Yeah! Washougal! One of the best looking tracks on the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship was this past weekend and along with Washougal being a good track, the weather was absolutely amazing.
Now, we know how Washougal normally is. It’s slippery, it’s got some shadows, and it’s a track that can frustrate a lot of riders. I can’t tell you how many riders I worked for who thought their tires were junk out there. But for 2019, the track crew brought some dirt into the facility and it didn’t appear to be as shiny as in past years. Some early morning rain helped that out as well, I’m sure. Maybe, just maybe, Washougal’s surface is changing for the better?
Also, I noticed that it appeared there were fewer trees than usual in the back section, which allowed more light in, so the shadows couldn’t have been as bad. So some improvements from the facility this year that seemed to work. Now about that traffic leaving the track…
I mean, seriously, what can you say about Eli Tomac this weekend? The man fell at the end of moto one and still won. Second moto he was, like, 387th off the start and just ripped through some of the best riders in the world to take the win. He was on it and everyone else was powerless to stop him. ET was determined to head to that space ship! His speed down the hills and around the outside was just next level and it was ridiculous to see him be able to put the bike wherever he wanted to. Rides like this make all of us become believers of ET, so when he has off-races here and there (granted there have been fewer of those this season) we always wonder what’s up. So there’s that but let’s not worry about that stuff and soak in rides like he had in Washington. Unbelievable, really.
Let’s take a look at the results shall we?
1st | 1-1 | #34 Dylan Ferrandis | France | YAM YZ250F
What a clinic Dylan put on out there. He was unreal and I loved his pass on his teammate Justin Cooper in the first moto for the lead. Second moto he had Adam Cianciarulo all over him at times and it’s easier to be the chaser than the chased in these situations. Ferrandis held it steady and the level that he and Adam went to in moto two was impressive for sure. That was cool to watch both guys push it that hard. By the way, did I mention the Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha bikes are fast?
2nd | 3-2 | #92 Adam Cianciarulo | Clermont, FL | KAW KX250
There wasn’t much else Adam could’ve done out there. Had he gotten to the front right away like Ferrandis did, then he could’ve easily gone 1-1, but as it was he had to fight through all the Yamaha guys and Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM’s Cameron McAdoo to get into the spot where he needed to be, and that was all Dylan needed. In the first moto he crashed also and worked his way back up, which he told me it felt good to do. Both motos he caught the leaders so that’s a positive thing for him. He did lose those eight points he gained at Millville though, which isn’t ideal, but he’s still got over a moto lead in the series. Great riding by the 92, just not great enough!
3rd | 2-4 | #32 Justin Cooper | Cold Spring Harbor, NY | YAM YZ250F
Cooper showed some great race craft in holding off Cianciarulo in the first moto when the #92 was all over him. Cooper’s last few motos haven’t been up to his usual standards but at Washougal he was back. I was a bit surprised he didn’t run down Michael Mosiman in moto two but hey, credit to Michael on that one. He’s now 20 points down to Ferrandis for second in the championship and I’d just like to ask, how in the hell did that gap get so big so fast?
4th | 7-3 | #36 Michael Mosiman | Sebastopol, CA | HQV FC 250
Mosiman was very good in the second moto. I did expect Cooper and the GEICO Honda guys to run him down but he held firm onto third. Yes, the top two guys gapped him but they were pushing hard so that’s fine. Little by little Mosmian’s getting a bit better. It’s a shame an injury knocked him back a few rounds. I’m glad Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing re-signed him. Let’s see what he can do for 2020.
5th | 4-6 | #23 Chase Sexton | La Moille, IL | HON CRF250R
Sexton’s greatest motocross moment was winning that moto at WW Ranch Motocross Park, followed by his worst when he overheated, which basically ruined his summer, in terms of the championship. He’s been working back from that but all momentum is gone for him. Another week off will really help him, as he’s one guy I think who can get in-between Adam and Dylan and affect this title chase.
