Assorted racer comments following the fourth round of the season.
In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out at round four of the 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Red Bud.
Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) – Seventh:
Today was an up-and-down day at RedBud. In the first moto, I had a good fight for seventh and I felt okay with that but Moto 2 was a bit of a struggle. I fought my way up from a so-so start and then I cased LaRocco’s Leap about 20 minutes in and jammed my back my pretty good and I just kind of limped it to the finish. Overall, it’s not what we want but we’ll come back at Southwick looking to improve.
Dean Wilson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – DNF:
It’s a disappointing way to end the weekend. We were looking for a good first moto and with just two laps to go, I drug pegs off a rut on the tabletop and I had to step over the bars. It happened so fast and I landed on my feet luckily but I bruised my inside organs a little bit. Unfortunately, I have to sit today out, which is hard to take because I want to get good finishes and keep getting better but unfortunately, we had this. We’ll see if we can make next weekend.
Marvin Musquin (Red Bull KTM) – 14th:
It was definitely a rough day. Unfortunately, I broke the wheel launching the single over LaRocco’s Leap (not going triple but double-single) and I landed hard on the single so I had to DNF, which is really bad. In the second moto, I knew it was going to be hard to get a good start but I did my best and tried to rail the berm on the outside and put myself in the top-10 on the first lap. I came back to seventh and I had a better feeling in the second moto but I’m looking forward to going back to Southwick and putting his one behind me.
Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – Eighth:
I had my best qualifying of the year, so that was good. I didn’t get the best start in the first moto and I had two crashes, so it wasn’t the ideal moto I was looking for. In the second moto, I had a pretty good start and then got pinched in the second corner and got stuck a bit, and then battled with Cooper for way too long. I tried my hardest and definitely looking to regroup this week and put the bike up front.
Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – First:
The track today was one of the best of the season. I had a really good day with the fastest lap in qualifying, and had a good battle for the Moto 1 win, and was second in Moto 2 for the overall win. I gave everything that I had in both motos, and getting back-to-back overall wins is a dream come true. This place is one of the best places in the world, with the fans cheering on the side of the track and the track being so fun to ride. I cherish this moment and want to give a big shout-out to the team and all of the people who help me.
Aaron Plessinger (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – Third:
I had a great day! It was so much fun being back at RedBud. The bike felt great all day long, and I put myself in good positions in both motos but just didn’t capitalize on it for the win. The track got really rough during the second moto. It was pretty soft, so it had some huge breaking bumps. I’m so pumped that the fans were all there; they kept me charging! I’m happy with my riding right now, but I’ve got to capitalize on those opportunities to get the win. We’re going to keep working and try again next weekend.
Christian Craig (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – Fifth:
It was a super fun day at RedBud. I was happy to have a better weekend and riding in the front of the pack where I belong. I still need to work on my starts, but overall it was a positive improvement on my season thus far! I’m looking forward to Southwick next weekend!
Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Second:
The fans today were awesome. I was in a real dog fight the first moto but hearing the crowd cheering and screaming helped me keep pushing. We switched my rear tire to Dunlop’s paddle tire after the first practice, which gave me a bit more pace. Despite missing out on the podium in Moto 1, I still felt good with how I rode. Moto 2, however, was a much better race. I got a good start off the gate, which allowed me to battle for the holeshot and stick close to the lead rider before making a pass for first and pulling away. I’m feeling a lot like my old self on the bike again and think I’m ready to get back to consistently battling for podiums and wins.
Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) –13th:
Today didn’t go the way I had hoped. My KX450 was running great and I felt like everything was clicking during practice, especially after setting the fastest lap time during the first session. But I still felt like I was battling the track each lap, which led to me making mistakes and ultimately going down. I gave it everything I had out there today. The team and I will look further into this race and figure out how we can build on it for next weekend. Thank you to the entire Monster Energy Kawasaki team for their hard work and help this weekend.
