The pre-penultimate (I don’t even know if that’s a word, BTW) round of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship went off at Ironman Raceway this past weekend and it’s the last East Coast round of the series. So, it’s the last time we’ll see brown loamy dirt, the last time we’ll see woodchips (Dylan Ferrandis is stoked!), and the last time we’ll see any other East Coast stuff for the rest of the year. This will make a difference in some of the results, by the way.
Although it’s the newest track on the series, I think Ironman Raceway is already one of the better ones. Good dirt, good facility, and always a great crowd—it’s shame that rain has impacted maybe half of the races they’ve had. I think Ironman Raceway is in the upper half of the tracks in the series and it sure looks fun to ride before it gets all rough and stuff.
We’ve seen COVID-19 affect other sports in a big way and it seems to be making its way through the MX world right about now. Lots of people got it at Loretta Lynn’s and now Max Anstie and Marvin Musquin did not race Ironman because of positive test. There were a few more riders who didn’t show that were rumored to have had it, too. I talked to two teams that had it rip through the staff there. We know that this new Delta variant is much more contagious than the previous and it’s getting to our little world. Should we maybe have some sort of testing for the pro paddock like other sports have? I’m not sure to be honest. It’s hard to get our sport together to do anything, but on the other hand, should we really be different than other sports?
I’m going to miss Grant Langston on the TV shows. He did an awesome job in the booth and his refusal to sit out a weekend because he was not vaccinated is certainly a hard line to take in my opinion, but hey, he’s free to do that, just as NBC is free to have a policy to try and keep people out if they have to enter an area where there has been an outbreak. The sport is worse off without him there but Jeff Emig did a good job filling in with that Weege [Jason Weigandt] guy. Emig will be better each weekend after he’s got some time to prep.
Let’s take a look at the results, shall we?
250 Class Results
1st | #18 | Jett Lawrence | 1-1
What a day for THE JETT! Fastest in both sessions, led 90 percent of the laps and looked to be about perfect on the day. Before Jeremy Martin crashed out (broken arm, see ya’ in 2022, J-Mart!) in the first moto we were set to see a battle royale, I think. After that it was all the Jett show. This was such a massive race for THE JETT, he went from three down in the championship to 11 up and heading to a track where he has won the last two races. Huge clutch performance for Lawrence and really seems that this title is his is lose.
2nd | #30 | Jo Shimoda | 2-3
I don’t know why Ironman was such a fit for Shimoda but right from the start of the day, he was great. Jo had two moto podiums in his career before but at Ironman, he doubled the stat and stood on the podium. I wonder about his battle with his buddy THE JETT. Does he need to convince himself that he can indeed match him? Like, is there a hierarchy in Shimoda’s head that he’s not good enough to race Lawrence? Not saying there is, just wondering. Again, what a find for Pro Circuit this season—remember Jo had to try out for the team before SX and he’s been by far the best rider on the squad.
3rd | #32 | Justin Cooper | 4-4
Cooper’s been sick lately and you can tell it’s getting to him. Whether it’s not riding during the week or illness holding him back on race day, all the mojo from Cooper’s earlier races is gone. He’s truthfully lucky to get third overall also, as THE JETT, Shimoda, Michal Mosiman, RJ Hampshire, and J-Mart all showed more speed than he did on the day. His three-point lead went to an 11-point deficit just like that.
4th | #42 | Michael Mosiman | 3-6
Mosiman missed a few races with an injury but was great in his return. Probably should’ve landed on the podium but he got a bad start in the second moto and had to fight through the pack to get that sixth. For a first ride back, it was a great day for the #42 and one I’m sure the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/GasGas Factory Racing guys appreciated.
5th | #38 | Austin Forkner | 5-5
Forkner’s been better lately and the Ironman National was just a continuation of that. I’m not sure what happened off the starts, but he was pretty far back. Austin had to fight through the pack in both motos to get these results. It’s not where he wants to be but it’s a whole lot better than where he was.
6th | #24 | RJ Hampshire | 13-2
RJ went RJ—what else can you say? Tons of speed, tons of determination, but crashes held him back on the day. Definitely deserved better but RJ’s gonna’ RJ, right?
7th | #75 | Ty Masterpool | 6-7
That’s four strong motos in a row for the privateer. He’s really feeling it these days. Earlier in the year he had a rib that was popping out during the motos. That injury must be coming around because I feel like his staying power and fitness is better than it was at the beginning of the series also.
8th | #39 | Carson Mumford | 8-8
Mumfy had a good day in Indiana, he’s been showing up inside the top ten and I’ve said over and over, when you’re a privateer in this class, top ten against the factory dudes is strong. Also, Mumfy is a bigger guy compared to some in the class.
