The 2013 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship resumes with Round 5 of the season at Budds Creek MX Park in Mechanicsville, Maryland, marking the 23rd time a National has been staged at the track. So far this year it’s been the Ryan Villopoto show in the 450 class, with the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider winning all but one moto through the first four rounds. Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey has maintained a near perfect record as well, albeit as the runner-up. His overall win at Muddy Creek in Tennessee, where he went 3-1, is the outlier for the Minnesota native. He’ll be gunning for more moto wins at Budds Creek to keep RV from stretching out his overall points lead as the championship nears its mid-point.
Villopoto has been unstoppable once he gains the front, and though he’s only scored one Motorcycle-Superstore.com Holeshot, the Kawasaki ace has been quick to make up for lost time within the opening laps. Dungey has been one of the only riders capable of keeping RV in his sights, though has enjoyed few opportunities to push for a pass once the 2011 Nationals champ gets to the lead.
Others have tried, including Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia. The class rookie leads the 450 class Motorcycle-Superstore Holeshot championship with seven points, and has been a consistent presence at the front of the pack as a result of his quick starts. Bam Bam has been on the podium four times in eight motos and sits third overall. His teammate, Trey Canard, is fourth in the series, with a season best third-place finish coming in Moto 2 at Muddy Creek.
Motoconcepts’ Mike Alessi is now fifth in the championship, having earned his first trip to the podium in Moto 2 at High Point. He’s been a consistent points-earner all season though, a fact that allowed him to move past Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart in the points tally after the previous round. Stewart has faced ups and downs, making podiums at Hangtown and Thunder Valley and then falling victim to mechanical failures at High Point, where a broken front rotor took him out of the lead pack in Moto 2. He sits second in the Holeshot championship with four points.
Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray picked-up the pace at High Point, making the overall podium for the first time in his career in the 450 class with a 4-4 finish. JGRMX’s Josh Grant showed speed in Pennsylvania, nabbing the Moto 2 holeshot and ending the weekend with a 5-8 result. Rockstar Energy Racing’s Ryan Sipes has been mixing it up inside the top-10 as well, posting his best result of the year at High Point with a 6-6 finish. Grant took a fifth-place finish at Budds Creek in Moto 2 of 2012 while Sipes made seventh-place in Moto 1.
Villopoto’s teammate, Jake Weimer, has been clawing his way back up the ranks after a disappointing start to the 2013 season and he’ll be looking to better his standing at Budds Creek, where he went 3-4 in 2012. Two Two Motorsports’ Chad Reed has struggled with illness through the opening rounds of the Nationals this year, though he may be a factor inside the top-10 if the recent break from racing proved advantageous to his health.
In the 250 ranks, Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin marked a personal milestone at High Point, earning his first professional moto win in the U.S. in Moto 2. Coupled with his second-place finish in Moto 1, Musquin took the overall win ahead of his teammate, Ken Roczen, who went 1-2 in the event. Roczen continues to lead the series, holding a 15-point advantage over GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac.
Tomac has finished fourth or better in every moto this year, grabbing moto wins at Thunder Valley and Muddy Creek. The Honda ace went 5-3 at Budds Creek in 2012 and finished fourth overall.
The 2012 Budds Creek overall winner, Blake Baggett of Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki, has fallen somewhat under the radar in light of the Red Bull KTM team’s dominance through the first four rounds of competition. He’s managed to finish on the podium in four motos so far and sits fourth overall, but bad starts and a still recovering wrist have hindered the 2012 250 Nationals champion from pushing as hard as he needs to successfully defend his title.
Tomac’s teammate, Zach Osborne, is fifth overall followed by Rockstar Suzuki’s Jason Anderson in sixth and rookie Cooper Webb of MyPlash in seventh.
The 250 class Motorcycle-Superstore.com Holeshot Championship is tied between five riders at two points apiece: Musquin, Osborne, Tomac, Webb’s teammate Jeremy Martin and Tomac’s teammate, Zach Bell.
Live coverage of the first motos from Budds Creek will air on Fuel TV and Allisports.com at 1 p.m. EST. 450 Moto 2 is set to air live on NBC at 3 p.m. EST and 250 Moto 2 will follow at 4 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Network.