Dylan Ferrandis wins Motocross Round 4 at RedBud, stretches lead over Ken Roczen

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Dylan Ferrandis finished 1-2 in Round 4 to take his third overall win of the 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season at RedBud MX Park in Buchanan, Michigan, and extended his points lead over Ken Roczen.

It was not as easy as the final box score would indicate, however. Lining up side-by-side in Moto 1 with Ferrandis to the outside, he got pushed wide by Roczen in the first turn. Ferrandis fell back to sixth as Aaron Plessinger earned the holeshot and pulled away from a fierce battle involving Roczen, Eli Tomac, Cooper Webb and Adam Cianciarulo.

Ferrandis charged through the field with his feet flying off the pegs on occasion and steadily picked his way through the field. Meanwhile, Roczen slowly chipped into Plessinger’s lead and took the top spot at the 10-minute mark.

Ferrandis grabbed the lead late in the race to win Moto 1 – his once red plate caked with enough mud that the number could not be read.

In Moto 2, Ferrandis was fourth at the end of Lap 1. He had Roczen in sight, however, and slipped past him when Roczen cross-rutted and flipped violently over his handlebars. This time, Ferrandis climbed as high as second and was on Eli Tomac’s back tire as the checkers waved.

“I gave everything,” Ferrandis told NBC Sports’ Ashley Reynard after taking the overall win. “It was a big fight in the beginning with Ken and I saw him crash, and I was like ‘wow’, it’s not often you see Ken crash. So it took me a few laps get back in a rhythm and then I charged really hard. I passed my teammate (Plessinger) and then I really wanted to pass Eli, but I don’t know if anybody passes him on the last lap ever. I tried. I failed, but such a moto. Back to back wins is amazing – a dream come true.”

With a 4-1, Tomac took second in the overall.

“All I know is right now we’ve got it going on in the second moto,” Tomac said. “That was a huge turnaround there. I was a little off in Moto 1, so I knew I’d come out a little quicker in Moto 2. I got a good start and grabbed the lead early. That was key for me.”

Tomac’s second moto win of the season came in back to back events in the Race 2 of each event. With this win, he is third on the all time list at 50 behind Ryan Dungey and Ricky Carmichael.

Plessinger grabbed the holeshot in each race, but lost a little energy late in both races. His 3-3 was enough for third overall.

Meanwhile after high-siding in Moto 2, Roczen faded to sixth in the second race and finished fourth overall with a 2-6.

Rounding out the top five was Christian Craig with a 5-5.

450 results (moto finish)

  1. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (1-2)
  2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (4-1)
  3. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (3-3)
  4. Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda (2-6)
  5. Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (5-5)
  6. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (8-4)
  7. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (7-9)
  8. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GASGAS (9-8)
  9. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., KTM (10-10)
  10. Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., Suzuki (11-13)

450 points standings

  1. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha – 179
  2. Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda – 166
  3. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha – 143
  4. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 132
  5. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 129
  6. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GASGAS – 121
  7. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 116
  8. Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Yamaha – 104
  9. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM – 102
  10. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 90


Two weeks ago Justin Cooper won the overall with a pair of second-place finishes in the 250 class and he was not very happy about it.

The same could not be said for RJ Hampshire, who battled back from illness in the middle of the week and had to ride hard in order to come through the pack. He finished 2-2 at RedBud to earn his first overall win of the season.

That elusive win might have come last week at High Point Raceway if not for a broken chain that relegated him to 38th in the first moto.

Hampshire assumed the lead in Moto 1 when Cooper buried a wheel early in the race, but under pressure from Jett Lawrence, Hampshire had an easy tip over and lost the top spot. He battled back, had Lawrence in sight, and crashed a second time. He fell to third behind Hunter Lawrence before riding back into the runner-up spot.

Lawrence won Moto 1 for his third moto win of the season.

After crashing in Moto 1, Cooper was determined to make up for his mistake and won the second race.

“Those wins in the motos are critical,” Cooper said. “I did my best; I got two good starts. Thankfully got up pretty quick after that spill in the first one. Got another good start in this moto. RJ was riding so good. He got around me, so I tried to hook onto him but he put in a couple of sprint laps and got away from me. Tried to just stay there in case he made a mistake, and it happened, but props to him – he’s been riding good these first four rounds. Good to battle that guy and good to see him get his win.”

Adding to Cooper’s determination was the fact that it appeared Jett Lawrence was going to have a disastrous Moto 2, which would have allowed Cooper to take the points lead. Lawrence got a horrible start and was 18th at the end of Lap 1. On Lap 2, matters got worse. He was clipped by another rider and crashed – a stark reminder of how dangerous it can be racing against riders with whom one is unfamiliar.

Lawrence ended Lap 2 outside the top 30 – and well outside the top 20 where points are awarded.

“You can’t take me out of this; I’m Australian,” Lawrence said after the race. “It was a good comeback. I felt like that was a championship ride.”

