Musquin Captures Second Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Victory of the Season with Dominant Performance at Spring Creek
Savatgy Triumphs with Second 250 Class Win
MILLVILLE, Minn. (July 22, 2017) - The 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, returned from its second break of the season on Saturday with Round 8 from Spring Creek Motocross Park and the La Crescent Wine & Spirit Spring Creek National. Following a dominant outing Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Marvin Musquin earned his second 450 Class victory of the season, and swept the motos for the first time in his career. In the 250 Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Joey Savatgy emerged with his second win of the season.
The opening 450 Class moto saw Musquin blast his way down the track's long start straight to capture his third Motosport.com Holeshot of the season, narrowly edging out RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing rider Matt Bisceglia, making his first start of the season, and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Dean Wilson. As the field approached Spring Creek's infamous sand rollers, Wilson took advantage of his height and blitzed his way around the outside of Bisceglia for second. It was Musquin, Wilson, and Autotrader/Monster Energy/Suzuki/JGRMX rider Justin Barcia in the top three at the completion of the opening lap.
While Musquin set a blistering early pace and began to open a comfortable lead, the battle intensified for the final podium positions. Wilson rode smooth and hit his lines in second as Barcia applied heavy pressure in the opening laps. On Lap 4, championship leader and Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac, who started the race in ninth, fought through the field and onto Barcia's rear fender, where he made a quick pass for third. Tomac then set his sights on the second position and began to stalk Wilson for the runner-up spot. On Lap 6, Wilson and Tomac traded positions several times, with Tomac eventually getting the upper hand to take over second.
With Musquin holding a commanding lead at the front of the field, Tomac put his head down in an attempt to move himself closer to the race leader. Wilson maintained control of third, but Barcia once again started to reel in the Scotsman and eventually made the pass for the position on Lap 10. Just two laps later, Wilson mounted a comeback to get Barcia within striking distance. Wilson retaliated on Lap 12 to regain possession of the final podium spot.
The Frenchman Musquin remained unchallenged throughout the rest of the moto and took the checkered flag for his second moto win of the season, 17.4 seconds ahead of Tomac in second. Wilson put in an inspiring ride to capture his second straight moto podium result in third. RMATV/MC-WPS-KTM's Blake Baggett, who sits second in the championship, finished sixth.
Triggr Racing Yamaha's Henry Miller was quick out the gate in Moto 2 and led the 40-rider field for his first Motosport.com Holeshot, followed by RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing's Justin Bogle, Tomac, and Wilson. Miller experienced a major crash as he exited the opening corner, which handed the lead over to Bogle. Nearing the completion of the opening lap Tomac faced misfortune as well, suffering a big crash of his own after he cross-rutted down a hill, and was forced to restart mid-pack. When the field completed the first lap it was Bogle, Musquin, and Baggett inside the top three, with Tomac following in eighth before dropping outside the top 10 after another incident.
As Bogle paced the field, Musquin and Baggett pushed each other and started to search for a way around the early race leader. On Lap 2, Musquin worked his way by Bogle and into the lead, followed by Baggett just a few turns later. Musquin and Baggett quickly started to pull away from the field as Bogle soon came under fire from Wilson for third. Bogle tried to fend off the Husqvarna rider, but Wilson proved to be too strong as he overtook Bogle for the position on Lap 3.
Musquin and Baggett were within a couple seconds of one another for the majority of the moto, but Musquin began to slowly increase his gap in the final stage of the race. Wilson continued to run strongly in third and distanced himself from the pack of riders behind him.
When the checkered flag flew, it was Musquin who prevailed with his third moto win of the season, more than 15 seconds ahead of Baggett in second. Wilson held onto the final podium spot with his third consecutive moto podium. Tomac recovered from his opening lap trouble to finish fifth.
The first career 1-1 effort by Musquin gave him his second career 450 Class overall win, and his first since the second round of the season at Glen Helen.
"Today the track was just really technical and challenging," said Musquin, who appears to be fully recovered from a partially torn MCL suffered earlier in the season. "Being able to go 1-1 is a dream come true to me right now. I tried to get out front early, get a clear track, and stay out of the roost. When you're in the lead it helps so much and that is exactly what we were able to do today. I've been doing a lot of rehab on my knee injury and I'm slowly beginning to get it strong and get my confidence back."
Wilson's consistency earned him a career-best finish in second (3-3), giving him back-to-back overall podium efforts. Tomac's ability to rebound from his crash was enough to place him third overall (2-5).
"When I went down in Moto 2 I was just trying to get back to my bike as quickly as I could," said Tomac. "Luckily it happened on the first lap, which gave me time to try and make my way back through the field. I had a second crash when I ran into the back of another riders tire, so that set us back even more. I was able to make it back to fifth and that ended up being better than I was expecting I could do. The track was tough today. It was tough to find a flow with the spongy dirt."
