The Suzuki rider scored another clean sweep to win his fourth round from five attempts.
By Hayden Gregory
Cole Seely got 450 racing underway with a holeshot ahead of Phil Nicoletti, Christophe Pourcel and Justin Barcia. Moments later Nicoletti surprisingly had the lead as a strange turn of events saw Seely drop back to fourth before surging back into the lead all before the end of lap one.
Championship contenders Roczen and Tomac sat in fifth and sixth places respectively with their eyes set on the leading group of riders. By lap three Roczen had methodically moved into second place faced with an eight second deficit to leader Seely.
Tomac took a little longer to work his way through the pack before a collision between Nicoletti and Barcia allowed him to move into third. He soon sat on the rear of Roczen as the pair quickly erased any lead that Seely had developed. For a number of laps the trio would change positions before Roczen and Tomac really began to kick on.
In the closing stages Roczen was able to hold off Tomac to secure his eighth moto win of the season. Seely would cross comfortably in third, as Pourcel and Weston Peick rounded out the top five.
In moto two, Broc Tickle scored his first holeshot of the season ahead of Marvin Musquin and Justin Brayton. Roczen was once again thereabouts and immediately began to make his move towards the front. By the end of the first lap the German had control of the race with Tomac in third.
It took two more laps for Tomac to move into second place with Roczen holding onto a multiple second lead.
In the closing stages Roczen unbelievably began to slow as lapped riders caused issue. Tomac was able to move right onto the Suzuki rider’s rear fender before pulling alongside him on multiple occasions. Despite all the momentum Eli was unable to make a pass stick as Roczen scored a gritty win to claim yet another round clean sweep. Broc Tickle held onto third to claim his best result of the season.
Roczen now has nine moto wins from ten attempts in 2016, comfortably leading the 450 championship by 47 points.
“That [second moto win] felt good. That’s the way you want to win a race,” said Roczen. “[Tomac] was pushing during the final laps but I was able to hold him off. This was one of the hotter races [this season], which made it tougher. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing [in training] because it seems to be working. We were able to get another win today and go 1-1, so we’ll just keep working.”
Tomac finished 2-2 for second overall, his best performance of the season.
“We [Roczen and I] were just nailing our lines and clicking off laps out there. He got a little out of touch [in the middle of the moto] but we were able to close in,” said Tomac. “He was just riding awesome and kept me behind him. It’s good. We’ll take this and move on to fight another day. I really just want to beat him across the line next weekend.”
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will continue next weekend with the RedBud National in Buchanan, Michigan.
450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki (1-1)
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (2-2)
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki (6-3)
Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda (3-6)
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (7-4)
Christophe Pourcel, France, Husqvarna (4-8)
Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Yamaha (5-9)
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Suzuki (8-7)
Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, KTM (9-11)
Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda (13-10)
450 Class Championship Standings
Ken Roczen, Germany, Suzuki – 243
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 196
Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda – 151
Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 136
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM – 131
Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna – 113
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Suzuki – 109
Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 108
Christophe Pourcel, France, Husqvarna – 107
Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda – 97