“It was tough; I was getting it handed to me, left and right.”
With a stomach issue that had been bugging him all week, the North Carolina native of Cooper Webb decided to weather the storm and climb aboard the bike for this particular round. No one in the industry would expect anything less, as a title hunt, and race of this magnitude would be of the utmost importance. This is something that Webb dreamed of, and an idea that became an exceptional reality once his 250 titles were accumulated. He knew he had to seize the moment, putting all distractions of mind, body, and sprit to the wayside; visualizing the outcome, and obtaining it with all of his might. A shoe-in for solid times in practice, you could tell that he wasn’t necessarily feeling his best, but was buckling down in a championship like manner. Pulling into the paddock on multiple occasions, his mechanic knew just how bad he was feeling; but they mustn’t blow the disguise, as team leaders around were watching them as though they were prey. Doing his best to shadow the ailment, Webb would head to the line for the heat race knowing that he must rise to the occasion. And he would do so, sitting in sixth early on. Despite his body feeling extremely run down, he would climb up this mountaintop of feverish competition; methodically picking off riders left and right, whenever the respective door in front of him would open. With Savatgy making a mistake, and Brayton showing a brief lapse in speed, Webb would wade his way forward, all the way to the third spot in the running order. This is where he would reside, just behind teammate Marvin Musquin and Zach Osborne respectively. The main event was an absolute spectacle of seasoned poise, with Webb putting on a performance that was well beyond his years. Doing his best to keep Eli Tomac behind, he would hold onto the lead for as long as possible, with Tomac making the move on lap three. Eli would then proceed to slow up Webb and the rest of the field, hoping to create a jam and subsequent battles of the pack behind. It would work, to an extent; until Eli would get off balanced in the whoops, and fall behind. This would allow Webb the lead for a significant portion of the moto. And then it was that of Zach Osborne playing the devil’s advocate, as Osborne would move around for just a brief bit. Webb, deciding to play it cool, would watch from afar as Osborne would make a crucial mistake; handing Cooper the reign of the field once and for all. It would be a lasting of longevity; something that Webb would present more than anyone else in the field. Victory had never tasted so sweet.
“This is was an unbelievable race for me.”
Zach Osborne is a story like few others in this sport, for both present matters and looking back through the history books. A storied past of amateur competition, Osborne and crew were nestled in the town of Abingdon, Virginia, throughout Zach’s embarking on the amateur motocross tour. Intertwined with the factory of KTM, they would then manage the notorious Champion Cycles team, where Osborne would flourish and garner serious attention. Transitioning to the pro ranks, he would be scooped up by a few teams, including that of Factory Connection Honda outlet; known today as the Geico squad. But things wouldn’t go to plan while his tenure in the United States would last, leaving Osborne at a bit of a crossroads with a present ultimatum. He would make the trek overseas, going to Europe to elongate his career, trying to reestablish himself as a prized candidate for factory contention. It would work, as his morale and momentum would lead him to the Supercross series yet again, where contracts would then trickle in; i.e. leading him to this point in modern day competition. Although relatively seasoned for a “rookie” classification, Osborne is taking his designation and running with it; overcoming the likes of injuries and adversity to be considered a legitimate top five threat at this point in the series. He wanted to increase those odds, when taking off the line at MetLife stadium. After putting in a substantial effort in the likes of practice, everyone knew he would be a credible choice for a podium finish, as his times were absolutely astonishing. Gelling with the likes of this narrow, bottlenecked SX layout, he understood that a start would be crucial; something he displayed immediately for the heat race sector of action. Getting out to an early lead, he could immediately feel the presence of Marvin Musquin and Cooper Webb at his backdoor; but continue to lock and deadbolt his choice of line selection with furious intent. Landing off of these jumps on the balls of his feet, he would make sure to never “tip-toe” in certain trenches, otherwise serious injury could ensue and a loss of position would be guaranteed. Keeping his momentum rolling, he would do all he could to hold off the attack of the number twenty-five; yet it was too little too late, and Cooper Webb would work his way around in the meantime. Placing third, the fire would then be ignited for the main event. He could quickly be found at the front of the field for the aforementioned, battling with the heavy hitters on the cusp of the lead. He would watch from just behind, as Tomac and Webb would joust in the front. Training with Tomac in years past, he knew just what the number three was capable of; so when the unfortunate fall of Eli would occur, he knew he would have to pounce. It was then the rear tread of Webb in which he was gravitating toward, knowing that time was of the essence. He would make the move near lap sixteen, taking his first ever 450 lead! All would seem to be well, until an over jumping of a rhythm section would lead him to the absolute top of a right-handed berm, nearly stalling. Webb, would then make his way around, and Osborne would have too little time to counter. Second at the stripe, you could see the raw emotion of just how excited Osborne was on this performance.
“I managed to crash that exact same way, twice.”
