Spring Creek Nationals

Rochester native Henry Miller races in a 450 moto during the AMA Motocross Pro Nationals on Saturday at Spring Creek MX Park near Millville. (Andrew Link / alink@postbulletin.com)

MILLVILLE – Rain and lightning made the day a little longer, but it was worth it for a pair of local motocross riders.

Alex Martin and Henry Miller gave the crowd at Spring Creek MX Park plenty to cheer about Saturday afternoon.

Martin is a literal hometown favorite – he grew up working at racing at Spring Creek, owned by his parents, John and Greta. He weaved his way through a muddy track to a pair of top-three finishes in the 250 Class motos, which left him in second place overall for the day at the 36th annual Spring Creek Pro Motocross Nationals.

The finish is the best of Martin’s career at his home track, surpassing his third-place finish of a year ago. It’s also his best finish of the season, his first riding for the JGR Suzuki factory team.

The second-place overall also moved Martin up two places in the 250 points standings, from ninth to seventh. It is a highlight of a frustrating season for Martin. He had just one podium (top-three) overall finish this season prior to Saturday. But a strong pair of motos two weeks ago at Red Bud in Buchanan, Mich., gave Martin some confidence as he came back to his home track, and he didn’t disappoint.

Martin finished second in the first moto and third in the second moto. He crossed the finish line second in the second moto, but he was penalized one spot for leaving the track on the start, when he veered far to the left while battling for a holeshot and went off the track.

That didn’t affect his overall finish, nor did it dampen his spirits.

AMA national points leader Adam Cianciarulo won the overall in the 250 Class, winning the second moto after battling to a third-place finish in the opening moto. Cianciarulo lost his goggles in the opening moto, riding on a damp, muddy track while doing his best to keep the sand out of his eyes.

Cianciarulo extended his points lead with the victory, his sixth overall in eight rounds of racing this season. He leads second-place rider Dylan Ferrandis by 36 points and hasn’t finished lower than third overall in any of the eight rounds.

Miller, a Rochester native, also brought his best to the muddy, slippery track that was pelted with steady rain from before the sun came up Saturday morning until after noon.

Miller, one of the top 450 Class privateers in the country, was outstanding in the first moto. He placed fifth in the moto, then finished 14th in the second moto to give him an overall finish of ninth place.

That matches Miller’s best finish as a pro, tying a ninth-place overall at Southwick, Mass., on July 8, 2017. It’s also Miller’s best finish at Spring Creek as a pro, surpassing his 11th-place overall at the track last summer. His strong finish helped him vault from 17th place in the 450 Class points standings up to 13th place.

Cooper Webb, who won a 250 motocross national championship in 2016 and a 450 supercross national championship in the spring, won both 450 motos. They are the first two motocross moto wins of his career on a 450. He also won the overall for the first time on a 450.

Two-time defending 450 national champion Eli Tomac – who won the overall at Spring Creek last year – finished third overall on Saturday, but extended his lead in the season points standings to 38 over second-place rider Marvin Musquin of France. Musquin finished third in the first moto, but was caught in a crash with nearly a dozen riders going into the first turn of Moto 2. Musquin finished seventh in the moto and fourth overall.

Zach Osborne placed second overall.

Lake City’s Nick Jackson qualified 41st overall in the morning qualifying sessions. That left him as the first alternate for both of the 450 Class pro motos. Jackson didn’t make it into the first moto, but he did race in the second moto when Derek Kelly of Riverside, Calif., did not make the start. Jackson ran a strong race, finshing 29th in the moto and 40th overall.

Jackson had a 35th place finish overall at Spring Creek in 2011 and a 33rd place at Washougal, Wash., in 2010.

SATURDAY’S RESULTS

450 Class (Moto 1-Moto 2 – overall): 1. Cooper Webb (1-1); 2. Zach Osborne (4-3); 3. Eli Tomac (2-5); 4. Marvin Musquin (3-7); 5. Ken Roczen (14-2); 6. Justin Barcia (11-4); 7. John Short (6-8); 8. Fredrik Noren (7-11); 9. Henry Miller (5-14); 10. Benny Bloss (16-6); 11. Jason Anderson (12-10); 12. Blake Baggett (17-9); 13. Justin Bogle (10-16); 14. Dean Wilson (15-12); 15. Joey Savatgy (8-35); 16. Aaron Plessinger (9-40); 17. Isaac Teasdale (13-20); 18. Kyle Cunningham (39-13); 19. Lorenzo Locurcio (21-15); 20. Tyler Bowers (22-17); 40. Nick Jackson, Lake City (DNS-29).

Updated points standings: 1. Eli Tomac (Cortez, Colo.) 342; 2. Marvin Musquin (La Reole, France) 304; 3. Ken Roczen (Mattstedt, Germany) 293; 4. Cooper Webb (Newport, N.C.) 288; 5. Jason Anderson (Edgewood, N.M.) 272; 6. Zach Osborne (Abingdon, Va.) 265; 7. Justin Barcia (Monroe, N.Y.) 198; 8. Blake Baggett (Grand Terrace, Calif.) 175; 9. Justin Bogle (Cushing, Okla.) 166; 10. Fredrik Noren (Sweden) 156; 11. Dean Ferris (Australia) 136; 12. Benny Bloss (Oak Grove, Mo.) 84; 13. Henry Miller (Rochester) 77; 14. Lorenzo Locurcio (Venezuela) 77; 15. John Short (Pilot Point, Texas) 70.

250 CLASS

Overall (Moto 1-Moto 2): 1. Adam Cianciarulo (3-1); 2. Alex Martin (2-3); 3. Hunter Lawrence (1-6); 4. Dylan Ferrandis (5-4); 5. Shane McElrath (4-5); 6. Colt Nichols (14-2); 7. Justin Cooper (7-10); 8. R.J. Hampshire (6-11); 9. Garrett Marchbanks (10-9); 10. Ty Masterpool (11-13); 11. Mitchell Falk (8-19); 12. Chase Sexton (27-7); 13. Michael Mosiman (21-8); 14. Cameron McAdoo (9-37); 15. Kyle Peters (17-15); 16. Brandon Hartranft (35-12); 17. Kevin Moranz (12-21); 18. Zane Merrett (13-40); 19. Mitchell Oldenburg (29-14); 20. Jordan Bailey (19-16).

Updated points standings: 1. Adam Cianciarulo (Port Orange, Fla.) 352; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (Avignon, France) 316; 3. Justin Cooper (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) 306; 4. Hunter Lawrence (Landsborough, Australia) 233; 5. Colt Nichols (Muskogee, Okla.) 233; 6. R.J. Hampshire (Hudson, Fla.) 255; 7. Alex Martin (Millville) 207; 8. Michael Mosiman (Sebastopool, Calif.) 186; 9. Chase Sexton (La Moille, Ill.) 181; 10. Shane McElrath (Canton, N.C.) 163.

THIS STORY WILL BE UPDATED THIS WEEKEND.

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Sports Reporter

Jason has been a Post Bulletin sports reporter and columnist since 2004 and covers high school football, volleyball, softball, golf, hockey, junior hockey and auto racing. He is a 1999 graduate of the University of North Dakota.