Roczen Ready to Defend 250SX Class title
AURORA, Ill. (April 22, 2013) – Rookie Justin Barcia, who rides for the Team Honda Milk Honda squad, won his second Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, race of the season and hopes to bring his winning ways into Salt Lake City’s Rice-Eccles Stadium this Saturday night. In the 250SX Class’ Championship hunt, Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen, who captured his third 250SX Class victory last weekend in Seattle, aims to extend his points race lead.
During last weekend’s 450SX Class Main Event, Barcia raced to the Nuclear Cowboyz® Holeshot Award to start the race with MotoConcepts Racing’s Mike Alessi and Slaton Racing Honda’s Vince Friese in tow.
Two-time defending Monster Energy Supercross Champion Ryan Villopoto positioned himself in the top five, while a first-turn pileup claimed both Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey and TwoTwo Motorsports Honda’s Chad Reed.
Villopoto wasted little time in moving forward and was in second place by Lap 2, just a few tenths behind Barcia. Rockstar Energy Racing’s Davi Millsaps followed Villopoto into third place.
Both Barcia and Villopoto slowly pulled away from Millsaps as the race progressed, setting the stage for a battle to the finish. The Seattle crowd cheered on Villopoto, their hometown rider, but as the duo encountered lapped riders, Barcia’s lead began to increase.
Barcia led all 20 laps of the Main Event, mirroring the performance from his inaugural 450SX Class victory at the second race of the season in Phoenix.
“I tell you what, that holeshot is so key,” said Barcia. “We made some great changes today on the bike. It was a tough track with so many lines, but there was one main line that was so much better than any other. I’ve been waiting for this since Phoenix.”
Villopoto’s runner-up finish extended his podium streak to nine races, during which he has finished either first or second.
“I didn’t get the start I wanted, so to come out the way I did and salvage that was awesome,” said Villopoto. “I rode 20 solid laps but Justin [Barcia] was on it. I just really couldn’t do anything with him. The way it turned out tonight was pretty good for what we were up against [at the start].”
Millsaps finished third for his 10th podium finish of the season, and moved into second in the championship standings. Dungey overcame the incident on the opening lap to finish fourth after starting in 18th position.
Villopoto holds a 25-point lead over Millsaps in the 450SX Class standings and can clinch his third straight Monster Energy Supercross title if he maintains that advantage following next weekend’s 16th race of the season.
In the first Western Regional 250SX Class Championship Main Event since the sixth race of the season in February, GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac grabbed the Nuclear Cowboyz Holeshot Award and quickly pulled away from the field. Behind him, Rockstar Energy Racing’s Ryan Sipes and Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda’s Christian Craig assumed second and third, respectively. Roczen positioned himself in fourth, but moved into a podium spot prior to the conclusion of the opening lap.
With his championship rival behind him, Tomac opened a multiple-second margin as Roczen methodically moved past Craig into second on Lap 2. For several laps, the pair maintained their distance from one another until Tomac came up short on a jump on Lap 9 and was thrown off his motorcycle. Roczen assumed the lead, but Tomac was able to remount in second.
Roczen pulled away for the remainder of the 15-lap Main Event to extend his lead in the point standings. He has finished first or second in each of the seven Western Regional 250SX Class Championship races this season.
“It’s good to bounce back from a bad Heat Race with good start,” said Roczen, who crashed twice in his Heat Race. “I just put my head down and rode smart. The track was really technical out there, with a lot of ruts. It feels good to get a win after such a long break; it’s tough to get in a groove after so much time off, but I’m so happy I was able to walk away with this one.”
Despite his misfortune, Tomac still finished second, but faces a significant deficit in the championship with only two races remaining.
“The track was getting tough in the Main Event,” said Tomac, who still has the most wins in the class with four. “I got a good start and started pulling away, but then I made a big mistake. It’s kind of a bummer, but that’s racing. I was lucky enough to be able to get up in second and still finish on the podium.”
GEICO Honda’s Zach Osborne secured his first podium finish of the season in third.
Roczen carries a 20-point advantage over Tomac into next weekend’s eighth race of the Western Regional 250SX Class Championship.
450SX Class Results: Seattle
Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda
Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki
Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM
Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki
Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki
Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Yamaha
Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM
Phillip Nicoletti, Bethel, N.Y., Yamaha
450SX Class Season Standings
Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 321
Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Suzuki, 296
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 295
Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda, 245
Chad Reed, Australia, Honda, 213
Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 202
Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM, 189
James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 174
Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Yamaha, 162
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki, 155
Western Regional 250SX Class Results: Seattle
Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda
Zach Osborne, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda
Cole Seely, Murrieta, Calif., Honda
Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki
Austin Politelli, Menifee, Calif., Honda
Ryan Sipes, Ekron, Ky., Suzuki
Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., KTM
Martin Davalos, Ecuador, Kawasaki
Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki
Western Regional 250SX Class Points
Ken Roczen, Germany, KTM, 163
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 143
Cole Seely, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 113
Zach Osborne, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Honda, 102
Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki, 99
Martin Davalos, Ecuador, Kawasaki, 94
Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha, 86
Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., KTM, 75
Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki, 74
Austin Politelli, Menifee, Calif., Honda, 72
At last year’s race in Salt Lake City, Dungey fended off Millsaps and Jake Weimer to take home the 450SX Class win. In the Western Regional 250SX Class action, Tomac clinched the 2012 title by taking home his fourth win of the season and his second consecutive win in Salt Lake City.
The first supercross race held at Rice-Eccles Stadium took place in 2001 where 42,135 packed the home of the 2002 Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies to watch Ricky Carmichael race to victory. Carmichael and Kevin Windham hold the all-time 450SX Class win record in Salt Lake City with two each. James Stewart holds the all-time 250SX Class win record at Salt Lake City with two.
Past Winners in Salt Lake City
April 28, 2012: Ryan Dungey
April 30, 2011: Ryan Villopoto
May 1, 2010: Kevin Windham
April 25, 2009: James Stewart
April 24, 2004: Kevin Windham
April 26, 2003: Chad Reed
April 27, 2002: Ricky Carmichael
April 28, 2001: Ricky Carmichael
April 28, 2012: Eli Tomac
April 30, 2011: Eli Tomac
May 1, 2010: Joshua Hansen
April 25, 2009: Trey Canard
April 24, 2004: Ivan Tedesco
April 26, 2003: James Stewart
April 27, 2002: James Stewart
April 28, 2001: Ernesto Fonseca