When James Stewart mentions you as a credible threat, you know that you are of rare form. Looking into the last interview “Bubba” spoke of to the media, you can’t help but notice a small tidbit of the questionnaire where he was asked about Eli Tomac. Answering with a response that many of today would agree with, he talked as though Tomac was the one competitor on the rise, that he would consider a serious contender for the championship. Many would reiterate the response of the number seven, penciling in Tomac as a legitimate contender for gold once all was said and done this year. But man, has Eli been his own worst enemy, as in years past. Armed with raw speed, and arguably more ability than anyone in the current field, Tomac seems to hamper his chances at the absolute most crucial times when in the midst of a championship. It’s been much the same effect for that of 2019, where Tomac has rattled off the occasional winning streak; only to find himself floundering around the latter half of the top ten at the next round. With rumors of bike setup and team dysfunction swirling, Tomac laid the chatter to rest at stops of Nashville and Denver. He hoped to continue his ways in the realm of MetLife stadium, but it would turn out to be a disastrous night for the number three. Out to an early lead in the heat race, it seemed to be the “Tomac Show” for all to see, as the Kawasaki absolutely roared around this track of technicality. Keeping all of his opponents on the backburner, he would steadily pull away from Justin Bogle and crew, as the laps would begin to stack up. However, a lapse in concentration would occur, leaving Tomac in a fall and stall of sorts; letting the opposition around, and pushing the Kawasaki to the runner-up spot. Just behind Bogle at the finish, he looked to claim another victory once all was said and done for the main event. Getting around Cooper Webb early, it was literally Tomac’s race to lose; as you could obviously see, he was purposely toying with Webb and crew behind him. Dictating the speed of the field in his rearview, Tomac seemed to have it locked up, until a tripling combination in the whoops forced him off balance into the haybales! Picking his bike back up in a frantic manner, Tomac was anxious in his pursuit to the front, making substantial ground quickly. And just when it seemed as if he could pass Webb again, while in second, he would do the exact same move again! Finding the dirt and tasting the Metlife Soil one last time, would leave Tomac disgusted, as he crossed the line in third place.
Although labeled as an outdoor specialist in the past, Baggett has really began to come into his own this year as far as his Supercross skills are concerned. Moving from his native California to the central Florida area, Baggett has developed a training ground that’s rivaled by few. It’s reaped dividends, with the number four showing that he’s a true contender for all to see, on the brightest stages in the sport. He’s been a shoe-in for numerous top fives, and has attempted to carry the momentum from his early season win, throughout the entirety of the series. It would carry him to MetLife, where the BTO Sports KTM would look astoundingly smooth throughout practice. You could tell that he’d adapted to the Eastern soil composition, as his speed throughout the ruts was most definitely noteworthy. Doing his best to blitz the whoops while they were still in tact, he wasn’t opposed to the track drying out throughout the day; bringing in a bit of West Coast flare to the Eastern seaboard. He would adapt to all conditions, leaving him feeling rather confident as he lined the number four into its respective gate for the heat race. Revving the bike to maximum capacity, it was a dash to the first turn, that would leave others in the pack bedazzled and dumbfounded. Baggett would twist and finagle the chassis with ability that few others could rival; sitting in fourth while doing so. Getting around that of Justin Hill, he would then place his vision on both Eli Tomac and teammate Justin Bogle; using them both as buoys of speed, relaying his present effort against theirs. Finishing third, he would be beyond eager to begin the main event, unleashing the havoc on the soil beneath him. Early on, he would be grouped in a back just behind the leader, with Tomac, Webb, and Osborne ahead of him. Attempting to branch off with the aforementioned, you could see him launching the single-single obstacle after the finish line, with extreme intensity. Pushing the suspension and accompanying chassis into the ground beneath, he would stalk the sixteen of Osborne. He would lurk here, moving up to third for a brief bit with Tomac crashing through the whoop section. Yet, he couldn’t hold off the number three for long, and would match his position with the number across his side panels. Fourth once all was said and done, he knew he’d ridden as hard as he could, all things considered.
After setting the fastest lap in practice, Marvin Musquin was a pick by many to win the event at MetLife. The layout fit his skillset to the T, as the narrow layout and strict confines would be begging for a bit of creativity to flourish on the soils of New Jersey. Musquin’s mind while viewing from the stands, was that of an artist staring at a blank canvas; the lobes of his brain absolutely going crazy at the amount of lucrative possibilities this track would provide. Going over the blueprint at the truck with his team around, he knew that if he could get out to an optimal position once racing matters would begin, that he would be well-off in the final standing. He would slowly pace the starting gate back and forth, prior to his departure; picking a slot that he felt could set himself optimally forward for a race win. His shifting points would be of the ripest blend, as he concocted a winning formula early on in the heat race. Hopping fluently with perfect synchronization of the motorcycle, you could see him move with the chassis as a particular unit; understanding that being mistake free would reap huge rewards in regards to the final flag. He knew he had a swarming pack behind him, but would continue to toy with both inside and outside options, never displaying an ounce of fear, in the sense of someone running their machine in on him. Keeping his focus forward, he would hold onto the lead in the final laps, once making the move around Zach Osborne around the halfway point. Taking the checkered flag, he would escort the track with a pump to the fans, understanding what he had just accomplished. He hoped to continue these feats in the main event, but a disastrous position of eighteenth on lap one, after a crucial mistake, would leave him on the wrong side of the equation. He wouldn’t give up though, fighting his way to the final portion of flag; working his way around names such as Savatgy, Seely, and Grant respectively. Just on the edge of Baggett once all would conclude, he would be tallied into the fifth place ride for timing and scoring. Although out of the championship now, Musquin hopes to leave it all on the line for Vegas, putting his number twenty-five to the front of the field one final time.
