2021 Loretta Lynn's: Day 1 (Tuesday) Recap
HURRICANE MILLS, Tennessee—The first gate drops of the landmark 40th running of the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship commenced on Tuesday from Tennessee’s famed Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. On-track action kicked off at 7:30 a.m. local time, where the first set of 22 motos set the tone for what is expected to be an exciting and highly competitive week of racing to crown 36 AMA National Champions.
250 Pro Sport
One of the showcase divisions of Loretta Lynn’s is always a focal point thanks to a stacked roster of talent destined to graduate into the professional ranks. This year’s field includes the likes of Bar X/Chaparral/ECSTAR/Suzuki Racing’s Preston Kilroy, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Levi Kitchen, and Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green’s Jett Reynolds, each of whom entered with a shot at the AMA National Championship.
As the gate dropped on the first of three motos for the class, it was Kitchen who emerged from the first turn with the STACYC Holeshot. Kitchen was able to take advantage of the clear track and opened a gap on Phoenix Racing Honda’s Hunter Yoder. Behind them, Kilroy battled with AEO Powersports GASGAS’ Austin Black, while Reynolds started seventh.
At the completion of the opening lap Kitchen had already built a lead of more than five seconds, which he continued to add to as Kilroy fought his way into second to drop Yoder to third and into the clutches of both Reynolds and Black. Out front, Kitchen was in a class of his own and soon established a double-digit advantage that he easily maintained through the remainder of the moto. Once into second, Kilroy asserted a similar hold on the position and ran most of the race on his own.
With the leaders all but checked out, the attention shifted to a tight battle for third between Black and Reynolds. The duo mirrored one another’s lap times as Reynolds sought to mount enough of a challenger to make a pass attempt. However, Black withstood the pressure throughout and inched away in the late stages of the moto.
Kitchen rode a near-perfect race en route to the opening moto win, followed by Kilroy in second and Black in third. However, after the race concluded it was deemed that Kitchen had jumped in an area showing a red cross flag, which signifies a downed rider in a precarious position and requires wheels to remain on the ground. As a result of the infraction, Kitchen was penalized two positions, which moved Kilroy to the top of the results, with Black now second. Kitchen was dropped to third ahead of Reynolds in fourth, while NSA/bLU cRU Yamaha’s Luca Marsalisi rounded out the top five.
250 Pro Sport Moto 1 Results
- Preston Kilroy, Afton, Wyo., Suzuki
- Austin Black, Tigard, Ore., GASGAS
- Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha
- Jett Reynolds, Bakersfield, Calif., Kawasaki
- Luca Marsalisi, Danbury, Conn., Yamaha
Just like Pro Sport, 250 B is also a class brimming with talent, including Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Talon Hawkins, NSA/bLU cRU Yamaha’s Gage Linville, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Nick Romano, Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green’s Gavin Towers, and others.
As the field stormed out the gate and into the first turn it was KTM Orange Brigade’s Caden Braswell who grabbed the STACYC Holeshot, but Romano made a quick challenge to jump into the lead. Braswell battled back and reclaimed the top spot before the completion of the opening lap and brought Red Bull KTM’s Daxton Bennick along with him into second.
Romano regrouped and came back to challenge Bennick. The Yamaha rider made an aggressive pass to take over second and looked to close the gap to the lead. That ended up being all the work Romano had to do, as Braswell had a miscue and lost several positions. Romano inherited the lead as Linville charged up into second and Bennick followed in third, just ahead of Towers.
The Yamahas at the head of the pack stayed close to one another, as Linville kept Romano within striking distance, but as they navigated through lappers at the end of the moto Romano was able to slip away. He charged home to the moto win, with Linville second and Towers third. Braswell recovered to grab fourth, while MotoSport Hillsboro Honda’s Preston Boespflug completed the top five.
250 B Moto 1 Results
- Nick Romano, Bayside, N.Y., Yamaha
- Gage Linville, Lake Park, Ga., Yamaha
- Gavin Towers, Venetia, Pa., Kawasaki
- Caden Braswell, Shalimar, Fla., KTM
- Preston Boespflug, Battle Ground, Wash., Honda
125cc (12-17) B/C
Following a strong performance at Loretta Lynn’s last summer, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Evan Ferry was one of the riders many had their eyes on 125cc B/C. So, when the gate dropped on the class’ first moto it wasn’t a surprise to see the second generation racer move into the early lead, bypassing STACYC Holeshot earner Collin Allen and his EBR Performance Yamaha. Once out front, Ferry asserted himself as the rider to beat ahead of KTM Orange Brigade’s Mark Fineis in second.
