Photos by Jeff Kardas
2014 Budds Creek MX | 450 Race Report
Ryan Dungey | 2-1 | First Overall
A solid start in the first moto put Ryan Dungey in the mix early in the moto, and he spent much of the early portion in second place in pursuit of Trey Canard. Dungey had quick company in Red Bull KTM teammate Ken Roczen for the position, with the two swapping the spot a handful of times in a matter of laps. Dungey would eventually concede second place to Roczen, but reclaimed the spot as Canard fell down the running order. He would mount a final charge late in the moto and thanks in part to slower lapped riders, reeled Roczen in through the final laps. He would, however, come up just short and finish 1.928 seconds behind at the line.
Dungey returned to take the holeshot in moto two and set the tone for the duration of the 17-lap moto. By turning the fastest laps of the opening sprint, Dungey was able to break away from the rest of the field and ride with a comfortable margin, all while still setting the pace in the waning laps. With his first moto score and Roczen's overall finish taken into consideration, the Red Bull KTM teammates made no points on each other, but instead Dunegy takes away confidence from the much-needed overall wins. The gap in points between them remains at 26 markers.
Ken Roczen |1-2| Second Overall
Ken Roczen's jump off of the gate put the Red Bull KTM rider fifth in the opening laps of moto one, and a fast laps early in the moto allowed him to quickly close the gap established by the top four. After getting by Justin Brayton, Roczen faced off against teammate Dungey in a battle that culminated with the 450 rookie taking over second place. With that, he set off after leader Canard, caught up by lap five, and made the pass for the lead while bombing down one of the many Budds Creek hills. Lapped riders late in the race would slow Roczen's momentum and allowed Dungey to close in, but he held on to the position to take the moto win.
A third place start in moto two put Roczen at the front of the pack early, but in the time it took for him to wrestle away second place from Josh Grant, Dungey had tore off with the lead. For most of the race, Roczen rode without competition nearby, and had to fight his way through a traffic jam of lapped riders before reaching the checkered flag in second place. As we mentioned, this finishing order score had Roczen and Dungey scoring equal points on the day, so neither made massive progress in pursuit of the championship.
Eli Tomac | 4-3 | Third Overall
Although a sixth place on the opening lap is solid in any other moto, this is considered "buried in the pack" for the 450 class and is tough to fight through to some riders. This is the position GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac found himself in during moto one, but his pace and passing prowess allowed him to carve up the running order. Tomac hit his stride midway through the moto, posted some of the quickest times of the day, and pulled up to the rear fender of Trey Canard all while feeling pressure from James Stewart. In the closing laps the gap between the two Honda riders grew slightly, with Tomac ending the moto in fourth place.
Tomac started off the second moto outside the top ten, but quickly went to work in the same manner that allowed him to finish fourth the first time out. He would put in some of the fastest laps of the moto at certain points, which was a major benefactor in his run through the pack. The higher in the results sheet, the bigger the battle became and Tomac found two resilient competitors in Canard and Stewart. A scrub pass would put him by Stewart, who would pull off shortly after due to a crash, but Canard kept third until late in the race. The hurried pace allowed Tomac to close in on Roczen for second place, but the surging rookie rider would run out of time to challenge for the spot by the checkered flag. 4-3 moto scores gave Tomac his third podium of the year in the same amount of attempts.
Trey Canard | 3-4 | Fourth Overall
Trey Canard made the majority of his passes early in the moto, coming from third at the apex of the first turn to first place at the conclusion of the first lap. While the rest of the field looked for a pace to settle in to, the Team Honda Muscle Milk rider sprinted away with the lead with lap times ranging from a half to full second quicker than Dungey and Brayton. Unfortunately for Canard, Ken Roczen was the one rider in the field posting quicker laps, and the two were soon enthralled in a fight for the lead. Once Roczen went by, Canard's lap times began to drop and this let Dungey get by for second and Eli Tomac close in for third. Just when Tomac looked poised to make the pass, Canard wicked up the pace and inched back to a 0.916 lead at the final flag.
Canard left all he had on the track in the second moto, running in the front early before dropping back a bit to fourth place. When compared to the top three, his best laps were roughly a second to a second and a half slower, but the ability to maintain the pace in the closing stages of the race were impressive. Canard and Tomac tied for points on the day with matching, albeit flipped scores, and Tomac's third in the final moto bumped Canard to fourth overall.
Weston Peick | 6-5 | Fifth Overall
Weston Peick powered into the front at the start in the first moto, and the RCH/Soaring Eagle/Suzuki rider remained in the top ten for the duration of the race. Although Peick was in prime position to make a run at the leaders, his lap times were noticeably off the pace set by the top five of Roczen, Dungey, Canard, Tomac, and James Stewart. While the lead pack inched out of sight, Peick continued to put in lap after consistent lap, riding all of the moto without pressure from Monster Energy Kawasaki's Brett Metcalfe.
Lost in the excitement of the top four was Weston Peick. Sixth off of the gate drop and in the top-ten for the entire moto, the RCH/Soaring Eagle/Suzuki rider's score was padded when James Stewart crashed and withdrew from the second moto, which bumped Peick up one spot in the running order for the moto and into fifth overall, a season's best for he and the team.
1. Ryan Dungey 2-1
2. Ken Roczen 1-2
3. Eli Tomac 4-3
4. Trey Canard 3-4
5. Weston Peick 6-5
6. Josh Grant 9-6
7. Andrew Short 8-7
8. Brett Metcalfe 7-11
9. Phil Nicoletti 12-8
10. Matt Goerke 11-10
11. Justin Brayton 14-9
12. Fredrik Noren 10-16
13. James Stewart 5-31
14. Christian Craig 15-14
15. Ben Lamay 18-12
16. Jimmy Albertson 23-13
17. Malcolm Stewart 13-34
18. Evgeny Mikhaylov 20-15
19. Cade Clason 16-29
20. Paul Coates 25-17
|2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship 450 Class (After 14 of 24 motos)
1. Ken Roczen 327 (7 moto wins)
2. Ryan Dungey 301 (3 moto wins)
3. Trey Canard 264
4. James Stewart 212 (3 moto wins)
5. Brett Metcalfe 192
6. Josh Grant 186 (1 moto win)
7. Weston Peick 162
8. Andrew Short 161
9. Chad Reed 132
10. Malcolm Stewart 128