Welcome to the Race Day Feed for the eighth round of the 2021 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship, taking place at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. From practice reports to the blow-by-blow from tonight’s program, 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.
One thing you need to know: 250SX West Region is here! It's a good feeling after so many 250SX East riders went down with injury. Those boys needed a break, and the West riders were ready to go. Well, kind of. A lot of the west contenders are racing the second coast due to off-season injuries and issues. Justin Cooper might be a favorite but he broke his foot a few weeks ago, for example. Yesterday, Cooper said he was worried his season was in danger but the injury wasn't bad, and he was back on the bike quickly enough to not lose fitness. Jordon Smith was coming off of a torn ACL at Daytona last year and then tore a ligament in his thumb in December. Hunter Lawrence is in for his first full supercross season after off-season shoulder surgery.
Then you have a ton of young kids doing this for the first time: Jarrett Frye, Nate Thrasher, Carson Mumford, Seth Hammaker, Stilez Robertson, Dilan Schwartz, Ty Masterpool and others. It's crazy how many riders have stories to tell and things to learn as they approach this opener.
Then you have Jeremy Martin at the other end of the scale, healthy and said to be flying at the test track in his return with Monster Energy/Star Racing Yamaha. Is this the year J-Mart finally gets this done?
Garrett Marchbanks appeared on the right pathway to success by taking his first career win last year at Daytona, but then somehow he ended up out of a ride for 2021. He's on the ClubMX team now, but that team was sneaky good with results last year and says they're even better this time. Can Marchbanks, one of the biggest riders in the class, become the giant killer with a privateer team?
Also of note, several 250SX East Region riders stuck around and will race the 450 class today.
Justin Brayton is out for this evening after a big crash during the week while riding in Florida. He hurt his chest but hopes to be back for Daytona after the series gets a weekend off. It was hoped that Chase Sexton would be back for this round but he is holding off until Daytona. Max Anstie is back, though, for his first race this season following a back injury right before the season opener.
Our Steve Matthes is at the track and checked in with this:
Welcome to Orlando 2 SX everyone! Unlike last week, the weather today is great, the sun is out and a warm breeze has greeted the teams here. Unfortunately the weather was a factor this week as in the guys at Dirt Wurx didn’t get to create a whole new track from last week. In fact, I’d say 80 percent of the track is the same as Orlando 1. Everything is built up, there’s a little different rhythm in one lane and there’s an off-camber put in after the whoops but outside of that, not too much.
The 250SX West Region guys of course are making their debut here and it was a good luck at the rookies out there. The Star Yamaha kids looked good, Nate Thrasher went down early but was fine. Jarrett Frye was on it right from the get go. The best rookie though, early, was Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Seth Hammaker who looked comfy and up front right away.
Eli Tomac, in what some are saying is a must win (AHEM DANIEL BLAIR) race for him, topped the seeded 450s. The pace of the seeded group seemed higher than usual and maybe that was because of the familiarity with the track?
There’s a bunch of new 450SX riders this week with Michell Oldenburg (jumping to the Muc-Off Honda 450) topping his unseeded practice and Twisted Tea/HEP Motorsports Suzuki’s Max Anstie being the best out of his group. And then of course there’s a whole bunch of 250SX East riders racing their 250s in the 450SX class.
All in all, Orlando 2 is shaping up to be interesting with all the new 450SX guys as well as a whole new championship in 250SX West Region.
Because of the big gang of 250SX West riders, and because so many 250SX East riders are jumping to the 450 class, this is the biggest field of riders we've seen all year. So, we now have A, B and C divisions in practice for both classes. Normally we only see A and B (last week we saw a rare 450C group) but this week sees so many riders who have not scored points that the unseeded group has been split in half, into B and C.
