Anything can happen in the mud.
Only the savviest and perhaps luckiest of guessers could have predicted a completely shuffled podium for Round 6 of the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series.
And it almost didn't happen.
Series points leader Ryan Dungey showed no mercy in Moto 1 on Saturday at Budds Creek in Mechanicsville, MD grabbing the MotoSport.com Holeshot Award and leading wire-to-wire for his fifth win of the season. Uncharacteristically, Ken Roczen who is trying to keep up with Dungey in the points race stuck it out in second for much of the Moto until he got passed by Christophe Pourcel. Then Justin Barcia and finally Blake Baggett. Roczen, the defending Champion, landed fifth for Moto 1, his lowest of the season since Moto 1 at Glen Helen. Pourcel held on for second and Barcia took third.
The weather forecast showed a 100 percent chance of rain and didn't disappoint. The falling water pounded the track, caused a two-hour delay and a discussion on whether to hold a second Moto because of disintegrating track conditions. At 6 p.m. the gates dropped for Moto 2.
And Barcia owes race officials a thank you note.
After besting Dungey for the MotoSport.com Holeshot Award Barcia took advantage of a rare crash by the reigning Supercross Champion and won his first career 450 class Moto by 18 seconds which also secured him his first overall victory.
"The momentum's huge," Barcia said of his win. "I don't care if it's muddy or not - that's probably the best I've ever ridden on my Yamaha. I was just having so much fun."
Dungey's crash left him near the back of the pack and he never stood a chance getting back into the Top 3 through all that mud. That opened the door for Baggett and Pourcel to get on the podium spot as the two battled each other throughout the Moto with Baggett taking second but Pourcel's (2-3) gave him second overall. Baggett took third overall.
Dungey ended with a fifth overall after finishing 12th in Moto 2 and tied in points for the day with Roczen who finished fourth overall with a fourth-place in Moto 2. Therefore, Dungey's lead remains a solid 37 points over Roczen. Barcia moved up a spot into third-place and closed the gap a bit on Roczen shaving off 11 points and is now 26 points back from second-place. Jason Anderson, who stepped on the box the last two rounds with third-place overalls finished in seventh-place for both Motos to take sixth overall at Budds Creek resulting in a drop to fifth place from third. Baggett's results move him into fourth place.
Tommy Hahn rides the mud to a Top 10 at Budds Creek
MotoSport rider Tommy Hahn said he wanted a Top 10 and got one, his first of the season. The veteran who stayed out of racing the last two rounds because of a concussion sustained at Thunder Valley took 12th in Moto 1 and sixth in Moto 2 for ninth overall. Hahn was just four points from a sixth-place overall.
"We had a fantastic weekend," said Guy Cooper, team manager for the MotoSport/GPI/Honda team. "He put a fantastic second Moto together. Tommy was the calmest I've seen him."
Cooper said the two-weeks off certainly helped but he mostly credited Hahn's experience as a factor in his best ride of the year. Younger riders don't usually like the mud and tend to react impulsively when getting bogged down.
In the 250 class, the Top 6 riders all finished within four points of each other but Marvin Musquin took the overall after bouncing back from a seventh-place Moto 1 and taking first in Moto 2. He tied in points with Alex Martin who grabbed his first career win in Moto 2.
Starting out it seemed like more of the same in recent weeks between Musquin and Jeremy Martin who've traded back and forth on crashes or mistakes allowing one or the other to take back the series lead after losing it the previous Round.
This time, the Brothers Martins battled for Moto 1 supremacy as Alex and Jeremy went bar-to-bar in the final laps with Jeremy taking the lead but then stalling on the final lap which handed the checkers to Alex for his first career win. Musquin meanwhile took eighth thanks to a bad start and later in the race dropping out of the Top 10 after bumping into Adam Cianciarulo.
In Moto 2, Cianciarulo grabbed the MotoSport.com Holeshot Award and held on to the lead for four laps but Musquin took over on Lap 5 and checked out. Jeremy Martin battled Cianciarulo for second but dropped back as the race wore on and again battled it out with Alex this time taking sixth place to Alex's seventh which gave the overall to Musquin on the tie-breaker. Joey Savatgy finished third, just a point behind Musquin and Alex Martin. Jeremy finished two points back. Musquin now leads Jeremy by 10 points in the Championship standings.
Some goggle issues setback Kyle Peters
MotoSport rider Kyle Peters made the best of difficult circumstances in Moto 1 taking 20th thanks to the roll-off system on his goggles breaking on the first tear. Peters pulled into the pits for a new pair which dropped him to 36th.
"It was a hard fought Moto for one point," Cooper said.
In the mud round, Peters' goggles fogged up which caused him to crash dropping him to 20th but he worked his way back to 13th. He finished with a 19th overall.
"In both Motos the kid rode really hard," Cooper said. "He is a Top 10 rider but he's been plagued the last few rounds with bad luck. If we can get him off on the gate we can get a Top 10."
Celebrate Independence Day at RedBud the location for Round 7. Buy tickets online or watch live on TV. Check the schedule for times and broadcasting stations.
2015 Budds Creek National Motocross Results
Budds Creek National 450 Class Results
- Justin Barcia (3-1)
- Christophe Pourcel (2-3)
- Blake Baggett (4-2)
- Ken Roczen (5-4)
- Ryan Dungey (1-12)
- Jason Anderson (7-7)
- Broc Tickle (6-9)
- Phil Nicoletti (11-5)
- Tommy Hahn (12-6) - MotoSport rider
- Wil Hahn (8-14)
Budds Creek National 250 Class Results
- Marvin Musquin (7-1)
- Alex Martin (1-7)
- Joey Savatgy (4-3)
- Jeremy Martin (2-6)
- Zach Osborne (3-5)
- Adam Cianciarulo (8-2)
- Christian Craig (5-10)
- Cooper Webb (6-14)
- Matt Bisceglia (21-4)
- Jessy Nelson (12-12)
2015 Motocross Season Standings
450 Class Standings
- Ryan Dungey (256)
- Ken Roczen (219)
- Justin Barcia (193)
- Blake Baggett (185)
- Jason Anderson (178)
- Broc Tickle (158)
- Christophe Pourcel (157)
- Weston Peick (140)
- Phillip Nicoletti (132)
- Eli Tomac (125)
250 Class Standings
- Marvin Musquin (258)
- Jeremy Martin (248)
- Adam Cianciarulo (178)
- Joey Savatgy (173)
- Zach Osborne (165)
- Jessy Nelson (164)
- Alex Martin (154)
- Matthew Bisceglia (124)
- Shane McElrath (121)
- Aaron Plessinger (118)