Another page was added to the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross history book as the inaugural Built Ford Tough Tennessee National took place on Saturday at Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tenn. For the first time in 15 years, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, made a stop in the Southeast region. At round 3 of the 12-race series, new winners emerged in both the 450 and 250 Class as teammates Ryan Dungey (450) and Marvin Musquin (250) each secured their first overall win in 2013.
Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX rider Josh Grant laid down the fastest lap time of the day in the 450 Class, giving the California native first gate pick of the day. Moto 1 got off to an exciting start as Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto shot off the gate to claim his first Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot of the season, as well as the early lead. It wasn’t without contention from Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia though, as the two put on an exciting show for the fans by dicing back and forth at the beginning of Moto 1. In the second half of the race, Villopoto eventually put a gap on the rookie Barcia, where he went on to secure his fifth consecutive moto win this season.
Meanwhile, reigning 450 Class Champion Ryan Dungey was forced to make his way through the field after starting mid-pack in the opening moto. The Red Bull KTM rider eventually made his way past Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart to take over the third place position in Moto 1. FIM World Championship contender Clement Desalle put in a valiant ride to finish fifth place behind Stewart, while Smartop/MotoConcepts rider Mike Alessi secured a sixth place spot after running up front for most of the first moto.
In the 250 Class, GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle grabbed his first Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot of the season, but Bogle went down, and rookie Cooper Webb immediately put his MyPlash Star Yamaha/Metal Mulisha machine out front on the opening lap. Webb went head-to-head with Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen early on, but this time experience prevailed as Roczen commanded the lead in Moto 1, with teammate Marvin Musquin in the second place position.
Webb then engaged in a four-way battle with Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson, GEICO Honda’s Zach Osborne and defending 250 Class Champion Blake Baggett. Baggett was able to break free from Anderson and Webb, before setting his sights on Musquin in the second place position.
Round 2 winner Eli Tomac began Moto 1 outside of podium contention but the GEICO Honda rider made his way into a top five position halfway through the race. Tomac and Webb battled it out for the fourth place position near the end of the race, where Tomac succeeded, leaving Webb to round out the top five.
In Moto 2 of the 450 Class, it was an all-out battle to the first corner between Moto 1 winner Ryan Villopoto, Justin Barcia and Ryan Dungey. In his first full-season in the 450 Class, Barcia put in a dominant ride in the first half of the second moto, holding off the defending champion for the first 11 laps. However, Dungey eventually made the pass to take over the lead for the final five laps. Barcia didn’t let Dungey too far out of his sights, holding on to second place through the end of Moto 2.
Dungey went on to claim his first overall win of the season with his Moto 2 victory, putting an end to Villopoto’s five-race win streak. Barcia claimed second overall with a (2-2) finish, while Villopoto came in third with a (1-4) score. Villopoto maintains the 450 Class points lead after three rounds of racing.
“It’s good to get the first win so early in the season,” said 450 Class winner Ryan Dungey. “It was definitely a hard fought win today. The track was rough and there were a lot of tough guys out there but I think they key is just going to be consistency this season.”
In Moto 2 of the 250 Class, Tomac finally got the start he was looking for as he shot off the line to grab the Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot. Musquin put his Red Bull KTM ride into second place right away, while Virginia native Zach Osborne charged his way to the front after battling with his teammate Bogle early on.
Roczen attempted to interject himself into the battle between Osborne and Bogle but he tipped over in the process, allowing Baggett to pass by. It didn’t take long for Roczen and Baggett to make their way past the GEICO Honda teammates and that’s when the head-to-head battle began. Roczen made a mistake late in the race, which allowed Baggett to take over the third place position.
Tomac claimed the Moto 2 win but it was Musquin whose consistency paid off as the French rider went (2-2) for the day to claim his first 250 Class victory of the season. Tomac’s (4-1) score was good enough to secure second overall, while points leader Roczen claimed third overall for the day. Baggett went (3-3) for fourth overall and Osborne rounded out the top five at his home track in Tennessee.
Round 4 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship heads to Mt. Morris, Pa. for the GEICO Hight Point National next Saturday, June 8.