If this is the turning point for Ken Roczen in his chase for the lead it's going to be a fun final seven rounds in the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series.
Roczen, the defending champion, finally got his first overall victory of the season winning the tiebreaker over Ryan Dungey who maintains his 37 point lead in the standings. Each week since the season started, Roczen has improved, methodically finding his way to the podium since a disastrous start at Hangtown thanks to a stress fracture in his back. He's clearly figured out how to ride with the pain and stopped the points bleeding, for now.
In Moto 1 for Round 5 at the High Point National in Mt. Morris, PA, Dungey struck first and added to his points lead, albeit briefly, after he started sixth and let Justin Barcia, who grabbed the MotoSport.com Holeshot Award just barely over Christophe Pourcel, battle it out with Pourcel for the early lead. While those two went back and forth, Dungey worked his way upfront, took the lead on Lap 4 and checked out. It was his third Moto win of the year.
After getting passed by Dungey, Barcia crashed allowing Roczen and Pourcel to get into podium position and battle for second. Roczen finally made his pass halfway through the race stick and Pourcel held on for third, his best career finish on the big bikes.
In Moto 2, again it was Barcia and Pourcel competing for the MotoSport.com Holeshot Award and this time Pourcel grabbed it. Roczen followed behind a close third and after Lap 1, Roczen and Dungey both passed Barcia, then on Lap 2 Roczen passed Pourcel for the lead. Dungey got in second after a mistake by Pourcel cost him a few spots. Dungey and Roczen battled for much of the race but Roczen held his own to cross the checkers first for his second Moto win of the year and taking the tie-breaker for his first overall of the season.
While all this excitement was brewing, Jason Anderson quietly put in a (4-3) day for his second straight overall and third of the season. Anderson is now in third-place for points as Blake Baggett had a forgetful day, starting with a bad start in Moto 1 and a crash later in the race resulting in a 34th spot. He salvaged some points with an 11th place Moto 2 but dropped to fifth-place in the standings. Pourcel took a career best fourth overall moving him into the Top 10.
Roczen holds a strong 35 point lead over Anderson for second-place and if he's to repeat as Champion, overalls won't work, unless Dungey has an off-day which he really hasn't had all season unless the sixth-place in Moto 1 at Glen Helen is considered an off-race, though for him it's arguable. Roczen needs to win out, literally win every Moto if he's to catch the reigning Supercross Champion.
In the 250 class, it was Marvin Musquin's turn for top rider as Jeremy Martin, who led in points coming into High Point, had an off-day. Both riders have alternated off days in the past few rounds and Musquin's sweep puts him in control of the board.
In Moto 1, Musquin showed why he's the reigning Supercross 250 East Champion as he grabbed the MotoSport.com Holeshot Award and led wire-to-wire. Martin endured his first bad start of the day crawling his way up from 10th place into fourth, right behind his brother Alex who finished third. Adam Cianciarulo took a career high second-place.
In Moto 2, Zach Osborne held off Musquin for the MotoSport.com Holeshot Award but lost the lead after Lap 1 to Musquin who went on to win with Osborne trailing behind, holding onto second-place. Martin again had a bad start rounding Lap 1 in 19th place. He and brother Alex again went down to the wire near the end of the Moto, this time for fourth-place which went to Jeremy who took third overall, tied in points with Alex.
Jeremy Martin falls eight points behind Musquin in a 14 point swing for the lead. Both riders added to their lead over the rest of the field as Musquin now holds a 73 point lead over Jessy Nelson in third-place and Martin has a 65 point cushion.
Kyle Peters finished 13th overall at High Point
Tommy Hahn did not race in the 450 class for the MotoSport/GPI/Honda team so that left Kyle Peters and Justin Starling as the two riders under the banner at High Point. Peters finished 13th overall after a (14-13) day taking the tie-breaker over Mitchell Oldenburg.
"He gave me 100 percent for both Motos but got plagued with bad starts," said Guy Cooper, team manager.
In Moto 1 he worked his way to 14th but started making some errors trying to get around another rider and his bike was losing power. The team switched out the motor for the second Moto which helped Peters get a solid jump thanks to the better torque but then he got boxed in at the first turn. He bounced around from 18th to 24th before setting on 13th, right behind Cianciarulo.
Justin Starling improved but still looking for Top 20 finish
Starling posted a bit better results in his second week with the team but still landed outside the Top 20 for no points. Cooper said Starling is still adapting to the Honda since he came from a Yamaha, which is also what he trains on when he's at home during the week.
"He needs to train on a Honda, the bikes do have their differences," Cooper said. "He has a '14 Honda (at home) so we can get a little bit closer to what races on the weekends."
Cooper was presented with his Legends and Heroes of Supercross Hall of Fame Plaque in pre-race ceremonies.
Riders get a week off in the season's first break. Racing resumes June 27 at Budds Creek in Mechanicsville, MD.
2015 High Point National Motocross Results
High Point National 450 Class Results
- Ken Roczen (2-1)
- Ryan Dungey (1-2)
- Jason Anderson (4-3)
- Christophe Pourcel (3-5)
- Justin Barcia (5-4)
- Broc Tickle (6-8)
- Weston Peick (11-6)
- Cole Seely (7-10)
- Wil Hahn (10-9)
- Fredrik Noren (8-12)
High Point National 250 Class Results
- Marvin Musquin (1-1)
- Zach Osborne (5-2)
- Jeremy Martin (4-4)
- Alex Martin (3-5)
- Joey Savatgy (6-3)
- Adam Cianciarulo (2-12)
- Christian Craig (8-7)
- Jessy Nelson (10-8)
- Aaron Plessinger (9-10)
- Shane McElrath (11-9)
2015 Motocross Season Standings
450 Class Standings
- Ryan Dungey (222)
- Ken Roczen (185)
- Jason Anderson (150)
- Justin Barcia (148)
- Blake Baggett (145)
- Brock Tickle (131)
- Weston Peick (129)
- Eli Tomac (125)
- Christophe Pourcel (115)
- Phillip Nicoletti (106)
250 Class Standings
- Marvin Musquin (219)
- Jeremy Martin (211)
- Jessy Nelson (146)
- Adam Cianciarulo (143)
- Joey Savatgy (135)
- Zach Osborne (129)
- Alex Martin (115)
- Shane McElrath (109)
- Aaron Plessinger (108)
- Matthew Bisceglia (106)