Assorted racer comments following the fifth round of the season.
In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out at round five of the 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Southwick.
Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – Third:
The fans kept me on my toes today, it made that charge through the pack feel way better in the second moto. We’ve been working extremely hard and things have been a little bit tough, but today feels amazing! I can’t thank the crew enough, they’ve been awesome and the setting we have here will work good in Millville, so let’s keep the ball rolling!
Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) – Fifth:
I made a lot of progress this week so I came into today pretty happy with things and I felt like my riding was a lot better than it has been. Today was definitely a lot better of a day and I’m happy with the progress in a short amount of time, so hopefully we’ll continue to get better from here.
Marvin Musquin (Red Bull KTM) – Eighth:
Conditions were really tough today; it was definitely a tougher Southwick. My starts were good, I feel like I always have good starts here in the sand, and my bike was hooking up really good in both motos. I had decent speed at the beginning and then I started to get passed by a couple riders and lost rhythm and it was hard to keep up, so that was the biggest issue on the weekend.
Dean Wilson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Ninth:
In the first moto, unfortunately, I had a fall and ended up 12th but the second moto was better, I rode pretty solid and passed for ninth on the last lap. It was my best effort and that’s all I had for today. It was a much better day after the crash I had last weekend and I’m very grateful to be here.
Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Fourth:
First, I want to thank the Monster Energy Kawasaki team for all their hard work. We’ve tried a few different setups this year, but today was the most comfortable I’ve felt on the bike, as you can tell by my second moto performance. We didn’t change much from last week, other than slightly dropping the forks, but that seemed to make all the difference and I felt like a completely different rider during Moto 2. We’re in a good spot and will look to carry this momentum forward to be upfront in both motos moving forward.
Adam Cianciarulo (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Sixth:
I have a lot of positives to take away from today. I was first in 450 qualifying, I got good starts in both motos and I rode with the top three guys for as long as I could. The track was a bit rougher than I excepted, which meant some bike changes were needed. Thankfully, I have an amazing crew at Monster Energy Kawasaki looking out for me, and the bike was dialed. I’m going to spend some extra time this week training in rough conditions similar to Southwick so that I can adapt to these conditions a lot quicker next time.
Ken Roczen (Team Honda HRC) – Second:
Honestly, I struggle with this track every year. It just has such a hard base and a loose top. I’m almost always blown away with how slick it is. Having said that, today was a combination of struggling with the track and I didn’t really feel like I had the bike dialed like I wanted to here. It was a tough first moto, being stuck behind riders the whole time, and I managed to get a fourth place. Then I led a lot of laps during the second moto and just managed to get a second place for second overall, which I was totally okay with today. We made the most out of it. I’m glad to leave here healthy and on the podium again after a couple of weekends of not being on the podium. It was a good comeback, and we’re satisfied as a team.
Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC) – Seventh:
Round 5 at Southwick was a pretty rough day for me; I just didn’t really feel good on the track all day. I qualified third, which is okay, but I just didn’t really ride that great. Going into the first moto I actually felt pretty good, but I made some dumb mistakes and went backward and then couldn’t climb back up, so that was a bummer. In the second moto I went down pretty hard twice and that’s pretty much all; I got eighth. I’m trying to figure out what I can do better and trying to get back to where I should be. I’m looking forward to Millville. From here on out the tracks are pretty good, so I’m looking forward to building and getting back to where I belong.
Brandon Hartranft (Twisted Tea HEP Suzuki) – 13th:
Round five was really good. I’m riding really well right now. In Moto 2 I was battling for the top ten the whole time with four established 450 racers, so I know my fitness is really good. I’m very proud of myself. It’s been a long year and I’m getting much better by the day; I am definitely building confidence. The track was brutal, so I’m pumped that I fought to the end in the second moto. Now I’ll just go back home to California, keep my head down working, and hopefully put it in the top ten again. I’m looking forward to next weekend at Millville.
Max Anstie (Twisted Tea HEP Suzuki) – 16th:
It was a tough weekend. I was really looking forward to this place, but we had a few issues in the first moto and they took me out of it. I didn’t have the greatest gate pick for the second moto, but I rode as hard and strong as I could, and we came home 12th. We’ll go back to the drawing board and regroup with all eyes on Millville coming up next weekend. We only have seven days to recover; this was a tough one for the body, really for everything, so we’re just going to focus on recovery and get ready for Millville.
Pierce Brown (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – 10th:
All in all, I can’t be mad because I left it all on the track. This was my first time at Southwick and it was a learning experience, and that’s all I can ask for. That’s really what I’m shooting for this whole season, I just want to make it race-to-race and get better. I feel like we are chipping away, quietly, but we really need starts bad. Hopefully, we can get upfront at Millville next weekend.
Michael Mosiman (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – Seventh:
Today was a very tough day with a lot of highs and a lot of lows. I led some laps and I felt good on the bike but I think there’s some stuff we can improve on. I’m still getting my legs under me after being out for a couple races and I’m still coming back from that, but I think this is really good to build on. I’m glad to be healthy and ready for Millville, one of my favorite races.
Max Vohland (Red Bull KTM) – 11th:
It was a pretty good weekend. I really liked the track and the sand. In the second moto, I was running eighth and was on target for my best overall finish of the year but with two laps to go, I had a nice little cushion on the guys behind me and a lapper just came across my line and took me out. It’s a little disappointing but it’s racing, so it happens. I’m looking forward to Millville with pretty similar conditions to this.
