It’s weird to think we’re at the halfway mark of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championships. Like, seriously, weren’t we just at Hangtown a few weeks ago? Well we’re here man, and there are just six races left to go in this thing. We just wrapped up Southwick and onto RedBud this weekend and then, mercifully, a week off for the riders and teams after an incredible grueling, three-week schedule with rough tracks and weather.
I love the fact that Southwick is back on the schedule. We needed it on, it’s the Fenway Park of the Pro Motocross. It’s not perfect but it’s unique, it’s historic, and it’s got a surface that we need on the series. Also, running it in the direction that it was always run is a change that was needed. The track seems to flow better the OG way. Why we ever went the other way was a baffling decision.
I got a lot of “I can’t believe this track was this rough” talk from the riders after the race and I’m not sure I buy it. I think it was a residue from last week’s brutal race at WW Ranch Motocross Park and then just not being 100 percent fresh for this weekend. The track was a freeway for practice (as usual) and we didn’t get rain or anything to make it get rougher than usual so I’m not sure how it could get all time rough like I was hearing from the riders. But hey, ask ten riders their opinion on something and you’ll get ten self-serving reasons, so there you go.
Let’s take a look at the ‘Wick as well as the points standings halfway into the season, yeah?
250 Class Points at the Halfway Mark
1st | #92 Adam Cianciarulo | KAW KX250 | 269 Points
AC rode great at the ‘Wick to take the win, he crossed another hurdle on his way to the title because his past results in the sand haven’t been great. He’s been everything you want to start the season. If he gets a bad start, he salvages a third, if he gets the start he’s gone. Amazing to think AC92’s won five out of the six rounds to start the season but yet he came into the year with just one career Pro Motocross win. Crazy, right? If he can win this title, what a way to end his 250 career—taking a title that no one really thought he had a shot at.
2nd | #32 Justin Cooper | YAM YZ250F | 246 points
He’s so consistent that his High Point results (6-9 for ninth overall) earlier this year remain a mystery…as in, how could he possibly have been so off? Cooper’s been great all summer long and I liked how, at Southwick, he fully gave props to his competition and how they rode better than him. In fact, between him and AC constantly talking about how the other guy is so good, I wonder if they actually believe they’re any good. Cooper could have a Jeff Stanton-type career in that he’s going to be great but do it quietly.
3rd | #34 Dylan Ferrandis | YAM YZ250F | 232 points
The Frenchman admitted that it was tough to get pumped up for the outdoor season after his SX title but watch out, he’s starting to come around a bit. Took a moto win last week, grabbed a moto win this week at the ‘Wick and he needs to get his starts a bit better to really catch fire but the second half of the season seems to be when he comes on. Sleeper title pick here people. I loved Dylan flipping the fans off that were doing it to him and I told him so on Saturday night.
4th | #39 Colt Nichols | YAM YZ250F | 178 points
Been a good outdoor season for Colt. Second moto at the ‘Wick he fell in the first turn and worked his way all the way to 11th in what looked to be a ride that really taxed him. I always admire guys that do that when no one is really watching or it really doesn’t matter.
5th | #23 Chase Sexton | HON CRF250R | 167 points
Oh man, Sexton smoked himself last week after moto one and this week he again couldn’t race moto two. I know the team is thinking about sitting him for this weekend if his tests come back showing any sort of fatigue and that’s a good idea. Why did he ride last week? That’s the million-dollar question, right? Still, he’s been very good and bummer he’s got two motos with no points scored or he’d be right there with Cooper for second in the points.
6th #31 RJ Hampshire | HON CRF250R | 165 points
Be interesting to see if RJ’s results will improve next year on the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna. He’s been good with the GEICO Honda guys but you’d certainly like to see more wins and podiums over the years. I think his buddy Jordon Smith took a leap forward when he left GEICO for the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM team so there might be some new-new for RJ on the white bike. Solid rider, he tries hard.
7th | #196 Hunter Lawrence | HON CRF250R | 162 points
Hunter’s a funny guy off the track and his Instagram [LINK: https://www.instagram.com/p/BzVKHbDlZZT/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link] after Southwick was laugh out loud funny. He doesn’t make a lot of excuses and I bet he’s a tad frustrated right now. I honestly thought he’d be better to start the season but there have been highlights here and there. He’ll figure it out but it’ll just take longer than I thought, I guess.