Ferry continued to open up his lead on the field and managed a multi-second advantage throughout the majority of the moto. With the win within reach, Ferry tucked the front end of his Husqvarna on the final lap and was briefly stuck under the motorcycle. The misfortune allowed Fineis to move into the lead and carry on to the moto win. Ferry recovered to finish second, followed by Triangle Cycles/bLU cRU Yamaha’s Logan Best in third, MX Locker KTM’s Noah Smerdon in fourth, and Allen in fifth.
125cc (12-17) B/C Moto 1 Results
- Mark Fineis, Westfield, Ind., KTM
- Evan Ferry, Largo, Fla., Husqvarna
- Logan Best, North Port, Fla., Yamaha
- Noa Smerdon, Cairo, Ga., KTM
- Collin Allen, Clayton, N.C., Yamaha
Supermini 1 (12-15)
The Supermini 1 class is known as a showcase division for riders on the verge of making their move into the big bikes. After a dominant, undefeated outing at Loretta Lynn’s last year, up-and-comer Haiden Deegan made the step up into Supermini 1 for 2021, with the expectation that he’d continue his minibike reign.
As the field charged out of the first turn to start Moto 1, it was Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Husqvarna’s Jackson Glathar who earned the STACYC Holeshot, but Deegan was right there and stormed to the head of the pack. With a clear track ahead, he sprinted out to a multi-second lead before the end of the opening lap and never looked back. Behind him, Monster Energy/Vision Wheel/GASGAS’ Casey Cochran took hold of second, while KTM Orange Brigade’s Enzo Temmerman made the move into third.
The top three never relinquished their respective holds on those positions. Deegan was never threatened en route to another moto win at the ranch, with Cochran second and Temmerman third. Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green’s Krystian Janik followed in fourth, while KTM rider Adler Caudle rounded out the top five.
Supermini 1 (12-15) Moto 1 Results
- Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., KTM
- Casey Cochran, Clermont, Fla., GASGAS
- Enzo Temmerman, Visalia, Calif., KTM
- Krystian Janik, Oak Lawn, Ill., Kawasaki
- Adler Caudle, Moore, Okla., KTM
Mini Sr. 1 (12-14)
The Mini Sr. 1 class is one of the many proving grounds at Loretta Lynn’s and this year’s field is no different. The first moto of the week saw KTM rider Carson Millikan come away with the STACYC Holeshot, but he was soon overtaken by KTM Orange Brigade’s Luke Fauser and JMC Motorsports Husqvarna’s Landen Gordon.
The lead pair quickly distanced themselves from the rest of the field as Fauser controlled the first half of the moto. As they reached the halfway point Gordon started to pick up the pace and applied pressure on the lead. The two engaged in an exciting battle, from which Gordon emerged with the top spot. From there he continued to pull away and went on to capture the moto win over Fauser. Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green’s Drew Adams finished third, followed by KTM Orange Brigade’s Jeremy Fappani in fourth and Interactive Mortgage TM’s Alvin Hillin in fifth.
Mini Sr. 1 (12-14) Moto 1 Results
- Landen Gordon, Atascadero, Calif., Husqvarna
- Luke Fauser, Midland, Pa., KTM
- Drew Adams, Chattanooga, Tenn., Kawasaki
- Jeremy Fappani, Scottsdale, Ariz., KTM
- Alvin Hillan, Visalia, Calif., TM
The Women’s class for the 2021 season at Loretta Lynn’s was wide open, with several contenders for the AMA National Championship like KTM Orange Brigade’s Tayler Allred, Triangle Cycles/bLU cRU Yamaha’s Katie Benson, and The Moto Shop/GASGAS’ Hannah Hodges.
As the gate dropped on the opening moto it was Benson who grabbed the STACYC Holeshot ahead of Allred, while Team Babbitt’s/Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Korie Steede and Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Kawasaki’s Sophia Phelps battled it out for third. Benson paced the field on the opening lap, but Allred went on the attack to seize control of the moto. Benson then went down and lost several spots, which moved Phelps into second, Steede third, and Hodges fourth.
Allred enjoyed a big lead over the field and successfully managed it through to the finish for the moto win, where she held off a strong late push by Phelps, who finished second. Hodges completed the top three, while Benson recovered to finish fourth ahead of Steede in fifth.
Women Moto 1 Results
- Tayler Allred, West Jordan, Utah, KTM
- Sophia Phelps, St. George, Utah, Kawasaki
- Hannah Hodges, Pierson, Fla., GASGAS
- Katie Benson, Greer, S.C., Yamaha
- Korie Steede, Beloit, Ohio, Kawasaki
Whenever a former Pro Motocross champion is in the field, the class he’s competing in is going to get some extra attention. This is exactly the case with the Junior class, which features 2001 AMA 125cc National Champion Mike Brown. The motocross legend has continued to keep his racing skills sharp since stepping away from the sport full time and this year is gunning for a ninth Loretta Lynn’s crown. In fact, Brown won the Junior division from 2017-2019.
