Hey, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota, round six of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, is THE best track of the series. It’s not the best viewing, it’s not the most convenient, and they don’t have the best concessions. Some other tracks are closer to stuff and have better amenities. All of that is true, but also true is it’s the best track on the circuit. It’s got sand whoops, it’s got good dirt, it’s got hills, and it’s got a great start. It’s a tad narrow in spots for sure, but overall, it’s the best track. Stamp it.
I thought the new emphasis on not ripping and watering the tracks as deep might have caught up to the riders and crew at Millville. Of course, I was on my couch in Las Vegas watching so I may be wrong on this but to me, it looked a little fast and tough to pass on. There’s a fine line between needing some ruts and bumps to make a difference and then leaving it smoother where everyone can go the same speed. Overall, I prefer the way the tracks are being worked on this summer and it’s a small tradeoff to maybe “miss” it one weekend, you know?
With Millville being the halfway point of the nationals, I thought we’d take a look at the series points and see if a rider is exceeding, meeting or falling below “our” expectations coming into the outdoors.
Sounds fun, right?
250 Class Points Standings
1st | #32 Justin Cooper | Yamaha YZ 250F | 243 points | Meeting
I mean, we all thought Cooper would be a title contender, and he just grabbed the red plate from THE JETT at Millville. He’s heating up while THE JETT seems to be struggling with starts and *GASP* speed.
2nd | #18 Jett Lawrence | Honda CRF250R | 237 points | Meeting
The Jett was pretty good last year, which was his first full outdoor season, and this year he started with a bang and looked maybe better than we thought. But the last few races haven’t been as good, his starts have gone bye-bye and he’s running into issues because of that. Still, an overall win, second in the points, and being 17 years old indicate that everything is fine. Nothing is wrong here.
3rd | #41 Hunter Lawrence | Honda CRF250R | 210 points | Meeting
Hunter’s won an overall and most races he’s been a tick off the leaders (Millville included), but right there to capitalize if something goes wrong. Third in the series seems about right.
4th | #6 Jeremy Martin | Yamaha YZ 250F | 175 points | Below
Somehow, despite missing three motos, J-Mart is fourth in points. I say below expectations because he got hurt. Most of “us” thought he would be the title favorite and until he crashed at Lakewood, he probably was. Great comeback from injury though for Jeremy and all he can focus on is winning races this summer and seeing what that gets him for a ride for 2022.
5th | #24 RJ Hampshire | Husqvarna FC 250 | 163 points | Exceeding
I mean, we knew Hampshire was a capable podium guy/moto winner this summer, but he had to cut out the mistakes. Well, he has not cut out the mistakes but did we expect him to be the fastest guy in multiple motos? He doesn’t have the wins (see the part about mistakes) to show for it but his raw speed is more than I think we thought he had.
6th | #30 Jo Shimoda | Kawasaki KX250 | 162 points | Exceeding
I mean, no one had Shimoda doing what he’s been doing. Not a great Millville for him but he’s gotten an overall podium, a moto podium, and some fourths. And he’s the top guy on Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki as well! In the past I’ve always just kind of thought of him as a kid that took advantage of injuries in his SX classes to score well. Hmmmm, maybe not? A new deal with Pro Circuit was well earned.
7th | #64 Colt Nichols | Yamaha YZ250F | 159 points | Below
After winning his first SX title, it’s expected that Nichols would be a bit more “relaxed” going into the nationals. It’s human nature and he didn’t show, especially early on, how good he really is. He admitted that first race at Pala was a real shock to him, but it’s been better for him lately.
8th | #47 | Jalek Swoll | HQV FC250 148 points | Exceeding
I mean if Swoll was seventh in the points you might say he was “MEETING” expectations but bro, he won a race! That’s a huge step up for him and although Millville didn’t go well, he’s backed up that High Point win enough to where you’re thinking next year could be the season that he’s on the box more regularly. Like Shimoda, there’s something here after a few years of these teams missing big time on Ams.
