0

racerxonline.com

10 Things to Watch: Southwick

0
...

Moto-X 338 Southwick, MA Race Center: Southwick Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship

In six appearances at Southwick (250 and 450 Class), Justin Barcia has averaged a 3.5 overall finish, with one overall win (2009) and three additional overall podiums. While he was off the pace of Eli Tomac and Ken Roczen last year, Barcia finished a solid third overall, propelling him to five top five overall finishes to end the season. After struggling during the early portion of the season, Barcia finally seemed to turn things around last weekend at RedBud, leading seven laps in the second moto before crashing. Can he pick up his first podium of the season this weekend? –Chase Stallo

Year Class Overall Finish
2009 250 1st
2010 250 2nd
2011 450 7th
2012 250 5th
2013 450 3rd
2016 450 3rd

Note: Southwick did not host a National in 2014 or 2015

Second Go Around

On June 6, 1976 Southwick hosted its first ever National. Pierre Karsmakers won that day, ahead of Pennsylvania’s Tony DiStefano and California’s Brad Lackey. Southwick continued to hold a National until 1983, when it was left off the schedule. It returned in 1986 and remained on the Pro Motocross schedule until the 2014 season. Thanks to local heroes Keith Johnson, John Dowd, and others, Southwick, renamed The Wick 338, returned to hosting a round last year. This year, the crew has brought in 30 truckloads of sand, according to their Facebook page, in an effort to return the track to its original form. We’ll see how the changes play out for riders on Saturday. –Stallo

A photo taken of the track in June.
A photo taken of the track in June. The Wick 338 Motocross

No other track on the circuit provides a chance for locals to shine like Southwick. Period. From John Dowd, to Doug Henry, to little-known Mike Sottile, The Wick offers up a chance for the local NESC contingent to show off their sand skills. Who should you be keeping an eye out for this year? Here are a couple names that are scheduled to compete according to the pre-entry list: Ryan Dowd (son of THE John Dowd), Robby Marshall (on a two-stroke according to the pre-entry list and his Instagram), Aaron Zielfelder (son of Factory Connection’s Rick “Ziggy” Zielfelder), Eric Grondahl (his dad Mike owns the track), and many more. –Stallo

The Sleeper

As Steve Matthes mentioned in 3 on 3, one rider to watch for in the 250 Class is Yamalube/Star Racing Yamaha’s Dylan Ferrandis. While we have yet to see another dominating performance like we saw in the second 250 moto at Glen Helen, the AMA rookie has been solid, finishing top five in four of the last six motos. This weekend, we could see him return to the overall podium. Ferrandis has plenty of sand experience thanks to his GPs days, and has had plenty of success at Lommel in Belgium. Can he return to the winner’s circle this weekend? –Stallo 

Year Class Overall Finish
2012 MX2 14th
2013 MX2 13th
2014 MX2 3rd
2015 MX2 Did Not Race
2016 MX2 9th

Next Podium

Twenty-seven percent of our readers think that Justin Barcia will be the next 450 rider to land on the overall podium. As we mentioned above, Barcia has excelled at Southwick and is a good bet for this weekend. Another rider that’s picking up steam is his teammate, Weston Peick. While his wrist is far from 100 percent, it’s improved, and Peick has three top four finishes in the last four motos and has been on the cusp of the podium. Christian Craig led laps last weekend and if his hand is 100 percent, could make an impact. Also, keep an eye out for Justin Bogle and Dean Wilson—both have shown speed this year. Will we see another podium finisher this year on Saturday? –Stallo

Weather

Yeah, yeah, never talk about weather on Thursday for a Saturday race. I can see Weege shaking his head as I type this. But ... it’s worth mentioning that rain is expected in the area tonight (60 percent chance), tomorrow (70 percent chance), and Saturday (60 percent chance). It’ll probably be fine on Saturday, but it’s something to watch for. –Stallo

Musquin’s Back

Just when you thought the Frenchman’s season was over he comes blasting back to the podium at RedBud. It couldn’t have come at a better time either—Musquin’s dropped a serious number of points at High Point and Muddy Creek and badly needed to stop the bleeding. He still lost a few more points to Tomac, but that’s much better than the huge points losses he suffered the previous two weekends. He’s obviously feeling better—can he undo some of the damage that’s already been done? –Aaron Hansel

Jeff Kardas

Green might be Eli Tomac’s favorite color, but when it comes to number plates you know he likes red more than anything else. And, after a perfect 1-1 day at RedBud, Tomac’s number plate backgrounds are now once again sporting red backgrounds at the halfway point of the season. There’s still plenty of time for Blake Baggett, who now trails Tomac by 13 points, to get the championship lead back but if Tomac further tightens his grip on the red plates at Southwick, a venue where he was able to top Ken Roczen last year, things are going to start getting tougher and tougher for Baggett as the season approaches the homestretch. –Hansel

Breakout Backup

Mitchell Harrison had an amazing ride in the second moto at RedBud last week. After taking the lead when Alex Martin crashed, Harrison refused to crack under the pressure being applied by points leader Zach Osborne. And although Osborne eventually made the pass, Harrison didn’t fade and showed veteran poise while holding off a hard-charging Martin for second place. He barely missed the podium at RedBud, finishing fourth, but if he comes in hot at Southwick we could see him back up his breakout ride at RedBud with his first career podium. –Hansel

Jeff Kardas

Alex Martin held his fate in his hands at RedBud and was well on his way to his first overall victory of the season before going down all by himself on lap 11. He showed heart in remounting and charging back up to third, and had he been able to get by Mitchell Harrison, he may have been able to stage a come-from-behind battle with Osborne. There’s no doubt Martin let one get away at RedBud—we’ll see if he gets it back at Southwick. –Hansel