The AMA Pro Motocross Championship returned to Budds Creek Motocross Park this weekend, where rain threatened but gave way to warmer conditions and great on-track action.
On a hot streak of his own, Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen qualified fastest and went on to take his CRF450R to victory in 450MX moto 1. Roczen followed his morning results up with a strong second-place finish in moto 2, earning the German a second-place overall result.
Following an equally strong ride in morning qualifying, Chase Sexton found himself right behind his teammate in both motos and fighting for the lead. The Illinois native powered to the podium in 450MX moto 1 and ended the day with a solid fourth overall via 3-4 moto results. Meanwhile, Jett and Hunter Lawrence finished second and fourth overall in the 250MX class, respectively. Jett’s second-place finish was the result of a strong qualifying performance and double podiums (2-2), while Hunter’s fourth marked the end to a more challenging day, the Australian rebounding from a tough first moto to finish third in 250MX moto two for 6-3 results.
After the gate dropped in the first 450MX moto, Roczen made a string of well-executed passes to charge from third into the lead. Teammate Sexton joined the group by way of hard passes that enabled him to jump from fourth to second behind teammate Roczen. Both riders showed great speed throughout the moto, with Sexton inching closer to the front until ultimately being passed by Dylan Ferrandis. Roczen went on to take the first 450MX win of the day, with Sexton finishing in third. The German rider carried his speed into the second moto, racing to the holeshot with Sexton close by in fourth. Sexton once again made a pair of strong passes in an effort to work his way to the front, though unfortunate mishaps relegated him to fourth, where he remained until the finish for fourth overall (3-4 moto tallies). Following an exciting battle between himself, Eli Tomac and Dylan Ferrandis, Roczen was passed by Ferrandis with less than seven minutes to go, the Team Honda HRC rider finishing a close second.
In the 250MX class, Jett Lawrence patiently made his way to third place before getting into a heated battle with Austin Forkner for second. Lawrence took the position, leaving him and Justin Cooper out front. Though having made a charge for the lead, Lawrence would ultimately have to settle for second, a result he would repeat in moto 2. Hunter Lawrence suffered a poor start and a series of other challenges in moto 1, which forced him to settle for sixth. Hunter bounced back in the second moto and rode to a solid third place finish for fourth overall.
Team Honda HRC spent the past week preparing for Budds Creek, with all four riders testing in Florida. Trey Canard also tested with team members at Fox Raceway on Wednesday.
This weekend marked AMA Pro Motocross’s return to Budds Creek Motocross Park after the venue was skipped last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was marked by hot, humid weather, with some intermittent cloud cover throughout the afternoon. With its demanding, technical layout, many considered the race to be one of the toughest of the season.
The Budds Creek event ran at 100% capacity, with early entry pit passes made available and enabling fans to access the pits from 9 am until noon.
Once again, Roczen dominated qualifying in the 450MX class, posting a 1’48.983” lap in the final session. Sexton topped the first qualifying session and finished fourth fastest in the final session at 1’49.602”. FXR/Chaparral Honda’s Coty Schock was tenth best, and privateer Jeremy Hand was 22nd.
Jett Lawrence posted the second-fastest time in 250MX qualifying, with Hunter Lawrence sixth fastest, at 1’52.584” in the final session. FXR/Chaparral Honda rider Carson Mumford posted the 11th-best time, and TiLube Honda’s Maxwell Sanford was 27th.
Roczen remains 39 points behind Dylan Ferrandis in the 450 class standings with only three rounds remaining. Sexton remains fourth, 84 out of the lead. In the 250MX class, Jett gained a point and remains in second, a mere three-points behind title rival Justin Cooper. Meanwhile, Hunter Lawrence now sits fourth, only nine points behind Jeremy Martin for third.
All four Red Riders participated in the virtual post-race press conference Saturday evening. Sexton and both Lawrence brothers also attended the post-race media-corral interviews, which included the top 10 finishers from each class.
With just three rounds remaining in the 2021 AMA Pro Motocross Championship, Team Honda HRC will now travel to what is known as the motorsports mecca of the greater Indianapolis area this Saturday, for the 10th round of the season at Ironman Raceway in Crawfordsville, Indiana.