Welcome to the Racer X Race Day Feed, coming to you from Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana. 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.
Early weather reports from Ironman Raceway are expecting ideal weather conditions today in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Temperatures are expected to be around the 70s, with a high of 75. The humidity is around 60 percent at the moment, but it’s not expected to get much higher.
As far as the action on the track, while Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac wrapped up the 450 Class title last weekend at Budds Creek Motocross Park, we still anticipate close battles in both classes. Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin has a five-point lead over Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen and you know those two will battle it out until the last checkered flag of the season. Behind those top three, several riders will take advantage of today’s opportunity to improve their place in the championship standings.
In the 250 Class, Adam Cianciarulo and Dylan Ferrandis will battle it out for the second time this calendar year. Cianciarulo has a 30-point lead over his rival but with a total of 50 points awarded today, Ferrandis is still in it. If the first moto goes well for Cianciarulo and he wins takes the checkered flag, he’ll be able to celebrate his first professional championship. If the #92 struggles in the first moto, it could be Ferrandis who walks away with his second trophy of the year. For the complete rundown of how the championship can play out today, click here. Whichever way the title goes, this will be Cianciarulo’s last race in the 250 Class, as the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider will move under the Monster Energy Kawasaki’s 450 Class tent for 2020.
Michael Mosiman took the top spot in the first qualifying session. At the very end of the session, Mosiman dropped a 2:04.674 to just barely edge out Justin Cooper’s 2:04.878. Those two were the only riders to drop a lap below 2:05 as Chase Sexton’s 2:05.252 was third-fastest. Shane McElrath was fourth-fastest with a 2:05.613 and Jordan Bailey’s 2:05.738 was fifth fastest. Ferrandis’ 2:06.438 was tenth-fastest and Cianciarulo’s 2:06.527 was 11th fastest as the two find themselves next to one another on the results page for the first time today—and I’m sure it won’t be the last time.
Early in the second session, Cianciarulo dropped the fastest lap with a 2:03.827—the first rider into the 2:03s. Cooper responded with a 2:03.045 to retake the top spot but his teammate Ferrandis busted out a 2:02.950. Ferrandis was flying on this heater lap but he even had a couple of mistakes, as he didn’t fully jump the downhill section of the Godzilla jump and had the backend fish-tail a little coming out of a few of the turns. But he was fast enough that even with his mistakes he was able to take the top spot. Mosiman, McElrath, and Sexton all improved their times from the first session to jump in front of Cianciarulo. Cianciarulo went down and was visually frustrated with one of the flaggers as his big laid on the downside of the takeover leading into the finish line jump. Riders coming out of the turn didn’t see Cianciarulo’s bike there and he had to stand and point them to go around it. He was finally able to pick it up but didn’t complete a lap afterwards as he was rolling the track. He seemed to be having issues with the bike as he went to the pits. Will Christien reported that another rider had hit his bike and damaged his radiator, which the team was working to fix, but that Adam himself was not injured. Cooper dropped a 2:01.844 to take his fifth-fastest qualifier of the championship.
|2:01.844||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2:03.362||La Moille, IL||Honda CRF250R|
|4||Shane McElrath||2:03.539||Canton, NC||KTM 250 SX-F|
|2:03.586||Sebastopol, CA||Husqvarna FC 250|
Roczen was the fastest rider in the first session. The #94 dropped a 2:03.681 to take the top time by almost a second. Musquin finished the session second-fastest (2:04.475) and Tomac finished third-fastest (2:04.748), followed by Benny Bloss, Jason Anderson, Zach Osborne, Joey Savatgy, Justin Barcia, Fredrik Noren, and Henry Miller.
Like in the 250 Class, a lot of the 450 Class riders improved their time. In that session, Bloss dropped a 2:01.561 to move into second on the session. Musquin improved his time but Bloss finished the morning with the second-fastest lap. He’s been a little banged up here and there so if he can translate this into the motos, that will be a big confidence boost for him.
