SEASON-DEFINING RIDES AT THE 2018 WASHOUGAL MOTOCROSS
Another round, another season-defining performance by top racers in the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Weeks of warm weather had an impact on the track at the 2018 Washougal Motocross, because the traditionally hard-packed clay became even drier and slicker than normal. Riders that managed to control their pace on the track without making mistakes around the course and through the dark shadows were rewarded with maximum points, while those that struggled lost ground in the series standings. 250 MOTO ONE Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammates Joey Savatgy and Austin Forkner waged war against each other for the full duration of the moto. Savatgy snagged the holeshot over the field and rocketed up the famed Horsepower Hill away from the field. Forkner stayed close to Savatgy in the opening moments of the moto, despite the frenzied pursuit by Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Aaron Plessinger and Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Jordon Smith, and soon all four riders were in a tight battle for the top spot. Ten minutes into the moto, Forkner made a forceful pass on Savatgy in the backwoods section of the track and took over the top spot. Savatgy’s pace seemed to suffer as a result of this move, as he fell into the clutches of Smith and Plessinger, but the Kawasaki rider managed to hold them off and restarted his pursuit of Forkner. The running order at the front of the field seemed set after this action, because no passes occurred among the top four for another twenty minutes. But just when it seemed like the field was set, Savatgy stepped up his pace in the final five minutes and closed on Forkner for the lead. The teammates raced precariously close up and down the Washington hills and it took a very pointed block pass by Savatgy in a tight turn to swing the race back in his favor. Once back in front, Savatgy slipped off and claimed his first moto win of the series by just under two seconds.