After one week off, round three of Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross picked back up at the historic High Point Raceway…or Mt Morris if you’re MXA back in the day. High Point’s a great track, it’s got a lot of natural motocross obstacles, and it takes a different style to ride it correctly. They didn’t build some massive jump like so many other national tracks do, it doesn’t have 8000 yards of sand brought in like other tracks do, it’s just pure moto. Hills and off-cambers that put a premium on balance and finding traction. The track has also seen some hellacious mudders over the years! What’s more natural than that?
Great to see the wood berm brought back to High Point. Although it wasn’t quite the same as before, it was a nice tip of the visor to the old days. Now can we bring back Bradshaw Boulevard?
Once again we saw some great racing out there. Whether it was due to the incoming rain or part of the concentrated effort to make the track a little more like Lakewood, High Point was not ripped up deep and watered to replicate monsoon conditions in the morning. This allowed the riders to move around on the track, cross ruts and make passes just about everywhere. Once again, we didn’t see “slotcross” and yet again, we saw some passes and great racing. Yes, the speeds are higher but that’s a tradeoff I’ll take if it means the racers are able to move around on the track anywhere they would like.
Let’s take a look at the results here. This week, I thought I’d highlight a specific number (thanks to @3lapsdown for the help with this) for each guy that’s relevant to his series in general or specifically High Point. Let’s get to it!
250 CLASS OVERALL Results
1st | #47 Jalek Swoll | Belleview, FL | Husqvarna FC250 | 1-3
FIRST – As in, Jalek Swoll finished first overall! Wow, that’s awesome for him and his team. Got a bit lucky with RJ Hampshire’s chain breaking/coming off late in moto one but even if RJ had won, Swoll goes 2-3 on the day for his first podium in motocross and that matches his podium in SX this season. Great work for Jalek. This could be a real cool story building here. He looked great all day long, now the hard part comes in backing it up.
2nd | #18 Jett Lawrence | Australia | Honda CRF250R | 3-2
4.3 – That’s the difference in average starting position from THE JETT to Justin Cooper through the first six motos of the year. And that’s measured at the end of the first lap so you know in terms of positioning as they go through turn one, it’s worse than this. But THE JETT is making it work so far but to me, he can’t keep getting so-so starts and stay out of trouble if he wants to win this title. Great work at High Point for sure but he’s gotta work on the starts. Breaking News: life is a lot easier for a pro MX’er if you can start top three.
3rd | #32 Justin Cooper | Cold Spring Harbor, NY | Yamaha YZ 250F | 5-1
THIRD – Last week Justin doesn’t win a moto and wins the overall on the day. This week he does win a moto but can only get third overall. Looked to me like he had goggle issues in moto one as he missed lines, went backward and wiped his goggles a bunch.
4th | #64 Colt Nichols | Muskogee, OK | Yamaha YZ 250F | 2-5
ONE – Just one race after his starts held him back, Nichols went and got one holeshot on the day at High Point and then brought it home to a nice runner-up position. Kids, work on your starts mmmmmk?
5th | #48 Garrett Marchbanks | Coalville, UT | Yamaha YZ 250F | 10-4
SIXTH – As in, Marchbanks sits sixth in points after three rounds and that’s impressive. Also, he had not made it out of High Point the last two years due to injuries suffered at the race but this year he gets a career-best moto finish of fourth in moto two! Life works in strange ways sometimes.
6th | #38 Austin Forkner | Richards, MO | Kawasaki KX 250 | 7-6
ZERO – The number of top-fives for Forkner through the first six motos of the year. Let’s put that into perspective. Coming into 2021, Forkner had ridden 31 career Nationals and had gotten top five in 13 of them. Almost half and so far, nothing. But it’s his first National season in two years and this was a much better ride than he had at Lakewood so there’s that.
7th | #75 Ty Masterpool | Paradise, TX | Gas Gas MC250F | 9-10
15.7 – That’s Ty’s average finishing position to start the series this year and it’s heavily weighted this way because of two DNF’s in his six motos. When he finishes, he’s much better than 15th. The goal should be to finish, you’re welcome for that MX lesson everyone.
8th | #41 Hunter Lawrence | Australia | Honda CRF250R | 8-11
50 – That’s the number of riders Hunter passed in two motos at High Point. Yes, you read that correctly. A holeshot and crash in moto one and a first lap crash in moto two left Hunter with a frustrating day. The speed was there for sure, he’s won a moto at HP before, but you’ve gotta stay up, people. Again, I’m willing to give you this great advice for free here!