9th | #48 | Garrett Marchbanks | Yamaha YZ250F | 124 points | Exceeding
It’s really gone off the rails here for Marchbanks with two DNF’s in his last four motos but overall, on a privateer bike and weighing as much as Jeremy AND Alex Martin combined, he’s been good. There was talk of Garrett even going to the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations (MXoN) if some of the guys, like Cooper who made it sound like he can’t go, wouldn’t go. He was fourth in the points early on people!
10th | #42 | Michael Mosiman | GasGas MC 250F | 122 points | Below
Yeah, I know he just got second overall at Millville but this season has been so inconsistent for Michael both indoors and out. Being a bit older and on a factory bike, Mosiman should be better. He’s had bike issues, he’s had crashes but at times, he’s been the fastest guy on the track so there’s that. Maybe Millville will be the push he needs to be inside the top five every time out.
11th | #38 Austin Forkner | Kawasaki KX250 | 116 points | Below
Well, he did just get a fourth in moto two at Millville so that saved me from instituting a category named “FORKNER” for someone who is somehow below the “BELOW” range. You knew he was going to start slow, and injury in supercross and no outdoors for two years meant you had to give him some time. Then he got some and it ain’t going any better. Mitch Payton has to be running his hand through his hair so much he’s pulling it out. Like Mosiman though, Forkner just had his best moto, so maybe he turns it around and we all forget about this first half.
12th | #115 Maximus Vohland | KTM 250 SX-F | 99 points | Meeting
There were lots of shocked people when Vohland got the deal with KTM to be the factory 250 guy but so far, so good for the kid. He’s a bit older than some of the kids that turn pro but still, we weren’t sure how he would do in his first year of the pros. He's hovering around the top ten most races and that’s about right for a rookie season.
13th | #45 Pierce Brown | GasGas MC 250F | 93 points | Below
Brown’s crashed a lot out there but at times he’s showed some potential. He’s better indoors than out and although I’m loathe to say this cause he will see it, I think Wil Hahn is going to be a big help to Pierce and the team going forward. Pierce just has to keep it on two wheels which is easier said than done.
14th | #67 | Stilez Robertson | Husqvarna FC 250 | 86 points | Below
A factory dude who’s gotten three top-tens in 12 motos doesn’t really meet expectations in my eyes. I know Stilez has some knee issue he’s dealing with, and I know lately he’s looked a bit better, but for someone who’s at Baker’s Factory, has everything they need to be successful and then kind of isn’t, I wonder about this.
15th | #90 Dilan Schwartz | Suzuki RM-Z250 | 78 points | Meeting
I was very impressed with Schwartz last year in the limited nationals he did. The kid seems to be in shape, he tries really hard and while there’s nothing flashy there, he gets it done. The usual caveat about a Suzuki 250 needs to be put in here. Or does it? Twisted Development motor guys have done a good job with Marchbanks and these guys’ bikes.
16th | #39 Carson Mumford | Honda CRF250R | 73 points | Below
Depending how you feel about Schwartz, Mumfy’s either the second or third “privateer” rider in the points in this class which is a tough thing to be. Mumford’s been the best rider who hasn’t been talked about in terms of him getting crappy starts and working up, but at the end of the day, he’d like to be closer to that top ten, right? Moral victories in janky Observations columns don’t count for much. He’s had two motos where he started in the top ten and he’s finished in the top ten in both of them.
17th | #59 Jarrett Frye | Yamaha YZ250F | 73 points | Below
Frye jumping ship off the Bar-X team in a rather greasy way to get on Monster Energy/Star Racing Yamaha and then seeing Schwartz beating him in the points is rather ironic, don’t you think? Frye’s struggled, there’s no two ways about it, and the grade for a rider should be a bit elevated if they’re on a Star Yamaha IMO.
18th | #75 | Ty Masterpool | GasGas MC 250F | 67 points | Meeting
Ty’s been out front a few times but really, he’s been pretty inconsistent as well. He only raced twice last year so maybe there was some adapting to the outdoors needed for him but we’re well into the series now. He’s got the eighth best average starting position in the class so one would think he’d make more of that.