With the ever-so illustrious win still awaiting him, Roczen decided to buckle down and head to the stadium of MetLife, leaving it all in the open. He wanted to hold absolutely nothing back, and decided what better place to act and present his efforts, than now? Sporting a slick looking ninety-four alongside the respective side panels of his Honda 450, he hoped that strong starts and feverish sprinting antics would put him in a solid spot once all would conclude for the evening. Captivating the crowd in practice, he was throwing an absurd amount of whips over the notorious “SX” triple, all the while glancing at fans screaming in their respective team gear. Quickly averting his attention back to the track beneath him, he hoped to lay down a substantial amount of circuit times to propel himself forward with a strong gate pick; and that’s exactly what he would do. Seventh off of the line, Roczen knew that he couldn’t let the leaders of the group slip away; otherwise, he could kiss the strong finishes he desired goodbye. Letting it all hangout, he would quickly work his way to the back of Justin Hill; a competitor he aspired to get by as the laps would wind down. Trying every trick in the book, you could see him purposely squaring up ruts on occasion, but it was to no avail. Roczen, a bit displeased, would finish up the race in the fourth position. Hoping to forget the ways of the past, Roczen would start the race off just inside the top ten. Ninth on the green flag lap, there was absolutely zero way to make his way to the front of the field, as this track was extremely narrow with many riders in between he and the lead. Yet, he would do his best to make something happen, moving forward past the likes of Bowers, Grant, and Seely. He could now feel pressure of Marvin Musquin amounting, and although a familiar foe, he wanted to hold off a championship contender as long as he could; at least then, he could have a bit of promise to build off of. Yet, the number twenty-five would work his way around, and it would push Ken to the sixth spot of totality. Roczen, a bit bummed on where he ended up, hoped to really rectify his results at the final round of Las Vegas. Putting on a performance for the ages, if all went his way.
“The Savage” was back in full force for the round here at MetLife stadium, hoping to sustain the momentum he had generated prior to, for the season of 2019. Signed on the premise of a “one-year” do as best you can contract, Savatgy is most certainly proving his worth to the boys at Monster Energy Kawsaki, showing that there should be ample space aboard the team for selected roster spot, for years to come. He’s riding as though his career depends on it; and to an extent, that statement is true. Therefore, when rolling his bike to the start straight away to begin practice here in New Jersey, the silence between he and his mechanic signified just how serious he was taking this matter. Known to throw down a respective heater when the time was right, there was no shortage of quickness being displayed by the number seventeen; as he jockeyed this steel horse around this highly technical course. Keeping it upright for the majority of time, he would pull into the paddock to question his mechanic; seeing if they could go a bit stiffer with the fork and suspension settings, with ample clicks and rotations to follow. The combination would unlock, and he would set himself up soundly for the heat race to follow. All seemed to be going well in the heat race, when moves were being made and the pace was moving forward in an ascending manner. Fourth early on, he would be just on the cusp of making a clear move past Justin Brayton; when he would over shoot a berm, flying into the net! With a significant amount of time lost, he would scurry to get back on the bike, but unfortunately have to go to the LCQ, in order to make the main event. Walking through the aforementioned with relative ease, he would eye the final race as a place of solidification; wanting to leave a lasting impression on the city of East Rutherford. Therefore he would charge with all of his might within the first few laps, hardly giving a chance for the engine to breathe. The only place he seemed to be letting off the throttle, was in the air, over some of these spectacular triples. Nailing both transitions and bowl turns soundly, he would begin to chip away at the pack ahead, all the while keeping Josh Grant behind him. He knew he would have to be savvy in order to keep the veteran at bay, but his slick defensive tactics would prevail; as Savatgy would walk away with a sound seventh place overall on the final tally sheet.
