Eli Tomac brings his recent win, a boost in confidence and genuine history on his side to Round 8 of the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series on Saturday at Spring Creek in Millville, MN as he attempts to further cut into Ken Roczen's giant lead in the points standings.
Roczen has never won Spring Creek while Tomac swept the round in 2014 and took two wins while riding the 250 class in 2012 and 2013. There's sand there, too! Which, perhaps, bodes well for Tomac as he beat Roczen straight up last week in Southwick's sand box.
Nevertheless, Roczen need not win. He can finish second to Tomac for the rest of the season and easily win his second Motocross Championship. And that's not an unlikely scenario as no other rider has come close to Tomac or Roczen as the two battle up front week in and week out leaving the field to fight for the final spot on the podium. Don't expect Roczen to take a back seat though, he wants to win, gets paid to win but at some point the Championship rules, though don't expect that this weekend.
Eli Tomac got his first win in more than a year last week at Southwick
Good news on the injury front as Trey Canard plans to line up. He's been out since a practice crash prior to High Point and was in fourth-place until then. If he's fully healthy and ready to go, Canard can compete for the podium (took third in Moto 1 at Thunder Valley) and play the wild card Tomac needs for gaining points on Roczen.
Plus, James Stewart intends to return for the first time since a Round 1 injury dislocated his shoulder and then some time off to welcome his new baby born on July 9.
Justin Barcia grabbed his first podium last week showing some aggressive riding by taking Marvin Musquin out but whether it's Barcia, Canard, Musquin or Brock Tickle competing none have showed the speed required to fight alongside Roczen and Tomac up front. Musquin finished just three seconds back of Roczen in Moto 1 at Southwick but 27 seconds behind Tomac. In Moto 2, Barcia took third passing the checkers more than a minute from both! That's how it's been all season but, if you forgot, Tomac used to be in that group. If he can figure it out, so can the others.
Ken Roczen saw his win streak snapped last week but he still has a comfortable lead in the standings
In the 250 class, Cooper Webb's six straight Top 2 finishes, four of those wins, puts him in a commanding 37 point lead over Joey Savatgy who watched his 20 point lead after Round 4 evaporate thanks to a rough crash in Moto 2 at RedBud and a bit of difficulty in the sand last week at Southwick. Webb also has history behind him with 2015 win at Spring Creek.
Jeremy and Alex Martin could probably race blindfolded on Saturday since Spring Creek is their home track which offers an excellent opportunity for the brothers to grab points and position themselves for a title run.
Cooper Webb is firing on all cylinders the last three rounds
However, Jeremy Martin, the two-time defending Champion, seems to enjoy playing in the sand rather than riding on the sand as the soft stuff hurt his chances last week for an overall despite winning Moto 1 and RedBud's sand section took him down. He's finally caught Savatgy, just one point back now when just two rounds prior he was 32 points behind. But Webb now rules the leader board and Martin needs to find 38 points somewhere if he's to three-peat.
Alex Martin trails his brother by 20 points in fourth-place and he's got some heat from Zach Osborne who has a couple of podiums and a Moto win so don't count either out to mix it up for a Top 3. Rookie Austin Forkner got his best finish of the year as well as first career podium last week and if he's found a mid-season groove he can certainly play spoiler but is probably too far behind (50 points) to make a run for a spot on the Championship podium.
Jeremy Martin has been playing catch-up all season
We were so close to the 450 class podium picks last week taking Roczen to win again with Tomac second and Barcia third. Truth be told, we expected a points tie with Roczen winning the tiebreaker. In the 250 class, we got Webb correct but way off by choosing Osborne in second and Savatgy third. We assumed Forkner would eventually get a podium but not at Southwick.
So, who steps on the podium for Spring Creek? We'll make our guess, leave us yours:
- Eli Tomac
- Ken Roczen
- Trey Canard
- Cooper Webb
- Jeremy Martin
- Alex Martin
Gates drop for Motocross Round 8 on Saturday at Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, MN. Buy tickets online or at the track. Check out a virtual map of the track:
2016 Motocross Season Standings
450 Class Standings
- Ken Roczen (337)
- Eli Tomac (290)
- Marvin Musquin (201)
- Justin Barcia (181)
- Broc Tickle (171)
- Christophe Pourcel (168)
- Cole Seely (151)
- Justin Bogle (136)
- Ryan Dungey (131)
- Justin Brayton (120)
250 Class Standings
- Cooper Webb (290)
- Joey Savatgy (253)
- Jeremy Martin (252)
- Alex Martin (232)
- Zach Osborne (217)
- Austin Forkner (202)
- Aaron Plessinger(186)
- Arnaud Tonus (138)
- Shane McElrath (132)
- RJ Hampshire (132)
Written By: AndrewT