Kailub Russell (Red Bull KTM) – 18th:
All-in-all, there are a lot of positives to take away. It was a really tough track – it was brutal but I enjoyed it. Those guys are going really fast and they’ve got a lot of experience in their environment. I just struggled to ride at that next-level pace, I’m not quite ready to run that pace just yet, but getting a little bit more comfortable. The goal is to get inside the top-15 and then try to get in the top-10 spot but all in due time. All I can do is keep plugging away and hopefully, we’ll get there eventually.
RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Fourth:
I had good speed again today and I was fastest in qualifying, which was a first with the team. I felt awesome out there and my bike was really good, I just had a couple mistakes that cost me. It’s not a bad points day but I’m looking forward to Millville and going up from here.
Jalek Swoll (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Ninth:
Qualifying was good, I was up there and pumped to get a good gate pick. I got a good start in the first moto and led some laps but I kind of fell out of the flow for a little bit. The second moto was shaping up to be a good one but at the end of the first lap, Martin had flipped and I went down with him, which was a bummer. All-in-all, I think I showed some good speed today and we’ll carry that momentum into the next race.
Stilez Robertson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Eighth:
The day was pretty good. My starts weren’t up to par and I came from the back to finish eighth in both motos. My speed was still pretty good, I just need to get a start so I can see the pace upfront and try to get on the box. We’re just going to chip away at it every weekend and try to get a little better each week.
Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Second:
It’s great to put the team on the podium. We’ve been working really hard on starts and it paid off today. Being up there battling rather than having to use all my energy moving forward was very helpful. With two more races before a break, I hope we can keep this ball rolling over the next couple rounds.
Austin Forkner (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – 17th:
I had high hopes for Southwick since I’ve had some good results here in the past. I just couldn’t find my groove with the track and it showed with some costly mistakes. It will be a week of putting in the hard work so we can hopefully have a good showing at Millville.
Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – Third:
Southwick was an up and down day for me. I found myself on the ground on the first lap of Moto 1 and then had to fight my way through the pack from last to salvage some points with sixth. In the second moto, I just didn’t have the energy to hold Hunter (Lawrence) back. I gave it all I had today and gained some points in the process. The bike was working well all day on a really rough track. I’m looking forward to going racing again next weekend!
Colt Nichols (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – Fifth:
Southwick was a step in the right direction for me. The bike is feeling better, and the team has been working hard to get me comfortable, and we are getting there. This track is tough as usual, but I always enjoy racing ‘The Wick,’ and I’m happy to have two solid motos in the right direction.
Jeremy Martin (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – 13th:
I got good starts in both motos but unfortunately went down on the first lap in both of them. I had to work really hard to get those 11-16 moto scores. It was a tough day, but we have some things to take away from it. I’m looking forward to my home race next Saturday.
Jarrett Frye (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – 15th:
We had some bad luck in the first moto getting caught up in that pileup at the start, but we made a lot of progress, and I had a good ride to 15th and ended up 15th overall. It’s still not the results I’m looking for, but we are making progress. We’re going to keep working and try for better at the next one.
Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – 16th:
It was another tough go at it this weekend with some problems in the first moto. I had a good start and was running sixth but had to pull in. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. In the second moto, I came from the far outside and managed a top-10 start, but a tip-over early in the race cost me. I’m taking the positives from today and am just going to keep doing the work.
Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – First:
Today started pretty good; I had an awesome breakfast, ‘G’ [sports therapist Dr. H. Rey Gubernick] gave me a little service before we started, and qualifying was pretty good–I went top-three in both sessions. In the first moto I had an average start, made some good passes and got into the lead, which was really cool. I wasn’t trying to get too stoked for that moto win because I knew I had to finish the job in the second moto, and we did. I’m really happy with how the day went. It doesn’t get much better than 1-1, so it was a pretty awesome day.
Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – Sixth:
Southwick wasn’t my best weekend. Today I missed the podium, which isn’t good. I’ve been on the podium most of the time, so I’m definitely disappointed and I’m bummed with that. We made some good improvements with the bike this weekend, as we’re always trying to make the bike and myself better. We ended up going 9-3 which isn’t too bad. In the first moto I had some bad luck and made some stupid mistakes at the same time. Both motos I had terrible starts, which wasn’t making my life easy at all. I made a really good charge in the second moto and caught the guy who holeshot, which gives me a bit of confidence. In our sport we have to put things behind us pretty quick and look on to the next race. We have Millville next weekend, so we’re going to do some testing during this week and make sure we come out swinging and start getting some more wins again. I have no more points cushioning, but I know the Millville track, so I’m going to just come out swinging and hopefully get a 1-1. My brother Hunter beat me to the 1-1 first, so screw him! [laughs] He didn’t give me any warning about this, so now he’s competition! All in all, not my greatest weekend, but it is what it is. Now we’ll focus on next weekend.
Dilan Schwartz (BarX Chaparral Suzuki) – 22nd:
Southwick was tough. In the first moto I got a mid-pack start and got up to 13th, but unfortunately had an issue and DNF’d. In the second moto I got a slightly better start; I was running in about 13th place again then crashed. That dropped me back to about 20th, but I recovered and came back to 18th. Overall, it’s not where we want to be, but we are learning every weekend.