Welcome to the Racer X Race Day Feed, coming to you from WW Ranch Motocross Park in Jacksonville, Florida. From practice reports to the blow-by-blow from tonight’s motos, you’ll find it all right here on the Racer X Race Day Feed. Updates are posted in chronological order, so be sure to scroll down for the latest info. For even more updates be sure to follow us on Twitter, @Racerxonline.
Everyone is bracing for heat and humidity here in Florida, but this morning’s weather was actually quite nice, breezy and in the 80s with some cloud cover. Temperatures are starting to rise and will surely be tougher by the 1 p.m. motos, but nearly every rider we’ve talked to says it’s just going to be a suffer fest, and whoever can tough it out will succeed. Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac is one of the few riders without a Florida base during the week, and he said all he can do is try to come in as fresh as possible. Tomac does love sand tracks, and while WW Ranch’s clay/sand mix does give it a hard base, Eli says “it’s sandy enough” for him to like it. He did tell us before practice that if the temperatures get extremely high, like around 95, he might have to shift into a management mode and make sure to manage his energy throughout the day. He’s probably not the only one who will think that way, but he might be one of the few to admit it.
“Coming in fresh” is a key term for the riders outside of the humidity, as Justin Cooper, who trains in California, told us the same thing. He might not be acclimated to the weather, but at least he’s not depleted coming in after a tough week of riding in this stuff.
Justin Barcia told us this morning his injured wrists are feeling better and he’s healthy now, the next step is working on bike setup. He made some changes this week and hopes to make some progress, plus, he loves the sand and the Florida weather.
Tyler Bowers is living the privateer life, driving down from High Point and setting up a base in Florida with GEICO Honda's RJ Hampshire. Bower says that RJ, the local, knows all the right people and all the cool spots to ride. But Tyler does admit the humidity, rain, and sand riding is brutal. He will stick around here through RedBud and then go back home to California. As for Hampshire himself, he won the USGP here in the MX2 Class in 2017, but the track is way different. He said he has good vibes this weekend not because of his win here, but just because it’s his home state in general. Hampshire took on a huge crash at home right before leaving for High Point, but he’s healed up now and had a good week and expects to do well at his home race.
Since Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen and Tomac are tied for the 450 Class points lead, we will see both riders' bikes will feature red plates. Tomac has won four motos compared to Roczen's three but both riders are tied with 176 points apiece. However, this weekend might be foreshadowing who goes on to win the championship. While there will still be more than half the season remaining following the conclusion of today's racing, today's weather might show who has the advantage when it comes to fitness. Earlier in the season Roczen said he was dealing with some illness and wasn't 100 percent—today we will truly find out.
In the 250 Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo has gone undefeated in the second motos of 2019 so far and has also gone undefeated in the 250 Class overalls. Cianciarulo has established a 26-point lead over second place, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Justin Cooper. Will we see AC continue his dominance? Whose fitness will show the most today? Who will struggle the lease? Since this will be our first real test, it’s tough to say. Only time will tell. Stay tuned.
In the first practices, Dylan Ferrandis led on times most of the way in the 250 Class session until Justin Cooper logged a late flyer to get the top spot. Ken Roczen topped the 450 Class riders.
250 Class qualifying
In the first practice, Dylan Ferrandis led the session with the fastest lap time for most of the way until his teammate Justin Cooper logged a late flyer to get the top spot. Cooper’s 2:09.461 was not beat in the second session, nor was so Ferrandis’, so the two teammates take the top two overall qualifying spots in the 250 Class. Cianciarulo, Chase Sexton, and Martin Davalos round out the top five overall qualifying spots. This is big for Cooper, who struggled throughout the day last week at High Point Raceway, where he qualified ninth overall in the 250 Class and finished ninth overall after 6-9 moto finishes.
“I pretty much just want to get back to where I belong…Just trying to get back on the right track,” said Cooper on the podium after the second session.
Cooper, who trains in California, knows how tough the day will be, not only against the strong field, but against the conditions.
“It’s going to be survival of the fittest out there,” Cooper said.
Davalos made his way into the top five of combined qualifying. Will Marty bring the speed come the motos later today?
