Main Image: Andrew Fredrickson
Welcome to the Racer X Race Day Feed, coming to you from the Budds Creek National. From practice reports to the blow-by-blow from today'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.
Although we have already posted the official injury report for today, we’re going to start this one off by going over some key riders that either will or will not be racing this weekend (just for you, PulpMX Fantasy players—you’re welcome.)
Hunter Lawrence will make his return to racing after missing two rounds with a broken collarbone. We will get to witness our first battle between Aussie brothers Jett and Hunter.
Thomas Covington hasn't raced since the Thunder Valley National on June 1 after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr Virus in early June. He’ll make his return this weekend at Budds Creek. Yesterday during press day, I caught up with Covington to talk about his expectations for these last two rounds, which you can read here.
Joey Savatgy will not race this weekend. Joey is not injured and therefore was not on the IR but he and his wife, Megan, are expecting the birth of their first child this weekend and the 450 Class rookie posted on Instagram, “Well it’s a tough decision but due to the fact that my child is expected this weekend, I’ve made the decision to stay home.” Best of luck to Joey and Megan!
Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-KTM-WPS team announced last night on social media that Blake Baggett is out for today’s race and will miss the remainder of Pro Motocross “due to a lingering sinus infection that eventually turned to a staph infection in his right eye.”
It’s going to be hot today so we will see how that impacts the riders. Today’s forecast is calling for temperatures around the high 80s with 91 percent humidity. The track looks to be in great condition and with its layout, we should be in for another good one today.
You know the situation in the 450 Class: Eli Tomac has a 40-point lead over Marvin Musquin and a 41-point lead over Ken Roczen. If neither of those two can catch up within 50 points of Tomac by the end of the day, the #3 will officially become the fourth rider to three-peat as champion in the 450 Class of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. In the 250 Class, points leader Adam Cianciarulo has a 28-point lead over Dylan Ferrandis after the two tied with 47 points at the Unadilla National last weekend (although the overall officially went to Ferrandis because he won the second moto). While Cianciarulo doesn’t need to beat Ferrandis in any of the remaining four motos, he needs to do what he can to get as many points as possible. He acknowledged recently that he simply has to take care of his own racing and the rest of it will sort itself out.
Early in the day, Chase Sexton had the fastest 250 Class qualifying time. The GEICO Honda rider finished the first session with a 2:03.057. We’ve seen Sexton succeed here before, as he finished second overall with 7-2 moto finishes, and he’s looking to better that this weekend. He returned to “form” last weekend at the Unadilla National by getting good starts and 3-3 moto finishes for third overall—his first overall podium since the High Point National on June 15.
Behind Sexton was Hunter Lawrence, who is making his return after suffering a collarbone injury leading into the Washougal National. With the soft/sandish build of the track, he could be a top competitor in the class today. Behind Lawrence was Justin Cooper, Adam Cianciarulo, and Jett Lawrence. Dylan Ferrandis was 19th in this session with a 2:06.567. Yusuke Watanabe went down hard during the session and was taken off the track on the medical cart. He will not race today.
In the second session, Sexton bettered his time from the first session when he threw down a 2:02.280.
“Building myself up after WW was hard but I feel like we are where we should be,” Sexton said on the podium afterwards.
Cianciarulo took over the second qualifying spot away from Hunter Lawrence with a 2:02.814 and Ferrandis worked his way into the third position come the end of the session with a 2:03.215. Hunter Lawrence finished in the fourth qualifying spot and RJ Hampshire, who won the 250 Class overall here last year, recorded the fifth fastest lap of the morning.
|1||Chase Sexton||2:02.280||La Moille, IL||Honda CRF250R|
|2||Adam Cianciarulo||2:02.814||Port Orange, FL||Kawasaki KX250F|
|3||Dylan Ferrandis||2:03.215||Avignon||Yamaha YZ250F|
|4||Hunter Lawrence||2:03.232||Landsborough||Honda CRF250R|
|5||R.J. Hampshire||2:03.567||Hudson, FL||Honda CRF250R|
In the first session, Ken Roczen dropped a 2:00.432 to take the top spot. Marvin Musquin’s 2:02.069 was the second-fastest lap time, followed by Eli Tomac’s 2:02.306 and privateer Kyle Cunningham’s 2:03.585. Jason Anderson, who was the very last rider to leave the starting gate area when the session started, qualified fifth in the first session. Aaron Plessinger, who won wrapped up his 2018 250 Class title here last year, finished the first session with the sixth-fastest time.
