Main image by Mitch Kendra
It’s Jo Time!
Jo Shimoda earned his maiden win at the fifth round RedBud National. Shimoda suffered a crash early in the second moto that had him buried deep outside the top 30. Eventually, he came all the way back to third place, and his 1-3 finishes bested Hunter Lawrence’s 2-2 finishes for the overall win. Shimoda’s maiden overall win means he is the 89th different rider to win an overall in the 125/250F Class of Pro Motocross. By doing so, Shimoda also became the first Japanese native to claim an overall win in Pro Motocross in the U.S. This was also his sixth career Pro Motocross overall podium and his 29th career start. The win also gave Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki its first win since Adam Cianciarulo went 1-3 for the overall win at the 2019 Spring Creek. That race was on July 20, 2019, almost three years ago to date!
12 #1’s for #1
After his bike suffered a mechanical issue in moto one, Jett Lawrence earned his 12th Pro Motocross moto win moto two. His 35-1 gave him ninth overall, and this was the first race in his career where Jett won a moto but did not win the overall. Eight of Jett’s nine Pro Motocross overall wins to date have come on a day where he won at least one moto—he won the Thunder Valley National overall with 2-2 finishes.
#96 with Extra Red
Jett’s mechanical trouble allowed Hunter Lawrence to take over both the race lead and the championship lead. Hunter will head to The Wick 338, the location of his first Pro Motocross win (in 1-1 fashion), with the 250 Class points lead for the first time in his Pro Motocross career. Hunter had the points lead in Monster Energy AMA Supercross before, but this will be his first time on the U.S. AMA Motocross circuit with the extra red. How long will they stay on the #96 CRF250R?
First to Two
Eli Tomac claimed the premier class overall with 1-1 finishes. It was Tomac’s 29th career Pro Motocross overall win on a 450. With ET3 taking the overall wins at both the fourth and fifth rounds, he becomes the first rider to earn two overall wins this season. Tomac was the first to two overall wins in only one of his three 450 Class Pro Motocross championship seasons (2018 was first to two, Blake Baggett was first to two in 2017 and Ken Roczen was first to two in 2019). So how many times has the first to two went on to win the title?
Of the first 50 full seasons of Pro Motocross, the first rider to two overall wins in the premier class went on to win the title in 30 of those seasons (60 percent). Chase Sexton still leads the points standings, but ET3 is within striking distance.
Other Random Stats
Separated by 7
After five rounds, both the 450 and 250 Class top two riders are separated by only 7 points, ironically. Sexton (224 points) leads Tomac (217 points) by seven and Hunter Lawrence (218 points) leads Jett Lawrence (211 points) by seven.
Podium with Some Stilez
Husqvarna’s Stilez Robertson earned his first moto podium over the weekend with a third-place finish. Then, the California native backed it up with a fifth in moto two to earn third overall. Robertson’s maiden overall podium finish came in his 17th Pro Motocross event.
Ryder DiFrancesco’s pro debut was up and down. He suffered two crashes on the opening lap of the first moto before finishing 14th. In the second moto, DiFrancesco got the holeshot! He was running in fifth late in the race before eventually dropping outside the top ten to finish 12th. We expect to see him race Spring Creek next weekend before heading to the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch one last time.
Moto Podium After Moto Podium
Chase Sexton landed on the moto podium twice at the fifth round thanks to 2-2 finishes. Sexton has now landed on the podium in 9 out of the 10 motos to start the season, as his fourth-place finish in the first moto at the Thunder Valley National was his only finish outside the top three to date. Last year, champion Dylan Ferrandis finished inside the top five in every moto and finished on the moto podium in 22 of the 24 motos. Can Sexton continue to produce a similar stat line?
#17 Back on the Podium
Speaking of podiums, Joey Savatgy returned to the podium for the first time in years after a third-place finish in 450 moto one. Savatgy posted on Instagram:
“August 11 2018 last time I was on the podium.. it’s been a long time, a lot of bumps along the way. I know it was only for one moto but wow, thank you to @racekawasaki for giving me the opportunity to go racing. Unfortunate crash second moto while in 6th, but major steps in the right direction. Redbud fans never disappoint 🍺”
At the 2018 Unadilla National, Savatgy finished 7-3 for fourth overall. For Savatgy, it was 1,421 days—or three years and ten months—since his last podium. The Georgia native finished ninth in moto two to claim sixth overall.
