Unadilla Euro’s Rule


UNITED STATES. As soon as the rain started to fall at Unadilla (11 August 2018) the riders with a European background of racing the MXGPs where going to shine. The MXGP 2 day format allows for a lot of track time, and every rider can advance their skill set in muddy conditions and that skill set once earned is never lost.


Round 10 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is underway at Unadilla. Check back here throughout the day for recaps and highlights from the 450 Class.


Weather looks likely to play a factor today, as scattered thunderstorms are in the forecast. With rain starting to fall a bit in the morning’s second and final practice session, the track slowed down significantly and riders were unable to match the faster lap times turned during the first session.

That led to New York native Justin Barcia being the fastest qualifier for the first time this season. His lap time from the first session (2:09.123) edged out teammate Cooper Webb (2:10.868) for the top time.

Although the second session had slower lap times, it featured conditions that will likely be closer to what the riders are dealing with when the racing starts. Marvin Musquin, Eli Tomac, Barcia, Blake Baggett and Webb were the five fastest in that rainy session.

Making his debut today is Kailub Russell, the five-time GNCC champion who will be filling in with Red Bull KTM over the final three rounds. He qualified in 12th, but with rain in the forecast, his cross-country skills could prove advantageous today.

Missing from the starting gate today is Josh Grant. One week after making his return from injury, he’s out for Unadilla.

450 Combined Qualifying Times
1. Justin Barcia, 2:09.123
2. Cooper Webb, 2:10.868
3. Eli Tomac, 2:11.165
4. Ken Roczen, 2:11.462
5. Marvin Musquin, 2:11.645
6. Phil Nicoletti, 2:12.994
7. Blake Baggett, 2:13.192
8. Justin Hill, 2:13.234
9. Weston Peick, 2:13.404
10. Benny Bloss, 2:13.667
11. Ben LaMay, 2:14.254
12. Kailub Russell, 2:14.843
13. Cody Cooper, 2:15.081
14. Jacob Runkles, 2:15.461
15. Kyle Cunningham, 2:15.526
16. Chris Canning, 2:15.668
17. Dare DeMartile, 2:16.152
18. TJ Albright, 2:16.214
19. Nick Gaines, 2:16.698
20. Dylan Merriam, 2:16.830


By the time the first moto started, the track was a muddy mess, so you just knew things would get a little crazy. It started with privateer Dylan Merriam grabbing the holeshot and then actually holding off Marvin Musquin and Blake Baggett for a bit before giving up the lead.

After two laps, it was Musquin, Phil Nicoletti and Baggett running in the top three with Tomac behind them in fourth. Tomac had overcome a poor start by making a number of passes. Soon though, he was hindered by a malfunction with the roll-offs on his goggles. With about 20 minutes still left in the moto, the points leader was forced to pull into the pits and get a new set of goggles. During that time he lost a position to Benny Bloss but was able to get it back quickly. Tomac then moved up to third place after Baggett was forced to make a pit stop of his own for new goggles.

Tomac’s unlikely charge continued in the second half of the race. After passing Nicoletti for second, Tomac started closing in on Musquin while Musquin began having goggle problems of his own. As Musquin slowed down to make a pit stop, Tomac passed him to move into the lead. Musquin re-entered the track in second place but was about 10 seconds behind Tomac at that point.

Meanwhile the cross-country experience of Kailub Russell was paying off. The five-time GNCC champ making his Red Bull KTM debut weathered the storm and continued picking up spots. He eventually moved past Nicoletti and Benny Bloss into third place before subsequently giving those spots back to the aforementioned riders.

Tomac went on to win the race in dominating fashion. Not only did he finish 25 seconds ahead of Musquin (and more than a minute up on everyone else), he also lapped the field all the way up through eighth place.

Behind Tomac and Musquin, it was Nicoletti, Bloss and Baggett rounding out the top five. Russell ended up in sixth.