As the most successful rider in the field all eyes were on Brown when the gate dropped on the opening moto, but it was Championship Powersports Honda’s Broc Peterson who emerged with the STACYC Holeshot. Before the completion of the opening lap Brown had moved into the lead aboard his Rockstar Energy/Munn Racing Husqvarna. Behind him, Crow Hill Moto KTM’s Robbie Marshall and Phoenix Racing Honda’s Heath Harrison clawed their way into second and third, respectively.
From there an incredible battle ensued between this trio. They paced one another lap after lap, with no more than a couple seconds between the top three. Harrison appeared to be the quickest of the frontrunners and got by Marshall for second. He continued to pressure Brown for several laps and took over the top spot just past the halfway point of the moto.
Once out front, Harrison never looked back and brought home the moto win by a comfortable margin. Behind him, Brown’s pace dropped a bit in the closing minutes, which allowed Crosley Radio KTM’s Jake Baumert to make a late pass for second as Brown settled for third.
Junior (25+) Moto 1 Results
- Heath Harrison, Salisbury, N.C., Honda
- Jake Baumert, Buckner, Ky., KTM
- Mike Brown, Bristol, Tenn., Husqvarna
- Robbie Marshall, Phillipston, Mass., KTM
- Jamal Porter Jr., Garner, N.C., Honda
Another former Pro Motocross champion lined up on the gate in the Masters class, putting the spotlight on Loretta Lynn’s oldest group of competitors. Jeff Emig, a two-time AMA 250cc National Champion, has collected a total of seven titles at the ranch, but he has not competed on the hallowed grounds since 2006, when he won the Vet 35+ crown.
Emig’s anticipated return to Loretta Lynn’s kicked off with the opening moto, where Team Carey Yamaha’s Tim Fillipi started things off with the STACYC Holeshot, only to be passed by Stahlman Powersports Kawasaki’s Billy Fosnock and The Wick 338/Pilgrim Powersports Kawasaki’s Keith Johnson, while Emig snuck into third.
Fosnock led the opening lap, but Emig went on the attack and passed both riders to surge into the lead aboard his Shift MX Husqvarna. He opened up an advantage of more than five seconds over Johnson, but the Kawasaki rider laid down his fastest lap of the moto to make things interesting in the late stages. However, Emig showed why he’s one of the sport’s legends and resisted the late challenge to pull away once more and secure the moto win. Johnson finished second, with RM Army Suzuki’s Barry Carsten third, Champion MX KTM’s Kurt Nicoll fourth, and Ulrich Performance/Triangle Cycles Suzuki’s Kevin Walker in fifth.
Masters (50+) Moto 1 Results
- Jeff Emig, Riverside, Calif., Husqvarna
- Keith Johnson, Carver, Mass., Kawasaki
- Barry Carsten, Bayville, N.J., Suzuki
- Kurt Nicoll, Temecula, Calif., KTM
- Kevin Walker, Kingsport, Tenn., Suzuki
Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship Tuesday Winners
250 B Limited: Jayden Clough, Elko New Market, Minn., Kawasaki
250 C: Cason Pinkston, Kaufman, Texas, Yamaha
250 C Jr. (12-17) Limited: Gabe Holland, Winterville, Ga., KTM
450 B: Kimble Jett, Norwood, La., KTM
450 C: Blake Grindstaff, Hickory, N.C., KTM
125 C: Cason Pinkston, Kaufman, Texas, Yamaha
College (18-24): Justin Cokinos, Hanover, Mass., GASGAS
Vet (30+): Broc Peterson, Delta, Ohio, Honda
Senior (40+): Jimmy Jarrett, Star, Idaho, KTM
65cc (7-9) Limited: Tayce Morgan, Lehi, Utah, GASGAS
65cc (7-9): Tayce Morgan, Lehi, Utah, KTM
65cc (10-11) Limited: Jonathen Getz Jr., Oldtown, Fla., Husqvarna
85cc (10-12) Limited: Kannon Hargrove, Kemp, Texas, GASGAS
Mini Sr. 2 (13-15): Thomas Wood, Cairo, Ga., KTM
The second day of motos for the 2021 Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship continues Wednesday, August 4. Broadcast coverage of every moto can be seen exclusively on Racer TV.
For more information on the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship, visit the series official website at www.MXSports.com or call (304) 284-0101. Join the conversation on the event’s social media channels, along with receiving the most up-to-date news and exclusive content.
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