With a bold strategy of awaiting for a call this year, Josh Grant knew that his talent and past history of spectacular results, were still enough for a team to “Grant” him a ride within their roster (no pun intended.) However, it took a bit while longer than expected, with JG33 not being introduced to the series fully, until a few short rounds ago. However, it’s as though Grant has lost little speed, if any, as he still puts his heart and soul into each and every gate drop on the Supercross tour. Shaking hands and greeting fans alike, the line amongst his respective pit area was as long as ever, prior to his journey onto the track for practice. Guaranteeing those he met, that they would be in for a real treat, was something that Josh would follow through on. As the moment he hit the first “SX” triple of the night, the drain plug would be shown, and a familiar panic rev would ensue. He was simply being as creative and care free as one could be, all the while throwing down daunting lap times. It would then transcend into the night show, where his highflying abilities would be coupled with strong starts and solid corner speed. Toying with both wheel tapping and hopping combinations, they both would seem to work, when the final circuit times would be construed. He would sit fifth early on, taking the green flag just near the brink of the field. Letting the rear wheel slide in the left-hand corner just after the finish line, there was no hesitation in his blistering of the throttle; with the left foot hovering just above the surface the entire time. Pushing the envelope, he would be just behind Justin Brayton for what seemed like an eternity; and despite all of the willpower in the world, he would let the number ten settle within the fourth place bracket, meanwhile Grant would take fifth. The main event would show Grant’s ability to fight, as he marched forward from a twelfth place early on. He would really begin to flip the switch around the halfway point, when others would begin to tire out and fade. Moving ahead of the likes of Brayton and Bowers, Grant’s pure ability on the bike allowed him to move through these ruts fluently; with absolutely no regard to the dangers that surrounded him. He would make the move on Cole Seely with just a few laps left, putting him into eighth place, where he would reside.
Coming back from an injury is one thing, but to overcome what Seely has encountered in years past, is truly exceptional. With other riders being put in the tabloids and respective media outlets for their struggles, its as though Seely has been a bit overshadowed, in regards to just what all he has faced. Nearly paralyzed a year ago, the hip injury in which Seely suffered, was one of catastrophic proportions. Laying there on the track, and transferred to an adjourning hospital, had him truly contemplating if he would ever race a motorcycle to that extent again. But after months of pondering and rehabilitation, he decided to mount on the horse another time, going full steam ahead to the season of 2019. And we are glad he did, along with the boys at Honda Motor Corporation; as he’s a true spectacle to watch, and is always in contention to do well on the brightest of stages. Keeping his momentum rolling into the round of MetLife, his true smoothness and efficiency aboard the motorcycle was something of a spectacle. No energy was ever leaked, and his technique was of the utmost importance; choosing to forego the flashiness of others, his foundation of riding skill would propel soundly into the night show. He would take hold of the bars yet again for the heat race, where the number fourteen Honda would do his best work in the mid-portion of the race. Ninth on lap one, the position of old would quickly be foregone; leaving nothing to spare as he put it all on the line. Hitting the rhythm sections rather easily, would allow him to venture to the back wheel of his teammate, Ken Roczen. Following the number ninety-four to the line, he would accumulate sixth by the end of the race. The main event would be a place where he had to earn his keep, with twenty-two of the best riders in the world throwing elbows early on. Using the width of his bike to create a blockade of sorts, he would linger around the latter half of the top ten as the laps continued to accumulate. Shuffling between the likes of Grant, Brayton, and Bowers, the four would be in a conundrum of sorts; all tussling over further positioning on the leaderboard. His fatigue would begin to mature, yet the fortitude of his mind would prevail; he had to hold on for just a few more laps, in order to secure a top ten finish. He would do so, walking away from the event with an exceptional ninth place.
Back at it again after the brief hiatus in the series, many in the field of the 450 class are getting the nagging itch to climb back aboard the motorcycle. The riders of this magnitude and caliber can’t help it, as it’s as though their profession and craft, although coupled together in a wire-type mesh, are intertwined in their DNA. It’s an absolute spectacle as just how far many of these riders go to log time on their motorcycle, and riders like Justin Hill were itching to let their talents be displayed in front of all this weekend. He would savor every second of track time while being escorted onto this confined layout for practice, knowing that the clock was of the essence. Each lap, was a portrayal of his entire effort; understanding that he had an opportunity to impose his will on the minds of competition. If he could just clock in a noteworthy time, imagine the image he would cast within the brain of those who were near his speed…as the battle of mental warfare can be vastly underrated in the grand scheme of things. Seeing where he would reside once the final flag would fly, he would give a subtle thumbs up to both team and crowd, understanding that he would be placed well into the night show. Lining up for the heat race later on in the day, a sigh of relaxation would be undertaken before the gate drop. He would immediately bang through the gearbox, as he powered this hunk of a 450 around the track. Swinging the chassis underneath him as if it were a toy, his act of nimble acrobatics would reap dividends when transcending to the finish line. Lingering around the fourth place spot, he knew he could muster the strength to reside here once the final flag would fly. And with the referee stepping out to signal the fight was over, he would conclude the round in fourth. Coming out with a sense of poise to begin the main event, there was no question as to how methodical he was being in the opening laps. Making sure to keep the bike upright and on a direct path of propulsion, he had to avoid chaos in numerous forms; including that of yellow flags and log jams. Avoiding the cluster of piling up in a few of these respective bowl turns, he would pick up on an “HOV” lane of sorts, on the far outside of the whoop section. Blitzing at the top of third gear, he would rally into a tenth place by the end of the race.
“The track was super-gnarly today.”