In the 250 B group, Seth Hammaker came out firing in both the free practice and the first timed practice of the day. Stylez Robertson was on top briefly as well, but Hammaker returned to the top. That’s two times that the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider has led his rookie group in times. This is Hammaker’s pro debut.
|1||Seth Hammaker||52.4450||Bainbridge, PA||Kawasaki KX250|
|2||Stilez Robertson||52.9410||Bakersfield, CA||Husqvarna FC 250|
|3||Nate Thrasher||53.0090||Livingston, TN||Yamaha YZ250F|
|4||Dilan Schwartz||53.4610||Alpine, CA||Suzuki RM-Z250|
|5||Carson Brown||53.5970||Ravensdale, WA||Husqvarna FC 250|
|1||Dominique Thury||55.4450||Schneeberg||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2||Ramyller Alves||55.5550||Coconut Creek, FL||KTM 250 SX-F|
|3||Calvin Fonvieille||56.3210||Lescure d'Albigeois||KTM 250 SX-F|
|4||Corbin Hayes||57.0400||Folsom, CA||Husqvarna FC 250|
|5||Logan Boye||57.0700||Cape Coral, FL||KTM 250 SX-F|
Hunter Lawrence was on top early in this 250 A session, a nice sign from the Australian embarking (finally) on his first full supercross season. Then Jeremy Martin, to no one’s surprise moved to the top. Then it was Jordon Smith and Justin Cooper . On the eighth lap Justin Cooper took the top spot ahead of his teammate Martin. Then came Alex Martin in fourth, and how about Chris “The Kyle Chisholm of the 250SX class” Blose in fifth for awhile?
“Yeah I think for everyone there’s a lot of nerves today, lots of waiting and anticipation,” said Cooper. “I had an injury and I’m just doing my best with it. Gotta be here to be in the championship. I didn’t lose too much fitness so I think we’ll be okay. Just gotta find a good setting with the bike and I think we’ll be good.”
|1||Justin Cooper||51.4230||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2||Jeremy Martin||51.5130||Millville, MN||Yamaha YZ250F|
|3||Jordon Smith||51.8390||Belmont, NC||Kawasaki KX250|
|4||Alex Martin||52.3450||Millville, MN||Yamaha YZ250F|
|5||Hunter Lawrence||52.3840||Landsborough||Honda CRF250R|
Frenchman Dylan Ferrandis and Marvin Musquin nailed the first fast times of this 450 session. Then it was Roczen and then Webb at the top. This is three weeks in a row with Webb turning in fast times early—perhaps we need to erase the old “don’t worry about qualifying with Cooper” mantra.
Then Ferrandis came back! He edged Webb by almost three tenths of a second to take the top spot. That’s impressive for Dylan, his first fast qualifying spot in the 450 class. Webb and Roczen were second and third, then it was Cianciarulo, Musquin and Osborne.
Ferrandis was even more impressive considering he crashed out of last weekend’s main event after going down and getting hit by Adam Cianciarulo.
“Honestly it’s hard on my left side, it’s bruised and painful, but I can ran, I have to ride through the pain,” said Ferrandis. “Last week just a small crash, wrong place, AC had nowhere to go. Lot of changes on the bike the team and I worked so hard. First time on the 450 this year so there’s a lot to learn. The track is really sketchy right now so we’ll see in the second qualifying how it is.”
No doubt Ferrandis was referring to how dry and slick the track looks right now.
Justin Barcia had a small crash in that session but did not go back out on the track once he got up.
In the B 450 group, Max Anstie again looked early and had his number on the top of the charts, but his HEP/Twisted Tea Suzuki teammate Adam Enticknap went down, leading to a red flag. The session restarted and Anstie himself had a crash, but he was quickly back up. Anstie’s time held out for the top spot over Alex Ray (who missed a race with COVID-19 but is now back).
