The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship hosted its fifth round of the 2021 season at The Wick 338 for the annual Twisted Tea Southwick National.
Overnight rain brought a lot of moisture to the circuit known as “America’s Sandbox”, creating a physically demanding track that treated Northeastern fans to an action-packed afternoon of racing. Dylan Ferrandis continued to show he’s the man to beat in the 450 Class, taking his third consecutive win and fourth victory in just five rounds to extend his championship lead. In the 250 Class, Australian Hunter Lawrence swept both motos to capture his first career win.
When the 40-rider field rounded the first turn for the opening 450 Class moto it was Ferrandis who prevailed with the Motosport.com Holeshot ahead of his teammate Aaron Plessinger and Justin Barcia. Ferrandis’ championship rival Ken Roczen was just outside of the top-five off of the start in sixth. Ferrandis lead the field around on the opening lap, while Barcia moved into second, sliding Plessinger back to third.
Out front, Ferrandis was under heavy pressure during the early stages of the moto, however, the charge from both Barcia and Plessinger proved to be short-lived as the Frenchman upped his pace to open a comfortable lead. The battle for second was wide open as Plessinger stalked Barcia for the majority of the 30-minute-plus-two-lap moto.
At the checkered flag, it was Ferrandis taking his third moto win of the season by 5.4 seconds. Barcia held on for second to give him his best finish of the season, just ahead of Plessinger in third.
The final and deciding 450 Class moto kicked off with Cooper Webb launching out of the gate for the Motosport.com Holeshot ahead of Roczen and Plessinger. Exiting the first turn, Roczen used a handful of throttle to slingshot his way past Webb for the lead, while Plessinger exited the racetrack with a mechanical issue. It was Roczen, Webb, and Adam Cianciarulo inside the top three at the completion of the opening lap, while Ferrandis started in sixth.
Roczen was on a tear at the front of the field, opening a commanding lead in the early laps, while Webb and Cianciarulo maintained second and third. With 20-minutes to go, Cianciarulo found his way by Webb for second, followed shortly after by Ferrandis who bumped Webb outside of podium contention. A mistake by Ferrandis saw him slide out and lose one position to Eli Tomac.
Three-time champion Tomac began to find his rhythm, making the move on his teammate Cianciarulo for second and clocking the fastest laps of the race as he set his sights on reducing the gap to Roczen. As the race entered the final 10-minutes of the moto, Tomac’s relentless pursuit to the front saw him hot on the heels of Roczen before charging his way past for the lead.
Tomac proved to be unstoppable as he recorded a dominating moto win with 16.4 seconds to spare on the second place Roczen. Ferrandis would finish third, followed by Barcia in fourth.
It was Ferrandis’ consistency that paid off for the overall victory (1-3). Roczen finished the day runner-up in second place (4-2) and Barcia earned his first podium of the season in third (2-4). Tomac just missed the overall podium in fourth (8-1).
“It’s amazing to win another overall,” said Ferrandis. “The team showed me on the pit board to save my bike in moto 2. Eli [Tomac] was riding really well in that last moto and it made me just want to go faster and faster, but I had to be smart for the bike. I wanted to beat Ken [Roczen] so badly, but the team asked for me to save the bike. It was a great day overall, getting another win and picking up some more points on the day. As a rider I always want to win so I’m a little bit frustrated to not be able to push as hard as I would have liked at the end.”
With the win, Ferrandis was able to extend his lead in the championship standings to 19-points over Roczen. Plessinger’s second moto mechanical issue moved Tomac into third in the standings and slid Plessinger back to fourth.
As the gate dropped for the first 250 Class moto of the day it was Jalek Swoll who emerged with the Motosport.com Holeshot ahead of RJ Hampshire and Jo Shimoda who would quickly surrender his position to Michael Mosiman. At the completion of the opening lap, it was Swoll, Hampshire, and Mosiman leading the field around while championship point leader Jett Lawrence was 10th and Justin Cooper way back in 22nd.
Five minutes into the race, Hampshire grabbed a handful of throttle to power past his teammate Swoll for the lead. Just moments later, Mosiman and Hunter Lawrence made their moves on Swoll for second and third, respectively. Out front, Hampshire would quickly begin to set the pace and open a comfortable lead over the field behind him.
Despite the clear track out front, Hampshire made a mistake with 20-minutes remaining in the moto that saw him crash out of the lead, allowing Mosiman to take over the number one position followed by Hunter Lawrence. Hampshire remounted in third. As the race passed the halfway point of the moto, Hunter Lawrence and Hampshire began to inch their way up to the rear wheel of Mosiman, eventually leading to a three-way battle for the lead.