6th | 8-5 | #31 RJ Hampshire | Hudson, FL | HON CRF250R
The GEICO Honda team has had some tough luck lately with Hunter Lawrence’s bike breaking and hurting him, a switch in managers, and some motor issues in Millville due to the mud, oh, and that whole deal with Christian Craig . Hampshire’s been one of those guys who hasn’t always been happy with some of the other bikes appearing to have some HP’s on him. At Washougal he rode hard but never got the start. In fact, only one team got the start all day long!
7| 6-8 | #44 Cameron McAdoo | Sioux City, IA | KTM 250 SX-F
“RAM IT” is starting to figure this thing out. Washougal was his best race of the year—he got good starts, ran up front, and kept the pace. Funny how you can just see confidence building week to week in some guys, right?
8th | 5-9 | #39 Colt Nichols | Muskogee, OK | YAM YZ250F
Colt had himself a very nice 5-4 day going when he fell about halfway through the second moto and had to work up from around 13th to ninth. As I mentioned, Washougal is not ideal for passing so I imagine he was pretty bummed about the crash.
9th | 13-7 | #26 Alex Martin | Millville, MN | SUZ RM-Z250
“Our” title hopes took a bit of a hit this weekend with a first moto crash while charging to the front. Not sure what happened in the second moto to “Troll Train” but “we” weren’t the same. Just 150 points left in the season so Washougal saw “us” officially eliminated from championship contention. Please lower all flags to half mast.
10th | 9-12 | #45 Brandon Hartranft | Brick, NJ | YAM YZ250F
Outside of a DNF in moto one in the mud at Millville, Hartranft, like he did in supercross, is enjoying a nice second-half surge. I know he’s one of the riders who Mitch Payton is thinking about for the last spot on Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki so he needs to keep this up.
11th | 14-10 | #12 Shane McElrath | Canton, NC | KTM 250 SX-F
It’s been such an odd year for Shane, who started off supercross his usual strong self. But then when he missed races near the end to preserve his 2020 250SX eligibility and/or deal with an injury, he’s never gotten his mojo back. Not sure what’s up but I would imagine relations between him and the team are strained due to the fact he’s leaving for Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha next year and both parties are just riding this thing out.
12th | 11-13 | #38 Christian Craig | Corona, CA | HON CRF250R
I texted Christian on Sunday and just told him good job and he replied that he wasn’t 100 percent happy and that I must’ve picked him in PulpMX Fantasy (I didn’t). Nope, I said I just think he needed some kind of results and he got them in Washougal. Two hard-fought motos that he can be proud of and build on [Editor’s note: Craig posted to Instagram Monday that he will be suspended from all FIM sanctioned events until March 9, 2020, and his results since failing the anti-doping test on March 10, 2018, will be cleared. Therefore, he will not be able to build on his results from the 'Shoug, because they will no longer exist. You can read about Craig's situation here.]
13th | 12-15 | #936 Ty Masterpool | Paradise, TX | YAM YZ250F
Ahhh, a rider’s first time at Washougal is always a weird one. Masterpool started up front with ALL THE OTHER RIDERS ON THE TEAM IN BOTH MOTOS but he didn’t end up anywhere near where he probably wanted to. It’s a different track than what the riders normally see and I’m sure he was fighting the whole “gotta go slow to go fast” aspect of it. He’ll be better prepared next year.
14th | 10-18 | #233 Derek Drake | San Luis Obispo, CA | KTM 250 SX-F
Drake’s a good starter and was working hard in that first moto to stay up inside the top ten. He barely did it but it was a good ride. In the second moto he didn’t get his usual good starts. He’s working with Randy Lawrence, who told me that yes, the grind of being a pro has been tough for Derek and it’s something he’s got to work on. I also did a pod with Lawrence, where he talks about working with Drake and RV and MC, which you can listen to here.
