Fresh off its first off weekend of the 2016 season, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, is ready to embark into the heart of the 12-round schedule with its east coast debut. Legendary High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania, will celebrate its 40th year in the championship by kicking off the first of three races on network television this Saturday, June 18th. The Red Bull High Point National will serve as the season premiere on NBC with a showcase of the second 450 Class moto, beginning at 12 p.m. PT / 3 p.m. ET. MAVTV (450 Moto 1 & 250 Moto 1) and NBC Sports Network (250 Moto 2) will bookend the broadcast coverage.
Broadcast Coverage of the Red Bull High Point National:
- First Motos (450 & 250 Class) - LIVE on MAVTV at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET
- Second 450 Class Moto - LIVE on NBC at 12 p.m. PT / 3 p.m. ET
- Second 250 Class Moto - LIVE on NBC Sports Network at 1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ET
- LIVE Coverage can also be streamed via ProMotocross.com and NBC Sports Live Extra App.
- High Point Highlight Show - June 24 at 2 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Network
Through the first three rounds of the 2016 season RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John's/Suzuki Factory Racing's Ken Roczen has opened his bid for a second 450 Class title by amassing a career-best start. The German rider has won five of six motos and has two overall wins, vaulting him to a double-digit lead in the championship standings. This weekend he returns to High Point as the defending race winner, looking to keep the momentum of his hot start rolling.
While Roczen enjoyed the spoils of another win at the most recent round from Colorado's Thunder Valley MX Park, defending 450 Class Champion Ryan Dungey felt a sense of relief to secure a runner-up effort by fighting back from a crash early in the final moto. The intrigue surrounding the rivalry between two past champions intensified, but an announcement last week from Red Bull KTM revealed that Dungey would miss 6-8 weeks with a cracked vertebrae in his neck, suffered in the Thunder Valley crash.
As a result, the championship picture faces a dramatic shift and an opportunity for a new champion to emerge at season's end. Roczen's next closest competitor in the standings, Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac, faces a 29-point deficit to the leader and is coming off his best effort of the season. Tomac has finished third overall in each round this season, and grabbed a season-best second-place finish in the final moto at Thunder Valley in an impressive effort.
With Dungey sidelined, Tomac is poised to assume the role of Roczen's primary title threat, potentially reigniting the captivating rivalry that highlighted the battle for the 2013 title in the 250 Class.
The 250 Class has enjoyed one of the most competitive battles to open a season in recent memory, with four riders within 13 points of one another. Thanks to his second overall win of the season at Thunder Valley, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Joey Savatgy has returned to the top of the championship standings and carries a three-point lead entering High Point. Even with Savatgy's pair of victories, Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha trio of Alex Martin, Jeremy Martin, and Cooper Webb have asserted themselves at the forefront of the title fight as well.
Of these four riders, three have at least one moto win - Savatgy, Jeremy Martin, and Webb. Although he's still chasing his first moto win of the season Alex Martin is the only rider other than Savatgy to have an overall victory to his credit. Martin also holds the distinction of being the only rider to finish on the overall podium at every round this season.
Following his best outing of the season thus far, defending back-to-back champion Jeremy Martin is starting to generate momentum after enduring through an illness in the opening rounds. He sits just three points behind Savatgy and posted a season-best runner-up finish at Thunder Valley. Alex Martin sits nine points back in third, while Webb, who continues to fight through a wrist injury, is 13 points back.
Starting with High Point, the Pro Motocross schedule will race for six consecutive weekends. This will be the most challenging stretch of the championship with 12 motos, ultimately setting the stage for the stretch run that will begin at Unadilla on August 13th.
Red Bull High Point National
Round 4: Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
June 18, 2016 - Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania
Race Day Schedule:
5:30 a.m. PT / 8:30 a.m. ET Practice & Qualifying
9:30 a.m. PT / 12:30 p.m. ET Opening Ceremonies
10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET First Motos (450 Class & 250 Class)
12:00 p.m. PT / 3:00 p.m. ET Second Motos (450 Class & 250 Class)
June 18 - 10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET (LIVE) - MAVTV - First Motos (450 Class & 250 Class)
June 18 - 12:00 p.m. PT / 3:00 p.m. ET (LIVE) - NBC - Second 450 Class Moto
June 18 - 1:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. ET (LIVE) - NBCSN - Second 250 Class Moto
June 24 - 11:00 p.m. PT (June 23) / 2:00 a.m. ET - NBCSN - Highlight Show
*BOLD indicates live broadcast