California’s Pala Raceway hosted the second round of the AMA Motocross Championship last Saturday, and under perfect weather conditions it was the Kawasaki riders in Eli Tomac and Adam Cianciarulo who won the 450 and 250 classes respectively on a day where the racing was red hot!
The pace at Pala was hot at the pointy end of the 450 class and half way through the opening moto it looked like Roczen was going to repeat his Hangtown performance with a runaway opening moto win. But as Tomac started pressing forward from his fourth place he brought Marvin Musquin and Jason Anderson closer to the rear wheel of Roczen.
In the end there was no denying Tomac with the defending champion passing Anderson, Musquin then Roczen to take the lead and win ahead of Roczen. Roczen didn’t have much room back to Musquin, Anderson, Zach Osborne and Cooper Webb while Dean Ferris put in a solid tenth place ride, while the ride of the race has to go to Todd Waters who went from 37th to 16th.
Moto two saw Justin Bogle and Musquin out front ahead of Tomac, Anderson, Roczen and Osborne but it wasn’t long before Musquin and Tomac opened up a small gap over Anderson Roczen and Osborne while Ferris and Waters were well outside the top ten.
Tomac pushed hard around a quickly deteriorating track to finally get by Musquin for the lead just as Anderson lost two positions to Roczen and Osborne. That is how they finish with Webb coming home in sixth once again while Waters got the better of Ferris this time with the Aussies coming home 11th and 13th respectively.
Tomac will take the red plate to Freestone next weekend with a 4-point break over Roczen who in turn has a 15-point gap back to Musquin while Ferris sits a credible eighth in the points and Waters is on 32 points, tied with Justin Hill and Frederik Noren for 12th.
“Marvin was laying down a really good pace in the second moto. We were just going but after the half way mark I was on a charge, put the pressure on, got on the outside of him and got some good momentum, I was really happy with my riding, once I got out front I kept riding loose, hit may marks and my lines, all up a solid day.”
“It’s good, I am glad that I am landing on the podium, we had a rough week (Note: Marv was sore after a big crash the week before at Hangtown and only rode once during the week), bit I feel I was back to myself, feeling pretty good with the bike, my turns were good so overall I am happy.”
“It’s all good, I’ll take a third place here, the track was brutal and I just really wanted to get out of here safe. The other guys rode really good but we fought hard all of the way to the end and I am glad we got on the podium, it’s a long season and I’m looking to better myself every weekend.”
Round 2 of the AMA Pro Motocross season head to the Fox Raceway in Southern California, with Eli Tomac claiming top honours with a dominant win from Marvin Musquin and Ken Roczen. Dean Ferris was 11th overall, Todd Waters 13th and Cody Cooper 35th.
In the 250 class Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo captured back-to-back victories to start the season and extend his point lead, with Justin Cooper second and Dylan Ferrandis third. Hunter Lawrence was ninth overall, claiming second in Moto 2, with Wilson Todd 19th with a 29-14 and Tyler McCoy 36th.
450 Moto 1
The opening 450 Class moto of the day saw Blake Baggett emerge with the holeshot, but he was quickly passed by Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen. The point leader proceeded to set a torrid pace on the opening lap to establish a multi-second margin over the field.
Baggett settled into second on the opening lap but then crashed out of the position, which moved Jason Anderson briefly into second before he lost the position to Marvin Musquin. Just behind them Cooper Webb gave chase from fourth, with Tomac fifth.
At the halfway point of the moto Tomac was able to capitalize on a mistake from Webb to move into fourth and set his sights on Anderson for third. The reigning back-to-back series titleholder faced a five-second deficit to third and successfully overcame that gap to drop Anderson off the podium. He then made a push to track down the top two.
With less than three minutes remaining in the moto Musquin was able to close to within a second of Roczen, while a hard-charging Tomac closed in from third. Soon all three were less than 1.5 seconds apart, and only got closer as the time wound down.
Musquin attempted to make a pass on Roczen, but it didn’t work and instead opened the door for Tomac to take over second. The champ never let up as he stormed around Roczen before the completion of that same lap.
Tomac pulled away over the final laps to take the moto win by 3.8 seconds over Roczen, while Musquin followed in third. Anderson was fourth, while his rookie teammate Zach Osborne was fifth.