722 broke his collarbone, maybe shoulder injury also. Bummer— Steve Matthes (@pulpmx) February 20, 2021
Mitchell Oldenburg has been the best of the bunch in the 450 C group, which is comprised primarily of 250SX East riders. Will be interesting to see how “Freckle” fairs on the big bike tonight
|1||Dylan Ferrandis||50.2370||Avignon||Yamaha YZ450F|
|2||Cooper Webb||50.5230||Newport, NC||KTM 450 SX-F|
|3||Ken Roczen||50.6260||Mattstedt||Honda CRF450R|
|4||Adam Cianciarulo||50.7130||Port Orange, FL||Kawasaki KX450|
|5||Marvin Musquin||50.7280||La Reole||KTM 450 SX-F|
|1||Max Anstie||53.3670||Newbury, England||Suzuki RM-Z450|
|2||Alex Ray||54.0500||Jackson, TN||Kawasaki KX450|
|3||Justin Starling||54.0730||Deland, FL||KTM 450 SX-F|
|4||Carlen Gardner||54.0960||Paso Robles, CA||Honda CRF450R|
|5||Ronnie Stewart||54.1610||Easton, PA||GasGas MC 450F|
|1||Mitchell Oldenburg||52.4530||Alvord, TX||Honda CRF450R|
|2||Logan Karnow||54.2290||Vermilion, OH||Kawasaki KX450|
|3||Hunter Sayles||54.5170||Merrill, WI||KTM 250 SX-F|
|4||Theodore Pauli||54.9530||Edwardsville, IL||Kawasaki KX450|
|5||Hunter Schlosser||55.6560||El Paso, TX||Yamaha YZ250F|
Qualifying session 2
When the 250SX West Region took to the track for the final time, in the 250SX C group, Blaine Silveira got out front early and took off. When the times came in, Dominique Thury was quick to the top of the session with a 53.774. Thury eventually bested his time with a 53.198. Thury was looking great today. At the very end of the session, Thury made a mistake in the second turn (the bike 180-degree turn with a net) and he was launched off his bike and over the berm! Luckily, he climbed back up over the Tuff Blox, remounted, and seemed to be okay.
|1||Dominique Thury||53.1980||Schneeberg||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2||Ramyller Alves||54.1650||Coconut Creek, FL||KTM 250 SX-F|
|3||Calvin Fonvieille||54.2970||Lescure d'Albigeois||KTM 250 SX-F|
|4||Logan Leitzel||55.3590||Dillsburg, PA||Kawasaki KX250|
|5||Corbin Hayes||55.3640||Folsom, CA||Husqvarna FC 250|
In the final 250SX B qualifying session with a large chunk of rookies, Ryan Surratt, Stilez Robertson, and Seth Hammaker led the group around early. Hammaker’s 52.821 topped the session early. Robertson was putting in a hot lap when he got wild in the whoops. He was jumping through the big whoops when his big quickly went vertical in the middle of the section. The rookie slammed on the breaks and saved it, it could have been bad. Robertson jumped into second with a 53.083 but then Carson Brown put in a heater on his JMC Motorsports FC 250 and moved up to second in the group with a 52.966. Then Hammaker dropped the hammer and put in a 51.330—the fastest 250SX time of the day so far (note, the second final 250SX A group is up next). Robertson then reclaimed the second spot in the session with a 52.269. Bar X/Chaparral/Ecstar Suzuki supercross rookie Dilan Schwartz had a small tip over in the turn after the finish line but he later dropped a 53.027. Monster Energy/Star Yamaha Racing supercross rookie teammates Jarrett Frye and Nate Thrasher finished the session fifth and sixth, respectively.
|1||Seth Hammaker||51.3300||Bainbridge, PA||Kawasaki KX250|
|2||Stilez Robertson||52.2690||Bakersfield, CA||Husqvarna FC 250|
|3||Carson Brown||52.9660||Ravensdale, WA||Husqvarna FC 250|
|4||Dilan Schwartz||53.0270||Alpine, CA||Suzuki RM-Z250|
|5||Jarrett Frye||53.2440||Mechanicsville, MD||Yamaha YZ250F|
Alex Martin took conTROLL of the session out of the gates. He dropped a 52.426 to top the group early. Teammates Cameron McAdoo (52.448) and Jordon Smith (53.442) put in heaters to sit second and third until then Justin Cooper put in 51.311 to move the top three riders all down one spot. McAdoo then dropped his time to 52.260. Cooper’s 51.311 just barely bumps Hammaker’s 51.330 from the 250SX B group as the top time of the day. Immediately, Jeremy Martin entered the party with a 52.394 to sit behind Cooper and McAdoo. Cooper then lowered his time with a 51.095 after putting together another clean, fast lap where he was jumping through the whoops efficiently. J-Mart then put in a 52.034 but Cooper’s topped the 250SX qualifying today with his 51.095.