With Tomac and Musquin fighting for the 450 Class championship, a subplot has emerged with Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia in a battle for third place. (The two riders entered the day tied in points.) Roczen had multiple falls during this race, plus a pit stop of his own, and finished seventh. But he still finished ahead of Barcia, who ended up eighth after a first-turn crash on the opening lap.

Cooper Webb was running inside the top 10 for most of the race, but he went down with two laps to go and took a rock to the eye. He finished 16th as a result.

After his strong start, Merriam ended the race in 15th.

450 Moto 1 Results
1. Eli Tomac
2. Marvin Musquin
3. Phil Nicoletti
4. Benny Bloss
5. Blake Baggett
6. Kailub Russell
7. Ken Roczen
8. Justin Barcia
9. Weston Peick
10. Toshiki Tomita
11. Jeremy Hand
12. Cody Cooper
13. Henry Miller
14. Nick Gaines
15. Dylan Merriam
16. Cooper Webb
17. Tyler Stepek
18. Chris Channing
19. Nick Fratz-Orr
20. Ben LaMay


With the rain stopped, the riders were presented with different track conditions than they dealt with in Moto 1. When the gate dropped, Marvin Musquin and Eli Tomac were side-by-side through the first turn. Musquin emerged with the holeshot but it was Nicoletti was came through and snatched the lead away. Justin Barcia and Kailub Russell were close behind them until Barcia made a mistake that ended up taking both riders down. Also crashing on the opening lap was Benny Bloss, who had finished fourth in the earlier moto.

Nicoletti led the first two laps of the race and actually had a decent lead, but an error allowed Musquin to find a inside line that took him past Nicoletti and into the lead. Tomac soon passed Nicoletti for second place, setting up the latest installment of Tomac vs. Musquin. This time, though, it was Musquin dropping the hammer. By the start of Lap 8 (about 10 minutes to go in the moto), Musquin’s lead was up to 18 seconds.

Meanwhile a good battle developed for third place. Nicoletti, who had been holding down the position for a while, lost spots to Yamaha teammates Cooper Webb and Justin Barcia, two riders who both had their struggles in Moto 1. Then things got a bit heated as Barcia tried to push Webb for third place. As Barcia moved around Webb in a turn, Webb attempted to block his line. Both riders stayed upright despite a bit of contact, but Barcia gestured to Webb shortly after and didn’t seem too thrilled. Webb nearly passed Barcia back, but Barcia was able to hold him off and open up a gap. With two laps to go, Barcia went down again but quickly remounted before Webb could catch back up to him.

Musquin, Tomac, Barcia, Nicoletti and Webb ended Moto 2 as the top five riders. The win allowed Musquin (2-1) to edge out Tomac (1-2) for the overall victory thanks to the tiebreaker (better Moto 2 result). It’s Musquin’s fifth moto win and third overall win of the season.

Despite his victory, the point standings remain unchanged because Musquin and Tomac’s results cancelled each other out. It will still be a 15-point lead for Tomac with just two rounds left to go.

Nicoletti (3-5) earned third overall. It’s the first overall podium finish of his career and it comes in his home state of New York.

Webb’s fourth-place moto finish was his best result of the season since returning from injury at Round 6.

As for Russell, the five-time GNCC champ who finished sixth in Moto 1, he was unable to finish the Moto 2 after crashing again — this time by himself — midway through the race.

Japanese rider Toshiki Tomita (10-9) earned the first top-10 overall finish of his career thanks to a pair of strong motos.

