Welcome in to the sixth round of the 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship from the Spring Creek National in Millville, Minnesota. A popular track among the riders and the fans, the property owned by the Martin family has been a staple on the schedule for decades and is set to provide a great day of racing ahead of us today. Weather is expected to sit in the 80s though humidity is of course high for the area at this time of year. It will be hot but shouldn’t be the hottest race of the year.
Coming into this round, Dylan Ferrandis is teetering towards a full moto lead in the 450 class championship ahead of Ken Roczen following his 1-3 performance last week at Southwick. Ferrandis was disappointed he couldn’t push his ailing Monster Energy/Star Racing Yamaha YZ450F harder after apparently taking sand to the radiators and spitting out a significant amount of coolant early in moto two. He was able to keep the bike running throughout and potentially saved a worse situation. Instead, Eli Tomac once again won his third straight second moto on the trot and remains baffled as to what happens to him in the first motos. Clearly, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider still has the pace to play a massive spoiler in this championship which might be his only role from here as he still sits in a big deficit to Ferrandis despite jumping to third in the championship. Could today be the day Tomac puts both motos together?
Speaking of putting two motos together, Hunter Lawrence became the first 250 class rider this year to go 1-1 at a National as he swept Southwick and became the fifth different winner in five rounds to start this 2021 season. The elder Lawrence brother also pulled back a huge chunk of points to his championship leading brother Jett and second in the title fight Justin Cooper. Suddenly, we might be looking at a three way title fight moving into the second half if Hunter can pull some more points back on the duo ahead of him today. Of course, we’ll be on the lookout for literal home track favorites Jeremy and Alex Martin today. Either rider, along with names like Jo Shimoda or Garrett Marchbanks could make it six winners from six rounds.
Today will be a strange one if you’ve gotten used to the normal schedule as well. In an effort to get 450 moto two onto NBC live, the 450 class will start the action today with their first moto at noon local time, which is an hour early than we normally start. The 250 class will run second today with the racing wrapping up at 4:00 p.m. central time so adjust your schedules accordingly today. Qualifying will be just a tad bit early but check your local listings to be sure you don’t miss any of the action. Let’s go racing!
- QualifyingLiveJuly 17 - 10:30 AM
- 450 Moto 1LiveJuly 17 - 1:00 PM
- 450 Moto 1LiveJuly 17 - 1:00 PM
- 250 Moto 1LiveJuly 17 - 2:00 PM
- 250 Moto 1LiveJuly 17 - 2:00 PM
- 450 Moto 2LiveJuly 17 - 3:00 PM
- 450 Moto 2LiveJuly 17 - 3:00 PM
- 250 Moto 2LiveJuly 17 - 4:00 PM
- 250 Moto 2 (Delayed)July 17 - 9:00 PM
FIRST QUALIFYING SESSIONS
As qualifying began in the hills of Minnesota, the track slowly started to build some of the typical Millville character into it. With the loose top soil covering a fairly hard base, the track appeared to be dug slightly deeper than some of the other rounds so far this year but by the second or third group to hit the track, ruts were forming up nicely and the downhills were already starting to get some chop.
As the 450 class was the first to go, that meant 450B had to be the group to dig the track in and the 450A group also hit the track earlier than they are used to. No surprise to see Adam Cianciarulo quickly find his footing in qualifying as he and Ken Roczen were having a bit of a lap time war early on. By around halfway through the session, Eli Tomac ramped up his pace and became the first rider into the 2:08s on the day as he laid down a 2:08.875. The time was good enough to hold up throughout the session and Tomac is your fastest qualifier through one session here today.
|1||Ken Roczen||16:45.476||2:07.124||Mattstedt||Honda CRF450R|
|2||Chase Sexton||16:27.072||2:07.696||La Moille, IL||Honda CRF450R|
|3||Adam Cianciarulo||17:08.501||2:07.860||Port Orange, FL||Kawasaki KX450|
|4||Dylan Ferrandis||15:31.792||2:08.585||Avignon||Yamaha YZ450F|
|5||Eli Tomac||12:10.985||2:08.875||Cortez, CO||Kawasaki KX450|
In the 250 class, the fans were showing their support for the Martin brothers as Alex Martin returned to the track for the first time since breaking his arm at Thunder Valley. Jeremy Martin is still nursing his wrist injury and a few other ailments but showed why this is home track by jumping out front early. He was eventually pipped by Jett Lawrence who spent some of the session tailing his brother Hunter while they marked each other.
