WATCH LIVE: Ken Roczen goes for third Motocross win in a row at High Point Raceway

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With the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship ready to drop the gate on Round 4 at High Point Raceway, it’s clear who the rider to beat in the 450 Class is.

Carrying a two-round winning streak into today’s race at High Point, Ken Roczen is looking to both extend that streak and add to his points lead. Yet to finish worse than second in any of the season’s six motos so far, he’s also the top qualifier for today’s race after turning the fastest lap in this morning’s practice sessions.

While Roczen enters as the favorite, there are three riders you can expect to see challenging him – Ryan Dungey, James Stewart and Trey Canard. After winning his first moto of the season last week, Stewart looks to be hitting his stride. As for Dungey, he’s sitting second in the points but has only led one lap so far this season.

The UPMC Sports Medicine High Point National will also be a pivotal race for the riders in the 250 Class. Jeremy Martin finally saw his winning streak snapped a week ago but still looks like the favorite for today’s race. In order to become a champion, you have to overcome adversity at some point, so this could be a defining moment in Martin’s season.

Another win from Martin is exactly what the rest of the field can’t afford though. He’s built up a sizable points lead in just three rounds, and another dominant effort from him could cause a lot of riders to see their title hopes slipping away.

Among those riders is Blake Baggett. Although he took the overall win last week, he barely made a dent in Martin’s points lead and would really benefit from a repeat effort this week. Marvin Musquin could be back in the mix too. Admittedly not 100% recovered from ACL surgery earlier this season, Musquin – who won at High Point last season – keeps getting better and looks like he may be ready to contend for podiums and wins once again.

Four hours of live racing get underway at noon E.T. on ProMotocross.com and NBC Sports Live Extra with the first motos in both classes. Coverage will go straight into second motos at 2PM E.T. Click here to access the Live Extra stream.

NBCSN will also provide live televised coverage of second motos in both classes at 2PM E.T.

Simon Pagenaud has words with Gabby Chaves after Honda Indy GP of Alabama

Photos: IndyCar
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The rain didn’t stop following the conclusion of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, and neither did the jousting between drivers.

An angry Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud confronted Harding Racing’s Gabby Chaves after the race, complaining that Chaves would not let Pagenaud get past him in the closing laps.

Instead of ending up with a hoped-for Top 5, Pagenaud wound up with a ninth-place finish. Chaves, meanwhile, finished 17th, two laps down.

The confrontation turned into a battle of words and profanity between the two drivers, as captured on Twitter by AutoWeek’s Matt Weaver.

Afterward – and after their tempers cooled down somewhat – both Pagenaud and Chaves gave their sides of the confrontation to NBCSN.

Gabby Chaves

First, here’s Pagenaud’s take on things:

“We had a really good race going,” Pagenaud said. “I think we potentially could have been top 5. I was really frustrated with Gabby. He was two laps down and I was stuck behind him, which gave an opportunity to (Scott) Dixon as I was trying to do everything I could to make it happen.

“It’s a real shame because when it’s not your day, it’s not your day. You’ll have better days later, but you want to have everybody on your side when you have a good day. At the moment, he doesn’t have me on his side, let me tell you. It’s a real shame.”

When asked what exactly he said to Chaves, Pagenaud demurred.

“Driver’s stuff,” he said with a slight smile. “We’ve all been there. I’ve been in his position. My side, I played it smart. It is what it is.

“I can’t comment for him. You can ask him the question. I’m not going to make a deal about it, it’s just a shame it ruined my race. We’ll come back stronger. It’s Indy soon, so that’ll put a smile on my face.”

NBCSN then caught up with Chaves for his side of the story.

 

“It’s a tough situation, we had to restart (the rain-delayed race) a lap down,” Chaves said. “Our whole strategy depends on trying to get a yellow and holding our position. Some guys think that the track belongs only to them, they’re the only guys on-track.

“Everyone else who was faster at that point – we were only one lap down to the leader, so we’re still on our strategy and don’t know what’s going to happen – as soon as they got right up next to me on the lead lap, I let them go.

“Simon was the only one who couldn’t drive up to me. I understand his frustration, but he’s the one who has to save fuel to make his strategy work, that’s not our fault, right?”

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