Features 9 Jun 2021

Quotebook: 2021 Pro Motocross Rd2 Thunder Valley

Assorted racer comments following the second round of the season.

In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out at round two of the 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Thunder Valley Raceway in Lakewood, Colorado.


Image: Octopi Media.

Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – Fourth:
My start wasn’t great in the first moto but I worked my way up to seventh and unfortunately that’s where I stayed. I had a couple guys in front of me but I just couldn’t make it happen, which is a little bit frustrating but I re-grouped and got off to a better start in Moto 2. All-in-all, I’m really happy with where we’re at with the bike and we just need to work on a few little things to put myself in a good position to capitalize on some podiums and wins.

Dean Wilson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 14th:
“The day was pretty rough, I was just struggling with a few things myself,” Wilson said. “The second moto was a little better than the first, I was in the mix up in 11th for a little bit and then I got passed for 12th. It’s a tough class and I need to just keep plugging away and trying to get better every moto.

Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) – Eighth:
We’re kind of searching again – we made a lot of bike changes today and I actually felt a lot better in the second moto. I felt like we made the bike a lot better and I was feeling like I finally had some speed and could run up front and then I had a little tip over. That spiked my heartrate and I got all flustered and got passed for ninth but I got back into a good flow and was able to catch Marvin with two to go. It’s a little bit of progress. We have a weekend off, so we’ll try to get the bike a little better, get faster and keep on grinding.

Marvin Musquin (Red Bull KTM) – Ninth:
It was difficult for me to have the pace of the leaders and I just couldn’t do anything more than 9-9 today. I’m not happy with this result but I feel like I couldn’t do much more. We will try to push more during the week leading up to High Point – we have a weekend off, so we’ll try to see what we can do better.

Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – Second:
“It’s the second race in a row that I’m on the podium, which is great. We rode great in the first moto, probably one of the best motos of my career, but unfortunately had a small issue that cost me the win. I had a bad start in Moto 2 and was mid-pack, but I gave everything I had and came back through the field and finished second again for second overall. We made some changes on the bike for the second moto, and it was really awesome. It was a good weekend. I’m just happy to be on the box again, and we’ll see if I can get the red plate back at the next race.”

Aaron Plessinger (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – Fifth:
It was a solid weekend for me. We had some good battles and were consistent with a 4-5 finish to get fifth overall. I’m stoked to have a weekend off. We’ll go back and do some homework and come back for High Point ready as ever!

Christian Craig (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – Seventh:
Thunder Valley went pretty well for me. I always look forward to coming here, and I was able to set a good qualifying time and was confident heading into both motos. I had some heated battles with some other guys but was able to go 6-7 for seventh overall. It’s a step in the right direction, but I’m looking for a little more to try to get into that top five soon!

Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Third:
It feels really good to put together two solid motos and be up here on the podium. That little tip over in the corner wasn’t ideal, but today was still a good day overall. I know I have the speed to run with the guys up front, I just need to work on my strength late in the motos. Thank you to the entire Monster Energy Kawasaki team for getting my bike dialed this weekend. I’m looking forward to the weekend off and letting my body recover so I can come back stronger for High Point.

Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – 10th:
Today didn’t really go the way I expected it to. This is my hometown race and I really wanted to give the local fans something to cheer about, but I’m having some trouble finding my rhythm right now. My fitness is where it needs to be, and I feel comfortable on my KX450. It’s only a matter of time before I start finding my rhythm again and battling at the front of the pack. This next weekend off is going to be all about rest and recovery as we prepare to come back swinging for the next round.