15th | 15-16 |#52 Jordan Bailey | Orlando, FL | HQV FC 250
The good news is he didn’t have a bike issue and got two motos in!
16th | 37-11 | #66 Mitchell Oldenburg | Staples, MN | YAM YZ250F
You gotta feel for Oldenburg. The effort and “try” is there by him but his usual bugaboo, crashing, has been getting him. This weekend he didn’t crash, but in the first moto, while inside the top ten, he twisted an ankle out there somewhere and had to pull off.
17th | 19-14 | #55 Kyle Peters | Greensboro, NC | SUZ RM-Z250
No one will much notice or care but I cared very much to watch Peters be dead, dead, dead last in moto one on the first lap due to a crash and then fight his way to nineteenth. Again, it’s two points and big deal, but he worked hard and tried all moto long. That’s something to me.
18th | 16-20 | #40 Sean Cantrell | Murrieta, CA | KTM 250 SX-F
This was Cantrell’s second race back after being out for a long time with injury. He’s got to get up closer to the top ten before the series is over to get some attention for 2020.
19th | 32-17 | #156 Jacob Hayes Greensboro, NC | YAM YZ250F
At one point there was talk of Hayes getting a factory spot for 2020 after he started off SX so strong but he got banged up and didn’t end it as well, and outdoors has never been his thing (although he’s had decent finishes) so not sure what’s open for him next year.
20th | 17-21 | #123 Mitchell Falk | Costa Mesa, CA | KTM 250 SX-F
Falk’s just back from injury but there hasn’t been much potential shown so far in his pro career. Is Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM really going to go into 2020 with Falk, Pierce Brown, and supposedly Brian Moreau? That’s a punt on 2020 unless two of those three really step it up.
1st | 1-1 | #1 Eli Tomac | Cortez, CO | KAW KX450
As I wrote above, Tomac’s ride was out of this world. He was on, and there was nothing anyone else in the world was going to do to stop him from winning. His career 450 Class moto finishes at Washougal? 7-17-2-1-2-1-2-1-1. You wouldn’t think a berm blaster like Eli would be able to master the slick surface of Washougal but yep, he’s been able to.
2nd | 2-3 | #94 Ken Roczen | Germany | HON CRF450R
Roczen was really good at Washougal as the track was semi-smooth, the weather was great, and whatever is going on with him wouldn’t hurt him too much (he says he’s got “it” figured out though and is working on a plan to fix “it”) but he posted after the race that he was still feeling very tired out there, which makes sense when you watched him. Still, second overall and a lot of laps led is a big improvement over what he had been doing earlier this year. Watching Kenny and then Eli is such a contrast in styles. You can barely hear Roczen’s bike, he’s very economical in his movements, and Tomac is on the gas hard, using his legs and you can tell he’s really trying.
3rd | 5-2 | #25 Marvin Musquin | France | KTM 450 SX-F
Musquin’s second moto was impressive and if it wasn’t for “Alien Eli,” Marv had it won pretty easily. He was really good out there, as he usually is at Washougal. Marv told us on the PulpMX Show that he’s in for Straight Rhythm this year on a two-stroke as are, I believe, Roczen and Cooper Webb.
4th | 3-5 | #2 Cooper Webb | Newport, NC | KTM 450 SX-F
Coming off his 1-1 last week, some expected more from Webb in Washougal but he was rather quiet. Nothing wrong with a 3-5 day but his double moto sweep didn’t vault him into the potential race winner guy like some thought it might. The top three guys overall were definitely better than the other guys on this day.
5th | 4-7 | #21 Jason Anderson | Rio Rancho, NM | HQV FC 450
Anderson got docked in the second moto for passing Savatgy by going off the track and it was the right thing to do. Anderson’s disregard for the track markers is pretty funny most weekends. Anyway, as always, he rode hard out there in banging bars with his training partner Webb in a couple of turns in moto one. It was a cool race between Anderson, Webb, and Musquin.
