Ken Roczen, Jett Lawrence top Motocross Power Rankings after Thunder Valley

Motocross Round 2 rankings
Pro Motocross, Align Media
0 Comments

The 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Round 2 is in the books and it is time to see who is at the top of the Power Rankings.

In two divisions, four overall winners have emerged. And while competition for the top spot has been been intense, early patterns are emerging.

The two riders at the top of the 450 order may not have believed they would be this competitive early, with Ken Roczen saying he felt disconnected with Motocross before the season started and Dylan Ferrandis still getting comfortable on the 450 as a rookie.

But those concerns are being dispelled by Roczen’s three moto wins and Ferrandis’ sweep of the podium positions. The are closely matched at the top of the Motocross Round 2 rankings.

In 250s, the motos have been won by two riders, but the podium has looked a little different each time they have hit the course.

Ranked No. 1 this week, Roczen’s win in Moto 2 at Fox Raceway suggested his “disconnection” with Motocross was all in his head. He didn’t seem overly enthused by his Fox results, but after a ‘perfect day’ at Thunder Valley, where he swept both motos and the overall win, he looks like his old self again.

Second in the rankings, Ferrandis seems as surprised by his opening round victory as the rest of the field. He finished 1-3 at Fox Raceway and 2-2 at Thunder Valley, so he is quickly becoming accustomed to the podium.

Adam Cianciarulo launched out of the gate strong at Fox, but he fell while leading the Moto 1 pack with a sizeable margin. An 11th overall in Round 1 put him on his rear wheel, but he rebounded at Thunder Valley to finish third. He ranks sixth in the Motocross Round 2 rankings.

Eli Tomac has also been a surprise in the first two rounds – and an unpleasant one at that. His best moto finish of eighth means there is a lot of work to do with this team in his lame duck season. He is ranked 10th this week.

450 Rankings

  1. Ken Roczen [1 overall, 3 moto wins]
  2. Dylan Ferrandis [1 overall, 1 moto win]
  3. Aaron Plessinger
  4. Justin Barcia
  5. Chase Sexton
  6. Adam Cianciarulo
  7. Cooper Webb
  8. Marvin Musquin
  9. Christian Craig
  10. Eli Tomac
  11. Max Anstie
  12. Joey Savatgy
  13. Zach Osborne
  14. Justin Bogle
  15. Fredrik Noren
  16. Coty Schock
  17. Dean Wilson
  18. Ryan Surratt
  19. Brandon Hartranft
  20. Mitchell Falk

 


Through three motos it appeared there would be a spirited battle for the 250 red plate. Jett Lawrence and Jeremy Martin swapped moto wins with Justin Cooper taking the overall victory at Fox Raceway.

Lawrence’s effort at Fox saw him finish second to Martin in Moto 1 and win the second race. Martin finished second in Moto 2, so Lawrence had the tiebreaker and the overall win. A  bad start at Thunder Valley landed him fourth in that track’s first moto, but he charged back to win the second. That is enough at the moment to give him the top spot.

Ranked second, Justin Cooper is disappointed he has not yet won a moto. He improved considerably between the rounds, however, with a 5-3 at Fox followed by a pair of runner-up finishes at Thunder Valley.

Hunter Lawrence also got off to a slow start at Fox with a 6-5. He did not improve nearly as much as Cooper and for the moment is a fairly distant third in the Motocross Round 2 rankings.

Jo Shimoda came on strong at the end of the Supercross season with a podium finish at Indianapolis and a victory at Salt Lake City. He carries the momentum forward and is locked in a tight battle to be among the Motocross Round 2 rankings top five. He currently sits fifth.

Disappointment comes in may fashions. After watching his brother Alex Martin break an arm in practice, Jeremy won Moto 1 at Thunder Valley. He crashed out of the second moto and will probably miss a few rounds.

“Really bummed about my second moto crash yesterday,” Martin said on Instagram. “Hit a soft spot when I landed off a jump and the front end just knifed on me. I’ve been managing a left fractured wrist to the Scaphoid for months and a bum left shoulder. I still felt like I could be competitive to win races and contend for this outdoor championship. Unfortunately stuff happens and it’s time to get healthy!”

250 Rankings

    1. Jett Lawrence [1 overall, 2 moto wins]
    2. Justin Cooper [1 overall win]
    3. Hunter Lawrence
    4. Garrett Marchbanks
    5. Jo Shimoda
    6. Colt Nichols
    7. RJ Hampshire
    8. Jeremy Martin [2 moto wins]
    9. Austin Forkner
    10. Jalek Swoll
    11. Michael Mosiman
    12. Jarrett Frye
    13. Dilan Schwartz
    14. Nate Thrasher
    15. Carson Mumford
    16. Max Vohland
    17. Pierce Brown
    18. Joshua Varize
    19. Ty Masterpool
    20. Stilez Robertson

Lessons learned in three rounds of Extreme E pay huge dividends in the Copper X Prix for Tanner Foust

Foust Copper X Prix
McLaren Racing
0 Comments

To paraphrase the Grateful Dead, what a long, unique trip it’s been for Tanner Foust in his first season with the Extreme E series as he took his early season lessons to Chile to compete in the Copper X Prix. And he’s learned his lessons well.

