By Billy Rainford
It’s the first Monday after the final round of 2021 Monster Energy AMA Supercross from Rice Eccles Stadium on the campus of the University of Utah (Go, Utes! “Did you say, Utes?“) in Salt Lake City, Utah. That night of racing was up there with any we’ve seen in quite a long time with the action and the stories that unfolded out there on the track.
I think the consensus is that the 250 West had a deeper field than the East this year. I don’t think that’s up for debate, is it? However, the top riders on each coast are the best of the best, so we knew we were going to be in for some serious racing at the front.
When qualifying was over, it was West rider #32 Justin Cooper who sat at the top with a best time of 41.864. Jett Lawrence was on top of the East with a best of 42.464. It was another tight track and Justin’s time would have actually put him 3rd in the 450 class.
In the 450 class, #23 Chase Sexton put in the fastest lap of the day with a 41.706 to top the list. He was the choice for many to get the win. He’s a rookie in the 450 class and it could have been the night he grabbed his first win in the premiere class. He had two 2nd place finishes and looked to be on track to close the deal.
The stories heading in were focused, of course, around the two riders who had the championships well in hand in the 250 class, Cooper on the West and his teammate #64 Colt Nichols in the East. However, that wasn’t the one many of us were keeping a close eye on.
Last week, Jett Lawrence really called out #42 Michael Mosiman during the post-race Press Conference. The question was, how would Mosiman react.
250 West Heat
#32 Justin Cooper came into the first turn with the lead but swung wide. #41 Hunter Lawerence moved to the inside and simply moved Cooper wide until he ran out of track and off of it into the markers. Cooper was dead last heading out for lap 1.
Most impressive to me in this one was the aggressive riding of #47 Jalek Swoll. He moved his way into the lead early and he tried to hold onto it like a dog with a bone that still had some meat on it! It was a level of riding that we hadn’t seen from him so far in his young SX career.
The battle at the front was a good one with #31 Cameron McAdoo taking the win ahead of Lawrence and Swoll. They didn’t show it on the broadcast, but #150 Seth Hammaker must have put a nice pass on #48 Garrett Marchbanks on the last lap because he came across the line in 4th ahead of the #48. Cooper worked his way up to 8th place to avoid going to the dreaded LCQ.
250 East Heat
This one belonged to Mosiman from the drop of the gate. He was riding like someone with a point to prove and took this one by almost 6 seconds over Jett Lawrence. Michael would brush off his shoulders after this win in a nice gesture aimed, obviously, at the #18. It was also cool that he mentioned his girlfriend who was in the middle of writing finals at school in his pst-race interview.
Behind them it was #30 Jo Shimoda, Nichols, and #773 Thomas Do from France.
450 Heat 1
What can you say about #1 Eli Tomac this season? When he rides like that it makes you wonder how he ever loses a race! Seriously, he is the enigma in the top end of the 450 class. He won this heat from wire to wire. He was so excited for the win that he dropped a “G bomb” during his post-race interview. That’s right, he said “Gosh.”
At the flag it was Tomac, #94 Ken Roczen, #27 Malcolm Stewart, #25 Marvin Musquin, and #17 Joey Savatgy.
450 Heat 2
#21 Jason Anderson got out front early in this one and rode like a rider in a contract year. That’s right, he is up for contract renewal and they said on the broadcast that he’s talking with his current team, of course, as well as the Star Racing team for 2022 and beyond.
This race was one of the best heats we’ve seen in a long time! The to 6 riders were all going at it bar to bar at the end. They all finished just over 2 seconds apart!
Afterward, Jason commented that his ride was “sloppy.”
#2 Cooper Webb would take 2nd, then it was #7 Aaron Plessinger, #51 Justin Barcia, Sexton, and #14 Dylan Ferrandis. In a classic Irv Ford voice, “You could put a blanket over them!“
They also mentioned that Plessinger is in a contract year and is in talks with his Star team or maybe even the Factory KTM team. To be honest, it was surprising to hear them talk about it since everything seems to be such a secret in our sport.
I’ll mention the 450 LCQ here because #280 Cade Clason on his Canadian Team PRMX Wossner Deep South Kawasaki put himself and his…gold (?) rims straight into the Main after taking the final position, 4th.
The yearly meeting of the 250 East and West is the Dave Coombs Sr. East/West “Showdown.” Both regional titles were pretty much on lock so we sort of expected this one to be a battle between riders not running red plates.
However, East leader Nichols got out front early in this one and started to pull a bit of a lead.
Slowly but surely, Jett Lawrence closed in on him. Colt said his mechanic’s pit board said, “Let him by” at one point, but admitted at the press conference that he “really wanted to win” this one.
With about 3 minutes to go, Lawrence made the pass for the lead and took the narrow win by a mere 1 second.
Behind them, #41 Hunter Lawrence tried an inside move on #150 Seth Hammaker and slid out. He would recover quickly and continue his move forward.
