Monday, August 22, 2016

The Others...Budds Creek.

Champions were crowned with a round to go in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships at Budds Creek Motocross Park in Mechanicsville, Maryland. Both Cooper Webb and Ken Roczen would get their number one plates, although they'd have very different days at round eleven.

In qualifying Cooper Webb would set the fastest 250 time with a 2:02.743 while privateer Nick Gaines 2:06.642 qualified him 19th and the only privateer inside the top 20.  The 297 of Henry Miller would get in the show by winning the 250 consi race. In 450 qualifying it'd be Ken Roczen's 2:01.674 at the top. The number 99 of Heath Harrison qualified 10th with his 2:06.182. The 450 consi race would go to the 97 of Tevin Tapia. We were a little shocked to see the 292 of Austin Howell just miss the show after great motos last week at Unadilla.

The 250 class showed it's depth with six different riders on the podium through the day. It'd be the 4-1 moto scores of Zach Osborne that put the Husqvarna on the top step. Earning his first career victory. Swapping scores and taking second overall was Star Yamaha's Alex Martin with 1-4 motos. Austin Forkner would grab the last step on the podium with 5-2 motos. Although his 5th overall on the day wasn't what Cooper Webb had in mind, he'd be able to find the podium in the second moto with a 3rd. It'd earn him enough points to clinch his first outdoor title.

The 450 class would see it's champion crowned as well. Ken Roczen would do just as he's done nearly all season and dominate both motos. 1-1 motos would clinch the championship and the celebration would begin. The RCH | Jimmy John's rig would be rocking late into the night. Justin Barcia would get on the box for the first time this season with 3-3 motos, good enough for second overall on his JGR Yamaha. KTM's Marvin Musquin took 3rd overall by going 2-4. Eli Tomac would miss the podium, going 6-2.

Privateers scoring points. In the 250 class, Nick Gaines would go 18-15 for 18th overall onboard his Traders Racing Kawasaki. The only other privateer to score points in both motos would be the number 91 of Brandon Scharer. Marshal Weltin would crack the top 20 in moto one with 16th but 35th in moto two put him 20th overall. Keep an eye on the 89 next week. In the 450 class, a long list of injuries has opened the door for breakout rides. Hayden Mellross put his number 72 Yamaha inside the top 20 of moto one and near the top 10 of moto two. His 16-13 scores were good enough for 14th overall. Noah McConahy (15-15), Heath Harrison (12-20) and John Short (20-17) were also in the top 20 of both motos. Earning points in one moto we'd see Paul Coates, Cade Clason, Jerry Robin and Jason Brooks.

Rider: Hayden Mellross

And now...The Others.

20. 89 Marshal Weltin
21. 492 Luke Clout
22. 91 Brandon Scharer
23. 70 Tony Archer
24. 174 Josh Osby
25. 297 Henry Miller
26. 56 Jackson Richardson
27. 212 Chase Marquier
28. 618 Dylan Merriam
29. 367 Hunter Sayles
30. 125 Josh Mosiman
31. 61 Gannon Audette
32. 39 Jordon Smith
33. 570 Cody VanBuskirk
34. 332 Jeremy Hand
35. 593 Martin Castelo
36. 637 Bobby Piazza
37. 180 Bryar Perry
38. 449 Dakota Kessler
39. 641 Keith Tucker
40. 736 Kenny Venarchick

20. 903 Tyler Medaglia
21. 761 Cade Clason
22. 851 Jerry Robin
23. 81 Jason Brooks
24. 281!Max Tannenbaum
25. 868 Michael Docherty
26. 80 Zack Williams
27. 62 Justin Starling
28. 421 Vann Martin
29. 309 Jeremy Smith
30. 356 Daniel Lippman
31. 881 Jerry Lorenz
32. 314 Alex Ray
33. 987 Matthew Babbitt
34. 151 Dakota Tedder
35. 456 Jacob Grove
36. 97 Tevin Tapia
37. 412 Jared Lesher
38. 95 Dustin Pipes
39. 79 Nick Schmidt 
40. 88 Ronnie Stewart

11 down and 1 to go. The series rolls into Crawfordsville, Indiana for the season finale at Ironman Raceway. Will we see Webb redeem himself of a bad weekend? Who will be the top privateers? Our picks are Weltin and McConahy. Either way #cheerprivateer.