19th | #91 Nate Thrasher | Yamaha YZ250F | 52 points | Below
Although he’s below Frye in the points, Thrasher’s missed four motos with injuries while Frye’s lined up for all of them. Still, with some national experience last year, Nate should be doing better than he’s doing. You know what though? He’s got those SX wins in his back pocket. That gives him lots of time.
20th | #241 Joshua Varize | KTM 250 SX-F | 37 points | Exceeding
Really a total privateer (he's considered part of KTM's Orange Brigade amateur program but he’s out of a van bro!), Varize’s been in the mix for points in just about every moto. It’s not as impressive as his supercross season but he’s been learning and figuring it out.
450 Class POINT STANDINGS
1st | #14 Dylan Ferrandis | Yamaha YZ450F | 262 points | Exceeding
Well he just had his first moto off the podium this past weekend. That was 11 podiums in a row for the Frenchman! With over a moto's worth of points as a gap with half the season to go, I’d say there’s no doubt Ferrandis is exceeding expectations.
2nd | #94 | Ken Roczen | Honda CRF450R | 230 points | Meeting
Even with that DNF at Millville, Roczen still didn’t lose that many points and still sits second in the series. He’s got a win, he’s got a ton of podiums and I’d say Roczen is meeting all of our expectations. Once the series actually started that is.
3rd | #51 | Justin Barcia | GasGas MC 450F | 207 points | Meeting
I would’ve put “BELOW” if Barcia hadn’t just had an epic Millville. I don’t get how he’s third in the points, one would think he’d be lower than that even with that strong start. Weird how a dude can just be so-so for a couple of races and then rip off a dominating race like Bam just did. Anyhoo, with the win it’s now been a good season for Barcia.
4th | #3 Eli Tomac | Kawasaki KX450 | 205 points | I DON’T KNOW
Sorry, I can’t make a decision on Tomac. He’s ripped off moto wins and the one where he didn’t (first moto Millville) might have been his most impressive of them all. But those first five motos were so bad, right? I don’t know, I’m confused (shrugs shoulders).
5th | #23 Chase Sexton | Honda CRF450R | 193 points | Below
Harsh for a dude fifth in the points I know but I bet if you were to ask him, Chase would tell you the same thing. Two moto podiums and not even a fastest qualifier for Sexton? I think it’ll get better for him going forward but he’s got to get some better starts.
6th | #7 Aaron Plessinger | Yamaha YZ450F | 191 points | Exceeding
Bummer for AP to have that Southwick motor issue, otherwise he’d probably be third in the points right now. He’s been the surprise of the nationals (I mean, we thought Ferrandis would be a podium guy, right? That was expected. Plessinger has missed most of his first two 450MX seasons so to me this is a bigger surprise). You look at what he’s doing on the Yamaha and wonder if he’s making a mistake going to Red Bull KTM next year. Hope the factory there doesn’t suck the fun out of AP!
7th | #29 | Christian Craig | Yamaha YZ450F | 156 points | Meeting
Craig rides a 450 better than a 250. You can’t change my mind on this.
8th | #2 Cooper Webb | KTM 450 SX-F | 148 points | Below
The SX champion hasn’t been able to get on track this MX season but it’s not for a lack of effort. He’s started up front, he’s been in the mix but he’s just not been fast enough for whatever reason. It’s got to be bugging him, he’s not a SX champion like Jason Anderson who’s never had much sustained success outdoors. He’s a national champion from the 250 class! When he was in that class, he was right there with guys like JMart or Marvin who have won tons of motocross races. He's not terrible. But for now, it’s not happening for Coop.
9th | #9 Adam Cianciarulo | Kawasaki KX450 | 147 points | Below
AC’s got that High Point moto win but there’s been too many crashes and too many fades due to his hand going numb from this nerve issue he’s got to get taken care of. Look for Adam to not finish this series and get the surgery that he needs to get better. What he’s doing right now isn’t really helping anyone other than his vlog watchers.