Musquin topped the board in the second session with a 2:01.353 but Roczen’s 2:00.4 still stood at the top time. With the heat already here and it only getting hotter as the day goes on, Roczen laid down his fast laps and then hung out until the session was done.
“For me, I feel very in tune with my bike…We know it’s gonna be a warm one today but I’m not going to let that get to me,” Roczen said after the session.
Tomac qualified third on the day, following by Zach Osborne and Jason Anderson. Cunningham qualified sixth, we’ll see if the privateer can build on his 12th overall from Unadilla.
|1||Ken Roczen||2:00.432||Mattstedt||Honda CRF450R|
|2||Marvin Musquin||2:01.353||La Reole||KTM 450 SX-F|
|3||Eli Tomac||2:02.306||Cortez, CO||Kawasaki KX450|
|4||Zach Osborne||2:03.108||Abingdon, VA||Husqvarna FC 450|
|5||Jason Anderson||2:03.260||Edgewood, NM||Husqvarna FC 450|
250 Class Moto One
Ty Masterpool grabbed the holeshot and led the first four laps. He edged out Adam Cianciarulo for the holeshot and the two battled back and forth early on. Cianciarulo went outside in one of the back-to-back U-turn sections but his back tire slid out onto the outside of the turn, getting stuck momentarily on the sandy berm. He lost several spots to Shane McElrath, Martin Davalos, and Michael Mosiman, as he dropped to fifth. Masterpool continued to put in solid laps out front, leading for the first time in his career but McElrath was slowly catching up to the young #936. McElrath eventually took over the lead in the top section farthest from the start as Masterpool went to the outside and McElrath saw a line on the inside and went for it.
Out of the gates, Dylan Ferrandis, Chase Sexton, Hunter Lawrence were nowhere to be found, as Ferrandis didn’t get a good jump out of the gate due to spinning his back tire and the two GEICO Honda riders both crashed before the holeshot line. Ferrandis was around 20th on the first lap, Hunter Lawrence was in 37th and Sexton was in dead last but all three kept charging throughout the entire moto. Ferrandis had made his way up to 12th about ten minutes into the moto.
Cianciarulo made his way around Mosiman for fourth. But the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider didn’t give up easily. For several laps, Cianciarulo was challenged by Mosiman. Cianciarulo pulled Mosiman behind him as the two caught up to Masterpool who was running steady in second. At the same time, RJ Hampshire was being pulled along as well, as he was catching up to the Cianciarulo/Mosiman battle. Cianciarulo took second away from Masterpool in the same turn that McElrath got Masterpool earlier for the lead. Mosiman followed through only a few sections later and then Hampshire made a move on Masterpool as well.
Ferrandis kept charging and squared up his teammate Justin Cooper on the turn going past the mechanics area to take over seventh place. Hampshire made the pass on Mosiman for third as the two were coming into the straight away past the mechanics straight.
Ferrandis made his way around Masterpool to take over fifth. A mistake my Mosiman coming past the mechanics area allowed Ferrandis to gain another spot—watch for more passes to take place here throughout the rest of the day. A fourth isn’t where he needs to be in terms of the championship but Ferrandis limited his damage as much as he could have—as he was in 20th at the start of the race.
When McElrath took the lead, he checked out—winning by 8.766 seconds—to take his second career moto win (his first coming in the second moto at the 2018 Washougal National). The 25-year-old looked the best he has all season. Fortunately for McElrath, he said he had several family members at the race.
“It’s conformation,” McElrath said on the podium. “We’ve still been working hard, regardless of our situation…It’s a good day so far.”