There’s nothing like your first time, and that’s exactly what Chase Sexton had the chance to experience, when all was said and done at Metlife Stadium. Sexton, a resilient competitor who’s faced numerous tenures of adversity and fierce competition throughout his career, finally had the stars align over the skies of New Jersey, this past Saturday. The number twenty-three was sure to find himself in an all-out, drag-out war, with the likes of Austin Forkner, as the two familiar foes were set to dual after their “Tale of The Tape” had been displayed. Hounding each other throughout the course of practice and qualification, you knew that the opposite brands were set to attract, as the main event would come to fruition. Discussing a bit of strategy prior to the gate drop, as luck would have it, the two combatants would be placed directly beside each other, as Sexton sported the home-team, New York Jets attire. Getting a final pat on the back from his mechanic, a subtle look over would be glanced to the immediate surrounding; indicating that it was time for Forkner to click it in the gear, and meet in the first turn. The field would take off, with a serious jamming of riders bottlenecking on the opening circuit. The two would quickly go back and forth, almost exclusively focused on one another, as they rounded these heavily rutted bowl turns. Launching into the next rhythm lanes, the peculiar sets of triples were of the highest relevance; otherwise the demise of their current standing would begin to play out. Only when Sexton seemed to have the move made on lap one, Forkner would slam into the right side of his chassis, just before the finish line! Sexton, a bit rattled, would quickly funnel in behind the Kawasaki and wait for another opportunity to advance. It would come, unfortunately at the injury of Forkner; as he would slowly roll to the side of the track, after over-jumping the single-single combination just after the finish line. Sexton was ready, and would take the reign over, moving past the teammate of Davalos as well, conquering the position of the lead. Smooth sailing from here on out, Sexton couldn’t have been happy to endure the treacherous conditions, and walk away with his well-deserved victory and series points lead!
“This is an unbelievable feeling.”
Signed on the premise of speed and a solid amateur foundation, Mitchell Oldenburg has been born and bred in the aura of motorcycle racing. Flocking from Minnesota to Texas throughout his younger years, he and family would purchase the well-known Oak Hill Raceway; holding nationals there every spring, along with various other races throughout the year. It would reap dividends, as Oldenburg took over the pace of the South-Central United States, adapting to the rough terrain the area would provide. Then, the results on the national circuit would begin to accumulate; taking very respectable finishes at multiple spots on the tour, along with moto wins at Loretta Lynn’s. It would lead him here, signed to teams like TLD KTM, and now Yamaha’s 250 effort. Staying relevant, despite injuries and setbacks throughout the years, there was a true reason that he’s stuck around, garnering professional contracts continuously. And it would show in the heat race in which he was placed, here at MetLife Stadium. Fighting through serious competition, he would hold onto the lead once all was said and done; taking the win in front of thousands. This, would give him the much needed boost, to propel forward for the big show. Getting off to a solid start, he would watch as the saga between Forkner and Sexton played out. Becoming a recipient of the Kawasaki’s misfortune, he would continue to work his way up, with riders like Martin Davalos and Justin Cooper in front of him. Davalos, although wise in expertise, would begin to fade; pushing Oldenburg forward, where he and his teammate would joust per se. With no team orders given, he would took what the track gave him; pushing his respective machine into second, and navigating this entrenched course with admirable precision. He would hammer each corner with a diligent twisting of the throttle, only feathering the clutch when needed. Landing in the absolute perfect divot, his transitions off of these tabletops were outstanding. Keeping the wheels in their respective grooves, the second place ride would be granted to him, once all was said and done. Although beating his teammate, there was still an abundance of respect between the two, when the final clock would strike zero. Looking forward to building momentum for the outdoors, many in the industry await to see just how far the “Freckle” can fly, once the summer months reign down upon us in the near future.
“It was tough for me all day today.”
Although the accompanied with a crowd as large as any, Justin Cooper took the small trek to MetLife Stadium as a period of only business matters. Cooper, a newfound prospect on the professional scene, has truly rode beyond what anyone could have imagined to this point in the series. Coupling serious jaw-dropping speed with a smooth foundation beyond his years, as the left the team at Yamaha simply in awe. Managers and sponsors alike, have been filled with praise for plucking this diamond in the rough out of the amateur ranks; and week after week, he continues to reiterate the notion as to just why he’s praised at the highest levels. A native of New York, he would be able to reside at home, prior to the commencement of racing; something that’s not too often found at this point in the sport. It would carry over into his riding throughout practice, where confidence and charisma would boil over, as he skied through the air. Hitting every rhythm lane and whoop-pad with all of his ability, he would be reassured when glancing upon the Monster Energy Leaderboard, to see just where he stood. Rolling into the heat race, Cooper knew that he had a great chance to succeed, once all would conclude for this day race in East Rutherford. Placed into an absolutely stacked heat, Cooper would have no shortage of competition throughout the opening laps of the qualifying round. Positioning himself just near the top five, he would do all he could, behind the likes of Alex Martin, Chase Sexton, and Austin Forkner. Cooper, knew that he had to seize any opportunity he could, as the laps would dwindle down. Staying consistent while the time would continue to click, Cooper would be etched into the top five with the checkered flag waving. Turning his attention toward the main event, he knew focus would be key, on a track like this. Any slight lapse of focus, would result in him crashing to the ground, and losing a heap of positions. Fourth off the start, he would then move forward with Austin Forkner pulling out of the race. Neck and neck with the likes of Mitchell Oldenburg and Martin Davalos shortly thereafter, the three would begin to shuffle; with Davalos receiving the short end of the stick. He would then stalk his practice track rival of Oldenburg with a keen sense of aggression; sniffing the fume of his exhaust at times, due to his immediate proximity. However, Cooper couldn’t find the bit of “hometown” magic that was needed; taking the backseat to the number sixty-six. Although still in the title hunt, Cooper would feel the performance was a bit lackluster; hoping to avenge the ride in Las Vegas, very soon.
