2019 AMA Pro Motocross
Round Six – Southwick
Images by Hoppenworld
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, reached the halfway point of the 2019 season on Saturday with its annual visit to New England’s infamous The Wick 338.
The most storied sand track in American motocross was the setting for an exceptional day of racing at the MB Tractor & Equipment Southwick National, where Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Marvin Musquin took his second straight 450 Class victory.
In the 250 Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo added to his dominant start to the season with his fifth victory in six rounds.
450 Moto One
Musquin picked up where he left off to start the opening 450 Class moto by grabbing the MotoSport.com Holeshot over Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac.
The Frenchman dropped the hammer on the opening lap to establish a lead over the field, while Tomac, the reigning series champion, began to drop positions, first to Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen and then to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne. This shuffled Tomac off the podium and into the clutches of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Cooper Webb.
Musquin was able to distance himself from everyone else and soon enjoyed a multi-second lead.
As the moto wore on, Roczen started to lose pace and lost his hold of second to Osborne.
Tomac was able to regroup from his sluggish start and march his way back to the front. The Kawasaki man got around Roczen to get back into podium contention in third, and continued to push his way up to Osborne. The rookie held the champ at bay for a few laps, but Tomac made an impressive pass to return to third. However, by this point Musquin was simply too far out front.
Musquin was flawless en route to his second moto win of the season, with a wire-to-wire effort that saw him take the checkered flag 9.1 seconds ahead of Tomac. Osborne followed solidly in third, with Webb fourth and JGRMX Suzuki’s Fredrik Noren earning a season-best moto result in fifth.
Roczen, who led the points multiple times this season and has two overall wins to his credit, continued to lose ground, eventually dropping outside the top 10 for a season-worst 12th-place finish.
450 Moto One Results
|1||Marvin Musquin||KTM||16 Laps|
|15||John Short||HON||15 Laps|
|34||Jacob Runkles||KTM||14 Laps|
|35||Tyler Stepek||YAM||10 Laps|
|36||Joseph Savatgy||KAW||7 Laps|
|38||Nick Fratz-Orr||KTM||5 Laps|
|39||Heath Harrison||KAW||2 Laps|
450 Moto Two
The final moto of the afternoon saw Webb capture the MotoSport.com Holeshot, with Osborne and Musquin in tow while Tomac found himself just outside the top 10.
Webb had a solid hold on the top spot, but a bobble on the opening lap opened the door for Osborne to storm into the lead, dropping Webb into second just ahead of his hard-charging teammate.
Musquin gave chase, but just after the completion of the opening lap Roczen, who was looking to rebound from his tough first moto, passed him for third. Roczen didn’t stop there. He kept his charge going and after a persistent chase of Webb, he successfully made the pass for second. Not long after that, Musquin took advantage of an opportunity to pass Webb for third.
The intense battle between Roczen, Musquin and Webb allowed Osborne to open a gap of more than three seconds. Roczen briefly settled into second, but Musquin was able to attack and take away the position.
As all this action unfolded, Tomac quietly moved his way up into the top five and had the lead group in his sights. Roczen started to lose pace again a little more than 10 minutes into the moto, and quickly fell from third to fifth as both Webb and Tomac got around. The German continued to drop back deep into the top 10.
Tomac proceeded to stalk Webb for third as they approached the halfway point of the moto. The KTM rider was able to hold off the champ for several laps, but Tomac eventually made the pass and move into podium position. At this point, Tomac went to work to try and chip away at his deficit to the lead duo. He sat about three seconds behind Musquin for second, and after several laps he closed to within a few bike lengths of his longtime rival. Musquin responded by picking up his pace, responding to the threat.
Out front, Osborne managed the moto with the poise of a veteran, despite being a rookie in the 450 Class. The 29-year-old rider took his first moto win in the premier division by 11.1 seconds over Musquin, who capped off his winning afternoon with a second. Tomac soldiered home in third.
Musquin’s 1-2 effort also sees him as the only rider to claim back-to-back victories thus far this season. He also successfully defended his Southwick win from a year ago.
Marvin Musquin 1-2
“Qualifying first meant a whole lot coming into the races today. I was so pumped to grab the holeshot in the first moto! It was a long moto, when you lead like that the whole time it feels like forever but it was super important to win that one because everyone was right there. I didn’t get the same start in the second moto but I worked my way through to second and it was good for the overall. It was tough out there physically, but we stayed consistent and came away with the overall.”
Zach Osborne 3-1
“I had a really good day,” Osborne said. “I did struggle badly in qualifying but all-in-all I had a good day with 3-1 finishes. I was able to get my first moto-win in the 450 class and I’m super stoked to get that out of the way and really happy to just keep making progress.”
Cooper Webb 4-4
“Southwick was a step in the right direction for me. The day went well and it’s definitely the best I’ve ridden so far. Heading to RedBud, I really enjoy racing there and hopefully I can get on the podium.”
Justin Barcia 6-6
“In moto one, on the start I clicked neutral and pretty much came from outside the top 30 to sixth. I felt like I rode well but not one of those races I’m really thrilled with. The second moto I just missed my gear and had a bad start. Just one of those days and we’ll keep plugging along. Red Bud is a good track for me and I’m looking forward to next weekend.”
Dean Ferris 8-12
“I had a terrible start in moto one and had put in a really big fight. I am quite happy with the moto and wasn’t too far behind some really big guys. In moto two, i ended up going down and it was really physically demanding. I’m glad it’s over and we can focus on the next race.”
450 Moto Two Results
|1||Zachary Osborne||HQV||15 Laps|
|13||Justin Bogle||KTM||14 Laps|
|29||Shane Kelleher||HON||13 Laps|
|33||Heath Harrison||KAW||12 Laps|
|34||Brian Borghesani||KTM||11 Laps|
|35||Nick Fratz-Orr||KTM||8 Laps|
|36||Toshiki Tomita||HON||5 Laps|
|38||Henry Miller||KTM||4 Laps|
|40||Tyler Bowers||KAW||3 Laps|
450 Round Results
450 Championship Points
For the first time in 2019 a rider will sit atop the 450 Class standings for consecutive weekends, with Tomac maintaining his hold on the championship lead.
Musquin moved up to second place in the season standings on the back of his Southwick performance and is now 26-points adrift of Tomac.
Ken Roczen, who finished a season-worst ninth (12-10), drops to third, 28-points off the championship lead.
The first 250 Class moto of the afternoon saw championship rivals Cianciarulo and Justin Cooper cross the MotoSport.com Holeshot side-by-side, with Cianciarulo just barely getting the edge aboard his Kawasaki.
Cooper ultimately emerged with the early lead on his Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha, but Cianciarulo went on the attack and forced his way into the lead. From there, the points leader sprinted out to an advantage of just over two seconds by the time the field completed the opening lap.
The Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM duo of rookie Derek Drake and Shane McElrath followed right behind in third and fourth, respectively.
Cianciarulo continued to build on his lead over Cooper, who soon settled into second. Behind them, the battle for third intensified between the KTM teammates, which ultimately allowed Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Dylan Ferrandis to close in from fifth. With pressure from behind, McElrath forced the issue on Drake and took over third.
It wasn’t long before Ferrandis made his way around the rookie to move up to fourth. The focus then shifted to a head-to-head battle between McElrath and Ferrandis. Their pace allowed them to close in on Cooper in second, and as McElrath looked to potentially make a challenge for the runner-up spot, Ferrandis utilized some alternate lines to surge into third.
The Frenchman was mere bike lengths behind his teammate for second, and appeared to be the faster rider. However, as he began to apply pressure he carried too much speed into a corner and went off track. While he was able to resume without losing a position, Ferrandis lost valuable time to Cooper that he’d be unable to recover.
Out front, Cianciarulo was dominant en route to his fifth moto win of the season. He crossed the line 11.1 seconds ahead of Cooper, who rode solidly in second the entire moto. Ferrandis held off a late charge from GEICO Honda’s RJ Hampshire to finish third, while Monster Energy Yamaha’s Colt Nichols rounded out the top five.
