2022 AMA Pro Motocross Recap: RedBudby Jack Gaffney July 3, 2022 0 comments
After a week break, the second leg of the AMA Motocross tilt began on Saturday with the annual trip to RedBud. Arguably the biggest National of the year on Fourth of July weekend has been a true staple on the schedule for decades. It will once again host the Motocross Des Nations this fall again as well, making this a pseudo preview of sorts. Fitting that the last stretch before a USA entry gets finalized starts out at the track the event is being held at. Getting back on track, could anyone break up the insane run that Honda HRC has begun the year on, or will the red bikes reign supreme in Michigan?
Be sure to keep up with all of our Motocross coverage.
Webb Contract Extension
With a week break in between High Point and RedBud, some newsworthy information was bound to drop in that span. First of which was a new contract for two-time Supercross Champion Cooper Webb with Red Bull KTM. The interesting caveat is that Webb, who was on an expiring deal, is only re-upped for 2023 with this contract. Furthermore, KTM also in their press release that Webb has an ‘option’ to run Motocross next year. This year, he has opted to skip the outdoor tilt but has been running some local races, staying fresh in the interim. Webb has never seemed to put it all together for Motocross on a 450, so it wouldn’t be shocking if he doesn’t take that option next year.
Next up is some news relating to the first season of FIM World Supercross, and it’s some big news at that. The first major name to be confirmed for the three-round pilot series is none other than Ken Roczen. That is a massive get for that series, as it didn’t have a true superstar rider before that announcement. The question is now what team is Roczen going to ride for, as it won’t be Honda HRC, although he more than likely will run their equipment.
None of the American factory teams are involved, however, two American Honda teams are in. Those being MotoConcepts and FirePower Honda (DeFacto Australian Factory Honda Team ran) respectively. According to Michael Lindsey of VitalMX, FirePower Honda may be the spot, where Roczen will be paired up with Dean Wilson on 450s. Meanwhile, Eli Tomac has also been confirmed to run the opener in Cardiff, Wales as a ‘wild-card’ entry. Additionally, ET3 is also a go for Paris Supercross later this year as well.
Scouting Combine Roundup
No 40 Yard Dashes or Three Cone Drills happened to anyone’s knowledge, but this weekend marked the second annual Amateur Motocross Scouting Combine. Top amateurs from around the country once again got a shot at a pro-style event on Friday afternoon. The two top names in attendance were firstly Honda’s Chance Hymas, who won the Supercross Futures title earlier this year in Salt Lake City. Hymas more than likely will turn pro next year with the HRC team as well. Next up is the acclaimed, highly touted Star Yamaha prospect Haiden Deegan. For those not familiar, you may know his father Brian Deegan, or his older sister Hailie Deegan. This is his first year aboard a 250, jumping straight up from a supermini.
For his biggest test on the new bike yet, the young Deegan passed with flying colors. He went 1-1 with a pair of convincing Moto wins on Friday, while additionally going 1-for-2 on holeshots. At this point in his development, he is way ahead of the curve. Deegan being this fast this quick on a 250 has to have the Star Yamaha team very excited. There was nothing cheap about either of those wins. Hymas meanwhile fell in the opening Moto, and never really recovered. Wouldnt be worried about him, he’s no slouch by any means, and everyone has bad days. Meanwhile, Kawasaki’s top prospect Ryder DiFrancesco made his pro debut on Saturday.
Party Like it’s 1996
In case you haven’t noticed, Honda HRC has dominated the opening third of the Motocross season. Between both classes, they have won 6-of-8 National overalls to begin the year, with Jett Lawrence starting 4-for-4. Coming out of the break, they have decided to go for the jugular in the bike graphic kit department. All four HRC machines were decked out in the colors of Jeremy McGrath and Steve Lamson’s rides from the 1996 Motocross Des Nations. Which in turn were alternates of the famed 1-800-COLLECT livery that McGrath used in his Honda run in the 90s (bring that or the Woody Woodpecker kits back I beg of you).
No. 3 Eli Tomac – Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (1-1 for First Overall)
And with this, Tomac all but locked himself into a Team USA ride for Motocross Des Nations yesterday. Picking right up from High Point, ET3 pulled off the clean sweep. Qualifying in first, winning Moto 1 in wire-to-wire fashion, then led the entire second half of Moto 2 on way to a 1-1. This is also three consecutive Moto wins at RedBud as well, after Tomac went 4-1 for second here a year ago. No one was able to match his outright pace today, which should have American fans excited going into Des Nations this fall. In his own words, he’s in if Roger De Coster gives him the call.
"If I am asked, I will be there" said Eli Tomac when asked about MXdN here at RedBud in September.
— vurbmoto (@vurbmoto) July 2, 2022
No. 51 Justin Barcia – Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing (8-3 for Third Overall)
Going 8-3 for third is how you draw it up every single time in Motocross, take my word for it. Jokes aside, BamBam has steadily gotten better as this season has gone on, and ended up with season podium No. 1 on Saturday. The eighth in Moto 1 left some to be desired, but Barcia stayed in third for close to the whole Moto later on in the day. Even better is that Barcia has his two best tracks from last year, Southwick and Millville coming up in these next two weeks. Expect some good results from the 51, in any event, moving forward.
No. 21 Jason Anderson – Monster Energy Kawasaki (7-4 for Fourth Overall)
Without any context, a 7-4 for fourth seems pretty good all things considered. The Moto 1 run that Anderson makes that seventh feel like a podium. That is because he went down in the opening corner with Alex Martin and another rider. From around 40th, El Hombre blitzed through the field and gained nearly 35 spots in 30 minutes. Had that opening Moto gone completely sideways, he would have likely lost fourth place in the points to Ryan Dungey.
