Eli Tomac is helping his own cause for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship by winning races—five straight moto wins now and three-straight overalls—but he’s getting much more aid as former title contenders crash their way back. Blake Baggett salvaged good points with a 2-2 on his Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-WPS KTM, but Jason Anderson, ranked third coming into the race, lost a ton of ground when he failed to line up for the motos. Marvin Musquin also lost ground due to a first-lap crash in moto one, leading to a fourth place finish, and crashing out in a scary wreck in moto two. For Marvin it was extra frustrating since he was arguably the second-fastest 450 rider over the weekend.
We talked to Anderson on Saturday morning and he explained to us that he had a huge crash after scrubbing a jump too far on Thursday. He hurt his back and also had some kidney issues from the hit. He tried the first practice at Southwick and said every bump on the track made his wince in pain, and he knew the track would only get rougher and his chances of actually finishing the motos and scoring points were basically impossible so he called it a day. He now sits 75 points behind Tomac. Between rounds 2-6, where Anderson had finished on the podium in all five rounds, he had actually outscored Tomac in the standings.
The rest of the news for Anderson’s Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team was awesome. Dean Wilson scored his first 450 podium ever. “I had an awesome day,” said Wilson in a team statement. “I was a little disappointed that I fell in the first moto, but I got up and charged to sixth. I ended up with a third in the second moto, which gave me third overall and my first career podium. I’m very happy and I just want to thank the whole team for believing in me. I’m having so much fun and I’ve been working hard with Tyla [Rattray]—I’m looking forward to the next few races."
Just behind Wilson came teammate Martin Davalos, who keeps showing impressive strength on his 450. A 7-4 finish gave him fifth overall on the day, and he is currently 13th overall in the 450 standings. “The weekend was pretty good,” said Davalos. “The track obviously developed the fastest times during the first practice, and I wanted to get adjusted to the sand and get a good bike setup for racing. I didn’t feel like I got the greatest start in the first moto, but I worked my way through and finished seventh. I got a great start in the second moto and rode a solid race. I was very patient with myself and I feel like I rode to my full capability. The track was really rough, but I did the best I could do and came out with fifth overall—which is my best of the season so far. I’m really looking forward to letting my body heal up during the break before getting back in the swing of things at Millville."
Cooper Webb coulda’, shoulda’, woulda’ had an overall podium at Southwick, as the Monster Energy Yamaha rider took third in moto one and ran third late in the second moto before stalling while fighting his way through lappers. “So close but yet so far... Made a lot of progress 3-6 for 4th OA. Hit a lapper moto 2 and stalled took a while to get back started. Thanks everyone that supports me and ready to rebound,” said Webb on Instagram. Although it wasn’t a podium, it was by far Webb’s strongest ride of this Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season.
“It just feels good to have some progress and better results after my move to Florida,” said Honda HRC’s Cole Seely, who finished sixth overall, in a Honda HRC release. “I sacrificed a lot to do that so it’s good to see it’s working out. This is just the start of it though, and I think I’ll continue to get better and stronger throughout the end of the summer and especially going into supercross. I didn’t qualify great but I felt like I was riding good and was excited with the changes we made to the bike. I’ve been struggling with setup on this new chassis during outdoors. It’s a learning process of trial and error, so we’re trying different things but I was happy with the setting we chose today. I felt solid in both motos and didn’t make any changes between races, going 5-5 for sixth. I’m kind of mad I didn’t end up fifth overall but I guess that’s how it works out. I was really only three points from the podium.”
“Southwick was pretty decent for me,” said Seely’s teammate Christian Craig, who finished right behind with seventh overall. He was involved in a first-lap crash in moto one that certainly didn’t help. “I was able to put in two consistent motos but struggled on the starts. I'm not used to sand starts so I kind of had to change things up and wasn't where I usually am. In the first moto I came around in 31st and was able to work my way up to 10th. I was happy with how I pushed through the pack. In the second moto I started in 12th and worked my way up to 7th. I felt stronger this weekend but still have work to do with strengthening my hand. This next weekend off will be good for my hand, as well as putting in work on and off the track. I’m looking forward to Millville, which is kind of like a home race for me because I lived there for two years. I've spent a lot of time on that track so it will be fun to be back.”
Privateer Henry Miller, who we profiled a few weeks back, keeps killing it. He went 13-9 for ninth overall. We’re guessing lots of sand motos in the back track at ClubMX paid off here.
