Spring Creek MX Park is right up there with the best tracks on the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship calendar. In fact, I bet most would consider it the best actual track, but the allure of RedBud’s festival atmosphere and Unadilla’s storied tradition often overshadow Minnesota’s hallowed grounds. When factoring in soil, elevation, and the “fun factor,” I will take Spring Creek as best in class.
Dirty Little Secrets
Spring Creek’s start is long and fast. Riders barrel into a fast right-hander which also makes it difficult to use the rear brake. We often see riders blow through the first corner and have to climb the grass hill on the outside of the track. That speed only begets more speed as the next straightaway fires riders into a fast right and then hard on the brakes into a hard left. That first 20 seconds of the track is chaos defined and can see big crashes if things go awry.
The infamous sand whoops are next and with them, a chance to make passes and time gains on other riders. They are a little different each year but always present a challenge. The fastest way is to enter with as much speed as possible, skipping across the tops of each wave. That also comes with big risk, too, as things escalate quickly at higher speeds. The best opportunity for a pass here is to get a run on the lead rider by carrying more speed through the entry corner and using the momentum to propel you past them by the time you reach the far 180-left. That dynamic will happen many, many times on Saturday and riders will be angling for it each lap.
After firing back through the second set of whoops, riders head towards the Chadapult jump and up into the higher section of the track. This section is where things can get dicey as the downhills require a heavy dose of bravery and finesse. The mental fortitude to not only avoid braking but to actually accelerate down the steep decline is something to watch for. These downhills also require thought in setting up the suspension. Keeping the rear end down (shock) under heavy braking going directly downhill is a big ask but absolutely necessary for Spring Creek.
The track winds up and down the Spring Creek hills, flowing around back towards the finish line. There is not much passing to be had through this section but maintaining momentum is critical for low lap times. There are a few opportunities for block passing but most of the real position changes will be done once riders pass the finish line section and onto lap two.
The weather should be absolutely perfect this weekend so look for a perfect track, cool temps, and great racing. Starts could be more critical than normal as riders won’t be fading like they might at a July round at Spring Creek. The cooler temps will also help traction throughout the day and could also allow for a less-muddy qualifying session. With hotter days, track crews are forced to apply more water overnight which in turn makes for a muddy morning. In short, this should be an absolutely great day for racing.
After a RedBud doubleheader, it was nice to take a weekend off and gather my thoughts when it comes to fantasy moto. With four rounds left, things are starting to tighten up if needing to make big moves. I think Spring Creek will be a good opportunity to take a swing for the proverbial fence. I don’t know if I will personally take that approach, but each team has to analyze their position and then assess risk accordingly.
The biggest keys will be that the weather should be ideal. That will help the privateers more than anyone else. Their motorcycles won’t be as taxed, and their fitness won’t be as big of a factor. Starts will be more critical because of this, too. Riders won’t be fading at the end of the moto so a late stage attack might be less fruitful. I also believe that Spring Creek favors the local racers as this track was a staple of their youth. Spring Creek has several races throughout the season and District 23 is a thriving bunch. Riders like Henry Miller are a good pick here, as well as the Martin brothers (duh).
In the 450 Class, look for practice partners Benny Bloss and Justin Bogle to be popular picks. They have been all over the map results wise, but could both pay big dividends on Saturday. Another rider that will eventually payoff is Alex Ray. He has had an incredibly rough time with mechanical failures but at some point, it will come around. Another rider to watch for is Jake Masterpool but buyer beware. His DNF likelihood is higher than I would prefer but maybe RedBud was the turning point for his 2020 campaign.
The Martin quartet of Alex, Jeremy, John, and Greta lead the first lap of moto one.
Not to be outdone by Gas Gas and Monster Yamaha, Frank Bushing fires an over-the-moon offer to Justin Barcia to race the all-American made, yet unorthodox engineered Team Hurricane 450.
Marvin Musquin’s podium interviews are given a half hour slot on NBC’s Must See TV Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT.
Adam Cianciarulo sets the fastest lap in timed qualifying and holeshots moto one.