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Musquin, Savatgy Strike Again at Washougal!

| 5 August 2017 2:06 pm

Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Series
Round 9: Washougal Motocross Park

Story by Clay Light
Photos by Sean Light
WASHOUGAL, WA, JULY 29, 2017

Welcome to Washougal, Washington – site of the ninth round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Series.

Welcome to Washougal, Washington – site of the ninth round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Series.

Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin was at the top of his game in the two 450cc motos at Washougal Motocross Park, site of round nine of the Lucas Oil Motocross Championship Series. When the dust had finally settled amidst the fir trees of southwestern Washington, Musquin joined Monster Energy/ Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy, who won the 250cc class despite unusually high 7-1 scores, at the pinnacle of the day’s podiums.

Another 1-1 tally has everyone wondering what could have been if not for the early-season injuries Marvin Musquin (25) sustained.

Another 1-1 tally has everyone wondering what could have been if not for the early-season injuries Marvin Musquin (25) sustained.

Without a doubt, Musquin performed at the level he had earlier in the series, when he carried the red plate, before an injury sidelined him, posting two convincing moto victories in the premier 450cc class. He beat Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac, who held a commanding points lead in the series coming into the Pacific Northwest round. It marked the Frenchman’s second consecutive overall win.

Eli Tomac (3) was pushing hard, but he was unable to keep pace with the healthy and clearly motivated Musquin.

Eli Tomac (3) was pushing hard, but he was unable to keep pace with the healthy and clearly motivated Musquin.

Tomac went 2-2 on the day and appeared to be playing it conservatively, trailing Musquin in both motos and furthering his points lead over KTM rider Blake Baggett, who tallied 7-4 moto finishes on the day and garnered fifth overall, behind Musquin, Tomac, HRC Honda’s Cole Seely, and Rockstar/ Husqvarna’s Martin Davalos.

Justin Barcia was out for the day after an unusual crash in the second qualifying session. After being carried out on a board, Barcia was released the same day, and he will be looking to return for Unadilla.

Justin Barcia was out for the day after an unusual crash in the second qualifying session. After being carried out on a board, Barcia was released the same day, and he will be looking to return for Unadilla.

Star Racing Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger and Savatgy split moto wins on the day in the 250cc class. Plessinger held the lead from start to finish in moto one, but he couldn’t repeat that performance in moto two. After a top-10 start in moto two, Plessinger fell, and he would not be a factor overall.

Aaron Plessinger (23) topped the first 250cc moto, but a bad start in moto two knocked him out of position for a chance at the overall.

Aaron Plessinger (23) topped the first 250cc moto, but a bad start in moto two knocked him out of position for a chance at the overall.

Savatgy got past GEICO Honda’s R.J. Hampshire after a tussle in moto two and rode on to victory, which was good for the overall victory – and, like Musquin’s 450cc win, this was Savatgy’s second overall win in a row.

Joey Savatgy (17) took advantage of unlikely math to go 7-1 for his second straight overall win in the 250cc class.

Joey Savatgy (17) took advantage of unlikely math to go 7-1 for his second straight overall win in the 250cc class.

Savatgy was followed by Rockstar/Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne, the series points leader who, at the end of the day, still maintained a large points lead over Savatgy, who now appears to be gaining momentum as the series winds its way back east. Osborne forged through the field in both motos, including a 16th-place start in moto one, and went 4-3 for second overall, ahead of Yamaha’s Dylan Ferrandis.

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250cc Class
KTM rider Sean Cantrell darted to the head of the field at the unleashing of moto one, but Plessinger quickly made his way past, pulling away with each circuit of the track. Cantrell, the impressive Troy Lee Designs/ Red Bull KTM rookie, maintained second, while Ferrandis, Mitchell Harrison and Adam Cianciarulo, who was the day’s fastest qualifier in the 250cc class, moved up to challenge Cantrell, all eventually all displacing the young Californian.

While Plessinger easily won that first moto, behind him, things got mixed up in the battle for second place among Ferrandis, Cianciarulo, Osborne and Harrison; that position would go to Cianciarulo. Ferrandis held off the charging Osborne for third. Osborne and Harrison completed the top five.

Zach Osborne (16) rebounded from midpack starts to post a 4-3 score and second overall on the day.

Zach Osborne (16) rebounded from midpack starts to post a 4-3 score and second overall on the day.

Hampshire, Savatgy, Cantrell, former 250cc Champion Jeremy Martin, and Colt Nichols rounded out the top 10.

“I felt really confident that I’d get the holeshot,” Plessinger said at moto’s end, “so it wasn’t really a surprise to me. I just stayed out front and everything went really well for me.”

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The second moto – and any chance at an overall win for the Ohio rider – was lost from the get-go in moto two, as Plessinger fell while running inside the top10 and found himself well behind the front-runners. Savatgy and Hampshire ran at the head of the field and spent a great deal of the second moto in close quarters, with Savatgy posting a victory.

Osborne, who again had to battle his way forward after a dismal start, got around both Cianciarulo and Ferrandis to settle into third in the late stages of moto two, and that’s where he’d finish. Ferrandis also moved past Cianciarulo for fourth.

