Jeff Kardas, ProMotocross.com

Dylan Ferrandis remains focused on the championship

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Beginning with Round 5 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season at WW Ranch, Dylan Ferrandis turned a corner and has arguably been the hottest rider on the circuit since.

Finishing fourth in Moto 1 in Jacksonville, Fla. on a track that resembled a Supercross course more than a Motocross one, Ferrandis suffered through a poor start to that race. Then he stormed back to win Moto 2 and the French-born rider has not looked over his shoulder since.

In the past five races of the season, he has earned four podium finishes and two overall victories – the most recent of which came in the last race at Washougal. It was a perfect weekend; Ferrandis earned maximum points with a pair of moto wins.

What changed halfway through the WW Ranch?

According to Ferrandis: nothing. Well, nothing much. Maybe a slight adjustment in attitude.

“The Supercross season took me a lot of energy and focus so I needed couple races to really get back into the outdoors flow,” Ferrandis told NBC Sports. “But nothing really changed before or after WW ranch, just maybe more confidence on myself.”

Winning will certainly give a rider confidence and since the midway point of at WW Ranch, he has done a lot of that. The following week Ferrandis won Moto 2 at Southwick. He was perfect at RedBud in Buchanan, Mich. with his pair of moto wins and was flawless again at Washougal to five him four moto wins of the latest six.

His key to success in recent weeks has been better starts at the beginning of each moto.

“I haven’t really practiced or changed anything on the bike for the starts,” Ferrandis continued. “The problem was more in my mind. It took me couple races to figured it out but now I feel way better.”

Unfortunately after a modest start to the season, coupled with the near-perfect record of Adam Cianciarulo in the first four rounds, Ferrandis has needed better than 20-20 vision to see what is in front of him.

“My mind is still the same,” Ferrandis said. “I always ride to win, 28 points deficit or not, but now for sure I really look to win this championship and for that I’m in must-win position.”

While Cianciarulo may be a little too far ahead to see clearly as the series enters Unadilla, that is not Ferrandis’ focus.

Ferrandis knows the only thing in his control during the final three events is how he sits atop the bike and how much power he can get out of his Yamaha. He may need to be perfect in the final rounds, but that has already happened twice in the last three weeks with his sweeps at RedBud and Washougal.

“I never really look at other riders during races,” Ferrandis said. “I try to only focus on myself and on my riding but we all know that AC is most of the time out front and if I am too, I am always aware of where he is during the race.”

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WATCH LIVE: IndyCar practice and qualifying at Laguna Seca

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For the first time in 15 years, Indy cars will be racing at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, and the stakes have never been higher.

Tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Monterey is the final race of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season, and with four drivers mathematically eligible for the series championship, there will be plenty of story lines to follow.

Current series points leader Josef Newgarden enters this weekend with a 41-point lead over second-place Alexander Rossi.

A California native, Rossi attended his first IndyCar race with his father as child at Laguna Seca when he was three years old.

He now hopes to win his first IndyCar championship at the track where he fell in love with the sport, but after suffering a broken bolt in practice 1 yesterday, he will need to find speed in P3 and qualifying today in order to put himself in the best position to fight for the title.

Simon Pagenaud and Scott Dixon are also in contention to win the championship this weekend, and another title would only add to their already illustrious IndyCar careers.

Leigh Diffey, Paul Tracy and Townsend Bell will call today’s on-track action from the booth, while Marty Snider, Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee and Robin Miller will report from the pits.

Here is today’s schedule:

(All times are Eastern)

Saturday 9/21, 1 p.m. ET, IndyCar Practice 3, NBC Sports Gold 

Saturday 9/21, 4:30 p.m. ET, IndyCar Qualifying, NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold

Saturday 9/21, 6 p.m. ET, Indy Lights Race 1, NBC Sports Gold 

 

For sessions on NBC Sports Gold, be sure to have your username and password handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.