9th | #41 | Hunter Lawrence | 12-9
Hunter was off all day. He, like so many others in the pits, was under the weather. What was it like? In the Honda PR, Hunter said, "Today, I saw Jesus every lap.”
10th | #90 | Dilan Schwartz | 9-13
Ho hum, another top ten for Schwartz and now we’re heading to a track that he knows well. Someone told me that he’s a shoe-in for a factory spot but I don’t think there’re really any openings for him. Besides, like I wrote last week, it’s time to stop making fun of Suzuki’s being slow. They’re not. We can continue to make fun of them having a kick start though, that’s wide open.
11th | #380 | Preston Kilroy | 10-14
Since turning pro, Kilroy has bettered his total points scored at each race so that’s something. I’m sure he sees his teammate Schwartz riding well and figures whatever Dilan can do, he can do the same. You love to see the improvement, right?
12th | #59 | Jarrett Frye | 15-10
Frye’s been a bit better here lately. He had another top ten this week in a moto after getting one last week. Weird that he rode basically the same this week as he did on his home track of Budds, right?
13th | #307 | Brandon Scharer | 14-12
Look, it’s super hard for me to congratulate Brandon on his good day just one week after I picked him in PulpMX Fantasy and he pulled out of a moto. Then this week he’s got the max points. Not bitter at all.
14th | #241 | Joshua Varize | 16-11
As I said last week, Varize’s been much better lately since the break, and I spoke with him about it. He said he’s been going back to the gym more than before, his dad told me about some improvements on the bike they’ve made. That Weege guy says he’s also improved his race-day diet—as in, he’s making himself eat even when he’s nervous and doesn’t want to. KTM is working hard to find him a home for next year. Don’t forget, Josh had a solid season in SX, also.
15th | #115 | Maximus Vohland | 7-29
Ah man, I didn’t know Vohland’s bike let go with two laps to go otherwise he would’ve been top ten overall and a much-improved ride from last week. He seemed to love the track also. He’s been down at Baker’s Factory and told me he had more rest this week than last because he might have been overdoing it.
16th | #147 | Levi Kitchen | 11-35
Levi’s first moto charge was impressive and then he crashed back to 11th. Second moto he had a fuel issue and/or dirt in the eyes and had to pull off while he was up there. So far, Kitchen’s got tons of speed but no real results yet. But, they’re coming.
17th | #172 | Tommy Rios | 18-15
It’s TJ Rios, not Tommy ICYWW. Rios is riding for the Manluk/Rock River Yamaha/Merge Racing team and I’m sure he’s missing the Troll Train’s fatherly advice over there with Alex Martin out with injury. Anyway, Rios has been solid in his first races as a pro. He’s avoiding the big mistakes and seems to be in shape as well.
18th | #995 | Christopher Prebula | 20-16
Congrats to Chris for getting to the Olympics in the woman’s BMX class. If you want more detail, watch the graphics on the TV broadcast.
19th | #170 | Devin Simonson | 21-17
Good job for Simonson to break into the top 20 in a moto.
20th | #77 | Jerry Robin | 17-26
Hey, Jerry’s back! He’s gotten points in three out of the last six motos which is better than the start of his year.
450 Class Results
1st | #3 | Eli Tomac | 2-1
He won! Tomac grabbed his first overall of the year at Ironman with two great rides. His attempts to get by Webb in moto two were intense! He was NOT going to wait around for Webb and knew he had to vamoose ASAP. Great ride for ET and I wonder if him getting second in the points means anything to him with just four motos to go? He’s 21 down on Kenny right now.
2nd | #14 | Dylan Ferrandis | 1-2
Man, Dylan looked rough after the second moto as the heat got to him. I had heard that he, like so many others, was under the weather before the day started but he looked fine to me by going 1-2. Afterward, he was ripping around the rental car parking lot in the Mustang he rented so he must’ve been feeling a lot better, right? He’s on the verge of clinching the 450MX title and that’s a sentence I didn’t think I’d be typing this year. Good for him, just keep the wood chips off the track, bro.
3rd | #2 | Cooper Webb | 4-3
Oh hey! Look at this! Yeah, some dudes were missing but Webb was better than Chase Sexton and Ken Roczen on this day, which had not been the case at any point this summer until now. He was great and afterwards commented that a frame brace change helped him and his riding. I know I’m the anti-bike setup dude because there will never be a perfect motocross bike and IMO, these dudes blame their bike setups WAY too much, but this was a big change, so I’m perfectly accepting of the fact that this made a difference for Coop. A few clickers making or breaking your day? Nah.
4th | #94 | Ken Roczen | 3-5
Roczen just didn’t have the usual sauce out there, in the second moto it looked like the heat got to him as well when his teammate Sexton ran him down from a long ways back. Combined with the humidity at Budds Creek last week, these two races took a toll on some dudes.