Eventually, Justin Cooper put his name on the list as he shot to the top of the time sheets with a 2:09.982 which was almost a whole second faster than Jett Lawrence. Cooper and the Lawrence brothers join RJ Hampshire and Jalek Swoll as the five riders looking to become the first repeat winner in the 250 class today.
|1||Justin Cooper||17:38.865||2:09.099||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2||Jett Lawrence||15:28.801||2:09.177||Landsborough||Honda CRF250R|
|3||R.J. Hampshire||17:25.475||2:09.660||Hudson, FL||Husqvarna FC 250|
|4||Michael Mosiman||15:57.588||2:10.615||Sebastopol, CA||GasGas MC 250F|
|5||Jeremy Martin||17:13.640||2:11.607||Millville, MN||Yamaha YZ250F|
450 Class Moto 1
When the gate dropped on the first moto of the day, there was a big pileup in the first turn as a handful of riders down. Joey Savatgy, Chris Canning, Ken Roczen, Chase Sexton, and more got collected. As Roczen was slammed to the ground, his teammate Sexton hit into him and then the #23 got launched off his bike. Somehow, Sexton managed to get into the top 20 early in the race and eventually finished seventh. Behind them, Eli Tomac slammed on the breaks and had to navigate through the field throughout the entire moto. And boy did he!
Out front, Justin Barcia jumped ahead of Coty Schock to grab the holeshot. Schock would run inside the top five early until a broken chain ended his race after only three laps. Bummer for the #72 as that’s two weeks in a row a mechanical/bike issue knocked him out of a great start as he was inside the top ten early at the Southwick National until his CRF450R lost power. Adam Cianciarulo and Cooper Webb had just gotten around Schock before his issues. Roczen, who again went down hard in the first turn, was slow to get up as he was helped by the Alpinestars medical crew and the Honda HRC team. As the field came through the finish line for the first time, Roczen was able to get up under his own power (with assistance) and was helped onto the medical cart. He went straight to the pits for evaluation but initial word is no serious injuries. His wife Courtney posted the following update.
After lap one, Tomac had somehow charged up to 14th place. But he was not done, as he continued to pick off rider after rider. Christian Craig got around Webb to take over third place and about a lap later, Craig’s teammates Ferrandis and Plessinger both picked off the #2 as well. After being buried off the start, Tomac was already up to seventh place after the first ten minutes of the race. Ferrandis capitalized on a small mistake from Craig to take over third place. He still had a four-plus second gap to make up on AC and Barcia out front, but he kept picking away at it. Tomac blasted past Webb in the sand whoops to take over sixth place as he charged towards the Yamaha trio that ran third, fourth, and fifth. ET3 was dropping 2:10 lap after 2:10 lap as he continued to make up time on the front runners each and every lap. Plessinger lost the drive in the 180-degree turn after the sand whoops and Tomac powered by to take over fifth. But Tomac wasn’t done yet! In an instant he was right onto the rear wheel of Craig.
Out front, Cianciarulo closed up on race leader Barcia but Ferrandis was about a second behind the #9. Then, AC washed the front end in the turn after the mechanics area! He remounted in tenth, as Ferrandis took over second place and went for Barcia. AC eventually had to pit to clean out his throttle from when he slid on the ground. Tomac continued to put down 2:10s late in the race as Barcia and Ferrandis put down 2:13-2:14s. Tomac cut the gap down to about 1.5 seconds behind Barcia with Ferrandis sandwiched in between. Ferrandis looked back as he knew ET3 was coming. With about three minutes to go, Barcia and Ferrandis both upped their pace to 2:12s. Ferrandis began to defend Tomac, which gave Barcia some breathing room momentarily. Then, as the leaders came through and got the two lap card, Ferrandis started to attack Barcia again! But Tomac was wide open following Ferrandis’ charge. Ferrandis charged at Barcia, but you have to give the #51 credit, he didn't falter! He also put down his fastest lap of the moto on the very last lap to keep Ferrandis behind him. Barcia picked up his first moto win of the season (and his first on the GasGas) as Ferrandis came through just over a second behind. And right when it appeared Tomac would have another first-moto blunder after he was forced to break hard going into turn one, he somehow managed to come through all the way to third place. Tomac's finish this race puts him in a good position for the overall heading into the second moto, where we know he has been on lately as he has won the last three second motos. Could today be the day Tomac picks up his first overall win of the season? Or will Bam Bam back up his race win in moto two? Ferrandis is in a great position himself so the second 450 moto should be another great one!
