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Jul 08, 2014 - 07:03 AM
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Savatgy Goes From 'Worst To First' To Capture Rc Hard Charger And MotosportCom Holeshot At Redbud
Posted by: newsla on Jul 08, 2014 - 07:01 AM
Tidbits
Savatgy Goes From 'Worst To First' To Capture Rc Hard Charger And MotosportCom Holeshot At Redbud


The 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, reached the halfway point this past weekend in Buchanan, Michigan, for the Red Bull RedBud National. The 4th of July weekend tradition showcased the world's best motocross racers taking to one of America's most renowned tracks, housing the infamous "LaRocco's Leap," in hopes of gaining valuable championship points. Fans filled the grounds to watch a day of top-notch racing while celebrating Independence Day.

 

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Through partnerships with series sponsors, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will recognize the riders who are able to lay claim to the Oakley Bomb Fastest Lap Program, the MotoSport.com Holeshot Award in each moto, and the Ricky Carmichael Hard Charger Award throughout the 2014 season.

The biggest surprise of the weekend came from Rockstar Energy Racing's Joey Savatgy, making a noticeable return to form in his second season as a pro. After injury kept him out of the entire AMA Supercross season and the opening round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Savatgy has gradually worked his way back into contention in the 250 Class. This past weekend, the reigning Rookie of the Year experienced the highs and lows of the sport in the course of two motos, earning the RC Hard Charger Award and a Motosport.com Holeshot Award along the way.

The RC Hard Charger Award is entering its sixth season in 2014. Named after Ricky Carmichael, the most winning motocross rider of all time, the award recognizes the one competitor at each of the 12 rounds of the championship who overtakes the highest number of his fellow racers in any of the four championship motos between the 250 and 450 Classes.The award is a testament to "The Greatest of All Time" or "The GOAT" and his never-give-up attitude over the span of a career that warranted 10 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross titles and 102 wins - two feats that will likely never be duplicated. All recipients of the RC Hard Charger Award are given a custom-designed trophy.

Savatgy fought harder than anybody to earn his result in the opening 250 Class moto, experiencing misfortune on the opening lap and crossing the line in dead last, 40th place. Despite the early adversity, Savatgy refused to quit and fought his way past 21 riders to finish an impressive 19th, rightfully earning the RC Hard Charger Award.

Likely motivated by his effort in Moto 1, Savatgy then went on to grab the MotoSport.com Holeshot Award in Moto 2, earning the very rare distinction of starting dead last in one moto and first in the next, and earning $500 in bonus money for his efforts. It was the kind of outing Savatgy needed to get back into the swing of things and potentially turn his season around.

The Motosport.com Holeshot Award is brand new to Lucas Oil Pro Motocross this season and it awards $500 to the rider who gets the holeshot of each moto - in both the 450 Class and 250 Class - at every round of the 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. A total of $2,000 will be up for grabs at each event between the two classes, thanks to Motosport.com.

In the 450 Class, the fourth gate pick proved to be enough for Red Bull KTM rider Ryan Dungey as he raced to the line quicker than the top three qualifiers in Moto 1. Team Honda Muscle Milk's Trey Canard fought hard with Dungey down the straight and into the first corner, but Dungey was able to stay hard on the throttle and take the line away from Canard while also taking away the $500 award with him. However, it was Dungey's teammate Ken Roczen that would ultimately take control, making his way from deep inside the top 10 to pass each and every rider on his way to the front.

Roczen continued his charge in Moto 2, leading the 40-rider bunch into the first turn of Moto 2. After a little close competition, Canard seized the opportunity again to quickly take the lead away from the rookie. Canard did everything he could to hold off Roczen and the duo battled it out until the Red Bull KTM finally found the inside and powered away from Canard to cap off a dominant day.

The 250 Class saw two fresh faces leading the eager pack early in each moto. GEICO Honda's Matt Biscegila had a great jump in Moto 1 and raced hard with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Blake Baggett to the line. Biscegila put the power to the ground to take his first MotoSport.com Holeshot Award, taking home the $500 prize to complement Savatgy's effort in Moto 2.

