Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen backed up his 450SX Class win at Round 4 with a dominating victory at the second Indianapolis round. Opening round winner Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull / GASGAS Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia held off defending champion Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac to fill out a podium of 2021 race winners.
Action in the Eastern Regional 250SX Class presented plenty of drama, but when the dust settled it was Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Colt Nichols grabbing his third straight win to extend his points lead.
After four rounds with four different winners in the 450 class, the first repeat victor emerged when Ken Roczen jumped into the lead shortly past the holeshot stripe and gapped the field on the rutted, technical track. Holeshot winner Justin Barcia was comfortably in second until the race clock ticked down to the eight-minute mark in the 20-minute plus one lap race when Eli Tomac reached his rear wheel.
Barcia managed to fend off Tomac’s repeated attacks without losing much time on the leader, who’d stretched the lead to nearly ten seconds. Tomac spent a night fighting forward, seeming to get caught up in other riders’ paces as he’d reach them. He still managed third place points for the night, keeping him squarely in the title hunt.
Barcia didn’t stress as he held off the defending champion of Tomac, pulling a 2.9-second gap in the final laps to secure second overall on the night. Five rounds in, Barcia has now moved up to fourth overall in the championship standings.
Barcia: “The last round was really tough but tonight we put ourselves in a much better position. I got a good start and Kenny rode an amazing race, I tried to give him a little battle in the beginning but that’s all I had tonight. I’m glad to be back up here on the podium, we’ve been searching a little bit with setup but we’re getting there and feeling good, ready to get back to winning.”
2019 champion and Round 3 winner, Red Bull KTM’s Cooper Webb found himself in 11th place off the start and he diligently worked his way up to seventh a few laps in. He battled around seventh for most of the race but with six laps to go, he turned up the intensity and began a late charge towards the front. The 2019 450SX Champion sat in fifth heading into the final lap but he dug deep in the final moments to overtake fourth just before the checkers. With consistent finishes through the first five rounds, Webb sits within striking distance of the early 450SX Championship in second overall.
Webb:“It was an up and down day once again. We did a lot of bike changes that actually seemed to help and the heat race was going really good, I pulled a great start and led a few laps but unfortunately a hay bale that wasn’t there the first time, was there the second time, and I ended up going down. I didn’t have a great gate pick for the Main Event, which really messed up my start and I struggled to get going. I made a lot of passes at the beginning and then I charged hard to make some really late passes, which I think was great, but I’m going to need to get some better starts. I’m excited for next Saturday, I think with a good start I’m right there in the mix. We’re still in the fight for this title and that’s the goal.”
It was a mixed day for Marvin Musquin, who experienced both highs and lows in Indy. Musquin started off the night positively, where he grabbed the 450SX Heat 1 holeshot aboard his KTM 450 SX-F FACTORY EDITION. The French rider made quick work of the competition as he raced his way to his first heat-race victory of the season. In the Main Event, Musquin got a decent start just outside the top-five but he found himself back in 16th on the opening lap after hitting another rider’s wheel and going down. Musquin put his head down and charged his way through the field, reaching a top-10 position just before the halfway point. He did his best to pick off riders and claim valuable points, ultimately finishing 11th on the night.
Musquin:“I had a good day going and my speed was decent but I just had some costly mistakes, same as Saturday. The heat was awesome, I got up front and won the heat so I got a good gate position for the Main Event. I had an okay start and I was in good position but going into the tunnel I came in a little too fast and I hit Aaron Plessinger’s wheel and went down. I’m just trying to work on minimizing the mistakes and stay on two wheels next time and we will be fine.”
It was a wild night for the Eastern Regional 250SX Class riders but at the checkers it was Yamaha’s Colt Nichols grabbing his third consecutive win – only his fourth career win. It was Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull / GASGAS Factory Racing’s Michael Mosiman who grabbed the holeshot and started to pull away in the opening laps. He’d earned GASGAS its first 250SX podium one race before and looked destined to give the brand its first win in its debut Supercross season. Unfortunately, a lapped rider crashed on a rhythm section; Mosiman bumped the rider and had to nearly stop to swerve around the downed bike.
Mosiman worked hard to gain his momentum back later in the race but it wasn’t enough to maintain second. With a respectable third-place finish, Mosiman has jumped two spots in the 250SX Eastern Championship standings where he now sits third overall with four rounds to go.
Mosiman:“That was an awesome start, I was ripping clean laps and I busted out the triple-quad, I hadn’t done that all day, and I felt good in the whoops. A guy went down in front of me in the rhythm section and that was hectic, it spooked me a little bit. I hit him pretty good, lost a spot to Colt and lost my mojo a little bit mid-way. I had such good lines out of the gate and as the track was breaking down, I think I needed to move with it a little bit quicker but all-in-all, it was a good day and a step in the right direction. I just have to thank my team, they’ve been behind me so much and this opportunity to race in front of a crowd is awesome, I love it!”
Nichols took the opportunity to grab the lead and never looked back… until crossing the chequered which seemed to the riders to come out one lap early. Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Christian Craig rode steady and managed second after passing Mosiman with just over five minutes left on the race clock.
Absent on the line was Team Honda HRC’s Jett Lawrence, who took a hard fall in practice and another in his heat race. After winning the Last Chance Qualifier, Lawrence determined he was not healthy enough to race with what appeared to be a right shoulder injury from his heat race crash; the 2021 race winner walked away from his bike on the line before the gate dropped.
450SX Class Results
1. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda
2. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki
4. Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM
5. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha
6. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki
7. Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna
8. Joey Savatgy, Clermont, Fla., KTM
9. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha
10. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
450SX Class Championship Standings
1. Ken Roczen, Clermont, Fla., Honda (112)
2. Cooper Webb, Newport N.C., KTM (99)
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (98)
4. Justin Barcia, Greenville, Fla., GASGAS (92)
5. Adam Cianciarulo, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., Kawasaki (87)
6. Dylan Ferrandis, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Yamaha (81)
7. Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha (76)
8. Zach Osborne, Clermont, Fla., Husqvarna (74)
9. Marvin Musquin, Corona, Calif., KTM (73)
10. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (70)
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Results
1. Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
2. Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha
3. Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., GASGAS
4. Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki
5. Grant Harlan, Justin Tex., Honda
6. Jeremy Hand, Mantua, Ohio, Honda
7. Joshua Varize, Perris, Calif., KTM
8. Joshua Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Honda
9. Logan Karnow, Amherst, Ohio, Kawasaki
10. Kevin Moranz, Topeka, Kans., KTM
Eastern Regional 250SX Class Championship Standings
1. Colt Nichols, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha (122)
2. Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (111)
3. Michael Mosiman, Menifee, Calif., GASGAS (97)
4. Jo Shimoda, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki (96)
5. Jett Lawrence, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Honda (83)
6. Joshua Osby, Valparaiso, Ind., Honda (71)
7. Joshua Varize, Perris, Calif., KTM (57)
8. Mitchell Oldenburg, Aledo, Tex., Honda (54)
9. John Short, Pilot Point, Tex., Suzuki (54) 10. Grant Harlan, Justin Tex.,