450 Moto 1 Results
Eli Tomac 2:08.161
Ken Roczen +03.836
Marvin Musquin +04.816
Jason Anderson +13.081
Zach Osborne +20.609
Cooper Webb +21.753
Justin Barcia +1:04.418
Justin Hill +1:04.954
Fredrik Noren +1:21.323
Dean Ferris +1:25.541 …16. Todd Waters +2:10.358 …29. Cody Cooper
450 Moto 2
As the riders emerged from the first turn at the start of the final moto it was Justin Bogle who earned the holeshot ahead of Musquin and Tomac. Anderson, Baggett, and Roczen jockeyed for position behind them.
Musquin was aggressive on the opening lap and attacked Bogle for the lead, with the Frenchman successfully making the pass. Tomac followed into second shortly thereafter, while Anderson moved into third right after they started the second lap.
The lead trio was able to settle into their positions, with Musquin establishing about a 1.5-second lead on Tomac. Anderson ran solidly in third, but Roczen kept him honest from fourth. Roczen applied persistent pressure for several laps and eventually made his move into podium position just before the halfway point, but was nearly 10 seconds behind the leaders.
Tomac’s impatience grew as the second half of the moto unfolded and he began to force the issue with Musquin. The Frenchman responded, but Tomac made a determined pass to grab control of the moto with just over 10 minutes to go. The champ was able to inch away from Musquin from there. Behind them, Roczen received heavy pressure from Osborne, but the German withstood the challenge.
Out front, Tomac ran the closing moments of the moto all by himself and took an emphatic moto win by 11 seconds over Musquin, with Roczen finishing third.
It’s Tomac’s first 1-1 sweep since the ninth round of last season at Washougal, and marks the 18th win of his 450 Class career, tying him for sixth all time with Kent Howerton.
Musquin (3-2) and Roczen (2-3) ended up in a tie for the runner-up spot, but the better second-moto result gave the Frenchman the tiebreaker.
“That second moto was really comfortable [on the bike]. It was really clean at the end. Marvin [Musquin] had a really good pace going there, and about halfway I was able to put pressure on him and make a really good pass. Once I got out front I was able to ride loose, picking good lines, and carried on to the win. We’re in a great position now [with the championship], so we’re right where we want to be.”
Tomac entered the day facing a four-point deficit to Roczen, but leaves with a four-point lead over the German. Musquin moved into third, 19 points out of the lead.
Marvin Musquin – P2
“Coming from Hangtown, I had a rough week with only a little bit of riding on Thursday and Friday so I didn’t have much expectation. I just wanted to get back to my full potential and I feel like today I was back to myself. I’m glad to be back on the podium with second overall and happy with my riding.”
Zach Osborne – P4
“It was a pretty solid day for me with 5-4 finishes and I have to be content leaving California healthy. This track was brutal today. This is the one that I was the most nervous about as far as the schedule goes and I came out with two decent results. I feel good about my position moving forward and I’ll just keep hammering.”
Jason Anderson – P5
“My weekend went pretty good, the first moto, I kind of just hung in there for a fourth place and stayed with the guys. The second moto, I was riding good but I didn’t really have it in me to up the pace comfortably, so I tried to latch onto third and fourth and do my best to finish strong.”
Cooper Webb – P6
“I didn’t the best starts today and just struggled to work my way to the front. I feel like I rode consistently but not at the pace I needed to be at. I’m looking forward to getting back to Florida and getting back into the routine of things this week so we can come out swinging at Thunder Valley.”
Justin Barcia – P8
“I didn’t get a great flow in the morning and didn’t qualify my best, but going into the moto I knew I would do better. Ended up finishing seventh In the second moto, where the track got even more rough. I’m still building up my fitness and getting stronger coming off of my injuries from earlier this year. All in all it was a decent weekend. I’m glad to leave Fox Raceway healthy, but definitely looking to keep improving and getting better. I’m looking forward to Thunder Valley, I usually do good there.”
Dean Ferris – P11
“I feel like I started the weekend solid, making improvements. First moto was pretty solid and had to dig pretty deep for that one. In the second moto, I got more comfortable with the settings and was pushing toward the front. I ended up having a crash but pushed as hard as I could. All in all we are making progress and will keep working toward improving.”
