Budds Creek! It was the 19th year anniversary of that great Tim Ferry moto one win in 2003, and who could forget that? Always fun to go to Budds, and yes, I still hate the start and wish they hadn’t sold their soul to the MXGP guys to get the MXoN and therefore have to change the start, but overall, it’s a good track with good viewing. It’s a bit like a road-race course where you have to keep your momentum up, sweep the off-cambers and be ready to change lines.
Let’s take a look at the results, shall we?
1 | #24 | RJ Hampshire | Hudson, FL | Husqvarna FC 250 | 1-2
RJ won Budds Creek again! The site of his first national win ever, Hampshire was great in both motos. He needed to get Cooper to win the overall and he dug deep to make that happen and then as Jett caught him late, he told me afterward that he really sent it and it was tough. Props to Hampshire who’s had a tough season compared to his usual standards and hasn’t been shy to talk about his frustration with the new Husqvarna. As he pointed out to me, this was the first win for the new bike in motocross. He also said that he got some new parts this week that he’s been asking for and it made a big difference in how the bike feels. One thing as a team you like to see is, when a rider is asking for something, gets it, and then backs up his request with a great result. Hampshire did just that.
2 | #30 | Jo Shimoda | Japan | Kawasaki KX250 | 3-1
Jo was close to winning his second national in a row and third on the year, but RJ made it happen. His first moto saw him get a bad start and he had to grind out that third. He’s so much better this year, it’s not even funny. Jo Shimoda, 2023 250MX champion? I mean, why not?
3 | #1 | Jett Lawrence | Australia | Honda CRF250R | 2-3
Whoa, do we have a mini-slump here? Six motos in a row without a win! I mean, 99 percent of riders would take a “slump” if it meant 2-2-7-2-2-3 finishes and let’s be honest, Jett’s charges late in the motos after bad starts or crashes are still pretty impressive right?
4 | #29 | Michael Mosiman | Sebastopol, CA | GasGas MC 250F | 4-7
Mosiman came back. He missed two races with a concussion and as projected, he immediately ran the leader’s pace for the entire first moto, although a fall did him in. Watching him and Hampshire in moto one made me think about how both of them are so fast but also so prone to mistakes. They’re different riders but have the same tendencies! Second moto he didn’t get the start he needed (Budds is a pretty start-dependent track) but still did pretty well for jumping back in. I think Jett was maybe a bit upset about his move over and subsequent crash in front of him in the first moto, but Mosiman had been taking that line the whole moto and I’m sure he was just getting over to where he was comfy.
5 | #32 | Justin Cooper | Cold Spring Harbor, NY | Yamaha YZ250F | 9-4
Cooper was sick all week going into this race and there was some thought he wouldn’t be able to line up. Being named to Team USA must’ve been the jolt of energy he needed I suppose. He wasn’t as good as he has been but that’s understandable so to fight back from a crash in moto one was probably the worst thing for him.
6 | #49 | Nathanael Thrasher | Livingston, CA | Yamaha YZ250F | 250F 7-6
Quiet day for Thrasher but a good one for him. He seemed to be in a battle with other riders all moto long and bummer for him that he tipped over while up front in moto one.
7 | #36 | Maximus Vohland | Granite Bay, CA | KTM 250 SX-F FE | 5-8
Maximus admitted that the heat was bad and pointed out that last year, he didn’t finish this race because of it. He was stuck all by himself in moto one in fourth for a long time, he had big lead on fifth and couldn’t see the top three. That’s always hard to keep pushing.
8 | #96 | Hunter Lawrence | Australia | Honda CRF250R | 8-9
That’s two straight tough races for Hunter who’s also been passed by Shimoda in the points. He’s making a lot of unforced mistakes out there, not sure what’s been going on.
9 | #109 | Guillem Farres | Spain | Yamaha YZ250F | 6-13
Debut race for the Spaniard and a pretty good one at that! I didn’t know anything about Farres going in, he’s raced some MX2 races in Europe but mostly EMX. Showing up on a new bike, new country on a track he’s never been to before and doing this is pretty impressive. Not sure what it says about the whole endless MX2/EMX vs USA Nationals debate though.
