McThoughts | Ironman MX National | 450 Class
By Jeff McConkey
The final round of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross season was this past Saturday at Ironman Raceway. The track was rough, the ruts were deep and the weather was really hot. Like the majority of the season, it was ‘The Ken Roczen Show.’ This year Ken was on a different level and really raced by himself. He was never in any danger of losing the points lead or the title. Behind Kenny there were great battles throughout the pack.
Top Canadian, Kaven Benoit, made the trip to Crawfordsville and didn’t disappoint. Benoit was very smooth on his way to a very impressive 11th overall. That’s very good news for Canada as Kaven will lead our country at the Motocross Des Nations later this month in Italy. Let’s take a look at the results and my thoughts:
1st Ken Roczen (1-1): Ken was and has been on another level all season long. He is so far out front, but doesn’t even look to be pushing at any point. Let’s hope he adjusts to the new Honda quickly. Ken is our 2016 450 National Champion with 584 points.
2nd Justin Barcia (2-2): This was the best Justin has looked in years. He was on the gas all day long and looked great. Let’s hope this new ‘Bam Bam’ is here to stay. Justin finishes off the season 4th in points with 360.
3rd Eli Tomac (3-3): Eli looked really good in both motos. He almost had Barcia late in moto 2 when Justin had issues with a lapper. I honestly think Eli is still struggling with the new bike, and he will be much better now that he has a full year under his belt. Eli finishes the season in 2nd place with 498 points.
4th Marvin Musquin (4-4): Marvin looked good in both motos, but had nothing for the top guys. How was he left off of Team France? Marvin finishes the season 3rd with 401 points.
5th Jason Anderson (5-5): Jason had a very good first ride back from injury. He didn’t have the speed to run with the top guys, but he still looked very good out there. Nice to see him get in 2 solid motos before Des Nations. Jason finished the season in 14th position after missing many rounds. He had 145 points.
6th Phil Nicoletti (6-8): Phil has some pretty serious speed, but unfortunately he has a black cloud over him to go with it. If he was to ever have some good luck, he could shock us all and end up on the podium. Phil was 5th overall with 229 points.
7th Weston Peick (8-7): Weston had a quiet day. He was well off the pace of the front guys, but way ahead of the guys following him. Weston was 8th overall for the season with 197 points.
8th Matt Bisceglia (11-6): This guy looks great on the 450. James who? Yes, Bisceglia was a fill in rider, but in my eyes he earned some more looks from the factory teams with some very impressive rides. Matt finished the series 15th wit 144 points.
9th Fredrik Noren (9-9): If only Noren could ride SX a little better. This guy has some serious speed outdoors and rode 2 great motos. 2016, the year of the fill in rider. Fredrik finished the season in 10th place with 192 points.
10th Benny Bloss (7-11): Can you believe that this guy was a fill in rider? Benny had two very solid motos on the way to a top 10 overall. For a very tall rider, he still has great style, which doesn’t usually happen. Benny finished the season 6th in points with 228.
11th Kaven Benoit (12-10): Kaven went out there calm and cool and easily rode in the top 10. At no point did Benoit ever really look like he was hanging it out or out of control. Both of Benoit’s starts were solid and pushed a good pace around some very big names. The track was much rougher than what the Canadians are used to racing, but Benoit never looked out of place. He honestly looked like a regular top 10 guy. Very impressive.
Half Canadian Watch
15th Cade Clason (14-18): Cade looked great in moto 1. Moto 2 was going about the same until he went slightly backwards. Obviously, Cade would prefer to be racing down in the US, but it’s nice having him up in Canada. He’s only 21 and still has time to make the jump into the top 10 and beyond.
Biggest Stud: Justin Barcia is my stud. He looked really good all day and I’m glad he’s out of his funk.
Biggest Dud: It was awesome to see Andrew Short holeshot his last race, but it really sucked to see him cruising around after 1 lap with a rear shock issue. Thanks for the memories, Shorty.
Biggest Surprise: Myself and all of Canada weren’t surprised, but I’m sure there were a ton of Americans wondering who that 3-digit rider was inside the top 10. His name is “Kevin Ben-noy” and he’s from “Que-bec” Canada.
Thanks for reading.