Feature photo by: Octopi
The 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship went to Budds Creek for the penultimate round, and it was Monster Energy / Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac taking the win in the 450MX class and clinching his third-straight AMA National Championship in the process. In the 250MX class, TLD / KTM’s Shane McElrath went 1-1 for the first time in his career to take his first win of 2019.
McElrath was joined on the 250MX podium by Monster Energy / Pro Circuit / Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo (2nd) and Monster Energy / Star Racing / Yamaha’s Justin Cooper (3rd). On the 450MX class podium, Tomac was joined by Rockstar / Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson (2nd) and Red Bull / KTM’s Marvin Musquin (3rd).
After the racing was over, we gathered numerous quotes from riders about their eleventh outdoor MX race of 2019.
Eli Tomac: (1st in 450MX) “Well we can check off that season goal of ours a week early. After losing some points last weekend, I really didn’t think there was a chance to capture the title this weekend. I knew I had to go out and do my work and not worry about the things out of my control. My family and I tried doing the math in the rig between the motos, and with how well Kenny and Marv were riding I really didn’t think it would happen, but the cards fell in our favor today. Each championship is extremely special to me and none of this would have been possible without the entire Monster Energy Kawasaki team. Everyone on that team has contributed to this title and our team’s success. I can’t thank them enough for giving me the best possible platform to compete on with my KX™450. This is one of the most difficult tracks for starts, and we were up front each moto out of the gate, which put us in the position to go 1-1 on the day. I look forward to finishing up the season next weekend in Indiana.”
Shane McElrath: (1st in 250MX) “Today was a similar day to what we train in. It’s actually funny, we were getting texts yesterday saying that it was hotter than Jacksonville, and I was like, “No, no way.” There’s really nowhere as hot as Florida. It was hot today, it was humid, the track was rough and that’s kind of the usual here. That, or it rains. Today was a tough day for everybody, but it was nice to know that and this is kind of what we work for.
Jason Anderson: (2nd in 450MX) “My weekend went pretty good. In the first moto, I got a good start and kind of got pushed and had to come through up to fourth. In the second moto, I got a good start and ended up around fifth or sixth and had to push my way up to P2, which is a good overall for the day.”
Adam Cianciarulo: (2nd in 250MX) “Today wasn’t easy. The heat and humidity was real today, combined with a demanding track, it made for some physically demanding conditions. The top spot is always the goal but I’m still pumped on the second overall. We added two more points to the championship, which is always a positive. Two more motos to go, let’s do this.”
Justin Cooper: (3rd in 250MX) “I got a much better start in the second moto. I changed the gate selection and got lucky since people were going down and I was able to sneak up the inside. It was hot out and I wanted to try and put a dent in the gap to first but couldn’t. Overall a good day to be back on the podium. I’m not stoked on the day overall, but the second moto was much better.”
Marvin Musquin: (3rd in 450MX) “I had good practices today and the motos got rougher, harder and drier, which made it more difficult on the body and on the bike. My starts were actually pretty good but things happened in both motos that cost me a couple of positions early on. Overall, I gave my best and we just need to work a little more for those types of conditions.””
Ken Roczen: (4th in 450MX) “mean, today would’ve been a challenging day even at 100% fitness because it was so hot. We had a couple really good practices and then a good first moto. In that moto, I just tried not to go crazy, to conserve energy, because I knew it was going to be a tough one in the second moto. Second in that race was good, and I was also riding pretty well in the second moto, spending half the race in second. Unfortunately, my body just gave up in the second half and I could barely hang on. I lost a lot of positions, finishing seventh. It’s a bummer and definitely not what we wanted coming off of last weekend, but it’s a better finish than my previous races in the heat so we’re moving in the right direction. We’ve got one more race to make it happen”
Zach Osborne: (5th in 450MX) “Today was another solid day in the top-five but I struggled with the pace in the beginning. The track was strange for me today, it’s really hard-packed and that’s something I don’t normally excel in so it felt pretty good to go 5-4 and put on a really good charge in the second moto.”
Dylan Ferrandis: (4th in 250MX) “The bad start I had in Moto 1 really affected me. Then in the second moto, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time when I had two riders crash in front of me. It was not really the day I expected.”
Justin Barcia: (6th in 450MX) “I was riding solid and the bike set up was working well for me. I ended up getting a good start in Moto 1, battled near the front and ended up 6th in Moto 1. In the second Moto, I got another solid start. I was battling with (Zach) Osborne and a lot of other guys. I rode my butt off. We made a change before the second Moto and it was the right change. My starts have been good, it was nice to have the speed too. I’m now wishing the season wasn’t about to be over. It would have been good to be on the podium today, but we’re taking steps in the right direction.”
RJ Hampshire: (5th in 250SX) “Riding was good all day. Bad start first moto but made some good passes. Finally had a start that second moto and lost the front coming into the first turn. Tough deal but can’t be to bummed, it’s the best I feel like I’ve rode all year. One more to go.”
Dean Wilson: (7th in 450MX) “Today was a step in the right direction. I actually had a sinus infection the past few days which made it more challenging. I was low on energy, which is not ideal for these hot conditions but we pushed through the day.”