250 Moto One Results
|1||Adam Cianciarulo||KAW||16 Laps|
|20||Justin Thompson||YAM||15 Laps|
|33||Jeffrey Walker||HON||14 Laps|
|39||Walter White||KTM||13 Laps|
|40||Zane Merrett||KTM||6 Laps|
250 Moto Two
Cianciarulo made it a clean sweep of the MotoSport.com Holeshots when he emerged from the first turn with the lead to start Moto 2. Cycle Trader Yamaha’s Brandon Hartranft followed in second, with Red Bull KTM’s Cameron McAdoo in third, just ahead of both Ferrandis and Cooper.
Cianciarulo tried to duplicate the early pace he showed in the first moto, but the field kept him within reach. Ferrandis proved to be the first rider to make a move, fighting his way around both McAdoo and Hartranft to surge from fourth to second. Just about a second separated the lead pair as they came to complete Lap 1.
Cianciarulo and Ferrandis started to inch away from the rest of the field, setting up a two-rider showdown for the win. This forced Cooper to dig deep from fifth, and he successfully got around McAdoo for fourth. A lap later he worked his way by Hartranft to take over third, but faced more than an eight-second deficit to the top two. Up front, the gap between Cianciarulo and Ferrandis hovered around a second for half of the moto, with the duo trading fast laps.
As the moto surpassed the halfway point, Ferrandis began to lose patience and started to force the issue. He was able to learn in his pursuit of the Kawasaki and found a couple spots on the track where he could make a move.
With about 13-minutes left in the moto, the Frenchman pulled the trigger and sped by Cianciarulo, who put up little fight knowing he still had the overall in hand. Once out front, Ferrandis was able to quickly build an insurmountable advantage. He carried on to take his second win in the last three motos, 10.6-seconds over Cianciarulo, while Cooper followed in a distant third.
Cianciarulo’s 1-2 effort gave him the sixth overall victory of his career, five of which have come this summer alone. He also became the 27th different winner in 34 seasons of 250 Class racing in Southwick.
Adam Cianciarulo 1-2
“I try to make good decisions [when I’m out there]. The more I mature as a racer, the more you just learn [how to handle situations],” explained Cianciarulo. “I managed that [second moto], for sure. I’m not sure if I had Dylan’s pace in that [second] moto. He deserved that one. I tried to follow, but I’ll admit, I was a little bit fatigued. We still leave here with another win, and it’s amazing what we continue to accomplish as a team.”
Dylan Ferrandis 3-1
“I feel like even with the heat, I’m still alright. It’s nice to get another moto win. We improved between the motos after going the wrong way for moto one. We talked a lot and we figured it out for moto two. I’m exhausted but happy to be up here and we’ll go after the overall again next weekend.”
Justin Cooper 2-3
“The track was the roughest I’ve ever ridden Southwick. Not that I’ve been here much, but even watching it on TV has never seemed to be this rough. I made some good changes between motos but the breaking bumps were really tightening my back up and I just wanted to make sure we maintained through the whole moto. It was gnarly and a really physically and mentally demanding track. I gave it my all out there today.”
Colt Nichols 5-11
“Bike was great all day and I’m honestly happy with the changes we have made in the past week or so. Conditions were brutal. The typical Southwick rough and tough you could say. I’m bummed I had a crash first lap of the second moto but that’s racing. We get to try again next weekend.”
250 Moto Two Results
|1||Dylan Ferrandis||YAM||15 Laps|
|16||Kevin Moranz||KAW||14 Laps|
|29||James Harrington||YAM||13 Laps|
|35||Kyle Peters||SUZ||9 Laps|
|37||Gabe Gutierres||KTM||6 Laps|
|38||Jeffrey Walker||HON||5 Laps|
|40||Martin Davalos||KAW||4 Laps|
250 Round Results
Ferrandis’ win in the second moto carried him to back-to-back runner-up finishes (3-1), while Cooper earned his fifth overall podium result of the season in third (2-3).
250 Class Championship Standings
Cianciarulo was able to add to his lead in the 250 Class standings, where he now enjoys a 23-point lead over Cooper. Ferrandis remains solidly in third, 37 points out of the lead.
The second half of the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship begins next Saturday, July 6, with American motocross’ own Independence Day tradition from Michigan’s legendary RedBud MX.