View From The Infield: Gold Rush 2

The annual visit to California's gold country produced a real nugget for Ken Roczen.

View From The Infield: Gold Rush

The Dirt Diggers always do a great job at Hangtown. The facility was looking prime as always, but there was also a wall of rain headed toward the race facility...

As usual, a different kind of sort of horsepower opened the show. First up were a pair of \ T-38 jets from Beale Air Force Base, and then the more traditional demo from the Painted Ladies.

Hunter Lawrence was looking relaxed on the line. He was 11th in the first moto and 12th in moto two after a rather nasty crash.

Justin Cooper got his season off to a good start with a holeshot in moto one.

Justin Cooper was out front and wheelying away for most of the moto. Adam Cianciarulo put in a charge and did get close during the latter half of this one, but Justin wheeled it in for the win.

Chase Sexton ran in third for nearly the entire first 250 moto, but Dylan Ferrandis got by on the last lap. Chase was sixth in moto two, and fifth overall.

Hangtown is home turf for Michael Mosiman, and he was in the top five for the first third of the first moto before dropping to seventh. He was 11th in moto two, and seventh overall.

Considering the bleak forecast, the crowd was actually pretty good for the season-opener. Dylan Ferrandis grabbed third in the first moto.

Newly crowned Supercross champ, Cooper Webb, grabbed the holeshot to start the 450 action. Jason Anderson also held it on for a long time and blew past Blake Baggett by the time they rounded the corner. Check out where Ken Roczen is...and then realize he was leading by the end of the first lap.

Ken Roczen went wire-to-wire in the first moto, which has to give him some confidence heading into the long summer. He had a very solid lead at the end of the moto.

Cooper Webb went 3-6 for fifth overall on the day.

Keep an eye on Zach Osborne this summer. His 5-3 day included a very strong charge through the pack in the second moto.

It was good to see Jason Anderson back in action after he missed the bulk of the Supercross season with a broken arm that required a pair of surgeries. He's been back on the bike for less than a handful of weeks but finished on the podium.

Blake Baggett finished eighth at Hangtown.

Dean Ferris finished in ninth overall for the day in his debut as a fill-in for Aaron Plessinger, and was eighth in the muddy second moto.

By the time the second 250 moto rolled around, it was raining steadily.

Being a goggle guy on a rainy weekend is plenty stressful. When you've also got a completely new model goggle, that compounds it. The new 100% Armega doesn't have a roll-off system available...yet. Any of their sponsored riders who wanted to go with a roll-off setup reverted to the older models.

Colt Nichols snagged the start in the second 250 moto.

Adam Cianciarulo snagged the win in the second moto.

Justin Cooper (behind Dylan Ferrandis here) and Dylan were ninth and tenth at the end of lap one, and they worked their way to fourth (Cooper) and fifth (Dylan) by the end of the moto.

RJ Hampshire scored sixth overall with a 6-7 day.

Adam Cianciarulo (2-1 grabbed the lion's share of the points and will sport the red plates next week at Pala. He was bookended by Justin Cooper (1-4), and Colt Nichols (5-3).

Marvin Musquin and Eli Tomac dueled for the lead early in the moto, but Eli had the lead by the end of the lap...and Ken had the lead at the end of lap two. Checking with some of Marvin's crew, he had a big crash during practice, and was off his usual pace.

The section heading into the third corner is normally really fast, and rough, but it turned into a rutted sloppy mess with the rain. This is the area where Eli got by Ken for the lead.

Eli had a very comfortable lead by the end of the second moto. It wasn't without drama, as he got bucked off a couple times, which led him to scampering next to the bike.

Zach Osborne started 16th and worked his way to fifth with two laps to go. He picked off his teammate, Jason Anderson; and Marvin Musquin before the checkers to take third in the moto, and fourth overall.

With a moto win in the bag, and no need to beat Eli Tomac, Ken could be a little more strategic in the chase for the overall.  After the injuries he's worked through, and everything he's worked through, we haven't seen an entire paddock so stoked to see a competitor win as they were with Ken's overall.

A crash late in the second moto dropped Justin Barcia a spot there, but it didn't cost him in the overall. He finished seventh.

The good news? You got to high-five a bunch of the 450 guys coming off the track. The bad news? They were a mud-coated mess. Either way, we expect this little guy will remember that for a long time.

The final tally for the day? Ken Roczen grabbed the win with a 1-2, Eli Tomac (4-1) was second, and Jason Anderson (2-5) was third. We're not sure what it is about this shot, but is it just us, or does Jason's head look like it's badly Photoshopped onto his body?


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