Aaron Plessinger: (8th in 450MX) “Budds Creek was a step in the right direction for us. It was pretty good actually. I got a bad start in the first moto but still got back up there to finish ninth. In the second moto I got a much better start. I was battling right around the top 10 spot, put it on cruise control and was able to keep it in front of him (Kyle Cunningham) to get 9-9. It was the best finish of the summer and I can’t wait for Ironman. I expect it to be a good one.”
Chase Sexton: (7th in 250MX) “Yeah it was not a good day. I was riding good, qualified first, I feel like I’m really good speed-wise. But when you get blown by on every start, it’s not a good feeling. I got ran into in the first moto, second moto, a guy fell into me and it just ruined the whole start for anyone behind him. It was a struggle today, rode good but can’t come from last. One thing I’m happy about is that it was hot today and I didn’t have any problems, I felt good. Next week, Indiana, I love that track, so hopefully I can end this on a high note.”
Ty Masterpool: (8th in 250MX) “The bike was awesome today! I had a good first moto, finishing seventh. In the second moto I got cut off on the start but worked my way up to 11th. After a few 10th place finishes, it feels good to get breakthrough and get eighth.””
Alex Martin: (9th in 250MX) “I definitely had some highs and lows at Budds Creek. I didn’t get the greatest start in the first moto and got caught up in some carnage on the first lap. Then, on the eighth lap, another rider made a mistake and cleaned me out. I was only able to salvage a few points. The second moto was better all around. I had an awesome start and ran second the majority of the moto before getting passed with a few laps to go. It felt good to get that JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki RM-Z250 up on the podium in at least one moto this weekend.”
Freddie Noren: (13th in 450MX) “It was a tough weekend. I had a hard practice crash on Thursday. I was unsure how I would be able to race. Decent starts helped, but I fell in both motos and had to work my way through the pack. I did my best and was able to move up a position in the overall points standings. The plan is to rest up and try to be fully healthy for the last National.”
Michael Mosiman: (10th in 250MX) “It was a tough day. I was pretty frustrated on my part to crash but I’m happy to be healthy because I had a lot of sketchy moments with other guys coming through the field. I’m looking forward to the final round and I want to hit every lap strong and finish the season in a positive way.”
Hunter Lawrence: (12th in 250MX) “Gnarly day at Budds. I was already facing a tough day coming from two weeks of no riding and limited off bike training so the two first turn pile ups I was involved in really weren’t the cherry on top that I was looking for. We did our best and learned a lot for next year about the track. I’m safe and healthy which is good and just building each time I am on the track! Looking forward to ironman. Also, I have to give it up to the team for dealing with the heat and humidity! That was gnarly!”
Mitchell Oldenburg: (14th in 250MX) “We made a lot of progress this weekend! I crashed in the first moto so that was a bummer, but leading a couple laps in the second moto felt really good! We have one more round to make it (a podium) happen and I’m looking forward to it!””
Jordan Bailey: (15th in 250MX) “I feel like I rode well all day, it was just an unfortunate start to the second moto for me. I’ll keep improving going into the last round and just try and get better.”
Martin Davalos: (16th in 250MX) “Man today was a lot fun. Although the end result didn’t fully show what we were capable of, there was still a lot of positives to take away from it. The first moto we ran a good pace with the leaders for the majority of the race, finishing in ninth. In the second moto I had such a good jump out the gate, but then the rider in front of me tucked the front end and I had no where else to go, so we went down. The bike was completely mangled from the wreck, which is a bummer because I think we could have really fought for a solid finish. But hey, that is racing and we will be ready to go next weekend.”
Kyle Peters: (17th in 250MX) “I rode well in the first moto and came from the back of the pack to pass some fast guys. I didn’t have any energy the second moto, which made me really dizzy. I got an infection from a blister at Washougal a few weeks ago that developed into a cyst on the ligament of my left middle finger. That’s why I was prescribed antibiotics. My finger is still really tender. I’ll need to get surgery after the season is over.”
Enzo Lopes: (18th in 250MX) “It felt really good to line up again after my injury at the Houston Supercross. I haven’t raced in three months, so I knew I was in for a challenge. However, I felt like I was physically and mentally ready for battle. Unfortunately, my moto scores weren’t what I was expecting. The second moto would have gone way better if I didn’t get big blisters all over my hands by the ten-minute mark. Motocross isn’t supposed to be easy. I’ll get my hands healthy again and come out swinging at Ironman. I have to give a huge thanks to the whole team for all of their hard work. Without them things wouldn’t be possible!”
Thomas Covington: (29th in 250MX) “This weekend I just wanted to come out and have some fun on the bike. I thought I was recovering pretty well and I rode a little bit this week and was feeling somewhat normal but after coming out here in this heat, I realized that I wasn’t feeling very good. I guess I’m not fully over the illness.”
Garrett Marchbanks: (43rd in 250MX) “Today was a bummer for me. I struggled to find my groove in the morning in qualifying and then in the first moto I tweaked my ankle pretty good that ended my day early. I am going to get everything checked out this week and make a game plan with the team from there. The goal is of course to race the last race and finish out the season on a high note.”