The 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series is quickly turning into a competition between two riders, in both classes.
Ryan Dungey in pursuit of a most memorable 2015 controls his fate in the 450 class to add a Motocross Championship to his reigning Supercross title. If not for Eli Tomac's devastating crash that ended his season after five straight Moto wins, Dungey would still be playing hot pursuit but looking more like Rosco P. Coltrane rather than the Duke Boys.
Instead, "The Diesel" owns a 37 point lead over Ken Roczen and carries a two round win streak into Round 5 on Saturday at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, PA. However, Roczen, the defending Champion, looks like he's regained his form, winning Moto 2 last week at Tennessee and has steadily improved since the opening round when he revealed a stress fracture in his back. Roczen finished runner-up to Dungey the last two rounds and if not for a flat tire, he likely would have won the overall at Thunder Valley.
But stranger things have happened, just ask Tomac. And Trey Canard. Though Canard remains of out racing to heal a broken arm, he provides the blueprint for riders like Blake Baggett, Justin Barcia and Jason Anderson on how to work your way into the mix and win a Championship.
In 2010, Canard sat in fifth place 49 points behind Christophe Pourcel after four rounds. He moved into fourth-place after Round 5 but lost even more ground to Pourcel and was 57 points back. At Round 6, Canard got his first Moto win, began chipping away at the lead and eventually went on to take the 250 Championship thanks to winning eight of the last 14 Motos.
Baggett is 40 points back from Dungey, Barcia is even further with a 61 point shortfall and Anderson is 63 points behind. Thus far, Baggett is the most consistent and has one podium, Anderson has two podiums but also some duds, Barcia has a second-place overall but hasn't produced the same results since tying his career best at Glen Helen. It won't be easy but their deficits are hardly insurmountable.
Tommy Hahn plans to sit out one more week to recover from his crash at Thunder Valley
In the MotoSport class, Tommy Hahn is back on the bike and continues to improve after his crash at Thunder Valley that gave him a concussion and headaches in the days following but will sit out for the second straight week.
"He's feeling better and doing better but he's not going to race this weekend," said Guy Cooper, team manager for the MotoSport.com/GPI/Honda team. "He just feels like he should wait next week to race."
In the 250 class, the point swing is just as great for the top two riders with Jeremy Martin on top and right behind him is Marvin Musquin. Just six points separate the two but way back in third is Jessy Nelson who needs to make up 53 points and Adam Cianciarulo is 63 points from first. Martin, the defending Champion, has won two straight and three of the four rounds raced. Musquin has four Moto wins, the same as Martin, including a sweep at Glen Helen. These two have already traded places at the top so expect more drama filled rounds to come.
After Nelson's forgettable Round 1 he's come on strong finishing in the Top 4 five of the last six Motos but he'll need wins (or some more gaffs by M&M - see Rounds 2 and 4) and a lot of them to close the gap on Martin and Musquin. Adam Cianciarulo is showing the talent everyone expects from him with only one single digit points Moto on the season and can make a run but he better start this weekend.
For the rest of the Top 10, after this round Martin could hold a 100 point lead over some of them and as long as he's got Musquin trying to dethrone him, he'll be racing hard from now until the end of August. The fifth through eighth place guys - Joey Savatgy, Zach Osborne, Chris Alldredge and Shane McElrath - all have one or more third-place or better Moto finish, so they can compete, but they also have tallied a no point Moto, or two in the case of Alldredge. In his Championship run, Canard produced points in every Moto all season and only one did he accumulate less than 10.
Kyle Peters is determined to break into the Top 10
As for MotoSport riders, Kyle Peters got the broken fork fixed which impacted his ability to race last week in Moto 2 resulting in an 18th place and 14th overall. Justin Starling, who joined the team in Round 4, got some modifications to his suspension and a new shock spring is expected by race day.
Justin Starling looks to improve in his second week with the MotoSport team
Cooper said Peters is up against a stacked field but is determined to get into the Top 10. Starling, who finished outside the Top 20 at Tennessee, is working to get inside the Top 20 and get some AMA points. Cooper said High Point can get pretty rutted but he doesn't expect anything like they saw in Colorado. Check out the track map:
Legends and Heroes Tour
Lastly, Cooper is the Legends and Heroes of Supercross/Motocross featured rider this weekend at High Point. He was inducted into the organization's Hall of Fame several years ago and will be presented his plaque at the race. Cooper won High Point in 1988.
Watch it all go down on Saturday starting with practice at 10:30 a.m. (EST) and the gates to Moto 1 drop at 1 p.m. (EST). Buy tickets online or see the full TV schedule.
2015 Motocross Season Standings
450 Class Standings
- Ryan Dungey (175)
- Ken Roczen (138)
- Blake Baggett (135)
- Eli Tomac (125)
- Justin Barcia (114)
- Jason Anderson (112)
- Weston Peick (104)
- Broc Tickle (103)
- Phillip Nicoletti (92)
- Cole Seely (79)
250 Class Standings
- Jeremy Martin (175)
- Marvin Musquin (169)
- Jessy Nelson (122)
- Adam Cianciarulo (112)
- Joseph Savatgy (100)
- Zach Osborne (91)
- Chris Alldredge (89)
- Shane McElrath (87)
- Matthew Bisceglia (87)
- RJ Hampshire (85)