Roczen’s time in the second session was nearly a second faster than Bloss’ as he clearly has the track dialed in early on.
“Overall I’m just really comfortable on the bike and really comfortable on the track, it should be a good day,” Roczen said on the podium afterwards.
He did the ‘ride a few fast laps and then take it easy’ technique again as he did three laps in the first session and five laps in the second session. It’s seemed to work out the last few times, as he’s finished as the fastest qualifier for the third weekend in a row. While we’ve seen him fade during the motos on the hotter days, today might be different. He said last weekend that he was doing his best to let the heat not get to him, but it eventually did. He faded from second to a seventh-place finish and his lap times were about eight seconds off of what they were at the beginning of the moto—when he’s his strongest. But this weekend might be different. We could see the Unadilla Ken Roczen with the cooler temperatures today. As mentioned beforehand, he’s close in points with Musquin so you know he’s going to go after it today. With Tomac already taking the title, he doesn’t have to push it, so watch for Roczen to finish the year on a strong note.
|1||Ken Roczen||2:00.762||Mattstedt||Honda CRF450R|
|2||Benny Bloss||2:01.561||Oak Grove, MO||KTM 450 SX-F|
|3||Marvin Musquin||2:01.859||La Reole||KTM 450 SX-F|
|4||Zach Osborne||2:02.248||Abingdon, VA||Husqvarna FC 450|
|5||Eli Tomac||2:02.568||Cortez, CO||Kawasaki KX450|
250 CLASS MOTO ONE
Kyle Peters led the field through the first turn, as the #55 got arguably his best start of the season. The JGR/Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing rider led the first lap and a half until Ferrandis took over the lead. Peters would eventually fade to finish in 17th-place. After a few position jockeying, Ferrandis led Cooper and Cianciarulo. As they ran—Ferrandis, Cooper, then Cianciarulo—Ferrandis would be able to survive with a shot at the championship until the second moto. But then Ferrandis’ teammate Cooper caught up to the #34. While we've seen these two battle before all year, they were getting close to one another here and there which could've been bad had they actually made contact with each other. The two battled side-by-side for several laps but Ferrandis kept the top position. They were side-by-side for a few laps, as Cooper kept taking an inside line up the Godzilla hill/jump. He would make up ground on Ferrandis but was unable to complete a pass.
Then Cooper put in a charge and was able to finally take over the lead. He had been dropping lap times faster than Ferrandis but his teammate was fighting as hard as he possibly could. With that move of Cooper taking over first, Cianciarulo could clinch the title if the finished that way. It looked like Cooper was checking out as he started to put a lead on the field. Suddenly, he dropped off the pace and Ferrandis caught a second wind, catching up to his teammate before retaking the lead.
Ferrandis put his head down and kept charging, as he was in desperation mode and needed to get all the points he could. But behind him, Cianciarulo made his way up to Cooper. Cianciarulo then made it way around Cooper and put his KX250 into second place—which would give him the championship if he finished in this position. Cianciarulo went outside on the second-to-last turn of the track and as Cooper’s line coming out of the inside of the turn sent him higher, compared to Cianciarulo’s line that kept the Kawasaki rider lower. As they continued through the sand rollers, Cianciarulo carried more speed, beating Cooper into the turn. He took the inside-most line but cut to the outside, taking the line away, and shutting the door on both Cooper and Ferrandis' figurative hopes on the championship. Cooper wasn’t able to double out of the turn and Cianciarulo took off.
AC started to catch Ferrandis but he didn’t have to, as passing Cooper officially allowed Cianciarulo to clinch the title. Ferrandis took his eighth moto win of the year as he fist-pumped off the finish line jump. Cianciarulo came across the line with a hand held high in the air—he had finally done it. The two rivals stooped on the the next jump to congratulate one another.
“He completely deserved this title,” Ferrandis said of his rival afterwards.
