Photo by: Ryne Swanberg
The 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship went to the sand of Southwick, Massachusetts for round seven. With Southwick being the only sand race of the series, you might expect the results to look little different, but Monster Energy / Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac (450MX) and Rockstar Energy / Husqvarna’s Zach Osborne (250MX) showed that they are the riders to beat no matter what soil is underneath them.
At the end of the day, Eli (1-1) stretched his 450 championship points lead to 19 over Rocky Mountain ATV/MC / WPS / KTM’s Blake Baggett, and Zach (2-1) pushed his lead in the 250 championship standings to 45 points over TLD / KTM’s Alex Martin.
Landing on the podium with Eli in the 450 class was Baggett in second (2-2) and Rockstar Energy / Husqvarna’s Dean Wilson (6-3) in third—the first 450 podium of Deano’s career. Zach was joined on the 250 class podium by Star Racing / Yamaha’s Dylan Ferrandis (1-2) in second and Alex Martin in third.
After the races were run, MotoXAddicts rounded up some post-race quotes from some of the top finishing riders at “The Wick”.
Eli Tomac: (1st in 450) “I love this track. I had fun all day, blasting sand burms and railing corners. My starts weren’t the best, but we managed to still come out with the win. The break will be nice, but all I want to do is race right now. I guess it’s just the sand. We only have one good sand track a year and that’s here at Southwick, and it’s either you love it or you hate it. It’s a track I always enjoy riding. I don’t know what it is with sand—like I said before, you’re either good in it or you’re not. All around: it was a good weekend.”
Zach Osborne: (1st in 250) “Southwick was great for me today. I went 2-1 for the overall and qualified third. I didn’t get the best start in the first moto but I managed the race well and was able to take second. I got off to a perfect start in the second moto, took the holeshot, and never looked back. It was a great day and it’s nice to extend my points lead a little bit more. I just hope to keep this momentum going.”
Blake Baggett: (2nd in 450) “I think it was the best day we could of had for not coming in 100%. I’m not a super fan of this place, but I just salvaged it out. To me, I felt like I rode the best I could and had a solid weekend. I’m happy with what I was able to come away with. I’m excited for the off weekend, for sure. Monday I have an MRI and everything that we’ve done so far looks like the ligament is tore on the thumb. Worst case scenario, I have to go in and get it fixed. Hopefully two weeks is enough to come back out swinging. I’d like to get up there, put on good races and battle with Eli.
Jeremy Martin: (5th in 250) “Tough day at Southwick in the sand going 4-6 for 5th overall. I struggled all day with the track and my starts didn’t make anything any easier on me.”
Dean Wilson: (3rd in 450) “I had an awesome day,” said Wilson. “I was a little disappointed that I fell in the first moto, but I got up and charged to sixth. I ended up with a third in the second moto, which gave me third overall and my first career podium. I’m very happy and I just want to thank the whole team for believing in me. I’m having so much fun and I’ve been working hard with Tyla—I’m looking forward to the next few races.”
Alex Martin: (3rd in 250) “After starting the day qualifying 11th, I wasn’t sure how the day would go. But the team really got me what I needed to run up front and I think it was a good race overall. I am happy we get to have a weekend off from racing before heading back home (to Millville). I’m really looking forward to that one.”
Cooper Webb: (4th in 450) “I’m very thankful to be OK after last weekend’s first-turn wreck. I got checked out, and thankfully, nothing is broken. I’ve been pretty sore this week, but I was still able to get some solid sand practice in, and I’m excited to get some good results this weekend! I love racing in sand, and I have a lot of good friends in the New England area who are coming out to see me. I can’t wait to get up there and race in front of everybody!”
Joey Savatgy: (7th in 250) “Starts were important this weekend and I was able to stay out of trouble early,” said Savatgy. “I just wished I was able to take advantage of the opportunity to close to the front pack early on. I’ll keep working as we get a weekend off, but looking forward to getting back out on the track.”
