By Kyoshi Becker
Photos by Brian Converse
PRE-RED BUD NATIONAL ROUND-UP
The race at Muddy Creek was a breath of fresh air for the stagnating season. With the presumed series winner, Ken Roczen, on a roll, it seemed like we may not get the intense battles we were hoping for between Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen. Muddy Creek proved us wrong. The 450 class had quite a few surprises. First, Eli Tomac really stepped it up to challenge Roczen in the second moto. While he was unable to pass, Tomac kept up with Roczen and made multiple attempts at passing the Jimmy Johns Suzuki rider. For the first time in the team’s history, both Ken Roczen and Broc Tickle shared the podium. The last time the two were both on the podium together was 2011 when Roczen was riding KTM and Tickle was on a Kawasaki. While Cole Seely was unable to finish in a podium spot, he made his presence known, getting the holeshot in the first moto. After losing three positions in the first lap, he was able to get back into the lead before the lap was over.
The 250 class continues to perplex some of the most diligent fans. Jeremy Martin was still unable to get a win this season, while his teammate Cooper Webb got his first overall. Alex Martin was trying to make up a mediocre eighth start in the first moto until he crashed. Like in Thunder Valley, he lost many positions trying to kick-start his bike. His third place finish in the second moto only brought him to a ninth place overall finish. That speed we saw from Shane McElrath translated into a great second moto, where he led the majority of the race. Where was Joey Savatgy in all of this? While he finished the first moto in first, he crashed twice in the second moto, putting him in the second spot on the podium.
- On Saturday the 2016 series will be 50% over.
- Red Bud continues to fall on the Fourth of July holiday. Typically fans will celebrate Independence Day as part of the race, but this year the 4th is on Monday.
- Red Bud is one of the oldest tracks in the circuit, having been added in 1974. While it was absent in the 1975 season, it has been in the series since 1976.
- Red Bud is located about 15 miles east of Lake Michigan in Buchanan, Michigan.
- The Michigan track holds one of the most famous obstacles in the AMA Nationals, Larocco’s Leap. The triple is 120 feet long, which to the TV announcers could be 240 feet.
- The idea to build Red Bud came after track founder Gene Ritchie went to Buchanan, Michigan, for a snowmobile race and liked the plot of land. It was opened in 1973, a year before hosting its first National.
450 CLASS NOTES
- A Bultaco won the 450 (then called the 250) class at Red Bud in 1974. Ken Zahrt edged out Can-Am rider Gary Jones making it the last time a “Taco” won an AMA National.
- The 450 class podium had no Japanese bikes on it the first year. Ken Zahrt (1st) and Ron Pomeroy (3rd) were riding Bultaco, and Gary Jones (2nd) was on a Can-Am.
- Ricky Carmichael won at Red Bud seven years in a row in the premier class starting in 2001. The previous four years, Carmichael did not get worse than second place at the track.
- In 1976, Red Bud did not host the 450 class, only the 250s (then called the 125) class. One year later it only held a 450 class.
- Only one rider has won in all three classes at Red Bud — Jeff Ward. He won the 125 class in 1984, the 250s in 1990, and the 500 class 1988. He was riding Kawasaki all three times.
FASTEST 450 MAIN EVENT LAP TIMES
- Hangtown Moto 1 – Ryan Dungey – 2:00.475
- Hangtown Moto 2 – Ken Roczen – 2:02.776
- Glen Helen Moto 1 – Ken Roczen – 2:26.867
- Glen Helen Moto 2 – Ken Roczen – 2:29.60
- Thunder Valley Moto 1 – Ken Roczen – 2:10.649
- Thunder Valley Moto 2 – Eli Tomac – 2:11.230
- High Point Moto 1 – Eli Tomac – 2:01.932
- High Point Moto 2 – Justin Barcia – 2:00.304
- Muddy Creek Moto 1 – Eli Tomac – 1:53.115
- Muddy Creek Moto 2 – Ken Roczen – 1:52.555
TOP FIVE 450 POINTS
- Ken Roczen…243 Points
- Eli Tomac…196 Points
- Cole Seely…151 Points (out with an injury)
- Marvin Musquin…136 Points
- Ryan Dungey…131 Points (out with an injury)
250 CLASS NOTES
- Both Jeff Emig and Ryan Villopoto won three years in a row at Red Bud. Emig did so from 1992-1994 and Villopoto from 2006-2008. If Jeremy Martin wins this weekend he will be the third to do so.
- Bob Hannah won the first 125 National race at Red Bud in 1976.
- Kawasaki has a total of 13 wins in the 250 class at Red Bud. Yamaha and Honda have both nine, Suzuki has three and KTM one.
- Davi Millsaps was the last rider to put a 125 two-stroke on the podium at Red Bud. He rode his RM125 to second place in 2004.
FASTEST 250 MAIN EVENT LAP TIMES
- Hangtown Moto 1 – Cooper Webb – 2:01.669
- Hangtown Moto 2 – Zach Osborne – 2:02.473
- Glen Helen Moto 1 – Cooper Webb – 2:30.635
- Glen Helen Moto 2 – Austin Forkner – 2:32.143
- Thunder Valley Moto 1 – Joey Savatgy – 2:12.506
- Thunder Valley Moto 2 – Joey Savatgy – 2:12.099
- High Point Moto 1 -Zach Osborne – 2:03.830
- High Point Moto 2 – Aaron Plessinger – 2:03.182
- Muddy Creek Moto 1 – Cooper Webb – 1:55.155
- Muddy Creek Moto 2 – Jordan Smith – 1:56.088
TOP FIVE 250 POINTS
- Joey Savatgy…205 Points
- Cooper Webb…193 Points
- Jeremy Martin… 173 Points
- Alex Martin…158 Points
- Zach Osborne…152 Points
Ryan Dungey – Dungey’s crash at Thunder Valley looked like no big deal. He got up and finished the moto. After the fact, doctors discovered a crack in the C6 vertebrae.
Cole Seely – Out with a broken finger which had to be plated back together this week.
Jason Anderson – Out with a broken collarbone.
Trey Canard – Trey suffered a bulged disc in his back
Josh Grant – Ankle surgery cut his season short.
James Stewart – James most likely will return at Southwick (at least according to him).
Dean Wilson – Dean Wilson has been out since he torn his ACL during the Supercross season. He will make his return at Millville.
Jessy Nelson – Injured his knee at Thunder Valley.
Alex Frye – Troy Lee Designs’ Alex Frye sustained a torn ACL and additional torn ligaments in his knee. He will be out for the rest of the 2016 National season.
Justin Hill –Hill, another Troy Lee Designs KTM rider, hurt his back. There’s no word on when he will return.
Tristan Charboneau – Tristan broke his collarbone at Glen Helen.
Chris Alldredge – Still recovering from a pelvis injury he suffered in Las Vegas.
Christian Craig – Craig collided with teammate Jordon Smith at Glen Helen. In the crash, Craig broke his tib/fib.
Kyle Peters – Separated AC joint.