Cianciarulo finally won the championship he was expected to win as soon as he entered the pro ranks in 2013. Since becoming a pro, he hasn’t had the easiest path, the seasons where he dominated the field, or the championships that everyone anticipated. He's had the injuries—a fair share of them—and hasn't lived up to the hype that was surrounding him as a young rookie. However, he bounced back pretty damn hard considering what happened to him only a few months ago at the supercross finale.
“I saw those two in front of me battling…it was kind of hard,” Cianciarulo said after the race. “I thought I had some pace…I was cheering on Justin there for a while…Man I just felt so focused, so locked in. I can’t tell you how much I looked forward to this.”
Cooper finished third and said afterwards that he lost his focus during the moto.
“I had the fight in to me to get out front…it kinda slipped away from me there.”
Jett Lawrence had an impressive ride. He was bumped off the track at the start and had to go through the banners on the inside of starting straight. He came through the first turn in dead last, several bike lengths behind the closest rider, but finished the moto in 12th.
|2:02.184||17 Laps||Avignon||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2:02.837||+03.665||Port Orange, FL||Kawasaki KX250F|
|2:02.242||+07.293||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2:03.011||+09.712||La Moille, IL||Honda CRF250R|
|2:03.777||+28.322||Sebastopol, CA||Husqvarna FC 250|
450 CLASS MOTO ONE
Joey Savatgy, who missed last weekend’s race because his wife and him experienced the birth of their first baby, came out hot, grabbing the holeshot from Roczen. The #94 jumped into the lead only a few turns in as he started to run away from Savatgy, who held second over Tomac and Musquin. Tomac made his way into second and Musquin followed. Musquin was catching Tomac who was pushing the pace and catching Roczen. The three went back and forth as they battled through lapped riders—lapping everyone up to 12th place. They fought through the traffic as Roczen was still holding onto the lead.
Tomac caught up to Roczen as they were close to one another in several turns. They followed each other closely around the track but then Musquin split them up when he passed Tomac in the turn heading into the sand section—where Cianciarulo made his title-clinching pass on Cooper in the 250 Class moto. Marv then made it way around Roczen over the finish line jump as they received the two-lap flag. This was probably one of the best battles we’ve seen from these three. After the moto, the three acknowledged the battle.
“It was hard to believe I could have passed those guys…it was a lot of fun,” Musquin said. “I know I’m battling with Kenny for second in the championship.”
Roczen wasn’t able to hang on to the win but he finished in second.
“I’m gonna give it my all…probably the funnest race we’ve had all year…I gave it my all again at the last lap,” Roczen said.
Although he’s won the title already, Tomac isn’t going to let Roczen and Musquin have it easy today.
“I was doing what I could,” he said. “I was going hard.”
|1||Marvin Musquin||2:01.043||17 Laps||La Reole||KTM 450 SX-F|
|2||Ken Roczen||2:01.750||+00.707||Mattstedt||Honda CRF450R|
|3||Eli Tomac||2:01.625||+02.613||Cortez, CO||Kawasaki KX450|
|4||Joey Savatgy||2:02.634||+22.133||Thomasville, GA||Kawasaki KX450|
|5||Zach Osborne||2:02.246||+41.982||Abingdon, VA||Husqvarna FC 450|
250 CLASS MOTO TWO
Ferrandis grabbed the holeshot ahead of Cooper and Cianciarulo. Right behind them was RJ Hampshire. GEICO Honda teammates Hampshire and Sexton swapped places after Hampshire lost the pace and Sexton kept it. The top three guys continued their battles from the first moto. Sexton then challenged by Cianciarulo, who looked like he didn’t give much of a fight. Hampshire was challenged by Mosiman. Mosiman took fifth place—he would finish 5-5 for fifth overall.
Ferrandis went on to sweep the motos, finishing with nine moto wins on the year and winning four overall in the last six rounds—although he would finish 20 points behind Cianciarulo in the championship.
“I knew it was going to be tough…It’s a good season so far, it’s my best season of my career so far,” Ferrandis said, referring to his ultimate goal in the sport, winning the supercross title.
