Ken Roczen scores first career 450 Class Motocross win at Hangtown (VIDEO)

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After narrowly losing out on the win a week ago at Glen Helen, Ken Roczen would not give anyone the opportunity to steal it from him this time around. The Red Bull KTM rider swept both motos at Hangtown – recording his first career Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship victory in the 450 Class.

In the first moto of the day, Roczen started off in second but quickly passed his teammate Ryan Dungey for the lead on the opening lap and separated from the field, leading the rest of the way and winning by more than eight seconds.

Things got interesting in the second moto though. Roczen found himself trailing Brett Metcalfe and Justin Barcia after the first lap and had Dungey close behind him. Over the next ten minutes, the four riders were bunched together fairly tight as they battled amongst themselves. Roczen closed in on the leaders, and on Lap 5, he moved up from third to first in the span of about 30 seconds, passing Barcia and then Metcalfe to move into the lead.

Watch the three-way battle between Roczen, Barcia and Metcalfe here:

By virtue of his victory in both motos, Roczen earned the overall win at Hangtown and has surpassed Dungey in the 450MX point standings. Roczen will carry a five-point lead into next week’s round at Thunder Valley as he now begins a quest to defend the red plate signifying his points lead.

Trey Canard (3-4), James Stewart (5-3) and Justin Barcia (4-5) all recorded top-five finishes in both motos, with Canard getting the edge for the final spot on the overall podium after passing Barcia late in Moto 2. It was an improvement on last week for all three riders, but right now the Red Bull KTM duo of Roczen and Dungey has proven themselves to be at the head of the class.

Hangtown 450 Class Overall Results

1. Ken Roczen (1-1)
2. Ryan Dungey (2-2)
3. Trey Canard (3-4)
4. James Stewart (5-3)
5. Justin Barcia (4-5)
6. Weston Peick (8-6)
7. Jake Weimer (7-8)
8. Brett Metcalfe (6-9)
9. Malcolm Stewart (10-7)
10. Chad Reed (11-12)
*Moto 1 and Moto 2 results listed in parenthesis

In the 250 Class, the riders must have been sensing a case of Groundhog’s Day. For the second week in a row, the Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha duo of Jeremy Martin and Cooper Webb swept the top two spots in both motos.

Winning both of today’s motos by 19 seconds, Martin had another dominant day and remains undefeated on the season through two rounds. His teammate Webb has finished behind him in second place in all four of this year’s motos, as the rest of the 250MX field has no answer for the impressive youngsters right now.

Hangtown 250 Class Overall Results

1. Jeremy Martin (1-1)
2. Cooper Webb (2-2)
3. Christophe Pourcel (8-3)
4. Justin Hill (4-6)
5. Jessy Nelson (7-5)
6. Jason Anderson (10-4)
7. Marvin Musquin (9-7)
8. Zach Bell (5-12)
9. Matt Bisceglia (13-8)
10. Justin Bogle (3-35)
*Moto 1 and Moto 2 results listed in parenthesis

For a full recap of every moto from Hangtown, watch the highlight video below.

Street race in Vietnam could lead Formula One’s Asia expansion

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TOKYO (AP) — Formula One is expected to add more races in Asia, including a street circuit in the capital of Vietnam, a country with little auto racing history that is on the verge of getting a marquee event.

“We think Hanoi could come on in the next couple of years, and we’re working with the Hanoi government to that end,” Sean Bratches, Formula One’s managing director of commercial operations, told the Associated Press.

There is even speculation it could be on the schedule next season, which Bratches rebuffed.

Vietnam would join countries like Azerbaijan, Russia and Bahrain, which have Grand Prix races, little history in the sport, and authoritarian governments with deep pockets that serve F1 as it tries to expand into new markets.

“This (Hanoi) is a street race where we can go downtown, where we can activate a large fan base,” Bratches said. “And you have extraordinary iconography from a television standpoint.”

A second race in China is also likely and would join Shanghai on the F1 calendar. Bratches said deciding where to stage the GP will “be left to local Chinese partners” – Beijing is a strong candidate.

Bratches runs the commercial side of Formula One, which was acquired last year by U.S.-based Liberty Media from long-time operator Bernie Ecclestone.

Formula One’s long-term goal is to have 24-25 races – up from the present 21 – and arrange them in three geographical segments: Asia, Europe and the Americas. Bratches said the Europe-based races would stay in middle of the calendar, with Asia or the Americas opening or ending the season.

He said their positioning had not been decided, and getting this done will be slowed by current contracts that mandate specific places on the calendar for several races. This means eventually that all the races in Asia would be run together, as would races in Europe and the Americas.

The F1 schedule is now an inefficient jumble, allowing Bratches to take a good-natured poke at how the sport was run under Ecclestone.

“We’ve acquired an undermanaged asset that’s 67-years-old, but effectively a start-up,” Bratches said.

Early-season races in Australia and China this year were conducted either side of a trip to Bahrain in the Middle East. Late in the season Formula One returns to Asia with races in Japan and Singapore.

The Canadian GP this season is run in the middle of the European swing, separated by four months from the other races in the Americas – the United States, Mexico and Brazil. These three are followed by the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi, which means another trip across the globe.

“With the right economics, with the right structure and cadence of events across territories, 24 or 25 is probably where we’d like to be from a longer-term standpoint,” Bratches said.

Big changes are not likely to happen until the 2020 season ends. This is when many current rules and contracts expire as F1’s new owners try to redistribute some income to allow smaller teams to compete.

“There’s more interest than we have capacity in the schedule,” Bratches said, firing off Berlin, Paris or London as potentially attractive venues. “We want to be very selective.”

“Those cites from an economic impact standpoint would find us value, as do others around the world,” Bratches added. “It’s very important for us as we move forward to go to locations that are a credit to the Formula One brand.”

An expanded schedule would have to be approved by the teams, which will be stretched by the travel and the wear-and-tear on their crews. The burden will fall on the smaller teams, which have significantly smaller revenue compared with Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull.

Bratches also envisions another race in the U.S., joining the United States Grand Prix held annually in Austin, Texas. A street race in Miami is a strong candidate, as are possible venues like Las Vegas or New York.

“We see the United States and China as countries that could support two races,” he said.

Liberty Media has reported Formula One’s total annual revenue at $1.8 billion, generated by fees paid by promoters, broadcast rights, advertising and sponsorship. Race promotion fees also tend to be higher in Asia, which makes the area attractive – along with a largely untapped fan base.

In a four-year cycle, F1 generates more revenue than FIFA or the International Olympic Committee, which rely almost entirely on one-time showcase events.

Reports suggest Vietnamese promoters may pay between $50-60 million annually as a race fee, with those fees paid by the government. Bratches said 19 of 21 Formula One races are supported by government payments.

“The race promotion fee being derived from the government … is a model that has worked historically,” Bratches said.