A year ago, Justin Bogle grabbed both holeshots at Southwick. This year, he hit the ground on the first lap in both motos. “This weekend wasn’t that great but all things considered, it ended up being okay,” explained Bogle in an RCH/Yoshimura Suzuki statement. “Fortunately we managed to finish 10th overall. I had a first lap crash in the first moto and a first turn crash in the second. The second moto was miserable. First turn crash and then I crashed again after I passed a few people. I had to pass everyone again after I’d already passed them once and then about 20 minutes into the moto my back brake went out. I was definitely glad when the checkered flag waved and the race was over with.
All in all, I’m out of there healthy and I still feel very good with everything. I just kind of had one of those off weekends. Not much I could do about the first moto and the second moto, stuff happens. I’ll get back to work this week, pull it back together and come in after the break and get back up front.”
As previously mentioned, Bogle’s teammate Broc Tickle is now out for the season with a shoulder injury suffered at RedBud. We hear Matt Bisceglia, who is soon to return from injury, could get the bump to that spot (Bisceglia is scheduled to ride a 250 for Autotrader.com/JGR Suzuki).
Speaking of JGR, well, not the best day, although team manager Jeremy Albrecht did point out that you’d rather have problems running up front and going fast than being slow and having problems. In 450 moto one, Justin Barcia and Weston Peick spent most of the race in the top five, but Peick’s bike broke and Barcia ran out of gas on the last lap. Barcia crashed while running third in moto two, and then had more bike problems. He finished the moto in 12th, and Peick finished in eighth.
Dylan Ferrandis was in the hunt for his first-ever overall win in the U.S. on his Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha. He ended up with 1-2 scores, just edged out by Zach Osborne who went 2-1. Ferrandis missed the post-race press conference, but we grabbed some quotes from Steve Matthes’ PulpMX.com show from Monday night.
Steve Matthes: Congratulations for your success in the outdoors. Glen Helen moto was amazing. At Southwick, you fell and you still won the moto. I’ve gotta ask you though, you come from Lommel and Valkenswaard and the GPs, so Southwick to you Dylan, not really a sand track, right?
Dylan Ferrandis: For me it was a sand race. Honestly, everybody tell me before, “Yeah, you’re gonna see it’s not really sand.” But it was really sand … maybe like Valkenswaard for me.
Steve: Yeah, because I’ve been to Lommel and Valkenswaard and those are like beach sand. This has a harder base to it, right?
Yes and no. Honestly it was really looking like Valkenswaard. The difference is that we are only 250 and 450 riding on Sunday. In the GPs there are so many more races and I think that makes a huge difference on the track.
David Pingree: And they don’t prep for a race day over there, right? They just leave it all weekend.
It really depends. But we ride on Saturday and Sunday so for sure the track is a little more bumpy and destroyed.
Steve: How was the race with no goggles and the rain just pouring down on you Dylan? That would have been really tough with lappers just roosting you and everything. How were your eyes after the moto?
I was lucky. I tried to save my goggles until the last eight minutes. I really wanted to go 1-1 for this race so I was really battling with Zach [Osborne] and tried everything with passing. So, I was really close to his rear tire and I received so much sand in my goggles so I had to use many tear-offs before the rain came. When it was starting to rain … yeah, my goggle was still good but the amount of rain was really massive. I had to take out the goggle and ride like this. I mean, it wasn’t so bad.
Steve: How are you able to adapt to the tracks? Do you find it hard to find lines and adapt to the tracks with so little practice time from what you’re used to?
Honestly, it is really not easy every weekend for me. I’m struggling a little bit with that because like you said, it’s really short. You have two practices of 15 minutes, and like at High Point or Muddy Creek it was in the mud the first practice. So the track was really different from the first practice to the first race. Honestly, it’s really difficult for me right now to run the track every weekend. For Hangtown and Glen Helen I went there before the race so it was a little bit more easier. So I think that’s why for Glen Helen I rode really good, because I had seen the track before.
This weekend in Southwick was … I mean, sand when you come from Europe I think is much more easier than all the American riders who have never really trained in that sand. For me, I made so many races in sand and so much training … that on the second lap of first practice I felt the same skill that I need for this kind of race, you know?
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s summer has pretty much come off the rails. Austin Forkner had everything that could have happen, happen in moto one, including a crash, a stop to the mechanics’ area for repairs, and then another crash that ended his day. Justin Hill didn’t go out for moto two, either. Adam Cianciarulo was super frustrated after a series of early crashes ruined a day where he qualified first. Joey Savatgy led the team with sixth overall.
“I had great starts all day,” said Savatgy in a Kawasaki statement. “I wasn’t able to capitalize on the early opportunities. I’m looking forward to the break and to come into Millville swinging.”