Ken Roczen (Team Honda HRC) – Fourth:
I was excited coming into RedBud for Fourth of July; it’s always a special race and the fans always go wild. We had a pretty decent couple of qualifying sessions. I ended up going fifth to the gate, which was totally fine; I felt pretty good on the track and was ready for the moto. In the first moto, I think I was third after the start and just kind of worked my way up there into second right away and made a move on [Aaron] Plessinger and was leading most of the race until about two laps to go. I kind of lost my rhythm a little bit. The track is really hard-packed underneath and soft on top, so it was really tricky to ride. It just wasn’t really my best performance, but at the same time I was okay with the second place. I got passed there with a couple of laps to go and tried to hang on behind [Dylan] Ferrandis and tried to make a pass back, but it just wasn’t enough. I was looking forward to the second moto. Moto 2 was kind of like when everything came undone. I was battling really hard to get to the front. I was in third and [Eli] Tomac was leading and Plessinger was second. I made my way past Ferrandis and just sat in third for a while trying to see what the race gave me. I had a bad case on [LaRocco’s] Leap, as Plessinger’s roost slowed me down so much. I hurt my wrist a little bit, but then a couple laps later I fell right after the leap. I tucked the front end, had a pretty big get-off, and my bars were a little bent. I’m glad I was able to finish at least in sixth and minimize the points damage. We’re healthy leaving RedBud and I’m just looking forward to prepping for next weekend’s race.
Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC) – Sixth:
I started off pretty good–qualified third and felt pretty good on the track. Moto 1 I went down in the first corner but ended up coming from 40th to eighth. I felt good; I had good speed and good lines. Second moto I got an okay start, around 10th, made some good passes and stayed in fourth. It was kind of a mediocre moto for me; I just didn’t feel comfortable on the track and made a few mistakes. We’ll be back in Southwick. We’re going to go home, work on the bike and myself, and come out better for the next round.
Brandon Hartranft (Twisted Tea HEP Suzuki) – 10th:
It was a great day from the time I put my wheels on the track to the last lap of the second moto. I hit LaRocco’s Leap for the first time. This year it was actually massive; there were a bunch of people not making it, so it was a good feeling that I was greasing it. In the second qualifying we figured the track would’ve been slower, but there were about three of us that wicked it up, and I was one of them. I dropped a second off my lap time, which put me ninth for that session. In the first moto I had a decent start, but then got arm pump early and people passed me. I finally broke the arm pump and made some passes back and ended up 11th, which felt awesome. In the second moto I had a pretty good start again and had a great battle. The track was absolutely gnarly, there wasn’t one smooth spot, so RedBud was RedBud. I ended up 13th in the second moto for a tenth overall. We didn’t expect a top 10 yet. I knew I could, I’ve been building every race and every day I’ve been training. I’m really, really proud of myself.
Max Anstie (Twisted Tea HEP Suzuki) – 16th:
I was inside the top 10 for most of the second moto and ended up 11th, so that wasn’t too bad. Unfortunately, in the first moto I blew my wheels out so I had to come into the pits and then ended up about two laps down. You know, one of those weekends. We’re refocusing and getting back on it for next weekend in Southwick.
RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – First:
It was a special weekend for the boys, I’m stoked for this whole team and all the guys that believe in me. To have what happened at High Point and then sit on the bike every day for two weeks, I was more than ready to come out and just destroy the competition. So, I brought that same attitude into this weekend – even though I was sick and under the weather, we showed up and kept fighting.
Jalek Swoll (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 10th:
I feel like today could have been good but I found myself on the ground too many times. It’s all good, I know I have the pace to do good things this season, so I’m just going to go back, get some rest and come back firing at Southwick. We’re just going to put it behind and keep having fun.
Stilez Robertson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Eighth:
Our speed isn’t bad, we just need to put it all together. Our starts are good and the bike was really good the second moto, so I can’t thank the team enough. I was running fourth and made a dumb mistake, tucked the front and ended up eighth. Next up is The Wick, so let’s have some fun!
Max Vohland (Red Bull KTM) – Ninth:
Overall, I think it went pretty good today. I’ve got a pretty well-set base now, I just need to work on some stuff both off and on the bike and try to keep getting better results one-by-one each weekend. I’m looking forward to Southwick, I really like the sand and hopefully we can do well there.
Kailub Russell (Red Bull KTM) – 37th:
Overall, I’m not super stoked on how anything went today. I tried to turn it around and felt like I rode better as the day wore on but I didn’t set the tone straight away. I’ve had a problem with my ankle ever since I broke my jaw and I’ve got it taped up but it’s just not strong enough. In the second moto, I was going around the turn and I kind of dabbed my foot and the back tire kind of sucked it up and tweaked it pretty hard. It’s one of those where you immediately think the worst because it takes the breath out of you and you’re kind of stuck there for a second, so that was pretty much the end of my day.
Pierce Brown (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – Seventh:
It was a good day at RedBud, I’m stoked on everything today! It was a quiet day with two sevenths but all-in-all I feel like my riding was really good, I just need to be further up there off the start and hang with that top-five group for the first five laps. We’ve been building since the off-weekend and I finally feel like I’ve got my body at 100% and it showed today. Hopefully we can keep building for Southwick next weekend and keep the momentum going for that.
