Trey Canard won two pro motorcross races on the same day for the first time this season at Miller Motorsports Park on Saturday.
The Minnesota 450 series racer saved his best day for the 12th and final round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship in Utah.
He entered Saturday’s races on a hot streak with a second-place finish in Indiana in Round 11 on Aug. 16, and a second-place finish in New York in Round 10 on Aug. 9.
Canard secured third-place in the overall series which started back on May 24 with the first round in San Bernardino, California.
Canard was unable to catch Germany’s Ken Roczen, who held a big lead in the series prior to Saturday’s two races. Roczen finished fourth overall Saturday to win the series championship with 532 points.
Another rider from Minnesota, Ryan Dungey, finished in second place twice on Saturday at MMP. He also finished second in the overall series with 518 points.
Canard’s final point total for the overall series tallied 468.
John Gardner, media manager at MMP, said the announced crowd on Saturday was 19,500. That figure is down from last year’s crowd of 21,500.
“We were pleased with the event, and the folks from Lucas Oil Pro Motocross were complimentary of our efforts,” Gardner said.
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross released its 2015 schedule, and will return to MMP next year on Aug. 15.
Roczen was a fixture at the forefront of the field all afternoon, but ultimately rode patiently to ensure he would clinch the title in his first season of 450 Class competition with a fourth-place finish, ending the summer with a 14-point advantage over Dungey.
In the first moto, Canard, Roczen, Dungey and Eli Tomac immediately established a four-rider breakaway that would last the entirety of the moto. Canard withstood constant pressure from Roczen throughout the early stages of the moto, but as they began to make their way through lappers, Roczen almost went down after contact with another rider, allowing Canard to open a comfortable lead and dropping Roczen into the clutches of his teammate in third.
It was more of the same from Canard in Moto 2, once again capturing the Motosport.com Holeshot Award ahead of Roczen. The duo set a torrid pace on the opening lap to open a small gap on their rivals, while Dungey overcame a start outside the top five to move into third by the end of the opening lap. While Canard maintained control of the lead, Dungey soon began to put pressure on his teammate for second and after applying pressure for a few laps, was able to make the move on Lap 5. Dungey closed in to within a couple seconds of Canard, but could never mount a serious challenge.
Canard capped off his perfect day nearly eight seconds ahead of Dungey in second, while Tomac also made his way past Roczen to finish third.
“I’ve gotten more comfortable [the last few weeks]. It’s no secret we made bike changes and it was instant for me in gaining more confidence,” explained Canard. “I really have to attribute that to the team and I’ve had a lot of fun. I’ve been through such a roller coaster career I thought that if I didn’t win today then it would be hard to win [ever]. I just wanted to put two motos together to give us [momentum] going into next year.”
Roczen is the first German native to win a Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship title and is the 23rd different 450 series champion in the series’ 43-year history. Additionally, he joins an elite group of riders who hold the distinction of winning the title in their rookie season, including Dungey, Ricky Carmichael and Jean-Michel Bayle.
“I’ve been trying to play it cool [all weekend] but I’m not going to lie, I’ve been really nervous about today,” said Roczen. “I just didn’t want to talk about it and [wanted to] go out there and ride. I just pumped myself up for the motos and went, but it was honestly hard to put it out of my mind. I just went out there and did what I needed to do and made it happen, which is a huge accomplishment.”
Riley Brough, of Kaysville, finished 33rd and 34th, respectively, in the two 450 motos and Colby Sorensen of Lehi, was 34th and 33rd.
Another Minnesota racer swept the 250 series on Saturday.
Jeremy Martin swept both motos, and won the 250 12-race series with 500 points. Blake Baggett, California, finished second in both races and finished second overall with 421 points.
Cooper Webb, North Carolina, finished third at MMP, and third in the series with 419 points.
Compiled from a media report.
The name of the winner of the 450 class at the Lucas Oil Motocross Championship on Aug. 23 at Miller Motorsports Park was misspelled in an article that appeared on Aug. 26 in the Transcript-Bulletin. The winner’s hometown state also was incorrect. Trey Canard won the 450 class at MMP and is from Oklahoma. This article has been updated to reflect the correction.