Thomas Covington, who has been dealing with the Epstein-Barr Virus, finished 19th overall in combined qualifying with a 2:12.685. Pierce Brown, making his pro debut with the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM squad, qualified 21st in the class.
|1||Justin Cooper||2:09.461||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2||Dylan Ferrandis||2:09.890||Avignon||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2:10.314||Port Orange, FL||Kawasaki KX250F|
|4||Chase Sexton||2:10.341||La Moille, IL||Honda CRF250R|
450 CLASS QUALIFYING
Jason Anderson topped the 450 Class in combined qualifying for the second-straight week, as his 2:08.178 heater in the second session topped Ken Roczen’s 2:08.910 from the first session. Anderson took a very unique approach to the second session, as he did his usual hang back and let everyone go and then get in his heaters behind the pack so he has a clear track. This time, once he did his heater lap, it moved him into the top position overall, so he decided it was good enough for him. So he went to the team truck and called it a good session. Maybe this move comes off as cocky but this could be a smart idea come later in the day when the heat really becomes a factor. Being conservative here and there on such a hot day might play well, especially for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider. Anderson trains at the Baker’s Factory here in Florida, but as we heard some riders say earlier in the day, training all week under the Florida sun could be as much of a hinderance as it is an advantage.
“It’s going to get brutal,” Anderson said on the track. “I think the weather is going to be tough and the track is going to be tough, as well. We stay here in Florida, so for me, I’m used to it but it’s not like we are immune to the hot weather, we still get hot even if we are here all the time. it’s going to be a heater. It will be interesting; we’ll see how it goes.”
Tomac, Zach Osborne, and Justin Barcia rounded out the top five overall spots. Joey Savatgy qualified in sixth, we’ll see if he can build on his solid finish at High Point. Marvin Musquin finished right behind Savatgy in qualifying but we wouldn’t be surprised to see Musquin running up front come the motos, due to his experience with sand tracks.
|2:08.178||Edgewood, NM||Husqvarna FC 450|
|2||Ken Roczen||2:08.910||Mattstedt||Honda CRF450R|
|3||Eli Tomac||2:09.237||Cortez, CO||Kawasaki KX450|
|2:10.307||Abingdon, VA||Husqvarna FC 450|
|5||Justin Barcia||2:10.571||Monroe, NY||Yamaha YZ450F|
250 CLASS Moto 1
Derek Drake grabbed an early lead after snagging the holeshot. By the end of the first lap, he had gained a four second lead over Justin Cooper in second place. Unfortunately, Drake’s day went downhill quickly when he went down in a rollers section. He remounted and lost several positions but it appeared the crash had shaken him up—he would eventually pull off the track and head back to the truck with about 15 minutes left and did not finish the moto.
Cooper took advantage of Drake’s mishap, taking the lead and trying to run away with his own lead. However, Chase Sexton kept yo-yoing back and forth with the #32. Sexton finished with a 8.283 second gap over Cooper. After the race, both riders were visibly affected by the heat. Sexton's first moto win comes in his 26th career start in the 250 Class.
“Happy to get this win, it feels good,” Sexton barely got out on after the race.
While Cooper wasn’t able to hold on for the lead, he realizes a second-place finish still keeps him alive for the overall.
“I was kind of feeling my grove…you just had to keep your focus out there,” Cooper said. “The track can bit you at any time so you just have to take your time and really focus on the edges out there where you can get kicked. So yeah, good moto all in all, it got really hot after like 20 minutes it just got hot in the helmet. After that it just got worse; just gotta stay hydrated.”
Michael Mosiman finished in third for his second moto-podium of the championship.
“I’m just figuring out the pace and figuring out the starts,” Mosiman said. “Just to run up there with those guys , you build confidence…It just takes time man, it just takes time…It just takes experience and endurance and learning how to handle the pressure.”
While Cianciarulo was pushing to get Mosiman for third, Dylan Ferrandis passed the points-leader late in the moto and the two would finish fourth and fifth, respectively. Hampshire, who was catching Cianciarulo, had a small crash where he limited the damage, but when he remounted, he lost time on AC and allowed Ferrandis to get around him. Hampshire finished the moto in sixth. Hunter Lawrence wasn’t in a good position early on but managed an eighth-place finish. Although he wasn’t in the top ten in qualifying earlier today, it wouldn’t be surprising if Lawrence was able to run near the front of the pack.