8th | #36 Michael Mosiman | HQV FC 250 | 148 points
A real surprise this season, Mosiman missed Southwick with an injury so this isn’t indicative of his placing in the class. Let’s hope that the shoulder injury doesn’t derail his good season when he comes back. It’s taken a while but welcome to the big time, Michael.
9th | #26 Alex Martin | SUZ RM-Z250 | 143 points
Well, this isn’t ideal, right? Martin’s on a good money deal with JGR/Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing and ninth in points isn’t where anyone thought he’d be, including me, the conductor of the Troll Train. Good news is he’s had four good motos and we’re coming up to two of his great tracks. He’s not gotten many starts which doesn’t help Alex and I found it interesting that JGR just made a bike change for him without him testing it because they were tired of him complaining about some issue. “We’ll” come around but it’s hard to see him winning a race this year.
10th | #12 Shane McElrath | KTM 250 SX-F |108 points
Shane’s not had his usual good finishes but he had his best race at Southwick, so maybe he’s turning it around. Not sure what the deal is with him, him getting hurt and then sitting out the rest of the supercross seems to have put an entire stop to his season. He’ll be at Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha next year probably beating all the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM guys so that can’t be a great feeling for the KTM guys.
11th | #936 Ty Masterpool | YAM YZ250F | 83 points
Pretty good rookie season, yeah? Not Justin Cooper great but not too shabby for the kid that many in the pits are confused about turning pro so soon. He’s a good starter and at Southwick he showed a lot of heart in coming back from being dead last in the opening laps. Especially considering he looked worked badly at Florida from the heat just one week ago.
12th | #45 Brandon Hartranft | YAM YZ250F | 73 points
Hartranft’s season didn’t start so well but his last four motos (including one DNF in there) have been promising for the New Jersey kid. I heard he went out to Texas to get a motor spec that he was more comfortable with after having issues with the one from the team early on. Hartranft’s had four DNF’s and is still 12th in points, that’s pretty good with only eight points-scoring motos.
13th | #156 Jacob Hayes | YAM YZ250F | 72 points
Hayes and Hartranft keep finding each other out there and it’s made for some good racing. Hayes hasn’t ridden many pro motocross races, despite being a bit older, so I think it’s been pretty good for him. Enough to get up to a factory squad? I’m not sure, his early season SX results say yes but his later season SX results say no.
14th | #61 Garrett Marchbanks | KAW KX250 | 63 points
I’m worried about Marchbanks. He’s gotten better in his second year but that’s injuries in two out of the three series he’s lined up for and some big crashes in the other one. It’s really hard to get started in your career when you’re always coming back from something or sitting on the sidelines when other riders are getting better.
15th | #44 Cameron McAdoo | KTM 250 SX-F | 58 points
“RAM IT” has been a nice addition to the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM team and got them a great finish in his first ride with the team (8-7 for seventh overall at High Point), which was impressive. He’s been good and at the ‘Wick he fell in the first turn and rode his nuts off to get back up there. I think missing the first six motos and being here is impressive and let’s just get the 2020 deal with the team done now, yeah?
16th | #205 Wilson Todd | KTM 250 SX-F | 56 points
A nice job by the Aussie for the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull team after round one…I wonder if he’s done enough to pick something up for next year. How are his supercross skills?
17th | #73 Martin Davalos | KAW KX250 | 54 points
Marty’s had a rough outdoors with a rib injury and now I hear some neck stuff has resurfaced to cause issues. Southwick was rough for him. Although never an outdoor warrior, Marty’s got to stay ready for Washougal, that’s where he can strike! Word is he’s retiring at the end of the year.
18th | #233 Derek Drake | KTM 250 SX-F | 50 points
Drake made his pro debut at Hangtown, like Masterpool, and hasn’t been as good as his competitor. There’s been some starts here and there but watching Derek’s fitness the last couple of weeks reminds me that someone needs to remind the kids at the ranch this year that the pros are much, much harder.
