Assorted racer comments following the opening round of the season.
In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out at round one of the 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross championship, the opening round of the season at Fox Raceway.
Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – Fourth:
The track was really gnarly today but my bike was working awesome. I got through practice and went into the first moto open-minded and that was a really good ride for me. All-in-all, fourth overall is a super good spot to be in going into the season. It’s a long, grueling season and I definitely need to be on the podium a lot, win races and just stay consistent. I am definitely looking forward to next weekend.
Jason Anderson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Sixth:
It was not a terrible day but we definitely need to keep building. In the first moto, I had a good start and tipped over while running fifth but I was able to make it back to 10th. In the second moto, I charged up the whole moto and was able to end up fourth, which was a good ride for me.
Zach Osborne (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 10th:
My day definitely could have been better but I’m still healthy and looking to get more. The first moto was a little disappointing and not what we were looking for but I turned it around and I’m happy to leave in a better spot than I was when I got here. This is the first time I’ve done two motos in a day since I started riding again so we didn’t have any expectations and to get a top-five in the second moto was a step in the right direction.
Dean Wilson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 17th:
It was a little bit rough for me today. I had a little better start in Moto 2 and around the third lap I was hitting this jump exiting the corner and my rear wheel slid out off the face and I got a handlebar to the gut really bad and knocked the wind out of me and I couldn’t breathe. By the time I got up and going I was pretty far back and my bike wasn’t good enough to race. I went back and got checked out, all okay. It’s a disappointing first round but all we can do is keep trying to improve and get better.
Marvin Musquin (Red Bull KTM) – Seventh:
I knew the competition would be very tough and a good start would be key. I was happy with my practice, qualifying second, and felt good going into the motos. In both of my motos, my first lap was no good and I was not aggressive enough and making huge mistakes. After that, I had to fight back but it was very difficult to make passes on this track. I was battling with Tomac in both motos, so that tells you the level of competition in the top-10. I’m not super happy with the result on paper. I did a couple of good things but overall, I can do better, so let’s do it again next weekend.
Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) – Fifth:
A tough day at the office with eighth overall to start the season at Pala. It felt good to line back up outdoors and I’m looking forward to having fans back at the races this summer. We’ll build on this and come back swinging for the next 22 motos.
Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – First:
It was a way different Pala race than last year, but it was a really good day for me. I didn’t wake up this morning thinking that I would win the overall. It’s an amazing result as a rookie in the 450 class to win the first moto and the overall. I’m also really happy to get that first 450 win for the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team. I’m really hard on these guys, and I make them work many hours during the race and the whole week, so this one is really for them. The hard work has definitely paid off. I want to say a big thanks to all of the people around me. It’s an amazing feeling and a day that I will remember.
Aaron Plessinger (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – Third:
It was a great day for me overall. I felt good coming into this weekend and felt like I could do some damage, and I did. I think my last outdoor moto was at the Ironman back in 2019, so to come out here and finish third after a tough two years, it’s pretty amazing. I want to thank the whole team. They do an amazing job. I love my bike right now, and I couldn’t be happier. I’m just going to come into Colorado with the same outlook and try to do It again!
Christian Craig (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – 12th:
It was a decent day at Pala for the first round. I struggled with the bike set up in the first moto, but I was able to rebound with a solid second moto. I expect a lot more out of myself, so I’m just going to keep pushing!
Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Ninth:
Overall, it was an alright day. It wasn’t my best result, but we managed to put together two consistent motos and deal with the difficult track. I’m looking forward to Thunder Valley next week, especially since it’s my home track. We’ll take the week to get everything dialed and plan to be back on the top step where we belong.
Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – 11th:
Even though the result wasn’t what we hoped for today, there were a lot of things we can build on for the season. I’m staying positive and I’m glad we can shake off those first-round jitters. We can now focus on getting back up on that podium where we belong. We know what we need to work on, and I can’t wait to get back out there next week.
Ken Roczen (Team Honda HRC) – Second:
My first outdoor race at Fox Raceway ended up being really good. I felt a little rusty riding motocross in general, and I rode a little bit tight in the first moto but could salvage a sixth-place finish. Then I got a good start in the second moto and just rode really well to get my first moto win of the year, which is amazing. I ended up being second overall, and I hope to build each and every weekend from here on out. The class is really stacked, so it’ll be a tough season, but we’re ready to give it our all. We’ll continue working to see if we can get the bike working a little better for me as well, and I’m looking forward to Colorado.
Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC) – Fifth:
Round 1 at Pala for me didn’t start off the greatest. I had a rough time in practice, just finding a flow with the track and the bike. I turned it around in the first moto when I got a pretty good start. I kind of went backwards a little bit and then found my groove and charged forward. I made a good push towards the end and got close to Dylan [Ferrandis] but couldn’t quite make it happen. In the second moto I went down on the start and from there it was an uphill battle, just trying to do as much damage control as possible. I got back to 10th and am looking forward to Thunder Valley.
Max Anstie (Twisted Tea HEP Suzuki) – 13th:
We’ve got the first one out of the way here at Pala. I felt my riding was solid and I felt good, but I’ve got some things I want to work on in the next few weeks for the upcoming rounds. Everyone on the team is working hard and we want to keep progressing and climbing up that leader board. We ended up 13th, but we want more, so let’s keep trucking’ on!
Brandon Hartranft (Twisted Tea HEP Suzuki) – 22nd:
Overall, it was a good, solid day for my first 450 pro national. In moto one I would’ve finished in about 16th except I fell at about the halfway mark; I could only recover up to 21st position so unfortunately, I didn’t score any points in the moto. I got a mid-pack start in the second moto and fought pretty hard the whole time and earned some points. The track was super gnarly, especially the rutted finish line section. All in all, the Pala track was probably one of the toughest tracks I’ve ever ridden. We’ll take the positives from today and I can’t wait until next weekend.
