Features 31 Aug 2022

Quotebook: 2022 Pro Motocross Rd11 Ironman

Assorted racer comments following the 11th round of the season.

In Quotebook, a selection of riders detail how their races played out in the 11th round of the 2022 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Ironman.


Ryan Dungey (Red Bull KTM) – Sixth:
The day was pretty good. We got the bike set up good during practice and I think that was the most important thing going into the motos. The bike performed really well in both motos and starts were good, so I was happy with where we were at. I really just tried to push it as hard as I could, for as long as I could, and the guys just had a little more than me today. Sometimes you have to accept that; it’s tough but we’ll rest up good this week and try to finish strong at Pala.

Aaron Plessinger (Red Bull KTM) – Third:
That one didn’t come easy! I was really happy with how I was riding in the first moto but I think I kind of overdid it and going into the second moto I was a little smoked. I knew it was going to be tough but I had some good lines and jumped on the opportunity to make it happen. I really gel with this place; I’ve been coming here for years and it’s close to home so a lot of fans and family come up here and it fires me up. It’s been a tough year but we’re back on the podium baby!

Justin Barcia (TLD Red Bull GasGas) – 14th:
First moto, I got off to a pretty good start and unfortunately just didn’t have the comfort, so I ended up with a P8. I struggled to find my way on the track, so a little frustrating, but we went back and made a few changes. I was looking for another good start in Moto 2 and that didn’t happen, so I made it pretty tough for myself. I made it up to the top-10 pushing and charging pretty hard, and then I scrubbed and caught my wheel, so I ended up crashing. I was able to get back out there but it was kind of one of those things where you just wanted to finish. Definitely a really tough day but we have one more race in Pala, so I’m going to try to do my best, have some fun and see all the fans!

Malcolm Stewart (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Eighth:
I think the day was overall better for me, qualifying was much, much better. Getting these races under my belt, it’s starting to kind of come back to me. I feel like we’re going in the right direction. Our team made a few adjustments for that second moto, and we ended up eighth. I’m really happy just the way that I performed, but the results aren’t quite there.

Dean Wilson (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 10th:
Another weekend of improvements, first moto, I had a really bad start. I got up to 13th and had a decent pace at the end. I pushed hard and that gave me good confidence. I got a decent start in the second moto and I was hanging in there for a bit. Malcolm and I had a good battle. He got around me and I kind of ran his pace until I came around the corner and the berm went off the track. I lost a few positions but I got back on, made a good couple charges and ended up ninth. The goal is to be top-10 in both motos.

Christian Craig (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Fifth:
Today was pretty good. I had my best qualifying in third, so that was awesome. I went into the motos feeling good and pulled my first holeshot. I didn’t lead the lap but ran up there for a little bit, and then I lost the pace a little and finished fifth. In the second moto, I rode better and came out with fifth overall. I’m still fifth in the points – it’s close – but I’m really looking forward to going back to California and racing Pala next week.

Eli Tomac (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Second:
It was a very close day of racing once again. I had a great first moto where I was able to come through the field and get into the lead. Chase and I battled back and forth, but it was really good for us to get back around and get the win. In the second moto, we both got good starts. I did what I could and tried to make a good push in the middle of the race. I got close but made a mistake, and that put me a little out of touch to try and do anything for the rest of the race. Unfortunately, we finished second, but we kept the points even.

Ken Roczen (Team Honda HRC) – Seventh:
We were running good in the first moto, and even after Eli and Chase passed me, I was still sticking with them. Then I unfortunately hit my boot in a rut and stalled it at the same time and fell over. I only ended up seventh in the first one, but we came out swinging again; I got another good start and was running up front. It was a tough race and I had to drop back a little bit. It’s not really the weekend that we wanted, but we’re healthy and have another one to go. We’re going to California, so it will be nice to get a little change of scenery and try to finish out the season strong.

Chase Sexton (Team Honda HRC) – First:
Eli [Tomac] and I just can’t seem to get away from each other! I think the guy who loses the first moto has that much more motivation going into the second one, and that was me today. In the first moto, I wasn’t really surprised he caught me; lappers played a big role, and I lost some time. He was going fast, and he sucked me up; I guess he found some of my lines and connected them with his. When he got around me, he dropped me, which I wasn’t really expecting. I was able to keep the pressure on for moto 2, knowing that if he had won that, he could go 2-2 at Pala and still win the championship; that was something I had in my mind, and I went out there and got a good start. I knew if I didn’t have to come through the pack again, I’d have a little more energy; that was my game plan, and I executed it. Obviously, I would’ve liked to go 1-1, but to win the overall and still be down by only one point isn’t too shabby either. Now we’ve got two more motos we need to execute next weekend.

