Rich Shepherd, ProMotocross

Marvin Musquin wins at WW Ranch, Eli Tomac takes points lead

Leave a comment

In hot and humid conditions, riders have to find the right pace to make it to the end of the day. With his Moto 1 win at WW Ranch Motocross Park in Jacksonville, Fla. and a third in Moto 2, Marvin Musquin claimed the overall victory over the new points leader Eli Tomac. And in doing so, Musquin became the first rider to win an overall beside the two riders who entered the Round 5 tied at the top of the leaderboard.

It was Musquin’s first win of the season and his first since Unadilla last year.

Musquin was chasing Tomac for the Moto win to sweep the event, but in the final third of the race he began to fade.

“I tried my best and ran out of energy a little bit,” Musquin told NBCSN after the race. “The track was demanding. It was tough. So to pick up the pace was difficult.”

Tomac won Moto 2 to finish second overall – but that was not the big surprise of the afternoon. With a terrible start to the start of Moto 1, Tomac completed Lap 1 18th and must have seen his championship start to unravel. He was barely able to recover for a seventh.

“It was the result of a really bad start in the first Moto,” Tomac said after the race. “I didn’t even move when I let out the clutch; I just didn’t go anywhere with the sand.”

While Tomac collected himself after his poor start, Ken Roczen kept the leader in sight after a thrilling handlebar-to-handlebar battle at the halfway point with Musquin that saw both of the Frenchman’s feet come off the pedals. Roczen finished second in Moto 2 and banked 22 points. At the conclusion of that race, Tomac briefly fell eight points out of first.

Moto 2 would prove to be even more disastrous for Roczen than Moto 1 was for Tomac. He fell to 10th at the end of the race and banked only 11 points as Tomac rode to the win. When it was all over, Tomac left Jacksonville with a six-point advantage.

Zach Osborne mounted a late-race charge and tried to deny Tomac the Moto win and three of his points. After finishing fifth in Moto 2, he was forced to settle for third overall.

Coming back from injury, Jason Anderson (3-4) podiumed in his first race and finished fourth overall.

Cooper Webb (4-5) rounded out the top five.

Roczen’s disappointing Moto 2 relegated him to sixth overall.

450 Moto 1 Results
450 Moto 2 Results
450 Overall Results
Points Standings

Justin Cooper is the bridesmaid no more.

After winning Moto 1 in the first three rounds, but falling behind points’ leader Adam Cianciarulo each time, he was even more frustrated last week with a ninth-place finish overall.

This week, he gave up the Moto win to score the overall with a 2-2. It was a hard fought victory after which the rider was forced to complete his interview sitting next to his bike, gasping for breath.

“Got out front. Man it felt good,” Cooper said haltingly on NBCSN after finishing second in the Moto 2. “That was the longest event of my life. I can barely stand up right now. I’m about to pass out. It’s so hot right now. Just want to give it up to my whole team.”

Cooper shaved eight points off Cianciarulo’s advantage and served notice that it will not be as easy as the leader might have imagined.

Wedged between the two points’ contenders, Dylan Ferrandis scored his first Moto win of the season in in the second race. Coupled with a fourth in Moto 1, he handily beat Cianciarulo for the second rung on the overall podium.

Like Tomac in the 450 class, Cianciarulo was handicapped with a bad start in Moto 1. Riding eighth at the end of Lap 1, he was also forced to charge forward.  Finishing 5-3, this was the rider’s worst performance of the year on his home track.

“There wasn’t a whole lot wrong with me today,” a collected Cianciarulo said. “They were just ripping. This speaks to their skill on the bike. I didn’t feel too great all day. I didn’t gel with the track. My body didn’t feel real good.

“It’s just one of those days that’s tough. You’re going to have them over the course of a long season.”

Michael Mosiman (3-5) and Hunter Lawrence (8-4) rounded out the top five.

Chase Sexton won Moto 1, but could barely mount his bike for Moto 2 after suffering heat exhaustion. He made a pair of laps around the track and was then forced into the pits when it became obvious he would not earn any points in the second race.

Derek Drake earned the holeshot in Moto 1 and pulled away from Cooper – then fell on Lap 3 hard enough to bend the bike.

250 Moto 1 Results
250 Moto 2 Results
250 Overall Results
Points Standings

Moto Wins

450MX
[5] Eli Tomac (Hangtown II, Pala I & Pala II, Thunder Valley II, WW Ranch II)
[3] Ken Roczen (Hangtown I, Thunder Valley I, High Point II)
[1] Blake Baggett (High Point I)
[1] Marvin Musquin (WW Ranch I)

250MX
[4] Adam Cianciarulo (Hangtown II, Pala II, Thunder Valley I, High Point II)
[3] Justin Cooper (Hangtown I, Pala I, Thunder Valley I)
[1] Hunter Lawrence (High Point I)
[1] Chase Sexton (WW Ranch I)
[1] Dylan Ferrandis (WW Ranch II)

Next race: The Wick 338, Southwick Mass, June 29

Season passes can be purchased at NBC Sports Gold.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.