Martin Davalos: (5th in 450) “The weekend was pretty good. The track obviously developed the fastest times during the first practice, and I wanted to get adjusted to the sand and get a good bike setup for racing. I didn’t feel like I got the greatest start in the first moto, but I worked my way through and finished seventh. I got a great start in the second moto and rode a solid race. I was very patient with myself and I feel like I rode to my full capability. The track was really rough, but I did the best I could do and came out with fifth overall—which is my best of the season so far. I’m really looking forward to letting my body heal up during the break before getting back in the swing of things at Millville.”
Adam Cianciarulo: (10th in 250) “It’s never easy when you know you are capable of much better results. My fitness and speed are there, but the mistakes have definitely hurt me. I am eager to prove that I am capable of running up front.”
Cole Seely: (6th in 450) “It felt good to get two decent starts especially with all the first turn crashes that we had today. The track was tough as it always is, but I knew if I just rode smart it could be a good day. We made up a lot of points today and hoping to have a good weekend off to keep getting stronger.”
RJ Hampshire: (4th in 250) “In the first moto, I almost had the holeshot, and I was feeling good, so I put in a sprint and got into the lead. It was good, I haven’t been up front like that since I hit my head over a year ago. That felt good. Man, I felt awesome but then I made a mistake and threw it away through the rollers. I got up, and I felt good again! I was putting in laps and laps and then my rear brakes went out—I mean, that’s still not an excuse—but they went out halfway. So I got fifth, happy with that. We were in the battle. I wanted it bad in that second moto, got a good start and was behind Alex [Martin] but I couldn’t get around him. Then it started to rain and I couldn’t see, so I was going to just let him go, but then [Joey] Savatgy started to catch up. I picked it up a little bit, I ended up catching him [Alex Martin] again, so I said “Let’s give this thing another go!” I caught him and started really pushing some outsides, but I couldn’t see and I had no brakes. That probably wasn’t very smart! So had to take fourth. My bike is awesome right now—we’ve had some problems but you can tell we’re up there every week, and I have complete confidence in my team. I want that podium.”
Christian Craig: “Southwick was brutal but still enjoyed every minute of it and the fans were awesome! 10-7 for 7th overall.”
Chase Sexton: (8th in 250) “Qualifying was a little off, I was like 16th or something like that. Honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to Southwick at all. I come from Illinois so I’m not a big sand rider. But I took a nap after practice, woke up feeling good, and in the first moto I came from 20th to ninth and I felt pretty good about that. I was happy with my riding. Second moto I wanted another top ten, I got a decent start but Osborne kind of came over on me, I had to let him go, so I just pushed from there. I passed some people, then I passed Mitchell Harrison and rode the whole moto in seventh. Last lap I got into some lappers, he went around the outside and he got me. I was kind of bummed about that, but I still finished in the top ten, 9-8 on the day, which is not bad at all. I want to just get a good start and I feel with my speed I could be a top-five guy, but my starts have been awful. I’d like to get out front and try to go as hard as I can as long as I can. I feel at these last five races, they’re good tracks. So we’ll see what I can do.”
Marvin Musquin: (12th in 450) “I was really excited for Southwick race. We had a good week training and my knee has healed and improved a lot this week. We knew the key to this race was going to be a good start. In the first moto I wasn’t bad off the start but I went down in the third corner with a few others and had to restart from way back. I made a good comeback and by the end of the race I was 4th, so I was happy about that because it proved we had the speed to run up front. In the second moto I got a really good start and got the holeshot, and I felt really good battling with Eli up front for the lead. Eli had gotten by me and I was pushing hard right behind him when I cross rutted and had a big crash. I tried to get going again but the bike was too banged up, and unfortunately I had to pull off. It’s such a bummer because I felt like everything was getting back on track and I was back to being up front again. But it is what it is and we will be back to fight up front in Millville.”