2021 Hangtown Motocross Recap
That’s a wrap.
The 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship Series concluded Saturday at the Hangtown Classic just outside Sacramento, CA with a Champion placing his stamp on the season while another made it look difficult.
In the 250 class, Jett Lawrence enjoyed a 23 point lead over Justin Cooper heading into Round 12 but as Cooper checked out in Moto 1 Lawrence hit the dirt then later a rider went down in front of him nearly causing a tip over. Ultimately, he was at one point out of the Top 20, managed to finish eighth but dropped his lead by 10 points heading into the final Moto.
Again, Cooper (1-1) checked out for his first sweep of the season and second overall as Lawrence trailed at one time in 13th place after a small tip over. But ever the fighter, Lawrence (8-3) rebounded and finished third for fifth overall and clinched the 2021 250 class Motocross title by eight points.
“The feeling when I went across the finish line was my body was dying. That’s the actual feeling,” he said in the post-race news conference. “I’ll tell you what didn’t happen. I didn’t ride good at all. I sucked today. I don't think it’s actually really sunk in yet, realistically. Once it really sinks in, I think I’ll actually believe it but I’m still dreaming right now.”
Lawrence finished the season with four overalls including sweeping the previous two rounds that gave him the points lead needed to endure the mistakes he wrought on Saturday. Cooper had a lock on second-place to end the season as Hunter Lawrence (3-9) finished third (sixth overall on the day) on the final podium 110 points back from Cooper. For the day, Jo Shimoda (4-2) took second and RJ Hampshire (2-6) finished third.
Dylan Ferrandis (1-3) wrapped up the 450 class Championship a round early but why stop there? Ferrandis and his primary competitor Ken Roczen battled for the lead early and about halfway through the race, Ferrandis pulled into the lead, just as he’s done all year and grabbed the checkers for his eighth Moto win of the season, best among all riders.
But Roczen had runner-up aspirations to ride for and his second place to Eli Tomac’s fourth in Moto 1 gave him a 16 point cushion heading into the final race of the year. Tomac (4-1) had been on the gas on recent weeks, winning the prior two rounds and until a tip over in Moto 1 on Saturday was competing for the Top 3 and adding to Roczen’s pressure to hang on the second-place for the season.
Roczen’s (2-DNF) season though came to a sudden halt in the first turn of Moto 2 when he collided with Coty Schock (6-20) and went down. The result? An injured foot and DNF. Tomac escaped the melee and eventually got around Cooper Webb (3-2) and Christian Craig (5-4) for the lead and his sixth Moto win of the season. But Ferrandis didn’t escape unscathed as his bike hooked up with Schock’s forcing Ferrandis to stop his race and unhook. He restarted in 23rd and fought his way back to third-place clinching the overall, giving him eight wins on the season breaking a tie with Roczen, and putting the final stamp on his rookie 450 class season.
The 2021 Motocross season managed the coronavirus pandemic with a full season with only one venue getting repeat business and race fans coning out in droves. The United States will not send a team to the 2021 Motocross of Nations so the Silly Season begins.