Geico Honda’s Eli Tomac came through on top in 250 Moto 1 at the Moto-X 338 National in Southwick, Massachusetts. Following in second was French rider Marvin Musquin of Red Bull KTM, earning his best moto finish of the season so far. Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett rounded out the podium.
A big pile-up at the start left title contender Justin Barcia of Geico Honda way back in the pack, but his rookie teammate Zach Bell avoided the incident and pushed to the front early on. Bell is fresh from his title win at Loretta Lynn’s and he went on to hold the lead in his first pro moto for over 10 minutes. Pursued by Tomac, Bell finally relinquished the lead in the face of increasing pressure and then soon after washed out the front end of his bike and went down. He landed on his head in the accident and soon after pulled out of the race. Tomac charged ahead and built a gap that was over 12 seconds at the checkers.
Once Bell went down, Musquin and Baggett settled into their positions and held steady to the end. Musquin’s teammate Ken Roczen came across the finish in fourth and was followed by Troy Lee Designs rider Jessy Nelson in fifth. JDR KTM’s Malcolm Stewart held to sixth and Barcia finished seventh after battling back from 16th.
Baggett rallied in Moto 2 and scored the win ahead of Roczen in second and Tomac in third. Barcia fared much better than in Moto 1 and took fourth with Musquin rounding out the top five.
Blake Baggett secured the overall after passing Ken Roczen for the Moto 2 win late in the contest at Southwick.
The battle for the lead became absolutely epic in the final minutes of the moto. Roczen ran out front early and managed to hold steady for all but the final laps of the contest. Baggett kept behind the German though, making it up to second soon after Roczen took the lead, but the KTM rider was determined and had close to five seconds of a gap on BB at one point. Baggett turned up the heat in the last minutes, cutting the gap to a fraction of a second and then going neck-and-neck with Roczen as the two started to go back and forth out front. In the end Roczen fell short of his first moto victory in the championship as Baggett dug deep to build what would become a 15 second gap on the German.
“I got a good start in the second moto and rode the best I could,” said Baggett. “I made a mistake early, but I dug as deep as I could and made it happen. Ken and I went after each other, but we kept it clean. I really enjoyed racing with him.”
Behind the two front runners, the action was no less intense. Tomac took an early spill and fell back to seventh. He rallied back and started to post some of the fastest laps on the track, blowing past a host of riders as he fought to take the overall win. Once in third, he cut a double-digit gap down to just seven seconds on Baggett and eventually caught the Kawasaki rider, passing him briefly before going down once again late in the moto. He was able to recover and hold position, but fell short of the overall when Baggett took the win.
Tomac’s teammate Barcia, who finished fourth, came off the start much better than in Moto 1 and was running in third-place when he clipped a tree and went down. When he got back in the action, he was seventh and spent the rest of the moto charging through the pack as best he could.
Newcomer Zach Bell was unable to start Moto 2 due to the crash he had earlier in the day.
Baggett remains at the top of the points list, extending his lead to 14 over Barcia. Tomac holds steady in third, but closed the gap on Barcia to just eight points. Roczen remains fourth overall with Musquin rounding out the top five.
Southwick 250 Motocross Results 2012:
1. Blake Baggett (Kawasaki) 3-1
2. Eli Tomac (Honda) 1-3
3. Ken Roczen (KTM) 4-2
4. Marvin Musquin (KTM) 2-5
5. Justin Barcia (Honda) 7-4
6. Malcolm Stewart (KTM) 6-7
7. Alex Martin (Honda) 8-6
8. Jessy Nelson (Honda) 5-11
9. Travis Baker (Honda) 10-10
10. Ryan Sipes (Yamaha) 12-12
11. Justin Bogle (Honda) 11-13
12. Jason Anderson (Suzuki)
13. Wil Hahn (Honda) 21-9
14. Blake Wharton (Suzuki) 9-28
15. Cole Thompson (Yamaha) 13-18
250 Motocross Championship Points:
1. Blake Baggett, 400
2. Justin Barcia, 376
3. Eli Tomac, 368
4. Ken Roczen, 345
5. Marvin Musquin, 294
6. Wil Hahn, 230
7. Blake Wharton, 197
8. Jason Anderson, 181
9. Jessy Nelson, 170
10. Travis Baker, 156