The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, made its annual return to America’s sandbox for the sixth round of the 2018 season – the Kubota Southwick National from The Wick 338.
In the 450 Class, Team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin emerged with his first victory of the season, ending Monster Energy Kawasaki Eli Tomac’s five-race win streak. In the 250 Class, Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha’s Dylan Ferrandis prevailed to take his first career win.
The first 450 moto of the day began with Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Justin Bogle making his season debut by taking the Motosport.com Holeshot with Rocky Mountain ATV/MC-WPS-KTM’s Blake Baggett and Musquin in tow. The lead group quickly exchanged positions in the opening corners as Team Honda HRC rider Ken Roczen shot to the lead with Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing’s Justin Barcia in pursuit. Championship point leader Tomac started just outside of the top-10.
Roczen’s early pace kept the 40-rider field at bay as he utilized his effortless style to find the smooth lines around the whooped out sand track. On Lap 5, Barcia found his stride and made an aggressive move to overtake Roczen for the lead. Just moments later, Musquin and Tomac followed Barcia by making their way around Roczen for second and third.
As Barcia pushed hard out front, he almost instantly began to feel the heat from Musquin and Tomac. On Lap 6, Musquin grabbed a handful of throttle and launched out of the sand pit to force his way into the lead with Tomac following just a few turns later. With a clear track ahead, Musquin and Tomac dropped the field as they set a blistering pace.
As Musquin and Tomac approached the white flag, Tomac pulled alongside the Frenchman as the two riders came together with Tomac coming out on top and taking over the lead. Musquin was determined to strike back and aired out a jump on the final lap, landing off of the side of the track and going down. Tomac crossed the checkered flag to take a hard-fought moto win, while Musquin recovered for second. Barcia completed the podium a distant third.
The final moto of the afternoon saw Bogle sweep the Motosport.com Holeshots, edging out the KTM duo of Musquin and Baggett. As the 40-rider field powered out of the first turn, Musquin pushed his way to the front by stealing the lead from Bogle, while Tomac made several passes on the opening lap to circulate in third.
While Musquin pushed hard at the head of the field, Tomac refused to give an inch as he blasted by to take the lead on Lap 2. Musquin instantly made an attempt to follow Tomac’s lines and keep him in sight, but the pace proved to be too quick as the defending champion pulled away. Bogle continued to show promise in his first race of the year, but was unable to hold off Roczen for third.
As Tomac built a commanding lead over Musquin, Barcia closed in on Roczen and made the pass stick. While riding alone out front, Tomac crashed entering a corner and found himself picking up his Kawasaki, remounting just ahead of Musquin. Just as Tomac looked to be rebuilding his lead, he crashed again on Lap 9 and allowed Musquin to take the lead. Tomac remounted in second, but was unable to retain the pace he displayed early.
Musquin maintained his lead until the checkered flag and captured his third moto victory of the season with 15.4 seconds to spare on Tomac. The final podium position went to Barcia who cruised to third.
The better second moto result gave Musquin the overall win (2-1) in a tiebreaker with Tomac (1-2). Barcia used consistency to complete the podium third overall (3-3).
It’s the fifth 450 Class win of Musquin’s career.
“The last three races I have been feeling great and pushing towards the lead and win,” said Musquin. “I felt good all day. The win does feel really good. We know what happened to Eli [Tomac] in the second moto, but a win is a win. My intensity wasn’t quite there, so I was just trying to be consistent and keep it on two wheels.”
Tomac maintained his lead in the 450 Class standings, which remains at 32 points over Musquin. Barcia is third, 65 points out of the lead.
250MX – Dylan Ferrandis breaks through for first career 250 Class win
The opening 250 Class moto saw Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Shane McElrath jump out of the gate to take the Motosport.com Holeshot ahead of Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing’s Jimmy Decotis and Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha rider Justin Cooper. The opening lap witnessed McElrath take off sprinting in an effort to open a cushion over Decotis and Cooper who battled bar-to-bar.
McElrath attacked the track with pure aggression during the early stages of the race and quickly pulled away, while Cooper began knocking on the door of the Massachusetts-native Decotis. With heavy pressure from the riders behind him, Cooper used an outside line to blast his way around Decotis, followed by Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner, shuffling Decotis out of a podium position. Forkner continued his charge to the front and inched onto the rear tire of Cooper, eventually making the pass stick on Lap 5.
Out front, McElrath began to watch Forkner chip away at his advantage and within laps would find himself under heavy pressure in the battle for the lead. On Lap 9, Forkner overtook McElrath for the lead, while a crash by Cooper allowed Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM’s Alex Martin to inherit third.