Ken Roczen (Team Honda HRC) – First:
I honestly don’t know what to say. We haven’t had a perfect weekend like this in a long time. The team and I have done some work this week with suspension, but it just isn’t proven until we race, feel comfortable and get some good finishes. I had the pole position today and won both practices to go into the first moto. We had a great, great battle with Adam [Cianciarulo] and Dylan [Ferrandis] in the first moto, and I was able to be aggressive in the end and clinch that win. That was huge for us; I was really happy with that and felt strong in the end. I tried to get as much recovery as possible between the motos, and honestly, it was really nice before the second moto with the cloud cover—perfect conditions. I really liked how they didn’t go too deep with the tilling on the track, because it allowed us to move around and pretty much use the entire track. I had a lot of fun out there. This track just really suits my style and we ended up going 1-1. It was an incredible day. I was bummed that my family couldn’t be here, but so stoked for my team and myself. It’s just what we needed. It seems like we’re hitting our stride right now and it’s also good to go into an off-weekend.”

Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC) – Sixth:
I had high hopes coming into today after last weekend. It started off rough in the first and second practices. In the first moto, I rode okay and finished fourth, but overall didn’t ride to my potential. In the second moto, I actually rode well, but started last again; I made a bonehead move and started in second gear like normal [instead of first for the high elevation]. I had to ride as hard as I could from there on and finished fifth. Overall, it wasn’t the day I wanted, going 4-5, but we’re back in two weeks and I’m looking forward to High Point. I really like that track and I’m excited to go back to the East Coast.

Max Anstie (Twisted Tea HEP Suzuki) – 13th:
I rode strong in both of the motos. I’m just obviously trying to climb my way up and have good battles. We want to be further up and we’ll keep working. I’m looking forward to having this two-week break now before round three to go back to the drawing board and try and work on some things. I definitely feel like the team and I are in a good spot and we’re going to keep progressing from here.

Brandon Hartranft (Twisted Tea HEP Suzuki) – 17th:
The track this morning was fast. I took advantage of that and qualified 14th, which was a pretty solid spot. In the first moto I got a mediocre start then fell into my own pace and ended up 18th. I’m not happy with that finish, but it’s a step in the right direction compared to last weekend when I fell in the first moto. In the second moto I had a good start, I think I was in the top 10. I got shuffled back a little bit early in the race; I wasn’t taking the best lines so I was a little bit uncomfortable. The track was pretty chattery by the end of the day. Then mid-moto I changed up my lines and started clicking some laps away and I ended up 17th, which gave me 17th overall. I’m making improvements every time I get on the bike so we’re looking forward to High Point.


Image: Octopi Media.

Michael Mosiman (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – 16th:
It was a rough day, which is a bummer since this is one of my favorite tracks. I felt good all day but unfortunately, we ran into some bike issues with the altitude here in Colorado and hopefully we will get it sorted out so we can get back up front.”

Pierce Brown (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – 15th:
I had a rough first moto, unfortunately. In the second moto, I got a terrible start but everyone pushed wide in the first corner so I snuck under a bunch of people and I was in a really good spot in sixth. A couple laps in, I made a dumb mistake and fell over in a corner dropping back to 15th but I charged my way back up as far as I could. To fall and still get ninth was not a terrible moto but I know I could have had more, for sure. We’re going to put our head down and work these next two weeks and come back swinging at High Point!

RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 10th:
I felt great on the bike again today. I was comfortable and I knew we had a pretty good bike going into the motos. I got a good start in Moto 1 and probably did one of the best motos I’ve ever done in my pro career. In Moto 2, we got a good start and made a simple little mistake that cost me big time. It’s a bummer because it definitely doesn’t show how good we were riding and how good of a spot we’re at physically right now. I tried to dig deep there just to get some points because there was a big shake-up in the championship this weekend, so I’m trying to keep myself in this. We’re headed back east and I think we’re going to continue to get better from here.

