TWO NATIONALS IN FOUR DAYS!!! That was pretty sweet for sure and to have them at RedBud MX was pretty awesome also. It was an interesting two races, the series is now past halfway and we’re starting to see some exciting stuff happen. Let’s dive into the two class, two races, four moto extravaganza that was RedBud 1 and 2, yeah?
First though, COVID-19. Yeah, it’s still weird that due to COVID-19. We couldn’t have any fans at the races that were not racing amateur days (which took place on Saturday and Sunday between the Friday and Monday pro races). So the crowd was probably 90 percent down from the usual July 4th holiday weekend crowd we usually see. It was…so bizarre to see. Especially for Monday’s race where I think some of the people who raced and had already seen one national didn’t stick around for race #2. There were probably, I don’t know, 1,000 people there. I hadn’t seen a race so empty since the Glen Helen USGP years ago.
I’ve been coming to RedBud for 25 years and to see it vacant was something I’ll never forget. I mean, this is usually the biggest spectator race on this schedule, and now it held the smallest crowd I’ve seen in decades. #2020
The racing was really good for both nationals and in a way, it was a little different because there wasn’t a lot of passing on Monday like usual. A lot of the racers remarked how different the track was, how tough it was to pass, how fast it was and how the usual lines that would develop on a national weekend, weren’t there. Monday’s race reminded me a bit of the Lakewood Nationals under the lights when the track had to be smooth because of the shadows. It wasn’t as smooth as those Colorado races, but it was very fast.
Friday’s race was more traditional because the muddy first set of practices allowed the usual ruts to develop. Also, a big factor in all of this was the temperature. It was in the mid-70s both days and simply amazing. Add this to the weirdness of the event, because we’re used to high temps at RedBud in July. It wasn’t bad, though, because it allowed the racers to not get as tired or worn out so they were fresher and faster than usual.
Weege mentioned this half-jokingly in our review podcast but what if we had 17 SX races, a two-month break and then a late summer/fall national series? We’d have fresher riders (riders would get healthy also in this time), you’d have more excitement built up with the summer break, you could race the new model bikes, you might get better attendance due to the weather being cooler and yeah man, sounds good to me. Who says no?
Probably the OEMs because they ruin everything. “Not enough time for SX,” they’d yell but what is the right amount of time needed? Two months seems plenty to me right?
Okay, let’s get into the results, yeah? Thanks to my buddy Clinton Fowler, I tabulated the points for each rider from all four motos over the two RedBuds and ranked them via their overall finishes from the two races. Like a mini “Redbud” series or something…
Let’s do this!
250 Class “RedBud Series” Results
1st | Jeremy Martin | 85 points
J-Mart’s ride at the first RedBud was amazing, he was on another level there and looked like Osborne’s 450 ride in that same race. Effortless, in control and very fast. I was surprised to see him as upset as he was over the Dylan Ferrandis move at the second RedBud. Look, it was Dylan’s fault because there wasn’t enough room there (clearly, because he went down also) but it was an understandable attempt by the Frenchman. J-Mart’s using the whole “the world is against me” motivational technique that’s worked for him before, he thrives on some of this type of conflict because he’s a bulldog out there. The good thing about him being so angry with DF is that we’re sure to see some hatred between these two going forward and we’ll all be winners with that!
2nd | RJ Hampshire | 80 points
Hampshire pretty much moved forward in every moto. He won the overall at RB2 even though he didn’t win a moto. Hampshire is somehow better than ever coming off an ACL surgery! It’s amazing, he’s very loose but man he rides with a lot of heart. The errors he does make are from just trying too hard, really. It’s taken a while but with the change of training and bike, it’s a new RJ Hampshire. He’s very much for real.
3rd | Dylan Ferrandis | 72 points
I’m still on the Ferrandis title train because he made up a few points at RB2 on J-Mart but I could be talked out of it for sure due to the fact his shoulder could be an issue going forward from here. Well, that and his god-awful starts! He’s on the UNDISPUTED fastest bike in the class and somehow, he can’t get it done out of the gate. He’s still the fastest guy as we saw in RB 2 but he gave away 13 total points over the two races and he’s 9 down. Again, he’s the fastest dude on the fastest bike and when that happens, those guys usually win (see Holland, Lamson, Dymond, Villopoto, Carmichael, Barnett, etc. for more on that theory) but Martinville is the next race on the schedule and his margin of error is getting smaller. By the way, Ferrandis passed an astounding 55 riders in four motos at the two races.
