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

Motocross Rankings Budds Creek
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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


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

Kyle Busch interests McLaren for Indy 500, but team is leaning toward experience

McLaren Indy Kyle Busch
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

With Arrow McLaren SP heavily weighing a fourth car for the Indy 500 next year, Kyle Busch is a candidate but not at the top of the IndyCar team’s list.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown addressed the possibility Wednesday morning during a video news conference with Gavin Ward, the team’s newly named racing director.

“I have not personally spoken with Kyle Busch, but you can read into that that someone else in our organization has,” Brown said. “We want to make sure if we run a fourth car, we’re in the mindset that we want someone that is experienced around the 500. It’s such an important race, and from a going for the championship point of view, we’ve got three drivers that we want to have finish as strong as possible, so if we ran a fourth car, we’d want to be additive, not only for the fourth car itself, but to the three cars and so bringing in someone who’s not done it before potentially doesn’t add that value from an experience point of view.”

Busch will race the No. 8 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing next season in NASCAR under a new deal that will allow the two-time Cup Series champion to make his Indy 500 debut. Busch, who had a previous deal to run the Indy 500 nixed by Joe Gibbs Racing, openly courted Chevy IndyCar teams to contact him during his introductory news conference with RCR last month.

After Team Penske (which has given no indications of a fourth car at Indy alongside champion Will Power, Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin), McLaren is the second-best Chevy organization, and it’s fielded an extra Indy 500 car the past two years for Juan Pablo Montoya. The Associated Press reported last month that McLaren was in “serious conversation” about running Busch at Indy with Menards sponsorship.

But with its restructured management, the team is in the midst of significant expansion for 2023. AMSP is adding a third full-time car for 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi to team with Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist, and a massive new shop also is being built in the Indianapolis area.

“(It’s) not because of him but purely because of experience,” Brown said of Busch. “He’s an awesome talent and would be huge, huge news for the speedway. But yeah, I think everyone is under consideration if we decide to do it, but experience is right at the top of the list as far as what’s going to be the most important to us.”

And it seems likely there will be a veteran joining Rossi, O’Ward and Rosenqvist at the Brickyard.

“A fourth car at the 500 is very much under consideration,” Brown said. “I wouldn’t even want to get ahead of ourselves, but we wouldn’t be ruling out a fourth car in the future on a full-time basis. That definitely wouldn’t be for ’23. But as we expand the team and get into larger facilities and things of that nature, it’s something that Gavin and I have spoken about.

“I think we would be in a position to run a fourth car at the 500 this upcoming year. If we do decide to do that, we’ll make that decision soon for maximum preparation, and I would say we’re open minded to a fourth car in ’24 and beyond and probably will make that decision middle of next year in time to be prepared if we did decide to do that.”

Brown also addressed the future of Alex Palou, who will be racing for Chip Ganassi Racing next season after also signing a deal with McLaren. Though Brown declined to get into specifics about whether Palou had signed a new deal, he confirmed Palou will continue to test “our Formula One car from time to time.

“Everyone has reached an amicable solution,” Brown said. “We’ve now had Alex in our Formula One car as we have Pato. That will continue in the future, which we’re quite excited about. At this point we’re laser-focused on 2023 and glad to have the noise behind us and now just want to put our head down and get on with the job with the three drivers we have.”