Michael Mosiman (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – Fourth:
It was a good day. I rode really smooth and had a couple mistakes that cost me a podium but to be honest, coming out here I wasn’t really sure where I was going to be. I thought I was going to be really good but it’s comforting to have the first one out of the way and have a good result. There’s a lot to look forward to this season, so I’m really excited.
Pierce Brown (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – 15th:
I was stoked for the first moto, I got a decent start and collided with another rider, breaking my shifter right after the start. After getting the shifter on, I felt like I was riding decent but I was just too far back to make anything happen. I wanted to come out swinging for the second moto but I just started off too slow. It took me a while to find my flow and once I did, I was feeling good. It was good to be in the mix with the whole crew, that’s something I haven’t done in a while. I definitely want more, so we’re going to come out swinging for Colorado next weekend.
RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Fifth:
I’m happy to be back at the races. I felt good all day. The first moto, I didn’t get a great start but we made some good passes and held onto third, which was sweet coming off injury and getting back racing. Looking at our speed and comfort this weekend, I know we have a lot to build on and we will be better.
Jalek Swoll (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 11th:
It was an up and down day, practice was rough but I felt like we changed it a little bit in the races. Obviously, the first moto didn’t go as planned but I felt like second moto I was really grooving and being myself out there. All-in-all, I’m content with the day and I know we have some stuff to work on but I think the speed is pretty good for finally getting through a whole day of outdoors. We’ll regroup and be ready for Thunder Valley.
Stilez Robertson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 14th:
Just from not riding, my arms are not really in shape and my knee is a little sore but for not planning on racing, I’ll take it. We’ll keep building and the main goal this season is to make all 12 rounds, so thanks to everybody and let’s keep it going.
Max Vohland (Red Bull KTM) – 13th:
Overall, today went really good. I got a holeshot in the first moto and ended up leading for 23 minutes, which was awesome. You learn a lot and gain a lot of confidence believing you can do it when you’re actually doing it! For my first National as a rookie, I think I performed really well today and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season now.
Austin Forkner (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Eighth:
It was nice to finally get in a round of motocross after so long watching from my living room. While I wanted to be able to run more at the front with those guys, we also wanted to make sure we got through the race learning some things and keeping in mind that this season is long. I feel good about starting to head east. We’ll be ready for next weekend.
Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – 10th:
It was great coming back to Pala, but I wasn’t able to find the pace right away. I know we learned from the race, which makes me excited about getting to the next round. It can’t come soon enough.
Seth Hammaker (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – 16th:
It was great to get my first professional motocross race out of the way. Fox Raceway is never easy and I’m just glad to get out with some lessons learned. I’m ready to do it again next weekend.
Jeremy Martin (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – Second:
I’m glad to land two strong performances in today’s motos after being away from racing for so long. The track was brutal, so I’m happy to walk away with a solid second overall finish at the season opener.”
Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – Third:
It was a good start to the outdoor series with a podium, but it was definitely a tough transition to the ‘Great Outdoors’ from supercross. We put in some solid laps and some terrible ones as well but learned a lot. We have some good stuff to build on and look to carry that into next weekend.
Colt Nichols (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – Ninth:
It was a tough day at the office for me. I struggled to find any flow on the track all day and was disappointed in my lackluster performance, but I need to put myself in a better position out of the gate. We race again on Saturday, so I’m looking forward to getting back out there.
Jarrett Frye (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – 12th:
It was a tough day at the opening round, finishing 13th and 14th for 12th overall. I struggled with a few things, but we will go back to work this week and try to be better next weekend.
Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – 17th:
It was a disappointing day. Coming off of a good start in the supercross season, I had higher expectations, but we’re going to put our head down and keep working and try for a better result next weekend.
Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – First:
My start in the first moto didn’t give me good hopes of a podium, but I ended up carving my way through into third; then [Max] Vohland had some bad luck with a bike malfunction so I ended up going into second. I could see Jeremy [Martin] up there so I kind of put in a little bit of a charge, but I didn’t want to overdo it and make a silly mistake like I used to. In the second moto I think I was eighth or something on the start. I made my way into third, and it took me a while to figure out what the two Star boys were doing out front; they were really on it. J-Mart made a mistake and I was able to get close enough to watch what he was doing and got a pass done a few laps after that. I set my eyes on [Justin] Cooper and caught him fairly quickly; I think he might have made a mistake, but I got the pass done, which was really good. It was really square-edged and technical today, so it kind of helped me a little bit, but I felt really good; I felt like if it was at any other track it would’ve been the same. I felt really strong because I’ve been putting the work in. I’m glad to see that’s paying off, and I can’t wait for next weekend, to maybe do something similar.
Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – Sixth:
It was a rough weekend. To start off with two crashes in each moto wasn’t ideal, but we live and learn. I’m looking forward to next weekend, just to be able to be better and not make those mistakes. I’m happy to get the season started nonetheless. Sixth overall is a start—nothing to jump up and down about, but I’m happy to be fit and healthy.
Dilan Schwartz (BarX Chaparral Ecstar Suzuki) – 22nd:
I felt good physically, so I was able to maintain a good pace throughout the whole moto. I’m happy with that because I know I can make it through each round without having to worry about my fitness. I’m excited to see how much I can improve over the season and I’m looking forward to mixing it up with the top guys here soon!
Derek Drake (BarX Chaparral Ecstar Suzuki) – 25th:
It was a challenging first round for me, but the team and I know what I need to work on to get more success out of the season.