-Kyle Pesci

"The Others" is brought to you by FXR Racing. Bringing superior moto gear to North America since 1996 and supporting the core of the sport, privateers. Support those who support us. Follow @fxrmoto on Instagram and visit

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Others...Unadilla.

I'm not going to start this week's "The Others" with a traditional intro. First things first. Round 10 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Nationals showed the true colors of motocross. From Team USA being announced for Motocross Des Nations with Jason Anderson, Cooper Webb and Alex Martin. The BTO Sports rig catching fire Friday night and seeing Factory KTM, Troy Lee Designs KTM and Rockstar Husqvarna along with a few random industry guys pull together to get the team on the line Saturday morning. That moment when Jessy Nelson was laying under his bike, badly injured and privateer Cody Williams stopped to help move Jessy's bike. As simple as when the day ended and storms rolled in, teams and riders working together in the rain to pack rigs. This weekend showed the true side of motocross. Motocross is a family. 

Photo: Kyle Pesci
Severe weather would roll through the New York hills Friday night. Track conditions would be tricky when practice time came on race day. However the Unadilla workers and the moto gods gave us an amazing day of racing. Sunshine and temps in the 100's made the track difficult for different reasons, as many riders struggled with the sudden extreme humidity. I spoke with privateers Noah McConahy and Kevin Rookstool who were both experiencing headaches and dizziness. Both would pull out of the second motos. 

The 250 class continues to be anyone's game from moto to moto yet Star Yamaha rider Cooper Webb has begun to run away with the championship. Joey Savatgy has struggled since round four to put together two motos. He'd finish 2nd in moto one but fail to score a point in moto two. Austin Forkner pulled the holeshot and looked strong at the beginning of moto one but a restart wasn't as kind and he'd come around on lap one mid pack. 7-2 would put him 3rd overall on the day. Aaron Plessinger was impressive all day. He never had a great start but would charge to 3rd in both motos. Good enough for 2nd overall. Speaking of solid days, Bradley Taft made his pro debut. Just graduating from Loretta Lynn's he was thrown in the mix and impressed me. He struggled early in moto one but charged the entire race. Taft would then come out in moto two and finish a very respectable 12th. Welcome to the show number 296.

The 450 class...Ken Roczen. 
That's it, enough said. The 450 class is Ken Roczen's. He had huge leads in the opening laps of both motos and looked in control at all times. RedBull KTM rider Marvin Musquin looked determined and had great speed. He'd go 3-2 for 2nd overall. Eli Tomac might be the most fun guy to watch on the track. His style and charge is unreal although it seems he is still searching to get his Kawasaki set up to his liking. Eli would host a packed team meeting every time he got off the bike. His 2-3 moto swap with Musquin left him 3rd on the day.

Rider: Austin Howell | Photo: Kyle Pesci
Our friends over at the Traders Kawasaki team had a good day with all their riders making the show. It'd be Anthony Rodriguez moving to the 450 class this week and making his mark. A-Rod would go 14-12 for 12th overall. Other privateers finding themselves inside the 450 class top 20 of each moto would be: John Short(20-17), Hayden Mellross(18-16), and Austin Howell(15-18). Scoring points in one moto: Matt Babbitt, Dustin Pipes, Jerry Robin, Noah McConahy and Zack Williams. In the 250 class Marshal Weltin would be the only privateer in the top 20 of both motos. He'd go 18-14 for 17th overall. Tony Archer, Vann Martin, Henry Miller, Nick Gaines and Bradley Taft would score points in one moto.

Rider: Marshal Weltin | Photo: Kyle Pesci
Jessy Nelson's injuries aren't completely clear yet and we are wishing him a speedy recovery. One thing we do know is the 677 machine of Cody Williams is one bad dude. After an impressive 22nd in moto one, he'd look to score points in moto two but something more important was in the cards for Cody. Mid moto he'd stop to help a fellow racer in need. Fans, please find Cody I the pits of these final rounds and give him a high five and a thank you. #cheerprivateer for the 677.

To help Jessy please visit:

And now...The Others.