Jalek Swoll (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Seventh:
I’m content with the day but not stoked. We’re going in the right direction so there are always some positives to take out of it. I think the more we race, the better the bike will get and the better my fitness and all that kind of stuff will get. By these next few rounds, I should be right up there with the top of them. Just having fun and taking it step by step. I kind of feel like this season is my rookie season because I’ve been hurt every outdoors but I’ve been enjoying the grind and we’ll keep taking it step-by-step.”Vohland: “I ended up getting food poisoning when we got here on Thursday night, so I was sick and couldn’t eat anything for at least 30 hours straight and didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before the race. I gave it my all and I didn’t quit, which was the best I could do. I did get a good start in one moto, so that’s something to take away for the next race. It was tough but we survived.

Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Fourth:
The track was really challenging and I didn’t make it easy with my starts. I’m really happy to ride well and have it pay off with a fourth place. I think we can do even better if we get our starts worked out. We get a little time off before High Point so plenty of time to work on that part of our program.

Austin Forkner (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – 11th:
I didn’t have my best race here in Colorado, but each time we hit the track we’re learning valuable info to keep us moving forward. I’m obviously not happy with my ride, and we’ll be working hard during the weekend off to make big gains for High Point.

Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – First:
We got to where we wanted to be today, on the top step of the podium. It wasn’t easy out there, but I got two holeshots and gave it my all. We had some really good battles up front and had a lot of fun. The track got pretty rough by the end of the day with some hot weather, so it was physically demanding but as I said, I had a lot of fun racing my dirt bike today!

Colt Nichols (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – Fifth:
I made my life really difficult today with two bad starts but my riding was much better this weekend so I’m happy about that. I just need a better start and to have more pace at the beginning of the race. We have something to build on during our weekend off and look to keep building going into High Point.”

Jeremy Martin (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – Eighth:
We had a great first moto, but unfortunately, I crashed in Moto 2 and was unable to finish. I’m really bummed. I hit a soft spot when I landed off a jump and the front end just knifed on me. I’ve been managing a Scaphoid fracture on my left wrist for months and a bum left shoulder. I still felt like I could be competitive to win races and contend for this outdoor championship. Unfortunately, stuff happens, and it’s time to get healthy!

Jarrett Frye (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – 13th:
Our results didn’t show it, but I rode better this weekend. We will go back to work and use this weekend off to be ready for High Point.

Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) – 12th:
I had a great time out in Colorado but had to fight for the results. I had some pretty good starts in both motos, but I’m looking to clean up some things and be ready for the East Coast rounds.

Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – Third:
Not a bad weekend; not really anything to jump up and down about, but pretty happy with the fact that 5-3 moto scores landed us third overall. I was happy with the start in the second moto. That was really good; especially with the altitude it can be tough with the horsepower, so we got a really good start and perfected that. Obviously the crash wasn’t ideal, but we got up and regrouped really well and were able to make a solid push all the way through to the end, staying in third. I’m happy to be leaving unscathed, fit and healthy, and ready to fight at High Point. We know what we have to work on and will just keep grinding away and get where we want to be.

Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – Second:
Colorado was a bit of an up-and-down day. In qualifying, [Justin] Cooper crushed us, going 2’05”. Then in the first moto, I got a really good first start with second behind J-Mart [Jeremy Martin]. We ended up having a red flag and the next start wasn’t so good. I was in fourth, and the boys were just way faster than me in the first moto. I just had to make sure to put my head down in the second moto and give it to them. I got a really good start. Justin was in front of me and we had a really good battle in the first few laps, going back and forth; I had a lot of fun with that. I knew if I could get him and kind of crack him a little bit, he would feel like he was going to make a mistake, but he made it hard for me and it was fun. I had a lot of fun in that race and it was good racing with Justin. Hopefully we can just keep this going in the next few rounds and maybe click off some more overall wins.

Dilan Schwartz (BarX Chaparral Ecstar Suzuki) – Ninth:
Colorado was awesome. I didn’t get the greatest of starts, but I was able to make a bunch of passes and get inside the top 10 in Moto 1, which I’m really happy with. I came just a bit short in Moto 2 with a 12th. Overall, I’m really happy with getting my first top-10 overall finish and I’m looking forward to round three at High Point!