The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship kicked off its second half of the 2021 season with a visit to the Pacific Northwest and legendary Washougal MX Park.
The seventh round of the season featured abundant sunshine and a massive crowd welcoming the return of some of the world’s fastest racers for the MotoSport.com Washougal National.
In the 450 Class, a highly competitive afternoon saw Chase Sexton emerge victorious to become the division’s fourth different winner. In the 250 Class, the historic streak of six different winners came to an end as Jeremy Martin prevailed for the second straight race to take his first Washougal victory.
The opening 450 Class moto got underway with Sexton leading the field with the MotoSport.com Holeshot while teammate Ken Roczen slotted into second. The Honda duo dropped the hammer on the opening lap to try and open a gap over Cooper Webb, in third, and the rest of the field, while points leader Dylan Ferrandis had to fight his way from ninth.
Sexton and Roczen continued to pace the field and moved out several seconds ahead of Webb, who came under fire from Marvin Musquin and Eli Tomac 10 minutes into the moto. Musquin made a successful pass on Webb to move into podium position and Tomac soon followed into fourth.
Back out front, Sexton started to pull away from Roczen and built a lead of more than five seconds as Roczen proceeded to lose ground to Musquin. The Frenchman continued to pressure the German and after several laps, Musquin made the pass to take over second. Tomac was next in line and the old rivals battled briefly until lapped traffic worked in Tomac’s favor and allowed him to drop Roczen off the podium. The Honda rider continued to lose positions and eventually was passed by his championship rival Ferrandis.
For Sexton it was the most dominant outing of his career as he went wire-to-wire to bring home his first moto win of the season. A late moment of misfortune by Musquin allowed Tomac to move into second and finish 3.4 seconds behind Sexton, while Musquin recovered to earn his best moto result of the season in third. Justin Barcia finished fourth, with Ferrandis fifth and Roczen sixth.
As the 450 Class field stormed out the gate to begin Moto 2 it was Webb who edged out Ferrandis and Aaron Plessinger to secure the MotoSport.com Holeshot. Webb assumed the lead briefly, but Ferrandis put in a charge to make a quick pass and seize control of the moto, leaving Webb to fend off Sexton in third.
Sexton made his way around Webb and then looked to track down Ferrandis for the lead. Webb’s battle wasn’t over as Plessinger pressured from fourth. Webb held him off briefly but the Yamaha rider was able to make the pass and move into the top three. As the moto approached the 10-minute mark less than two seconds separated the lead trio while Tomac lurked in fourth.
The top four settled into their positions through the middle portion of the moto and paced one another with consistent lap times. Sensing an opportunity, Tomac went on the attack and made quick work of Plessinger to move into third. The intensity from the top three increased dramatically during the final 10 minutes of the moto as a strong push from Tomac pushed Sexton closer to Ferrandis. The Frenchman responded with some of his fastest laps of the race and it allowed him to put a little distance over his contenders. After an extended battle Tomac finally got around Sexton for second and had just over two laps to try and erase a near three-second deficit to Ferrandis.
As they came to the white flag Tomac posted the fastest lap of the afternoon to close to within mere bike lengths of the points leader. Ferrandis dug deep and withstood the challenge to pull out the moto win, 4.5 seconds ahead of Tomac as Sexton followed in a distant third.
Sexton’s strong 1-3 effort landed him atop the podium for the second time in his career. It also signified his first podium result of the season. Tomac settled for the runner-up spot (2-2) and missed out on his first win of the year by a single point. Ferrandis rounded out the overall podium in third (5-1).
“I got two pretty good starts today and that was the difference,” said Sexton. “It feels so good to win after such a rough start to the season. I’ve been grinding at home in Florida, just trying to get better, and it finally paid off. We’ll head into this break with confidence, ready to come out even better.”
Ferrandis’ seventh podium result, combined with a ninth-place finish by Roczen (6-10), allowed the Frenchman to establish a significant lead in the 450 Class standings. Ferrandis now sits 47 points ahead of Roczen, with Tomac just a few points behind in third, 54 points out of the lead.