450 Results – AMA MX Round 2
450 Moto 2 Results
Eli Tomac 2:09.070
Marvin Musquin +11.085
Ken Roczen +17.486
Zach Osborne +20.187
Jason Anderson +32.659
Cooper Webb +50.402
Justin Hill +53.797
Cole Seely +1:01.765
Fredrik Noren +1:08.174
Justin Barcia +1:12.309
Todd Waters +1:29.706
Justin Bogle +1:37.358
Dean Ferris +1:43.119 …38. Cody Cooper
450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (1-1)
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (3-2)
Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda (2-3)
Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (5-4)
Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna (4-5)
Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (6-6)
Justin Hill, Yoncalla, Ore., Suzuki (8-7)
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (7-10)
Fredrik Noren, Sweden, Honda (9-9)
Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda (11-8) …11. Dean Ferris, Australia, (10 – 13) …13. Todd Waters, Australia, (16 – 11) …35. Cody Cooper, New Zealand, (29 – 38)
450 Class Championship Standings
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 93
Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda – 89
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 74
Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna – 72
Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 70
Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM – 65
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 52
Dean Ferris, Australia, Yamaha – 42
Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., KTM – 41
Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda – 38 …14. Todd Waters, Australia, 32 …22. Cody Cooper, New Zealand, 6
250 Moto 1
The first 250 Class moto of the afternoon got underway with the fastest qualifier of the day, Justin Cooper, racing to the holeshot aboard his Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing machine, with teammate Colt Nichols in tow.
Cianciarulo took a gamble on his starting position and lined up his Kawasaki on the farthest outside gate, but it didn’t pay off. With his closest championship rival up front, Cianciarulo started outside the top 10 and had his work cut out for him.
The clear track in the early laps gave Cooper a huge advantage and he was able to establish a bit of a gap over Nichols and the rest of the field. Nichols rode in a solid second, while rookie Hunter Lawrence ran third.
Nichols was able to keep Cooper within striking distance, but Lawrence soon received pressure from Jordon Smith. The two riders engage in a brief battle for the position and made contact, which ultimately took both riders to the ground. That allowed RJ Hampshire to move into third, with his teammate Chase Sexton fourth and a hard-charging Cianciarulo in fifth.
In the late stages of the moto, Cianciarulo, who moved into fourth, applied heavy pressure on Hampshire, which ultimately carried them to Nichols in second and ignited a three-rider battle for the final podium positions.
Hampshire was able to withstand a brief pass by Cianciarulo to regain third and then make his way around Nichols for second coming to the white flag. Cianciarulo was able to keep the pressure on Nichols and take over third with just a couple turns remaining.
For the second straight weekend Cooper went wire-to-wire in the opening moto, earning the win by 1.8 seconds over Hampshire. Cianciarulo battled back from his bad start to finish third, with Nichols and Chase Sexton rounding out the top five.
250 Moto 1
Justin Cooper 2:10.743
R.J. Hampshire +01.888
Adam Cianciarulo +02.745
Colt Nichols Colt Nichols +03.642
Chase Sexton +03.872
Christian Craig +34.613
Dylan Ferrandis +36.982
Michael Mosiman +38.229
Garrett Marchbanks +56.359
Alex Martin Alex +57.855 …29. Wilson Todd …32. Tyler McCoy
250 Moto 2
As the field roared into the first turn for its deciding second moto it was Shane McElrath who came away with the holeshot over rookie Ty Masterpool and Alex Martin. Soon Martin moved into second, while Cooper followed into third. Masterpool then lost another spot to Cianciarulo.
Cianciarulo was on a determined march to the front as he made the pass on Cooper for third. As Martin attempted to make a pass on McElrath for the lead, it allowed Cianciarulo to capitalize on a small mistake from the Suzuki rider.
On the following lap Cianciarulo’s forward surge was complete when he got by McElrath to seize control of the lead. Not long after that Lawrence made an impressive climb from fifth to second to drop Martin out of podium position and bump McElrath to third.
Both Martin and McElrath continued to lose positions, as Cooper fought his way up to third and brought his teammate Dylan Ferrandis along with him into fourth. It wasn’t long before Ferrandis passed his teammate for third.
