A stacked field of riders lined up for the fourth round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris, Pa., but it was Thor’s Ryan Villopoto and Marvin Musquin who walked away with the biggest trophies of the day. Villopoto scored his third 1-1 moto sweep of the season in the 450 Class, while Musquin captured his first-career moto victory on U.S. soil en route to securing his second straight overall win.
Several days of rain leading up to the event resulted in tricky track conditions for the riders, transitioning from a muddy morning to faster, dry conditions in the afternoon. The 450 Class started the day with Villopoto quickly opening a multi-second lead on the opening lap. By the end of Moto 1, Villopoto stretched his lead to nearly 17 seconds. In Moto 2, Villopoto was more tactical in his approach after a fourth-place start, but eventually slipped by his competitors on Lap 7 and went on to win by a margin of 9.6 seconds.
Musquin’s path to back-to-back overall victories was a matter of consistency and determination. After scoring a well-deserved second place in Moto 1, the Frenchman led the second moto wire-to-wire despite pressure late in the moto from his teammate. With his experience and confidence growing, Musquin is proving to be a threat for the 250 Class title.
Villopoto was accompanied on the 450 Class podium by fellow Thor rider Tyla Rattray, who put forth his best ride of the season in third overall. Rattray shot out to two great starts and finished strong with 4-4 moto results, which placed him third when the final scores were tallied.
Reigning 250 Class Champion Blake Baggett continued his resurgence at the High Point National with a solid fifth-place effort overall. He showed his ability to charge through the pack in the opening moto, finishing fourth, and provided a similar push in the second moto to end up eighth.
450 Class rider Josh Grant rode to his best finish of the season in eighth overall. Grant continued to show improvement with a solid fifth-place charge in in the opening moto and then picked up the Moto 2 holeshot. It looked as if Grant was on his way to another great finish, but after twisting his ankle in a rut on Lap 8, he lost some ground to the field. Despite the pain, Grant regrouped and pushed his way back inside the top 10 to finish the moto in eighth.
Martin Davalos and rookie Justin Hill collected 12th and 13th, respectively, after making their way through the pack in each moto. Hometown rider Darryn Durham, who is still gaining strength following an opening round leg injury, posted one of his best moto finishes of the season with an eighth in Moto 1, but after misfortune in Moto 2, a DNF placed Durham 14th overall.
Thor riders will get a weekend break before heading to Budds Creek Raceway in Mechanicsville, Md. for the fifth round of the series on June 22.
Photos: Simon Cudby