Eli Tomac will carry the red plate for the second time in his career at the next round (Unadilla). Photography by Steve Cox.
There was a pretty big shake up in the race for the 250 Championship at the Spring Creek National MX, where Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen went into the race clinging to a one-point lead over a fast-approaching Eli Tomac of the GEICO Honda Team. But the former MX2 World Champion, Roczen, left Millville, Minnesota, trailing Tomac by 27 points.
Roczen suffered a nasty, high-speed crash on lap five while chasing early leader Wil Hahn. Roczen was shaken up in the fall and was slow to his feet. He eventually remounted his bike but retreated back to the KTM pits, clutching his chest area, shortly thereafter.
“My chest hurts,” he said in between motos. “My front end tucked and it knocked the wind out of me. It’s a bummer, but I’ll try to get ready for the second one.”
Amazingly, Roczen came out swinging in the second moto. He passed both Hahn and defending champ Blake Baggett for the lead by lap five and held the position for four laps before first-moto winner, Tomac, came calling. Roczen hung with Tomac for a few laps before surrendering the top spot for good. He still went on to finish an impressive second, followed by Baggett and his KTM teammate Marvin Musquin.
But it was Tomac’s day in the 250 class. He was without question, the fastest 250 rider on the track (at least after Roczen’s crash). He came from behind in both motos, taking the checkered flag with room to spare each time. He has now won the last four 250 motos.
“Other than my starts it was a great day for me,” Tomac said. “I had a lot of fun on the track and I just felt super comfortable all day.”
It’s not very often that a 4-4 tally ends up being good enough for second overall, but it did for Musquin who was riding with a sore shoulder all day. The former MX2 World champ crashed and injured his shoulder during media day on Thursday but gritted it out with fast starts and consistent riding.
For the first time in his career, Rockstar Energy Suzuki’s Jason Anderson made the podium at an outdoor national, and he did it via an impressive 3-5 moto tally.
Perhaps the star of the day was MyPlash/Metal Mulisha/Star Racing Yamaha’s Jeremy Martin, whose family owns the Spring Creek facility, which is located on the Martin family’s property. Martin, a rookie in the series, led the first moto a couple of times, including the late stages, but was unable to hold off Tomac. Martin did, however, go on to finish a career high second in the moto. He came back to finish seventh in the second moto for fourth overall.
As it turned out, the race for second was extremely close with Musquin, Anderson and Martin all collecting 36 points on the day. Their second-moto placing was used to break the three-way tie for second.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett, who led a portion of the second moto before getting passed by Roczen and Tomac, ended up fifth overall with a 6-3.
GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle (5-6) and Wil Hahn (8-8), who holeshotted both motos and extended his lead in the Motorcycle Superstore.com Holeshot Championship, finished out the day sixth and seventh, respectively.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Justin Hill (7-11), Roczen (DNF-2) and GEICO Honda’s Zach Osborne (11-9) filled out the top 10 overall.
Rookie Adam Cianciarulo went 9-12 for 11th overall.
Spring Creek Motocross Park
July 27, 2013
1. Eli Tomac (Hon) 1-1
2. Marvin Musquin (KTM) 4-4
3. Jason Anderson (Suz) 3-5
4. Jeremy Martin (Yam) 2-7
5. Blake Baggett (Kaw) 6-3
6. Justin Bogle (Hon) 5-6
7. Wil Hahn (Hon) 8-8
8. Justin Hill (Kaw) 7-11
9. Ken Roczen (KTM) DNF-2
10. Zach Osborne (Hon) 11-9