Riding strong in the final laps, Dylan Ferrandis (108) nabbed the critical fourth position, booting Cianciarulo from the top step all the way to fourth overall.

Riding strong in the final laps, Dylan Ferrandis (108) nabbed the critical fourth position, booting Cianciarulo from the top step all the way to fourth overall.

Interestingly, had he stayed in fourth, Cianciarulo was in position to net his first overall win of the season with what would have been 2-4 finishes, but Ferrandis’ last-lap pass ended any chances of that, and the Frenchman ended up third overall with a 3-4 tally, trailing Savatgy (7-1) and Osborne (4-3) but finishing ahead of Cianciarulo (2-5) and Hampshire (6-2).

“I had no idea I’d won overall,” Savatgy said after his second-moto win. “I’m stoked! I got off to a good start and had a great battle with R.J. It feels pretty good to win two in a row.”

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450cc Class
Musquin grabbed the holeshot at the start of the opening 450cc moto, while Tomac kept close tabs on the Frenchman. Tomac kept pressure on Musquin for the majority of the 30-minute-plus-two-laps moto, making several attempts to take the lead away from the KTM rider; the two riders bumped at one point in a heated battle, and then Tomac – not wanting to risk injury or any loss of points – seemed to back off the pace, content with a second-place finish, behind Musquin.

Marvin Musquin (25) at speed at Washougal.

Marvin Musquin (25) at speed at Washougal.

“The track is pretty hard-packed,” Musquin said. “It was a lot different than last weekend. I got the holeshot but wasn’t feeling comfortable out there from the start, but then I gapped him [Tomac] and felt pretty good later in the moto.”

Davalos, who of late has posted many inspiring finishes, yielded to Seely, who would run a solid pace to finish third at moto’s end, ahead of Davalos and teammate Dean Wilson – who had garnered two overall podium finishes in the past two events – and rounded out the top five. Suzuki’s Weston Peick, former series points leader Blake Baggett, Justin Bogle, Christian Craig and former Oregon resident Matthew Bisceglia completed the top 10.

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Davalos darted to the head of the field in moto two, followed by Seeley, Tomac, RCH Suzuki’s Bogle, and Baggett. Musquin ran down Davalos fairly quickly on a Horsepower Hill pass and then left the longtime 250cc rider to fend off Tomac.

Eli Tomac (3, right) put in his best attack early in moto two, but it didn’t stick. Marvin Musquin (25) continued to distance himself in the remaining laps.

Eli Tomac (3, right) put in his best attack early in moto two, but it didn’t stick. Marvin Musquin (25) continued to distance himself in the remaining laps.

While Tomac did get around Davalos without much of a fight, Davalos solidified his stance as a solid 450cc rider by trailing seasoned veteran riders Musquin, who appeared to easily win moto two virtually unchallenged, and Tomac, and placed third – his best finish of the season. Baggett seemed to salvage his day with a fourth-place finish, with Seely, Wilson, Freddie Noren, Peick, Craig and Bogle completing the top 10.

Moto two proved that it wouldn’t take a bad start from Eli Tomac for Marvin Musquin (25) to stay out front.

Moto two proved that it wouldn’t take a bad start from Eli Tomac for Marvin Musquin (25) to stay out front.

“It was a good win for me,” Musquin said. “I feel like I am where I need to be, where I was at the start of the season, right now.”

For more information about the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, please visit ProMotocross.com.

Washougal Motocross Park
Washougal, Washington
Results: July 29, 2017 (Round 9)

450 OVERALL: 1. Marvin Musquin (KTM); 2. Eli Tomac (Kaw); 3. Martin Davalos (Hsq); 4. Cole Seely (Hon); 5. Blake Baggett (KTM); 6. Dean Wilson (Hsq); 7. Weston Peick (Suz); 8. Christian Craig (Hon); 9. Justin Bogle (Suz); 10. Dakota Alix (KTM).

250 OVERALL: 1. Joey Savatgy (Kaw); 2. Zach Osborne (Hsq); 3. Dylan Ferrandis (Yam); 4. Adam Cianciarulo (Kaw); 5. R.J. Hampshire (Hon); 6. Aaron Plessinger (Yam); 7. Jeremy Martin (Hon); 8. Colt Nichols (Yam); 9. Shane McElrath (KTM); 10. Mitchell Harrison (Yam).

450 Class Championship Standings: 1. Eli Tomac (373); 2. Blake Baggett (341); 3. Marvin Musquin (319); 4. Dean Wilson (269); 5. Cole Seely (228); 6. Jason Anderson (216); 7. Justin Bogle (212); 8. Martin Davalos (208); 9. Weston Peick (197); 10. Cooper Webb (177).

250 Class Championship Standings: 1. Zach Osborne (377); 2. Jeremy Martin (303); 3. Alex Martin (296); 4. Joey Savatgy (281); 5. Dylan Ferrandis (264); 6. Aaron Plessinger (256); 7. Adam Cianciarulo (254); 8. Colt Nichols (213); 9. Mitchell Harrison (212); 10. Shane McElrath (192).

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