Chase Sexton entered Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Round 7 at Washougal MX Park still looking for his first overall podium of the year and left with the victory after finishing 1-3 in the two motos that make up the round. In 250s, Jeremy Martin finished 3-1 to become the first repeat winner in that class.
The key to success for Sexton was a strong start in both motos. He has struggled out of the gate early in the first six rounds, so he knew precisely where to concentrate his effort.
“I did a lot of start practice this week,” Sexton told NBC Sports’ Ashley Reynard after the conclusion of Moto 1. “Found something with the motor that I felt like got me out of the launch better. … That was my first holeshot in Pro Motocross, so it was just an awesome ride. So much fun to be out there by myself.”
It was the first moto and overall win for Sexton this year. He previously had two moto podiums at Pala in the opening round and Spring Creek last week.
“I got two pretty good starts and that was pretty much the difference,” Sexton said after his overall win. “My riding was pretty much the same. It feels so good after a rough start to the season to get this win.”
Sexton takes it home 🔥 🏆
🥇 Chase Sexton
🥈 Eli Tomac
🥉 Dylan Ferrandis #ProMotocross pic.twitter.com/ilR1iHFnUK
— Pro Motocross (@ProMotocross) July 25, 2021
Eli Tomac continued to show that he is one of the best in the field at riding through the pack. He got off to solid starts at the beginning of each moto, but still found himself in heavy traffic for most of the race. He finished a distant second in Moto 1 to Sexton, but he made the second race a much more interesting affair by catching the points’ leader Dylan Ferrandis with time off the clock and two laps remaining.
“The overall was right there,” Tomac said. “It was right in front of me. I just didn’t quite get it done. I found a line late in the moto in the back over here. It ended up being outside-outside. That’s how I got Chase. I tried it on Dylan and got so close, but not quite enough.”
As soon as Tomac caught Ferrandis, the championship leader hit the afterburners and protected his advantage. Tomac finished second overall with a 2-2.
Ferrandis finished third overall with a 5-1.
But Ferrandis’ run was marked not so much by what did happen as what might have. He got a bad start to Moto 1 and languished around 10th for most of the first half. Meanwhile, second in the standings, Ken Roczen challenged for the Moto 1 win briefly before he started to fade in the closing laps.
With four minutes remaining on the clock, Ferrandis caught and passed him for fifth. Roczen finished 10th in Moto 2 and was ninth overall. He now trails in the title hunt by 47 points.
Like Sexton, Marvin Musquin also had a turnaround performance. He entered Washougal without a moto podium and a best of seventh on several occasions. He left with a weekend sweep of the top five in the individual races and a fourth-place in the overall.
“It’s been a while,” Musquin said of his podium finish in Moto 1. “Yesterday I heard there was going to be a massive crowd today, so I got excited last night and really wanted to do good.”
With a 4-7, last week’s winner Justin Barcia rounded out the top five.
450 results (moto finish)
- Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (1-3)
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (2-2)
- Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (5-1)
- Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (3-5)
- Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GasGas (4-7)
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (7-6)
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha (12-4)
- Christian Craig, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (8-8)
- Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda (6-10)
- Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., KTM (10-9)
450 points standings
- Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha – 303
- Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda – 256
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 249
- Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GasGas – 239
- Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 238
- Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha – 218
- Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Yamaha – 182
- Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 177
- Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM – 177
- Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 147
In the 250 class, after having a new winner in each of the first six rounds, Jeremy Martin (3-1) backed up last week’s victory at Spring Creek with another overall win at Washougal.
And all it took was the desire to prove his owner wrong about his ability at Washougal and a fierce determination to not allow injury to slow him.
“This one’s for you (Star Racing owner) Bobby Ragan,” Martin told NBC Sports’ Ashley Reynard. “He was pretty nervous. He was like ‘J-Mart, I don’t know if you’ve got what it takes to win at Washougal’, and that’s all I needed. I know I got a little bit of a gift – it was a bummer to see J-Coop (Justin Cooper) go down. You don’t want to see anybody go down like that.”
Last week, battling finger and wrist injuries, Martin swept the weekend with a 1-1 in the Motos and the overall win.
RJ Hampshire rebounded from a bad week at Spring Creek. He went down and failed to finish Moto 2 in Minnesota, so he was doubly determined to ride well in Washington. Pressuring Cooper for most of the first race, Hampshire finished second in Moto 1. He finished third in Moto 2 and claimed the second-place position in the overall.
It was disappointment tempered with reality for third-place Cooper.
He made no secret of being disappointed earlier this year in Round 2 at Thunder Valley after winning the overall, but finishing second in both Motos. In the next two races, he won the second motos, but failed to take the overall. This week at Washougal, he had the opportunity to do both after winning the first moto.
Cooper was chasing his teammate Martin in the closing laps when he caught an edge and went down with time off the clock and two laps remaining. Had he finished second, where he ran at the time, he would have added 13 points on his principal rival in the championship standings. He fell to eighth, however, and left with a slim two-point margin over Jett Lawrence.
“Two laps to go. I was trying to make a push for Jeremy,” Cooper said after finishing 1-8. “I didn’t have his same management and keeping it on the same pace. I got a weird kick. I’d have to watch it back on film. I didn’t see it in the shadows, but there was an edge and I caught it wrong.”
Lawrence once more got a bad start to Moto 1 and had to ride forward from a sub-10th-place position. He made his way to seventh in Moto 1, then got a strong start in Race 2 and finished second to finish fourth overall.
“It’s been a rough few races,” Lawrence said. “It’s good to finally get a start for once … that’s just so much better. I actually got to see the front, which was nice.”
Pierce Brown with a 6-4 finished fifth overall.
Jalek Swoll provided some early drama. He was heavily involved in a Lap 1 accident in Moto 1 and was helped to the pits by the medical cart. There were no serious injuries for Swoll, but he missed Moto 2 after getting banged up
Colt Nichols also crashed hard as time ran off the clock in Moto 2. After finishing eighth in Moto 1, Nichols remained seventh in the points.
250 results (moto finish)
- Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (3-1)
- RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (2-3)
- Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (1-8)
- Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (7-2)
- Pierce Brown, Sandy, Utah, GasGas (6-4)
- Michael Mosiman, Sebastapol, Calif., GasGas (4-7)
- Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (5-10)
- Dilan Schwartz, Alpine, Calif., Suzuki (13-6)
- Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (12-9)
- Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM (9-12)
250 points standings
- Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 281
- Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 273
- Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 237
- Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha – 220
- RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 205
- Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki – 178
- Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Yamaha – 172
- Michael Mosiman, Sebastopol, Calif., GasGas – 154
- Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna – 148
- Garrett Marchbanks, Coalville, Utah, Yamaha – 141
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
Round 4: Dylan Ferrandis wins again, stretches points’ lead over Ken Roczen
Round 5: Dylan Ferrandis remains hot in 450s; another new 250 winner with Hunter Lawrence
Round 7: Justin Barcia snaps Ferrandis streak at Spring Creek, gives GasGas first victory