5th | #23 | Chase Sexton | 5 4
A ho hum kind of day for Chase, I suppose he can take solace that he ran down Kenny in moto two but with Chase being from Illinois and loving Millville and RedBud, you would think this place would’ve been right up his alley. Guess what? He was sick, also. Is anyone feeling okay? Maybe Eli? Tomacs might be impervious to illness. We’re heading to Pala where Chase won last summer, and I’ve got to think he’ll be better there.
6th | #72 | Coty Schock | 8-6
It’s the summer of Schock man, we can’t stop him, we can only hope to contain him. And he’s going to ride the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations for Puerto Rico as well! If you were in on Schock stock last year when he couldn’t make 250SX mains, you’re a rich man now.
7th | #17 | Joseph Savatgy | 7-8
Savatgy got a holeshot! It’s been a long time since we saw that, in his Kawi days he was very good off the start but as I’ve always said, starts are somewhat about confidence and the more you’re beaten down, the harder it is to get them back. Anyways, Joe Dawg rode well to these finishes but I’m sure he looked at Schock beating him and was depressed about that but hey, join the club, right?
8th | #19 | Justin Bogle | 10-7
Bogle’s been better lately, right? I asked him if the virus or whatever is going on with him is getting and he said nope, it just is what it is for him at this point. He’s still got a good attitude, he’s still throwing some whips out there and an eighth overall probably feels like a podium.
9th | #28 | Brandon Hartranft | 9-9
I spoke with Hartranft after the moto and after we made fun of A-Ray for a while, we talked about his day. As he said, yeah there were some dudes not there but hey, you still have to do the work, right? Brandon’s been better lately with some bike improvements and I think he’ll be on the same team for 2022. Nice rebound after a tough 450SX rookie campaign.
10th | #11 | Kyle Chisholm | 11-10
I know Chiz is happy with a top ten, but I’d rather have seen him go 11-11 for 11th on the day. That would’ve been cooler.
11th | #97 | Ben LaMay | 12-11
Yes, there are guys missing right now but LaMay is DGAF about that, he just about got a top ten and no one is gonna ask him to give his points or prize money back because dudes weren’t there.
12th | #951 | Ryan Surratt | 14-13
Surratt continued his strong summer with these moto results. I swear each week he does not do anything flashy that catches my eye but then there he is, getting some good moto scores.
13th | #7 | Aaron Plessinger | 6-36
Since his first moto crash at Unadilla where he was tracking Ken Roczen down and crashed, AP has gone DNF-DNS, 6-DNF which sucks for him. Oh, what a fickle sport we have here.
14th | #76 | Grant Harlan | 18-12
All of Hawaii is so stoked for the new Flyin’ Hawaiian, Grant Harlan. That’s a real solid job for a guy who hasn’t raced a national for a month or so.
15th | #122 | Jeremy Hand | 16-14
Hand’s been very good lately and also very fast for a privateer in qualifying as well. I smell a Privateer Island Podcast coming very soon with him…
16th | #57 | Justin Rodbell | 15-16
The summer of Rodbell is here folks, it’s in full-bloom. Rodbell is all about the whips also which you fans should appreciate.
17th | #800 | Jace Kessler | 13-DNS
I had Kessler in PulpMX Fantasy and he crushed it in moto one. Then in the second moto the AMA crushed me and his dreams. Jace realized he had two gloves of the same hand and needed to get another set. He left the gate area to get some gloves and then when he came back, was not allowed to race. “People” are looking into this further to figure out what happened and when. However, no matter what we learn, I will not get my PulpMX Fantasy points back. I’m lending my Yamaha 450 to Jace this weekend for Pala so if anything goes sideways out there with his bike, it’s on me.
18th | #314 | Tyler Stepek | 23-15
The Maryland Mafia is not just fast at Budds Creek, right? We’re seeing these dudes put it in the top 20 a lot.
19th | #85 | Kevin Moranz | 21-17
Moranz hadn’t raced since SX so this is a good finish for him. I saw a photo on his IG where it looks like he’s going to crash for sure in the first corner but I guess he saved it. Nice work on that one.
20th | #270 | Jacob Runkles | 20-18
RUNKLES NATION! Again with the Maryland mafia, Runkles had exactly two motos where he got points in the previous 29 races and he’s now got points in six motos in a row! Seriously, that’s pretty awesome improvement, right? He even got some free gear from FXR guys for all his excellence. Really cool to see.
Thanks for reading, see you all at Pala! Just four motos to go and the 250 Class should still be exciting right? Email me at email@example.com if you want to chat about this or something else.