10 | #43 | Carson Mumford | Simi Valley, CA | Suzuki RM-Z250 | 14-10
Mumfy hit the gate in moto one and had trouble getting his bike going after that. He rode with the shame of that all the way to a 14th which is solid. Second moto he got his second top moto of the year, and he did so with some rear brake issues. It seems like whether it’s a bike issue or a crash, Carson’s had adversity a lot this outdoor season.
11 | #31 | Jalek Swoll |Beleview, FL | Husqvarna FC 250 | 23-5
You see that fifth in moto two and you’re like, “There’s more there,” which is both a blessing and a curse because there’s been wayyyy too much inconsistency for Swoll this year on the factory bike. Of course, the way his year is going, he had a good start going in moto one when he went down. 2023 is a big year for Jalek’s career methinks.
12 | #74 | Derek Kelley | Riverside, CA | KTM 250 SX-F | 15-11
Depending on how you feel about Mumfy’s status, just another week where Kelley is the top privateer in the 250 class. Sure, he technically tied his teammate but whatever, he gets the tie break.
13 | #38 | Joshua Varize | Perris, CA | KTM 250 SX-F | 11-15
Varize busted out of a slump at Washougal and afterward when I talked to him, he credited some suspension testing he did with the team beforehand and how he was much more comfortable. Sometimes, riders just say these things, and nothing changes but in Josh’s case, he was right, he’s been much better these last few races.
14 | #48 | Cameron McAdoo | Sioux City, IA | Kawasaki KX250| 10-17
RAM IT couldn’t back up that career best fourth from last week’s second moto and it was all starts, starts, starts for McAdoo out there.
15 | #68 | Preston Kilroy | Afton, WY | Suzuki RM-Z250 | 12-18
Kilroy is the opposite of his teammate Drake as in, he’s not flashy, he’s not usually ever up front and you won’t notice him in the motos and then afterward you’re like, “Huh, look at that-pretty good finish for Preston.”
16 | #44 | Pierce Brown | Sandy, UT | GasGas MC 250F | 40-12
Up and down day for Brown, who seemed to enjoy me giving Wil Hahn the bird in the early AM but then it went south for him with an early crash and a cut to the elbow in moto one. He got stitched up and brought it in for a 12th from a 40th gate pick which, on this track, is a really bad gate pick.
17 | #331 | Derek Drake | San Luis Obispo, CA | Suzuki RM-Z250
Drake is the opposite of his teammate Kilroy as in, he shows good speed, he gets good starts but can’t do much with that in the motos, although he has battled his health.
18 | #40 | Dilan Schwartz | Alpine, CA | Suzuki RM-Z250 | 20-14
Dilan was in tenth I believe for a while in moto one and went down, burnt himself on his pipe, and took a while to get going. Because, well, he doesn’t have an e-start on his bike. I’ll see myself out now.
19 | #93 | Tyler Stepek | Mount Airy, MD | Yamaha YZ250F | 16-19
Stepek’s hometown race and he dropped down to the 250’s last week also but he had a terrible Unadilla. I got a note from a couple of people that said he’s dealing with some physical issues and won’t be racing the rest of the year. Then he has a great hometown race (he was near the top ten for a long time) and PulpMX Fantasy people everywhere are more confused.
20 | #604 | Max Miller | Springfield | KTM 250 SX-F | 21-16
Good second moto for Miller who I’ll be honest, I didn’t notice much.
1 | #21 | Jason Anderson | Rio Rancho, NM | Kawasaki KX450SR | 2-2
Anderson pulls a “Tim Ferry” in winning the overall with a 2-2. Fun fact, Ferry has four or five national wins in his career and every one was with a 2-2 score. Anyway, Anderson’s first moto was impressive as he ripped up through some heavy hitters and late in the moto at that. Second moto, I wonder if a bit of him was like “Sexton got seventh in the first moto, it’s hot, I have the overall, so you go Chase.” Great season for the 21 mean green machine.
