Assorted racer comments following the ninth round of the season.
In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out at round nine of the 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Budds Creek.
Ken Roczen (Team Honda HRC) – Second:
Budds Creek was another really good weekend for us. It wasn’t quite the overall win, but we won qualifying again, and while you obviously don’t get points for that, it’s still nice. We had a really good first moto and got the win. We had a really fun second moto, where we battled with Eli Tomac and Dylan Ferrandis. I got second in that moto, so me and Dylan were split for the day and I got second overall. I didn’t really make up any points, but I feel like we put in a really good effort and like I rode well. It wasn’t enough to close in on the lead, but we still have three rounds to go and I’m looking forward to this coming weekend.
Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC) – Fourth:
Budds Creek came through with a fourth overall for me. It wasn’t the best day as I had really good speed but couldn’t put it together at the end of the motos, which is frustrating. I’m working really hard and trying to continue getting stronger. I’m looking forward to next weekend; Indiana is home soil for me and I’ve always enjoyed that track, so hopefully we can go out there and put on a show for the hometown crowd. I’m trying to improve this week and see if we can get stronger towards the end of the motos.
Marvin Musquin (Red Bull KTM) – Seventh:
It was a tough first moto. I didn’t have a great start and I had crash on the first lap so I was outside the top-20 but I gave my best and actually came back to seventh and trying to pass for sixth. But unfortunately, I crashed again with a lap-and-a-half to go and ended up 10th. The riding was much better in the second moto, so I’m happy with that and there’s some positives on the second moto. We have Indiana coming up and it’s a track that I really like, so I’m looking forward to it.
Cooper Webb (Red Bull KTM) – Fifth:
Today was a step in the right direction. I got a great start in Moto 1, pulled the holeshot and ran up front for a little bit, ending up fifth. Second moto, I was running with those guys up front and they were really riding fast, I tried hanging in there as long as I could. I had a good battle with Marvin at the end and we were able to catch Chase Sexton there but ended up sixth in the moto and fifth overall, which is the best result so far this year. I’m looking forward to going to Ironman next, it’s my favorite race of the year!
Dean Wilson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 11th:
My day was pretty good. The first moto wasn’t too bad, it was very hot and I kind of struggled with the first half and then I got a decent flow for the second half. Second moto, I fell in the first turn and I came from second-to-last up to ninth, so I was happy with that. I felt like I rode good and came through the pack well so we’ll take it, it’s building blocks and we’ll just try to get better every weekend.
Dylan Ferrandis (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – First:
I didn’t have a good start in Moto 1. I had to push hard to come back to second and then managed to finish the moto close to the leader. It’s hard putting in so much effort and losing by a few tenths, but it was a good moto. My start was way better in Moto 2, so I put myself in a better position and had some good battles. I really wanted that win. The bike was incredible, and the team is awesome — my teammates also — so it’s a really good environment for getting good results. I’m really happy with my day at Budds Creek.
Christian Craig (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – 14th:
It was a pretty wild day at Budds Creek. Qualifying went well, and I was confident going into the motos. Unfortunately, I got a really bad start in Moto 1, and a few laps later had a big crash. I was pretty shaken up and unable to finish the moto, but I felt good enough to go out for Moto 2 and was able to get some points and finish eighth. We’ll get back to work and look to finish out the season strong.
Aaron Plessinger (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – 41st:
We were going pretty good in qualifying and in that first moto. I really tried to grit my way through it today, but I was just too sore from last week’s big crash. We’re going to keep working on some therapy this week and will try again at Ironman.
Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Third:
In Moto 1, I had one of my best starts this season and was amped on that, but then I lost a few positions early in the race. The lines were rapidly changing out there which made it difficult to defend the position in a battle. Getting passed was a bit frustrating, I did what I could to hang onto those guys, but I tightened up a little and just wasn’t able to stay in touch with the podium. Moto 2, I didn’t have as great of a start, but I felt much better with my riding, line selection, and overall performance. While I felt somewhat on the defensive in Moto 1, in Moto 2 I was able to attack and charge forward with some creative lines. The battle at the front was really close and it looked like I could maybe get by both of those guys, but I’m happy to come away with a podium and we’ll keep trying to get an overall win.
Max Anstie (Twisted Tea HEP Suzuki) – 10th:
Tenth overall, solid day, another top ten. We want more so we’ll go back to the drawing board this week and see what we can do to make progress. I’m happy with the way that I rode. I just want to keep progressing, so we’ll do some more work this week and get on it for next week.
Brandon Hartranft (Twisted Tea HEP Suzuki) – 13th:
It was not the best day. I struggled a little with the track all day. I’m actually from this area and I used to ride here as a kid. This week we stayed here in Maryland. I had a little crash Wednesday and hurt my shoulder, so this week was almost like taking a few steps back. I’ve been making progress every weekend, but this one was definitely not ideal. I fought through the day and ended up 13th overall. I’m not pumped on it, but as long as I’m here fighting every weekend and racing that’s all that matters. In the first moto I was probably outside the top 30 for a lap or two then I caught back up to 15th. In Moto 2 I had a good start and was fighting for the top ten for about 25 minutes then dropped back to 12th. It’s just a learning year and we’re just trying to take the positives out of each weekend and keep improving.
Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – Fourth:
The weekend was okay, even if I’m not stoked with how the first moto went. We had a small issue with the clutch adjustment knob and one of the fork protectors, which managed to come loose. Finally, I ran out of tear-offs, so it was a bit chaotic. I was glad to bounce back in the second moto with a solid, clean race. I had a better start, put myself in a better position and brought it home for third. I’m happy with that and look forward to Ironman. I have a couple more chances to get an overall and will work hard to make that happen.
Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – Second:
Budds Creek wasn’t too bad for us; it was an up and down race day, really. We ended with a good finish and we gained a point, but I’m a little bummed about the second moto. I got a really good start and was second, but I just had nothing to give after that. Basically, I went to go play poker and I had no money to put down [laughs]. That’s tough, but again, we gained a point. We’re still in this championship and just have to keep fighting to get some good motos in over these next three rounds. We’ll keep on pushing and hopefully we can wrap this up. We’ll keep on fighting and give it all we got.
Max Vohland (Red Bull KTM) – 14th:
I had a pretty tough day. I didn’t really ride like myself this weekend and I really couldn’t find a flow on the track but we’ll take the positives from what we learned and really focus on the weak points in training this week and see what we can do at Ironman.
RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Seventh:
Tough day, I kind of struggled all week with energy and just didn’t feel well coming in. I tried to do my best today – I had good speed but a few crashes ended up costing me pretty bad. We battled hard and had a big effort for the results, so I’m kind of bummed on that but I’ll move on and be ready for Indy.
Jalek Swoll (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 10th:
The day started off pretty good and I felt really good on the bike, so I was pretty pleased heading into the racing portion. I was running in second for a while in Moto 1 and that’s obviously where we want to stay but we’re learning every time on the track and we’ll take a top-five. Second moto, I tangled off the start with another rider and that put me really deep in the pack and I was only able to come back to 15th. It’s a bummer, I feel like my riding has been pretty good and I’m ready to fight for these podiums but things just aren’t going my way and that’s racing, so we’ll take what we got and be ready for the next few rounds.
Stilez Robertson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 19th:
We came in knowing that we were a little but under the weather, so I tried to put my best foot forward in the first moto. After moto one, the team made the call for us to just call it a day. I wasn’t myself; I went down the first lap and came back to 17th, which is definitely not what we want but we just need to get healthy and get back to where I belong.
Pierce Brown (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – 36th:
I felt really good on the bike during qualifying, so I was stoked for the day but the first moto started out pretty rough. I fell on the first lap and then a couple laps later, I kind of had a big one and it shook me up a little bit but I got back up and finished the moto in 29th. For Moto 2, I was ready to come out swinging but it was a tough one as well. I came together with some guys off the start and went down. I was already buried, so I was trying to be calm and make my way through the pack and a couple laps in, I hit a really bad kicker in one of the jumps in the back part of the track and went over the bars. I tried to save it but I just couldn’t pull it through. It was a big one. I hit my head pretty hard and my left shoulder, so that put me out for the day. I’m super bummed on how the day went and how it had to end but we’re going to see some specialists next week to make sure that my body is good and if not, we’re going to take the right precautions to get back as soon as possible.
Austin Forkner (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Fifth:
It felt great to get the starts in both motos and run up front with those guys. The track was rough and you had to be smart when picking your lines. I made a few small mistakes that cost me. But overall I am happy with the day and to finally put two motos together for a good overall result.
Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Sixth:
I just need to get my starts worked out. That was a big part of my other top results. I know I can be competitive if I’m up there early. I just need to get those dialed. I feel like my speed and fitness are there, so we’ll be working hard to get my starts where they need to be for a good result.
Seth Hammaker (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – 17th:
I am definitely bummed to have thrown away a great overall score today, but to be mixing it up after being away from the high intensity of race pace is a huge positive I’ll be taking to the next race. It was my first gate drop in over two months so while I wanted a great result, I knew I had to manage the race the best I could. Overall it was a good day, just hoping to keep it on two wheels next race.
Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – Third:
It was a hot one today, which made for a tough day being sick coming into this one, but we did what we needed to do and salvaged some points. It was great to get that win in the first moto. I had a pretty good lead going, and then right at the top of the hill, I came into the rut, and it gave away, and I ended up going down. It was hard to regroup, but I put it behind me and kept riding forward to get the win. In the second moto, I just didn’t have the fight for those guys. It’s time to buckle down for these last three and make them count. Thanks to the team, they were awesome all day.
Jeremy Martin (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – First:
Man, what a day! In the first moto, I kind of got pushed wide at the start, and then I was trying to ride hard but wasn’t going anywhere. Finally, I kind of found a groove there and started making some passes. We made some changes to the bike in the second moto, and I got the holeshot and was just riding on rails. I haven’t been that comfortable since Washougal. It just feels really good to be able to push the limit out there. I know we’re trying to beat these guys, but when you’re giving it your all, and you feel like that, those are the good days.
Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – 16th:
It was a decent weekend for me at Budds Creek. I’m taking the positives from today and leaving the rest behind. We’re going to work on some things this week and try to be better at Ironman.
Jarrett Frye (Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing) – 12th:
I didn’t have the day I was looking for but had a lot of fun racing at my home track. It started out pretty good qualifying seventh, but then I had a crash on the first lap of Moto 1, which set me back, but I managed to finish 14th. I had a much better second moto and got a better start, and I finished 10th for 12th overall. We’re going to get back to work and hopefully have a better result next weekend.
Preston Kilroy (BarX Chaparral Ecstar Suzuki) – 15th:
Budds Creek was pretty good! I’m still learning and trying to figure this stuff out the best I can, but I felt as if my riding was a lot better than last weekend. In Moto 1 I didn’t get a very good start, so I got stuck in a big pack of riders. It was very difficult to pass on the track. I was able to get a much better start in the second moto, but a couple of mistakes cost me. Overall, I’m happy with the way things are going and I’m excited to keep learning and progressing each weekend.
Dilan Schwartz (BarX Chaparral Ecstar Suzuki) – Ninth:
Budds Creek was a step in the right direction. I didn’t make as many mistakes and didn’t crash on the first lap this weekend. I just have to put a few more things together and we should see an improvement in moto scores. I’m happy with how the weekend went and I’m looking forward to Indiana.