Features 20 Jul 2022

Quotebook: 2022 Pro Motocross Rd7 Spring Creek

Assorted racer comments following the seventh round of the season.

In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out in the seventh round of the 2022 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Spring Creek.


Image: Octopi Media.

Ryan Dungey (Red Bull KTM) – Fifth:
I got off to a great start first moto and pretty much sat in fourth the whole race. I was sitting right behind [Jason] Anderson and our speed was good and bike set-up was good. The second moto, I just got a bad start and got shuffled back, so I had a lot of work to do. I was behind [Justin] Barcia and I feel like I could have gotten him and a few guys in front of him, but I rushed a turn and crashed. I made a few more passes but pretty much ran a lonely sixth for the rest of the race. We’ll keep digging, keep building and keep pushing.

Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM) – Seventh:
It was a good day! I always like riding this track and coming here to the midwest, the fans are always good to me. Overall, it was an average day with 7-7 finishes but it was a fun day and we’ll go do our homework and get some better starts at Washougal.

Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – Sixth:
It was a more positive day for sure, but the results obviously don’t show the progress we’ve made. I had two pretty good starts but I felt more comfortable second moto because we made a change before it. I made a little mistake at the beginning of the race and then just charged to fifth the whole moto, finishing just off fourth with third right in front of me. All in all, it was definitely a positive day – we had some good bike changes and felt more comfortable at the end of the day. I’m really looking forward to Washougal to get back on the podium!

Shane McElrath (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Ninth:
It was a better day, I would say for the most part we were better and more consistent. First moto was probably my best first moto and in the second moto, I really struggled with the track and fighting with the bike pretty bad. Still trying to figure out how I can go faster and maintain that but we’re going to keep working.

Christian Craig (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Fourth:
It was a good day. I always enjoy coming here. This is one of my favourite tracks on the circuit. I spent a lot of time here in the past, so I’ve got a lot of family and friends that show up here. I had a decent qualifying and then I had a good first moto and got off to a decent start. I got close to fourth for a while and had third in sight but settled with fifth. In the second moto, I made some good passes early on and got into third pretty quick, but the top two had pretty much checked out. So yeah, 5-3 for fourth overall, that moves me into fifth in points which is where I want to be. I just want to try and improve each weekend and keep it going at Washougal.

Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – First:
It was an awesome weekend for us here at Millville. We had two great motos. The first moto was kind of a learning moto for me. I even got passed at one point, but we tried to learn from our mistakes, and we were able to improve on our weak spots. We took those changes into the second moto and made passes to the front, and I felt like we were the fastest guy in moto two. It was nice to get that red plate this weekend, and hopefully, we’ll keep it going.

Ken Roczen (Team Honda HRC) – 16th:
Millville was once again a really rough one. I was really good in qualifying practice, but I haven’t done many changes to the bike. I’ve had my struggles, but the biggest problem was me going down in both motos—pretty big ones, too. I got lucky and rolled out of both crashes really well, but the crash in the first moto was a little bit heavier – it took me a long time to get going again because I was basically against traffic. I was dead last, and after that I couldn’t really get going much; I wasn’t feeling too good on the track. It was a really rough weekend with terrible results, but sometimes that’s the way it goes. I’m looking forward to having another go at it next weekend and then we have two off-weekends when I hope we can make a bunch of gains and then do a strong push for the last rounds. First up is Washougal though, and I look forward to the nice scenery and getting back to the races.

Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC) – Second:
The first and second moto kind of flip-flopped. The first moto, I felt like I had really good pace; I got to the back of Eli, made a pass and tried to break away. Then I made this really small mistake – I missed a rut by a little bit, washed the front-end, and my bike flipped over and tagged me in the back and ripped my jersey. Luckily I’m tall because that was not a good spot to go down, in the middle of that downhill. It was kind of a tricky situation to get out of there, and then I just sort of rode it in. In the second moto I got a good start, but Eli had better lines than I did and got around me. Then it was just who could go faster the rest of the moto. We were dropping lap times, and one of my best was two laps to go. It’s going to be a battle. I’m obviously bummed to lose the red plate, but we’ve still got a lot of racing left. I’ve got to get better—that’s the bottom line.

Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Third:
Today, the focus was on putting together two consistent motos to get some positive momentum going again. I had pretty solid starts both times out of the gate and rode my laps without anything too eventful. These building days are super important to get back into that flow of being up front so, overall, we’re happy with the result.

Joey Savatgy (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – 13th:
I almost had the holeshot in moto one and then I did grab the holeshot in moto two, so I’m definitely happy with where we’re at with this KX450SR and my starts. Unfortunately, hitting the ground in moto one made things really tough for me but, I kept digging and worked my way through to salvage some points. In moto two, I cleaned up the mistakes and did my best to stay in the fight with the front guys. After the trouble in moto one, it’s nice to earn another top-10 overall in this stacked 450 Class.


Image: Octopi Media.

