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Ryan Villopoto and Marvin Musquin Capture Victories at GEICO High Point National

After two consecutive days of rain in southern Pennsylvania, the 37thrunning of the GEICO High Point National shaped up as a great day of racing at the historic High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris. Ryan Villopoto extended his points lead in the 450 Class after sweeping both motos to secure his third victory of the season at Round 4 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. Marvin Musquin rode on to his second straight victory in the 250 Class this season after taking his first career moto-win in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross.

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto returned to his winning ways on Saturday after finishing third overall at the last round. In Moto 1, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia grabbed his fourth Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot of the season, but it didn’t take long for Villopoto to take command of the lead on the opening lap.

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray got off to a third place start in Moto 1, while Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Designs/Honda’s Malcolm Stewart jumped in close behind. Malcolm experienced a crash that dropped him out of podium contention, while Rattray maintained his third place position in the early portion of the race.

However, Dungey began charging right away as he passed Rattray and then Barcia to take over the second place position. Dungey then set his sights on Villopoto in the lead position but wasn’t able to catch the points leader before the end of the moto. Barcia held on for third, while Rattray and Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard rounded out the top five in Moto 1.

In Moto 1 of the 250 Class, GEICO Honda’s Zach Osborne shot out of the gate to earn his second Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot of the season. Points leader Ken Roczen put his Red Bull KTM straight to the front on the opening lap, with Lucas Oil/Troy Lee Designs/Honda’s Cole Seely and Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin close behind. Seely lost his podium position with a series of crashes, and he ultimately didn’t finish Moto 1.

The GEICO Honda duo of Osborne and Justin Bogle diced back and forth in the opening laps and Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson quickly injected himself into the battle. However, as Anderson attempted to put the pass on the GEICO Honda teammates, Osborne bumped into him and knocked him down, which caused the New Mexico native to lose several positions.

Round 2 overall winner Eli Tomac began Moto 1 around the tenth place position but the GEICO Honda rider quickly made his way toward the front of the pack. Tomac eventually caught up to second place Musquin near the end of Moto 1 and secured a third place finish. By the checkered flag, only 10 seconds separated Roczen, Musquin and Tomac in the opening moto.

After finishing 16th in Moto 1 of the 450 Class, eventually having to drop from the race after getting hit the face with a rock, Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart bounced back with vengeance in the second moto, commanding the lead early on. Toyota/JGR/Yamaha’s Josh Grant grabbed his first Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot of the season before Stewart took over the lead on the opening lap.

Dungey and Grant stuck around, where they battled back and forth for the second place position. Dungey quickly made the pass for second place on Lap 2, leaving Grant and Villopoto to battle for the third place position. It didn’t take long for Villopoto to find the front of the pack, as he slowly picked off the other three riders ahead. As Villopoto attempted the pass on Stewart for the lead, Stewart experienced a mechanical issue that slowed him down and ultimately kept him from finishing the second moto.

Villopoto went on to take the Moto 2 win, giving him an undefeated score at Saturday’s High Point National. Dungey’s consistent (2-2) score gave him second overall for the day and a few more points in the championship standings, where he currently sits second overall. Rattray’s moto score of (4-4) secured the South African native his first career 450 Class podium with a third place overall finish.

“I’m really looking forward to the Budds Creek track next round,” said 450 Class points leader Ryan Villopoto. “We have some time to regroup next week with the weekend off, we have some little things to fine tune and we’ll keep plugging away this season.”

In Moto 2 of the 250 Class, Musquin grabbed the early lead with the Motorcycle Superstore Holeshot but Osborne latched on to the former MX2 world champion early on. The two battled back and forth for the lead position, while Moto 1 winner Ken Roczen slowly made his way into the mix.

Roczen eventually made the second place pass on Osborne, where he then set his sights on his teammate Musquin. The European duo quickly separated from the rest of the pack as the 250 Class overall came down to the final moments of the second moto. Although Roczen applied the pressure on his teammate, Musquin didn’t crack as he secured his first career 250 Class moto win en route to his second consecutive overall this season.

Tomac took third overall with a moto score of (3-4), while his teammate Osborne went (10-3) for fourth overall. Reigning 250 Class Champion Blake Baggett rounded out the top five overall with a (4-8) score for the day.

Round 2 of the Women’s Motocross Triple Crown took place at High Point, where six-time WMX Champion Jessica Patterson secured her first overall win of the season, sweeping both motos of the day. Japanese rider Sayaka Kaneshiro rode a consistent day, taking a pair of second place finishes for second overall. WMX Class rookie Taylor Higgins grabbed a podium finish with a moto score of (5-3) for the day. The WMX Triple Crown heads to the Moto-X 338 National in Southwick, Mass. for the third and final round on Saturday, June 29.


MX Vice Editor || 25

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