2 | #3 | Eli Tomac | Cortez, CO | Yamaha YZ450F | 1-5
Well, at the end of the day, glass half full, ET is leaving the race with the points lead and he went in without it. So, there’s that. The flipside is he had this thing won with a good start in moto two and he didn’t get it. He raced hard to get to fifth, but I have a few theories on why he couldn’t get Dungey and Roczen (who were right there!). It was either A-He was a bit tired (it was hot, and he worked hard to get up there) B-His paddle tire that works so well on the starts (usually) was not working so well on the hard packed Budds track, C-He felt fine and just couldn’t find a place to get Dungey on a tough to pass Budds track, or D-All of the above. You pick but either way, if Tomac loses this title, he’ll look back to second moto at Budds and wonder what could’ve been.
3 | #94 | Ken Roczen | Germany | Honda CRF450R WE | 3-3
Good day for Kenny, great starts and yeah, he was off the leaders’ pace, but he’s back on the podium for the first time, since…checks notes…Thunder Valley! The biggest silly season thing out there is what is Kenny going to do for 2023 and beyond? His deal is up with Honda, he’s not signed, and it seems like things are going pretty slowly for someone like him. To me, he’s only got Honda to ride for and they could use him as well for 450SX next year so what’s taking so long? I asked Kenny about it last week on text and he told me he’s not worried about it and no he didn’t ride a Yamaha.
4 | #23 | Chase Sexton | La Moille, IL | Honda CRF450R WE | 7-1
Sexton had his worst moto of the year in the first moto and that followed a practice session where he crashed once and almost went off the track in a high-speed part. Rough start to the day for him (he crashed with Canadian Tanner Ward in moto one, which I was hoping he wouldn’t hold against Canada, but he said he didn’t, he said he likes Ward-whew!) but second moto, he crashed and still rebounded with a big win. That’s what you got to do—somehow salvage what you can when your day isn’t going the way you want to. I know James Stewart said that his first moto crash was because Tomac passed him and maybe got to him mentally but I’m not buying that. He just caught and passed ET last week, I think he knows he has the raw speed to beat ET and one pass isn’t going to rattle him.
5 | #5 | Ryan Dungey | Belle Plaine, MN | KTM 450 SX-F FE | 4-4
Ah man, a 4-4 for 5th? Who is this…Phil Nicoletti? Ryan told me afterwards that this race was the best he’s ridden all year, he led laps (crowd loved that!) and was in the fight the whole time. Also, I would bet he’s coming back for 2023 as well, he said that he’s thinking of that, and my “people” say that it’s looking good. SX and MX is what I hear but I guess we’ll see.
6 | #28 | Christian Craig | Temecula, CA | Yamaha YZ450F | 5-7
Quiet day for CC coming off his hard practice crash last week. He’s got four motos left in the year, he’s three points ahead of Dungey for fifth in the points and that’s pretty appropriate seeing as how they’ve been around each other at a ton of races all year.
7 | #17 | Joseph Savatgy | Clermont, FL | Kawasaki KX450SR | 9-6
Impressive second moto for Joey who closed up to Roczen, Dungey, and Tomac, but couldn’t get by. He was also fastest qualifier in practice #1 which is something, right? Afterward, he was stoked on that second moto charge which he should be. I went by to see him after he qualified P-1 in that practice because then, if he won, I could tell everyone that I gave him some advice before the motos that seemed to help.
8 | #7 | Aaron Plessinger | Hamilton, OH | KTM 450 SX-F FE | 10-8
Quiet day for AP after looking pretty good in moto two last week (he’s good at Unadilla). Aaron has had an up and down first year at KTM, remember Oakland SX? High Point? Southwick? There’s speed in there at times. Other times, it’s 10-8.
9 | #27 | Malcolm Stewart | Haines City, FL | Husqvarna FC 450 RE | 12-10
Mookie’s second outdoor national in eight years went better than his first and I imagine he’ll be a five to tenth place guy at the next two races as well. I need to go find him after the race to get his thoughts on the “great outdoors”.