Michael Mosiman (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – 21st:
RedBud was a rough day. We had a lot of good things going – my fitness was good and my speed was good – but I had a guy crash in front of me in the first moto, I crashed on the start in the second moto and just some stuff I wish we could have gotten away from. But, it’s onto the next one and we will make progress. I’m happy with my speed, fitness and looking forward to getting back into a groove.
Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – Second:
It was a great day for me to pick up where we left off. I made a mistake in Moto 1 and crashed on the first lap, but other than that, I’m happy with my riding. We also made up some points in the championship, and we will keep digging for a better result at the next round.
Jeremy Martin (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – Fifth:
It was a solid day for me going 5-3 for fifth overall. I didn’t have the speed of the top guys today on a very rough track, so I’ll see what I can do this week to find a little more!
Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – 12th:
I’m glad to get my first National out of the way! I’m pretty happy with the way my day went, I came here to learn, and I feel that’s what I accomplished. The track was a little tricky but a lot of fun! I’m already looking forward to my next one.
Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – 13th:
I started the day with some issues before the first moto, but I lined up to give it a shot and had to pull off after a few laps due to a technical issue. I had a decent start from the outside gate in the second moto and managed to come through the pack to finish ninth. The track got pretty beat up and made it pretty tricky, but we made the best of it, and we’re ready for more next weekend.
Colt Nichols (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – 17th:
It was not our best RedBud. I had a bad start in the first moto and struggled to move my way forward. I managed to finish 11th, but then we had an issue at the second moto and was unable to finish. That’s racing sometimes. We are going to put it behind us and move onward and upward at ‘The Wick.’
Jarrett Frye (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – 18th:
I got a great start in Moto 2, but I kind of struggled to find my flow today at RedBud. I ended up finishing 16th and 17th for 18th overall, which is not the results I want. We are going to keep working and try for better at Southwick.
Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Sixth:
Sixth isn’t where I want to be. I know I have the speed to fight up with the front guys. My starts have been better than where we were at the start of the season, but still plenty of room for improvement. I rode tight in the first moto and then couldn’t find a good flow on the track for the second moto. It was tough out there today, but we’ll take the sixth and move on to Southwick.
Austin Forkner (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – 16th:
I always love coming to RedBud. Between the track and the fans, it’s a fun experience. Today I just didn’t find what I needed to be at the front with those guys. I will regroup this week and keep focusing on what’s ahead to try and give my team a good result.
Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – Fourth:
My weekend wasn’t bad; it wasn’t great, but we’ll take it. We went 3-4 moto scores for fourth overall. I missed out on the box by two points. That second moto I was in a ‘do or die’ position to catch J-Mart [Jeremy Martin] and make that pass. I was pushing to make up a lot of ground on him, coming from a pretty bad start, so I was ‘damned if I did, damned if I didn’t’; I had to risk it and push. I ended up laying it down and got back up, managing to finish in a position where I was chasing down fourth. All in all, I’m really happy with how the team worked together to make changes on the bike for the second moto, which benefited us a lot. It maybe wasn’t a moto-score result, but as far as my feeling on the bike, and everything else, we left better than what we started in the first moto, so I’m happy with that. RedBud was awesome. That was my first proper Fourth of July RedBud experience, so it was pretty cool. I also checked something else off my bucket list; I really wanted to scream ‘RedBuuuuud’ into the microphone. I hadn’t been able to do that until today, so that was cool.
Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – Third:
The bike setting in the first moto wasn’t good. I had RJ [Hampshire] charging, and if he got me, I didn’t really have any ammo to fight back. Between motos, my team did a great job making some adjustments that made the bike work better for me, but I just didn’t give myself a very good chance for winning or even getting myself into a good position. I came from 37th to sixth, so I think that’s pretty good. I definitely made a lot of passes, maybe the most passes of the day. I think if you look at the result it sucks because I lost three points, but you have to look at the positives; it was a strong ride, and I felt like there’s not many other people in this class that could do that.
Dilan Schwartz (BarX Chaparral Suzuki) – 19th:
In Moto 1 I had a decent start and kind of settled into 13th the whole moto,” Schwartz recounted after the dust had settled. “In the second moto I pulled a great top-10 start, but unfortunately on the opening laps I tipped over, which put me back. I had another tip over later, but only lost one spot that time. It was not the best weekend, but we live and learn and I’m excited for the next one!