“I feel good right now,” Cooper said on his fastest qualifier. “The track did me more problems than my foot, that’s for sure. It’s tricky. It’s slippery already so it’s going to be interesting to see what the track crew does with it over the break. I think we’re going to have our work cut out for us. The track’s pretty tough right now. Good start to the day, just gotta get good starts tonight and just put myself in a good position.”
|1||Justin Cooper||51.0950||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2||Jeremy Martin||52.0340||Millville, MN||Yamaha YZ250F|
|3||Jordon Smith||52.1210||Belmont, NC||Kawasaki KX250|
|4||Hunter Lawrence||52.2590||Landsborough||Honda CRF250R|
|5||Cameron McAdoo||52.2600||Sioux City, IA||Kawasaki KX250|
|1||Justin Cooper||51.0950||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2||Seth Hammaker||51.3300||Bainbridge, PA||Kawasaki KX250|
|3||Jeremy Martin||51.5130||Millville, MN||Yamaha YZ250F|
|4||Jordon Smith||51.8390||Belmont, NC||Kawasaki KX250|
|5||Hunter Lawrence||52.2590||Landsborough||Honda CRF250R|
When the top 450SX riders took to the track for their final qualifying session, Eli Tomac grabbed the fake holeshot. He led the group around for the first few laps but it was his teammate Adam Cianciarulo who sat P1 after the first times came through. AC’s 51.773 was quickly bested by Cooper Webb’s 50.475. Ken Roczen went down before the whoops but got up fine. Late in the session, Anderson moved into the second spot with a 50.343. Then at the end of the session, Anderson went triple-triple in the section before the finish line and put in a 50.161 to top the session. Anderson’s time also topped Dylan Ferrandis’ time from the first session to take the top qualifier time of the day—his first of the season.
“All in all, I’m just trying to get better no matter what the conditions are,” Anderson said. “I was able to keep making that lap time quicker and quicker that practice, which is something I haven’t really been comfortable enough to do this year. So yeah, I’m stoked. I’m ready to go out there and do some battling tonight. I felt good last weekend, just trying to make steps in the right direction and just trying to enjoy myself whether if it’s a good night or a bad night. But all in all, I’m excited to be out here. Let’s go for it.”
|1||Jason Anderson||50.1610||Edgewood, NM||Husqvarna FC 450|
|2||Cooper Webb||50.2170||Newport, NC||KTM 450 SX-F|
|3||Eli Tomac||50.6700||Cortez, CO||Kawasaki KX450|
|4||Dylan Ferrandis||50.7270||Avignon||Yamaha YZ450F|
|5||Benny Bloss||50.7690||Oak Grove, MO||Honda CRF450R|
In the 450SX B session, Alex Ray was sitting at the top of the session. With about four minutes left in the session, Justin Starling went down hard and the session was paused. (Side note, during the break, Fredrik Noren showed off his skills by doing a stoppie and engaging his holeshot device singlehandedly).
|1||Max Anstie||53.3130||Newbury, England||Suzuki RM-Z450|
|2||Tyler Bowers||53.3260||Danville, KY||Kawasaki KX450|
|3||Alex Ray||53.3640||Jackson, TN||Kawasaki KX450|
|4||Cade Clason||53.6090||Arcadia, OH||Kawasaki KX450|
|5||Fredrik Noren||54.0590||Lidköping||Kawasaki KX450|
The 450 C group has once again become the land of the 250SX East riders, as Oldenburg, Karnow, Moranz, Schlosser and Sayles topped this session, and then came came Greco, a 450 regular.