Seth Hammaker (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Seventh:
In moto one, I had an awesome start at the front of the pack and it was good to battle up there near the podium for the opening part of the race. I just needed to clean up some things in the middle of the race that cost me a few positions. In moto two, I started a little further back in the top-10, but I had a more solid performance throughout the race to come away with seventh overall. I still want to be higher up on the leaderboard so, we’ll keep building and looking for ways to improve in this second half of the season.

Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Second:
I feel today was a solid day of racing for second overall. In the first moto, I made quick passes and found good lines around the track but, I was back off the start, so I had to use a lot of energy to get up to the podium. In moto two, my start was much better, and I stayed right there with the leader. I just wish I hadn’t used so much effort in the first race so I could have fought for the win a little harder. Overall, the bike is working awesome and it’s great to be consistently finishing at the front.

Ryder DiFrancesco (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Eighth:
The whole day I really focused on taking in what the team had to offer and I did my best to execute with improvements on the track. I think that showed with my steady gains throughout the day from qualifying through the motos. In the second moto, it was awesome to battle inside the top-10 the whole race and to end up eighth overall is great. These two pro races have been a great learning experience and I’m looking forward to carrying this momentum into Loretta Lynn’s.

Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – Third:
Moto one was tough. I was leading for the majority of the race, and then just an unfortunate deal when the lappers let Jett get through. Then he was trying to win, and I was giving it everything to try and get close enough to have that window of opportunity, to make a pass. Those ones are interesting—just like Eli and Chase in the 450s, sending it the last three laps; we pretty much emptied the tank. The second moto was looking pretty good before the restart, I must say. We were in first, ticking the boxes toward an overall, and unfortunately the accident happened. I used up all my good starts and sucked on the third one. [laughs] It was a rough one, coming through the pack, expending a lot of energy trying to bridge up. I was just hanging on until the end of the moto.

Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – First:
It was good—another 1-1. The first one I got the holeshot but really had to work for; I had Hunter in front, and I made a couple mistakes, which made me drop two positions. I was able to get him at the end, with some lappers. The second one was a lot easier; I got a good start, and Hunter was a bit back. I got that gap and was able to maintain. I had a lot better flow, so it was a lot smoother.

Pierce Brown (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – Ninth:
It was a mediocre day for me, still not where we want to be. I just need to be better off the start and be up there in the mix with the guys. We have five rounds to go, so that’s five more opportunities to get up there again. I’m really excited to go to Washougal, it’s one of my favorite tracks on the circuit!

Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Fourth:
The track was really fun, and I had a good flow with it all day. The bike was great as well, and I had two solid motos, but it was a bummer to go down on the first lap while leading that first moto. I had to use a lot more energy in Moto 1, which I could have used for Moto 2. We’ll keep working and come back stronger

Nick Romano (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 25th:
It was a tough day for me. I didn’t get the ball rolling until moto two. I got a nice holeshot, then, unfortunately, the race got red flagged, and we restarted. The restart was good, though. I was in the top five there for a little while, then, unfortunately, had a big crash. I’m very sore and feeling banged up, but hopefully, I can recover well and be ready for Washougal!

Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 12th:
The day started well and I qualified fourth. I was feeling good and felt like I had the speed to fight for a podium, but unfortunately, it was another tough day for us. We’re going to put it behind us and try to rebound at Washougal

RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Fifth:
It was a dog fight all day but I felt like I rode pretty well. Second moto, I felt more comfortable but I had to ride so hard. It’s a bit frustrating but I feel like we’re riding probably the best I ever have and in control, just need a little bit more speed. I’ll go home this week and have a pretty good setup coming into next week.

Stilez Robertson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 16th:
My day was eventful, I qualified almost the best I have all year, so I was excited. First moto, I think I had a little bike problem that hindered me a little bit. In the second moto, I saw the two riders crash in front of me and I tried to go left and unfortunately my teammate was there and I hit him. I folded my ankle pretty hard and that’s all she wrote. I’m going to go home and get it checked out and try to get back as quick as I can.

Jalek Swoll (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 15th:
I didn’t have the best start in moto one but I feel like the riding was pretty good and I finally felt like I was finding some comfort out there, moto two was cut really short – just one of those racing incidents – and there’s nothing much I could have done. It is what it is, I had to sit that one out, but the positives are for sure in the right direction and I’m pretty excited to go racing next weekend.

Talon Hawkins (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 19th:
It was so sick! I came into today looking to have some fun and I think I accomplished that goal. I didn’t do the best in qualifying but I tried to put it behind me and do as well as I could in the race. I had an awesome day, I ended up with a 20-15, so I’m pretty pumped on that for my first pro national.

Max Vohland (Red Bull KTM) – Sixth:
I had a good day today and made some steps in the right direction. I rode really well all day – from practice to motos. In the first moto, I had a top-five start and moved into third but ended up getting edged out for third on the last lap. In moto two, I got a good jump and was in a good position to fight for a podium overall and a couple guys went down and had a red flag, so I had to regroup and I just didn’t get the jump on the second start that I needed and had to fight my way up to sixth. Definitely got some positives to take away for Washougal and we’ll keep fighting for that podium.