9th | #90 Dilan Schwartz | Alpine, CA | Suzuki RMZ 250 | 6-13
19th– This was great. The 19th represents two numbers for Schwartz. One is the number of position changes (passes) on the day at HP and the second 19th marks his average start. Really cool story developing here and it’s great to see his crappy SX series hasn’t affected his outdoor confidence.
10th | #39 Carson Mumford | Simi Valley, CA | Honda CRF250R | 13-7
22nd – I highlighted this last week but Mumfy’s average starting position is garbage. He has made 43 passes this season, second behind Hunter Lawrence in the class, and his first moto was more of the same. He passed 15 riders in a great ride to get 13th. But hey, second moto he got a start and look what he did! Carson has gained positions in every moto this year. Good season for Mumfy in MX but no one is talking about it.
11th | #30 Jo Shimoda | Japan | Kawasaki KX 250 | 4-40
NINE – Number of points that Shimoda is behind his teammate Austin Forkner in the standings, but only because Jo had a second moto DNF at High Point. For the most part, he’s outperformed Forkner, and I didn’t have that on my “Things that were going to happen this summer” bingo card. Jo has the two best moto scores on the team so far and that’s also a surprise. With Swoll winning the race and Shimoda winning a SX this year, I may have to rethink my thoughts on some of these amateurs. [Editor’s note: OMG I can’t believe Steve just admitted this. – Weege]
12th | #45 Pierce Brown | Sandy, UT | Gas Gas MC250F | 11-14
14th – That’s Brown’s average finish through the first six motos of the year. Now he had a DNF in there from a bike issue but still, this can’t be what Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GasGas has to consider acceptable for Brown.
13th | #115 Maximus Vohland | Granite Bay, CA | KTM 250 SX-F FE | 18-9
36 – That’s the number of top ten overalls for Max’s dad, Tallon, in 45 career races in the 125/250MX class here in the USA. So far, Max is zero for three, but Tallon didn’t lead 14 laps in his first National moto like his son did. Tallon did finish eighth in his debut, but Max would have topped that if he didn’t have bike problems at Fox Raceway. So take that, Lone Wolf!
14th | #67 Stilez Robertson | Bakersfield, CA | Husqvarna FC250 | 12-16
71 – The number of positions that Robertson has lost in the first six motos of the year and that’s not good. He’s gotten some starts but coming back from injury has been tougher for him than I bet he would’ve liked.
15th | #24 RJ Hampshire | Hudson, FL | Husqvarna FC250 | 38-8
5000 – That’s the amount of money that Husky pays for a moto win and that they should give to RJ for a moto win at HP. Hampshire was gone when his chain broke or fell off and that was how a win goes to a DNF just like that (again, I’m giving all sorts of free advice here). Hampshire was great in moto two also, coming from 38th gate pick to that eighth. There have been some tough breaks for Hampshire to start the year.
16th | #220 Ramyller Alves | Coconut Creek, FL | Gas Gas MC250F | 16-15
THIRD – I don’t know why but I really don’t ever pick Ramy Alves in PulpMX Fantasy. Indoors or out he doesn’t show much qualifying speed (just 25th fastest at HP) but he’s in shape and he’s not a quitter, so many times he ends up being a great pick. Well, I jumped on the Alves bandwagon this weekend and he got the third most points out of anyone in the 250MX class. I really enjoyed it, nice work Ramy and thanks for the points!
17th | #59 Jarrett Frye | Mechanicsville, MD | Yamaha YZ 250F | 29-12
ZERO – As in, Frye has zero top-ten moto finishes this year through six motos after being inside the top ten in the last four motos of the year in 2020. I could’ve gone with 16 as a number also as in, average first lap position for Frye through the six motos and that’s probably correlated to that zero number up top.
18th | #241 Joshua Varize | Perris, CA | KTM 250 SX-F | 17-18
FIRST – Right now Varize is 20th in points and that would make him, to me anyways, first privateer in the points. Yes, there are that many team guys out there. I suppose you could make an argument that Bar X/Chaparral/Ecstar Suzuki is a privateer team but either way, Josh is the first guy in the points not in a semi-truck. Yes, he does get some KTM support as part of their amateur program, but he is not Max Vohland’s teammate at the Red Bull KTM team. Whatever you want to say, these results are good for Varize and also an indication of how tough it is to go it on your own in this class.
19th | #33 Derek Drake | San Luis Obispo, CA | Suzuki RMZ 250 | 14-38
1.3 – That’s the number of spots that Derek’s teammate, Schwartz, qualifies better than him. Which means that Dilan is getting it done with the same equipment as Derek from around the same gate pick. I’ve been on a lot of teams over the years and no one wants to be the worst performing teammate under a tent.