10th | #25 | Marvin Musquin | KTM 450 SX-F | 141 points | Below
It was just two short years ago that Marv was winning nationals in the 450 class. Even last year, getting back from injury, he was his usual podium self. Now he’s struggling to get a top five. Not what he or KTM expected, that’s for sure. I don’t know what’s been going on with him, it’s shocking to see him get pushed around out there. Take away his two SLC SX rides (which were great) and this entire year has been a tough one for Marv. Father Time is undefeated in case you didn’t know…
11th | #17 Joseph Savatgy | KTM 450 SX-F | 121 points | Meeting
I guess you could say that Savatgy should be higher in the points than 11th but look at the guys ahead of him and tell me where he should be? The class is just that deep right now, I think.
12th | #15 Dean Wilson | Husqvarna FC 450 | 82 points | Meeting
Dean’s Dean. I mean, he’s a veteran rider who’s going to give you his all each week and he’s a popular dude. As with Savatgy, tell me who he’s 100 percent better than who is front of him in the points? His knees are shot, he’s got Epstein Barr and his future is uncertain but Wilson’s a solid dude who you hope can write his own ticket out of the sport.
13th | #34 | Max Anstie | Suzuki RM-Z450 | 80 points | Meeting
We haven’t seen any breakout rides from Max like we saw at the mudder at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch or the sand WW Ranch Motocross Park last year but we still have 12 motos to go. Max’s MX season has been like his SX season where he’s been steady but not splashy. Also, judging by social posts we know he may not be a tad happy with the bike and/or team.
14th | #19 | Justin Bogle | KTM 450 SX-F | 73 points | Meeting
I don’t know if Bogle was just that tired in the second moto at Millville or if he had bike issues but running third and dropping that far back isn’t a good sign. Still, I think Justin’s been fine this outdoor season in yet another comeback from injury for him. Bogle, like Wilson, is a steady vet who will rep your brand and team well and we need these guys around.
15th | #28 | Brandon Hartranft | Suzuki RM-Z450 | 71 points | Meeting
I would’ve put “BELOW” on here if I hadn’t watched Hartranft in SX. For whatever reason, 2021 hasn’t been as good for him stepping up into the 450’s as I thought it would be. So I wasn’t expecting the pre-season 2021 “Hartranft Hype.” He’s been better in MX than in SX, as he’s at least gotten a top-ten overall.
16th | #43 | Fredrik Noren | KTM 450 SX-F | 58 points | Meeting
“Fast Freddie” is a privateer warrior and is doing about what we thought he would, yeah? Fred had a good Millville running near the top ten and for the most part, he comes through with good rides each week. Freddie’s gonna Fred, people.
17th | #72 | Coty Schock | Honda CRF450R | 47 points | Exceeding
Four mechanical DNF’s in a row have hurt Coty for sure but he’s shown a lot of speed this summer. He broke two chains at Millville. TWO! I still can’t believe that. He’s gotten near the top ten and given some big name dudes some fits in motos as well. With his improvement in SX, I wonder if some 250 teams are looking at him for 2022.
18th | #1 Zachary Osborne | Husqvarna FC 450 | 33 points | Below
The defending champion announced his intention to race this summer with a disc injury and I was pretty skeptical right off the bat. I’ve herniated a disc before, and I wasn’t racing professional motocross for a living. So, yeah, unfortunately, Zacho’s issues flared up and he had to pull the pin early. See ya’ in 2022 SX!
19th | #57 | Justin Rodbell | Kawasaki KX450 | 33 points | Meeting
I was this close to putting “BELOW” on this based on what Rodbell did last summer, but this field is deeper than that and he’s been better lately. Also, he’s back working at his HVAC job so maybe that’s it. I’m not sure, but the Summer of Rodbell has begun, just a little later than we all thought.
20th | #21 Jason Anderson | Husqvarna FC 450 | 29 points | Below
Anderson’s ridden two motos and sits 20th in the points? What the heck? I’m not sure what that says about the rest of the dudes in the class. Anyway, Jason’s on track to be healthy by the end of the summer but with him going to Monster Kawi for 2022, I wonder if he comes back at all and if he does, how ready is he?
Thanks for reading, enjoy the week and see you at Washougal! Email me at email@example.com if you want to chat about this or anything else!