2021 Unadilla Motocross Recap
The 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series resumed Saturday for Round 8 at Unadilla after a lengthy three-week break proving, perhaps, rest makes for the best medicine, at least for some people.
In the 450 class, Ken Roczen (1-1) put a quick stop on the slow burn of points loss to points leader Dylan Ferrandis (2-3) with his first win since the second round. Roczen pretty much out hustled the field, leading 27 of 30 available laps and fully checking out after grabbing the MotoSport.com holeshot in the first race.
Roczen beat Ferrandis by 10 seconds in Moto 1 and the only real trouble he faced quickly wheelied out when Aaron Plessinger was on the chase for the lead only to mimic a rookie rolling the throttle for the first time as seen on many a YouTube videos and looped out but unfortunately during a high rate of speed. Plessinger appeared dazed and confused afterwards and did not return for the second race.
Roczen needed a bit more muscle in Moto 2 but quickly flexed as he passed Ferrandis for third shortly after the start, then got by Cooper Webb (5-5) in second and finally around Chase Sexton (11-2) for the lead after just three laps. Sexton, who endured a gnarly get-off just prior to the holeshot in Moto 1 and avoided the onslaught of dirt bikes still pinned fought back for 11th in the first race, grabbed the holeshot in Moto 2 and kept Roczen honest in that race while settling for second and fifth overall.
Though Roczen cut into Ferrandis’ Championship points lead by eight points he still needs to find 40 points in the last four rounds. Ferrandis finished second overall on a (3-2) day and Marvin Musquin (4-4) took third, his first podium of the season. Eli Tomac (3-7) entered the round just seven points back of Roczen for second-place took third in Moto 1 but seventh in Moto 2 for fourth overall dropping him 23 points back of Roczen
In the 250 class, Jett Lawrence (2-1) took the overall, his first victory since the opening round and moved to within four points of Justin Cooper (1-4) in the Championship standings but it didn’t come easy.
Cooper and Lawrence battled for the lead in moto1 for nearly half the race as Cooper, who grabbed the holeshot, maintained his ground and never gave an inch. His work paid off as he never lost the lead and eventually pulled away for the win.
In Moto 2, Cooper again grabbed the holeshot but got immediate pressure from Jeremy Martin (3-2) who took the lead but it didn’t last long. Lawrence worked his way upfront getting past Marin after the fifth lap and led the rest of the way for his first Moto 1 since RedBud and the overall. Cooper drooped to fourth in Moto 2 after a pass by RJ Hampshire (4-3) but still secured second overall just a point ahead of Martin who rounded out the podium. Martin who was injured earlier this year and missed a full round as well as notching zero points in a third Moto has worked his way back into contention and sits in fourth place just a point out of third. But he will need help to catch Lawrence and Cooper in the next four rounds.
No more breaks as the season resumes with Round 9 on Saturday at Budds Creek in Mechanicsville, MD. Until then, live Round 8 all again: