Ken Roczen extends 450SX points lead with Anaheim II Supercross win

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For the second time in three weeks, a trip to Anaheim resulted in a 450 Class Supercross victory for Ken Roczen.

Andrew Short grabbed the early lead, but Roczen went straight to work – passing Davi Millsaps for second, then Andrew Short for the lead early in the race. Roczen opened up a gap on the rest of the field, and despite Ryan Dungey eventually moving into second and chipping away at the lead, the RCH Suzuki rider was never seriously challenged, giving Roczen his second win of the season.

Dungey held on for second place, while Eli Tomac ended up on the podium again after posting his first career victory in the premier class last weekend.

The win also extends Roczen’s championship lead. He’ll enter next week’s race 12 points ahead of Dungey.

The main event featured two notable crashes. While running in second place on the second lap of the race, Andrew Short took a hard slam after coming up short on a triple at the end of a rhythm section and was unable to finish the race. Jason Anderson was caught up in the incident as well, losing several spots after running into Short’s bike while it was on the ground.

Later in the race, an incident between Trey Canard and Chad Reed led to retaliation and a black flag. As the duo battled for fourth, Canard ran into the back of Reed on a jump and took both riders out. Clearly upset, Reed then ran Canard into the tuff blocks on the side of the track and knocked him down. Reed was issued a black flag for the move and was forced to pull out of the race, costing him valuable points.

The series will resume next Saturday in Oakland.

Anaheim II 450SX Results
1. Ken Roczen
2. Ryan Dungey (-5.2 seconds)
3. Eli Tomac
4. Justin Barcia
5. Broc Tickle

450SX Point Standings
1. Ken Roczen, 72
2. Ryan Dungey, 60
3. Jason Anderson, 51
4. Eli Tomac, 46
5. Trey Canard, 43
6. Justin Barcia, 43

Jack Miller wins MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix as Fabio Quartararo stops his points slide

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Jack Miller ran away with the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi as Fabio Quartararo stopped his downward slide in the championship when a last-lap accident from his closest rival in the standings caused Francesco Bagnaia to score zero points.

Starting seventh, Miller quickly made his way forward. He was second at the end of two laps. One lap later, he grabbed the lead from Jorge Martin. Once in the lead, Miller posted three consecutive fastest laps and was never seriously challenged. It was Australian native Miller’s first race win of the season and his sixth podium finish.

The proximity to his home turf was not lost.

“I can ride a motorcycle sometimes,” Miller said in NBC Sports’ post-race coverage. “I felt amazing all weekend since I rolled out on the first practice. It feels so awesome to be racing on this side of the world.

“What an amazing day. It’s awesome; we have the home Grand Prix coming up shortly. Wedding coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m over the moon; can’t thank everyone enough.”

Miller beat Brad Binder to the line by 3.4 seconds with third-place Jorge Martin finishing about one second behind.

But the center of the storm was located just inside the top 10 as both Quartararo and Bagnaia started deep in the field.

Quartararo was on the outside of row three in ninth with Bagnaia one row behind in 12th. Neither rider moved up significantly, but the championship continued to be of primary importance as Bagnaia put in a patented late-race charge to settle onto Quartararo’s back tire, which would have allowed the championship leader to gain only a single point.

On the final lap, Bagnaia charged just a little too hard and crashed under heavy braking, throwing away the seven points he would have earned for a ninth-place finish.

The day was even more dramatic for the rider who entered the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix third in the standings. On the sighting lap, Aleix Espargaro had an alarm sound, so he peeled off into the pits, dropped his primary bike and jumped aboard the backup. Starting from pit lane, he trailed the field and was never able to climb into the points. An undisclosed electronic problem was the culprit.

For Quartararo, gaining eight points on the competition was more than a moral victory. This was a track on which he expected to run moderately, and he did, but the problems for his rivals gives him renewed focus with four rounds remaining.

Next week, the series heads to Thailand and then Miller’s home track of Phillip Island in Australia. They will close out the Pacific Rim portion of the schedule before heading to Spain for the finale in early November.

It would appear team orders are not in play among the Ducati riders. Last week’s winner Enea Bastianini made an aggressive early move on Bagnaia for position before the championship contender wrestled the spot back.

In his second race back following arm surgery, Marc Marquez won the pole. His last pole was more than 1,000 days ago on this same track in 2019, the last time the series competed at Motegi. Marquez slipped to fifth in the middle stages of the race, before regaining a position to finish just off the podium.

In Moto2 competition, Ai Ogura beat Augusto Fernandez to close the gap in that championship to two points. Fernandez holds the scant lead. Alonso Lopez rounded out the podium.

Both American riders, Cameron Beaubier and Joe Roberts finished just outside the top 10 in 11th and 12th respectively.