Even though he no longer has a shot at the 2013 250 Nationals title, Ken Roczen pushed hard in Moto 1 at Lake Elsinore to add another win to his season total.
Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen took the win in 250 Moto 1 at Lake Elsinore, putting in a strong performance which saw him lead from the first lap to the checkers. The 2013 250 Nationals title winner, Eli Tomac of GEICO Honda, finished in second-place over 11 seconds behind the German while rookie Jeremy Martin of MyPlash rounded out the podium.
Tomac’s teammate, Zach Osborne, nabbed the Motorcycle-Superstore.com holeshot, but was quickly passed by Roczen in the opening turns. From there Roczen never looked back, which was fortunate because he might have been distracted by the large pile-up of riders resulting from Rock River Yamaha’s Alex Martin’s off. The incident claimed nearly the entire Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki team, including Martin Davalos, Adam Cianciarulo and Blake Baggett among a host of others.
Out front, Jeremy Martin, Osborne, Tomac and Wil Hahn made up a lead-pack trying to keep Roczen in their sights. Martin was quick to move up to second past Osborne and Tomac followed soon after as Osborne dropped down the ranks. Martin’s teammate, Cooper Webb, joined the hunt for a spot inside the top-five and didn’t hold any punches in challenging Tomac. The Honda rider was too quick though and he eventually caught up to Martin, moved into second and proceeded to build a buffer between himself and the rest of the pack.
Tomac couldn’t catch Roczen, however, as the two ticked off laps nearly identical to one another. When one would slack the other would pick up the pace and vice-versa, ensuring Roczen made the top-step at least one more time before the end of the year.
Webb finished fourth followed by Osborne in fifth with Hahn in sixth and Martin’s teammate, Kyle Cunningham in seventh. Tomac’s teammate, Justin Bogle, took eighth ahead of Musquin, who dropped back to ninth after tousling with the leaders early on. Musquin came up short off a double and narrowly escaped a much more serious incident as Webb landed his jump almost on top of KTM rider. Troy Lee Designs’ Cole Seely rounded out the top-10.
Baggett crossed the line first in Moto 2, but during the race he failed to adhere to a “wheels-on-the-ground” flag and caught air off a jump near a downed rider. After reviewing the incident, officials decided to penalize Baggett for the infraction, dropping him down to second-place and giving Tomac the win. Webb rounded out the podium.
Osborne earned the Motorcycle-Superstore.com holeshot once again followed by Baggett, Webb and Roczen in a battle for second. Webb pushed ahead and passed Osborne for the front leaving Roczen to battle with the Honda rider. The two swapped position a few times, and during one of the stints when Osborne had the advantage Roczen got caught off guard when Osborne checked his speed, causing the German rider to hit the Honda’s rear tire and go down. Roczen remounted quickly, but had fallen outside the top-10 by the time he was back on the throttle.
Baggett closed the gap on Osborne and soon found a line to second-place, setting his sights on Webb for the lead. After the first six minutes of racing Baggett found his opportunity and pushed past, though Webb didn't lose the spot without a fight. Baggett asserted his place in the lead with an aggressive move to cut Webb off as they powered down a short straight, and soon after Baggett was gone.
Tomac, meanwhile, was weaving past riders in a charge for the front, eventually catching up to Webb with close to 20 minutes remaining. The Honda rider quickly moved into the runner-up spot and looked to be on pace to close the gap on Baggett as well, but BB held steady and toward the end of the moto Tomac managed his pace, knowing he had the overall locked with a second-place finish.
Osborne slipped back in the ranks, battling with Hahn for a spot inside the top-five during the latter stages, and Roczen was riding desperately to catch the two for a chance to recover more ground from seventh. Osborne turned on the jets late though, leaving Hahn behind and catching Martin during the final laps, passing the Yamaha rider to finish fourth. Martin took fifth while Hahn finished sixth, followed by Roczen in seventh.
Tomac ends the 2013 Nationals with a 59 point lead over Roczen, who finished second overall. Both will move up to the 450 ranks next season. Musquin is third for the season followed by Baggett in fourth and Osborne in fifth.
Lake Elsinore 250 Motocross Results 2013:
1. Eli Tomac (Honda) 2-1
2. Ken Roczen (KTM) 1-7
3. Cooper Webb (Yamaha) 4-3
4. Jeremy Martin (Yamaha) 3-5
5. Zach Osborne (Honda) 5-4
6. Wil Hahn (Honda) 6-6
7. Marvin Musquin (KTM) 9-10
8. Justin Bogle (Honda) 8-11
9. Blake Baggett (Kawasaki) 33-2
10. Martin Davalos (Kawasaki) 11-9
11. Justin Hill (Kawasaki) 13-8
12. Cole Seely (Honda) 10-12
13. Jessy Nelson (Honda) 12-14
14. Darryn Durham (Kawasaki) 15-13
15. Kyle Cunningham (Yamaha) 7-35
250 Motocross Championship Points 2013:
1. Eli Tomac, 552
2. Ken Roczen, 493
3. Marvin Musquin, 411
4. Blake Baggett, 395
5. Zach Osborne, 356
6. Jeremy Martin, 300
7. Justin Bogle, 291
8. Jason Anderson, 260
9. Cooper Webb, 255
10. Kyle Cunningham, 228