After the moto, Barcia and Craig were both docked one point for jumping on a red cross flag.
|1||Justin Barcia||35:18.064||16 Laps||2:10.842||Monroe, NY||GasGas MC 450F|
|2||Dylan Ferrandis||35:19.126||+1.062||2:10.384||Avignon||Yamaha YZ450F|
|3||Eli Tomac||35:23.460||+5.396||2:10.009||Cortez, CO||Kawasaki KX450|
|4||Christian Craig||35:33.238||+15.174||2:10.682||Temecula, CA||Yamaha YZ450F|
|5||Aaron Plessinger||35:36.959||+18.894||2:10.692||Hamilton, OH||Yamaha YZ450F|
250 Class Moto 1
When the gate dropped on the first 250 Class moto of the day, Justin Cooper blasted into and out of the first turn and began to check out from there. Behind Cooper was his teammates Jeremy Martin and Nate Thrasher and Max Vohland. As they went into the sand whoops, Vohland came in hot and went wide, causing Thrasher to lose his front wheel and slam to the ground hard. The #91 stood up but was favoring his right arm heavily with what appeared to be a possible shoulder injury. He did not go for his bike and was eventually taken off the track on the medical cart, signaling he was okay to the fans.
Out front, Cooper continued to lead lap after lap, keeping a three-to-five second gap over J-Mart. Cooper clicked 12 straight laps until he laid down a 2:15.369 and Martin dropped a 2:12.669 to eat up the gap between the two. Martin managed to get by Cooper when he put in a gutsy charge down Mount Martin, overjumping the final roller into the turn but still managing to stay up and keep momentum through the turn to stay ahead of Cooper. It was an unbelievable pass! The #6 went on to lead the last four laps to pick up his third moto win of the season, throwing several big fist pumps on his way to victory. Cooper held on for second and behind him, Michael Mosiman put together a quiet third-place moto finish to earn his first moto podium of the year.
Championship leader Jett Lawrence had to charge from outside the top 15 as he battled his brother Hunter, Max Vohland, Colt Nichols, and more to eventually come home in fourth, with his older brother finishing one spot behind him. Vohland lost momentum late in the race and lost several positions before finishing ninth.
|1||Jeremy Martin||35:36.044||16 Laps||2:11.874||Millville, MN||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2||Justin Cooper||35:43.593||+7.549||2:11.944||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
|3||Michael Mosiman||35:47.332||+11.288||2:11.920||Sebastopol, CA||GasGas MC 250F|
|4||Jett Lawrence||35:53.903||+17.859||2:11.427||Landsborough||Honda CRF250R|
|5||Hunter Lawrence||35:58.734||+22.690||2:13.428||Landsborough||Honda CRF250R|
450 Class Moto 2
Just like he did in the first moto of the day, Barcia grabbed the lead off the start in the second moto. Justin Bogle was close behind Barcia but the #51 started to run away. But suddenly Roczen blasted around the outside of the turn leading up to Mount Martin to scoot right around Barcia to take over the lead! From there, Roczen checked out, as he went to lead wire-to-wire to take the moto win, despite getting banged up in the first turn crash that ended his race moto just as it started. Bogle’s great start didn’t last long as he lost position after position to Sexton, Tomac, Savatgy, and Craig as his tempo continued to drop off quickly.
Championship leader Ferrandis, who again challenged Barcia for the latter half of the first moto before finishing second, had issues early. He went down at the bottom of Mount Martin and then Marvin Musquin bumped Aaron Plessinger into his teammate and the Yamahas piled onto one another. Ferrandis got up outside of the top 25 only to go down once again on his own. He managed to charge through those mistakes to finish fifth. He limited the damage but incredibly, this was the first time he has finished a moto off the podium this season! Schock once again had bike issues and was unable to finish.
Out front, Roczen was untouchable to claim the moto win. He mentioned having sore ribs but not racing the full 30-minute moto allowed him to have more fitness than he typically would for the second race. Barcia kept the gap under ten seconds, but he was not able to get close enough for a pass attempt on the #94. However, it wasn’t necessary as Bam Bam’s 1-2 finishes gave him the overall win with 46 points on the day. Barcia's fourth career overall win comes over two years and ten days since his last overall win at the 2018 Ironman National.
“Lot to take in,” Barcia said. “It was a great day. ...we’ve been working hard lately...Stoked to have the overall, it feels amazing.”