|1||Mitchell Oldenburg||53.3730||Alvord, TX||Honda CRF450R|
|2||Logan Karnow||54.8960||Vermilion, OH||Kawasaki KX450|
|3||Kevin Moranz||55.1660||Topeka, KS||KTM 250 SX-F|
|4||Hunter Schlosser||55.3560||El Paso, TX||Yamaha YZ250F|
|5||Hunter Sayles||55.5870||Merrill, WI||KTM 250 SX-F|
|1||Jason Anderson||50.1610||Edgewood, NM||Husqvarna FC 450|
|2||Cooper Webb||50.2170||Newport, NC||KTM 450 SX-F|
|3||Dylan Ferrandis||50.2370||Avignon||Yamaha YZ450F|
|4||Ken Roczen||50.6260||Mattstedt||Honda CRF450R|
|5||Eli Tomac||50.6700||Cortez, CO||Kawasaki KX450|
250 SX Heats
In the first 250SX Heat Race of the season, Seth Hammaker holeshots his first pro race! His teammate Jordon Smith is behind him but a third teammate in Cameron McAdoo takes over second immediately. Hammaker rode well, but McAdoo was able to take over the lead with three minutes remaining, as they left Smith behind. Then it was Blose, Owen and a good battle between Wageman, Alex Martin, Frye and Garrett Marchbanks. It became physical for the final transfer spot between familiar rookie foes, with Dilan Schwartz bumping Carson Mumford off the race track. Smith later had an off-track excursion that cost him a few spots, allowing the veteran Blose to take over third.
McAdoo established a tone for the season by taking the first heat race win.
“It was great to get a heat race win, but I didn’t feel like I was riding to my best,” said McAdoo. “We’ll make a few changes and I feel like we can be better in the main, but what a way to start it off.”
|1||Cameron McAdoo||9 Laps||0:50.544||Sioux City, IA||Kawasaki KX250|
|2||Seth Hammaker||+00.921||0:51.054||Bainbridge, PA||Kawasaki KX250|
|3||Chris Blose||+09.170||0:51.615||Phoenix, AZ||GasGas MC 250F|
|4||Alex Martin||+10.072||0:51.080||Millville, MN||Yamaha YZ250F|
|5||Jordon Smith||+15.534||0:50.486||Belmont, NC||Kawasaki KX250|
In heat two, Hunter Lawrence holeshot but Jeremy Martin quickly got around him. Lawrence made a few big mistakes but avoided the big crash, although Mitchell Harrison nearly got by him, with rookie Stylez Robertson right there as well. Lawrence managed to fend off the charge from Harrison. Further back, Justin Cooper was on a charge after a bad start and started passing riders in bunches. He made it through Robertson, Harrison and Lawrence to get up to second, making for a Monster Energy/Star Racing Yamaha 1-2. Lawrence was a solid third, exactly the way he needed to start this season after missing several supercross campaigns with injury. Robertson was a solid fourth, a good rookie debut, then came Kyle Peters, who was about 12th early by made impressive passes going forward. Jalek Swoll, Harrison, Rammy Alves and Joey Crown rounded out the transfer spots. Sean Cantrell was in position make it late but went for a wild ride in the whoops and crashed.