|1||Chase Sexton||2:12.140||16 Laps||La Moille, IL||Honda CRF250R|
|2||Justin Cooper||2:13.399||+08.283||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
|3||Michael Mosiman||2:14.153||+13.060||Sebastopol, CA||Husqvarna FC 250|
|4||Dylan Ferrandis||2:14.787||+20.725||Avignon||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2:14.792||+23.074||Port Orange, FL||Kawasaki KX250F|
450 Class Moto 1
Cooper Webb stole the holeshot but Roczen was right with him. We know the history behind the two and man these first few laps were intense! Roczen finally got away and created a three-second lead over Webb. While Roczen got a great start, Tomac, the other red plates holder, came through the first lap in 18th place. Tomac wasn’t able to make his way through the pack on the sand track given the conditions of both the track and the heat. He battled back and forth with privateer Fredrik Noren before finally being able to cut the figurative string between the two and finishing in seventh. That finish doesn’t bode well for the overall or the championship standings for Tomac, but salvaging points in the fifth round is important in the long-run. We’ll see how the second moto goes and where he stands in the points standings at the end of the day.
Webb’s teammate Marvin Musquin moved into second early before he battled with Roczen. At one point during the moto, Musquin performed a"flying w" through the rollers section, but somehow saved it. He then ran away with his first moto win of the championship.
“It’s a big boost of confidence…it was brutal,” Musquin said. “It’s tough to go and push 100 percent, you have to take it easy but obviously battle with the other guys. So you have to find the balance and the compromise but it worked out well. Towards the end I was trying not to push it and it worked. We’ll see how it goes second moto.”
Musquin said he was settling in and wanted to conserve himself instead of going all out early in the beginning of the race and losing energy for later on, but that his pace was good enough to catch Roczen, so he decided to push harder.
“I was pacing myself in second but I was actually catching Kenny so I wanted to just keep doing what I was doing,” he continued.
Anderson, Webb, and Osborne rounded out the top five. Anderson catch Webb late and pushed towards Roczen in the very end but ran out of time. Remember, Anderson saved some energy during the second qualifying session. We'll see if that helps him in the second moto. Osborne might have had an opportunity to follow Anderson and pass Webb but he went down in a turn, losing time and positions. He made his way around Justin Barcia, who finished in sixth—tying his best moto finish of the season.
|1||Marvin Musquin||2:12.576||16 Laps||La Reole||KTM 450 SX-F|
|2||Ken Roczen||2:12.972||+07.716||Mattstedt||Honda CRF450R|
|2:14.313||+11.558||Edgewood, NM||Husqvarna FC 450|
|2:14.661||+14.478||Newport, NC||KTM 450 SX-F|
|2:14.483||+40.653||Abingdon, VA||Husqvarna FC 450|
250 CLASS Moto 2
As the second moto started, a flash of Yamahas burst to the front—Mitchell Oldenburg took the holeshot and was followed by his teammates Ferrandis and Cooper. Oldenburg got shuffled back as his teammate Ferrandis finally got a good start. Five rounds in and Ferrandis finally put himself into a good position. The too yo-yoed back and forth but eventually Ferrandis found his way around his younger teammate. Although Cooper didn’t get the moto win, he did earn his first overall win of his career.
“I got out front, man I felt good. That was the longest moto of my life, I can barely stand up right now, I’m going to pass out, I’m so hot right now,” Cooper said on the podium after the race, before he had to sit down on a bike stand.
“Man, to do it over here in the heat, it just shows something,” he continued. “It’s gonna be a nice week back in California now knowing that I got this off my back.”
Ferrandis took his first moto win of the season, going 4-1 for second overall. In the second moto, Ferrandis finally got the good start that he’s been needing all year, and look how it turned out. He led the final seven laps before bringing home his first moto win since the second moto of the 2018 Unadilla National.
“The full first race was a struggle from the start for me…we try everything and I’m just something in my mind," Ferrandis said after the race. "I’m struggling with the start.”
Ferrandis, who came into the day 42 points down from Cianciarulo, said he was starting to get impatient after not getting the results he had hoped in the first several rounds.
“I was starting to be impatient I want to fight for the championship but if you don’t’ win a moto and a race, you can’t,” Ferrandis said. “Happy on the start of the second race.
Ferrandis said him and the team have been working hard this season and was glad that today it paid off.
“Today it just paid off, because I think today was one of the most difficult races I have ever rode, so I’m really happy,” he said.
Cianciarulo, who had won the first overalls of the season coming into the day. AC struggled in the first moto and didn’t get into a good position early on and finished in fifth. In the second moto, his start was better but it was too far behind Ferrandis and Cooper, who ran away early. Cianciarulo said following the second moto that he wasn’t feeling up to par today, however, he said there were no excuses, that the guys who beat him deserved to.