6th | 9-4 | #16 Zach Osborne | Abingdon, VA | HQV FC 450
Osborne crashed in moto one and kind of rode around after that, but he was never really in front of the big names of the class so that makes it really hard to do well. Passing a Cooper Webb or a Jason Anderson is not something that’s easily accomplished, you know. Second moto was strong and Zacho really showed his usual speed and fitness.
7th | 6-6 | #17 Joseph Savatgy | Tallahassee, FL | KAW KX450
Hey man, it’s a start! Literally, the starts for Savatgy at Washougal were great—he holeshot both motos! Yes, he went backwards afterwards, but what did you think was going to happen? The dude hasn’t put too many two-moto days together this season. This probably felt like close to a win for Joey.
8th | 8-8 | #101 Fredrik Noren | Sweden | SUZ RM-Z450
All day long in both motos it was “Fast Freddie” and Dean Wilson engaged in a massive battle out there. Scotland versus Sweden! Both riders never cheat you for effort even though both guys were probably not where they wanted to be.
9th | 7-10 | #15 Dean Wilson | United Kingdom | HQV FC 450
I bet Dean will be even better with another week off to sharpen his moto skills after a long layoff. Here’s the thing about the ‘Shoug: It’s very start-dependent and it’s hard to get around guys unless you’re Eli Tomac and going ten MPH faster than them. Dean pretty much started at the back of the factory guys and stayed there the whole day.
10th | 10-9 | #51 Justin Barcia | Greenville, FL | YAM YZ450F
Barcia didn’t have a great day and got into it with privateer Deven Raper, which resulted in Raper getting DQ’d for moto two. I don’t know all the details but it ended up with both guys on the ground and Raper pushing Justin down. No offense to Raper, but why would Barcia jack with a lapper? No matter what happens, it’s #51 that’s going to be the bad guy here and Raper felt like Justin instigated it with him. Why do that if you’re Barcia? It’s always going to come back to you, the highly paid factory guy, and not the privateer dude.
11th | 12-11 | #19 Justin Bogle | Cushing, OK | KTM 450 SX-F
Bogle came by our live podcast show on Friday night and wasn’t feeling great. In fact, he almost cancelled on us due to being sick. But he toughed it out and then did okay at the race. With Blake Baggett being out and then Benny Bloss crashing early in moto one and being done for the day, the team really needed Bogle to hold it together here.
12th | 11-12 | #63 John Short | Pilot Point, TX | HON CRF450R
Well, Short couldn’t back up his 6-8 from Millville so he sucks right? LOLZ, not at all and this was another impressive ride from the privateer. He’s always been a sneaky PulpMX Fantasy pick because he’s in shape and never gives up but the last two races probably have a lot of people saying, “John who?” Very impressive for Short.
13th | 13-14 | #41 Ben LaMay | Wasilla, AK | HON CRF450R
LaMay’s had a few bad weeks so this had to feel good for him, and on a track he usually does well on. There was an intense battle for top privateer between him and Short in the first moto but John slowly edged away in both motos. LaMay’s down at Loretta’s this week working with some kids. Nice to go into the break after a good race, right?
14th | 15-16 | #43 Tyler Bowers | Danville, KY | KAW KX450
The Bear raced Sunday after Millville in Oregon, then Thursday at PIR, and also Saturday at Washougal. This was Tyler’s best race since High Point, as Privateer Island life hasn’t been all that smooth for Bowers. Still, as I pointed out, you have to respect the hustle.
15th | 14-18 | #49 Henry Miller | Rochester, MN | KTM 450 SX-F
“Hammering Hank” didn’t get the starts he needed to back up last week’s ride but then again, he also wasn’t at the track he grew up on. He did come from pretty far back in the first moto.
16th | 18-15 | #56 Lorenzo Locurcio | Venezuela | KAW KX450
Like Peters in the 250 Class, Lorenzo was dead last early in moto one covered in mud. He was pretty far back and rode well to pass over half the field to get 18th. No, it doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things but the effort is there, which is cool to see.