10 | #61 | Fredrik Noren | Sweden | KTM 450 SX-F FE | 16-9
Yeah Freddie! Tenth overall (thanks Barcia!) and an impressive second moto for the Swede as well. The BBMX team is as privateer as it gets out there so he and Bloss getting these solid results really looks good for them. It’s all Jericho’s leadership and mechanical skills if you ask me.
11 |#26 | Alex Martin | Millville, MN | Yamaha YZ450F | 14-12
I know Troll really wants a top ten this year and he’s got two races to go. As we were saying on the PulpMX Show on Monday, I definitely would’ve bet on Martin getting a top ten or two or three this year. He’s an outdoor warrior after all but it’s been tougher than he thought it would be. The 450 class is usually beset with injuries at this point but oh no, we have three factory riders returning to race these last four nationals!
12 | #35 | Garrett Marchbanks | Coalville, UT | Yamaha YZ450F | 13-14
Marchbanks has asthma so the cold he caught this week held him back from feeling as fresh as he could with the heat and humidity this week. He was around his teammate Troll Train all day long
13 | #1 | Dylan Ferrandis |France | Yamaha YZ450F | 6-36
Quiet return to the series for Ferrandis. He got taken out by Barcia in the second moto and called it a day after that. In the first moto he came from way back to sixth with his traditional late-moto charge and then KABOOM in the second moto. Hopefully he’ll be 100 percent for this weekend, and we can start seeing some challenging for a podium from Ferrandis.
14 | #51 | Justin Barcia | Greenville, FL | GasGas MC 450F | 8-DQ
Well, yeah Barica got DQ’d and as of typing this, we don’t know anything outside of “contact with Ferrandis.” We saw Barcia’s GoPro footage but that didn’t seem worth of a DQ to me. We don’t know if his SX probation counted toward this (TLD says it shouldn’t), we don’t know what Barcia told the officials (maybe that’s the cause of the DQ?), and we’re left with nothing but Barcia’s footage. *Shrugs
15 | #15 | Dean Wilson | United Kingdom | Husqvarna FC 450 RE | 18-11
Dean-O’s got four more motos to go in his outdoor career and he was pretty much last in moto one after a crash. Second moto he got a much better start and was pretty close to the top ten for most of the race. I thought he’d get Noren if I was being honest.
16 | #12 | Shane McElrath | Canton, NC | Yamaha YZ 450F | 17-13
Shane elaborated on the tough switch from the steel-framed Husky to the backward-motor, aluminum-framed, Yamaha in our post-race Pulpcast and even though he rode Yamaha not that long ago, he admitted it’s a tougher switch than he thought it would be. He’ll be back on the 250 Yamaha for WSX and is a title contender there, methinks.
17 | #73 | Benny Bloss | Oak Grove, MO | KTM 450 SX-F | 11-38
I don’t know what happened to Benny in the second moto. He was way back and then rode off with his mechanic. This made my PulpMX Fantasy team very sad. He had been on a run with good finishes but two in a row in the bad for Benji, he’s got to stop that this weekend in Ironman.
18 | #55 | Justin Rodbell | Prince Frederick, MD | Husqvarna FC 450 | 15-18
Hometown race for Rodbell, who broke away from his team that had been helping him since Hangtown. I didn’t ask why but its Privateer Island, things get hairy out there sometimes. Anyway, good ride for Rodbell, great starts for him as well, and then he hung out with us in the pits afterward with no shirt on pounding Twisted Teas.
19 | #222 | Antonio Cairoli | Italy | KTM 450 SX-F FE | 19-15
Oh man, what could have been! AC222 was back for just one race (weird right?), qualified second, and was third in the first moto early when he washed out up the face of a jump and got ran over by Barcia. He broke a small bone in his hand also but figured since he was all the way here for the race, he may as well go and ride out the second moto which he did in a casual manner. We’ll see Tony back here for Team Italy for the MXDN at RedBud.
20 | #82 | Chris Canning | Conventry, CT | GasGas MC 450F | 22-16
I don’t know, I always think of Canning as a soft-track specialist because he’s from NESC, but this is a good result for him. He races off-road races in New England but takes some time off for the nationals.
Thanks for reading, appreciate the comments and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to chat about this or anything else.