Looking to take advantage of the opportunity in front of him, Martin Davalos witnessed the utter chaos amongst the Pro Circuit tent, first-hand, throughout the last few weeks. Referencing the unfortunate injury of teammate Austin Forkner, there are few others in the field that have been caught in the predicament in which Davalos resides. On one aspect, he’s a competitor, understanding the true details of Forkner’s injury with his proximity within the semi. He believes that he can capitalize, seeing just how much pain Austin is in, with a torn ACL. And there’s no scenario more apparent than that, than of Nashville a few weeks ago. Davalos, a crafty veteran tried and true with his results and racing sequences, saw that Forkner was a wounded piece of prey showing flashes of vulnerability. Martin would then take advantage, simply walking away with a much-needed win, and riding off into the sunset. Fast forward to MetLife, where Forkner was attempting to ride, and Davalos was one of the hottest riders on the track in practice. Feeling as though he was adapting to this technical track rather quickly, Davalos and team felt confident that he could succeed throughout this matter of dusk implications. Looking strong early on in the heat race, his speed was being showcased for all to see; as he was in heavy contention for the win early on. Powering his chassis through the rims of these bowl turns, there was no shortage of momentum as he gravitated toward the exit; setting sail into the accompanying rhythm lane. He would hold the lead, until a mistake entering one of the corners after the long straightaway, would push him off course and doing a 180 on the track. Oldenburg would inherit the lead, with Davalos subsequently chasing him to the finish; the seventy-three would place second. He would come out roaring for the main event, letting everyone behind fight through the dust storm his rear wheel was causing. With carnage going on behind, he knew he would have to focus forward; yet it was Chase Sexton quickly knocking at his door. Beginning to succumb to the wave of fury rising to the surface, a panic of paddling would ensue; doing whatever he could to stay afloat. A matter of one by one would come through, with both Yamaha pilots overtaking him, and pushing him to fourth overall. He would claim this position at the end of time, and feel as though he’d done all he could.
Perhaps no rider in attendance was more cheered for, than that of the number forty-five machine. A native of New Jersey, Hartranft grew up following in the footsteps of riders like Jason Lawrence, Nick Evennou, and other New England natives. It was now his turn to represent, and on the biggest of stages at that. His crew would come in groups of ten, multiplying by the dozen’s with signs hoisting his name and number for all to see. Hartranft would embrace it, understanding that this was a moment he dreamed of as a child, a young boy watching his hero’s display their talents on televisions. The Yamaha rider would escort his bike to the line for practice, ready to attack the track and moment at hand. His rather tall stature would slam the chassis into these numerous step-on, step-off’s, letting the soil underneath know just who was boss. It would provide the members of his crew and team a bit of peace and tranquility, knowing that Brandon was firing on all cylinders. Lining up for the heat race, you could see him give the rear tire a few propulsions; stabbing the clutch and twisting the throttle in unison, trying his best to heat up the rear wheel. Keeping the machine steady, he would click into second gear, and be ready to roll. Sprinting off the line, he would be bottled up in the middle of the field; on the outside of the top ten, and looking in as the laps would progress. Being the true competitor he is, he would begin to barrel through the midst of the field, picking off other members of the pack one by one. Holding absolutely no mercy to anyone else aboard the motorcycle, Brandon would weasel his way into sixth position in the final moments. This is where he would reside, eager to throw his name into the hat for contention in the main event. The field would then absolutely barricade themselves in this tight section of opening corners, with many riders choosing to follow one another, in a train effect of sorts. Keeping the 250f pinned, you could see him seat-hopping the motorcycle to the best of his ability, using every source of power possible to obtain his yearning desires. Staying just near the top five, riders would begin to flounder as ruts would absolutely destroy this Metlife course; yet Hartranft would stay the course, enduring while everyone else floundered around him. Brandon would bring home one of his best overall performances ever, taking home a spectacular fifth for all in his corner to see.
