AMA Pro Motocross Recap: 2021 Budds Creek National

Budds Creek

Last week it was Ken Roczen and Jett Lawrence bringing home the Honda sweep at Unadilla. This week the pair looked to capitalize on that momentum in their individual title races at Budds Creek. With only four Nationals and eight Motos to go, time is of the essence for the Honda duo. For the Yamaha duo of Dylan Ferrandis and Justin Cooper in the points leads, their goal was managing their respective points leads.

Entering Saturday Ferrandis has the luxury of a 30-plus point advantage over Roczen. While Cooper has Lawrence all over him just four points back. Time is most certainly running out on this 2021 season, and everything from here on out matters. That and more in this Budds Creek Recap.

250 Class

Moto 1

Cooper made a big gamble with a far inside gate pick, but it paid off in spades with yet another holeshot this season. The points leader then just minutes in pulled out to a four-second lead over second-place Austin Forkner. Even more importantly, he was six spots ahead of Lawrence, who had a good, but not a great start. The gap in seconds around seven minutes between the total rivals was over 12 seconds. This was due to Cooper running a pair of laps early on that were a combined 5.5 seconds faster than the field.


After seemingly getting word of Cooper’s lap times on the pit board, Lawrence picked up the pace big time on the next lap. Straight up passing Jeremy Martin and Garrett Marchbanks for sixth and fifth, then got by R.J. Hampshire after a tip-over for fourth. The lap after Lawrence, got by Hampshire’s teammate Jalek Swoll for third, which gave him a ton of clear race track. That was the good news, the bad news was that Cooper was still 10 seconds up on Lawrence, as the Moto hit the halfway point.

Lawrence’s charge to the front continued into the final third of the Moto. He got by Forkner, due to a lapped rider going down in front of him, to get into second. Cooper was the only man in front of him, and the gap to him was just under six seconds with six minutes left. Unfortunately for Lawrence, his drive stalled here. In fact, Cooper added to his advantage once time expired, pushing the gap up to seven seconds. This would be good enough for the Moto win, with Lawrence second, and Martin third.

Moto 2

Martin and Lawrence would lead the field across the holeshot line to begin this Moto. Cooper meanwhile, was caught on the outside of the sweeping rollers and that cost him valuable early time. Around three minutes in he would be in fifth place, which all things considered could have been a lot worse. The shocker here would be that Ty Masterpool, the former Star Yamaha rider, was still in the top three nearly ten minutes in. The current AEO Powersports GasGas’ privateer rider however hit the deck seconds after getting a broadcast shoutout. Heck of an announcers jinx by Jason Weigandt and Grant Langston.

Cooper would benefit from this, getting from fifth to fourth, but his road to the podium and overall was long. While Hunter Lawrence in third was only seven seconds up on Cooper, his brother Jett in second was nearly 20 seconds ahead of him. All the meanwhile Martin was absolutely gone, running nine seconds ahead of the field. With the closing laps feeling routine, Martin was able to bring home the Moto win, as well as his third Overall win of the year. This was also his 20th career 250 Overall win, which ties him for fourth all-time with Steve Lamson. The only three riders with more wins are Mark Barnett, Ricky Carmichael, and James Stewart.

Although Lawrence missing out on the Overall by a hair is disappointing, there was good news. He did cut into Cooper’s points lead, bringing it down from four to three points with just three rounds to go. Without question, this is the most exciting title fight in the sport right now. Now imagine if Martin never got hurt at Thunder Valley, he would most certainly be right there in the mix.

Top 10 Overall in 250 Class

No. 6 Jeremy Martin 3-1


No. 18 Jett Lawrence 2-2

No. 32 Justin Cooper 1-4

No. 41 Hunter Lawrence 6-3

No. 38 Austin Forkner 4-5

No. 30 Jo Shimoda 7-7

No. 24 R.J. Hampshire 9-6

No. 75 Ty Masterpool 8-9

No. 90 Dilan Schwartz 10-8

No. 47 Jalek Swoll 5-15

450 Class

No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis- Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (2-1 for first overall)

After Saturday, it might be a good idea to start calling Ferrandis “Le Terminateur”, because he is close to unstoppable at this point. The only thing that stopped him from going 1-1 was an extra lap because he finished just three-tenths of a second back of Roczen to end Moto 1. A better Moto 2 start made a world of difference for the Frenchman, as Ferrandis got by Roczen with a handful of minutes to spare. Despite a late run by Roczen, Ferrandis already had the win locked up.

