Report and results: Southwick AMA motocross – Ferrandis remains on top!

Dylan Ferrandis took his fourth overall win of the season but the second moto was stressful! Ferrandis holeshot race one and lead wire to wire even saying it as “quite easy,” but race two was anything but! Ferrandis got away in the top five but the bike started smoking by lap two and from then, with communication from his pit crew, Ferrandis laid off the clutch and rode steady to take third place and secure the overall – but he wasn’t overly enamoured with having to do it with Roczen taking second in race two and clawing some points championship back after a fourth in race one!

Eli Tomac was Jekyll and Hyde again with an eighth in race one then putting on the afterburners to reel in race leader Roczen in race two and pull away to win by ten seconds setting the fastest lap times of the race in doing so like it was 2017. But Tomac still missed the podium after a late race pass for Justin Barcia on Cooper Webb for fourth after a bad start forced Barcia to ride hard in race two after a strong second place in race one – but he got his reward with third overall.

Aaron Plessinger took third in race one and was away in the top three again in race two but was out by turn two with a mechanical ended his day early and a cruel championship blow for the long-haired American.

Cooper Webb had his best day so far to take fifth overall even if he did go from second to fifth in a lap in race two when Tomac and Ferrandis where on the charge but Webb definitely made big steps this weekend and was a lot closer to the front pace for longer.

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“For sure I was aware,” said Ferrandis on his bike steaming. “The team showed me on the pit-board early in the moto to save the bike. I think Eli was putting gate pressure on me I just want to go faster and forget the technique and be smart on the bike then I made a small mistake and he passed me and it took me a while to get the flow on the track. I was riding good I think I was coming back on Ken, then I had a small tip-over on the back of the track. I wanted to beat Ken so bad, I saw an opportunity to gain points in the championship, but the team really pushed me to save the bike and keep this third position and to get the overall. It’s hard, I’m a bit frustrated because I didn’t give everything I had. It’s hard sometimes when you can go faster but have to slow down to save the bike.”

Hunter Lawrence went 1-1 at Southwick to have the best day of his career in America and vault himself into title contention with his brother Jett and Justin Cooper.

Lawrence got a decent start in race one and took advantage of RJ Hampshire’s crash to take the lead and pulled away when RJ crashed again trying to put the pressure on the Aussie. In race two Hunter was a bit of a pinball up the start straight but somehow stayed on and came out just outside the top five. A couple of passes and a couple of crashes later, including yet another crash by RJ Hampshire who was leading agin when he went down, Lawrence found himself in second and chasing down Justin Cooper. Lawrence put in some hard laps after halfway to make the pass and then pull a lead on Cooper and take his first ever 1-1 on a brilliant day for the Aussie.

Pic: Honda Racing

Hunter said: “I don’t know where to start. I just want to thank everyone in my corner. It feels good – 1-1!”

RJ Hampshire had a shot at both moto wins but crashed out of the lead both times and crashed once more time in each moto making in seven crashes in four motos. Simply not good enough for a rider that rides on the edge too much.

Justin Cooper had a terrible start in race one but got back to sixth then took second in a strong ride in race two but he will be disappointed he couldn’t hold on for that second race win on a rough track.

Jett Lawrence had a tough first moto with a start that put him just outside the top ten then a big crash when he landed on Robertson and went down hard when Rockstar Husqvarna rider got sideways in the air. Lawrence would hit the deck again and came home a frustrated ninth. Race two was better despite another average start but he pulled through well to third and caught up to the two leaders, Cooper and brother Hunter. Jett now just has a three point lead over Cooper with Hunter 26 back.

Jo Shimoda continues to impress with two good starts and two strong rides going 3-4 to take a podium and is far and away Mitch Payton’s leading rider after another terrible day for Austin Forkner.

Report: Jonathan McCready

Ferrandis image: Yamaha