The 250 East division has been decimated by injuries over the past seven days. RJ Hampshire and Austin Forkner were side-lined last week, and yesterday rookie sensation Max Vohland was also added to the injury list – with a suspected dislocated hip.
However, the top three riders in the points chase remain healthy and all are looking to establish themselves as the main man in the class. Coming into Indianapolis the two Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s were sporting the red plate, but only one man could leave night one in Indy with command of the points lead.
Mitchell Oldenburg nailed the first holeshot of the night on board his Muc-Off Honda in front of hometown hero Josh Osby and red-plate holder Colt Nichols. The first lap layout in Indy this weekend was a little strange, with last minute track alterations having to be made in order to avoid the same sort of first corner carnage we saw at H2.
Colt Nichols made a small mistake at the end of the opening lap that prevented him from jumping the finish line double, allowing his Star Yamaha team mate to leap into third place. Craig then made a great pass on Osby through the whoops and set his sights on the race leader Mitchell Oldenburg. With three minutes on the clock Craig pulled the trigger to make a pass on Oldenburg for the lead. Meanwhile the second Star Yamaha was setting a furious pace, Colt Nichols was the fastest man on track. He quickly made passes to move into second and began hunting down his teammate. Craig held on for the Heat win ahead of Nichols and Oldenburg.
Jett Lawrence grabbed the Heat two holeshot, but Michael Mosiman sat in second and was looking for vengeance after last week’s block-pass incident with Lawrence. The ultimate opportunity for pay back presented itself to the GasGas rider on the first lap and he took it with absolute glee. Mosiman made a tough pass on Lawrence that saw the Australian teenager hit the deck. This saw the Jett drop outside the top ten and allowed Jo Shimoda to move into second.
With the red mist in his eyes Lawrence fought furiously through the pack and by the time the chequers flew he was back in second position. Mosiman took the win and Shimoda was third.
Colt Nichols grabbed a massive Main Event holeshot on board his Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha. His teammate Christian Craig was second and Michael Mosiman was third. Jett Lawrence got a terrible jump out the gate, hitting a false neutral, meaning that he was buried in 10th early on.
A bad start was not the end of Jett’s troubles, he made a mistake on the stall wall whilst trying to weave his way through the pack and that saw him lose a number of positions.
It was a familiar sight at the front of the field with the Star Racing Yamaha’s leading the way. However, Michael Mosiman was really able to step up his game this weekend, he wasn’t allowing the Star Yamaha boys to run away with things.
Meanwhile Jett Lawrence was steadily fighting through the field. With eight minutes to go he made a nice pass on Mitchell Oldenburg to take over fifth place. The next rider on his hitlist was Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jo Shimoda.
Colt Nichols was in incredible form last night. Lap after lao he steadily opened up the lead over his teammate, allowing him to steer well clear of the drama that was about to unfold.
With three and a half minutes on the clock Jett Lawrence had worked his way onto the rear wheels of Jo Shimoda and Michael Mosiman. Jett scrubbed low over the tunnel jump to make a nice pass on the Japanese rider. The next victim for the young Australian was set to be his new nemesis, Michael Mosiman. Lawrence was able to cleverly use lapped traffic to make a pass on the GasGas rider without the need of swapping any paint or rubbing any elbows. After a terrible a start the Honda HRC wonderkid now sat in a podium position, and second place man Christian Craig was well within reach for the lightning-fast Lawrence.
By the last lap of action Lawrence was all over Craig like white on rice. Lawrence tripled into the main rhythm lane, whereas Craig only doubled, allowing Jett to pull the trigger on an overtake. The veteran saw this coming and attempted to take Jett wide in the next corner and stop the move. But this was poor judgment from Craig, he took both himself and Lawrence into the tuff blocks allowing Mosiman and Shimoda to capitalise. Lawrence lost time but was able to stay upright, whereas Craig hit the deck.
Colt Nichols took the race victory ahead of Mosiman and Shimoda. Lawrence eventually came home fourth and Craig was fifth.
With the victory Nichols was able to claim solitary command of the red plate. The Star Racing man had this to say on the podium, ‘‘It is ideal when you get a good start and put yourself in a good position. I’ve been struggling to do that this year, so it felt really good to get the holeshot. After that I was really just managing the race. I kind of had an eye on everybody. The lappers once again were pretty crazy. But I made my life easy by getting off to a good start. Getting a good start takes the stress off, hopefully we can keep that momentum going.’’
1 64 Colt Nichols Murrieta, CA Yamaha YZ250F 3 X 1 20 1 26
2 42 Michael Mosiman Sebastopol, CA GASGAS MC 250F 2 3 0 2 23
3 30 Jo Shimoda Menifee, CA Kawasaki KX250 6 5 0 3 21
4 18 Jett Lawrence Wesley Chapel, FL Honda CRF250R 4 10 0 4 19
5 29 Christian Craig Temecula, CA Yamaha YZ250F 1 2 0 5 18
6 49 Mitchell Oldenburg Aledo, TX Honda CRF250R 5 4 0 6 17
7 773 Thomas Do Murrieta, CA KTM 250 SX-F 18 6 0 7 16
8 55 John Short Pilot Point, TX Suzuki RM-Z250 14 13 0 8 15
9 95 Joshua Osby Valparaiso, IN Honda CRF250R 7 11 0 9 14
10 76 Grant Harlan Justin, TX Honda CRF250R 19 18 0 10 13
11 241 Joshua Varize Perris, CA KTM 250 SX-F 8 9 0 11 12
12 99 Hunter Sayles Chassell, MI KTM 250 SX-F 12 8 0 12 11
13 122 Jeremy Hand Mantua, OH Honda CRF250R 15 17 0 13 10
14 170 Devin Simonson Laurinburg, NC Kawasaki KX250 17 16 0 14 9
15 85 Kevin Moranz Topeka, KS KTM 250 SX-F 9 21 0 15 8
16 193 Hunter Schlosser El Paso, TX Yamaha YZ250F 20 14 0 16 7
17 185 Wilson Fleming Jacksonville, FL Honda CRF250R 10 12 0 17 6
18 124 Lane Shaw Alvin, TX KTM 250 SX-F 16 15 0 18 5
19 604 Max Miller Springfield, OR KTM 250 SX-F 21 19 0 19 4
20 162 Maxwell Sanford Pasadena, MD Honda CRF250R 13 7 0 20 3
21 384 Lorenzo Camporese Campodarsego, ITA Kawasaki KX250 22 20 0 21 2
22 88 Logan Karnow Amherst, OH Kawasaki KX250