Justin Barcia grabbed his second win of the year in less than ideal conditions at round 15 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series, an FIM World Championship, at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Team Honda Muscle Milk rider led every lap of the 20-lap main event to edge out series points leader Ryan Villopoto by 3.885 seconds at the finish, as off and on rain left the Seattle course treacherous and slippery.
In the meantime, Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen (pictured/Photo by Hoppenworld.com) extended his lead in the 250 West Region division to a comfortable 20 points after taking advantage of a crash by GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac to claim his third victory of the year.
In the 450 class final, Barcia grabbed the holeshot to start the 20-lapper, and tried to make a bread for it as Villopoto moved into second on lap three with a pass on Moto Concepts Suzuki’s Mike Alessi, before setting his sights on Barcia.
Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey and Two Two Motorsports Honda’s Chad Reed both went down in the first turn, with Dungey getting away near the back of the pack, while Reed wound up calling it a day.
Davi Millsaps also passed Alessi on lap three to move into second, and on lap four the Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki rider turned the fastest lap of the race and closed in on the two leaders, as the threesome started to break away from the rest of the pack.
Meanwhile, Dungey was furiously working his way through traffic, moving from 16th at the end of lap one, to eighth on lap five, and fifth on lap nine. Dungey closed in on Trey Canard and took over fourth position when the Team Honda Muscle Milk rider went down on lap 13.
Out front, Villopoto would close to within striking distance of Barcia, only to make a mistake and lose ground, though never dropping more than a couple of seconds behind the Honda rider. Meanwhile, Millsaps was starting to lose touch with the two leaders and eventually dropped a full 20 seconds behind after being as close as two seconds to Villopoto.
Villopoto, seemed to back off the pace as he and Barcia started to encounter lappers near the end of the race, and crossed the finish line just under four seconds behind Barcia as the Honda rider claimed his fifth podium and second career 450-class victory.
“I tell you what, that holeshot is so key,” said Barcia. “We made some great changes today on the bike. It was a tough track with so many lines, but there was one main line that was so much better than any other. I’ve been waiting for this since Phoenix.”
Villopoto holds a 25-point lead over Millsaps in the 450SX Class standings and can clinch his third straight Monster Energy Supercross title if he maintains that advantage following next weekend’s 16th race of the season.
“I didn’t get the start I wanted, so to come out the way I did and salvage that was awesome,” said Villopoto. “I rode 20 solid laps but Justin was on it. I just really couldn’t do anything with him. The way it turned out tonight was pretty good for what we were up against at the start.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer ended the race in fifth, 22.4 seconds behind Dungey, while Alessi rounded out the top six.
GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac jumped into the early lead at the start of the 250 West Regional division main event and quickly pulled a three-second lead as points leader Ken Roczen worked his way into second on lap two. Tomac, clearly the fastest man on the track, would hold a relatively safe lead until a hard crash on lap 10 when he came up short on a jump left the Colorado rider rejoining the race in second place and leaving Roczen with a 10-second margin at the front of the pack.
With a safe lead in hand, Roczen was able to put his Red Bull KTM on cruise control for the remaining four laps and crossed the finish line with a 9.6-second gap over Tomac. Meanwhile, Tomac’s GEICO Honda teammate Zach Osborne finished third, another 2.4 seconds back, after holding off a last lap challenge by Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda’s Cole Seely, who ended the 15-lap race 18.6 seconds ahead of Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray.
With two races remaining in the 250 West series, Roczen stretches his lead to 20 points over Tomac in the standings.
“The track was getting tough in the Main Event,” said Tomac, who still has the most wins in the class with four. “I got a good start and started pulling away, but then I made a big mistake. It’s kind of a bummer, but that’s racing. I was lucky enough to be able to get up in second and still finish on the podium.”
1. Justin Barcia (Hon)
2. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
3. Davi Millsaps (Suz)
4. Ryan Dungey (KTM)
5. Jake Weimer (Kaw)
6. Mike Alessi (Suz)
7. Broc Tickle (Suz)
8. Justin Brayton (Yam)
9. Andrew Short (KTM)
10. Phillip Nicoletti (Yam)
250 West Regional
1. Ken Roczen (KTM)
2. Eli Tomac (Hon)
3. Zach Osborne (Hon)
4. Cole Seely (Hon)
5. Tyla Rattray (Kaw)
6. Austin Politelli (Hon)
7. Ryan Sipes (Suz)
8. Joey Savatgey (KTM)
9. Martin Davalos (Kaw)
10. Jason Anderson (Suz)