17th | DNS-13 | #7 Aaron Plessinger | Hamilton, OH | YAM YZ450F
AP’s bike didn’t want to go off the start for moto one and that’s not a good look for Yamaha, that’s for sure. So with the 40th gate pick, AP did the best he could do in moto two. Interesting that Yamaha had R&D man Travis Preston there to help the riders with trying to dial their bikes in. I had heard Preston rode the race team bike a while ago and was like “WTF?” because he’s had a big hand in developing the production bike over the years. So Barcia and Plessinger, it appears, have lost their way a bit in what they want the bike to do and it looks like Preston is going to try and get it working a bit better. Interesting deal, we’ll keep an eye on it and see if TP’s help can turn the two riders’ season around.
18th | 19-17 | #700 James Weeks | Punta Gorda, FL | YAM YZ450F
Didn’t notice Weeks much out there but he’s on his way to dropping that #700 for 2020, that’s for sure.
19th | 17-19 | #119 Isaac Teasdale | Robbinsville, NC | SUZ RM-Z450
I spoke with Teasdale afterward and he was happy with his day, considering he’d never been to Washougal before. Looks like he’s getting a 250SX ride with JGRMX next year and there’s something here, in my opinion. He needs to get in a bit better shape but he’s got some skills.
20th | 16-32 | #929 Taiki Koga | Japan | KAW KX450
Koga was 17th with two laps to go and if you picked him in the game called PulpMX Fantasy you were stoked. Then he flew off the track, hit and broke a sprinkler head and apparently water was gushing everywhere and that was it for Koga. He Koga’d himself. Too bad for him and the people who had him in PulpMX Fantasy, LIKE ME.
Some other news and notes:
As I mentioned above, Blake Baggett was out for Washougal and in talking to manager Michael Byrne it seems he’s not coming back anytime soon. He’s got something going on with his body where he’s just got too little strength to go out and do motos. Blake’s run through all the blood work one could do and they’re working on finding out what’s going on but “Byrner” said it started getting bad after WW Ranch Motocross Park and that heat wave. What makes motocross so cool is how hard it is, but what also sucks about this sport is how hard it is and what it does to the athletes.
As I tweeted out Saturday, from what I gather I expect the MXoN team to be Jason Anderson, Zach Osborne, and Justin Cooper on the 250F. That’s a good team and will certainly be in contention for a podium in the sands of Holland, but you may notice that neither of the points leaders are going. Eli Tomac and Adam Cianciarulo both publicly stated that they wanted to go but Kawasaki isn’t a fan of this race for many reasons (that I agree with by the way).
I fully expect Team USA to be Anderson, Osborne and Justin Cooper BTW— Steve Matthes (@pulpmx) July 27, 2019
The Monster Energy Cup is right after this race, Cianciarulo’s making a transition to 450SX, and Tomac not winning the 450SX title again probably makes Kawasaki think he could use a full off-season to prepare for that. Plus it’s expensive for the team and the rider, the crew just finished 29 races in 37 weeks, and everyone needs a break and so on. Great riders like Jeff Stanton, Jeremy McGrath, Damon Bradshaw have all declined to go to this race in the past so hold up on crucifying ET and AC for this. What we don’t know is how hard the riders wanted to go to the race and how hard they pushed. Didn’t sound like it was too hard in Cianciarulo’s case on Monday’s PulpMX Show. I like the MXoN, I’ve been to 12 of them in a row on my own dime, and it’s a fun race to cover. But if riders from the USA don’t want to go, I 100 percent accept it and understand it. Cheer the guys that go and leave the ones who don’t alone.
That’s a wrap from the ‘Shoug! Thanks for reading and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to chat about this or anything else. Enjoy the off-week and we’ll be back after Unadilla. Same time, same place.