20. 66 Arnaud Tonus
21. 289 Mitchell Harrison
22. 73 Nick Gaines
23. 297 Henry Miller
24. 421 Vann Martin
25. 174 Josh Osby
26. 70 Tony Archer
27. 91 Brandon Scharer
28. 212 Chase Marquier
29. 702 Josiah Hempen
30. 46 Jackson Richardson
31. 716 Timmy Crosby
32. 125 Josh Mosiman
33. 677 Cody Williams
34. 964 Sean Ballard
35. 492 Luke Clout
36. 411 Dylan Walker
37. 641 Keith Tucker
38. 660 Ston Esler
39. 16 Zach Osborne
40. 319 Coty Schock

20. 95 Dustin Pipes
21. 851 Jerry Robin
22. 96 Noah McConahy
23.80 Zack Williams
24. 526 Colton Aeck
25. 88 Ronnie Stewart
26. 813 Aaron Lampi
27. 535 Joey Peters
28. 356 Daniel Lippman
29. 151 Dakota Tedder
30. 399 Broc Peterson
31. 123 Kevin Rookstool
32. 314 Alex Ray
33. 97 Tevin Tapia
34. 309 Jeremy Smith
35. 81 Jason Brooks
36. 868 Michael Docherty
37. 99 Heath Harrison
38. 581 Kyle Bitterman
39. 796 Michael Bidus
40. 175 Paul Coates

Next up the series heads to Budds Creek in Maryland and with just two rounds left I expect to see some riders lay it all out to make a statement and hoping to open some eyes for the 2017 season.

-Kyle Pesci

"The Others" is brought to you by FXR Racing. Bringing superior moto gear to North America since 1996 and supporting the core of the sport, privateers. Support those who support us. Follow @fxrmoto on Instagram and visit

Thursday, August 11, 2016

No Breaks...Unadilla Upcoming.

Off time doesn't mean down time. A two week break in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships allowed riders a chance to go home, recover and build for the final three rounds.

The break is centered around the Loretta Lynn's Amateur National that takes place in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. As we look for "the next big thing" riders try to prove themselves ready for the next step in their career. A championship at the ranch can set you up for a professional career. A bad week at the ranch could possibly turn heads in another direction. One highly anticipated rider was the 22 of Chase Sexton. Heading in to the week his fate was already written with the Geico Honda team. His results proved he's ready for the next step but a knee injury means we may have to wait until supercross to see his pro debut. Joining the Cycle Trader team will be Bradley Taft. Taft WILL turn heads at the pro level. My disappointment of the week came from Joey Crown. The Kawasaki rider came in as the teams top gun but was way off the pace in the A class. He'd earn himself one moto win in the final of the A/B All-Star class. It sounds like we may see Crown go one more year in the A and Pro Sport classes, making himself and Garrett Marchbanks hopefuls for the Pro Circuit team. However many riders who even had support at the amateur level will be taking the privateer approach as they turn pro.

Loretta Lynn's
At the professional level it'd be a chance for "silly season" to start sorting out and the who is going where to make more sense. Privateers trying to prove they deserve more support in 2017 is getting interesting here towards the end of the season. Noah McConahy has been the most consistent guy and is so close to top tens. There is an open spot at Rockstar Husqvarna, but the 96 is yet to get the call. One call he did receive was that to represent Puerto Rico at the Motocross Des Nations. Heath Harrison has had some rides that prove him worthy of better support and the once definition of privateer, Freddie Noren has once again gotten the call to fill in at American Honda. They will be slapping 43 on the 14 machine for the last few rounds. Unfortunately one of our top privateer picks, Jesse Wentland suffered a broken collarbone and will miss the end of the season. Jesse is one of those guys who has again and again proved his speed and will be looking to improve himself in 2017.

Rider: Freddie Noren | Photo: Bryon Eshenburg
As we head back in to race mode it will be a mix of some injuries taking out top names and guys out to make a statement in the final rounds. What privateers do we look out for? In the 250 class I say keep your eye out for Henry Miller and Vann Martin to put in some eye opening rounds. I'm calling Miller with a 16th and Martin 19th at Unadilla. As for the 450 guys, keep your eyes on Jason Brooks and Jerry Lorenz. Lorenz has shown speed to be just inside that top 20 but hasn't found that little bit of luck it will take to finish there. It's coming. I've got these two at 18th and 19th in New York with Lorenz on top.

Rider: Jerry Lorenz | Photo: MIchael Flavell 
That's it. Let's get back to racing and see how this all plays out. Remember to cheer privateer.

-Kyle Pesci