“I think the holeshot helped me get that (second moto) win,” said Ferrandis. “I was able to manage the pace and save energy. I didn’t know if it was Eli (Tomac) or Chase (Sexton) at the end, but I had enough to make a push. It feels good to come out on top of that battle with Eli. He’s such a tough competitor and a great rider. I’m really happy with the day.”
The first 250 Class moto of the afternoon saw Carson Mumford storm to the MotoSport.com Holeshot, followed by Justin Cooper in second. As Mumford sought to take advantage of his opportunity to be out front, Cooper applied heavy pressure and looked to seize control of the moto on the opening lap. However, Mumford successfully fended off the attack from the points leader and asserted himself in the lead. Behind them, RJ Hampshire slotted into third.
Mumford controlled the pace through the opening minutes, but Cooper started to inch closer and soon mounted another challenge eight minutes into the moto. The Yamaha rider was successful the second time around and worked his way past Mumford to grab the lead. The ensuing laps saw Mumford lose more positions as Hampshire took over second and Pierce Brown moved into third. Martin entered the picture from fourth and set his sights on the top three.
Out front, Cooper and Hampshire traded fast lap times as the distance between them fluctuated throughout the middle portion of the moto. Hampshire persisted and as they reached 10 minutes remaining in the moto he had closed to within less than a second. However, lapped riders worked in Cooper’s favor and briefly allowed him to extend his lead. Hampshire never let up and continued his charge to keep Cooper honest, but as time expired on the 30-minutes-plus-two-lap moto Cooper dug deep to find some late pace and left Hampshire behind. The championship leader charged to his first Moto 1 win of the season, 2.8 seconds ahead of Hampshire, followed by Martin in third, Michael Mosiman in fourth, and Australian Hunter Lawrence in fifth. Jett Lawrence, who sits second in the championship, finished a distant seventh.
When the gate dropped on the second 250 Class moto it was Cooper who put himself back up front with the MotoSport.com Holeshot, followed by Martin and Lawrence, who made slight contact as they jockeyed for position, which caused Lawrence to lose a couple of spots. Martin then went on the attack and looked to make a pass on his teammate for the lead as Hampshire emerged in third.
The top five riders sat within five seconds of one another 10 minutes into the moto, with Martin applying constant pressure on Cooper as Hampshire patiently let things play out from third. Just before the halfway point of the moto Martin pulled the trigger with an inside pass entering the track’s whoop section. Cooper looked to counter but Martin made it stick. Shortly thereafter, Hampshire attempted to make a move for second, but briefly stalled his motorcycle and gave up third to Brown before continuing from fourth, just ahead of Lawrence.
Once he moved into the lead Martin was able to build a gap over Cooper, but in the waning minutes of the moto, Cooper picked up the pace and closed back in. Martin responded and with two laps to go Cooper suffered a costly crash going up Horsepower Hill. He eventually remounted and reentered the race, but lost several positions. Unaware of his teammate’s misfortune, Martin carried on to the moto win and crossed the finish line 11.8 seconds ahead of Lawrence, who inherited second, with Hampshire third. Cooper soldiered home to finish eighth.
With his 3-1 moto finishes Martin prevailed with an unexpected overall win. His back-to-back victories made him the first repeat winner of the season in the 250 Class and gave him his 19th career win, which moves him into a tie with Ryan Villopoto for fifth all time.
“Coming into today (team owner) Bobby Reagan told me he didn’t know if I had what it takes at Washougal and that’s all the motivation I needed,” said Martin. “I know I got a little bit of a gift. It’s a bummer that Justin (Cooper) went down, you hate to see anyone go down like that. I’m just so happy to be up here. I’ve always kind of struggled here so it feels so good to get it done at Washougal.”
Hampshire finished in the runner-up spot (2-3), while Cooper hung on to a podium result in third (1-8).
Despite his adversity, Cooper added to his lead over Lawrence in the 250 Class standings. Eight points now separate the top two riders in the championship. Hunter Lawrence is third, 44 points out of the lead.
“With two laps to go I was trying to make a push on Jeremy (Martin),” explained Cooper. “I was going up the hill and got a weird kick. I’m not really sure what happened. It was in the shadows so it was hard to see. I ended up in a tough spot on the hill so it was hard to get going again. Obviously, things can change quickly (in the championship). We’ll take this break, regroup, and come back strong to finish the season.”