No. 94 Ken Roczen – Honda HRC (4-7 for Fifth Overall)
Not a bad day for Roczen by any stretch, but worth noting that he fell off pace badly in the second Moto. After leading the opening seven laps of the race, he fell six spots in the span of six laps. Even with that, he still managed to finish fifth overall and is in a relatively decent spot points-wise. However, this will be worth monitoring, especially with the east coast humidity at Southwick and Millville, potentially Unadilla as well.
No. 17 Joey Savatgy – Monster Energy Kawasaki (3-9 for Sixth Overall)
How about Savatgy yesterday? He straight-up was hanging with Eli Tomac in qualifying and a bulk of Moto 1 running right behind him. Ultimately Chase Sexton bumped him back one spot, but a third is a great sign for the fill-in rider. Although a ninth in Moto 2 put a slight damper on things, this was a great weekend for Savatgy, who continues to improve his resume going into ‘free agency’.
RedBud National 450 Class Top 10
1st No. 3 Eli Tomac 1-1
2nd No. 23 Chase Sexton 2-2
3rd No. 51 Justin Barcia 8-3
4th No. 21 Jason Anderson 7-4
5th No. 94 Ken Roczen 4-7
6th No. 17 Joey Savatgy 3-9
7th No. 5 Ryan Dungey 6-5
8th No. 28 Christian Craig 5-6
9th No. 7 Aaron Plessinger 9-8
10th No. 285 Marshall Weltin 10-12
450 Class Point Standings After RedBud
1st No. 23 Chase Sexton 224 Points
2nd No. 3 Eli Tomac 217 Points (-7)
3rd No. 94 Ken Roczen 194 Points (-30)
4th No. 21 Jason Anderson 179 Points (-45)
5th No. 5 Ryan Dungey 153 Points (-71)
No. 30 Jo Shimoda – Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki (1-3 for First Overall)
The ‘Jo Shimoda Agenda™’ got a massive win at RedBud, with perhaps the best single National run by any rider this year. The Pro Circuit rider straight-up hung in there with the Lawrence brothers before passing Hunter Lawrence for the win late in Moto 1. Moto 2 meanwhile was a run for the ages. After going down midway on lap one, Shimoda’s Overall hopes were in the mud. Despite this, he went from around 35th to 3rd and steal the overall from the elder Lawrence brother on the last pass he made. Now that’s how you pick up your first career National win.
No. 96 Hunter Lawrence – Honda HRC (2-2 for Second Overall)
The bad news for the elder Lawrence brother is that he is still without a National win, not for the lack of effort mind you. He had late leads in both Motos before being passed by Shimoda and then his brother Jett Lawrence respectively. All things considered, he has been the most consistent 250 rider this season, but that has yet to translate to wins so far. There is some good news however for the 96, he left RedBud with the points lead. As for how that happened now.
No. 1 Jett Lawrence – Honda HRC (DNF 1 for Ninth Overall)
Jumping ahead as it relates to the running order, Lawrence had some bad luck in a big way at RedBud. While out in front of Moto 1, Ricky Carmichael observed that the No. 1 CRF250 was emitting blueish smoke on commentary. Maybe three laps later, Lawrence lost the engine and his Moto was done. A massive blow to his title hopes, as he got no points to open the day, and his two closest title rivals (Hunter and Shimoda) ended up running second and first respectively. The Jett did end up getting a come-from-behind win in Moto 2, but the damage was already done, as his older brother took the red plate.
No. 42 Ty Masterpool – Privateer KTM (8-8 for Sixth Overall)
If you had Masterpool straight up mixing it up with the Lawrence brothers up front on the bingo card, you are simply lying and should stop. That is no hyperbole either, the former Star Yamaha rider, on an in all likelihood barebone stock KTM gave the Lawrence brothers a run for their money in Moto 2. The final results didn’t reflect the early race speed, but hopefully, teams took notice of Masterpool this weekend. He should not be running his own program out of a van, he is a good outdoor rider no matter how you splice it up.
No. 32 Justin Cooper – Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (7-9 for Seventh Overall)
Once you saw how Cooper ran in the second 250A qualifying session, the feeling this would be a rough outing started to creep in. Unfortunately, that ended up being the case, however, Cooper was able to finish inside the top 10 in both Motos. With that being said, panic button time may be getting close. No Moto wins yet and he has had a couple of bad weekends now.
RedBud National 250 Class Top 10
1st No. 30 Jo Shimoda 1-3
2nd No, 96 Hunter Lawrence 2-2
3rd No. 50 Stilez Robertson 3-5
4th No. 24 R.J. Hampshire 4-6
5th No. 59 Levi Kitchen 9-4
6th No. 42 Ty Masterpool 8-8
7th No. 32 Justin Cooper 7-9
8th No. 29 Michael Mosiman 6-10
9th No. 1 Jett Lawrence DNF-1
10th No. 49 Nate Thrasher 10-7
250 Class Point Standings After RedBud
1st No. 96 Hunter Lawrence 218 Points (New Points Leader)
2nd No. 1 Jett Lawrence 211 Points (-7)
3rd No. 30 Jo Shimoda 182 Points (-36)
4th No. 32 Justin Cooper 159 Points (-59)
5th No. 59 Levi Kitchen 145 Points (-73)
Week 5 PulpMX Fantasy Motocross Lineup
250 Class: Jo Shimoda (All-Star, +3), Ryder DiFrancesco (+7), Nate Thrasher (+4), Ty Masterpool (+13)
FFL: Justin Cooper and Ken Roczen (Unsuccseful on Cooper, successful on Roczen)
Follow Jack Gaffney on Twitter @JackGaffneyPTST
Main Image via Honda HRC