2016 Ironman National Motocross Finals

by Chandler
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As one of the most competitive motocross events of the entire 2016 season, the 2016 Ironman National motocross event finals was an awesome spectacle for judges and fans alike. Although at the professional level every contest is intensely fought by the competitors, the Ironman National was a big deal this year since it was one of the last stops in the 2016 Lucas Oil lineup. Two of the primary racing classes which were incorporated into the 2016 Ironman National were the usual 250cc class, along with the more powerful and faster 450cc class as well. Each one of these racing classes bring something different to the table, with 250cc racing being a bit more light and agile, relying a little more on technique and technical riding ability than brute force.

With regard to the 450cc racing class however, the increase in raw power and top end speeds give racers the ability to engage the power of their bikes to a higher degree than in the 250cc class. Both of these racing categories were staged out in the forefront of the 2016 Ironman National, and even though there are several other racing classes in the sport of professional motocross, the 250cc and 450cc were really the primaries at this event. The formatting of the Ironman National is actually pretty great in this way, because sometimes at other professional motocross events and competitions there are simply so many racing classes that the event results get a bit cluttered and many of the racing classes end up going by the wayside because people tend to only pay attention to the primary race classes.

The 2016 Ironman National was among the most important stops on the Lucas Oil pro tour, and the winner along with podium finishing runners-up definitely received a substantial career boost as a result of ending the races favorably across the two major racing engine classes. For the informational benefit of any and all motocross fans out there, the momentous 2016 Ironman National event will now be recapped and detailed here. In order to make sure that all the most important details and rankings are covered, both the 250cc and 450cc classes will be reviewed.

2016 Ironman National – 250cc Racing Class Final Results:

#1 First Place 250cc Class – Austin Forkner:

Taking home the first place victory in the 250cc race class at the 2016 Ironman National was motocross athlete Austin Forkner. This major win for Austin’s career was definitely a hard fought outcome on the part of this young motocross athlete, and it will undoubtedly boost his morale heading on into the 2017 motocross season. Austin Forkner could hardly have executed a better conclusion to his 2016 Lucas Oil Motocross season than a 250cc class victory at the Ironman National, and he did so with the utmost confidence and steadiness. In other words, Austin was able to win the race by a significant enough margin to the point where he didn’t even really need to worry about being knocked out of first by any of his competitors.

Looking especially clean and controlled through the intense turns of this track at the Ironman National, it is likely that Austin must have had some kind of previous track study and extensive training prior to the race. He simply must have trained extensively on it, because it is hard to imagine any other way that this remarkable 250cc motocross racer would have been able to so perfectly weave through the complex dynamics of the 2016 Ironman National track. His performance contrasted sharply with some of the much lower ranking riders competing in the 250cc racing class of the Ironman National, who at times seemed a bit baffled or thrown off by some of the more unexpected movements in the racing track at Ironman. Austin Forkner’s updated rating at the conclusion of this race, and of his spectacular victory there, is currently sitting at (1-3) for right now.

#2 Second Place 250cc Class – Aaron Plessinger:

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Coming in second place within the 250cc racing class of the 2016 Ironman National event on the Lucas Oil professional circuit was motocross athlete Aaron Plessinger. Aaron has had quite a solid 2016 racing season, and his performance at the Ironman National was a kind of cherry on top of an already fantastic season. With a field of around forty competitors, taking second place at the 250cc segment of the 2016 Ironman National was certainly no small challenge for Aaron Plessinger, and he was honestly able to make it look easy. The only thing Aaron was not able to achieve in this race in spite of his best efforts, was to overtake the leader Austin Forkner and displace him from his hold on first place.

This seemed to be Aaron’s biggest focus during the race; he appeared to be directing all of his energy and deriving his motivation from the desire to overtake Forkner and establish himself in first place. Although Plessinger seemed quite satisfied to take second place out of forty racers, it had to be somewhat disappointing to miss out on first place when he had come so close to displacing Forkner in this race. The 250cc racing category seems to suit Aaron Plessinger very effectively, and with how well he is performing right now at a record of (8-1) the 2017 season should be interesting with him in the mix.

#3 Third Place 250cc Class – Cooper Webb:

Rounding out the podium in third place at the 2016 Ironman National motocross finals was rider Cooper Webb. Cooper had an excellent race in the 250cc riding class, and he is definitely an athlete who knows how to get every ounce of power and performance out of his 250cc bike. Cooper Webb is currently racing at a record of (5-2) after the conclusion of the 2016 Ironman National event, and therefore his standings are quite strong as we approach the final conclusion of the 2016 Lucas Oil racing season. Cooper had a strong performance in the 2016 Ironman National, and one of his biggest racing strengths at this event was executing passes around whoever was still in his way as he moved up through the forty-rider pack of competitors.

