Photos by Ryne Swanberg
The 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship continues to trek across the country, stopping this week in the Southeast for round four of the twelve round series. Muddy Creek Raceway has been on the schedule for a few years, but the quick Tennessee track has quickly become an important event for riders vying for the championship. If you can make it through the year’s first hit of heavy humidity, there’s little doubt left regarding in your physical fitness.
We’re already one-third of the way through the summer and both title fights have tightened up dramatically. It’s disappointing to see Eli Tomac’s departure from the 450 class due to injury, but now we’re set to see the rematch of last summer’s fight between Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen. Rough days by Jeremy Martin and Marvin Musquin have made the 250 class exciting, with only a handful of points now separating them in the standings. They’ll have to avoid any sort of issue in the next few months to keep a shot at the title.
250 Class Timed Qualifying
Class point leader Jeremy Martin upped the pace in the final moments of practice to clock a 1:52.068 lap time, which put the Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha rider at the top of the board. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy was second with a 1:52.730, edging Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin by just .014 seconds on the clock. Rookie Jordon Smith figured out the flow of the track quickly, and a 1:52.889 put the GEICO Honda rider fourth overall. Muddy Creek is Zach Osborne’s home track and the Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna rider posted the fifth-fastest time, a 1:53.262.
NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE 250 CLASS
– Justin Hill will miss the next few weeks due to a concussion suffered in his Thunder Valley practice crash. The Red Bull KTM rider should return at Budds Creek.
– GEICO Honda is confident Justin Bogle will return to racing around the Millville stop.
– Alex Frye made his pro debut for the Orange Brigade/FMF/KTM team. He was twenty-first in practice.
– 62 riders signed up for the 250 class.
450 Class Timed Qualifying
Ryan Dungey comes into the day as the class point leader and the Red Bull KTM rider showed his speed early with the day’s fastest lap time, a 1:151.108, in the final practice. Rival Ken Roczen was a close second place on the board, clocking a 1:51.182 time aboard his RCH/Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s/Suzuki Factory Racing bike. Muddy Creek’s layout tends to suit Christophe Pourcel’s riding style, with the Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna rider taking third place thanks to a 1:51.803 lap. Broc Tickle was the fastest rider of the morning’s first practice session and the 1:52.285 time was enough to keep the RCH/Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s/Suzuki Factory Racing rider fourth on the board. Yoshimura Suzuki’s Blake Baggett turned a 1:52.523 for fifth overall.
NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE 450 CLASS
– Despite comments of about sitting out the rest of the year due to a conflict with the series over a sponsor following the Thunder Valley round, Chad Reed is on the line today. The Discount Tire/TwoTwo Motorsports/Kawasaki rider was fifteenth in practice.
– Speaking of Team22, Josh Grant is out this weekend due to a knee injury.
– Muddy Creek is one of two events Ryan Sipes is racing this weekend, as he will load up this evening and head north for Sunday’s John Penton GNCC. He was sixteenth in practice.
– 61 riders signed up for the 450 class