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Convincing Win for King Kenny

US MX 250 Class

maddix park mx  By David Bulmer

A lot has been made of this 250 class and for good reason as it is absolutely rammed full of quality riders and interesting story lines. Unfortunately before a bike had touched the track, the news came in that Adam Cianciarulo would be lining up at a Doctor's and not at Hangtown after suffering from the flu all week. Still, there was plenty to talk about with the introduction of Cooper Webb and of course the all out war going on between the KTM, Geico and Pro Circuit riders.

The first moto was a prime example of this as the lead swapped between three riders, before Roczen took the chequered flag. Leading them around the first turn was Blake Baggett who decided that late-moto chargers were so 2012 and that getting out front early was the better strategy. He only led for one lap though, before Marvin Musquin made the pass and at that stage, things were all set for the #25 KTM. Behind them, Roczen was trying to recover from a bad start, crossing lap 1 in 9th with Tomac a couple of places ahead. These two soon made it to the front though and an epic four-way battle ensured. Roczen ended up passing all his main rivals and ended up taking a comfortable win with Tomac holding off Baggett for second.

Cooper Webb's first race couldn't have gone much better, with a good start and running 6th for almost the entire moto, he then hunted down Darryn Durham to get the top five spot. The other rookie, Justin Hill had a horrible start and was in 31st after lap 1, however he never gave up and ended in 13th place.

Zach Bell ripped a huge holeshot in moto two before being swamped by the field. Baggett quickly took over the lead with Roczen close on his heels, but within the first lap, the German made his move and passed the Kawi rider. For most of the moto Baggett kept sight of the KTM but by the end of the moto, he was well back. Behind those two there was some crazy action as riders tried to improve on their moto one performance. Musquin and Osborne collided together and went down while Blake Wharton seemed to be constantly trying to fight off riders like Bogle, Webb, Anderson and Tomac. The #17 had to come through the field and by the time he reached third place, the top two were long gone.

In the battle of the rookies, it was actually Justin Hill who came out on top as Cooper Webb gradually dropped down the field, before stalling on the last lap and not being able to finish. It was a sad end but overall he can be extremely pleased with his performance. As can Justin Hill who probably overtook 30 riders in total in the two motos. Marvin Musquin and Zach Osborne would both remount and ended up finishing 4th and 5th, which were solid results for the former GP stars.

Overall though, the day was all about Ken Roczen as he got his first ever overall win in America with two extremely convincing victories. Not only did he pass all his main rivals, he withstood a good amount of pressure before gapping the field. Like in 2012, his main rivals will still be Baggett, Tomac and Musquin and those riders now know what kind of level they need to get to in order to overthrow the German's early lead.

As for the rookies, without Adam Cianciarulo taking the limelight, Cooper Webb put in the best individual result with a 5th in moto one, but it was Hill who just scrapped the overall by one point. Another good ride that shouldn't get overlooked was by Dillan Epstein who came 10th in the first race.

Overall Results

1. Ken Roczen (1-1)
2. Blake Baggett (3-2)
3. Eli Tomac (2-3)
4. Marvin Musquin (4-4)
5. Zach Osborne (9-5)
6. Kyle Cunningham (8-7)
7. Jason Anderson (12-6)
8. Jeremy Martin (7-13)
9. Joey Savatgy (10-11)
10. Justin Hill (13-9)
11. Cooper Webb (5-18)
12. Justin Bogle (19-8)
13. Blake Wharton  (17-10)
14. Darryn Durham (6-36)
15. Cole Seely (14-14)
16. Dillan Epstein (11-23)
17. Martin Davalos (38-12)
18. Jake Canada (16-17)
19. Alex Martin (20-15)
20. Zach Bell (15-35)

Moto 1 Recap: Roczen Keeps Momentum Going

Ken Roczen held on to win the first race of the season and build on his momentum after winning the supercross crown.  The big names in the 250 Class were on display at Hangtown. Roczen, Eli Tomac, Blake Baggett, and Marvin Musquin were in a constant battle at the top, but Roczen was able to open up a lead towards the end of the race to secure the victory.  Roczen earned the victory for Red Bull KTM and his teammate Musquin finished fourth.

The 250 class had fans speculating how well certain rookies—such as Cooper Webb and Adam Cianciarulo—would fare against tried and true 250 class champions such as defending champ Blake Baggett, Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen. We’ll have to wait another week to see what Adam Cianciarulo has for the crowd—he’s out for the first round sick—but Webb answered quickly by nearly grabbing the season’s first holeshot. The only rider to beat him out was Baggett.

Wait… Baggett? The Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider isn’t exactly known for his early-race charges, but he didn’t waste any time getting his #1 red plate back where he wants it. Webb’s teammate Jeremy Martin and Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin weren’t far from an early lead either. Musquin moved into second early on while the MyPlash Metal Mulisha Star Racing Yamaha riders backpedaled for the time being.

Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen suddenly emerged from the pack and into the top five—even passing Baggett in the process! Roczen wasn’t done at third, though. He passed both Tomac and Musquin in a single lap for the lead. Tomac eventually followed Roczen and moved by Musquin, as did Baggett. Darryn Durham moved into the fifth around the halfway mark and a generous cushion had formed between the top five.

The cushion didn’t last when two riders decided to make late-race charges toward the front. Sixth-place Webb resurged to challenge Durham for the top five and was able to gain the position before the checkered flag. To no surprise, Baggett was the other rider to make a late-race charge on Tomac, but it never panned out. Roczen won while Tomac and Baggett finished on the podium. Musquin and Webb rounded out the top five.

250 moto 1 Results

1. Ken Roczen
2. Eli Tomac (-4.8 seconds)
3. Blake Baggett
4. Marvin Musquin
5. Cooper Webb
6. Darryn Durham
7. Jeremy Martin
8. Kyle Cunningham
9. Zach Osborne
10. Joey Savatgy

250 Moto 2: Roczen Gets 2nd Win of Day

Ken Roczen came away with another moto victory at Hangtown as he managed to keep his distance from Blake Baggett in Moto 2.  Baggett came out to an early lead after overtaking Zach Bell, who won the holeshot, and managed to keep everyone except Roczen behind him for the remainder of the race.  Baggett improved upon his 3rd place finish in Moto 1 to take 2nd and secure a spot on the podium, with Eli Tomac finishing third. With Baggett and Tomac switching places in from the last moto, Baggett finishes the day at 2nd overall.

Jason Anderson and Marvin Musquin jockeyed for position throughout the race, with Musquin securing the 4 spot, followed by Zach Osborne, who passed Anderson with 2 laps to go to round out the top five.  

The top ten was rounded out with Anderson taking 6th and Kyle Cunningham coming in 7th, with Justin Bogle, Justin Hill, and Blake Wharton finishing 8-10.

It was a solid day for rookie riders with Hill finishing 9th and Cooper Webb looking like he was in for a 10th place finish before stalling out on the final lap. Fellow rookie Joey Savatgy fell just short of a top ten finish, taking 11th in the moto.  With Adam Cianciarulo returning next week, rookies could make a lot of noise throughout the rest of the season.

The upcoming weeks should be very interesting to see if Blake Baggett can get back in top form or if Ken Roczen can keep up his hot streak.

250 Moto 2 Results

1. Ken Roczen
2. Blake Baggett (-12.2 seconds)
3. Eli Tomac
4. Marvin Musquin
5. Zach Osborne
6. Jason Anderson
7. Kyle Cunningham
8. Justin Bogle
9. Justin Hill
10. Blake Wharton

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