Jeremy Martin made it easy en route to the heat two win. “The packages is nice, I like the way the blue machine looks, but last year I had a great package too, but unfortunately we lost a title sponsor and the doors had to close,” he said of his old GEICO Honda team. “We’ve been making changes, haven’t felt the best all day, but that heat race was good. I’m excited to be here racing and pumped to head to the main.”
|1||Jeremy Martin||8 Laps||0:51.147||Millville, MN||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2||Justin Cooper||+04.306||0:50.687||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
|3||Hunter Lawrence||+08.074||0:52.056||Landsborough||Honda CRF250R|
|4||Stilez Robertson||+12.057||0:51.736||Bakersfield, CA||Husqvarna FC 250|
|5||Kyle Peters||+14.905||0:51.973||Greensboro, NC||Honda CRF250R|
Justin Barcia and Ken Roczen battled for the holeshot in this 450 Heat 2 with Roczen locking the lead down. Then came Cooper Webb and Adam Cianciarulo, Webb didn’t triple in a rhythm and Cianciarulo got him, then Cianciarulo edged ahead of Barcia. Webb tried to get inside of Barcia and caught his front brake on a tough block and went down. That set him into comeback mode. He would make it past Barcia four fourth, with Martin Davalos riding well for third.
"Don’t let the practice define your night," said Roczen. "I crashed in practice and I was kind of making fun of myself, I don’t know what was going on. I got the heat race win last night and I felt even better tonight. A good race track, it’s technical, but there’s a lot of dry parts shining through."
|1||Ken Roczen||9 Laps||0:49.579||Mattstedt||Honda CRF450R|
|2||Adam Cianciarulo||+01.151||0:49.563||Port Orange, FL||Kawasaki KX450|
|3||Martin Davalos||+03.921||0:49.764||Quito||KTM 450 SX-F|
|4||Cooper Webb||+06.733||0:49.661||Newport, NC||KTM 450 SX-F|
|5||Justin Barcia||+07.024||0:49.640||Monroe, NY||GasGas MC 450F|
This one turned into a battle between old rivals Marvin Musquin and Jason Anderson. Musquin was quickly into the lead but Anderson pushed him the whole way, but then came a last-lap move from Anderson that left Musquin on the ground.
“Yeah I mean it was last lap," said Anderson, who was also fastest in qualifying today. "I felt like I was giving him enough room and showing him my front wheel the laps before. I wanted to win that heat race, I feel like I’m ready to stop playing games. I feel like I’m ready to get out here and charge and battle those guys and not let them have it easy. Obviously I don’t want him to fall down, but at the same time I’m taking that spot. I’m having a good time. Let’s go!”
The biggest battle came from Monster Energy Star Yamaha teammates Dylan Ferrandis and Malcolm Stewart, who battled hard and then Stewart knocked his teammate down to take the spot. Both maintained qualifying positions. Their other teammate, Aaron Plessinger also rode very well to move up to third.
On the other end, Eli Tomac had a terrible start and the defending series' champion was only able to advance up to seventh.
|1||Jason Anderson||9 Laps||0:49.836||Edgewood, NM||Husqvarna FC 450|
|2||Marvin Musquin||+05.052||0:49.805||La Reole||KTM 450 SX-F|
|3||Aaron Plessinger||+06.366||0:50.204||Hamilton, OH||Yamaha YZ450F|
|4||Zach Osborne||+08.102||0:50.583||Abingdon, VA||Husqvarna FC 450|
|5||Malcolm Stewart||+09.186||0:50.159||Haines City, FL||Yamaha YZ450F|
Coty Shock nailed the holeshot in the 250LCQ, with Nate Thrasher right behind, then Martin Castello and Ty Masterpool. It was Diloan Schwartz on the move from the back, making aggressive passes. He caught Frenchman Cedric Soubeyras and they moved forward together, getting Masterpool and catching Castello. Then Jordan Bailey joined the party. It got unreal crazy on the last lap when Schwartz pulled a super aggressive move on Castello to steal the final spot, Bailey also got Castello and almost made the move on Schwartz, but Schwartz hung on for the final transfer, with Soubeyras, Thrasher and Schock just ahead.