The only riders he was not able to pass were Aaron Plessinger and Austin Forkner. Although he never even had a real chance of challenging Austin Forkner’s lead and eventual first place victory at this event, he did come close to getting around Aaron Plessinger on multiple occasions. Cooper was very effective in terms of his throttle timing during this race, and it was this strength in particular that allowed him to execute as many successful passes as he did and end up taking the third place finish. Among a field of forty competitors taking any podium spot at all is a major accomplishment, and in this respect Cooper Webb had quite a successful race at the 250cc class of the 2016 Ironman National event.

2016 Ironman National – 450cc Racing Class Final Results:

#1 First Place 450cc Class – Ken Roczen:

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Bringing in the overall first place victory within the 450cc racing class of the 2016 Ironman National event in the 2016 Lucas Oil tour was rider Ken Roczen. Ken is a motocross athlete with a history of experience across multiple racing classes, and at this point in his career it is the 450cc racing class that seems to be suiting him the best. Ken is a motocross professional that tends to prefer the power and brute strength of the 450cc racing class, thriving on the ability to apply maximum power through straightaways in the track and to shoot his bike into massive trajectories from the launches and roller ramps in the motocross track.

Everything about Ken Roczen’s riding style meshes perfectly into the requirements and parameters of the 450cc racing class, including his brash approach to passing and cornering around other riders. Ken is the type of racer who is willing to take major risks while passing in the corner sections, and is definitely someone who could be deemed a “risk vs. reward” style racer.

A kind of go-big-or-go-home style racer, Ken Roczen has certainly found a home in the 450cc racing class and his performance at the 2016 Ironman National has only solidified that conclusion. Currently standing at (1-1) in the refreshed tour rankings, Ken Roczen’s major victory in the 450cc racing class of the 2016 Ironman National has served as a perfect wrap-up to his 2016 professional motocross season.

#2 Second Place 450cc Class – Justin Barcia:

Currently standing at (2-2) in the refreshed tour rankings, professional motocross athlete Justin Barcia was able to take the second place finish within the 450cc racing category of the 2016 Ironman National event. Justin Barcia is yet another motocross athlete that has come to thrive on the dynamics of the 450cc racing class, and he definitely seems to be happy with his decision to move into the 450cc category. With some motocross athletes like Justin Barcia, they simply end up doing better and feeling more comfortable when they’re racing in the bigger and more mechanically robust 450cc class.

Barcia’s style during the 450cc class event at the 2016 Ironman National was especially interesting because unlike many of his competitors, he is able to switch from riding on a more conservative level to riding on a more all-out risk taking level where he is willing to make tough maneuvers if there is a chance of it paying off. In this sense, Justin Barcia demonstrated during the 2016 Ironman National that he is extremely skilled when it comes to reading the track at any given time during a race for the purpose of spotting brief windows of opportunity and being able to act on those opportunities in the mere seconds they are available.

Justin Barcia is a rider who knows when to jump on a chance to move up, and he also knows when to back off; being able to decide which is correct in a split second can end up making the difference between a podium finish and a wipeout, as it did for Barcia at the 2016 Ironman National competition. If Justin is able to continue racing with the level of perception and tactics he showed in this year’s Ironman, we can definitely expect to see him boost his career to new heights.

#3 Third Place 450cc Class – Eli Tomac:

Rounding out the podium within the 450cc racing class of the 2016 Ironman National motocross competition was rider Eli Tomac. This was a competitor who struggled a little bit in the earlier parts of the race, but was able to make a substantial comeback heading into the final minutes of the 450cc class race. The 2016 Ironman National was made much more exciting by Eli’s third place finish, since in the context of this race Eli was something of an underdog after an admittedly slow start out on the track in the 450cc event.

Tomac was able to show great determination in terms of not being set back by his sluggish start, and this is a quality that will likely take him very far in his career. It already earned him the third place podium finish in this prestigious Lucas Oil tour stop, which is a major career accolade in and of itself. Currently riding at a rating of (3-3), Eli Tomac is a very promising contender heading into the 2017 season, especially if he ends up staying in the 450cc racing class. 450cc seems to be suiting him fairly well, and with continued training we can definitely expect the possibility of a first place victory at a tour major in Tomac’s career future.

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