In February, McLaren announced they would expand their motorsports program with an Extreme E entry. They signed two talented rally drivers in Foust and Emma Gilmour – and paired them for the opening round in Neom, Saudi Arabia with just a few days of testing under their belts. Baked by the Arabian desert sun, it was trial by fire.

The duo performed well in their debut, advancing into the final round and finishing fifth. As Extreme E headed to another desert halfway across the globe for Round 4, it was a good time to catch up with Foust and ask about McLaren’s progress. The Copper X Prix was held this past weekend in one of the most extreme regions in the world: the Atacama Desert.

MORE: McLaren considering Kyle Busch for Indy 500

“The shock going into the first race was the speed,” Foust told NBC Sports. “It was much higher than we had tested. We spent a lot of time around 100 miles per hour [in race trim] and our testing speeds were more in the 60 to 70-mile range. Then, once we sort of got around that, the car got updated so you can drive it even faster.”

In rally racing, some incidents are out of a driver’s control. Even peeking around another car can be dangerous because of potholes that have recently been gouged in the ground or large bushes that seem to sprout up between laps. A couple of rollovers brought Foust back to earth – but the pace was there and that was important.

“We had some challenges this season,” Foust said prior to the Copper X Prix. “We had a good start; made the final, which is a difficult thing to do in this series. I had two rolls in the first three events, but I have improved each time. Now we come into Round 4 in Chile in a pretty strong position. We have competitive times as a team. We are communicating really well and have our heads around this Odyssey vehicle.”

Foust’s words proved to be prophetic.

He won the Crazy Race – Extreme E’s version of a Last Chance Qualifier – and did so after passing the field. It was the same manner in which he qualified for Saudi Arabia’s finale, but this time things would be better. There were those hard-earned lessons on which to lean – and Foust had reps under his belt. He was not going to be caught off guard by any random obstacles.

Tanner Foust passed Sebastien Loeb heading to the Switch Zone in the Copper X Prix. (Photo by Sam Bagnall / LAT Images)

In the Copper X Prix finale, he pressured one of the best rally drivers in the history of the sport.

Pitching sideways through a tight left-hander late in his stint, Foust put his McLaren Extreme E Odyssey at the head of the pack in front of Sebastien Loeb as they headed to the Switch Zone. There, he would turn the car over to his co-driver Gilmour.

The Extreme E series pairs male and female drivers with both taking a turn behind the wheel.

After the driver change, Gilmour lost the lead momentarily to Loeb’s teammate Cristina Gutierrez, but as they charged toward the finish line, she surged ahead and crossed under the checkers first.

“What an improvement for the team over this year,” Foust said after the race. “We have struggled through some of the events, being in our first year in competition. We showed true pace this weekend; overtaking Sebastien Loeb was a highlight.

“Emma put in a great run in the Final. I was fortunate to go from last to first in the Crazy Race and then first in the Final but with some flag penalties, we had 20 seconds added to our time, which put us into fifth. It was a great feeling crossing the line first, I love this wide style track and the NEOM McLaren Odyssey was fantastic here.

“Hopefully we can continue that momentum into Uruguay.”

Loeb and Gutierrez were elevated to the top of the podium, but no one can take away the feeling of crossing under the checkers first.


Racing Responsibly

Since cars were first invented, racing has played a socially responsible role by improving safety. As Earth reaches a tipping point with climate change, racing needs to adapt to these new needs and requirements, which is where Extreme E’s unique strategy becomes increasingly important.

The Extreme E experience is more than simple racing. Each race is accompanied by a legacy program designed to offset damage done by climate change and to erase the footprint caused by the events.

Foust, a biology major from the University of Colorado, was given the chance to rekindle his interest and give back to the environment ahead of the Copper X Prix.

The Atacama is the oldest desert in the world at 150 million years. It is the driest place on earth and has the highest degree of ultraviolet light. And yet somehow life perseveres through underground rivers with oases dating back to Incan times. Foust participated in preparing a local habitat for the reintroduction of a critically endangered water frog to Chile’s longest river, the Loa, which snakes its way through the desert.

“I’m loving the experience,” Foust said. “I’m putting on a lot of Chapstick, a lot of sunscreen. What a fascinating part of the world. I never would have come here otherwise.

“I honestly am very honored to be a part of this sport. I am a huge believer in the fact that motorsports has done us good in the last 100 years. I think we benefit every single time we put our seatbelts on and drive down the road to the lessons learned in racing since the turn of the century. And I really hope motorsports continues that tradition.

“I think that motorsports like [Extreme E] does it in a responsible way, a gender-neutral way and a carbon-neutral way.”