Jason Anderson (Monster Energy Kawasaki) – Fourth:
The bike setup and my qualifying pace were on par for me to contend for the podium positions today but, unfortunately I struggled with my starts in each moto. In the first race, I came together with another rider through turn one and we both crashed. I had to come from last, but managed to fight my way forward to get to sixth. In moto two, I was just behind mid-pack on the opening lap, so I again had to make a lot of passes to get up into the race for the podium. Overall, we had a strong effort today as a team and will focus on the positives heading into the final round next weekend.

Marshal Weltin (Twisted Tea Suzuki) – 13th:
I was unable to ride all week because of my crash at Budds Creek, I didn’t know where I was going to stand this weekend. In moto one I struggled. I had some pain; I’m still pretty locked up from the crash. I toughed it out for moto two and fortunately found some better lines. I went 15-11 on the day, so overall I’m pretty happy with how everything turned out. I’m ready to move on to Pala and keep progressing. I’m really happy with the bike right now.

Justin Rodbell (Twisted Tea Suzuki) – 19th:
I qualified 19th and then I ended up going 20-17 for 19th, this was my third day on the bike and with the team. It’s quite a bit to take in, in three days. But it was a good day, I had a lot of fun. [Travis] Soules is a great mechanic. Having him help me is huge. It’s really cool to have this opportunity. I’m super pumped; we’re going keep working and try to finish better and have fun; man, it’s super fun.


Jo Shimoda (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Second:
In moto one, I didn’t have the best start, so I had to make a lot of passes to get up into the lead battle. Unfortunately, I had a small crash late in the race while trying to fight for the podium and that dropped me back to fifth. In the second moto, my start was much better, and I quickly moved into the lead. I sprinted for a few laps to get a gap ahead of the field and I focused on hitting my marks each lap from there. Without the mistake in moto one, I think I could have had another overall win today but, I’m happy to win moto two and I’ll try again next weekend.

Cameron McAdoo (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – Ninth:
I definitely had to grit through it today with some lingering soreness from last weekend but, we made some solid progress to come away with an overall top-10. I’m looking forward to getting more seat time this week and coming out swinging next weekend at Fox Raceway.

Seth Hammaker (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – 10th:
I placed myself in decent position early in both motos but, mistakes really cost me from having a great day today. I have another top-10 under my belt now but, feel like I left some positions on the table today. I’ll do my best to clean up the mistakes and hope to be battling in the top-five at the final round.

Ryder DiFrancesco (Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki) – 14th:
I’m keeping perspective that this has been a really big learning experience for me to race these final few rounds of the Pro Motocross Championship. I know I can be up there in the top-10 and definitely want to be further up the running order than I was today but, I have another race of experience now and will look to finish it out strong at Fox Raceway.

Hunter Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – Third:
I got docked in the first moto, but it is what it is. It was a tough second moto—it’s not easy when you’re not getting starts, because the top guys just get away so easily. We’re still carrying some good momentum, so we’ll have a good week of recovery and then come out swinging at Pala.

Jett Lawrence (Team Honda HRC) – First:
It was a pretty good day—back to the normal consistency. I had a decent qualifying, and then in the first moto I was around sixth place on the start and made my way through to first; I had a really good flow and kind of rode my own race. In the second moto, I had a good jump, but then everyone went by and I was like 11th. I struggled with flow in the first few laps and actually went back a few positions. I finally caught a flow and was able to make my way through to third; by that time, Hunter and Jo [Shimoda] were already gone, so I was just happy with the overall win. It wasn’t too bad—good to be back on top of the overall box. Next week, we’re just going to treat it like a normal race—try to win and have fun.

Justin Cooper (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Sixth:
I’m getting really tired and flat mid-way through the motos. I just can’t keep the intensity up; I don’t know if it has to do with my illness or not. The pace is really high, and the top guys are riding really well. Maybe it’s just an off weekend for me, but either way, I have some homework to do for sure.

