Ken Roczen put a big, fat stamp on the Motocross Championship with his eighth sweep of the season and fourth straight Moto win on Saturday taking the title in the penultimate round of the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series at Budds Creek.
Roczen put on another riding clinic, something he's done all year, quickly taking the lead on the opening lap and never looking back. He cruised to a Moto 1 win by 16 seconds over Marvin Musquin and made it look even easier in Moto 2 clinching the title with a whip across the finish line 20 seconds in front of Eli Tomac.
On the podium, the rider usually not lost for words seemed rather emotional and had few comments after grabbing the #1 Plate. He thanked a list of people and quickly said "We've finally made it, I don't know what else to say."
The win marks Roczen's second 450 Class Motocross Championship, the first coming two years ago during his rookie season on the big bikes. This year Roczen displayed poise and talent beyond anything the rest of the field could muster. He failed to capture just three overalls this season, the first coming in Round 2 when his bike experienced a fork issue, otherwise he was well on pace to grab that win and keep an undefeated season alive.
It wasn't until Round 7 at Southwick when Tomac finally pulled the rug out from under him winning both Motos but by then it was mostly a foregone conclusion that Roczen would win the title unless something drastic happened. Finally, at Washougal for Round 9, Roczen let Tomac by in Moto 2 in order to study his closest competitor's lines and never mounted much of a charge for the win. The two tied in points for the day, the tie-breaker going to Tomac.
Ken Roczen celebrates his Budds Creek win and clinching of the 2016 Motocross Championship in style
On Saturday, Roczen was two points short of claiming the Championship after Moto 1 and for much of the first race it looked doable as Tomac and Ronnie Stewart went down on the opening lap then Tomac lost at least an additional five seconds after helping pull Stewart's dirt bike off of him. That essentially put Tomac in last place but he managed to work his way to sixth-place. Tomac started sixth in Moto 2 and worked his way to finish second, the 10th time he finished runner-up to Roczen this year. Even a win, though, wouldn't have staved off Roczen's celebration for a week.
Justin Barcia took second overall at Budds Creek
As for the Budds Creek podium, Justin Barcia enjoyed his best finish of the season taking second-place overall by fending off a feisty Musquin to hold on to third-place in Moto 2 and take the points tie-breaker. Barcia went (3-3) on the day while Musquin finished third overall after a (2-4) day. Tomac took fourth-overall but is a lock to finish in second-place for the season.
Nevertheless, like every other Saturday this season, this weekend belonged to Roczen.
In the 250 class, Cooper Webb wrapped up his first 250 class Championship but unlike Roczen, Webb didn't have an easy time of it. Webb brought an 81 point lead over Alex Martin and Joey Savatgy into Budds Creek and looked poised to grab the title after Moto 1 thanks to landing in the Top 3 in 11 of the previous 12 Motos, but he got caught up in a first turn pile-up putting him in 38th place and then he went down again on the first lap.
Cooper Webb - the 250 Class 2016 Motocross Champion
Like so many weekends this year, Webb battled back from a poor start and worked his way into the Top 10passing rider after rider eventually settling for sixth-place a half second in front of Arnaud Tonus. Savatgy took third, eliminating any chance of the title, but Martin grabbed his second win of the season taking the lead after Adam Cianciarulo washed out in a corner midway through the race thus delaying Webb's celebration.
Moto 2 was more of the same for Webb who started in 18th place as Cianciarulo grabbed the holeshot for the second time with Savatgy in tow, rookie Austin Forkner in third but Martin, still mathematically in the hunt, in 12th. About 10 minutes passed before Webb started his ascent to the front.
While Cianciarulo battled Forkner for the lead, ultimately losing it, Webb and Martin worked their way through the pack. Forkner looked on his way for his second Moto win of his young career when he banged bars with Zach Osborne who made an aggressive pass for the lead with about 13 minutes remaining and never relinquished.
Webb got into fifth-place with about 10 minutes on the clock and finally third with no time left where he finished for fifth overall and more than enough to clinch the Championship.
"I don't know what to say. I honestly didn't think I'd be here at the beginning of the season with this (wrist) injury," he said. "To do it early is unreal in front of my home fans and home crowd. Unfortunately the day wasn't sweet but we made it happen. That's what champions are made of - you get knocked down, you got to get right back up and show 'em how to do it."
Webb won't defend his #1 plate next year since he's moving to the 450 class.
Zach Osborne finally got an overall win.
As for the Budds Creek 250 podium, Osborne took the tie-breaker over Martin for his first career overall in the United States and Forkner took third.
"I almost won a Moto here in 2006 and it started a lot of issues for my career," Osborne said. "It's ironic and really gratifying to win here today."
Martin gained 23 points on Savatgy for second-place on the season after Savatgy fell out of the Top 20 and received no points for Moto 2. Forkner is also within striking distance of taking third-place for the season, sitting 30 points behind Savatgy. In the last two rounds Savatgy has recorded just 42 points.
The 2016 Motocross season concludes on Saturday at the Ironman National in Crawfordsville, IN.
2016 Budds Creek Motocross Results
Budds Creek 450 Class Results
- Ken Roczen (1-1)
- Justin Barcia (3-3)
- Marvin Musquin (2-4
- Eli Tomac (6-2)
- Phil Nicoletti (4-6)
- Dean Wilson (5-5)
- Frederik Noren (8-7)
- Andrew Short (7-9)
- Benny Bloss (11-10)
- Anthony Rodriguez (10-11)
Budds Creek 250 Class Results
- Zach Osborne (4-1)
- Alex Martin (1-4)
- Austin Forkner (5-2)
- Adam Cianciarulo (2-5)
- Cooper Webb (6-3)
- Aaron Plessinger (8-6)
- Justin Hill (10-7)
- Mitchell Oldenburg (11-10)
- Joey Savatgy (3-34)
- Christopher Alldredge (12-11)
2016 Motocross Season Standings
450 Class Standings
- Ken Roczen (534) - 450 Class Champion
- Eli Tomac (458)
- Marvin Musquin (365)
- Justin Barcia (316)
- Christophe Pourcel (217)
- Benny Bloss (204)
- Phil Nicoletti (201)
- Andrew Short (189)
- Justin Brayton (173)
- Broc Tickle (171)
250 Class Standings
- Cooper Webb (457) - 250 Class Champion
- Alex Martin (384)
- Joey Savatgy (361)
- Austin Forkner (331)
- Jeremy Martin (321)
- Aaron Plessinger (313)
- Zach Osborne (296)
- Adam Cianciarulo (235)
- Mitchel Oldenburg (215)
- Arnaud Tonus (213)