If the goal is to average a 2-3 every week to end this season, Ferrandis is doing better than that mark. While he did not gain on Roczen he did not lose points to him either. With just six motos left to go on the season, Ferrandis has a 39 point buffer and is on pace to clinch the championship a moto early.

No. 94 Ken Roczen- Honda HRC (1-2 for second overall)

The good news for Roczen is that he did not lose any points for Ferrandis, and rode well all day. He had a pair of excellent starts and led for about 90 percent of the 450 action on Saturday. Roczen even was able to hold off Ferrandis by the skin of his teeth in Moto 1. Moto 2 did not fare as well though. He did not pull from the pack as much as he did in Moto 1 and had a three-rider pack of Ferrandis, Eli Tomac, and Chase Sexton all over him for a good bit. Ferrandis eventually got by him with under five minutes to go and that was essentially the race.

The problem now is that he is going to for sure need the points leader to make some big mistakes down the stretch. With the way, Ferrandis has been riding that feels rather unlikely. The crazy thing as well is that Roczen has been absolutely phenomenal coming out of the two-week break. Three moto wins and a second is nothing to scoff at, but it may be too little too late for his title hopes, unfortunately.

No. 7 Aaron Plessinger– Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha (36-DNS for 41st overall)

Earlier in the week, Plessinger revealed that in his crash at Unadilla, that he suffered both, a bruised lung and liver.

Despite this, he toughed it out and lined up at Budds Creek. Despite running in the top 10 in Moto 1, he ended up pulling into the pits around the midway mark. Afterward, he pulled it in and his day was done, as he did not line up for Moto 2. Hopefully, he can get healed up and be good to go for Ironman next weekend.

For more on Plessinger’s crash at Unadilla, click here.

No. 72 Coty Schock– FXR/Chapparal Honda (7-11 for ninth overall)

This is a message for any and all 250 factory team managers. Can we get Schock on some top-tier equipment for next year, please? He’s now riding a streak of back-to-back top 10 Overall performances, while also getting his career-best finish of ninth Overall. Not even mentioning that Shock finished ninth earlier this year in 250 West Supercross. There has to be some team manager out there that is interested in bringing him in right? In any case, a stout performance for Schock at his hometown National this weekend.

Top 10 Overall in 450 Class

No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis 2-1

No. 94 Ken Roczen 1-2

No. 3 Eli Tomac 4-3

No. 23 Chase Sexton 3-4

No. 2 Cooper Webb 5-6

No. 17 Joey Savatgy 6-7

No. 25 Marvin Musquin 10-5

No. 15 Dean Wilson 8-9

No. 72 Coty Schock 7-11

No. 34 Max Anstie 9-10

Team USA Motocross Des Nations Update

Another week passes and again there has been no team announcement. Dave Coombs of Racer X and MX Sports chimed in earlier this weekend to explain why that is the case and when an announcement can be expected. 

“The AMA was set to announce Team USA for the 2021 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations this weekend at Budds Creek. But they have put a hold on the announcement due to the uncertainty of these latest COVID-19 outbreaks and restrictions. The plan now is to [wait] until Fox Raceway at Pala 2, which is September 4, because there is talk that the European Union will be announcing new developments on September 1 that could affect the race and the opportunity to travel.”

If the team entry is still a go by then, it feels all but confirmed that the United States will field Justin Barcia and Sexton in the MX1 and Open classes. The 250 entry, however, is where things get interesting. Any Kawasaki or Yamaha rider is out for varying reasons. So that eliminates about a dozen riders from consideration right of the bat.

This realistically leaves Hampshire and Swoll from Rockstar Husqvarna as the top two options. Young Max Vohland of Red Bull KTM also could be an interesting option, as is another KTM rider, Webb. Weigandt casually floated out the idea on Racer a few weeks back of him moving down to the small-bore for a one-off. In that same article, there is a quote from Hampshire saying he hasn’t heard anything on the Des Nations front either. That was back around a month ago, so things could have obviously changed, but Webb on a 250 would make the US a legit contender.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images 


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