19th | #38 Christian Craig | HON CRF250R | 48 points
The entire 2019 calendar year has been a disaster for Craig, indoors and out after a year ruined by injury. Let’s hope he can get everything sorted out and mentally in a good spot real soon.
20th | #52 Jordan Bailey | HQV FC 250 | 48 points
We saw some progression from Bailey here and there but outdoors hasn’t gone well although he’s had some bike issues in there also. If you’re Husqvarna, you gotta see more in his second year.
450 Class Points at the Halfway Mark
1st | #1 Eli Tomac | KAW KX450 | 257 points
Eli’s got the points lead, he’s tied with the most overall wins, he’s got the moto moto wins and here he is. It’s a little like SX in that we haven’t seen all world Eli as much as we have in the past but he’s been very good, if not great. Tomac’s starts have done him in a couple of motos and his second moto at the ‘Wick was a little unlike him but props to him for admitting that he just ran out of steam. Sweet Jesus there are times where Eli’s outside corner speed is SO next level.
2nd | #25 Marvin Musquin | KTM 450 SX-F | 231 points
Well, well, well. Look what we have here. Tomac’s leading the series and Marv is lurking behind. Oh yeah, the last two years we have! I thought Marv was very quiet the first few rounds but here we are now with two straight overall wins and he moves into second place in the points standings. Musquin’s like the Rolling Stones, every time you count them out, BAM there’s another North American tour. He was so good that first moto at the ‘Wick!
3rd | #94 Ken Roczen | HON CRF450R | 229 points
Well, the last three motos shouldn’t take away from the fact that early on, Ken was great. Like in 450SX, he had the red plates for a while as well. Unfortunately, we all wanted to see Roczen when the temps got hot and it hasn’t been good at all. His ride at the ‘Wick was so weird to see. I mean, John Short caught and passed him! Nothing against the privateer but Roczen’s an all-time great. It’s obvious that he’s not himself and I wonder if he struggles again this weekend if Honda pulls him out of the series and says, “Go rest.”
4th | #16 Zachary Osborne | HQV FC 450 | 227 points
Wacko’s second moto win was great, he showed speed and fitness and we knew it was just a matter of time for him. Next stop an overall and anyone want to bet that it’s not going to be too long before he does that? I think he’ll just get better as we go on and I think he’ll break away from Cooper Webb and his teammate Jason Anderson here as we see more separation. Great start to the series for Osborne.
5th | #21 Jason Anderson | HQV FC 450 | 212 points
Not a great weekend for JA21 as he fell in moto one and had to fight up and moto two he looked, like a lot of guys, as the last four motos had gotten to him. There have been flashes in qualifying of the raw speed and some moments where you think he’s got it figured out but High Point, as good as that was, was weird to see him drop so far back after at one point having the overall win. I think Washougal is where we’re going to see another great Anderson race.
6th | #2 Cooper Webb | KTM 450 SX-F | 202 points
Webb’s been a thorn in the side of the guys ahead of him in that he still grabs starts (four holeshots) and fights like hell to stay ahead of everyone. He hasn’t always been able to do that but he’s just a tick off of the front guys.
7th | #51 Justin Barcia | YAM YZ450F | 159 points
Barcia’s Southwick was pretty good, in fact it was his best ride of the championship so far. I don’t know what happened off the start in the first moto but he said he was in neutral. Yes, I’m serious. Anyways he passed an amazing 25 guys in the first lap…yes, you read that right. Both motos were good for Justin who’s had a lot of success at this track over the years. He started slowly but hopefully he can get better as this series trudges on. If there’s a mudder, watch out!
8th | #103 Dean Ferris | YAM YZ450F | 136 points
I think Ferris has been frustrated with his results but to me they’ve been okay and pretty much what I expected to see. I mean, his starts have been poop, and I can’t think of one moto this year where the #103 was up front with the leaders. And that’s not going to get it done. I heard that he was heading home early which has got to be a bit of a surprise because he seemed like he sacrificed a lot to come here this summer.