Mosiman then lost the front end and went down with eight minutes remaining and Hunter Lawrence inherited the number one spot followed by Hampshire and Shimoda. Hampshire’s effort to challenge for the win was cut short by a second crash that left him picking up his motorcycle. Hunter Lawrence held on to take his third career moto victory by 7.8 seconds over Hampshire who recovered for second. Shimoda crossed the finish line for a season-best third, while Cooper would come from behind for sixth and Jett Lawrence ninth after a pair of crashes.
The final 250 Class Moto of the afternoon saw Hampshire get out of the gate quickly to capture the Motosport.com Holeshot ahead of Jeremy Martin and Cooper. The opening moments of the race saw Cooper waste no time in making his way around Martin for second. As they crossed the line on the opening lap it was Hampshire, Cooper, Shimoda, Hunter Lawrence, and Jett Lawrence in sixth.
Hampshire looked to have the race under control out front, but it was misfortune that struck the Husqvarna rider once again as he gave away the lead with 20-minutes remaining due to a crash. The mistake by Hampshire handed the lead over to Cooper who was being pursued by Shimoda and Hunter Lawrence who began to close in and made the pass stick on Shimoda for second. Hampshire, who remounted in fourth, had a second crash just a few laps later that would shuffle him further back in seventh.
With less than 10-minutes to go, Hunter Lawrence began to make his attack, pulling alongside Cooper several times before diving down the inside to take control of the lead. Cooper would attempt to strike back, but it was Hunter Lawrence who remained unphased to take his second moto win of the season by 4.5 seconds. Cooper was second, just ahead of championship rival Jett Lawrence in third. Shimoda and Hampshire finished fourth and sixth.
The 1-1 sweep for Hunter Lawrence gave the Australian the overall victory for the first time in his career since moving to America. Shimoda’s consistent 3-4 moto scores were good enough for a career-best second overall, while Cooper completed the podium in third (6-2). Jett Lawrence was sixth overall (9-3).
“Ah, man, this feels so good,” said Hunter Lawrence. “Huge shoutout to my entire team around me. None of this would be possible without them. This 1-1 feels so good and is such a great way to stamp the weekend here at Southwick. It’s a bit of an emotional win for me with everything that I’ve been through these past few years. I just want to keep building and take this momentum into the rest of the season.”
Jett Lawrence maintains his hold of the championship point lead by just three points over Cooper who picked up an additional five points on the day. Hunter Lawrence sits 26 points out of the lead in third.
“My starts really hurt me a lot, but I showed I have the speed to come through,” said Jett Lawrence. “Not the greatest weekend. I lost a lot of points, especially in that first moto, but we still have the red plate and I’m not backing down. I’m going to push forward and be there every race and make sure that I back that up. Whoever wants to have a go, come at me!”
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship – Twisted Tea Southwick National
The Wick 338 – Southwick, Mass. – July 10, 2021
450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
1 Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (1-3)
2 Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda (4-2)
3 Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GASGAS (2-4)
4 Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (8-1)
5 Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (6-5)
6 Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (5-6)
7 Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (7-8)
8 Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (10-7)
9 Dean Wilson, United Kingdom, Husqvarna (12-9)
10 Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., KTM (11-10)
450 Class Championship Standings (Round 5 of 12)
1 Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha – 224 Points
2 Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda – 205 Points
3 Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 167v
4 Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha – 163 Points
5 Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GASGAS – 161 Points
6 Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 159 Points
7 Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 147 Points
8 Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM – 133 Points
9 Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Yamaha – 124 Points
10vMarvin Musquin, France, KTM – 115 Points
250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
1 Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (1-1)
2 Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki (3-4)
3 Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (6-2)
4 RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (2-6)
5 Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Yamaha (4-5)
6 Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (9-3)
7 Michael Mosiman, Sebastopol, Calif., GASGAS (7-7)
8 Stilez Robertson,Bakersfield, Calif., Husqvarna (8-8)
9 Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (5-17)
10 Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GASGAS (13-10)
250 Class Championship Standings (Round 5 of 12)
1 Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 204 Points
2 Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 201 Points
3 Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 178 Points
4 RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 148 Points
5 Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki – 137 Points
6 Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Yamaha – 131 Points
7 Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna – 128 Points
8 Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha – 125 Points
9 Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha – 115 Points
10 Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki – 94 Points