Sexton had a quiet third-place finish and Tomac came through fourth. Tomac’s 3-4 bested Ferrandis’ 2-5 for second overall. Sexton’s impressive seventh in moto one after going flying off the start backed up by his third gave him fourth overall on the day. He was also lucky to escape from what could have been a disaster as he and Webb scrubbed opposite one another on the takeoff of the finish line. Webb went down hard (eventually remounting and finishing the race) but Sexton managed to land on two wheels and keep charging. Roczen’s 40-1 officially in the results gave him eighth overall as he lost 13 points on the day to Ferrandis—which could have been a lot worse had he been significantly injured or not maximized his points in the race two.
|1||Ken Roczen||35:35.678||16 Laps||2:10.898||Mattstedt||Honda CRF450R|
|2||Justin Barcia||35:41.770||+6.092||2:10.569||Monroe, NY||GasGas MC 450F|
|3||Chase Sexton||35:50.195||+14.517||2:12.430||La Moille, IL||Honda CRF450R|
|4||Eli Tomac||35:53.824||+18.145||2:11.986||Cortez, CO||Kawasaki KX450|
|5||Dylan Ferrandis||35:58.686||+23.008||2:12.055||Avignon||Yamaha YZ450F|
|1||Justin Barcia||Monroe, NY United States||1 - 2||GasGas MC 450F|
|2||Eli Tomac||Cortez, CO United States||3 - 4||Kawasaki KX450|
|3||Dylan Ferrandis||Avignon France||2 - 5||Yamaha YZ450F|
|4||Chase Sexton||La Moille, IL United States||7 - 3||Honda CRF450R|
|5||Christian Craig||Temecula, CA United States||4 - 6||Yamaha YZ450F|
250 Class Moto 2
Jeremy Martin came into the day wanting to earn his first overall of the season and he put in a statement ride in moto one by reeling in and passing his teammate Cooper for the race lead and win. The #6 positioned himself in the lead off the start of the second moto and put in a statement 1-1 day. The hometown native became the sixth different rider to take a win in the first six rounds of the season as this 250 class continues to make history.
“Man, it’s awesome man,” J-Mart said on his day. “Yeah, you know it feels really good. I’ve been through the ringer this year. One thing I’ve learned is the cards aren’t always ideal but you’ve gotta push through.”
While Cooper held second for half of the race he was eventually passed by Mosiman, who worked his GasGas MC 250F to a career-best day for second overall. Mosiman earned his second career overall podium finish over two years after earning his first one at the 2019 Thunder Valley National. His 3-2 bested Cooper’s 2-3 to produce a 250 overall podium finish to match Barcia’s overall win.
While Cooper was not pumped on his day afterwards when he wanted to fight for the overall win, bigger picture he took over the points lead. He came into the day with a three-point deficit but gained nine points on Jett (4-6 earning 33 points), giving him a six-point advantage through six rounds.
“We’re at the halfway point and we’re going after the championship," Cooper said, acknowledging he has to improve his results in order to keep the lead come the end of the season.
A slide out from Pierce Brown caused a massive pileup about five minutes into the race that shookup the entirety of the race for more than a handful of riders. Running in fifth, Brown slid out going over the roller before the finish line and chaos ensued. Hampshire, right next to Brown at the time, was forced wide and then caught a ton of trackside banners in his rear wheel/chain. His race was over. Marchbanks caught Brown’s bike and went down off the track, tangling himself in banners as well. He remounted after losing a lot of time. Jett Lawrence ran directly into Brown, who then got hit by Swoll as well. Jarrett Frye came through and landed on Lawrence and Swoll’s bikes, which sent him flying to the group. Watch the chaos below.
Brown managed to get help from the medical crew but he looked banged up. Jett had to overcome the chaos to manage points as Cooper ran up front and mostly carnage free.
“Nightmare of a day,” Jett Lawrence said. “My starts have not been helping me. But hey, I was brought up to never give up. ...We’re going to keep charging and not give up.”
Austin Forkner came through fourth, a season best for the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider as he dipped into the top five for the first time in six rounds.
|1||Jeremy Martin||36:03.374||16 Laps||2:13.419||Millville, MN||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2||Michael Mosiman||36:12.744||+9.369||2:13.621||Sebastopol, CA||GasGas MC 250F|
|3||Justin Cooper||36:23.055||+19.681||2:13.624||Cold Spring Harbor, NY||Yamaha YZ250F|
|4||Austin Forkner||36:35.872||+32.498||2:15.171||Richards, MO||Kawasaki KX250F|
|5||Hunter Lawrence||36:37.683||+34.308||2:15.481||Landsborough||Honda CRF250R|
|1||Jeremy Martin||Millville, MN United States||1 - 1||Yamaha YZ250F|
|2||Michael Mosiman||Sebastopol, CA United States||3 - 2||GasGas MC 250F|
|3||Justin Cooper||Cold Spring Harbor, NY United States||2 - 3||Yamaha YZ250F|
|4||Jett Lawrence||Landsborough Australia||4 - 6||Honda CRF250R|
|5||Hunter Lawrence||Landsborough Australia||5 - 5||Honda CRF250R|