“I’m just disappointed with how I rode in the beginning there…I was glad I was able to calm down, catch my breath and make some passes…I just want to do my best I can each moto,” Cianciarulo said.
Colt Nichols went down hard on the big uphill triple and we received word that he will not line up for the second moto.
|1||Shane McElrath||2:04.623||17 Laps||Canton, NC||KTM 250 SX-F|
|2||Adam Cianciarulo||2:05.138||+08.766||Port Orange, FL||Kawasaki KX250F|
|3||R.J. Hampshire||2:05.204||+11.769||Hudson, FL||Honda CRF250R|
|4||Dylan Ferrandis||2:04.781||+12.890||Avignon||Yamaha YZ250F|
|5||Michael Mosiman||2:05.193||+16.564||Sebastopol, CA||Husqvarna FC 250|
450 Class Moto One
When the gate dropped for the moto, Eli Tomac came into the inside and seemed to be in perfect position for the holeshot but Justin Bogle stole it as he snuck past Tomac on the outside. The running order early was Bogle, Tomac, Zach Osborne, Roczen, John Short, and Musquin. Tomac found a way around Bogle on the outside of Henry Hill and made a ballsy pass for the lead. Only a few turns later, Ken Roczen blew right by Bogle coming through the straight away past the mechanics as the #94 came barreling into the straight away on the inside of Bogle.
Musquin made a pass on Bogle for third on the section as he came into the mechanics straight hot as well and passed the #19 in the landing of the jump following the straight away. Musquin took the inside away from Bogle as he tried to set his sights on Roczen running second. He had started to make up ground on his Honda HRC rider. In the turn before the big uphill triple, Musquin tipped over. While Roczen was in his view in that turn, the mistake cost Musquin his chance. He said after the race that he had hit neutral going into the turn but didn’t realize it until it was too late and he was in the berm, resulting in a quick tip over. Osborne and Justin Barcia caught up to Bogle quickly, as the #19 appeared to struggle with his speed as the race progressed. Osborne, Barcia, and Jason Anderson all passed Bogle within a matter of a few turns. Bogle really dropped off as he finished the moto in 19th place. Let’s see if he can rebound for the second moto. Suddenly, Anderson dropped a heater lap and made his way around both Osborne and Barcia. Anderson was so strong late in the moto that he caught up to Musquin, who was running in third.
Tomac showed us that everything we were talking about last week is now in the past, as he came out and simply dominated. Tomac told our Jason Weigandt following the Washougal National that he wanted to get to 50 points before the
“I don’t want to back it off or play it safe at all,” Tomac said on the podium.
He finished 13.956 ahead of Roczen, who said afterwards he wasn’t going to overdo it in a race where he saw Tomac get a great start and get on a roll.
“The heat hasn’t been on my side this year," Roczen said. "Eli was riding really good and I didn’t go ballistic at the beginning…I’m gonna go take an ice bath, eat something, and put my feet up.
|1||Eli Tomac||2:02.682||17 Laps||Cortez, CO||Kawasaki KX450|
|2||Ken Roczen||2:03.742||+13.956||Mattstedt||Honda CRF450R|
|3||Marvin Musquin||2:05.028||+19.136||La Reole||KTM 450 SX-F|
|4||Jason Anderson||2:05.428||+21.723||Edgewood, NM||Husqvarna FC 450|
|5||Zach Osborne||2:05.634||+24.197||Abingdon, VA||Husqvarna FC 450|
250 Class Moto two
McElrath grabbed the holeshot once the gate drop but Mitchell Oldenburg took over the lead early on as McElrath went off the track. He slowed up as he reentered the track but Oldenburg had already gotten by. Several riders were involved in some first-turn carnage, including Hampshire and Martin Davalos. Hampshire was 36th early. Already up to 21st. Davalos looked like he was banged up as he was slow to get up and he went straight to the to the pits. The early running order was Oldenburg, McElrath, Alex Martin, Mitchell Falk, Justin Cooper, Brandon Hartranft, Adam Cianciarulo. Mosiman, who had a strong first moto was running in 17th early, and Ferrandis was 21st off the start. Ferrandis made a quick charge up to the back of Cianciarulo but was suddenly taken out by Falk, who must’ve made a mistake and panicked as he was going backwards through the blind turn. Ferrandis had committed to the line but then Falk caught him off guard as the KTM rider cut towards the outside of the track, taking Ferrandis down in the process.