With Jett and Hunter Lawrence finishing first and second, respectively, in the second moto, it was the 7th moto (of 10 races so far) where the duo has finished 1-2. How many more 1-2 finishes will we see this summer?
FMF Privateer Power Award: Benny Bloss.
Bloss finished 11-14 for 12th overall on a KTM 450 SX-F.
RC Battery Hard Charger Award: Shane McElrath
Jason Anderson and Team Fried
Matthew Curler qualified 30th overall in the 450 Class but blew up his bike and was not able to race. He said his drain bolt fell out, causing the oil to drain out and his bike to lock up. He was unable to get it fixed for the motos. Enter Kevin Moranz, 37th in qualifying then fifth in the LCQ. Moranz was able to sneak into the motos in place of Curler.
Matthew Burkeen raw footage two-stroke footage
Raw Trackside Moto
Check out our guy Tom Journet’s infield access videos below to watch nearly 20 minutes of raw footage from round five.
Best Post-Race Show Ever
And check out our best post-race show, starring top-ten Marshal Weltin, the Twisted Tea models and people jumping into a pool. Including one of the models! This really might have been the best post-race show ever.
Quotes From Around The Paddock
Jason Anderson | 7-4 for 4th overall
“Minor crashes in each moto cost me valuable time and positions early so, I felt like I was playing catch up all day. My speed was solid, and the bike felt great but, a couple of miscues are all it takes to put the podium out of reach. Overall, I made a lot of passes out there and managed to salvage a fourth overall so, we’ll just keep moving forward with the goal of getting another win here soon.”
Ken Roczen | 4-7 for 5th overall
“I tried to hang in there as long as I could, but I got sick this week and still had a lot of exhaustion in my bones. I had to drop the anchor in the second moto because I was empty. I’ve hardly been on the bike this whole last week, and I was laid up on the couch most of the time, so that combination just wasn’t ideal heading into this weekend. I’m working on getting healthy so I can attack next weekend.”
Joey Savatgy | 3-9 for 6th overall
“It’s been almost four years since the last time I was on the podium and there have been plenty of highs and lows along the way. Finally getting myself back up on the box in the first moto felt amazing. Thank you to the Monster Energy Kawasaki team for this opportunity to be racing and improving each weekend. I was set back a bit overall by the crash in Moto 2 but, we took major steps in the right direction today and look forward to more progress ahead.”
Ryan Dungey | 6-5 for 7th overall
“We felt good today and the motor has been good, too. My starts weren't that great today so I had to kind of work through the pack a little bit and that didn't make it easy on me. Overall, we're good. We’ll try to get a little bit better going into next weekend but I’m happy with the progress overall and where we're at, looking at the times and how close we are there. We’ll just try to keep building every weekend.”
Christian Craig | 5-6 for 8th overall
“I always love coming here to RedBud. I did pretty well here last year, so I wanted to get back up to that front group after a couple of off weeks at High Point and Colorado, and I was able to do that. I qualified well, and although my starts weren't the best I was able to come through the pack pretty quick and went 5-6. Unfortunately, that was only good enough for eighth overall somehow, but that’s how it rolls sometimes. It’s all about the points at the end of the day, and I’m close to fifth in the standings - just two points behind Dungey. So, I’ve just got to keep going. I’d say Eli was on another level today, but other than that, we were right there with that top group; we’ve just got to keep building.”
Aaron Plessinger | 9-8 for 9th overall
“In the first moto, I kind of struggled with bike setup a little bit. I got a pretty good start and then kind of pumped up and rode tight, so I went back to ninth. Second moto, I didn't get the greatest start but I came through to eighth. I felt a lot better – I was flowing, I was wheelie-ing bumps and the bike felt a lot better. We'll go back and do some homework this week, work on my starts a little bit more and see what Southwick holds for us.”
Marshal Weltin | 10-12 for 10th overall
"I'm from Michigan, so RedBud is my home race. A lot of my friends and family showed up and were really supportive. Things started out a little rocky. I was pretty off in qualifying. Then I think my instincts just kicked in when the gate dropped, and I had my personal best moto finish with a tenth in Moto 1. I followed that up with a 12th in Moto 2. I ended up with a tenth overall. I'm stoked with the results. It's really fun racing at RedBud; the track's always insanely good, and you just can't match the whole atmosphere. I had a lot of fun and cracked a Twisted Tea at the end of the day and tried to soak it all in."
