Round 4 – KTM RC Cup Championship

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Round 4 – KTM RC Cup Championship

Salt Lake City, Utah (January 29, 2017) – Monster Energy Kawasaki riders Eli Tomac and Josh Grant came into Round 4 of the AMA Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship looking for the win. It wasn’t long before the No. 3 machine was looking comfortable underneath the dome, qualifying four-tenths of a

Round four of the 2017 KTM RC Cup Championship, held in conjunction with the 2017 AMA MotoAmerica/FIM North American Road Racing Championship, raced through the Utah Motorsports Campus outside Salt Lake City, and SVMoto rider Cory Ventura and Quarterley Racing/On Track Development rider Jackson Blackmon each took home wins.

Qualifying was once again topped by the Quarterley Racing/On Track Development duo of Blackmon and Benjamin Smith. Blackmon nabbed the pole position by just .300 seconds over Smith. Ventura slid into the number three qualifying spot in front of Jake Leahey, stopping a team sweep with his time .420 seconds out of the lead.

With the top three inside a half-second and the top five all within 1.031 seconds, racing up front was sure to be tight. However, M4 Roadracing World Wild Card’s Frances Perez’ 10th fastest time, nearly two seconds off the pace, quickly became irrelevant.

Race one started with Blackmon taking the Holeshot, bringing his teammate Benjamin Smith and Ventura quickly to the front. The three had momentum early and quickly went to battle, switching positions several times while still maintaining their gap on the rest of the field. On the final lap, the lead trio met lap traffic and it became anyone’s race. Ventura made a successful move for the lead over Blackmon and Smith followed suit. Smith tried to dive in on Ventura without success and they put their head’s down to the finish in a drag race.

Ventura held on for his first victory (second-straight podium) with Smith and Blackmon each crossing the line in second and third, respectfully. Fourth place went to a hard-charging Perez, who battled from an 8th place start to just miss the podium.

“I got off to a good start—probably my best start of the season,” Ventura said. “I tried to get up there and mix it up a bit earlier in the race but both of these guys drafted passed me about halfway down the straight. I knew that wouldn’t work so I sat back and saved my tires a bit for a better time to make my move. They actually pulled a gap on me a little bit so I had to push hard to get back up there and start making moves fast. I came into the last lap and those lappers spooked me a little, too. Jackson got through one and it made him swerve a little bit. I came right up on them and had to make my move. I finally did it on 14 and held on for the win. It feels great to win after all this hard work these past few weeks.“

Race two started with another Blackmon Holeshot with Smith close behind setting an aggressive pace. Ventura suffered a poor starting position after banging bars off the line. Both of the frontrunners battled hard—even touching on occasion—and extended their lead. Ventura pushed into third and tried to close the gap on the leaders for a chance at a second win. Meanwhile, Perez brilliantly used the draft to move into fifth and then again into fourth behind Ventura. Up front, the two leaders continued to ride alone, pushing each other around the 3-mile Utah circuit. The two battled for the third position but Perez held the better line down the final straight to take third. It was Perez’ first race in the United States.

“It’s a little easier for a plan to work when there’s only two guys battling instead of three like we had yesterday,” Blackmon said. “Ben was pushing me hard today and it was a great race. I led into the first turn on the final lap and tried to put my head down because I knew Ben was going to try to get me on turn 5 so I went in a little hot. He had the better drive out of the corner but I was able to draft him into 6and by turn 11 I saw his wheel coming again. I just tried to let up on the brakes and stay on the gas and it worked out to the end. It was very, very tough—a hard fought race.”

Next Event: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca / July 8-9, 2017

KTM RC Cup Race 1 Results

  • Cory Ventura
  • Benjamin Smith
  • Jackson Blackmon
  • Francesc Perez
  • Gavin Anthony

KTM RC Cup Race 2 Results

  • Jackson Blackmon
  • Benjamin Smith
  • Fracesc Perez
  • Cory Ventura
  • Toby Khamsouk

KTM RC Cup Championship Point Standings

  • Benjamin Smith (147)
  • Jackson Blackmon (118)
  • Draik Beauchamp (99)
  • Cory Ventura (85)
  • Alex Dumas (81)
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