Roczen Dominant At Unadilla National

Ken Roczen (94) races alongside Eli Tomac Saturday during the Unadilla National. (Jeff Kardas Photo)
Ken Roczen (94) races alongside Eli Tomac Saturday during the Unadilla National. (Jeff Kardas Photo)

NEW BERLIN, N.Y. – Ken Roczen was in his own zip code on Saturday, sweeping both motos to easily win the 450 class portion of the Circle K Unadilla National from Unadilla MX Park.

The first 450 class moto got underway with Eli Tomac capturing his second holeshot over Justin Bogle and Zach Osborne. Roczen started the race on a tear as he blasted through the field and muscled his way by Tomac to lead the opening lap. Marvin Musquin was credited in third, followed by Bogle and Osborne.

Roczen quickly sprinted out to a multi-second lead in the opening laps, while Tomac continued to give chase in second. As the race closed in on the halfway point of the 30-minute-plus-two-lap moto, Roczen extended his lead to more than 10 seconds, while Musquin started applying heavy pressure on Tomac. Shortly after, Musquin used a strong drive on an uphill to pull alongside Tomac and make the pass stick for second.

With Roczen holding a commanding lead out front over Musquin, the battle began to heat up for the final podium position as Justin Barcia was searching for a way around Tomac. On lap 10, Barcia took control of second, bumping Tomac outside of the top three.

At the finish it was Roczen taking his fourth moto win of the season with 15.2 seconds to spare on the runner-up Musquin. Barcia completed the podium to take his first podium result of the season, while Tomac dropped to seventh after leading early.

As the 450 class field exited the first turn to start moto two it was Musquin emerging with his third holeshot of 2019, narrowly edging out Osborne and Barcia. In an attempt to get himself to the front quickly, Barcia lost the front end in a high speed sweeping turn, losing valuable positions. At the completion of the opening lap Musquin led the way with Osborne and Roczen in hot pursuit.

With a clear track advantage, Musquin pushed hard to try and distance himself from the riders behind him, however, first moto winner Roczen made the move on Osborne to takeover second and would soon find himself hot on the heels of Musquin. On lap three, Roczen grabbed a handful of throttle and launched into the lead. Musquin quickly reacted in an attempt to strike back, but Roczen held on to the top spot.

Similar to the first moto, Roczen’s impressive efforts out front continued as he once again built a commanding lead, taking his fifth moto win of the season by 22.4 seconds over Musquin. A late race charge by Tomac allowed him to make the move on Osborne and take the final step of the podium in third.

Roczen secured his 18th career victory via 1-1 moto scores. Musquin’s consistent riding carried him to second overall (2-2), just ahead of Osborne in third (4-4).

“I haven’t done anything the last few weeks,” said Roczen. “My body needed to get some rest. Today was just odd. I told myself yesterday I wanted to go 1-1 and I was able to come out and do that today, including qualifying fastest. I’m really happy how we ended the weekend here at Unadilla.”

Despite an off day, Tomac still holds a 40-point lead over Musquin in the championship standings. Roczen trails Musquin by one point in third.

In Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 250 class competition, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis captured his second consecutive victory, giving him three wins on the season.