“It’s been a journey…As a kid I always knew I’d be here,” Cianciarulo said.
AC said he wouldn’t change his history, as it’s formed the person he’s become.
“It kind of catapulted me to do something that I didn’t think I was capable of doing—winning this championship,” he said. “I’ll hold onto this forever, no one can take this from me.”
Cooper finished 3-2 for second overall.
“It was good to close the season out on the podium like this, Cooper said. “It’ll be good to go represent the country in the biggest race of my life.”
Sexton finished 4-3 for fourth overall. While not in the championship battle after missing several rounds and struggling at the middle of the season, Sexton is already hungry for next year.
“Heading into this off-season, it’s going to motivating to go try and win this West coast championship.”
|Avignon||1 - 1||Yamaha YZ250F|
|Cold Spring Harbor, NY||3 - 2||Yamaha YZ250F|
|Port Orange, FL||2 - 4||Kawasaki KX250F|
|La Moille, IL||4 - 3||Honda CRF250R|
|Sebastopol, CA||5 - 5||Husqvarna FC 250|
450 CLASS MOTO TWO
Savatgy grabbed his second holeshot on the day. Within a few turns, Osborne and Musquin got tangled in a turn—Osborne was able to save it but Musquin went down hard. He sat on the track as the field went by, unable to get up with so much hecticness at the start. Musquin was able to get up but limped off the track, unable to continue the race. Tomac made his way around Roczen to overtake second place behind his teammate Savatgy and the two were challenged by Osborne, who sat in third. Osborne ended up getting around both Tomac and Roczen to take over second place. Roczen eventually bounced back to was side-by-side with Savatgy but successfully made a pass on the rookie in the turn following the Godzilla jump. Savatgy lost another position when Tomac overtook second place in the turn going into the sand section. Savatgy had lost several spots but his mechanic wrote “ALL IN MATCH PACE” on his pit board to motivate Joey to keep the lead pack’s pace. He lost another position in the section near Godzilla when Osborne took the inside line of the U-turn. Osborne continued to charge towards Tomac and Roczen as the lapped riders played an impact in their lap times again. Tomac made a move on Roczen to take the lead with about eight minutes to go, giving him the overall as his 3-1 moto scores bested Roczen’s 2-2 moto scores. Osborne gained another position in the Godzilla section when he got around Roczen to take second place. Tomac’s 3-1 stood as Roczen fell to 2-3 finishes for second overall, and Osborne’s 5-2 gave him third overall.
“Even though the title was clinched it was still a fun day. We came in here with the plan to do the same thing. The mindset was to attack,” said Tomac. “The first lap [in moto two] was chaos with Marv [Musquin’s crash] and then Kenny [Roczen] got by. He’s just so good in the early laps. I was able to stay on him and then got by. What a day and what a year.”
Roczen said afterwards that he saw Musquin had gone down. He continued the race and was trying to finish as best as he could and was trying to not worry about Musquin. He wasn’t sure what had happened until he got the message from his mechanic that Musquin didn’t finish the moto. He said it was a bummer to see Musquin not be able to finish the race.
As far as Musquin’s condition, he was carted off the track by the medical crew. Stephan Legrand of LeBigUSA.com, reported that Musquin was walking around the team tent, although he was pretty banged up. He will be going to get an MRI tomorrow. We will provide more information when it becomes available. With Musquin gaining no points in the second moto, Roczen finished second in class points. Anderson just edged out Osborne (407 to 403) to finish fourth in points.
|1||Eli Tomac||Cortez, CO||3 - 1||Kawasaki KX450|
|2||Ken Roczen||Mattstedt||2 - 3||Honda CRF450R|
|3||Zach Osborne||Abingdon, VA||5 - 2||Husqvarna FC 450|
|4||Joey Savatgy||Thomasville, GA||4 - 6||Kawasaki KX450|
|5||Justin Barcia||Monroe, NY||7 - 4||Yamaha YZ450F|