The key for Tomac has always been to get good starts, and he was on fire at Hangtown. In Moto 1 he and Dungey battled through the opening corners for the front, but it was quickly apparent that Tomac was on another level and he soon pulled away in the lead. JGRMX’s Weston Peick slotted into third-place during the initial rotation followed by Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Baggett in fourth and Motosports.com’s Fredrik Noren in fifth.
Team HRC’s Cole Seely, on the other hand, was down hard in the opening lap and needed assistance getting back to his feet. The incident proved severe enough that Seely didn’t line-up for Moto 2. It’s unknown yet how or if the crash will affect the rest of his season.
As Tomac and Dungey pulled away from the rest of the riders, Peick found a happy home in third position, the battle for fourth raging between a number of riders behind. Positions shuffled a lot through the 4-9 ranks early on, with Anderson, Baggett, Rockstar Husqvarna’s Christophe Pourcel, RCH Racing’s Ken Roczen, Noren, and Brett Metcalfe all fighting for the advantage. Anderson and Baggett brought the group up onto Peick’s rear tire, with Anderson passing into third just after 10 minutes had elapsed and Baggett making the pass on Peick soon after for fourth.
At the front, Dungey looked to have a closable gap on his hands, Tomac pacing just 2.8 seconds ahead of the KTM ace at one point. The latter stages saw Tomac gun it though, the Honda rider growing his advantage to more than 22 seconds during the final 10 minutes of racing. Anderson was able to hold steady in third with Baggett trailing in fourth and Pourcel in fifth. Roczen’s teammate, Broc Tickle, battled his way up to sixth position by the finish followed by Metcalfe in seventh and Peick in eighth.
It was a tough opening moto for defending champ, Roczen. The Suzuki rider had a previous back issue flair up prior to the round and he struggled to keep pace in light of the pain. He dropped back to 19th position by the finish.
Tomac got an even stronger start in Moto 2 and by the end of the first lap had already built a 4.7 second gap on Dungey in second-place. TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed got into the lead-pack action along with JGRMX’s Justin Barcia and Roczen during the initial stages. After the first laps running order was Tomac, Dungey, Barcia, Roczen, Anderson and Reed through six.
Roczen gave Barcia a big challenge during the opening laps for third-place, but the Yamaha rider put up a strong defense and soon pulled away from the Suzuki ace. Positions shuffled behind, with Peick making moves up the ranks to fifth as the race reached mid-point. Peick then put the pressure on Roczen during the second half of competition, and eventually made the pass without a huge fight. All the while, Tomac was still out front dropping lap times that were, at times, more than seven seconds faster than the second-fastest rider on track.
The latter half of the race was marked by battles between Anderson and Baggett for sixth, the fight almost getting dirty at points as the two riders bumped each other through corners. Baggett eventually prevailed for sixth-place and set his sights on Roczen in fifth. Though he came close to the RCH rider, Bagget proved unable to make the pass and crossed the line in the number six spot.
Barcia also had a late race fight when Peick came roaring up from fourth-place, the teammates duking it out for the final step on the podium for the moto. With less than two laps remaining, Peick was able to get the pass done for third-place while Barcia held to fourth.
Further back, Anderson claimed seventh in Moto 2 with Tickle following in eighth, Metcalfe in ninth and Noren in 10th.
Tomac leaves Hangtown with points lead, followed by Dungey in second and Anderson in third. Peick sits fourth with Baggett in fifth.
Hangtown 450 Motocross Results 2015
1. Eli Tomac (Honda) 1-1
2. Ryan Dungey (KTM) 2-2
3. Jason Anderson (Husqvarna) 3-7
4. Weston Peick (Yamaha) 8-3
5. Blake Baggett (Suzuki) 4-6
6. Broc Tickle (Suzuki) 6-8
7. Brett Metcalfe (Kawasaki) 7-9
8. Christophe Pourcel (Husqvarna) 5-12
9. Fredrik Noren (Honda) 10-10
10. Phil Nicoletti (Yamaha) 9-14
11. Justin Barcia (Yamaha) 35-4
12. Ken Roczen (Suzuki) 19-5
13. Kyle Chisholm (Kawasaki) 11-13
14. Justin Brayton (KTM) 14-11
15. Chad Reed (Kawasaki) 12-15
450 Motocross Championship Points 2015
1. Eli Tomac, 50
2. Ryan Dungey, 44
3. Jason Anderson, 34
4. Weston Peick, 33
5. Blake Baggett, 33
6. Broc Tickle, 28
7. Brett Metcalfe, 26
8. Christophe Pourcel, 25
9. Fredrik Noren, 22
10. Phil Nicoletti, 19