On a 90-degree day outside of Bristol, Tennessee, the best 250 motocross racers around battled it out at Muddy Creek Raceway during Round 3 of the 2013 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. The bar-banging action at the first annual Built Ford Tough Tennessee National didn’t disappoint the crowd as local favorite Zach Osborne battled for the early lead and rookie rider Cooper Webb led the race after the first lap, but in the end Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen would prove to be too much for either as he rode away with the Moto 1 win. The KTM rider continues to be the dominant rider in the class winning four of five races so far this season.
“It’s good to get another win, I mean, we have to fight for the wins. You have to be consistent but sometimes I feel that’s not enough, you’ve got to go for the wins,” Roczen said in the post-race press conference.
When the gate dropped, it was Geico Honda’s Justin Bogle who would steal the holeshot from KTM’s Marvin Musquin by the slimmest of margins to earn him a point toward the Motorcycle-Superstore.com
Holeshot Championship with Honda’s Zach Osborne a fraction behind. The crowd went nuts went Osborne jumped into the lead, albeit his time there was short-lived. He and Bogle were going at it hard with rookie Web trying to make his own move to the front. Roczen meanwhile lurked a bit in back of the lead pack in fifth. Not long after, Bogle went down, ruining a spectacular start and Webb surged to the lead by the end of the first lap.
Webb didn’t ride like a rookie and looked like he belonged in the lead. The masterful KTM factory rider Roczen launched past him on a jump, but Webb found the speed to charge back. The two engaged in some wheel-to-wheel racing with Roczen keeping the pressure on. Osborne was also on the fast-track to the front with Marvin Musquin and Jason Anderson rounding out the top five. GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac, winner of Thunder Valley’s 250 overall, meanwhile trailed back in 13th and was busy battling with Cole Seeley.
Roczen would soon hunt down Webb as crowd favorite Osborne also made his way around the young rider. Osborne then went down eight minutes in, sacrificing valuable positions.
This allowed the KTMs are of Roczen and Musquin to move into the 1-2 positions with Roczen powering out to a four-second lead. Anderson made his move into third.
Roczen began checking out by laying down almost 2:00 flat lap times while Blake Baggett and Anderson began battling for third and fourth. Anderson had dropped back and had his hands full with Tomac for the fifth-sixth positions.
Roczen and Musquin soon distanced themselves from the rest of the pack. There was a tremendous fight for the rest of the top ten positions between Baggett, Tomac, Osborne, Webb, Anderson, Savatgy, Martin, and Cunningham.
After his horrible start, Tomac had fought his way back to duel with teammate Osborne for fifth. Tomac powered by and began to track down Webb and used a rutted inside line to make the pass, but Webb showed tremendous grit to get the position back.
Roczen ended up crossing the line to claim his fourth win in five motos. His KTM teammate Musquin trimmed the gap from over 10 seconds to 6.5 and made it a KTM sweep by finishing second. Kawasaki’s Baggett would grab the final podium position, while Tomac fended off the rookie to finish fourth. Webb on the Yamaha ran an impressive race to grab the fifth position while Zach Osborne crossed the line sixth. Jason Anderson held on to claim seventh, just ahead of Kyle Cunningham in eighth. Seely would finish in the top ten with ninth place while Joseph Savatgy grabbed the 10th slot.
In Muddy Creek’s 250 Class Moto 2, GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac got a great start to take the holeshot, with Musquin and Bogle in hot pursuit. Moto 1 winner Roczen meanwhile got a rough start and was back in 10th place.
It didn’t take long for Tomac to gain separation from the pack and begin checking out. The real battle was behind him between Musquin, Osborne, Bogle, Roczen, and Blake Baggett. After a great first moto, rookie Webb was pushing his Yamaha hard trying to pass Musquin and went down, almost taking out Osborne as well. The Honda rider recovered though and soon made his way past Bogle for third as Roczen lurked not far behind in fifth.
Tomac continued to pour it on, opening up a four-second lead on Musquin. Roczen was moving up and got by Bogle, then like Villopoto he went down, bouncing around before falling. Fortunately, he got up quick to hold on to sixth position.
By this time, the race was Tomac’s to lose after extending his lead to nine seconds. Baggett was dicing with Bogle for fourth and finally made a pass stick. Demonstrating great speed and strength, Roczen again moved up and had them in his sights. He was soon by Bogle and was setting his sights on Baggett with 12 minutes plus 2 laps to go.
This increased the drama of the race because if Musquin finished 2-2, he would capture the overall. But if Roczen got by Zach Osborne, the KTM rider would get the overall. Roczen made his move, climbed into the third position, and looked set to win the overall but in the blink of an eye he made a slight miscalculation, allowing Baggett by and dropping him to fourth place.
Tomac ended up with the Moto 2 win, but it was KTM’s Musquin who rode away the big winner with his second career national overall win.
“I’m pumped, a great trophy for the weekend and first time in Muddy Creek, so it’s great,” Musquin said.
Muddy Creek 250 Motocross Results 2013:
1. Marvin Musquin (KTM) 2-2
2. Eli Tomac 4-1 (Honda) 4-1
3. Ken Roczen (KTM) 1-4
4. Blake Baggett (Kawasai ) 3-3
5. Zach Osborne (Honda) 6-5
6. Jason Anderson (Suzuki) 7-7
7. Justin Bogle (Honda) 12-6
8. Kyle Cunningham (Yamaha) 8-11
9. Blake Wharton (Suzuki) 11-9
10. Cooper Webb (Yamaha) 5-15
11. Martin Davalos (Kawasaki) 13-8
12. Joseph Savatgy (KTM) 10-12
250 Motocross Championship Points 2013:
1. Ken Roczen, 138
2. Eli Tomac, 132
3. Marvin Musquin, 116
4. Blake Baggett, 110
5. Zach Osborne, 96
6. Jason Anderson, 77
7. Cooper Webb, 65
8. Kyle Cunningham, 62
9. Justin Bogle, 61
10. Jeremy Martin, 61