|1||Coty Schock||7 Laps||0:52.807||Dover, DE||Honda CRF250R|
|2||Nate Thrasher||+00.690||0:52.534||Livingston, TN||Yamaha YZ250F|
|3||Cedric Soubeyras||+08.918||0:52.536||Entraigues Sue||GasGas MC 250F|
|4||Dilan Schwartz||+11.094||0:51.940||Alpine, CA||Suzuki RM-Z250|
|+11.417||0:52.473||Orlando, FL||Yamaha YZ250F|
Chiz is gonna Chiz right? Kyle Chisholm almost nailed the holeshot here but he pushed wide in turn one, allowing Brandon Hartranft to get the lead, but Chisholm quickly made a block pass to take the lead away. Then Dean Wilson came through and made a quick pass on Hartranft. Cade Clason passed 250cc mounted Kevin Moranz to take over fourth, but pressure was coming from Tyler Bowers, and Bowers made the aggressive pass and Clason hit the ground. This put Bowers into the final transfer spot. Bowers then got Hartranft, and all seemed set until Shane McElrath made a last ditch effort to get it done. With a lap to go McElrath got inside and made the pass on Hartranft for the final transfer spot.
|1||Dean Wilson||7 Laps||0:51.513||Scotland||Husqvarna FC 450|
|2||Kyle Chisholm||+03.308||0:51.788||Clearwater, FL||Yamaha YZ450F|
|3||Tyler Bowers||+05.490||0:51.853||Danville, KY||Kawasaki KX450|
|4||Shane McElrath||+05.757||0:51.640||Canton, NC||Honda CRF450R|
|5||Brandon Hartranft||+10.493||0:52.636||Brick, NJ||Suzuki RM-Z450|
250 West Main
Jace Owen snagged the holeshot, but Jeremy Martin and Stylez Robertson tangled while jumping different rhythms on the first section of jumps. Robertson went directly into Jeremy’s shoulder, sending the number six down hard. When he got up, he was holding his shoulder. Meanwhile, Alex Martin had crashed on the other side where Jeremy was down, and knocked himself out. That led to the red flag at the end of the first lap. Yes, both Martin brothers were down and out just seconds into the main event. Justin Cooper then worked his way into the lead over McAdoo, but the riders were sent back to the line for a restart, and McAdoo even clipped a medic worker who was attending to Alex Martin.
The Martins were both taken for rides back to the pits, but Robertson was able to line up for the restart. Justice was served as Justin Cooper nailed the holeshot on the restart with Jordon Smith behind him, then another good start for Owen, then Swoll. McAdoo was making quick moves in the whoops to try to get back toward the front, and he was quickly in fourth.
Three minutes into the race Jordon Smith went down hard in the whoops, ending his race after he was running in second place. Then Hammaker, the rookie who was riding so well, was up to fourth but got brake checked by Marchbanks and went down. That pushed him to tenth and moved Marchbanks to fourth.
Cooper pulled away from everyone with ease, but there were still crashes everywhere in what turned into a chaotic event. McAdoo was solid for second and Marchbanks got Swoll for the final podium spot. Hunter Lawrence started about tenth and methodically worked his way into fifth. Hammaker recovered for sixth, then came Peters, Blose, Wageman and Owen.
For Cooper, who had suffered a foot injury a few weeks ago, it was a nearly perfect start to the season. Not only did he dominate, but significant title contenders like the Martins and Smith didn’t even finish.
“I’ve never really had a red flag situation and then I have one when I’m leading in the main event,” said Cooper. “I’ve been struggling on starts, I knew I really needed a start but I nailed it. Then we had the restart. I nailed the start again—really crucial to nail it when it mattered. Now we get a two-week break and we can just get better.”
“Yeah I’m really proud of the podium and the work we’ve done this off season,” said McAdoo. “All the work they did with the new bike, it was a long off season, so it feels great to get up here and show the work paid off, yeah.”
Marchbanks pulled through for third.