20th | #76 Grant Harlan | Kailua Kona, HI | Honda CRF250R | 19-17
15 – That’s the number of spots that Harlan made up from his overall finish from his qualifying position. Harlan, coming off a bad SX injury, almost had to go to the LCQ where anything can happen, so good for him to avoid that and improve a lot on that speed. Hawaii’s own Grant Harlan everyone!
450 CLASS OVERALL Results
1st | #14 Dylan Ferrandis | France | Yamaha YZ 450F | 2-2
FIRST – No not the overall result at High Point, and no, not first in points. Here, the first means that when you walk into the Yamaha factory shop in Cypress, California, where Monster Energy/Star Racing Yamaha’s 450 team works from, the first bay you see on the right hand side is where Alex Campbell, Dylan’s mechanic, builds his bike and THAT’S the same bay I worked in on the great Tim Ferry’s machine for three-and-a-half years. Great riders, great mechanics, lots of wins in that bay! On a more serious note, another number for Dylan would be ZERO, as in the number of motos he’s been OFF the podium this year. Impressive!
2nd | #9 Adam Cianciarulo | Montverde, FL | Kawasaki KX450 | 1-4
22. Number of laps led by Cianciarulo at HP, which was by far the most as he led—every lap of moto one and five more in moto two. Adam’s fitness and/or arm pump held him back from going 1-1 on the day. Still, second overall here and third OA last National shows that he’s on the right track.
3rd | #3 Eli Tomac | Cortez, CO | Kawasaki KX450 | 6-1
I could do a few numbers here for ET like, say, .8 which is the gap between his best lap in the second moto and the next best guy (Roczen) or I could go 75, as in the number of dollars it’s going to take me to get the nacho cheese stain out of the carpet on which I dropped a chip after Eli took the lead. Or perhaps ONE, as in the number of crows I may have to eat after writing ET off for this year. I don’t know man, that sixth in moto one was not good so I’ll hedge my bets but like Jason Voorhies, Eli is still alive.
4th | #94 Ken Roczen | Germany | Honda CRF450R WE | 3-3
14 – The position of Roczen on the first lap of the second moto, which means he blew the start and would have to make moves. But, Ken has been known to do that, especially outdoors. So, no problem for Roczen—on the fourth lap he was already in fourth! Ten passes in four laps! That’s what he does, folks. Anyway, 3-3 for fourth overall. That sucks. Also sucks losing the red plate but this was still a good day for the German.
5th | #23 Chase Sexton | La Moille, IL | Honda CRF450R WE | 4-5
24 – The number of net position changes for Sexton through the six motos run this season, the highest out of any rider with points (Alex Ray actually has the most positive position changes out of any rider through the most six motos- you could win a bet on that). This is an indication that Chase has been moving forward and also an indication he hasn’t gotten the starts he needs either. Some first-turn crashes haven’t helped, either.
6th | #7 Aaron Plessinger | Hamilton, OH | Yamaha YZ 450F | 5-8
SEVEN, as in AP lost seven spots after grabbing the lead right away in moto two. He rode great in moto one to charge up to fifth, so you had to think with the way he’s been riding this year that he could hold for at least a podium in moto two. It was not to be for AP, but he said they made some bike changes and they didn’t work. We’ve all been reporting that Aaron is heading to Red Bull KTM for 2022 but this week I heard that Yamaha has matched his offer and he’ll be returning to BLU CRU.
7th | #51 Justin Barcia | Greenvillle, FL | Gas Gas MC450F | 9-6
TWO – It’s hard to compare last season’s Nationals to this year. Last year, we had two rounds at the same track, Loretta’s, and that’s not really a true pro national track. And one of those races was a massive mudder, and Barcia won a moto there. Anyway, for Barcia, I think his number would be TWO, as in two podiums in the first six motos this year. He’s been good, but now his early season also includes High Point where he can’t be happy with his holeshot to sixth ride in moto two.
8th | #25 Marvin Musquin | France | KTM 450 SX-F FE | 10-7
ONE – Number of net position changes for Musquin on the day at High Point. He got 8th OA, he qualified 8th, he started 9th, he passed five dudes in moto two, got passed four times in moto one and went 10-7 on the day. Sometimes the numbers don’t tell the whole story, but sometimes they do.