If you’re one to gamble, go ahead and double down on the odds of Kyle Peters pulling a holeshot at some point in Las Vegas. Cloned as “The Little Alessi” Peters seems to mimic that of the number 800, somehow, someway finding a way to nose his way to the front of the field, leading the pack to the new frontier of further laps. Being an ace out of the gate since his earliest of days, Peters has continued to grow on the bike in numerous ways; yet his ways of slashing through the gearbox, coupled with adequate clutch feathering and throttle control have remained a strongpoint in his arsenal throughout the test of time. He would continue his ways even in the beginning of practice, as he was one of the first on the track and out of the gate for the latter. Hardly using any of the tearoff’s within his stack, he could be found scouting riders like Chase Sexton and Austin Forkner; doing what ever he could to inscribe their lines within his memory bank. The JGR Suzuki was shining bright, as the sunlight was reflecting off the sub-frame and surrounding plastic. Flourishing with radiation, he would come into the heat race believing he could conquer this start straight yet again; and boy did he do it, ahead of the likes of Chase Sexton and crew. He would lead, growing the gap not one, two, but three circuits in all actuality, before he would let the reign relinquish from his finger tips. Still keeping the throttle pegged, fatigue and a plethora of other issues would begin to set in; and he would slowly fall down the leaderboard, all the way to seventh, before the final flag would fly. Bringing his full effort into the main event, he knew he would have to go all out in order to succeed on a technical track like this. Seventh on the opening lap, he would have to battle with the likes of Hartranft, Jordan Bailey, and Anthony Rodriguez. Nailing the triple combination in the far rhythm lane as often as possible, his focus in the transition of these sections would be immense; keeping the bike as balanced as possible, standing on the balls of his feet. Using his legs as springs, he would try to stay in the optimal position for the duration of the moto; never letting his technique lessen while time inched forward. Sixth at the final stripe, he would be satisfied with how well he handled the track, on an evening like this.
Although having a stellar run within the professional ranks a few short years ago, Alex Martin has seemed to have a bit of a rough run so far in 2019. With imminent speed and an unwavering ability to work hard both on and off the bike, Martin has shown that he has the mindset to battle through adversity know matter what is placed in front of him. And when in the off-season, the boys at JGR wanted to hire a veteran to their 250 squad; someone to showcase a reflection of maturity and staying power in the group, a mentor of sorts to their younger riders of the program. Enter A-Mart, a man that’s been around the track many times, and looks to make a final impression on the field of 2019, before heading into the outdoor circuit where he is sure to succeed. He could be found scoping the track throughout practice, looking at the variance of lines and wondering just how the soil would break down and begin to groove up. Keeping a keen eye on that of the series leaders, he would take subtle glances over his shoulder, seeing just as to where they stood and how they were going about things. Feeling rather rejuvenated and confident once all was said and done, he and the team would quickly gather their things for the heat races to come. He would lurk near the fourth place spot to begin, just off the cusp of the lead position while teammate Kyle Peters walked away with the holeshot. Making his move around riders ever so steadily, he would be nailing the triple combination of steep landing in the far-side rhythm lane; something that was crucial to sustain his lead over riders behind. Knowing that Austin Forkner was behind, would only push Martin to new heights; tucked in just behind Chase Sexton at the final flag, where he would take the second place spot. Continuing his abundance of speed in the main event, he would show flashes of sprinting, but would be nestled in the tenth place ride. Doing his best to dodge and weave the counterattacks of his opponents, the head movement and body English he was forecasting on the bike was a true testament to his will power. Methodically, he would move his way in front of riders like Josh Osby and Anthony Rodriguez, eyeing the back of his teammates jersey blowing into the wind of the New Jersey skyline. Feeling solid about his efforts, he would cross the line one last time in seventh, eager to put a stamp on this series.
It seems as though it were just yesterday when the name of Jordan Bailey was ringing across intercoms across the amateur national circuit. He, to be noted, wasn’t an amateur that came up simply by the defaulting of others or in an easy class of sorts. He was a rider who had been consistently fast since his inception on the motorcycle, accumulating titles and wins by the dozens. It would be enough to always land him with a lucrative sponsorship of some sort, whether on the 50cc automatic machine, or to the Husqvarna squad in which he resides today. With the aforementioned doing the plucking process of sorts, Bailey was hand-picked to be developed throughout their farm system; hoping that with adequate resources and nurturing while on the raceway, he could develop his way into a star-studded prospect and hopeful future champion. Bailey has taken this opportunity and ran with it so far in 2019, understanding that rides like these are hard to come by; seizing the moment when the circumstances are in his court, per se. He would look to continue his ways of top ten finishing here at MetLife, where his technique was remarkably noticeable in practice. Staying as efficient as ever with the footpeg dragging up the faces of these triples was a feat in itself; but Bailey would seem to add a bit of charismatic flick at the top, putting the icing on the cake. An exceptional sight in its own right, he would push his way into the heat race coupled with sensational speed; where a fifth would be given to him early on. Hovering near the lead group, he would mimic that of his elders in front of him, never shying down from the opportunity of running in the front wheel or the throttle twisted. Beginning to jump through the whoops where there decay, chasing after Martin Davalos. Although a contrast of ages would be apparent, the speed was eerily similar; and Bailey would do everything in his power to stay attached to the Kawasaki. It would work, as he would come across the line with an applaud worthy third. The main event would be a showing of his consistency, where an eighth place start would be a place of cement and stronghold, fighting off the competition at his door. Never relinquishing his urgency or true combative spirit, he would hit land off the finish line double every lap with the throttle pinned scurrying around the following left-hander. It would push him forward, holding off the likes of Lorenzo Locurcio for a series of laps. Tallying eighth place at the line, Bailey felt he’d done all he could for conditions like these.
