Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT — June 14, 2020
With the races counting down, the chances for the followers to catch the points leaders are running out. In the 450SX division, Eli Tomac(3) has a comfortable lead and can either play it safe and coast to a championship, or put on a charge and nail down the title before the final race.
250SX West riders Austin Forkner(52) and Justin Cooper(32) are within striking distance of points leader Dylan Ferrandis(1W). Forkner took a 3 point chunk out of that lead Wednesday night and is looking to claw his way closer in tonight’s motos.
Right out of the gate things got crazy in the 1st Heat as 16-year old Jett Lawrence(83) timed the start perfectly. Clear of the entire field, the youngster popped a couple of wheelies heading to the first corner. Lawrence had so much speed he went wide into the turn allowing Forkner to get to his inside. They touched wheels and Forkner, cutting the turn, forced Lawrence off the track taking the bike out from underneath him.
Just 100 yards down the track Jett’s brother, Hunter Lawrence(35), knocked Forkner off the track and down. Leaving Jett and Austin to battle from the back of the pack trying to make the top 9 to advance to the main event. And battle they did, fighting each other as they passed riders.
Forkner rode past Jett cleanly, but could not shake him. Jett found a spot to get back by and bumped Forkner off the track in the process. Forkner rebounded and made another clean pass of Jett leading to a 4th place finish. Jett Lawrence finished 6th.
The top 3, Justin Cooper, Alex Martin(26), and Hunter Lawrence.
Heat 2 continued the madness. Points leader Dylan Ferrandis, battling for the lead early, came out of the rythym section, slipped in the turn and went down. In heavy traffic, he struggled to get back on the bike and re-entered the race at the tail of the pack.
Christian Craig(62) took the heat win, Ferrandis managed to work his way back to 7th avoiding the last chance qualifier.
250SX West Main Event
Dylan Ferrandis took a poor starting position on the outside and converted it into a holeshot win. He was followed by Christian Craig(62), Hunter Lawrence, and Austin Forkner. Forkner quickly moved to 2nd and stalked Ferrandis waiting for the leader to give him an opening.
Just under the five minute mark the opportunity arose, Ferrandis passed a lapper just before a corner and Forkner rode to the inside. Exiting the corner Forkner collided with the points leader and forced him off track. He held off Ferrandis for the victory moving three points closer in the standings. Jett Lawrence finished 3rd to earn a podium spot after a day of hard aggressive riding.
250SX West Points Standings
The first Heat for the 450SX rider went off without the top 3 in the points standings. That did not mean it was lacking in excitement. Martin Davalos(37) took the early lead and looked like he might ride away to the win. Mid-race, Davalos inexplicably rode into a corner and dropped the bike.
Benny Bloss(50) passed the fallen leader to take the top spot. After some give and take with Dean Wilson(15), Bloss held on for his first heat win.
In Heat 2, Roczen, Tomac, and Webb lined up in adjacent gates for the start. A clean run through the first corner saw Roczen take the lead with Malcolm Stewart(27) and Tomac hot on his tail. Roczen led start to finish, Tomac got around Stewart for 2nd, and defending champion Cooper Webb finished 5th.
Broc Tickle(20), from Holly, MI, finished 10th knocking him into the last chance qualifier. A strong ride in the LCQ gave Tickle the early lead and ended with a 2nd place finish transferring him into the main event.
450SX Main Event
Cooper Webb earned the holeshot while bumping with Eli Tomac, sending the points leader back into the middle of the pack. Ken Roczen with a good start followed in 2nd.
Roczen passed for the lead and held on to win the Main event and move back into second place in the standings, still 24 points behind Tomac. Remarkably, Roczen rode in the event while suffering from a case of the shingles. Anyone who has experienced the painful rash and blisters that accompany the virus would find that unbelievable.
Webb finished 2nd, picking up two points on Tomac who fought back into third place at the checkered flag. Webb trails the points leader by 25 points.
Broc Tickle finished a respectable 12th.
450SX Points Standings