Ken Roczen won over the American crowd with his adversity and perseverance. Even though Eli Tomac caught and passed him.

Photos by Daryl Ecklund

What an exciting race at Washougal for the 9th round of the 2018 AMA Lucus Oil National Championship. In the 450 class, the factory Honda rider of Ken Roczen is proving himself each and every week that he is a contender. He had a lot of doubters at the beginning of the season due to his horrible arm injuries. With his perseverance and dedication the German has won over the American fans at every race thus far. Kenny led laps at Washougal, but Eli Tomac‘s speed in the last 10 minutes of the race was unrivaled. Tomac went 1-1 at Washougal, although he had to work for it.

In the 250 class, some riders that placed up front in the first moto, didn’t fare as well the second. This allowed 250e points leader, Aaron Plessinger to win the overall without winning a moto. He went 4-3 for the overall. The two motos winners of Shane McElrath and Joey Savatgy swapped finishes both motos with a first and a ninth which was good enough to land them on the podium.


The beautiful Washougal landscape. 

Justin Cooper was the fastest 250 qualifier in Washougal. 

Eli Tomac was your fastest 450 qualifier. 

Justin Hill surprised many with clocking in second fastest time behind Tomac. 

After qualifying, the 125cc All-Star race hit the track. It was Ryan Villopoto who took the win with Mike Brown in tow. 

Next up was the first 250 moto. Chase Sexton gets in the zone before the gate drops. 

Pro Circuit mechanic, Olly Stone gets his rider Austin Forkner’s gate prepped and ready.

Before the gate dropped two fighter jets roared over the Washougal crowd.

The start of the first 250 moto. 

It was Joey Savatgy with the holeshot and the win. Although it didn’t come easy.

His teammate, Austin Forkner kept pressure on Joey and got by him at one time. However, it was Savatgy that crossed the line first. 

The KTM/TLD rider of Jordan Smith stayed close to both the Kawi riders the entire moto to finish 3rd for his second podium moto finish of the season. 

With both Pro Circuit riders on the podium in moto one, Mitch Payton was a happy camper. 

In the morning the track was muddy. By the first 450 moto the heat dried up the track and the dust started to rise. 

It was Justin Bogle that grabbed the first 450 moto holeshot and lead for three laps until Eli Tomac got by him. Justin Hill came around in second and Marvin in third, although Tomac made fast work of Musquin. 

Justin Hill rode great and finished 4th. 

Ken Roczen got by Justin Hill up Horsepower Hill to finish third in moto 1. 

Marvin Musquin finished second. 

Eli Tomac took the first moto win by 12 seconds. 

The Washougal hills are great as they offer shade from the heat as well as a great view of the track. 

The American Eagle was a bad influence on the riders. 

The start of the second 250 moto. Points leader Aaron Plessinger got off to an early lead, but Shane McElrath past him within the first lap.

Shane McErath won his first moto of the season, although a 9th place finish in the first moto put him second overall. 

RJ Hampshire went 10-4 for fifth overall. 

Dylan Ferrandis went 11-2 for fourth overall. 

Joey Savatgy went down in the second moto and salvaged a 9th which still got him on the podium. 

Points leader, Aaron Plessinger extended his points lead and won the 250 overall by going 4-3 on the day. He now has a 59 point lead with three rounds to go. 

Washougal 250 podium from left to right: Shane McElrath (2nd), Aaron Plessinger (1st), Joey Savatgy (3rd).


POS. NAME M1              M2
1 Aaron Plessinger 4 3
2 Shane McElrath 9 1
3 Joseph Savatgy 1 9
4 Dylan Ferrandis 11 2
5 RJ Hampshire 10 4
6 Alex Martin 8 6
7 Justin Cooper 6 8
8 Jordon Smith 3 13
9 Chase Sexton 5 10
10 Mitchell Harrison 12 7

In moto two, it was again Justin Bogle with the holeshot in the 450 class.

Ken Roczen made quick work of Bogle and looked like he could pull off the win as Tomac came around the first lap in 9th. 

Blake Baggett started up front in fourth and placed fifth in moto two for 5th overall. 

Weston Peick went 12-6 for 8th overall. 

Toshiki Tomita placed 16th. 

Kyle Cunningham went 11-8 for 9th overall. 

Justin Barcia finished fourth overall. 

Marvin Musquin finished 3rd. 

Ken Roczen showered the crowd with his second place champagne.  

But is was Eli Tomac that charged hard and passed Roczen with only two laps to go for the overall win. 


1 Eli Tomac 1 1
2 Ken Roczen 3 2
3 Marvin Musquin 2 3
4 Justin Barcia 5 4
5 Blake Baggett 6 5
6 Cooper Webb 8 7
7 Benny Bloss 7 10
8 Weston Peick 12 6
9 Kyle Cunningham 11 8
10 Phillip Nicoletti 9 12


2018 OUTDOOR NATIONALS2018 washougal national2018-mx-250-resultsOUTDOOR NATIONALSwashougal