4th | Shane McElrath | 71 points
Shane got a moto win which is awesome and generally outside of one moto when he got a poop start, he rode well. More than anything, I’m upset at the situation that Shane confirmed: yes, “Feld Entertainment/AMA” came to him and said that, YET AGAIN, they might change the 250SX point out rule for this year so Shane could stay down. Shane did say he hopes to geta 450 ride anyway so it might not matter, but, still. I have no idea what rationalization they could use but they’ll figure something out. Just stop with the charade of the 250SX pointing out rule, okay? It’s a clown show and if you’re just going to keep changing rules, make it so you can stay down forever. I mean, what’s the difference?
5th | Jett Lawrence | 64 points
The Jett is SO close to an overall podium it’s got to be driving him nutty. Or one would think anyways, he rode well in all the motos and was even somewhat okay after being taken out (not on purpose) by Ty Masterpool’s bike. I think for Jett this year is a learning year (he hasn’t ridden any of these tracks) and he’ll probably still get on the box here and there. In 2021 though, I think The Jett will start getting wins.
6th | Alex Martin | 58 points
Well, “we” lost some points in our title chase but as I said before, “we” need starts to win in this class and “we” never really got them in any of the four motos. And there was a crash or off-track excursion in there as well. The good news is that “we” are, like, 32 years old and on a bike many think to be the worst one in the class and “we” jumped LaRocco’s Leap more than a few times so there’s that. “We’re” going into our home national as well so that’s a good spot to turn this thing around. ALL ABOARDDDD!!!!!
7th | Justin Cooper | 57 points
I thought Cooper was going to be “back” to his old ways after his slow start, but at Redbud, he went backwards as much as he went forward. For a guy whose career podium percentage was amazing, he’s sure not having a very good MX season from his usual standards. Also, remember how poorly (for him) the SLC SX’s went as well. Injuries at the wrong times are starting to add up. Odd right?
8th | Ty Masterpool | 54 points
Masterpool came back to racing, grabbed two holeshots, led 22 laps in four motos, jumped LaRocco’s Leap the most out of any 250 Class rider and all in all, had a great return to the series. Hard to know what to think about Ty Masterpool and his future prospects, right? He hasn’t done SX, he’s on the best bike, he’s missed half the series this year. This eighth overall (at both races) was only his third top ten overall in 13 races so…insert shoulder shrug here.
9th | Cameron Mcadoo | 46 points
As always, RAM IT made it interesting as he crashed in one of the four motos and worked his way up from WAY back inside the top 20. His average qualifying over the two races was a 17th and that’s not the McAdoo we know, right?
10th | Mitchell Harrison | 40 points
Harrison’s fitness wasn’t where it needed to be to start the series but he’s ridden himself into better shape. The fill in Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider and had his best race so far at RedBud 2. He’s a Michigan Mafia member so that’s to be expected (although he says he didn’t ride this track that much growing up, Baja Acres is his real home track). He got 10th overall with a DNF in there as well so that’s pretty good. There’s not a lot of rides open in the 250 class so although I think Harrison’s good enough to get one, I just don’t know where that will be.
11th | Derek Drake | 34 points
Man, I haven’t noticed Drake much this year and that’s not a good thing. Where is the Drake that holeshot at WW Ranch Motocross Park last year and ran up front? Yeah he crashed out but that was…something, right?
12th | Brandon Hartranft | 34 points
Hartranft came off his first podium at Ironman but over the four motos at RedBud MX, he was very much the same guy he was the week before Ironman. Which kind of sucks for Brandon for sure. I hear that the 2021 Troy Lee Designs/Gas Gas team has to choose between Hartranft and Drake for the final spot soooooo yeah, keep an eye on that going forward.
13th | Jo Shimoda | 32 points
Shimoda is so start dependent, he’s not good enough to rip through the pack without a start and that’s not a good thing by the way. One moto he was very good though and his fitness and speed seemed to be on point and other ones he looked, to me, tired and not very quick. Go figure.
14th | Stilez Robertson | 30 points
Saw Stilez out with Mike Brown for dinner on Sunday night. That’s an invaluable resource for someone like Robertson to use. Mike can tell him things like how to be aggressive, how to haul ass and be gnarly on a bike, how to not answer text messages for weeks, how to beat Keefer on the track, and more!
15th | Hunter Lawrence | 24 points
A couple of times in the four motos over the two races, Hunter was pretty much last. Sooooo yeah, he’s had some of the worst luck going on in these nationals on top of his shoulder issue. He had the highest position after lap one out of anyone in the top twenty due to his issues. This was a guy that won motos last year everyone, let’s please try not to forget that.