As Forkner had clear track out front, the battle for second began to intensify as McElrath was passed by his team-mate Martin and Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger. Forkner held off the hard-charging Martin to take his first moto win of the season by 1.2 seconds. Plessinger completed the podium in third.
In the final 250 moto it was once again McElrath, who emerged with Motosport.com Holeshot, followed closely by GEICO Honda’s RJ Hampshire and Forkner. The intensity was high right from the start of the moto, which saw Forkner and Hampshire squeeze by McElrath for the top positions. McElrath struck back on Hampshire to retake control of second before the completion of the opening lap. Martin was credited with fourth on the opening lap, while championship point leader Plessinger started just inside of the top-10.
Forkner controlled the pace out front, but McElrath kept him within sight as he gave chase and worked tirelessly to keep his team-mate Martin behind. The KTM team-mates pulled side-by-side several times, and on Lap 7, Martin’s relentless efforts paid off as he muscles his way around the outside for second.
As the riders reached the halfway point of the 30-minute-plus-two-lap moto, Forkner held the lead over Martin who began to close the gap. With just under five minutes remaining, Ferrandis mounted a charge and passed McElrath for third. As the battle for the lead tightened up, Martin dove to the inside of Forkner, making contact and sending both riders to the ground. The crash allowed Ferrandis to take the lead, followed by McElrath and Hampshire.
Ferrandis maintained his lead in the final laps and held off McElrath to take his second moto victory of the season by 0.8 of a second. Hampshire landed on the podium for the first time this season with an impressive third. Martin remounted to finish fourth, while Plessinger was seventh.
The 4-1 moto scores gave Ferrandis the overall victory and he became the fifth different rider to win an overall this season. Martin rebounded from his second moto mistake to finish runner-up (2-4), followed by McElrath who finished third overall (6-2).
Ferrandis became the 83rd different winner in 250 Class history.
“I’m so happy to finally get my first overall win today,” said Ferrandis. “I’ve been working really hard to come back from injury, and it’s always a battle, but I think that we’re finally getting back to where we belong. It’s really cool to see Marvin [Musquin] win today as well. I think that it’s something that’s very good for France and gives the fans something to cheer for.”
Plessinger ended up fifth overall (3-7), which was good enough to maintain his hold of the championship point lead. Martin’s runner-up finish cut six points out of Plessinger’s lead, which now sits at 23 points, and moved him to second in the championship. Jeremy Martin sits third, despite being unable to compete due to a season-ending injury one week ago at the Tennessee National.
The 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will continue next weekend, on Saturday, July 7, with its annual Fourth of July visit to Buchanan, Michigan, as legendary RedBud Motocross welcomes the world’s best riders. First motos of the Red Bull RedBud National can be seen live on MAVTV at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET. The second 450 moto will air live on NBC at 12:30 p.m. PT / 3:30 p.m. ET, while the second 250 moto will air via tape delay on NBC Sports Network at 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET. Additionally, all of the action can be seen as it unfolds online via the “Pro Motocross Pass” on the NBC Sports Gold app.
Results: 2018 Southwick National – The Wick 338 – Southwick, Massachusetts
450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
- Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (2-1)
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (1-2)
- Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (3-3)
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (4-4)
- Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda (5-5)
- Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM (6-6)
- Lorenzo Locurcio, , Honda (7-7)
- Cooper Webb, , Yamaha (8-9)
- Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Husqvarna (10-8)
- Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki (9-11)
450 Class Championship Standings
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 289
- Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 257
- Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 224
- Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda – 201
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 200
- Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki – 170
- Benny Bloss, Oak Grove, Mo., KTM – 156
- Phil Nicoletti, Cohocton, N.Y., Suzuki – 142
- Cody Cooper, New Zealand, Honda – 85
- Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Husqvarna – 73
250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
- Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (4-1)
- Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., KTM (2-4)
- Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM (6-2)
- RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Honda (7-3)
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (3-7)
- Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Yamaha (8-8)
- Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (1-20)
- Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (5-14)
- Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Husqvarna (15-6)
- Michael Mosiman, Sebastopol, Calif., Husqvarna (10-11)
250 Class Championship Standings
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha – 233
- Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., KTM – 210
- Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda – 176
- Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 174
- Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., KTM – 170
- Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki – 160
- RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Honda – 154
- Jordon Smith, Belmont, N.C., KTM – 151
- Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 141
- Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., Kawasaki – 128