High Point preview: Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac battle for MX supremacy

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Ken Roczen has ample reason to look forward to the this week’s Round 4 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Penn. He came out of the gates strong this year with a Moto 1 victory and overall win at Hangtown and backed that up with another win at Thunder Valley to complete his comeback.

Last week’s victory gave Roczen the red plate for the second time this year with a two-point advantage over Eli Tomac.

Roczen is also the only 450 rider entered this week with two wins at High Point after taking back-to-back wins in 2015 and 2016.

Accustomed to being considered a favorite for winning the championship at this stage of the season, Tomac is going to have to stop throwing away the first Moto if he wants overall wins. Dropping back deep in the pack at both Hangtown and Thunder Valley he failed to recover and earn a podium in either race – giving Roczen an easy task of winning the overall. At Pala, Tomac won both Motos.

Zach Osborne sits 24 points out of second and 26 from the lead.

Meanwhile, 250 Supercross champion Cooper Webb is mired deep in sixth, 38 points behind the leader, after finishing fifth at Hangtown and sixth at Pala and Thunder Valley. This week the focus shift from winning and making a run at the title to simply earning a podium.

With the controversy from Thunder Valley put to rest and no penalty handed down to Adam Cianciarulo for shortening the course, the 250 class leader remains undefeated. The first three rounds have all gone the same way with Justin Cooper winning Moto 1 and Cianciarulo winning Moto 2.

There are no former winners entered in the 250 class this week, which means a new winner is guaranteed.

Siting 11th in the points, Shane McElrath will miss High Point because of a practice crash. Jordan Smith (14th) will also miss this week’s race and is out for an undetermined length of time as he undergoes surgery to fix tendons in his right wrist.

MORE: Cole Seely out for the remainder of the season

Schedule:

Qualifiers: 10:15 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold
Race: Live, 1 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold (Moto 1), 450 Moto 2 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC and NBC Sports Gold, switching to NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold at 4 p.m. ET.

June 1 – 2019 Thunder Valley Motocross Park

450: Ken Roczen (1-2) won over Eli Tomac (5-1) and Zach Osborne (2-4).
250: Adam Cianciarulo (2-1) won over Justin Cooper (1-2) and Michael Mosiman (4-3).

June 16, 2018 – High Point

450: Eli Tomac (2-1) defeated Marvin Musquin (1-2) and Justin Barcia (3-5).
250: Aaron Plessinger (1-1) beat Austin Forkner (4-2) and Justin Cooper (3-4).

Overall Wins

450:
[2] Ken Roczen (Hangtown, Thunder Valley)
[1] Eli Tomac (Pala)

250:
[3] Adam Cianciarulo (Hangtown, Pala, Thunder Valley)

Moto Wins

450:
[4] Eli Tomac (Hangtown II, Pala I & II, Thunder Valley II)
[2] Ken Roczen (Hangtown I, Thunder Valley I)

250:
[3] Justin Cooper (Hangtown I, Pala I, Thunder Valley I)
[3] Adam Cianciarulo (Hangtown II, Pala II, Thunder Valley II)

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Red Bull driver Verstappen wins Formula One’s Brazilian GP

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won Formula One’s Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday for his eighth career victory in a race which ended disastrously for both Ferrari drivers.

Verstappen controlled nearly all the race at Interlagos, which saw a dramatic late collision between Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc when they fought for the fourth position. Both failed to finish.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly got his first F1 podium after finishing second ahead of six-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver was third but faces an investigation after an incident that caused Red Bull’s Alexander Albon to spin.

Hamilton, who won at Interlagos in 2018, said Verstappen was “just quicker than us on the straights” and “there was nothing more we could do.”

Dutch driver Verstappen said “Lewis was very quick so I had to keep pushing… we had two good moves with him, and from there onward I could control the race.”

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was fourth, and could be promoted to third if Hamilton is punished.

The Brazilian GP on Sunday was the penultimate race of the season, with only Abu Dhabi left on Dec.1.

Hamilton had already secured the season title in the previous race in the United States. His Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who did not finish the race, had also secured the runner-up spot.