It's a pretty safe bet to expect Ken Roczen and Cooper Webb to leave Budds Creek this weekend with the 2016 Motocross Championship in-hand as both riders bring such large leads along with riding on completely different levels than the rest of the field into the penultimate round of the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series on Saturday in Mechanicsville, MD.
Of course this is Motocross and as seen all year crashes and malfunctions can break a Championship run but Roczen's 63 point cushion on the 450 class and Webb's 81 point pad in the 250 class is demoralizing enough as the two can merely take practice laps for both Motos and claim the crown.
Roczen's sweep at Unadilla last week gave him 16 Moto wins out of 20 raced thus far. Again, he demolished the field taking Moto 1 by 13 seconds over Eli Tomac and 52 seconds over Marvin Musquin in Moto 2. This year Roczen showed some of the most dominate riding in recent history and don't be surprised to see him crush the field at Budds Creek simply to add bold and italics to winning the Championship.
Ken Roczen is one round away from grabbing the 2016 Motocross Championship
Tomac is all but assured of second-place for the season with a 96 point spread over Musquin. Both riders swapped second and third last week with Musquin taking the tie-breaker to match his best outing of the season. Neither rider has shown much this season to compete with Roczen except for Tomac's lone sweep at Southwick but all is not lost as the two have also completely outpaced those behind them. Expect more of the same on Saturday as Roczen, Tomac and Musquin have dominated the podium the last three rounds.
Jason Anderson is expected to return to racing this weekend after a practice crash ended any chances of a Championship after Round 4. Actually, altitude sickness at Thunder Valley left him too far behind in points to catch up but the crash officially wrote off the season. He's got some catching up to do since he was named to the Motocross of Nations team and could help mix things up on the podium.
Eli Tomac was often riding alone this season...but in second-place
No word on Trey Canard coming back from a concussion he sustained in practice prior to Washougal. Justin Bogle officially announced the end of his season after a neck injury at Southwick proved too difficult to overcome. He joins a long list of injured riders this year.
In the 250 class, Webb is likely to ride Moto 2 as the newly crowned Champion since he's finished in the Top 3 for 12 of the last 14 Motos and has eight wins on the season. Webb added 30 points to his lead last week as Joey Savatgy inexplicably dropped out of Moto 2 after posting a second-place Moto 1 (still no word on what happened). Alex Martin also had a rough day and two-time defending Champion Jeremy Martin is out for the season after getting injured in the Webb/Savatgy skirmish at Washougal.
Cooper Webb might just throw a Championship celebratory whip at the end of Moto 1 on Saturday
As for the rest of the field, Savatgy and Alex Martin have four Motos to decide who gets second- and third-place on the Championship podium. The two are tied in points and unless injury or crash ruins a Moto or two, they should finish alongside Webb it's just a matter of where. Since Jeremy Martin is finished for the season, that opens the door for rookie Austin Forkner to finish in second-place for the year. Currently Forkner is in fifth, 28 points behind Martin. Aaron Plessinger who rode to his best finish of the season last week taking second-place overall is also in the hunt for a Top 5, just seven points behind Forkner.
Jessy Nelson had successful surgery this week after a crash in Moto 2 at Unadilla resulted in his bike hitting him from behind fracturing the T4 and T5 vertebra and stretching his spinal cord. He had limited feeling below the waist so it's a wait and see in regards to any permanent damage.
We weren't even close in our podium picks for Unadilla though we did predict the correct riders on the podium for the 450 class. From here on out were putting Roczen in first. We're doing the same for Webb as we thought Savatgy would have a last stand last week and Alex Martin would keep it close.
- Ken Roczen
- Eli Tomac
- Marvin Musquin
- Cooper Webb
- Alex Martin
- Austin Forkner
Gates drop for Round 11 on Saturday at Budds Creek. Weather looks like party cloudy and very warm with decent humidity. Check out the track map:
2016 Motocross Season Standings
450 Class Standings
- Ken Roczen (484)
- Eli Tomac (421)
- Marvin Musquin (325)
- Justin Barcia (276)
- Christophe Pourcel (217)
- Benny Bloss (183)
- Justin Brayton (173)
- Broc Tickle (171)
- Phillip Nicoletti (168)
- Andrew Short (163)
250 Class Standings
- Cooper Webb (422)
- Joey Savatgy (341)
- Alex Martin (341)
- Jeremy Martin(321)
- Austin Forkner (293)
- Aaron Plessinger (285)
- Zach Osborne (253)
- Adam Cianciarulo (197)
- Arnaud Tonus (195)
- Mitchell Oldenburg (194)