9th | #17 Joseph Savatgy | Tallahassee, FL | KTM 450 SX-F FE | 8-9
EIGHTH – The average qualifying position for Joey this season which is pretty good IMO. He hasn’t been able to turn that into a top five finishing spot in a moto just yet, but things are trending upwards for Savatgy as we head east.
10th | #2 Cooper Webb | Newport, NC | KTM 450 SX-F FE | 7-11
5.3 – That’s Webb’s average start through the first six motos of the year, which good enough to be tied for third best in the class. But yeah, he’s eighth in the points so that’s not a good thing. The starts are there, the aggression looks to be there, but right now, the outdoor game is proving to be tough for the SX champion.
11th | #29 Christian Craig | Temecula, CA | Yamaha YZ 450F | 11-10
THIRD – The third lap of High Point was where it went all wrong for CC. He was in fourth, looking ready coming off a good race at Lakewood, but then he crashed and the rest of the day was a struggle from there. Oh what could have been had he gotten a couple of top-fives on the day, which he easily could have. Instead, it was poop.
12th | #15 Dean Wilson | United Kingdom | Husqvarna FC450 RE | 12-12
14 – Number of riders passed by Wilson in moto two in a very good ride. Of course, we’re incapable of actually knowing the position of a rider at the first timing loop. The data exists, but we’re incapable of actually putting that on paper, as the AMA site does not list it and instead lists “start” as the position at the end of the first lap. I had to go back and re-watch the race and 30 seconds in we see that Wilson was 26th, even though at the end of lap one, he was 23rd. We need actual start positions please and thank you. Either way, great ride by Deano in moto two.
13th | #72 Coty Schock | Dover, DE | Honda CRF450R | 13-15
FIVE, as in five motos out of six this year that Coty has finished between 13th and 16th, which is awesome for the privateer. He’s the top placing privateer in the points as well, but that sound you hear is Fast Freddie moving on up.
14th | #19 Justin Bogle | Cushing, OK | KTM 450 SX-F FE | 16-13
EIGHT – Approximate number of comebacks for Bogle after many of us in the industry wondered if he was done. Justin’s had a lot of injuries, including some knocks to the head, and he’s been down and out more than most. He just keeps rebuilding himself up from those and has acquitted himself quite well to start the Nationals. Just got to keep it rolling, moto after moto and build up. Again.
15th | #34 Max Anstie | United Kingdom | Suzuki RMZ 450 | 18-14
19th – That’s the average qualifying position for Mad Max through the first three races (the worst out of any rider in the top 20 in points), which means he doesn’t get a great gate pick and then doesn’t get the start he needs, and everything starts snowballing from there. Anstie needs to pin it a bit more in qualifying to help himself. More free advice!
16th | #28 Brandon Hartranft | Brick, NJ | Suzuki RMZ 450 | 15-17
17 – The number of positive position changes at High Point for Hartranft, which was the most riders passed on the day out of anyone in the 450MX class. That’s a good thing for sure and something to build on for RM ARMY.
17th | #43 Fredrik Noren | Sweden | KTM 450 SX-F | 17-16
14 – The number of points more that Freddie has accumulated through six moto than in all of the supercross races he lined up for this year. I understand this is not shocking to anyone, but just pointing it out.
18th | #715 Phillip Nicoletti | Cohocton, NY | Yamaha YZ 450F | 14-22
ONE, as in one moto this year where Filthy has scored points out of six. That’s ungood for sure and not what he needs, but that 14th in the first moto at HP is definitely proof that he still has speed. The class is deeper than when he left for two years for Canada but I think Phil can build on that 14th knowing he can get back to the top ten without too much more work. Of course, he won’t see this race as any sort of positive.
19th | #376 Chris Canning | Conventry, CT | KTM 450 SX-F FE | 19-19
1043 days between National points earned by Canning at NON-Southwick tracks. Canning has been focusing on racing places where he can make money and hasn’t hit many nationals outside of the ‘Wick, but he showed up at HP and got four points on the day. Nice work!
20th | #515 Tyler Medaglia | Canada Gas Gas MC450F | 21-18
17, as in it’s been 17 years that T-Dags has had a national number in Canada for MX. Tyler’s a racer’s racer and is stepping back from full-time Canadian MX nationals and riding whatever events he wants to this year with the help of GasGas. At High Point he looked to have ridden pretty well yet again. Also, he told me that at Pala he never got tired. I actually believe this, even though it probably sounds unbelievable to most riders.
Thanks for reading! Email me at Matthes@racerxonline.com if you want to chat about this race or whatever else! See you at REDDDDDBUDDDDDDDD….