Lawrence stayed within two seconds of Cianciarulo and at the halfway point of the moto he had closed to within a couple bike lengths. A bobble by Lawrence put some distance between them, but the rookie dug deep to closed back in on Cianciarulo.
As they navigated through lapped riders Cianciarulo made an outside line choice that opened up the inside for Lawrence, and the Australian took full advantage of it to make the pass and establish some breathing room between he and Cianciarulo.
That pass tipped the battle for the overall into Cooper’s favor, but Lawrence gave up the lead with less than two minutes remaining when he tipped over. Nearly four seconds separated the lead duo when Lawrence resumed, but the rookie still managed to close to within just over a second as they came to the white flag.
On the final lap Cianciarulo picked up the pace and successfully went on to take the moto win by 2.9 seconds over Lawrence. Ferrandis followed in a distant third, just ahead of Cooper.
For the second weekend in a row a second-moto victory vaulted Cianciarulo to the top of the overall classification, where his 3-1 finishes were enough to edge out Cooper (1-4) by just a couple points. Ferrandis grabbed the final spot on the overall podium following 7-3 results.
Adam Cianciarulo – P1
“I had no idea what was happening [with the overall standings]. I just tried to put my best foot forward because I used a lot of energy in the first moto. I can’t say enough good things about Hunter Lawrence. He rode so good. When he crashed I thought I as clear of him [through to the finish], but then all of a sudden I could hear him behind me. I’m just so stoked to get two in a row. This is awesome.”
Cianciarulo was able to add to his early lead in the championship standings, which now sits at six points over Cooper. Ferrandis moved into third, 22 points behind Cianciarulo.
Justin Cooper – P2
“Overall it was another solid day. I’m really striving for the win though, so to come close again is disappointing. It’s also fueling the fire. I was looking to be at front [in Moto 2] but I wasn’t riding as aggressive in the middle of the race and it cost me at the end. I couldn’t catch the front guys and had to settle for second. I am really happy with the bike and team, we will keep fighting to be on top. We are so close! I’m blessed to be in this position so far in the season and pleased that all the hard work is paying off. It’s just going to take a little more to get the job done. I’m really looking forward to getting that win this season.”
Dylan Ferrandis – P3
“In the first moto, I had a crash with Adam (Cianciarulo) and I was way back. I had to push really hard to make it up into the top 10. I didn’t really expect to make the podium and wasn’t really worried about it in the second moto. After the start, I tried everything I could but couldn’t make it up to the rest of the guys. It’s really cool to make it back up on the box after missing out last weekend. I’ll try hard next weekend to get back in the championship chase. It’s a long season.”
Colt Nichols – P5
“Overall a little disappointed with how the day ended up after feeling really good, but we get to try again next week. My bike was great and I’m really happy with the progress we made this past week. The track was tough today, mostly because passing seemed to be hard. Everyone was getting jammed up a bit at times. I’m really looking forward to next week and am ready to head back east.”
Michael Mosiman – P8
“My starts were poor today. The first one, I kind of wheelied out of it so we made a little adjustment for the second moto and then the gate flinched and I hit it, so I was dead last. It’s brutal out there when you’re really charging for 30 minutes but I’m pleased with my fitness. 8-11 finishes are not what we work for and not what we wanted but all things considered, I’m happy with how I rode.”
“Today started out pretty good, I got off to a good start and ran in the top-10 for most of the first moto, so that was a step forward for me. In the second race, I ended up hitting the gate with a few guys next to me and I just had a tough time finding my rhythm for the rest of the moto. I’m going to go back to work this week and try to make another step.”
250 Results – AMA MX Round 2
250 Moto 2
Adam Cianciarulo 2:09.590
Hunter Lawrence +02.957
Dylan Ferrandis +12.584
Justin Cooper +13.135
Chase Sexton +28.728
Alex Martin +50.873
Colt Nichols +53.595
Garrett Marchbanks +1:09.123
Martin Davalos +1:09.620
Shane McElrath +1:10.250 …14. Wilson Todd +1:22.403 …35. Tyler McCoy
250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (3-1)
Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (1-4)