Welcome to the Racer X Race Day Feed, your one-stop shop for round seven of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross from Southwick, MA, at the Southwick National. We’ll be updating this post throughout the day with news, notes, and results from qualifying and the motos, so be sure to check back throughout the day. You can also follow Racer X on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to stay up on all the action.
(Note: All updates will run top to bottom, starting with the morning report and going through the motos. So, make sure to scroll down for the latest.)
For a second straight year, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross returns to a revamped, and renamed, The Wick 338. Tucked away inside the center of Southwick, the track was brought back to life by local legends Keith Johnson and John Dowd (who help run the day-to-day operations), and Mike Grondahl, founder of Planet Fitness, who now leases the facility from the American Legion, and ran its first National last year for the first time since 2013.
Hoping to return to what they referred to as “’80s Southwick”, the facility brought in 30 truckloads of sand this year. With a strong local racing series—NESC—the only sand track on the circuit has always played well to the locals, including Dowd himself. In 1998, Dowd dethroned the GOAT, Ricky Carmichael here and in 2009, he made history again, becoming the oldest rider to finish on the podium when at 44 he finished third behind Matt Goerke and Michael Bryne. In 2013, Dowd called it a career, racing one last time at Southwick, going 30-19 for 23rd overall.
This year will be no different, as the Southwick faithful will be hanging over the fences cheering on locals, like Robby Marshall, who is racing a two-stroke in the 450 Class, and Ryan Dowd, son of John.
In one of the most dominating seasons we’ve seen in recent memory, Ken Roczen lost just four motos last year en route to the 450MX championship. Two of those came at Southwick, where Eli Tomac was flawless, leading 19 laps on the day en route to his only 1-1 performance a year ago. Heading into today, Tomac is once again the favorite, and due to Blake Baggett’s second moto at RedBud, holds a 13-point advantage in the standings—his first lead since Glen Helen.
Speaking of Baggett, after the race we heard that he suffered a sprained thumb in the first lap collision with Jason Anderson last weekend. Aaron Hansel texted his mechanic Nate Alexander earlier this week, and Nate said that Baggett was alright, that “he’s a hardass,” and that pain doesn’t really affect him. Baggett rode press day on Thursday, and those that were in attendance said he looked great. We’ll see today, as press day and two 30-minute plus two motos are entirely different things.
In other injury news, Trey Canard’s first season with Red Bull KTM continues to be thwarted by injuries. After making his Lucas Oil Pro Motocross debut at Muddy Creek, and racing RedBud, Canard crashed practicing this week and while the team says he didn’t sustain any bodily injuries, the impact was enough to sideline him for the weekend. Yesterday, RCH/Yoshimura Suzuki announced that Broc Tickle will miss the rest of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross after an MRI reveled his shoulder injury sustained in practice at RedBud was much worse than expected. The injury won't require surgery, but Tickle is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks.
There doesn’t appear to be much that is going to slow Zach Osborne down this year, as the 250SX East Region Champion brings a 38-point lead in the 250 Class with him into Southwick. The Martin brothers, Alex and Jeremy, tossed away chances at an overall last weekend, and an opportunity to make up some points on Osborne. With his past GP experience, Osborne could extend his points lead by even more after today.
Qualifying starts shortly, make sure to check back throughout the day.