2014 Unadilla MX | 450 Class Race Report
Photos by Jeff Kardas
Ryan Dungey | 1-2 | First Overall
Ryan Dungey has historically performed well at the New York track, and the Red Bull KTM added another trophy to his collection. By coming from a gate far to the inside, Dungey was in a prime place in the opening moments of the day's first moto. After pursuing leader Justin Brayton for a roughly half of a lap, Dungey made his attack as the two riders charged up the track's center hill and overtook the lead. Doing this early on, Dungey controlled the pace of the entire moto and despite the constant pressure but on by those behind him, no one was able to close the gap, He would go on to win the 16-lap moto by just over eight seconds.
Another top-ten start put Ryan Dungey in the middle of the action in the second moto, but this allowed Honda riders Tomac and Canard to build a strong lead on the opening laps. Dungey and teammate Roczen worked through the field in synchronization and were soon in the top-four, but still had to close distance between themselves and the leaders. By turning faster laps in the final half of the race, Dungey was able to wrestle away second position away from Eli Tomac and put the GEICO Honda rider between himself and title rival Roczen. This extra spot helped Dungey cut another mass of points away from Roczen's championship lead and the put the margin at just seven markers with four motos remaining. All of this somewhat overshadowed the overall victory in the post-race talks, but Dungey replied to each inquiry by saying he wants to remain consistent through the final rounds.
Trey Canard | 4-1 | Second Overall
Ranked eleventh place on the opening lap, Trey Canard had to climb from a far distance back in the first moto but the Team Honda Muscle Milk rider managed to make his way through the field in the first moto. Within a handful of laps, he was in pursuit of BTO Sports KTM's Andrew Short and by for fifth place. Unfortunately, the early pace and distance built between Canard and the front-runners was too much to overcome and he crossed the line in fourth place, roughly forty seconds behind the leaders.
Canard has spent plenty of time in the lead this season, but the faster pace of his competition in the closing laps had snatched away more than a few wins. The Team Honda Muscle Milk rider was simply on rails in New York, and his second moto performance was the culmination of a solid day at the track. Up front from the start of the race, Canard fought for the lead with Eli Tomac and stayed close through the first laps. After a number of daring pass exchanges, Canard stole away the position and raced away in an effort to extend his lead over the pack. Despite the faster pace ran by Dungey in the closing laps, the Oklahoma racer held on to take the moto win by 3.451 seconds. This, paired with his fourth in moto one, put him second overall on the day.
Eli Tomac | 3-3 | Third Overall
Eli Tomac has been a major factor in the championship despite being a non-factor since his return from injury at Muddy Creek, and his Unadilla performance helped ratchet up the pressure in the title chase. The GEICO Honda rider was strong from the start of the moto and was soon within range of Dungey and Roczen during moto one, but could never close in enough to make an attempt at either position. Surging and fading throughout the race, he would ultimately lose sight of the teammates and finish third place in the moto.
Tomac took advantage of a mistake by Justin Brayton in the second moto to snatch away the lead on the first lap. Tomac began feeling pressure from Canard as the race continued and before long the two riders were countering the other's plan to control the rest of the moto. After a series of exciting passes on the fast course, Tomac conceded the lead to Canard and was later caught by Ryan Dungey for second place. The pair of third place finishes on the day put him third overall on the day, and propelled him to fifth in the championship standings.
Ken Roczen | 2-4 | Fourth Overall
With the points margin in the 450 championship changing with each moto, the pressure is on Ken Roczen to retain control he's had since the opening round. After lining up directly next to his Red Bull KTM teammate Dungey, Roczen rounded the first turn in seventh place and then raced into the top-three within a few moments. A move on Justin Brayton would push into second place and it seemed like the battle between he and Dungey would begin at any moment. He distance between the two shrank and grew on each lap, until Dungey upped the pace once more in the latter half and pulled away. Still, Roczen would card a second place finish, but this still dropped another two-points for his lead over Dungey.
Ken Roczen was in close contact with Ryan Dungey during the opening moments of the moto, with the two riders climbing through the pack and into the top-five together. Keeping his teammate in sight was key for Roczen, as it would keep the championship chase from getting becoming closer, but he would eventually drop off of the pace and finish the moto in fourth, nearly twenty-seven seconds off winner Canard and twenty-four seconds off Dungey.
Justin Brayton | 6-7 | Fifth Place
Justin Brayton added another holeshot to the Yamaha statistics in moto one, as he led the field to the first turn while at the controls of the JGRMX/Toyota/NFAB/Yamaha. After holding back Dungey's advances in the first part of the opening lap, he was overtaken for the spot while on the ascent of the track's largest hill. Passes from Roczen, Tomac, Canard and Short would follow, but Brayton would hold onto sixth place over teammate Phil Nicoletti by eleven seconds.
Brayton blasted out of the gate to another holeshot in the day's second moto, but was again passed for the lead on the opening lap. Solid through the moto, the Yamaha rider still slipped down the running order but not without putting up a fight against competitors Weston Peick and Brett Metcalfe.
1. Ryan Dungey 1-2
2. Trey Canard 4-1
3. Eli Tomac 3-3
4. Ken Roczen 2-4
5. Justin Brayton 6-7
6. Andrew Short 5-8
7. Weston Peick 10-5
8. Phil Nicoletti 7-9
9. Brett Metcalfe 12-6
10. Fredrik Noren 8-10
11. Ryan Sipes 14-11
12. Mitchell Oldenburg 13-13
13. Jake Weimer 11-15
14. Ben Lamay 15-12
15. Kellian Rusk 16-14
16. Matt Goerke 9-38
17. Broc Schmelyun 21-16
18. Heath Harrison 23-17
19. Evgeny Mikhaylov 20-18
20. Kyle Chisholm 17-35
|2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship 450 Class (After 18 of 24 motos)
1. Ken Roczen 447pts (7 moto wins)
2. Ryan Dungey 440pts (6 moto wins)
3. Trey Canard 373pts (1 moto win)
4. Brett Metcalfe 280pts
5. Eli Tomac 252pts (2 moto wins)
6. Andrew Short 247pts
7. Weston Peick 244pts
8. James Stewart 226pts (3 moto wins)
9. Josh Grant 218pts (1 moto win)
10. Fredrik Noren 159pts