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Image from the 2017 Washougal Motocross round nine of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
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Monster Energy Washougal Motocross National Report

Jul 292017

This just goes to show what a difference a good team makes for any racer. Just a couple of races ago, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Joey Savatgy was struggling to get to the front, but after spending some time testing with his team, he has now managed to win the last two 250cc National Motocross rounds in a row.

At Washougal Raceway in Washougal, Washington, just north of the Oregon border, Savatgy and his teammate Adam Cianciarulo were in the battle for the win to the very last lap of the final moto.

250

Cianciarulo was the fastest qualifier on the day, and in the first moto, Aaron Plessinger grabbed the holeshot over Sean Cantrell, Dylan Ferrandis, Mitchell Harrison, and Cianciarulo. By the end of the first lap, Plessinger already held over a two-second lead, and he would grow it to over 13 seconds by the finish.

 

Behind him, though, Cianciarulo was Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki KX250F up through the front-runners until he took second just before the halfway point. He’d stay there, though, as Plessinger was just too far gone.

 

“I think in moto two I just need to get a start,” Cianciarulo said. “I was really far back, maybe fifth or sixth, and had to come through a few guys, like Sean Cantrell who was super-tough to get around, and also Mitchell Harrison and Dylan Ferrandis; those guys are no joke. These guys are the best in the world, so it was difficult to get around them, and by the time I did, I think Plessinger was five or six seconds ahead and he was riding fantastic. So, I just need to be up there off the start and put myself in the position to get this overall today.”

 

Behind Cianciarulo came Ferrandis, points leader Zach Osborne, Harrison, RJ Hampshire, Savatgy, Cantrell, Jeremy Martin, Colt Nichols, Shane McElrath, and the rest of the field.

 

In moto two, Savatgy was the one who got out quickest and snatched the holeshot, then spent the first few laps fighting off the attacks of Hampshire until Hampshire took advantage of a minor mistake by Savatgy to take the lead, which he held for four laps before Savatgy managed to sneak back by.

 

Savatgy went on to win the moto, but the 7-1 score wasn’t good enough for the overall until the final lap, as his teammate Cianciarulo’s 2-4 score would’ve been enough to secure the win. However, on the final circuit, Ferrandis fought his way by Cianciarulo for fourth, and the overall win went to Savatgy, who finished the moto less than three seconds in front of Hampshire, with Osborne, Ferrandis and Ciancairulo all hot on his tail.

 

“A 7-1, it’s not too often with a class like this that you can go 7-1 and get the overall, so I’m stoked,” Savatgy said. “My Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki got me off to a great start, and I was tight there in the beginning and RJ was riding really good, but he got around me, and I picked up on a few of his lines and was able to make the pass back. I got a little bit of a lead, and I wasn’t feeling super-comfortable that moto, but good enough to get the job done. I’m stoked.”

 

The series takes a weekend off now before it hits its final stretch, three more Nationals this summer starting in two weeks at Unadilla in New Berlin, New York.

 

450 Class

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac has the 450cc championship well in-hand at this point, with his closest rival Blake Baggett riding with a badly injured thumb that will require surgery, and the rest of the 450cc field much too far behind in points to be considered a real threat. 

 

In moto one, Marvin Musquin got the holeshot while Tomac had to work through a few racers in the first couple of laps before he passed Martin Davalos for second on lap three, and then he chased Musquin down for the lead. As he was pressuring Musquin, the two came together exiting a left-hand corner when Musquin squared the turn off unexpectedly, and although neither rider went down, Tomac could never reel Musquin back in again.

 

“He was a little bit outside, and I came up the inside there, and he lost his rear end and we bumped,” Tomac said. “In the moment, I was a little bit frustrated, but after looking at it just now, he just slid out. No worries. We’re just going to come out fighting for that second moto. We were laying down heaters there in the beginning of that moto, and then we just lost touch there. I need to keep the groove going the whole time.”

 

Musquin took the win over Tomac, and well behind Tomac came Cole Seely in third, Davalos in fourth, Dean Wilson in fifth, and the AutoTrader/JGR/Monster Energy Suzuki of Weston Peick in sixth after holding off Baggett for the last half-dozen laps for the position.

 

In moto two, Davalos was the quickest out of the gate and he led the first three laps while Musquin tried to find his way by. Musquin was on rails and found his way by Davalos up Horsepower Hill while Tomac soon joined the chase out front when he also fought his way by Davalos. For the next few laps, Tomac tried what he could, but he couldn’t cut into Musquin’s lead. Musquin took the win again, while Tomac had to settle for second, increasing his points lead to 32 over his closest rival Baggett in the process.

 

“I lost touch a little bit at the beginning of that one, which is the opposite of what I wanted to happen, so I don’t know...” Tomac said. “A little bit of a tough day. We were the second-best guy today. I gained points on second place, but lost a few to Marv there, so we’re going to keep pushing. Looking forward to the weekend off to regroup and I’ll come back swinging and try to get a win.”

 

Davalos held off Baggett for most of the moto to come home third. Behind Baggett came Seely in fifth.

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