“It’s been a long eight months, really long, with phone calls with other teams, no one wanted to support me, but at the end of the day ClubMX Yamaha was there to support me,” said Marchbanks.
|1||Justin Cooper||19 Laps||0:50.559||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2||Cameron McAdoo||+04.887||0:51.222||Sioux City, IA||Kawasaki KX250|
|3||Garrett Marchbanks||+19.080||0:51.451||Coalville, UT||Yamaha YZ250F|
|4||Jalek Swoll||+22.773||0:51.652||Belleview, FL||Husqvarna FC 250|
|5||Hunter Lawrence||+26.244||0:52.068||Landsborough||Honda CRF250R|
Barcia nailed the start but Cianciarulo wrestled it away with the inside of turn one, and Musquin slipped through as well. Barcia block passed Musquin hard to regain second, and Musquin went for a wild ride in the whoops and nearly crashed, allowing Cooper Webb to sneak by. This made the early order AC, Webb, Barcia, Musquin, then Tomac made a move on Malcolm Stewart to pull into fifth. Then Musquin passed Barcia for third using a slick combo of lines through the corners leading to the finish line.
Series’ leader Ken Roczen was not off to a good start, only the second time this year he’s not started near the front. Tomac made a big mistake in a corner and nearly went down, and Stewart got by him, and that allowed Roczen to get right on the rear wheel of his long-time rival.
Up front, Webb caught Cianciaurlo seven minutes into the race. He took the lead, but Cianciarulo stayed close, and Musquin also started putting it together. Only about 3 seconds stood between the top three, as Cianciarulo and Musquin looked ready to do battle with each other for second. AC made his Kawasaki wide to hold Musquin off, but then he got wheelspin while trying to jump into the whoops, and he endoed hard. That was the end of Cianciarulo’s race.
Musquin stayed close for a bit, but Webb was able to get away in the latter laps. He sailed on for his second-straight win and third of the season.
“Yeah this one’s huge, man back to back wins is amazing,” said Webb, who looked more pumped that usual with the race victory. “It was a great race battling with AC. To be in Orlando, I don’t know, I guess this is my new spot I guess. Orlando. Great race, great points tonight, Marv was coming at the end, I know he strong he is I ride with him every day. Man, what a beautiful race, I felt like start to finish I was in my comfort zone. Just incredible.”
Musquin completed a Red Bull KTM 1-2.
“Well you know what if feels really good to be running up front,” said Musquin. “I had a good start, lost a couple positions right there, I was maybe fifth or fourth, but I was able to come back. I was able to pass Justin Barcia, he’s hard to pass, but I was aggressive and I felt confident. The whoops were very, very tough. I think the humidity came up and I was spinning every lap. I was like “Man, be careful,” but at the same time I wanted to gain ground on Cooper, but I didn’t want the track to come out and bite me. I felt better today, it was a good comeback after that heat race, and the takeout and going down. I got second. I’m really happy.”
The battle for third was nuts. Tomac applied heavy pressure on Barcia but Barcia never put a wheel wrong, using every one of his defensive tactics to keep his long-time rival behind him. Late in the race, Tomac started to fade, and Roczen pounced on him. From even further back, Jason Anderson caught and passed Tomac in the whoops late in the race.
Roczen kept heat on Barcia all the way down to the last lap, but he couldn’t make the pass. Barcia, who had crashed out of practice earlier in the day and knocked the wind out of himself, held on for third.
“Yeah it was a tough day for sure, had a good crash in practice, that kind of banged me up,” said Barcia. “Track was difficult for me, I was struggling with it, searching, searching, searching. The team threw everything at it and got me comfortable. And the power of that thing got me off to a good start. It was a tough track for me, more west coast conditions and I’ve never been great at that. Looking forward to going to Daytona”
|1||Cooper Webb||25 Laps||0:49.486||Newport, NC||KTM 450 SX-F|
|2||Marvin Musquin||+03.040||0:49.429||La Reole||KTM 450 SX-F|
|3||Justin Barcia||+06.364||0:50.078||Monroe, NY||GasGas MC 450F|
|4||Ken Roczen||+07.408||0:49.638||Mattstedt||Honda CRF450R|
|5||Jason Anderson||+13.041||0:49.775||Edgewood, NM||Husqvarna FC 450|