450 Moto 2 Results
1. Marvin Musquin
2. Eli Tomac
3. Justin Barcia
4. Cooper Webb
5. Phil Nicoletti
6. Blake Baggett
7. Ken Roczen
8. Weston Peick
9. Toshiki Tomita
10. Benny Bloss
11. Kyle Cunningham
12. Ben LaMay
13. Jeremy Hand
14. Cody Cooper
15. Chris Canning
16. Gared Steinke
17. Jacob Runkles
18. Ryan Surratt
19. Zack Williams
20. Brandon Scharer


1. Marvin Musquin (2-1)
2. Eli Tomac (1-2)
3. Phil Nicoletti (3-5)
4. Justin Barcia (8-3)
5. Blake Baggett (5-6)
6. Benny Bloss (4-10)
7. Ken Roczen (7-7)
8. Weston Peick (9-8)
9. Cooper Webb (16-4)
10. Toshiki Tomita (10-9)
11. Jeremy Hand (11-13)
12. Cody Cooper (12-14)
13. Kailub Russell (6-30)
14. Kyle Cunningham (28-11)
15. Ben LaMay (20-12)
16. Chris Canning (18-15)
17. Henry Miller (13-24)
18. Nick Gaines (14-36)
19. Dylan Merriam (15-34)
20. Gared Steinke (33-16)


1. Eli Tomac, 448
2. Marvin Musquin, 433
3. Justin Barcia, 363
4. Ken Roczen, 358
5. Blake Baggett, 332
6. Weston Peick, 272
7. Benny Bloss, 253
8. Phil Nicoletti, 253
9. Kyle Cunningham, 140
10. Cody Cooper, 137


Round 10 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is underway at Unadilla. Check back here throughout the day for recaps and highlights from the 250 Class.


In a continuation of what we saw in the final 450 practice session, the track slowed down even more as the 250 riders headed out for their final session. The culprit: rainy conditions that threaten to turn today’s race into a mudder.

As a result, Joey Savatgy’s first-session lap time (2:11.556) held up as the fastest lap of the entire morning. The Star Yamaha crew was strong throughout the day as well — Dylan Ferrandis and Justin Cooper slotted in at Nos. 2 and 3 in the first session, then Ferrandis, Aaron Plessinger, Colt Nichols and Cooper were the top four riders in the second session. Incidentally, that second session looks closer to what the riders will deal with during the motos.

One rider who might not be hindered as much by the weather is Plessinger, who has a background in cross-country racing and has frequently done well in muddy conditions. He’s also closing in on the 250 Class championship, and although it’s not likely to happen today, a strong pair of motos would at least set him up to clinch next weekend.

250 Combined Qualifying Times
1. Joey Savatgy, 2:11.556
2. Dylan Ferrandis, 2:12.609
3. Justin Cooper, 2:12.861
4. Chase Sexton, 2:12.950
5. Shane McElrath, 2:13.924
6. Alex Martin, 2:14.112
7. Jordon Smith, 2:14.189
8. RJ Hampshire, 2:14.190
9. Colt Nichols, 2:14.252
10. Austin Forkner, 2:14.410
11. Michael Mosiman, 2:14.452
12. Aaron Plessinger, 2:14.986
13. Mitchell Harrison, 2:15.728
14. Cameron McAdoo, 2:16.961
15. Jordan Bailey, 2:17.402
16. Sean Cantrell, 2:17.531
17. Martin Castelo, 2:17.724
18. Gage Schehr, 2:18.817
19. Enzo Lopes, 2:18.831
20. Dakota Alix, 2:18.875


After a full-on mudder in the first 450 Class moto, the rain died out in time for 250 Moto 1, but it was still a muddy track. Michael Mosiman, coming off solid results at the last two rounds, emerged with the holeshot and soon opened up a 10-second lead on Dylan Ferrandis, Mitchell Harrison and the rest of the field. Joey Savatgy was running near the front as well but went down hard and fell outside the top 10. Also crashing early in the race was Savatgy’s teammate, Austin Forkner, who has ended up on the ground a lot in recent weeks. That crash took Forkner outside the top 30.

Mosiman’s lead started to diminish over the next several laps. On Lap 5, Ferrandis had the lead cut down to under two seconds but before he could make a challenge, Mosiman crashed by himself on a jump. Ferrandis, Harrison and Aaron Plessinger all moved up a spot in the aftermath of the crash, and Mosiman fell back to fourth. Plessinger then passed Harrison to jump into second place behind Ferrandis.

The second half of the race started off as a battle of the Star Yamahas. