Dylan Ferrandis wins Motocross Round 9 at Budds Creek as time runs down for Ken Roczen

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Ken Roczen scored as many points as Dylan Ferrandis in Round 9 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season at Budds Creek, Md., but by virtue of winning Moto 2, Ferrandis took the overall win. More importantly, Ferrandis maintains his championship advantage with six motos remaining and time running off the clock on the 2021 season.

Ferrandis overcame a fifth-place start in Moto 1 and came out of the gate fourth in Moto 2.

Roczen grabbed the early lead in both motos with Ferrandis trailing behind. But while Roczen was able to hold his advantage till the end of Moto 1 and Ferrandis climbed to a distant second, Roczen could not keep the French rookie at bay in Moto 2.

“Last weekend at Unadilla, I go beat so bad by Ken,” Ferrandis told NBC Sports’ Ashley Reynard. “We came back this week as a team, all together, and addressed the problem. We made some changes on the bike this week and we understood why we were so slow last weekend. So we made the change and I was happy about it.  This weekend, the bike was insane.”

A slight bobble by Roczen at the halfway point of Moto 2 brought the top four together, which were Roczen, teammate Chase Sexton, Ferrandis and Eli Tomac.

Then Sexton almost jumped off course, allowing Ferrandis by – and once Ferrandis has the leader in sight in 2021, it’s only a matter of time before he attacks. With seven minutes remaining on the clock, Ferrandis swept past and slowly pulled away.

With the tie breaker of the better Moto 2 finish, Ferrandis was awarded the overall victory.

He will be much more interested in the fact that Roczen now needs to make up 13 points per round. That means Ferrandis is going to have to fail to podium a couple of times in the final six motos – something he has done only twice in 18 motos so far in 2021.

Ferrandis was fifth in Moto 2 at Spring Creek and Moto 1 at Washougal.

“It was fun,” Ferrandis said. “It’s most fun when you win.”

Roczen can only control what happens on his bike for the remainder of the season. With three moto wins in the last two rounds and a second-place finish, he has done his job. If not for a crash in Moto 1 of Spring Creek and a pair of motos outside the top five the following week at Washougal, the 450 points’ battle would be as tight as it is in the 250 class.

“I’m satisfied with a second-place,” Roczen said. “I gave it all I had. The track was tough and those guys were right behind me the whole time.”

Third and fourth-place went to another pair of riders who swapped positions in the two motos.

Tomac finished third overall with a 4-3.

“(Moto 2) felt much better than Moto 1 overall,” Tomac said. “The first two guys, we were basically doing the same pace. It was tough. I was happy to end the day on a stronger note than Moto 1.”

Chase Sexton was fourth with a 3-4.

Cooper Webb rounded out the top five with his 5-6.

450 results (moto finish)

  1. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (2-1)
  2. Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda (1-2)
  3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (4-3)
  4. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (3-4)
  5. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM (5-6)
  6. Joey Savatgy, Thoasville, Ga., KTM (6-7)
  7. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (10-5)
  8. Dean Wilson, Scotland, Husqvarna (8-9)
  9. Coty Schock, Dover, Del. (7-11)
  10. Max Anstie, Newbury, England, Suzuki (9-10)

450 points standings

  1. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha – 392
  2. Ken Roczen, Germany, Honda – 353
  3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 321
  4. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 308
  5. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 240
  6. Cooper Webb, Newport, N.C., KTM – 240
  7. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., GasGas – 239
  8. Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Yamaha – 224
  9. Aaron Plessinger, Hamilton, Ohio, Yamaha – 217
  10. Joey Savatgy, Thomasville, Ga., KTM – 189

In 250s, Jeremy Martin continues to impress with his third overall win in the last four rounds as Jett Lawrence shaved one point off Justin Cooper’s lead as they take a razor thin margin with six motos remaining.

Since his incredible performance on his home track of Springs Creek when he finished 1-1 while riding injured, Martin has arguably been the top rider in the field with a sweep of the podium and four moto wins.

Motocross Round 9 Budds
Jeremy Martin’s third overall win of the 2021 season gave him 20 for the career and moved him to fourth on the all time list. (ProMotcross.com / Align Media)

At Budds Creek, he got off to a relatively modest start – by his recent standards, at least – and finished third in Moto 1. He got the holeshot in Moto 2, however, and rode away from the field. With this win, he has 20 career victories and moves into fourth on all-time list, tied with Steve Lamson and one ahead of the legendary Ryan Villopoto.

“I’m able to dig deep because as a kid I had to do chores at Millville and weed whack all the hills and stuff in the middle of the summer,” Martin told Reynard after the race. “I’m kind of used to the heat.”

Despite these strong runs, he has not been able to make up any significant ground on the points’ leaders Cooper and Lawrence.

Cooper dominated the first race at Budds Creek to score his third consecutive Moto 1 win and fifth of the season. But the 1-1 he so desperately wants, and at this stage of the season needs, continues to elude him. Cooper got off to a slow start in Moto 2 and started seventh. His principle rival in the championship hunt, launched third and quickly gained second.

Cooper minimized the points’ loss by climbing to fourth at the end of Moto 2 and finishing third overall.

“I came down with a pretty big sickness a few days ago,” Cooper said. “Feeling really bad the last couple of days. Just happy to be here, honestly. My energy is really low right now and I didn’t have the fight for those guys.”

Lawrence’s bad start came in Moto 1. Like Cooper in the second race, he was mired in seventh at the start, but third was just in front of him through most of the first half of that moto. Lawrence caught second-place Austin Forkner with eight minutes remaining on the clock and as the two navigated heavy traffic, Lawrence surged into the runner-up spot. It was too late to catch Cooper.

Lawrence’s 2-2 was enough for second overall and with Cooper finishing 1-4, Lawrence gained a single point. Three points separate the leaders with three rounds remaining.

“Sadly, I’m still not happy,” Lawrence said. “I finally sorted my start. My start was really good. … Basically, I went to play poker with no money. I came into a pretty finish, but I had a pretty rough week. Feeling not the greatest.”

Jett’s brother, Hunter Lawrence actually helped gain that one point by finishing ahead of Cooper in Moto 2. With a 6-3, Hunter finished fourth overall.

Forkner rounded out the top five with a 4-5 to score his best result of the season. His previous best was a sixth overall at High Point in June.

250 results (moto finish)

  1. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha (3-1)
  2. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (2-2)
  3. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (1-4)
  4. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (6-3)
  5. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki (4-5)
  6. Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki (7-7)
  7. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (9-6)
  8. Ty Masterpool, Paradise, Texas, GasGas (8-9)
  9. Dilan Schwartz, Alpine, Calif., Suzuki (10-8)
  10. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna (5-15)

250 points standings

  1. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 367
  2. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 364
  3. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Yamaha – 307
  4. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 298
  5. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 270
  6. Jo Shimoda, Japan, Kawasaki – 220
  7. Jalek Swoll, Belleview, Fla., Husqvarna – 195
  8. Austin Forkner, Richards, Mo., Kawasaki, – 186
  9. Colt Nichols, Muskogee, Okla., Yamaha – 172
  10. Max Vohland, Sacramento, Calif., KTM – 168

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 6: Justin Barcia snaps Ferrandis streak at Spring Creek, gives GasGas first victory

Round 7: Chase Sexton gets first 2021 win at Washougal, Jeremy Martin doubles in 250s

Round 8: Ken Roczen gets back in the 450 chase; Jett Lawrence trims Justin Cooper lead in 250s