By Kyoshi Becker
Photos by Scott Mallonee
PRE-IRONMAN NATIONAL ROUND-UP
At the beginning of the season, we all hope for a riveting end–championships like in 1996, where Jeff Emig edged out Jeremy McGrath by a mere 10 points. As recently as two years ago, Ken Roczen won his first AMA National Championship by beating teammate Ryan Dungey by only 14 points. This year, however, Roczen turned the 450 title fight into a snoozefest. He wrapped up his second 450 National title a round early. Eli Tomac kept Kenny honest by winning at Southwick and Washougal, but that was about the extent of it. Still, Tomac clinched second overall in the standings, which isn’t too shabby. If he can gel better with the Monster Energy Kawasaki SR450, there is hope for a Tomac resurgence (remember Eli in 2015?). Even so, Ken Roczen is at an all-time high. At the press conference he threw jabs at his old trainer, Aldon Baker, and dropped the mic. And while the championship is over, there are still fans in Indianapolis who haven’t had the chance to watch the boys of summer scream around their home track. Roczen and Tomac will put on a good show, just as they have the 11 previous rounds.
The 250 championship also wrapped up last Saturday. Unlike Ken Roczen, Cooper Webb did not go 1-1 in clinching the title. In fact, he didn’t even finish on the podium. As for teammate Alex Martin, his season has been very strong, but mechanical failures and a few crashes slowly led to a points deficit that he couldn’t overcome. Joey Savatgy has nothing to be sad about, but he’ll look back at 2016 and think, “What if?” He lost the 250 West Supercross title to Cooper Webb, and then the 250 National title slipped out of his grasp midway through the series. While Savatgy has been a serious contender, second moto DNF’s have been his achilles heel. However, Budds Creek wasn’t all losses for the 250 riders. Zach Osborne earned his first career overall, and rookie Austin Forkner made the podium for a third consecutive race.
- After Saturday’s race the 2016 season will be officially over.
- Ironman is one of the newest tracks on the circuit. It was established in 2014. This is its third year.
- Prior to the construction of Ironman, Indiana hadn’t held an AMA National since 1973.
- The track has held Grand National Cross Country Series (GNCC) races. It will be the final stop for the 2016 GNCC series in October.
450 CLASS NOTES
- KTM has the most podiums at Ironman–three in two years. Honda, Suzuki and Husqvarna all have one podium.
- Only European bikes have won the overall in the 450 class in any Indiana National. KTM is the only bike to win in the 450 class. The single 250 two-stroke race was won on a Bultaco by Gary Bailey in 1972.
- Ken Roczen has led the most laps at Ironman. He has led 24 laps. Ryan Dungey has led 14, Trey Canard has led 13, Justin Barcia led three and Christophe Pourcel has led one.
FASTEST 450 MOTO 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
- Red Bud Moto 1 – Ken Roczen – 1:56.678
- Red Bud Moto 2 – Ken Roczen – 1:56.555
- Southwick Moto 1 – Eli Tomac – 2:05.750
- Southwick Moto 2 – Eli Tomac – 2:07.221
- Unadilla Moto 1 – Ken Roczen- 2:14.779
- Unadilla Moto 2 – Ken Roczen – 2:17.266
- Red Bud Moto 1 – Ken Roczen – 2:02.100
- Red Bud Moto 2 – Ken Roczen – 2:02.068
TOP FIVE 450 POINTS
- Ken Roczen…534 Points (Champion)
- Eli Tomac…458 Points
- Marvin Musquin…365 Points
- Justin Barcia…316 Points
- Christophe Pourcel…217 Points
250 CLASS NOTES
- While there was an AMA National in Indiana in 1972 and 1973, there were no 125 class races in the series–just a 250 two-stroke and a 500 class.
- Cooper Webb is the first 250 rider to win both the Supercross and AMA National Championships in the same year since 2009. Ryan Dungey was the last to do it.
- In both 2014 and 2015 Joey Savatgy earned second overall and Jessy Nelson earned third overall. However, both were riding different bikes in 2014 and 2015. Nelson was atop a Honda in 2014 and switched to KTM in 2015. Savatgy was on KTM and switched to Honda.
FASTEST 250 MOTO 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
- Red Bud Moto 1 – Cooper Webb – 2:00.882
- Red Bud Moto 2 – Cooper Webb – 2:01.676
- Southwick Moto 1 – Cooper Webb – 2:11.515
- Southwick Moto 2 – Austin Forkner – 2:13.997
- Unadilla Moto 1 – Austin Forkner – 2:17.652
- Unadilla Moto 2 – Cooper Webb – 2:22.259
- Red Bud Moto 1 – Adam Cianciarulo – 2:02.957
- Red Bud Moto 2 – Austin Forkner – 2:04.217
TOP FIVE 250 POINTS
- Cooper Webb…457 Points (Champion)
- Alex Martin…384 Points
- Joey Savatgy…361 Points
- Austin Forkner…331 Points
- Jeremy Martin…321 Points
James Stewart – Bubba has a tweaked shoulder and is done for the rest of the AMA Nationals.
Trey Canard – Recovering from a practice track concussion.
Justin Brayton – Recovering from injuries sustained at Washougal.
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. Fredrik Noren will fill in at HRC Honda.
Jason Anderson – Broke his collarbone early in the season, but has been selected for the MXDN team, so will probably make an appearance at the final National.
Christophe Pourcel – Out for the rest of the season with a fracture in C6 at Washougal.
Josh Grant – Ankle surgery cut his season short. His fill-in, Tyler Bowers, injured his shoulder and is also out for the season.
Justin Bogle – Out for the rest of the series with a neck injury.
Blake Baggett – Re-injured his shoulder. He is out for the rest of the season.
Broc Tickle – Tickle sustained a fractured pelvis at Millville when he crashed with Weston Peick.
Ben Lamay – Torn MCL at Washougal.
Jeremy Martin – Injured some ribs in the Savatgy vs. Webb fiasco at Washougal. He won’t return this season.
Jessy Nelson – Serious back injury and broken wrist from Unadilla. He has undergone surgery to repair T4 and T5.
Colt Nichols – A torn meniscus at Washougal. He won’t return this season.
Shane McElrath – A shoulder separation, broken ribs and a concussion at Soutwick. He won’t return this season.
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.
Christian Craig – Craig collided with teammate Jordon Smith at Glen Helen. In the crash, Craig broke his tib/fib.
Chase Sexton – The AMA Horizon award winner was supposed to make his Pro debut at Unadilla, but he has an avulsion fracture of the knee.
Jesse Wentland – Broken collarbone.