And he was right. Climbing to sixth in Moto 2, Lawrence salvaged third overall and protected his championship lead. Lawrence has an eight-point advantage heading into Southwick next week.

Consistency played a role in Hunter Lawrence finishing fourth overall with a 3-4.

Perhaps the gutsiest performance of the night went to Jeremy Martin. Returning from multiple injuries that include two broken fingers, shoulder and wrist injuries, Martin finished 5-3 to take fifth overall.

Michael Mosiman also returned from injury, but a crash in Moto 1 stranded him outside of the points in 35th. He finished 15th in Moto 2.

Making his pro debut, Levi Kitchen finished ninth in Moto 1. He wasn’t quite as productive in Race 2, but with a 9-19, he finished 12th overall.

250 results (moto finish)

  1. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (2-2)
  2. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (4-1)
  3. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (1-6)
  4. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (3-4)
  5. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (5-3)
  6. Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki (6-5)
  7. Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GasGas (7-7)
  8. Stilez Robertson, Bakersfield, Calif., Husqvarna (12-8)
  9. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM (10-11)
  10. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (8-14)

250 points standings

  1. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 172
  2. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 164
  3. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 128
  4. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 111
  5. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha – 108
  6. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna – 108
  7. Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha – 103
  8. Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki – 99
  9. Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Yamaha – 97
  10. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki – 87
Motocross RedBud Round 4
RJ Hampshire captured his second straight RedBud overall win in the 250 class with a 2-2. Align Media

2021 SEASON SO FAR

Round 1: Dylan Ferrandis, Jett Lawrence victorious at Fox Raceway

Round 2: Ken Roczen’s perfect day as Justin Cooper takes 250s at Thunder Valley

Round 3: Dylan Ferrandis wins Motocross Round 3 at High Point, takes points lead

Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Formula One embrace the United States

Verstappen Perez United States
Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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Last week, Red Bull Racing revealed its new car, the RB19, and a new relationship with Ford Motor Co. in an event in New York City complete with drivers Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and team principal Christian Horner.

It’s the first Formula 1 team to launch in the United States for 2023, but even that small move of the needle reflects a major shift in the attitude of both F1’s management and their teams – and the extent to which the American audience has fully embraced the sport.

“It’s something fantastic and unique, for the sport to be able to break it into the U.S,” Perez told NBC Sports. “The market is huge and it’s a huge opportunity for everyone involved, for the drivers, for the team. It’s always a huge market.”

Verstappen Perez United States
Sergio Perez finished fourth in the Unites States Grand Prix, but he was first with the fans.  – Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

In 2023, Formula 1 will race three times in the United States and five times in North America. The Circuit of the Americas will host their 11th consecutive race in October before heading south to Mexico City. Miami returns for a second time in May on a temporary street course around the Hard Rock cafe and the third addition is in downtown Las Vegas in November.

With the Canadian Grand Prix on the schedule for June and the Brazilian Grand Prix in November, American fans are now in the ballpark of Europeans, who have eight events on the continent and one in England.

In 2022, Verstappen won every race in North America. He was kept from sweeping the hemisphere only by George Russell, who won in Brazil. That fact is less remarkable when one considers that Verstappen won 15 times in the season – nearly two-thirds of the races on the schedule.

By the time Formula arrived in Austin, Texas, for Round 20 of 23, Verstappen already had wrapped up his second consecutive championship.

“Sometimes it can be hard to replicate the season, but I think it’s the same as with the car, right? You always try to improve it,” Verstappen told NBC Sports. “And I always look at the little details that even when you have had a good race, you could have done better. And then of course you also learn from the bad races. So we always try to look for these little improvements and general experience you gain year after year.

“You try to do better, but of course it also depends a lot on the package you have.”

Verstappen Perez United States
Max Verstappen United States Grand Prix win was one of 15 for the drivers and 17 for Red Bull.
(Gongora / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Now Verstappen’s thoughts inevitably will turn to establishing a dynasty, and America will again play a pivotal role.

“I just enjoy what I’m doing,” Verstappen said.  “After the years in Formula One, when you have to be on top of your game and you gain a lot on your experience – in that sense nothing really can get to you anymore. Every year you just try to do the best you can. But a lot depends on the material around you. It’s always a bit of a guess. Start the season as fit as you can be and be well prepared. But if you don’t have the car, you’re not going to win the championship.”

Perez added two wins to Red Bull’s total, at Monaco and the Marina Bay Street course. With two of the US 2023 races on street courses, Perez hopes to close the gap on Verstappen and potentially be his chief rival for the championship.

“The strategy is clear; it is to maximize the potential of the car – and we believe we have a good car, but how good?,” Perez said “We don’t know what the competition is doing. We just give our best in building this car and we hope that it’s good enough to get us to win races.

“I think we have to work together as a team. At the same time. We both want to win the championship. It’s just having good compromise. The competition will be really strong out there, so we really need everything we possibly can get from each other.”

Formula One returns to the United States for Round 6 and the Miami Grand Prix on May 7.