At the flag it was J. Lawrence, Nichols, and then H. Lawrence who got onto the podium to get a very rare family podium. 4th went to McAdoo and 5th was Hammaker.
They said that was the first time a 250 rider (Colt Nichols) has been on the podium at every round since Marvin Musquin did it back in 2015.
Hunter launched his bike as he rode up beside his brother after the finish. Then they went wheel to wheel for a nice burnout for the crowd. These guys are here to stay, and I think we should all get used to seeing things like this from these two Australian showmen.
#94 Ken Roczen got out front with Musquin right with him, then it was Webb, Plessinger and Sexton.
Was Kenny going to go out on a high note and prove his doubters wrong? Anyone who tweeted words to that effect early in the race were going to live to regret it. His race did not go the way he would have liked.
5 minutes in and Sexton was in the lead. Behind him Barcia and Anderson were going at each other. Neither of these two riders are afraid to mix it up., so we were expecting some fireworks. Next thing you know, Anderson is shown as “OUT” and nothing is said on the broadcast! The Twitter feeds lit up with speculation but not even people in attendance live seemed to know why #21 had headed back to the pits early. The press release didn’t clear things up either. Anyway, Jason was out. Last we heard is he was fighting altitude sickness.
Sexton started to build a nice lead as Webb would move to the inside on Roczen and simply bump him out of the way. Musquin was also able to get by #94 after Kenny lost momentum heading down the following section.
With just under 4 minutes left in this final main, Webb made a pass on Sexton to take the lead. No, he didn’t need to win this race, but he is in such perfect form right now that to not pass for the lead would have meant he was checking up and not riding at his pinpoint comfort level. He won.
Tomac wallowed back in 9th and Roczen dropped all the way back to 10th place by the flag. If you can make sense out of either of these performances, please let us know.
At the flag it was Webb, Musquin, Sexton, Ferrandis, Stewart, and Savatgy.
250 Rookie of the Year: #150 Seth Hammaker
450 Rookie of the Year: #14 Dylan Ferrandis
Well, that was a hell of a season! Now we’re on to the Lucas Oil AMA Nationals, starting May 29th at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.
Speaking of National schedules…
It sounds like we’ll be getting the revised Canadian Triple Crown Series schedule sometime this Wednesday. Word on the street is that we’re going to be forced to mimic a schedule very similar to what we saw in 2020, but with a change that will likely see us at a track or two in Quebec, I hope.
However, if things don’t lighten up, restriction-wise, I don’t see how we’re going to be able to make that happen. But if the series isn’t able to start until July, hopefully we’ll be opened up enough to be able to make this at least a 2-province series! We’ll just have to wait and see…
Shelby Turner 2nd in Iowa/Trystan Hart Leads Series
Shelby Turner continued her crisscrossing of the USA this past weekend and made a stop in Iowa for the AMA National Extreme Enduro Series in Iowa.
|Louise Forsley||1||81||Pro Women||Sherco||21 3||0||30 1||30 1|
|Shelby Turner||2||55||Pro Women||KTM||30 1||0||25 2||0|
|Rachel Gutish||3||25||Pro Women||Beta||25 2||0||0||0|
|Kristina Zmuda||4||21||Pro Women||KTM||0||0||21 3||0|
|Kina Miller||5||0||Pro Women||Beta||0||0||0||0|
Fellow Canadian Trystan Hart is at the top of the points list after grabbing 2nd at Round 4.
|Trystan Hart||1||80||Pro||KTM||25 2||0||30 1||25 2|
|Cody Webb||2||78||Pro||Sherco||30 1||0||18 4||30 1|
|Colton Haaker||3||63||Pro||Husqvarna||21 3||0||21 3||21 3|
|Taylor Robert||4||55||Pro||KTM||12 9||0||25 2||18 4|
|Ryder Leblond||5||49||Pro||Husqvarna||18 4||0||15 6||16 5|
|Pat Smage||6||43||Pro||Sherco||15 6||0||13 8||15 6|
|Will Riordan||7||37||Pro||KTM||14 7||0||16 5||7 14|
|Max Gerston||8||36||Pro||Gas Gas||11 10||0||12 9||13 8|
|Nick Fahringer||9||34||Pro||Sherco||6 15||0||14 7||14 7|
|Quinn Wentzel||10||32||Pro||Rieju||10 11||0||10 11||12 9|
Congratulations to both riders for waving the red and white maple leaf so proudly.
We’re patiently waiting for our turn on the 2021 Gas Gas MC450 so we can get out to a track and see how it feels. I’m a 2-stroke rider at heart, but this big 4-banger will likely suit my rather rusty form right now. Can’t wait to get out there on it!
Have a great week, everyone. The weather was perfect this past weekend but it looks like some rain has settled in around here. Oh well, it will keep the dust down!