A third and final rollercoaster ride in Houston left some riders on top of the world and others down in the dumps…
Down and out
The 250 field was decimated by injuries on Saturday. Even before the gates dropped for the night show the 250 class had lost not one but two of its championship protagonists. The season went from bad to worse for Austin Forkner and RJ Hampshire as they both crashed out of qualifying and were unable to return for the night show due to injuries. It’s not clear yet as to the severity of either riders injury nor is there any indication of when they may return to the start line. Even if they were able to line up next week in Indianapolis, they’ve both lost considerable ground in the championship chase. With the short 250 series it will be nigh on impossible for either man to return for a title run. This is certainly not the way either rider envisioned their season unfolding…
From bad to worse
Marvin Musquin didn’t have the best of nights in Houston. The Frenchman got caught by an out-of-control Malcolm Stewart at the start of 450 Heat 2. Musquin hit the deck on the second lap of action and had to furiously fight his way through the pack to earn a transfer spot. Marvin was able to battle back to eighth, leaving him with a less than desirable gate pick for the main.
Things went from bad to worse for the Red Bull KTM factory rider on the opening lap of the Main Event. A bad start meant that Musquin was mixed up in the first lap mid-pack mayhem. He clipped the rear wheel of Vince Friese on the face of the stall wall, which saw him drop like a rock to the back of the pack.
The KTM star was well behind after this incident, but he fought hard to claw his way back to 13th position – just behind his countryman Dylan Ferrandis – at the finish. A decent effort, but Musquin will definitely not enjoy the fact that he was lapped by his championship rivals Cooper Webb and Ken Roczen.
Aussie Love Tap
Michael Mosiman was on the receiving end of an Aussie love tap in the dying moments of the 250 Main Event. Jett Lawrence was struggling to make a pass stick on the Troy Lee Designs Red Bull GasGas rider. Getting more and more frustrated seeing his championship rivals run away with the race lead Lawrence employed some, let’s call it ‘aggressive’ behaviour to get the job done. A hard block pass after the whoops resulted in heavy contact between the two and saw Mosiman eating dirt.
Jett openly admitted that it wasn’t the best of passes, ‘‘It wasn’t clean or pretty. I had to make a bit of a dirty move on Mosiman as I know he is a pain to get around,’’ said Jett on the podium.
‘‘I have already spoken to the AMA about it and I got a warning from them, like a slap on the wrist. It was worse than I thought, I can’t say I didn’t mean to do it. As a professional athlete we know what we’re doing on the bike, so it is what it is.’’
If I was a betting man I’d say that Michael Mosiman will be looking for a bit of payback next week in Indy.
Wilson had a nightmare on Saturday. He knows, we know it and Roczen certainly knows it. Nobody wants to be that guy, but every now and then a lapped rider gets caught up and involved in the fight for the race win. It wasn’t on purpose; the fans will forgive him and Roczen has already accepted his apology but Deano will certainly be wanting to forget his time in Houston as quickly as possible…
Wilson might be down in the dumps today after the lashing of social media abuse he received over night, but there’s one man that might just be a little more peeved as he wakes up today. Ken Roczen rode a stellar race on Saturday. He made a pass on Webb for the lead in the early stages of the moto and looked to be clearing off at the front. Although Cooper was chipping away at Ken’s advantage the Honda man looked to have the race under control. That was until the lappers got involved anyway. In a bizarre twist of fates Ken Roczen was duped by Cooper Webb once again on the last lap of action, and it wasn’t really his fault.
This heartbreak combined with his points deduction on Tuesday means that, despite having control of the red plate, Roczen will be heading into Indy with a serious chip on his shoulder…