Round 2 of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship experienced heavy rain, which created muddy conditions for its second race in a row at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. It was an up-and-down day for Team Honda HRC, with Christian Craig posting a sixth-place overall result, while teammate Chase Sexton wasn’t able to ride to his potential in the second 450MX moto and finished 13th overall.
Craig charged the tough track conditions in the first moto, running in the top three before suffering a series of falls that eventually landed him in 10th. He showed good speed in the second outing, battling to a sixth-place finish and earning that position overall. Meanwhile, Sexton enjoyed a decent start in the first moto, completing lap one in third place. He then advanced to second, butl a crash put him in sixth at the finish. Moto two saw Sexton held up after a fall in the first turn, but he gained momentum and moved up to 15th place before experiencing mechanical issues on the last lap and netting a 20th-place finish for 13th overall, and ready to apply the lessons learned.
- Round 2 was the second AMA Pro National ever held at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. These two rounds also represented the second of back-to-back National rounds ever hosted in the history of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship.
- While most Team Honda HRC members made their way back to Tennessee on Friday evening, the mechanics arrived on Wednesday to perform some final minor prep work on the bikes. Having spent 11 days at the Ranch, the trucks leave Monday morning for round three.
- MX Sports Pro Racing and AMA officials reported being impressed by the positivity everyone exhibited at the first two rounds, with officials praising the teams for faithfully following the COVID-19-related guidelines.
- For round two, those guidelines again included social distancing at the team work pods (a setback line was painted six feet away from each pod), wearing masks properly at all times (except riders when wearing a helmet), making hand sanitizer available on tables, and providing designated “drop off” tables adjacent to work pods for delivery/pick-up of gear, goggles, helmets and tires. Only essential personnel were permitted in the team pods, including riders, crew members and immediate family members, as approved by the team managers. Those deemed not essential (industry support personnel, private doctors, agents, media, etc.) were prohibited from entering team pods. As at the last round, only 5,000 fans were admitted to the facility. While autograph sessions have been suspended for the season, teams provided pre-signed posters to MX Sports for fans. Rules regarding rider assistance were updated for round two, with each rider permitted to have one team representative, one personal support person and one mechanic at the podium area.
- Chapel Service was conducted Saturday morning at the MX Sports Pro Semi for those who wanted to attend.
- Due to rain and the resulting track conditions, the first set of practices were canceled, as were start practices and consolation races, giving each group only five minutes of free practice and 15 minutes timed practice.
- The top three riders per class, as well as several other requested riders, participated in a virtual post-race press conference Saturday evening.
- Sexton posted the sixth-fastest lap in the single practice session, at 2’00.912”. Craig finished the session with a ninth-best time of 2’01.352”.
- GEICO Honda’s Jeremy Martin enjoyed a solid ride in the 250 class, with 3-2 moto results placing him the overall victory. Though Martin risked bike issues toward the end of the second moto, he persevered and finished second behind his brother, Alex Martin. Jeremy’s teammate Carson Mumford was also competitive, earning 10th overall, with Jett Lawrence, Jo Shimoda and Hunter Lawrence earning 12th, 19th and 25th overall, respectively.
- With two of the nine AMA Pro Motocross rounds now in the books, round three is set to run this Saturday in Crawfordsville, Indiana.
Christian Craig 62
“My day started off really good. I was able to qualify ninth, which was better than last week. I felt good on the bike and we made some improvements during the week, so I was pretty happy going into the first moto. It rained before that and was pretty sloppy, but I had a decent start. I was fifth or sixth and then passed up to third and was pretty much riding on my own around there for a while. I ended up tipping over, got stuck there for a bit and that was kind of the end of that. I fell three more times, just little tip-overs that took a lot out of me. Somehow, I still got 10th with four falls. In the second moto I still got a pretty decent start and made some quick passes. I got up to sixth, battled with a couple good guys and ended up sixth overall, which was pretty good. It was one of my best results on the 450 overall, so I can’t complain even with with how muddy it was. I was happy with my riding in the second moto. It’s good to get a decent result and have something to build on for next week.”
Chase Sexton 23
“Today was an up-and-down day. It was pretty muddy from the rain the days before. In the only practice we got, I qualified sixth. I had a little bit of a get-off, but we were all good. In the first moto, I got a great start and was running second. I went down a couple times, putting me back to 11th, and then I made my way back up to sixth at the end–overall, not too bad of a first moto. Going into the second moto, I picked a gate that I thought was good, but I couldn’t see the bottom of it–the gate was full of water. It ended up being a big hole and I sunk, so I didn’t get that great of a start. I made my way up but ended up getting stuck for a lap. After that I was just trying to get back up as many positions as I could and got all the way back up to 13th. On the last lap my bike malfunctioned though, so it was a little bit of a rough day for me. I obviously wanted more, but we’re just trying to learn this year. Going to Indiana, one of my favorite tracks, I’ll try to get on the podium; I look forward to getting back to work this week and coming back swinging in Crawfordsville.”
“It was a tough weekend for us. The conditions were really tough, and our guys will have to leave here and learn what we can from this weekend. Both Chase and Christian learned a lot about managing efforts through the race to get the bikes to finish. It was a tough weekend with the conditions, but we’ll come back strong next week.”
Mechanic (Christian Craig)
“It was a much better round two for Christian. The track and conditions were pretty brutal, but he was able to manage well, running in the top three for much of the first moto. A couple falls affected the final score, but still a good day in some tough conditions. Hopefully we can get back to a dry track next weekend and keep progressing.”
Mechanic (Chase Sexton)
“All in all, it wasn’t too bad of a day. Practice went well, with P6 in the mud. In the first moto, Chase had a really good start and came around the corner in third. Throughout the moto, he made good progress, was up to second at one point, and then crashed in the mud and ended up coming home in sixth. In the second moto he didn’t have as much luck on the start, with a bad jump. On the second lap he got stuck behind a rider and ended up burying it in the mud. It took him about a lap to get his bike free, and he worked his way from 30th up to 15th, and with one lap to go he had a bike malfunction. Overall the results don’t reflect on how good Chase rode today, but he did and I think at Ironman we’re just going to have to put two motos back-to-back. Chase is making really good progress and we’re looking forward to next weekend.”