Tomac's podium effort ultimately added an additional point to his lead in the championship standings, which now sits at 20-points over Baggett, who finished fourth (6-2), in second. Musquin maintains his hold on third in the standings, gaining 12-points on Tomac to sit 60 points out of the lead.
As the opening 250 Class moto rounded the first turn it was Savatgy who led the talented field for his second Motosport.com Holeshot of the season, with the GEICO Honda duo of RJ Hampshire and Jeremy Martin in tow. As the field stormed through the sand rollers on the opening lap, Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM rider Alex Martin made the pass on his brother Jeremy, both of whom call Spring Creek home, to take over third. Alex then continued his charge by muscling his way past Hampshire for second. At the completion of the opening lap, it was Savatgy, Alex Martin, and Hampshire.
Savatgy set the quick pace at the front of the field in an attempt to distance himself from his nearest competitors, but Martin began to mount a charge and was determined to keep the leader within his sight. Savatgy and Martin played cat-and-mouse as they matched lap times and remained separated by mere seconds during the early stages of the race. On Lap 5, Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha's Aaron Plessinger found himself hot on the heels of Hampshire for the final podium position and eventually made the pass stick by diving to the inside of the Honda rider.
As the 30-minute-plus-two-lap moto beginning wound down, Martin made an attempt to reduce the cushion that separated he and Savatgy. However, the leader proceeded to pick the pace up and fend off the challenge. In the final laps of the moto, Savatgy more than doubled his lead on Martin, while Plessinger rode alone in third.
Savatgy finished the moto strong to take his second moto win of the season, 7.8 seconds over Martin in second. Plessinger completed the podium in third, followed by Jeremy Martin in fourth. Championship leader and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider Zach Osborne wasn't a factor in the first moto after his bike began to lose power while running fifth on Lap 9. He was able to keep running and crept his Husqvarna across the line in eighth.
In Moto 2, Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM's Shane McElrath roared down the start straight to edge out Savatgy and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Adam Cianciarulo, which propelled him to his first Motosport.com Holeshot of the year. First moto winner Savatgy wasted no time as he found a fast line to move by McElrath and into the lead. Savatgy, McElrath, and Cianciarulo led the field around for the opening lap.
While Savatgy looked to break away out front, McElrath refused to give up and managed to pick up his pace and keep the leader within sight. As the leaders paced each other, Cianciarulo pushed hard in third, but Osborne was on a mission and began to start closing in on the Kawasaki rider after starting sixth. On Lap 6, Osborne used an incredible drive across the start straight to make the pass around the outside of Cianciarulo for third. The push to the front did not stop there for Osborne as he chased down McElrath and was able to force his way by for second on Lap 8.
As the race began to enter its final stages, Savatgy continued his impressive performance out front, but Osborne was determined to make a bid for the lead and moved to within just bike lengths. On Lap 10, Osborne pulled alongside Savatgy on the big uphill, but Savatgy was able to shut the door and keep the Husqvarna rider behind him. Several turns later, Osborne made another pass attempt that proved to be successful and took the lead, shuffling Savatgy to second.
Osborne rebounded from a disappointing opening moto to take his seventh moto win of the season with a 10.8 margin of victory over Savatgy in second. McElrath held onto third to stand on the podium for the first time this season.
The 1-2 effort by Savatgy helped him capture his sixth career victory, followed by local hero Alex Martin, whose 2-4 moto scores were good enough for second overall.
"I felt really good today. It's obviously easy to say that when you win, but I haven't felt this strong in a while," said Savatgy, who also won Round 3 at Thunder Valley. "I did some testing with the team in Florida during the break and it seems to have paid off. It's important to feel one with the bike, and the team did a great job to get me comfortable. It was really hot and muggy today, almost like another day of training in Florida. I'm headed in the right direction and look forward to contending for some more wins from here on out."
Despite his troubles in the first moto, Osborne's triumph in Moto 2 helped him complete the overall podium in third (8-1).
"I was pretty nervous in the first moto with the bike issue that we had," said Osborne. "Fortunately, I was able to salvage some points and had some luck that my bike lasted until the finish. To get an eighth under those circumstances, I'll take it. The second moto I was able to go out and run my pace, which I felt was pretty good, and came through for the win. All in all it feels good to have minimized the damage and keep the points lead."
Osborne continues to hold the red plate as championship leader, hopding a 43-point advantage over Alex Martin, who sits in second. Jeremy Martin used a fourth-place finish (4-5) to maintain third in the standings, trailing his brother by 20-points.
The 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will return to action next Saturday, July 29, for the ninth round of the season at Washougal MX Park in Washougal, Washington. First motos of the Peterson CAT Washougal National can be seen live on MAVTV at 1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ET. The second motos will air live on NBC Sports Network at 3 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. ET.
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship La Cresent Wine & Spirit Spring Creek National Spring Creek MX Park - Millville, Minnesota
July 22, 2017