16th | Carson Mumford | 24 points
Not the weekend that Mumford wanted, he qualified 16th over the two races and that right there should tell you how he felt about his time in Michigan because he can go faster than that. Qualified 16th, his average first lap position was 16th and he finished an average of 13th so yeah, it was that kind of weekend for Mumfy.
17th | Mason Gonzales | 22 points
“Speedy” was good in all the races, not like, Barcia rookie year good or anything like that but on a privateer bike he got starts, he charged hard and didn’t look out of place compared to the factory guys around him.
18th | Darian Sanayei | 17 points
Sanayei’s a good dude and he got good starts at RedBud 1 but he’s dealing with a shoulder injury (he said it was the third time he’s dislocated that shoulder) that affected him with the short layover for the second race. On the PulpMX Show the other night, it didn’t sound great for him continuing to race this series. Even if he does, he will not be 100 percent and needs surgery for sure. Bummer for a dude like Darian that gets the shot of a lifetime and now has to deal with this.
19th | Nick Gaines | 16 points
20th | Jalek Swoll | 12 points
Swoll made his return to the track from an injury (concussion) and although this wasn’t ideal, I know some crashes set him back. He’s got to start improving each week, though, if he wants to start making an impact with the team’s decision makers I’m sure.
450 Class “RedBud Series” Results
1st | Zachary Osborne | 90 points
Look, I’m not going to say that “people” were worried about Osborne after Ironman but this doubleheader was a big one for the #16 to show us that without rain and weather, he was going to be a guy. Ironman wasn’t bad, it was good…it wasn’t “great” though. Well, these two weekends, outside of one moto where he went from second to fourth was great. His domination at Friday’s national was all I needed to see from Wacko. What a day that was! Monday’s race was very good also and it was an impressive weekend for Zach. Also, by the way, my pre-season hype on the #16 seems to be justified.
2nd | Adam Cianciarulo | 81 points
Adam won! It took the kid four races to win his first ever 450 Class race and he was getting closer and closer each week to having the stamina to run with the front guys (breaking news: he already had the speed) and at RedBud 2, he probably should’ve went 1-1 if it wasn’t for an incident with a lapped rider. I will not be surprised if, with Osborne thinking of the title, AC rips off a few more wins here as the series winds down. By the way, has anyone thought that just maybe Cianciarulo is an outdoor specialist only? IJS.
3rd | Marvin Musquin | 75 points
Musquin was steady all weekend long which, like, he usually is. His moto win at Ironman remains the highlight for him and I’m sure if you asked him, the lowlight would be getting Bam Bam’d out there. Musquin’s quietly second in the points and you just know that we’ll talk about Wacko’s wins and speed and AC’s raw speed and what’s up with Eli but the steadiest out of all the elite dudes is Marv. Beware the Marv!
4th | Eli Tomac | 70 points
Tomac’s weekend went as such: 13th average first lap position, 34 riders passed in four motos and one (!?!) moto podium out of four. One of Eli’s greatest strengths is his fitness and with the temperatures so low, nobody really got wore out and because Tomac’s starts weren’t there, he couldn’t make up spots like he usually does. To make things worse, he got passed in the points by AC also. Tomac’s kind of out of this title fight and that’s super weird to type out but it IS 2020 so expect the unexpected.
5th | Blake Baggett | 65 points
I don’t know man, Blake Baggett went out and won the fourth and final moto of the doubleheader. Just another chapter to Blake being Blake and we’ll continue to never be able to figure him out. Good for him but I cannot and will not say that “Baggett is back” …I can’t.
6th | Justin Barcia | 64 points
I want to have a camera at all times following Bam Bam around the track. Between the AC stuff at RedBud 1 and the Marv “pass” at RedBud 2, Justin Barcia continues his desire to be the most interesting man on the track most times. He was so good in a couple of motos and I bet he was hoping to do better coming off that Ironman ride and knowing that he had won here before, but mistakes (not all his doing) did him in. By the way, after all of us thought he was going to Gas Gas for 2021, it appears that Yamaha (for the first time in OEM history, I think) appears to have matched the offer from Gas Gas and therefore, per terms of the contract, Bam is going to stay blue for 2021.
7th | Chase Sexton | 62 points
Sexton scored a second overall at RedBud 1 and that was cool, he was very fast and consistent. Then his coach James Stewart showed up and he had his worst race of the year! I mean, it could’ve been the hard crash over LaRocco’s Leap he had in practice or the two crashes in the second moto but I’m thinking it was because he had James Stewart there watching him. I know I would fold under the pressure if JS7 showed up out of nowhere for the first time in years and hovered over my keyboard while I typed out this column. Sexton will be fine, he’s been impressive so far.
