America’s biggest sandbox in Southwick, Massachusetts played host to the sixth round of the AMA Pro Motocross season this weekend. The great Ricky Carmichael won here a whopping 10 times in 11 career trips, and the central Mass facility has seen some of Moto’s best for decades. Last year it was Hunter Lawrence and Dylan Ferrandis taking top honors, and the Elder Lawrence brothers comes back a year later as the new 250 points leader. While Ferrandis is still on the mend, his teammate Eli Tomac has started to heat up, winning the last two Nationals and gaining quickly on 450 points leader Chase Sexton. On the schedule’s toughest course, could ET3 ride himself into getting the red plate? Could Jett Lawrence get one back on his brother after his Moto 1 DNF last weekend?
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Troll Train Heading into the Station
In some retirement news, it was announced that longtime veteran Alex Martin will be wrapping up his career at the end of this Motocross campaign. The Millville, Minnesota native finished second in the 250 Motocross championship twice, in 2016 and 2018 respectively. Additionally, both of his career National wins came in that 2016 season, at Glen Helen and then later at Washougal. Seeing as Millville is quite literally his backyard, he should get a nice reception for what is his last trip there as a full-time pro. AMart is one of the more universally liked riders in the sport as well, so here’s to a great career and to whatever is next.
No. 3 Eli Tomac – Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (1-1 for First Overall)
What we saw on Saturday from Tomac could have been one of the final few times he was running at peak efficiency in his Motocross career. These last half dozen rounds are most likely his last and he is making it count down the stretch. A pair of rallies to the front catapulted ET3 to back-to-back National Wins, in a stretch where he has won 5-of-6 Motos, which stretches to 7-of-10 dating back to Hangtown. This win also gives him 30 on his career, making him just the third ever premier class rider to hit that mark, joining Carmichael and Ryan Dungey. Additionally, he now trails Sexton by one point going into Millville, despite the latter having a 2-2 day.
No. 7 Aaron Plessinger – Red Bull KTM (7-3 for Third Overall)
Plessinger hadn’t found the podium in Motocross since RedBud last year and hasn’t even finished top five since then. That all changed on Saturday, with the unorthodox 7-3 for the final step on the podium. It seemed as if he had a shot to win in Moto 2 as well, but didn’t have enough for then-leader Ken Roczen, or Tomac who was surging from back in the pack. In any event, this tallies as his best finish with Red Bull KTM dating back to Oakland Supercross in mid-January. Safe to say this run was due for AP7.
No. 94 Ken Roczen – Honda HRC (6-4 for Fourth Overall)
Roczen didn’t do much to beat the ‘fading late in Motos’ allegations in Southwick. After leading the opening third of each Moto yesterday, he had trouble again as the clock trickled down. Oddly enough, Moto 1 was worst than Moto 2. Averaging lap times barely north of 2:20, Roczen put up three laps north of 2:25 in the final six laps. As a result, he fell from fourth to sixth. The good news is those starts built him enough of an early buffer that his day was still good. 6-4 for fourth can certainly be classified as a good day. Again though, this was a problem last season, and it’s starting to become one again this year.
No. 34 Max Anstie – Fire Power Parts Honda Racing (5-5 for Sixth Overall)
Anstie, the pride of England, had a potentially great day ruined last week with a bike failure in Moto 1. Those problems were completely in the rear view, as one of the best sand riders in the world earned his keep at Southwick. Anstie was mixing it up with the likes of Dungey, Roczen, Christian Craig, and Jason Anderson all day long, and showed that he can be a podium contending rider in these final few rounds.
Southwick National 450 Class Top 10
1st No. 3 Eli Tomac 1-1
2nd No. 23 Chase Sexton 2-2
3rd No. 7 Aaron Plessinger 7-3
4th No. 94 Ken Roczen 6-4
5th No. 28 Christian Craig 3-8
6th No. 34 Max Anstie 5-5
7th No. 5 Ryan Dungey 4-7
8th No. 21 Jason Anderson 8-6
9th No. 73 Benny Bloss 10-10
10th No. 51 Justin Barcia 13-9
450 Class Point Standings After Southwick
1st No. 23 Chase Sexton 268 Points
2nd No. 3 Eli Tomac 267 Points (-1)
3rd No. 94 Ken Roczen 227 Points (-41)
4th No. 21 Jason Anderson 207 Points (-61)
5th No. 5 Ryan Dungey 185 Points (-83)
No. 1 Jett Lawrence – Honda HRC (1-1 for First Overall)
Now that is how you rebound after a weekend with a DNF Moto finish. Outside of Levi Kitchen early in Moto 2, no one had anything for the reigning Champion on Sunday. There was even better news for Lawrence, Saturday would be his only round of the year so far without the red plate. That is because he was on the right side of a 22-point swing on the day. Heck of a time for his best outing of the year. Especially a track where the Jett had only one start at before this year.
No. 32 Justin Cooper – Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (3-4 for Third Overall)
This was a run that Cooper needly badly after how he looked at RedBud. It’s beyond clear by now that he won’t win the title, but he should be a podium contender week in and week out 100 percent. He did as such in Southwick with a 3-4. This also snaps a month-plus stretch off the podium and is his second of the season. Cooper’s starts were also a huge plus at the Wick as well, which we hadn’t seen to this point.
No. 24 R.J. Hampshire – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing (4-5 for Fifth Overall)
After missing Thunder Valley earlier in the year, Hampshire has been on a good run as of late. At RedBud, where he won a year ago, and Southwick (his two best runs of 2021), he has put together a 4-6 and 4-5 run back to back. The latter run is officially good enough for him to vault over Max Vohland for ninth in the points with six rounds remaining, despite missing three Motos. Hampshire also has success at Millville which is a good sign, but only in the first Motos. In the last four seasons, he has three 11ths and a 38th in Moto 2, compared to Moto 1 results of a second and three sixths.
No. 96 Hunter Lawrence – Honda HRC (6-8 for Seventh Overall)
Safe to say the now-former points leader was an unhappy camper in central Massachusetts. By no fault of his own, a big wreck in Moto 1 involving Stilez Robertson put Lawrence in deep waters on lap five. In a Championship level effort, he rallied from as far back as 16th to end up in 6th by the end. Afterward, he got right up in Roberston’s face and was understandably furious, as he was crossed up in the air before getting hit by another bike. Luckily Lawrence was good otherwise. However, an eighth later on didn’t help things out, as the elder Lawrence brother sits 15 points out of the points lead.
Southwick National 250 Class Top 10
1st No. 1 Jett Lawrence 1-1
2nd No. 30 Jo Shimoda 2-3
3rd No. 32 Justin Cooper 3-4
4th No. 59 Levi Kitchen 8-2
5th No. 24 R.J. Hampshire 4-5
6th No. 50 Stilez Robertson 7-7
7th No. 96 Hunter Lawrence 6-8
8th No. 29 Michael Mosiman 5-9
9th No. 49 Nate Thrasher 15-6
10th No. 31 Jalek Swoll 12-10
250 Class Point Standings After Southwick
1st No. 1 Jett Lawrence 261 Points (New Points Leader)
2nd No. 96 Hunter Lawrence 246 Points (-15)
3rd No. 30 Jo Shimoda 224 Points (-37)
4th No. 32 Justin Cooper 197 Points (-64)
5th No 59 Levi Kitchen 180 Points (-81)
Week 6 PulpMX Fantasy Motocross Lineup
FFL: Ken Roczen (Successful, Never in Doubt!!!)
(Was in sole possession of first place after 450 Moto 1. Never Forget.)
Follow Jack Gaffney on Twitter @JackGaffneyPTST
Main Image via Yamaha Racing