Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen opened up the 2013 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship with the 250 Moto 1 win, outpacing GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac and defending Nationals champion, Blake Baggett of Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki, who took second and third respectively.
Competition was intense in the opening minutes with Baggett getting a fantastic start which gave him the early lead. Roczen’s teammate, Marvin Musquin, trailed close behind in second and quickly began pressuring Baggett for the front. BB was able to defend against the KTM ace for a handful of minutes but Musquin eventually powered by and claimed the lead.
My Plash’s Cooper Webb made his pro debut and held third-place through the initial laps, but Tomac was on the charge and quickly made a pass into third. Tomac then picked-off Baggett to grab the runner-up spot while Musquin maintained out front. Roczen, meanwhile, was pushing up the ranks as well after an average start, getting into the top-three after 10 minutes had elapsed. Soon after, the German rider nipped both Tomac and Musquin for the lead, which he held unchallenged to the checkers. Tomac didn’t waste any time and quickly relegated Musquin back to third. Baggett followed suit soon after, pushing Musquin back to fourth, where he would eventually finish.
While Roczen stretched out his lead, Tomac held off heavy pressure from Baggett. At times it appeared as if Tomac was building a gap of his own on the defending champ, but Baggett never gave up and was on the Honda rider’s rear tire as they entered the final two laps. A slight bobble set Baggett back as competition waned, ending his hopes of a second-place finish in Moto-1.
Webb finished behind Musquin in fifth-place, getting past Baggett’s teammate, Darryn Durham, late in the competition. Durham crossed the line in sixth, followed by Webb’s teammate, Jeremy Martin, in seventh.
One rider absent from proceedings was Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s newest member, Adam Cianciarulo. The rookie is reportedly running a high fever and was unable to take part in the season opener.
250 Hangtown podium with Ken Roczen (center) in first, Blake Baggett (right) in second and Eli Tomac (left) in third.
Roczen swept the 250 class at Hangtown with another commanding performance in Moto 2, beating second-place finisher Baggett by over 12 seconds. Tomac rounded out the podium after mounting a race-long charge up the ranks from eighth.
GEICO Honda’s Zach Bell scored the Motorcycle-Superstore
Holeshot by over one bike-length, but was quickly picked-off as Baggett pushed to the front. Roczen moved into second-place a few turns later, followed by Wharton in third. Baggett played defense against Roczen early on, but the German rider was ferocious, making a pass for the front within the opening laps and holding there to the finish.
Meanwhile, Bell’s teammate, Zach Osborne, battled with Wharton for third-place and moved past the Suzuki rider in the initial laps. Soon after, Musquin was in the mix as well. The French rider finally found a line past Wharton and he began working on Osborne for third, but the two riders got tangled up and ran off track, allowing a number of others to easily advance.
Wharton’s teammate, Jason Anderson, got to third briefly but lost the spot to Tomac mid-race. Behind, Wharton and Tomac’s teammate, Justin Bogle, pushed forward in a battle for fifth, which was intensified as Musquin mounted a come-back from his earlier incident. The KTM ace was eventually able to get past both Wharton and Bogle to finish Moto 2 in fourth.
Osborne made a late race charge as well and made fifth-place before the checkers. Anderson grabbed sixth followed by Kyle Cunningham in seventh, Bogle in eighth and Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Justin Hill in ninth. Wharton ended the day in 10th.
Roczen now leads the 250 championship, sitting eight points ahead of Tomac in second. Bagget is mathematically tied with Tomac in third-place while Musquin is fourth.
Hangtown 250 Motocross Results 2013:
1. Ken Roczen (KTM) 1-1
2. Blake Baggett (Kawasaki) 3-2
3. Eli Tomac (Honda) 2-3
4. Marvin Musquin (KTM) 4-4
5. Zach Osborne (Honda) 9-5
6. Kyle Cunningham (Yamaha) 8-7
7. Jason Anderson (Suzuki) 12-6
8. Jeremy Martin (Yamaha) 7-13
9. Joey Savatgy (KTM) 10-11
10. Justin Hill (Kawasaki) 13-9
11. Cooper Webb (Yamaha) 5-18
12. Justin Bogle (Honda) 19-8
13. Blake Wharton (Suzuki) 17-10
14. Darryn Durham (Kawasaki) 6-36
15. Cole Seely (Honda) 14-14
250 Motocross Championship Points 2013:
1. Ken Roczen, 50
2. Eli Tomac, 42
3. Blake Baggett, 42
4. Marvin Musquin, 36
5. Zach Osborne, 28
6. Kyle Cunningham, 27
7. Jason Anderson, 24
8. Jeremy Martin, 22
9. Joey Savatgy, 21
10. Justin Hill, 20