Shane McElrath | 14-11 for 11th overall
“I felt like today was the first productive race day I've had. I actually passed some people, and the results don't really show what we went through today. It was a good step over the last two weeks being back in Florida and we made some pretty big bike changes, which I think is really starting to come around now. It's definitely progress. We've had a lot of work to do, but we've done a lot of work. So, I'm excited to keep it going.”
Brandon Hartranft | 13-13 for 14th overall
"Round five at RedBud was a little tough for me. I could have ridden better in qualifying. In Moto 1 I got a decent start and was around the top ten. I had really bad arm pump and I dropped back to around 15th. Then with ten minutes to go I regrouped, got my arms back to normal, and caught back up to 13th. Before Moto 2 we did a little suspension change. I rode quite a bit better, but everybody in front of me was just riding super well and I ended up with another 13th. I’m definitely not happy about my results, but I'll take the positives out of the day and move forward for round six at Southwick."
RJ Hampshire | 4-6 for 4th overall
“The riding was really good today, I felt like I was almost back to normal. My starts were not good and in the first moto, I was beat. The second moto, I ended up going down with a group of guys on the first lap and was buried back in 30th or so. I felt much better on the bike this weekend and had pretty good strength, so I think we're just going to continue to get better now. We kind of got over that hump with injuries and we’re back having fun and still have a fight in us.”
Levi Kitchen | 9-4 for 5th overall
“It was a good day overall. In the first moto, I got buried on the start and got up to ninth. I really didn’t ride great in that first moto, to be honest. Then in the second moto, it was not the greatest of starts again, but I was riding really well. I got up to third from 10th, which was great. I saw Jo (Shimoda) was coming, and he ended up getting me towards the end. I went 9-4 for fifth overall and got back to fifth in the championship. We’ll just keep building. We have another new track next week, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Justin Cooper | 7-9 for 7th overall
“It was definitely a tough day, but I made it way tougher on myself by starting way back. In the first moto, I messed up the start and in the second moto I was up there around the top three and then I came together with another rider on that first lap. I went down, picked my bike up, then lost it the other way, so I started dead last and just did what I could. My speed was good, though, but I’m still really bummed about going down in the second moto. I think I could have maybe got into the lead doing the (LaRocco) Leap, and that would have been cool to at least give it a shot at the front, but that didn’t happen. We’ll go back and try again next weekend.”
Michael Mosiman | 6-10 for 8th overall
“It was a tough day on a number of different levels. Just before the sight lap in Moto 1, I tried a new goo product and I ended up throwing up everything I ate right before the sight lap, so that was not an ideal start. Off the start, I was making some good moves, keeping pace with the leaders – and catching them a little bit – but I made a mistake and went down. I regrouped and then unfortunately had some bike issues in the latter half of the moto. In the second moto, it was basically the same story. Really frustrating day – I’m looking for more, expecting more and disappointed – but I’m looking forward to Southwick.”
Jett Lawrence | 35-1 for 9th overall
“I was feeling good today. I love this track, and we ended up getting the bike handling pretty good for the first moto. I took some bad lines on the first lap and went back to fourth, but in a couple turns I went up to third. I made my way past Jo and Hunter, and then the bike started feeling funny and losing power. That’s part of this sport, and luckily, we had a bit of a points lead, which helps me a little bit. On the second-moto start, it was hard to tuck around since I was so far out wide, but I made my way through and got the race win. It sucks to lose the red plate, but at least I lost it to Hunter.”
Said Honda HRC team manager Lars Lindstrom:
“It was a tougher day than we’ve been used to lately, but not every weekend is going to be smooth and a win. We’re really frustrated with what happened in the first 250 moto, as we never want to see one of our guys pushing his bike off the track. Thankfully, the team was able to diagnose the problem quickly, and Jett and Hunter were confident to go back out and go 1-2 in the last moto. Congratulations on Jo Shimoda being the first Japanese rider to win a national; he was a longtime Honda rider and is still a friend of the team. In the 450 class, we know that the main competitor is Eli [Tomac], and we’ve got to figure out how to beat him. Chase definitely had the speed to do that today but didn’t have the starts; that’s something we need to work on. Ken hasn’t been feeling great this week, so we need to try to get him better and improve what we can with him so we can get back in front again.”