“I don’t want to take any credit away from these guys, man, there wasn’t a whole lot wrong with me today, they were just ripping; they were going really fast, it just speaks to their skill on the bike,” Cianciarulo said. “For me, I didn’t feel too great all day, I didn’t gel with the track, honestly, my body didn’t feel too good today. It’s just one of those days, it’s tough, you’re gonna have them over the course of a longer season. And I’m really proud of myself, equally as proud as I am for the wins proceeding this: I think I left it all out there, I made the best out of today, even when I didn’t feel great, so just looking forward to regrouping.”
Hunter Lawrence recorded finishes of 8-4 for fifth overall. Will Christien reported that Lawrence’s teammate, Sexton, who won the first moto, was feeling ill due to the heat and almost didn’t line up for the start of the second moto. He tried to push through but after starting the race he was unable to continue and he pulled off the track and headed for the pits. He did not return, and his 1-39 moto finishes gave him ninth overall on the day. Brown recorded moto scores of 14 – 10 to finish 12th overall in his pro debut.
|1||Justin Cooper||Cold Spring Harbor, NY United States||2 - 2||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2||Dylan Ferrandis||Avignon France||4 - 1||Yamaha YZ250F|
|Port Orange, FL United States||5 - 3||Kawasaki KX250F|
|4||Michael Mosiman||Sebastopol, CA United States||3 - 5||Husqvarna FC 250|
|5||Hunter Lawrence||Landsborough Australia||8 - 4||Honda CRF250R|
450 CLASS Moto 2
Tomac grabbed the holeshot and looked like his plan was to get ahead as early as possible and cruise it in. He led all 16 laps but it wasn’t easy. He had built over a seven-second lead on Anderson, before the Husqvarna rider was able to cut it down to two seconds. Eventually, Musquin and Osborne caught up to Anderson before he could catch Tomac. Anderson, who we saw conserving energy earlier in the day, started to fade speed wise but also as he lost positions to both Musquin and Osborne—even after Osborne went down and lost several seconds to his teammate. The #21 came across the finish line in fourth. Roczen, who was battling for the lead throughout the early stages of the first moto, did not look like the same Roczen in the second moto. Maybe the weather was affecting him, we don’t know for sure but he started to fade in the later stages of the moto. He was running fifth but was passed by Barcia, Dean Ferris, Noren, and Baggett by the time he crossed the checkered flag, for tenth overall. His 2-10 gave him sixth overall.
With Tomac’s second moto turn around and Roczen’s fade, Tomac now takes a six-point lead over Roczen in the standings. Tomac said the turnaround from the first moto to the second moto was just getting a better start out of the gate.
“It the result of an extremely bad start in the first one, I didn’t even move when I let out my clutch, I just didn’t go anywhere in the sand and I’m not sure what happened,” Tomac said on his first moto. “But heavily improved in the moto two start; made a few changes and just got a better feel…It was good to get through the heat today, that was a good test for me.”
Musquin was able to make up time on Tomac in certain sections but fell to third by the checkered flag as Osborne outlasted him for second place.
“I tried my best and ran out of energy a little bit,” Musquin said following the second moto. “The track was demanding and it was tough, so to pick up the pace was difficult. A little bit disappointed but I got third [in the moto].”
Musquin did win the overall with his 1-3 finishes but knows the importance of getting as many points as possible every weekend.
“Definitely looking to pick up more points,” he continued. “It’s good to win the overall but it’s always good to pick up the maximum points. So I tried my best. On a demanding track like that, in Florida, it’s good.”
Musquin earns his first win of the 2019 championship. Before today, his last moto win came in the second moto of the 2018 Unadilla National—which was also his last overall win.
Osborne recorded moto finishes of 5-2 for third overall, his second overall podium of the championship.
“I was actually able to do some testing last week after High Point and make a big gain with my bike,” Osborne said, “[I’m] a lot more comfort, so now I’m able to ride faster longer.”
Osborne was catching Tomac at the end of the moto but was unable to do so after coming from so far behind.
|1||Marvin Musquin||La Reole France||1 - 3||KTM 450 SX-F|
|2||Eli Tomac||Cortez, CO United States||7 - 1||Kawasaki KX450|
|Abingdon, VA United States||5 - 2||Husqvarna FC 450|
|Edgewood, NM United States||3 - 4||Husqvarna FC 450|
|Newport, NC United States||4 - 5||KTM 450 SX-F|