8th | Broc Tickle | 54 points
I walked in with Tick at RedBud 2 and he told me he’s looking to add some pepperoni to his day and that’s super weird thing to say to another dude except years ago I compared Broc to cheese pizza where it’s good, I’ll take it any day of the week, but adding pepperoni is much better. Tick’s good, he’s cheese pizza. No, I don’t know where I get these gifts from either. I’m already starting the Tickle to Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-KTM-WPS stuff BTW.
9th | Christian Craig | 53 points
I thought CC had a good two races, he got good starts, he ran the pace for a long time up front and yeah, he crashed in one of the motos and lost a few spots but his -8 score over the four motos is still okay. He’s so nice to watch out there, it’s ridiculous.
10 | Joseph Savatgy | 48 points
Savatgy’s weekend was a real tale of two races. First race he was just okay, not probably where he would want to be and the second one he qualified second, he got good starts and he was right up there in the second moto when he crashed and until then, it was the raciest we had seen Savatgy since the nationals started. The JGR guys made some suspension changes for race two and it seemed to help right?
11th | Dean Wilson | 39 points
Deano went 8-8 at Ironman and it seemed to be coming together for him right? Well the four motos at RedBud MX weren’t awesome (by the way, it was announced he signed a new deal with Rockstar Energy Husky for 2021 in the middle of the day during the first RedBud) as he never really seemed to get up into the mix and at RedBud 2, if I’m being honest, he looked tired and uninspired. Every rider I talked to BEFORE the race told me two races in four days won’t be an issue but there’s nothing like racing, right?
12th | Max Anstie | 35 points
I never got to the bottom of Anstie’s non broken jaw from Ironman. Clearly it’s not broken but how bad is it? Is he fine? Can he eat? Can he practice? I probably should’ve gone over there but with the whole COVID-19/media thing I’m not always sure how the teams will react you know? If Max could just text me how he’s doing, that would be great.
13th | Fredrik Noren | 23 points
“Fast Freddie” generally got good starts at both races but lost 43 spots in the four motos from first lap to last lap from crashes and getting passed. That’s no bueno for sure but Freddie’s one Achilles heel has always been crashing for sure. In RedBud 2 he stalled it and couldn’t get his bike going for the longest time and no, I’m not going to make an e-start joke here. I’m too classy for that.
14 | Henry Miller | 22 points
Nothing else matters about Henry’s weekend other than he rode about 25 min in one moto at RedBud 2 with NO SEAT, NO REAR FENDER AND NO SIDE PANELS. Yes, you read that right. He rode almost the whole moto like that out of the points. Which is awesome because that’s a great thing to see but also, you weren’t in the points so maybe pull it in? I’m so confused by Henry’s ride. It was something I’ll never forget seeing though!
15th | Justin Bogle | 21 points
I spoke with Bogle after the first race and that was the first one where he put two motos inside the top 20 together. Justin’s a good dude, he’s got a factory bike and he’s won races before so he knows what’s up. He’s also coming off a serious head injury (again) and needs time to get back into it. Yeah, it seems like long odds for him to get back to where he was but literally he was in this exact same spot at JGR in 2018 and he was winning 450SX heat races not that long later. Can he do it yet again is the question?
16th Justin Rodbell | 16 points
Rodbell is, without a doubt, the surprise of the series so far. Four motos inside the top 20 for a dude that not many people had heard of before. I mean, he’s got a real job! Maybe not for much longer if he keeps these rides up. I asked him in our podcast together if he ran #258 because he thought he was “one better than James Stewart” but he didn’t seem to get it. If you get a chance to talk to Rodbell, do it because he’s a funny dude.
17th | Jake Masterpool | 13 points
Masterpool had a couple of crappy races in a row so it’s got to feel good for him to have four motos at RedBud MX that were all pretty good. Maybe he was inspired by his brother coming back but he did great for PulpMX Fantasy owners also!
18th | Ben LaMay | 11 points
Ben’s nationals started off crappy with a thumb injury and bike issues but he seems to have figured that out lately. Just a veteran grinder out there, LaMay is good people.
19th | John Short | 10 points
John Short is going to always pass more dudes than pass him each and every moto he competes in. That didn’t change in his four motos at RedBud MX.
20th | Grant Harlan | 8 points
I know it says Harlan is from Hawaii on the AMA sheets but he’s not the next John DeSoto. He lived there until he was ten and then moved to the mainland. No matter, he’s an animal out there as a total privateer and his fitness has been good also.
Good times at RedBud MX this past weekend, that’s for sure. Weekend off and just four more to go before this series is wrapped up! That seems weird of course but just roll with it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to chat about this weekend’s race or whatever else.