The Oakley Bomb Fastest Lap Program is designed to present a unique challenge for the 2014 season, providing a different twist by recognizing the rider who sets the fastest lap of practice in both the 250 and 450 Classes. Each rider will receive special Oakley Bomb trophy, specially designed by the brand.As the season wears on, the total number of Oakley Bomb awards a rider receives will be tallied into a final season total. The competitor with the most awards at season's end will be presented with an Elite Oakley Time Bomb II Swiss Automatic Watch.

Some recent track changes and added sections were said to make for better racing and faster lap times for the 2014 national at RedBud. With the new sections offering various types of dirt and traction, tire selection would leave mechanics and riders scratching their heads. However, that did not seem to pose a challenge for the 450 Class points leader Roczen. The Red Bull KTM rider set the fastest lap in practice, posting a 2:02.848. Roczen parlayed the top time into a win for the second time this season and is the only rider to qualify fastest and then secure the overall in either class thus far.

The 250 Class saw Frenchman Christophe Pourcel continue his supremacy of practice, posting yet another chart topping time of 2:03.517. Capturing another Oakley Bomb trophy, Pourcel will add a RedBud title to his stack of others from the 2014 season. Pourcel is 5-for-6 with fastest times, but is still in search of a moto win. At RedBud, Pourcel crashed in the first moto while leading and eventually pulled off with a DNF, forcing him to have a bad gate for Moto 2 where he started outside of the top 10 and ultimately finished 11th. He ended up 16th overall for his worst outing of the season.

Only days after Team Honda Muscle Milk announced he would be the replacement rider for an injured Justin Barcia, Swedish rider Fredrik Noren made a memorable debut aboard his factory ride by earning his second RC Hard Charger Award along with Savatgy. Noren battled his way from a 38th starting spot to finish 17th, matching the 21-rider total he achieved at Thunder Valley earlier this season.

2014 Specialty Award Winners

Oakley Fastest Lap Program

450 Class

Glen Helen - Ryan Dungey
Hangtown - Ken Roczen
Thunder Valley - Trey Canard
High Point - Ken Roczen
Muddy Creek - Eli Tomac
Red Bud - Ken Roczen

250 Class

Glen Helen - Christophe Pourcel
Hangtown - Christophe Pourcel
Thunder Valley - Christophe Pourcel
High Point - Jeremy Martin
Muddy Creek - Christophe Pourcel
Red Bud - Christophe Pourcel

Motosport.com Holeshot Award

450 Class

Glen Helen
Moto 1 - Josh Grant
Moto 2 - Ken Roczen

Hangtown
Moto 1 - Ryan Dungey
Moto 2 - Jake Weimer

Thunder Valley
Moto 1 - Josh Grant
Moto 2 - Trey Canard

High Point
Moto 1 - Chad Reed
Moto 2 - Chad Reed

Muddy Creek
Moto 1 - Eli Tomac
Moto 2 - Ryan Dungey

Red Bud
Moto 1 - Ryan Dungey
Moto 2 - Ken Roczen

250 Class

Glen Helen
Moto 1 - Jeremy Martin
Moto 2 - Jeremy Martin

Hangtown
Moto 1 - Zach Bell
Moto 2 - Jeremy Martin

Thunder Valley
Moto 1 - Jessy Nelson
Moto 2 - Zach Bell

High Point
Moto 1 - Christophe Pourcel
Moto 2 - Christophe Pourcel

Muddy Creek
Moto 1 - Christophe Pourcel
Moto 2 - Justin Bogle

Red Bud
Moto 1 - Matt Biscegila
Moto 2 - Joey Savatgy

RC Hard Charger Award

Glen Helen - Josh Grant (+22)
Hangtown - Andrew Short (+24)
Thunder Valley - Fredrik Noren (+21)
High Point - Shane Sewell & Zack Williams (+14)
Muddy Creek - Josh Grant (+29)
Red Bud - Fredrik Noren & Joey Savatgy (+21)

Round 7 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship heads to Mechanicsville, Maryland, for the GEICO Motorcycle Budds Creek National on Saturday July 12.

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