9th | #4 Blake Baggett | KTM 450 SX-F | 131 points
Blake was joking with me before the motos at Southwick that we should have a game at PulpMX Fantasy where users just pick his finishes and I said I’m down for that. I mean, it could be first like he did at High Point a few weeks ago or it could be “Sit in the mechanics area for a bit then go out and get 18th” like he did at Southwick in one moto. I don’t know what to say about Blake’s season and it didn’t seem like he knew either.
10th | #19 Justin Bogle | KTM 450 SX-F | 117 points
Bogle’s been just okay to me to start the series. That’s not bad everyone but his starts haven’t been there yet and until they are, we know that Justin isn’t a full believer in his ability to go fast for 30 minutes plus two. These last two races haven’t been much for fun for him I would bet. Might we see some Budds Creek magic again from the #19?
11th | #101 Fredrik Noren | SUZ RM-Z450 | 111 points
I was SO wrong about “Fast Freddie.” I just didn’t think he could adapt to the JGR Suzuki that quick but man was he ever great at the ‘Wick! Like, seriously—wow. And man I watched the second motos with J-Bone and Budman at JGR and they acted like they won the lottery. They were so happy I was wondering if they were gonna reenact the Rocky III scene with Apollo and Rocky at one point. Good for those guys, good for Freddie who now gets to actually make some money racing and good for Suzuki. Everyone is happy over there for once!
12th | #14 Cole Seely | HON CRF450R | 59 points
What Seely needed for 2019, after a 2018 that saw him miss 75 percent of the year, was to stay healthy and build back up so that he could have a great final year of his contract and go back with Honda. What he didn’t need was what happened, another injury to go with some so-so rides. He’s out for the year.
13th | #41 Ben LaMay | HON CRF450R | 56 points
LaMay was out of Southwick with a blown motor until the guys at Honda gave him a spare motor from Toshiki Tomita. So that was cool by Big Red and LaMay went out and did Ben LaMay things. Is there a guy out there that gets talked about less than Ben LaMay? His 450SX season was good and now he’s just outside the top ten in the 450 Class.
14th | #56 Lorenzo Locurcio | KAW KX450 | 55 points
Lorenzo’s out there grinding away and although LaMay’s more consistent than Lorenzo, I feel like Locurcio’s ups and downs are greater. He’s crashing, bike is breaking, or he’s riding very well. There’s not a lot of in-between there with him. I like how he’s got “Locurcio” on his shrouds because he has no title sponsor. Bold!
15th | #17 Joey Savatgy | KAW KX450 | 54 points
Weird outdoor season for Joey, jumped in late, some speed, some crashes, some bike issues, and one test session that really jacked up my PulpMX Fantasy day equals this spot in the points. Regardless, I think he’s a hot property for 2020 and will be at either Honda HRC or JGR/Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing for 2020.
16th | #46 Justin Hill | SUZ RM-Z450 | 51 points
Fox Raceway at Pala was good!
17th | #43 Tyler Bowers | KAW KX450 | 46 points
Bowers had a rough day at the ‘Wick on his PulpMX KX450 in that he’s dealing with a lat injury and it’s affecting him from pulling on the bike so the ‘Wick wasn’t ideal. Props to “the Bear” for doing the outdoors because he’s not really getting rich doing it but I bet it’s harder than he remembers.
18th | #477 Todd Waters | HQV FC 450 | 46 points
Waters was pretty good when he was here but we were all too excited for the start of the nationals. There were all these storylines and things to talk about so the guy just outside the top ten on a privateer Husky wasn’t getting much play. But hey, solid job for Waters, right?
19th | #29 Benny Bloss | KTM 450 SX-F | 39 points
Bloss has been good here and there since jumping back in but he’s also had some crashes and a bike issue in one moto. I think it’s impressive that that he’s jumped right into the top ten when his starts are there and it all goes right.
20th | #63 John Short | HON CRF450R | 36 points
John Short’s Southwick was straight hero stuff. The privateer rider fell in the first turn and came all the way to 15th. Second moto he started up front and finishes a career-best ninth in the moto. He never looked tired either, he was some sort of Terminator out there. Great work for an underrated privateer.
Thanks for reading OBS, appreciate it and we’re onto RedBud this weekend which is always a good time. Temps shouldn’t be too crazy either which will be a welcome relief for everyone. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to chat about this or anything else.