250 Class Race Report | 2014 Hangtown MX
Photos by Jeff Kardas
It’s becoming apparent that one 250 class rider will be difficult to beat this summer in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. A pupil of the Carmichael training program, this rider has dominated all four motos contested thus far, winning this weekend by staggering amounts and inching away with control of the title.
1. Jeremy Martin | First Overall
Jeremy Martin's Hangtown performance proved that his sweep of the opening round was no fluke. The Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha rider was at the front of the pack from the moment the gate dropped and was into the lead before the end of the first lap. With a clear track ahead, Martin proceeded to streak away with lap times averaging nearly a full second quicker than the competition. The torrid pace set by the incoming point leader forced the forty rider field to run a seventeen lap moto, with Martin ahead of the runner up by 19.340 seconds at the final flag.
Martin's second moto was even more dominating than the first, as he rocketed to the first turn ahead of the forty-rider field and soon was out of the competition's sight. Martin's on-track demeanor was fluid yet aggressive and never appeared out of control during the non-stop seventeen-lap moto. His best lap, a 2:05.465, was quicker than anyone else on the track and it helped him to take his fourth moto win. This streak puts him twelve points ahead of second place in the overall championship standings.
2. Cooper Webb | Second Overall
Cooper Webb has a knack of coming on strong in the most important part of the race and this skill helped the Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha rider in the day's first moto. A forceful pass on GEICO Honda's Zach Bell moved him up to third place moments into the race, and Webb spent the majority of the moto chipping away at the gap Justin Bogle had established in the opening laps. Contact during a pass attempt by Webb and the impact caused the sophomore racer to tip over, but he recovered from with a quick recovery and was back in the hunt laps later. Webb eventually caught and passed Bogle with only laps remaining and finished the moto in second place.
Webb's second moto began with a third place start and after a short pursuit of Pourcel, became the runner-up. Unfortunately, the time it took for Webb to make the pass was one of the many reasons Martin was able to rip away with the lead and the two would never get the chance to battle for the spot. This was Webb's fourth second place finish of the season, and he currently sits second in the championship standings.
3. Christophe Pourcel | Third Overall
Although Christophe Pourcel started the first moto outside the top ten, the Valli Motorsports Yamaha rider used crafty lines and calculated attacks to climb the order. At one point in the race, he latched on to the quick pace set pace by Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda's Jessy Nelson and followed the young racer by a number of riders, eventually crossing the finish line in eighth.
Poor starts saddled Pourcel in the first three races of the season, but his jump off the gate put him into second place at the beginning of the moto. A pass by Webb early on dropped him to third place, but French rider spent the remainder of the race virtually unpressured. The third place would be crucial to Pourcel overall, as he actually tied Hill in points for the day at thirty-three, but his second moto score earned him the final podium position.
4. Justin Hill | Fourth Overall
Justin Hill's outdoor season began with a rough pair of motos, but the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider rebounded from the opening weekend with a pair of top ten finishes and impressive rides in both motos. A pass on Rockstar Energy Racing KTM's Joey Savatgy during the first laps put him into the top five, then near Zach Bell by the halfway point. Hill's endurance came into play in the final laps as he closed on Justin Bogle, but came just a half second short of making a pass for third at the checkered flag.
A subpar start put Hill outside the top ten on lap one, but he soon raced past a pair of privateers and into ninth. With the field bunched together and Hill turning some of the fastest laps of the moto in the early laps, the PC rider slid by a number of riders and moved up to fourth place. A small crash and resulting issues in the final ten minutes by Hill allowed both Jason Anderson and Jessy Nelson to move by with fourth and fifth, respectively. Still, the thirty-three points scored on the day by Hill launched him up the championship standings and into the top-ten.
5. Jessy Nelson | Fifth Overall
Jessy Nelson maintained a steady flow during the entire first moto and this let the Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda rider come from outside the top-ten to a seventh place finish. While other riders fell off in speed or suffered miscues, Nelson continued to push and ran as high as sixth place with Christophe Pourcel in tow. Nelson would hold on to the spot until late in the race, when Blake Baggett's late-race push knocked him back to seventh at the final flag.
The Central California kid was just as quick in the second moto, and it showed in his run from a so-so start against some of the fastest riders in the class. By staying off of the ground for the entire race, Nelson was able to benefit from the mistakes of others and nabbed fifth place for the efforts. Nelson's laps were among the fastest of the moto and the massive amount of points earned in both races put him fourth in the championship standings.
1. Jeremy Martin 1-1
2. Cooper Webb 2-2
3. Christophe Pourcel 8-3
4. Justin Hill 4-6
5. Jessy Nelson 7-5
6. Jason Anderson 10-4
7. Marvin Musquin 9-7
8. Zach Bell 5-12
9. Matt Bisceglia 13-8
10. Justin Bogle 3-35
11. Alex Martin 12-13
12. Dillan Epstein 17-10
13. Matt Lemoine 16-11
14. Blake Baggett 6-34
15. Kyle Peters 15-14
16. Jackson Richardson 21-9
17. Kyle Cunningham 11-33
18. Brady Kiesel 19-15
19. Blake Savage 18-17
20. Joey Savatgy 14-25
|2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship 250 Class (After 4 of 24 motos)
1. Jeremy Martin 100pts (4 moto wins)
2. Cooper Webb 88pts
3. Christophe Pourcel 63pts
4. Jessy Nelson 51pts
5. Marvin Musquin 50pts
6. Jason Anderson 49pts
7. Justin Bogle 48pts
8. Blake Baggett 48pts
9. Matt Bisceglia 45pts
10. Justin Hill 43pts