AMA Pro Motocross Recap: 2021 Southwick Nationalby Jack Gaffney July 11, 2021 0 comments
The Sandbox in Southwick made its triumphant return to the AMA Motocross Schedule on Saturday after not taking place in 2020. The 250 Class saw its fifth different winner in five nationals. One of the top 450 championship contenders avoided catastrophe in the points standings, while another did not share that level of fortune at The Wick.
The Rockstar Husqvarna squad has had a phenomenal last few nationals to their name in the 250 class. That did not stop in the early goings here. Jalek Swoll led his teammate, fastest qualifier R.J. Hampshire, to the holeshot in the moto. He would however get by and pull ahead with over a two-second lead 10 minutes in, before going down in the lead. The good news was he only lost two spots. That being to GasGas’ Micheal Mosiman, and Honda’s Hunter Lawrence.
Lawrence and Mosiman then got into an excellent battle for a few laps past the halfway point. Mosiman fell after barely holding off the elder Lawrence brother the lap prior. In the process, he would fall from first to seventh. His brother Jett Lawrence would not share the same fortune, however.
After a bad start, he would rally into fifth with under three minutes to go plus two laps. But then he would land on the rear fender of Swolls bike after Swoll cross rutted a jump prior. Then after that incident, Lawrence would go down again a few corners later, falling back down to 10th. However, he would end up getting ninth place on the final lap. Hunter brought home the moto win meanwhile, with Hampshire and Jo Shimoda in tow.
It would be another holeshot for the factory Husqvarna squad, but Hampshire this time instead of Swoll. Swoll ended up getting tangled with Jeremy Martin coming across the finish line jump for the first time. That incident put both riders around 15th. Hampshire would lead without incident until, well… incident. At about 10 minutes in on the dot, he would surrender the lead to Justin Cooper due to a fall. This fall also gave the presumptive overall win to Hunter Lawrence for the time being, who ran fourth before.
Austin Forkner meanwhile, whose season has gone less than ideally, ended up going down hard and came up in pain. Holding his hand by the looks of it. He has yet to record a top-five overall result this year, and his last came at Budds Creek in 2018. Hampshire would meanwhile go down again for what feels like the 20th time in the last month. This latest incident would send him back to seventh.
With that going on, Hunter Lawrence had made inroads on Cooper’s lead with about 10 minutes remaining. After Cooper did what he could in front, the elder Lawrence brother found himself at the point once again. This secured him his first-ever AMA National win with a 1-1. Shimoda would end up second overall on the day, also a career-best, Cooper third. Cooper however now only sits back of Jett Lawrence by three points in the standings.
Top 10 Overall in 250 Class
No. 41 Hunter Lawrence 1-1
No. 30 Jo Shimoda 3-4
No. 32 Justin Cooper 6-2
No. 24 RJ Hampshire 2-6
No. 34 Colt Nichols 4-5
No. 18 Jett Lawrence 9-3
No. 42 Micheal Mosiman 7-7
No. 67 Stilez Robertson 8-8
No. 47 Jalek Swoll 5-17
No. 45 Pierce Brown 13-10
No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis– Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (1-3 for first overall)
The Frenchman has only won three motos this entire season but has now four out of five overall wins. Ferrandis absolutely dominated the opening 450 Moto, leading the entire way, in a win that was never in doubt for him. Moto 2 on the other hand would end up being rather stressful. Grant Langston in the booth pointed out smoke coming from under his bike rather early in the moto. The team noticed too, as his mechanic told him to completely stay off the clutch to prevent an engine failure on the board. An extremely hard task, but Ferrandis was up to it.
Despite not being able to ride his bike to the limit, Ferrandis was still able to bring home a third in the second Moto. Still good enough for first overall which is the important thing. This also could have been a disaster for Ferrandis. If his bike had let go, Ken Roczen would have taken the points lead going into Millville, 100 percent. Instead, Ferrandis is up 19 points on Roczen going into this season’s midway point.
No. 94 Ken Roczen- Honda HRC (4-2 for second overall)
It was a good day at the office for Roczen at Southwick. Unfortunately, the one rider to best him is the only rider ahead of him in points. A late Moto 1 pass on Adam Cianciarulo got him a solid fourth place result to give him a shot at his second overall of the year. However, those would get dashed by Eli Tomac, who erased a sizeable gap to then put up a 16-second lead by the end of the Moto. Although this is a far better season than most had anticipated for Roczen, if he wants to win this championship, he needs a slip-up or two from Ferrandis.
No. 2 Cooper Webb– Red Bull KTM (6-5 for fifth overall)
The defending Supercross champion has been a relative non-factor in this motocross season in the opening four rounds. He had just one top-five Moto result, the first of the season, and zero top five overall results. That changed on Saturday, as Webb put together a respectable 6-5 day to snag fifth away from Cianciarulo on a tiebreaker. While this has definitely been a disappointing outdoor season for Webb, Southwick provided some hope for future good results.
No. 7 Aaron Plessinger– Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (3-40 for 12th overall)
While a third in the opening moto was a great effort, it would be a mechanical issue early in Moto 2 that would be the story for Plessinger. He would come into the mechanics’ area after a lap, and his team completely took apart his fuel box. Eventually, they called it a day, and Plessinger was done. He now also falls back to fourth in points behind Tomac, with Justin Barcia just a couple of points behind him in fifth.
No. 376 Chris Canning– Pilgram Powersports KTM [Privateer] (14-14 for 14th overall)
For some background information here, the entry lists for both classes this weekend were comfortably over 100 riders in each. Largely due to a slew of New England-based privateer riders making the trek to central Massachusetts. The pride of Manchester, CT, Canning was one of them. Riding a KTM backed by Plymouth, Massachusetts KTM/Kawasaki dealer Pilgram Powersports.
Canning ended up outperforming his 17th in qualifying, scoring a pair of 14th’s on the day. An absolutely gigantic day all things considered. Even out-running former Des Nations hero for Great Britain Max Anstie in the overall standings. And a quick plug, Canning plans to run some of the remaining nationals and is in the market for some sponsors. Hopefully, his results at Southwick got some people’s attention.
Top 10 Overall in 450 Class
No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis 1-3
No. 94 Ken Roczen 4-2
No. 51 Justin Barcia 2-4
No. 3 Eli Tomac 8-1
No. 2 Cooper Webb 6-5
No. 9 Adam Cianciarulo 5-6
No. 23 Chase Sexton 7-8
No. 25 Marvin Musquin 10-7
No. 15 Dean Wilson 12-9
No. 17 Joey Savatgy 11-10
Next week we go to another one of the crown jewels in American Motocross. That of course being Millville, MN, the most literal home race for the Martin Brothers, as their parents own the venue.
Follow Jack Gaffney on Twitter @JackGaffneyPTST
Main Image Credit: motocrossactionmag.com