The Peterson CAT Washougal National occurred today in the beautiful Pacific Northwest for Round 9 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing.
Washougal has been on the circuit for many years, and is always a classic event. With the track racing up and down a hill sprawled amongst the evergreens, the event always provides for the most picturesque of backgrounds. To the riders, it’s a challenging surface that is slick and shadow-ridden, making for a unique racing experience.
It was a near-perfect day for racing in the Pacific Northwest. The area is prone to rain throughout the entire year, but the fans and riders were granted to a sunny day – not too hot nor too cold – which allowed for the best racing conditions.
The day started out with a red flag in the 450 qualifying session. Justin Barcia crashed hard over the finish line, and was KO’ed for a while, motionless on the track. He eventually came to, but a stiff neck sent him to the hospital as a precautionary measure; he posted shortly after that everything checked-out well though.
The first 250 moto of the day was started with Aaron Plessinger opening up a quick lead. Plessinger has mentioned that the slick and shadowy conditions at Washougal favor his GNCC riding background, so it was no surprise to see him continue to gap the field and eventually win the moto.
Behind Plessinger came the Monster Energy Pro Circuit rider of Adam Cianciarulo. Adam qualified fastest once again, and had finally gotten a good start which put himself into a position to the win the overall.
The most impressive ride of the first moto came from Zach Osborne though. Osborne crashed in the second turn of the opening lap, and rebound basically in dead last. Osborne was way behind the leaders, but he charged like none other, and eventually worked his way up to 4th with a last lap pass right before the finish. Osborne mentioned that he put so much effort into the charge from behind that he was puking after that moto.
The second 250 moto is where the fun really began though. Joey Savatgy and RJ Hampshire were battling up front from the get go, swapping positions before Joey eventually settled-in for the lead. However, both of the riders had finished outside the top 5 in the first moto, so no one expected them to win the overall. The opening moto winner Aaron Plessinger crashed within the opening laps and dropped outside the top 10, so the overall was all Adam Cianciarulo’s to lose. However, a late race charge from Zach Osborne and Dylan Ferrandis moved Cianciarulo back to 5th in the last lap. As it turns out, Ferrandis’ one pass completely altered the overall: it dropped Ciancuarlo from 1st overall all the way back to 4th, moved Ferrandis to the podium with a 3rd, and gave the overall win to Joey Savatgy! It was a crazy overall finish, but definitely provided for entertaining racing.
In the 450 class, the fans were treated to a rare-occurrence of both Eli Tomac and Marvin Musquin starting up front for once. Marvin opened up a bit of lead in the opening moto while Tomac took a while to get into 2nd, but once Tomac moved into the runner-up position, he quickly caught up to Marvin. It looked like a battle was going to ensue after Tomac and Musquin bumped each other a bit before Horsepower Hill, but Marvin seemed to find another gear, and quickly pulled away. Musquin opened up an astonishing lead to win that moto, and then repeated it for the second moto too! Tomac admitted that he was the 2nd best guy on the day, and just didn’t have anything for Musquin. No one did, Musquin was incredible at Washougal.
Another really impressive ride came from the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider Martin Davalos. Davalos has been silently impressive with consistent top 10 results all season in his rookie 450 year, but he impressed many folks a 3rd overall at Washougal. Davalos got great starts in both motos, and rode well to hold off guys like Dean Wilson and Blake Baggett. There’s no doubt that Davalos has solidified himself as a top 5 threat every weekend now.
Here are the official results:
My Opinion: Marvin Musquin is FLYING. It’s crazy to see how much confidence he has regained after his mid-season knee injury, but to me it looks like he’s back even stronger. This performance at Washougal was a statement that Marvin is ready to win championships. Unfortunately, it’s probably too late for him this year, but it’s a good sign for things to come from the KTM camp. Eli Tomac is stupid fast right? But honestly, he had absolutely nothing for Marvin today. On top of that, Marvin just looks silky smooth while he’s at it.
Ugh AC!!! This was all his overall to lose. He faded badly in the last 10 minutes of that race. At one point it looked like he could have won that moto. Instead, he majorly dropped off the pace and lost it all. Not sure what happened to him, but he has to be frustrated.
On the other hand, Pro Circuit Kawasaki must be pumped for Savatgy. Savatgy’s first moto wasn’t good at all. He suffered from failing to make passes, and then fell too. However, he turned it all around for that second moto, and looked really strong on the bike. Two overall wins in a row has to be good for his confidence after an otherwise mentally draining year for him.
Cover photo from Pro Motocross (Racer X Online/ Rich Shepherd)