.||Tarah Gieger||3.||Mariana Balbi||3.||Sara Petterson|
|4.||Sara Petterson||4.||Sara Petterson||4.||Tarah Gieger|
|5.||Jacqueline Strong||5.||Tarah Gieger||5.||Mariana Balbi|
|6.||Sade Allender||6.||Sade Allender||6.||Sade Allender|
|7.||Mariana Balbi||7.||Jacqueline Strong||7.||Jacqueline Strong|
|8.||Sarah Whitmore||8.||Sarah Whitmore||8.||Sarah Whitmore|
|9.||Alexah Pearson||9.||Christina Older||9.||Christina Older|
|10.||Christina Older||10.||Brianna DeGray||10.||Alexah Pearson|
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- Interview: Ryan Dungey on his first season with KTM
- Dungey wins at Washougal