McElrath was able to get around Oldenburg in the mechanics section and he checked out. Oldenburg was passed by Alex Martin as the two went down Henry Hill and behind them, Brandon Hartranft, Jo Shimoda, Cianciarulo, and Ferrandis battled together. Cianciarulo was able to get around Hartranft as he went down Henry Hill and Ferrandis followed. Laps later, Ferrandis put a block pass on Cianciarulo to take over sixth.
McElrath cruised to his first 1-1 moto sweep weekend of his career. He’s struggled with injuries and getting comfortable with the new bike but he has been continuing to improve his finishes.
“My results haven’t been what we’ve wanted but we’ve kept at it,” McElrath said.
Justin Cooper finishes second in the moto and Alex Martin finished third.
Hampshire came all the way back to finish eight. Hampshire had problems early on at the Unadilla National last weekend and again struggled to get out of the first few laps without a crash. After seeing him earlier in the day during qualifying and knowing he’s done well here in the past, it’s tough to see him finishing outside of the top five in both motos, had he gotten clean starts.
|1||Shane McElrath||Canton, NC||1 - 1||KTM 250 SX-F|
|2||Adam Cianciarulo||Port Orange, FL||2 - 5||Kawasaki KX250F|
|3||Justin Cooper||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||6 - 2||Yamaha YZ250F|
|4||Dylan Ferrandis||Avignon||4 - 4||Yamaha YZ250F|
|5||R.J. Hampshire||Hudson, FL||3 - 8||Honda CRF250R|
450 Class Moto Two
Tomac again put himself in a great position out of the gates and he tucked inside perfectly. But again, he had the holeshot taken away—this time by Osborne. Tomac had the inside line though and was carrying more speed, giving him in edge going around the turn. Osborne cut inside and pinched off Musquin, shuffling his training partner back a spot behind Roczen.
Following Musquin was Anderson, Wilson, and Barcia. Anderson and Musquin came together in the top back section and Musquin went through two of the large yellow track markers. He lost some time and came back onto the track and put a block-pass on Wilson. Anderson managed to get around Osborne in that same top section now too much longer. Anderson then took off after Roczen and was able to make the pass for second. Musquin and Osborne battled together but Musquin held the fourth position as the group made their way for Roczen, who was running in third. Once the group caught up to the #94, Musquin made a pass for third that would allow Tomac to officially wrap up his third straight premier class title in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. Following Musquin’s pass on Roczen, both Osborne and Barcia mad their way around the Honda rider as well.
Tomac would finish the moto 14.905 seconds ahead of Anderson—but he said that he didn’t know he had wrapped up the championship until the last lap.
“I didn’t know until the last lap, I still thought I needed one more spot on someone...gosh, what a way to finish off, 1-1. It’s so special,” Tomac said afterwards on becoming the fourth rider to three-peat as Pro Motocross champion in the premier class. “I mean so many things had to go our way…we just kept our head down and we kept hitting it.”
Anderson finished 4-2 for second overall—his first overall podium since finishing second in the RedBud National.
“For me, I’m just trying to build my base heading into the next supercross season…to be on the podium here at Budds Creek, one of my favorite tracks, it feels great,” he said.
Musquin finished 3-3 for third overall and he will battle Roczen next weekend for second place in the championship.
“It’s just a tough day physically…it’s definitely a tough track but we’re going to keep fighting to try and get that second place.”
|1||Eli Tomac||Cortez, CO||1 - 1||Kawasaki KX450|
|2||Jason Anderson||Edgewood, NM||4 - 2||Husqvarna FC 450|
|3||Marvin Musquin||La Reole||3 - 3||KTM 450 SX-F|
|4||Ken Roczen||Mattstedt||2 - 7||Honda CRF450R|
|5||Zach Osborne||Abingdon, VA||5 - 4||Husqvarna FC 450|