Nate Thrasher | 10-7 for 10th overall
“It was a tough day. The track was very brutal for those motos. It’s probably the roughest track we’ve had so far this year. It was tough, but at the same time, it was good, though. I felt like I had my best pace so far this year and better starts. I’m just moving a little bit each weekend. I felt like I had the top-five pace today, but just a little bit of arm pump held me back. We’ll come out swinging for next weekend. I just want to keep building and hopefully, by the end, we can be on the podium. I’ve got some things to work on, and we know what we need to do.”
Seth Hammaker | 5-15 for 11th overall
“I made it a little tougher on myself than I needed to today but, my starts are improving and I just need to clean up a few things. In Moto 1, I had a pretty steady race all the way through to come away with a fifth but, I was looking to better that and get into the podium battle in Moto 2. Unfortunately, I lost traction at the bottom of the hill and fell just after passing into the lead so, I had to race forward from the back of the pack. It’s frustrating of course but, I will keep putting myself up there in the mix and keep improving to iron out those small mistakes.”
Max Vohland | 11 for 12th overall
“The weekend didn’t go how I wanted it to. I ended up getting taken out on the first lap in both motos, which set me pretty far back in the pack and I had to fight my way up. One positive, my starts were a lot better than the last race, so I’ll take that and go back to work this week. We’re going to try and be more consistent in the motos, try and stay off the ground and see what we can do at Southwick.”
Ryder DiFrancesco | 14-12 for 13th overall
“I had a great start in the first moto but, a crash in the second corner put me way down the running order. I raced forward and made a bunch of passes to finish 14th. In Moto 2, I grabbed the holeshot which felt awesome, and I did my best to keep pace with the leaders for as long as I could. My goal for the day was to do exactly what I did for the first half of that second moto, I matched the speed of the guys at the front for as long as I could before getting tight and settling back a bit. I’m looking forward to Millville where I’ll try my best to stay up there even longer.”
Carson Mumford | 13-13 for 14th overall
"REDBUDDD! Man, it feels great to be back at the races! 13-13 moto scores are not too bad for only being on the bike six days. I showed some good speed in the second moto, making crucial passes early in the race and riding in that fifth to tenth place range for 20 minutes! I'm hungry for more and really excited to improve! Bring it on, Southwick!"
Nick Romano | 12-16 for 15th overall
“My day started off really well. I qualified fourth overall, which I was super stoked with. Then by the time motos came around, I ended up 12th in the first one. I was strong the whole moto but was just the twelfth-fastest. In the second moto, I had a horrible start, and I was kind of mid-pack, then I was stuck there. I think there’s a lot of positives to take away from today, and we’ll keep looking at that and keep building every weekend.”
Jalek Swoll | 20-14 for 17th overall
“We've for sure had some better days but it is what it is. We got through two motos today, so we'll just build off that coming into Southwick and be ready to drop the hammer. I'm getting tired of just rolling around, so I'm really going to try to send it next weekend and put myself in a position where I feel like I need to be.”
Preston Kilroy | 16-22 for 19th overall
"RedBud was a step in the right direction. I had a pretty good start in the first moto, but then went off the track and lost some positions. In the second moto I didn't get the greatest start. I started to make my way up and make some passes, then unfortunately washed out the front tire coming down one of the hills. I've been playing a lot of catch up recently, but I'm starting to feel more and more comfortable each weekend."
Matthew LeBlanc | 19-19 for 20th overall
“It was just a rough day. I really struggled and just pretty much mentally couldn’t figure out the track. I didn’t ride well, so I’ve got a lot to figure out this week. We’re going to put the work in and get rested up for Southwick, and hopefully, do a lot better.”
Pierce Brown | 36-36 for 36th overall
“I struggled pretty bad coming into the weekend. I had a messed up knee and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to race but I got through that. Halfway through the first moto, I got a rock stuck in my chain on the face of the jump and I took a pretty big digger, banging up my wrist. I tried to go out there for the second moto and was riding alright but I just couldn’t hold on because of my wrist in the first moto, so I had to pull out. Not the day we wanted but we’re going to rest up and come back at Southwick.”
Derek Drake | 33-DNS for 40th overall
"RedBud was going well. In the first moto I got shuffled back in the beginning because my clutch went out and I had to adjust to it. Then unfortunately, about 20 minutes in I got sick and couldn't recover for the next moto."