2014 Utah MX | Timed Qualifying
Photos by Jeff Kardas
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship has run its course for 2014, with the final stop of the twelve round tour taking place at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. A world-renowned automobile racing facility, this marks the second time American motocross has run on the Marc Peters built course that runs through the infield of the road course. Despite being late August on the calendar, it feels like an autumn day in the mountain with temperatures to stay below seventy degrees and chances of rain in the forecast.
A storm front blasted through the Salt Lake City area on Friday, and steady rains overnight soaked the track. Because the course is built with a unique soil, the area is a bit of a mess, but the track crew worked all morning to make it suitable for today's motos.
2014 Utah MX | 450 Timed Qualifying
With the sun shining overhead and lines developing in the course, the final 450 A session was the fastest of the class. Nearly every rider struggled at one point, but were able to put in at least one solid lap before time expired. It took GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac until the very last lap to get fully comfortable on the track, and on the last lap of the session, he posted a 1:57.313. Ken Roczen proved last week that he thrives in adverse conditions, and the Red Bull KTM rider was second on the morning with a 1:58.715. Team Honda Muscle Milk riders claimed third and fourth on the chart, with Trey Canard's 1:58.996 besting Fredrik Noren's 2:01.636. Ryan Dungey had a number of issues in the final session, but regrouped to score the fifth fastest lap at 2:01.753.
NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE 450 CLASS
– The 450 championship will be decided at some point today, as Red Bull KTM teammates Ken Roczen and Ryan Dungey are taking it to the wire. Roczen currently holds a twenty-point lead over Dungey in the standings. Nearly every executive from KTM is in attendance to see the championship battle.
– Both James and Malcolm Stewart are out for the day, with Canadian MX1 champion Colton Facciotti filling in at the Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda team for the final round. He was eleventh fastest overall in practice.
– Today is the final race for a number of contracted riders, and talk in the pits about who is going where is rampant. We will share more as we hear it.
– Today's program was adjusted to deal with the conditions, and all forty gates will be decided off of timed qualifying. After last week's confusion, every rider made sure to clock at least one good lap in order to make the cut.
2014 Utah MX | 450 Timed Qualifying Results
1. Eli Tomac 1:57.313
2. Ken Roczen 1:58.715
3. Trey Canard 1:58.996
4. Fredrik Noren 2:01.636
5. Ryan Dungey 2:01.753
6. Chad Reed 2:01.861
7. Brett Metcalfe 2:03.565
8. Mitchell Oldenburg 2:03.859
9. Jake Weimer 2:04.618
10. Matt Goerke 2:04.836
2014 Utah MX | 250 Timed Qualifying
The fastest times of the morning came in the final 250 A session, as the fearless young riders began launching as many obstacles as they could despite the questionable conditions. Valli Motorsports Yamaha's Christophe Pourcel shocked the field with a 1:53.861 time, a lap roughly two and a half seconds quicker than anyone else in either class. Despite already clinching the championship, Jeremy Martin has stated that he is still racing to win today, and the Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha rider claimed second on the sheet with a 1:56.184 lap. Zach Osborne clocked the third fastest time, a 1:58.463, in what will be his final ride for the GEICO Honda team. Recent amateur graduate Chris Alldredge was one of the first riders to hit the massive leaps on the track, and this helped the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider turn a 1:58.739 for fourth place overall. His Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Dean Wilson completed the top-five with a 1:58.900.
NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE 250 CLASS
– Today will be the final 250 class race for Cole Seely, Dean Wilson, and Jason Anderson.
– Jason Anderson has spent much of the summer without a neck brace, but was sporting an Atlas Brace during the morning practice.
– Like the 450 class, a number of riders have reached the end of their contracts, including Blake Baggett, Zach Bell, and Joey Savatgy. While many have inked deals for next year, more than a few are still on the hunt for a new team.
2014 Utah MX | 250 Timed Qualifying Results
1. Christophe Pourcel 1:53.861
2. Jeremy Martin 1:56.184
3. Zach Osborne 1:58.463
4. Chris Alldregde 1:58.739
5. Dean Wilson 1:58.900
6. Blake Baggett 2:00.123
7. Jason Anderson 2:00.512
8. Cole Seely 2:00.524
9. Zach Bell 2:00.922
10. Marvin Musquin 2:01.044