Nate Thrasher (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – Fifth:
It was a better day, for sure. I was able to get good starts two weekends in a row and got my first holeshot today. Last weekend at Budds Creek, I ended up going down, but this week I was able to lead for a good part of the race. I felt like I had the speed to be up there today, but I ran into a little bit of arm pump and rode a little tight. For the second moto, I didn’t have much left in the tank for that one. We’re making strides in the right direction. It’s a stacked field with a lot of people back from injury, so we’ll take it.

Guillem Farres (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 11th:
The day started well. I think I was 10th in practice, and the track was looking good. I struggled a little more in the second practice but had a really good start in the first moto. I finished ninth and struggled a little bit in the middle of the moto, but the end was better. I didn’t get a good start in the second moto, and on the first lap my rear brake went out. It was really hard to ride without the brake, so I just tried to ride safe and not make any mistakes, and I ended up 16th. I’m not happy with the second moto, but that’s racing.

Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 12th:
I did everything I could to race this weekend, but it just wasn’t enough. I’m still in a lot of pain, and I was dealing with it, but it really set in by moto two. I’m going to rest up and get my body back to 100%.

Matt Leblanc (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 21st:
It was kind of a rough day. I just struggled a little bit on the bike – more mentally than physically. I just wasn’t comfortable all day and rode a little scared. We’ll get back at it this week to see if we can improve for Pala.

Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing) – 31st:
It started off well in the first moto and I just tried to work through the pack a little bit, and I felt like I was riding super well. I lost my rear brake on the second lap, though, which was unfortunate, but I felt like I was flowing and could run the speed with those guys. I made a little rookie mistake trying to do a little double and went over the bars. That was it for the moto. I was a little banged up but lined up for the second moto and ended up getting taken out a little past the start. From there, I just tried to make my way back up through the pack. It was a big learning experience for me, and I know what I need to work on to get into the top 10.

RJ Hampshire (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Fourth:
Another solid weekend, e were good all day and had good speed. Once I got my flow in both motos, I felt like I clicked off really good laps and was fast, battling at the front. I’m stoked to be back in this thing. We were not there for a while, and it’s so draining whenever you show up and you’re not at the level you know you can be at. I’m stoked on the things that we have going on and hope to be better next weekend.

Jalek Swoll (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – Eighth:
I got a decent start in the first moto, we were running up there, and I had to tip over. I was pretty deep [in the field], and came back to 11th. moto two was an okay start but I lost pace a little bit. I’m just going to put all my focus into that last round and try to give somebody something to look forward to for the next year.

Talon Hawkins (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) – 27th:
It started off a little rough but I was able to turn it around, it was my second Pro National and I’m just looking to keep improving every time. Obviously, I had a pretty bad get-off in my second moto on the last lap – another rider came into me and I ended up front-flipping. We’re going to get back out there and get back to training this week.

Carson Mumford (BarX Chaparral Suzuki) – 20th:
It was a bummer weekend, I fought hard in moto one. I came from behind, but only made it up to 15th place.

Preston Kilroy (BarX Chaparral Suzuki) – 13th:
Ironman was a step in the right direction, I got off the gate strong in both motos but had a tip over in the first moto. I went 18-13 for 13th overall. I’m feeling great on the bike lately and we’re excited to finish out the season at Pala!

Dilan Schwartz (BarX Chaparral Suzuki) – 26th:
In the first moto I had a decent start but ran into the back of someone on the first lap and went to last, I came back up to about 18th then cross-rutted on a landing and crashed pretty hard and was unable to finish. I made it out for moto two, but just didn’t feel great out there so the result wasn’t quite as good.

Derek Drake (BarX Chaparral Suzuki) – 24th:
In the first moto I had some good speed in the beginning, but I ran out of steam, the track was really tough and definitely challenging. In the second moto, I crashed with other riders in the third turn and unfortunately, couldn’t pick the pace back up.

Max Vohland (Red Bull KTM) – Seventh:
I got a really good start in the first moto and got really close to getting into the lead at one point, which was really cool. About five laps in, my arms started pumping up a little bit – maybe it’s from riding up front and just being tight and not having been up there all year – so I ended up going back to seventh. Second moto, I had a little mistake first lap and a couple guys got me and I just stayed seventh all race. I was consistent today with 7-7 finishes but I definitely want to get on that podium and we’ve got one more week to do it. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.