“Double LL” has been a staple throughout the motocross realm of things throughout the last couple of years. Although not the hottest of commodities while in his younger years, if you followed the tour of sorts, he would really begin to garner noteworthy finishes from around his Schoolboy days and on. Always professional with an exceptional crew and gear kit to match, Locurcio would begin to stack remarkable finishes at every race he attended. And after his final run at the ranch, he and those around decided it would be best to launch into the Monster Energy Supercross series head first; where his skill set has improved remarkably over the years. With talks of him going to Europe in weeks past, he’s decided to stay here, on the continental soil of the United States; attempting to navigate his way through 2019 to the best of his ability. Locurcio came into this round at MetLife, knowing that time was of the essence; and that if he wanted to make a lasting impression on team owner’s before the “hoopla” of Las Vegas would overtake the industry, the time to act was now. Therefore he would set out with a business-like demeanor from the commencement of practice. Hardly any whipping or scrubbing of the chassis, and absolutely zero “leg swag”; it was a matter of corner speed, hard charging, and a biting down of the mouthpiece, as he pushed this 250f to near explosion. It would continue once the group was congested for the heat race, where Locurcio was revving his bike nearly louder than anyone in the opening circuits. But he would prevail, second by all means in the early going! Ecstatic with how well he was riding, the crew within his corner were clapping and screaming to the loudest of extents; knowing that any little boost or ounce of encouragement, could take Lorenzo to new heights. He would hold on, battling with factory riders of all sorts as he sat in third on the final lap. Seeing that Austin Forkner was behind, there was no hiding the excitement while underneath his respective helmet shell. He would take the last spot on the podium! Continuing his ways of success in the main, he would have to rummage early on while riders of all calibers sorted themselves out, on this utterly narrow and treacherous raceway. Clinging to the fact that grooves were being made on every square inch of soil possible, he knew he would have to ride a wide bike in order to hold off that of Anthony Rodridguez. Beginning to duck into the inside rut before the whoops, his triple-through combination would lead him forward, while others floundered behind. Holding onto the last single digit spot for a large portion of the moto, Locurcio could walk away from the event with his head held high.
Hailing from the depths of South Florida, Anthony Rodriguez had a coming out party of sorts, around the 2010 season. Riding a no-graphic, plain as day Yamaha, he would come into the likes of Loretta Lynn’s as a dark horse, for certain. But as the week would drag on, Rodriguez results would be beyond noticeable; and ones that would gain interest of sponsors and fans alike. Continuing to add up in years following, in the likes of the Schoolboy classes, it was in the intermediate divisions where he would truly blossom. Battling with the likes of Shane McElrath, Cooper Webb, and Dakota Alix on occasion, Rodriguez solidified himself as a solid prospect with the “stars of tomorrow.” Landing on a ride with Yamaha’s amateur squad, he would transition into the pro ranks, where he would adjust accordingly with the competition growing around him. Keeping his nose to the grindstone, Rodriguez has remained persistent towards reclaiming a factory ride here in the United States. He’s shown that he’s willing to ride whatever and wherever in order to generate income, but his hopes and dreams lye on the stadium floors of place likes this, here in MetLife Stadium. And he would begin his ride as if the days of tomorrow depended on it; setting sail to every combination and triple jump on the track, to begin the practice sessions. Noticing the leaders all around, he would quickly tuck in behind Chase Sexton, and attempt to pursue him like a fugitive on the loose. Getting his heart rate up substantially, allowed him to portray an effort he would quickly rekindle in the heat race to come. However, registering fourteenth on the opening lap wasn’t ideal; but how often had Rodriguez been dealt a hand of misfortune to begin with? He would simply put the visor down, and twist the throttle to the best of his ability; almost in a warp of sorts, with the likes of gravity forcing him to remain glued to the motorcycle. One by one, he would pluck the surrounding competition; moving into ninth place at the checkered flag, doing what was needed to succeed. Keeping his pace moving forward, he would vault into the pack as best as possible for the main event, despite the relatively lackluster gatepick. Right around eleventh to begin, he would be in a constant relay of sorts with his mechanic; who would tell him which lines to take, and his current laptimes. And although the circuit passes would begin to slow as the track deterred, his effort would climb out of this world; leaving it all on the line for fans and family to see. Pushing forward, he would hold off a stingy Josh Osby for a large portion of the race; never letting the Indiana native around. Tenth overall at the conclusion, Rodriguez would be pleased with how he ended up.