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will observe the season’s final break in action with a pair of off weekends before returning for its stretch run on August 14 with the Circle K Unadilla National.
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship – MotoSport.com Washougal National
Washougal MX Park – Washougal, Washington – July 24, 2021
Washougal National – 450 Class
1 Chase Sexton Chase Sexton La Moille, IL 1 – 3 Honda CRF450R
2 Eli Tomac Eli Tomac Cortez, CO 2 – 2 Kawasaki KX450
3 Dylan Ferrandis Dylan Ferrandis Avignon, France 5 – 1 Yamaha YZ450F
4 Marvin Musquin Marvin Musquin La Reole, France 3 – 5 KTM 450 SX-F
5 Justin Barcia Justin Barcia Monroe, NY 4 – 7 GasGas MC 450F
6 Cooper Webb Cooper Webb Newport, NC 7 – 6 KTM 450 SX-F
7 Aaron Plessinger Aaron Plessinger Hamilton, OH 12 – 4 Yamaha YZ450F
8 Christian Craig Christian Craig El Cajon, CA 8 – 8 Yamaha YZ450F
9 Ken Roczen Ken Roczen Mattstedt, Germany 6 – 10 Honda CRF450R
10 Joey Savatgy Joey Savatgy Thomasville, GA 10 – 9 KTM 450 SX-F
450 Class Standings – 2021
1 Dylan Ferrandis Dylan Ferrandis Avignon, France 303 Points
2 Ken Roczen Ken Roczen Mattstedt, Germany 256 Points
3 Eli Tomac Eli Tomac Cortez, CO 249 Points
4 Justin Barcia Justin Barcia Monroe, NY 239 Points
5 Chase Sexton Chase Sexton La Moille, IL 238 Points
6 Aaron Plessinger Aaron Plessinger Hamilton, OH 218 Points
7 Christian Craig Christian Craig El Cajon, CA 182 Points
8 Marvin Musquin Marvin Musquin La Reole, France 177 Points
9 Cooper Webb Cooper Webb Newport, NC 177 Points
10 Adam Cianciarulo Adam Cianciarulo Port Orange, FL 147 Points
Washougal National – 250 Class
1 Jeremy Martin Jeremy Martin Millville, MN 3 – 1 Yamaha YZ250F
2 R.J. Hampshire R.J. Hampshire Hudson, FL 2 – 3 Husqvarna FC 250
3 Justin Cooper Justin Cooper Cold Spring Harbor, NY 1 – 8 Yamaha YZ250F
4 Jett Lawrence Jett Lawrence Landsborough, Queensland, Australia 7 – 2 Honda CRF250R
5 Pierce Brown Pierce Brown Sandy, UT 6 – 4 GasGas MC 250F
6 Michael Mosiman Michael Mosiman Sebastopol, CA 4 – 7 GasGas MC 250F
7 Hunter Lawrence Hunter Lawrence Landsborough, Queensland, Australia 5 – 10 Honda CRF250R
8 Dilan Schwartz Dilan Schwartz Alpine, CA 13 – 6 Suzuki Rm-z250
9 Austin Forkner Austin Forkner Richards, MO 12 – 9 Kawasaki KX250F
10 Max Vohland Max Vohland Sacramento, CA 9 – 12 KTM 250 SX-F
250 Class Standings – 2021
1 Justin Cooper Justin Cooper Cold Spring Harbor, NY 281 Points
2 Jett Lawrence Jett Lawrence Landsborough, Queensland, Australia 273 Points
3 Hunter Lawrence Hunter Lawrence Landsborough, Queensland, Australia 237 Points
4 Jeremy Martin Jeremy Martin Millville, MN 220 Points
5 R.J. Hampshire R.J. Hampshire Hudson, FL 205 Points
6 Jo Shimoda Jo Shimoda Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Japan 178 Points
7 Colt Nichols Colt Nichols Muskogee, OK 172 Points
8 Michael Mosiman Michael Mosiman Sebastopol, CA 154 Points
9 Jalek Swoll Jalek Swoll Belleview, FL 148 Points
10 Garrett Marchbanks Garrett Marchbanks Coalville, UT 141 Points