Round five of the AMA Pro Motocross series–the second race of the Labor Day Weekend doubleheader at RedBud MX in Buchanan, Michigan–saw Team Honda HRC’s Christian Craig finish ninth overall via 10-6 finishes, while a 9-9 moto tally put teammate Chase Sexton 10th on the day.
Craig enjoyed a decent ride in the first moto, running in the top five before suffering a fall that eventually contributed to him finishing 10th. After some minor mechanical adjustments, he showed consistent speed in the second outing and charged to a sixth finish to earn ninth overall. It was an up-and-down day for Sexton, whose results were damaged by crashes. The first moto saw him go down in the second turn, but he quickly rebounded and worked his way up to sixth before a fall slowed him. He finished ninth. In moto two Sexton was balked by a crash with Justin Barcia in the second corner, but he gained momentum and moved up to sixth place before falling and taking a ninth-place finish for 10th overall.
Though the RedBud National is typically held on Independence Day Weekend, round 5 of the AMA Pro Motocross series was scheduled on Labor Day Monday, making it the first Monday event held in 45 years.
With only two days off following the previous round, the Team Honda HRC crew spent most of their time at the track, prepping the bikes for Monday’s race. Meanwhile, Christian Craig passed some downtime with his wife Paige, while Chase Sexton visited a local race near his hometown in La Moille, Illinois, less than a three-hour drive west.
On Sunday afternoon, Team Honda HRC mechanics did some final minor prep work on the bikes. This included bleeding hydraulic brake and clutch lines and preparing spare parts. The Showa technicians also serviced the suspension components.
Though Team Manager Erik Kehoe was home sick during RedBud I, he rejoined the team in Michigan on Sunday for round five the next day.
During qualifying, Sexton posted the fifth-fastest lap, a 2’05.075” in the final session. Craig’s 2’07.155” in the same session was good enough for 10th-quickest.
After the first 450 moto, it was evident to the Team Honda HRC crew that Sexton’s bike was having mechanical issues, and repairs were made prior to the second moto.
During 250 racing, GEICO Honda’s Jeremy Martin battled back from a poor moto-one start but was taken down in a pass attempt by Dylan Ferrandis and finished 11th. Martin came back with a solid win in the second moto but found himself one point away from the overall podium. Jeremy’s teammate Jett Lawrence was also competitive, earning sixth overall, with Jo Shimoda, Carson Mumford and Hunter Lawrence earning 10th, 15th and 18th overall, respectively.
Due to several riders flying home following Monday’s race, the post-race press conference was rescheduled for Tuesday evening via Zoom.
With five of the nine rounds in the books, Team Honda HRC will enjoy a weekend off before heading to Millville, Minnesota, for the sixth round of the AMA Pro Motocross series.
Christian Craig 62
“Qualifying was okay today. The track was a lot different than Friday, so I had to change my bike setup a little bit to adjust. In both motos I got pretty good starts. In the first moto I was running in the top five, then had a tip-over after a couple laps and couldn’t really find my groove. I finished in 10th, which I wasn’t pumped on. We made some changes to my bike for the second moto and I felt much better. I charged the whole moto and felt more comfortable. I kept fighting and ended that one in sixth. Overall a pretty decent day.”
Chase Sexton 23
“Today was not very good. I started off the day crashing off LaRocco’s Leap, which put a damper on it. I then qualified fifth. In the first moto I was in fifth and then crashed on the first lap. From there I made my way back up to seventh and then had a mechanical problem with my shifter, and I went back to ninth. In the second moto I got a good start, but got cleaned out by [Justin] Barcia in the second corner and then made my way back up to sixth and then hit the deck again. We’ll rebound and come back at Millville.”
“This was another race where our guys rode better than what the end results showed. I think they were hindered by mistakes. Christian hit the ground and Chase had a major crash in practice, where he was really lucky to get away feeling okay. All in all, they put together some solid laps, just not until the end for the final result. We have to learn and work on some things from this weekend and come back strong for our next race.”
Mechanic (Christian Craig)
“Another solid top-10 day for Christian. We were able to dodge the forecasted rain and have a chance to improve at another great RedBud track. The starts were good again and he showed a lot of heart in the second moto, having to pick up his pace late in the race to hold off a group of charging riders. I’m looking forward to a quick weekend off and a few days to try to improve the bike and to crack that top five in Millville.”
Mechanic (Chase Sexton)
“I think RedBud number 2 wasn’t bad. The results didn’t reflect how well Chase rode today. In the second moto, he got tangled up with another rider and crashed in the second turn, worked his way back up to sixth and then while making a charge to fifth he had a tip-over. We are going to regroup during this off-weekend and get back to our normal training/riding routine and come out swinging at Millville.”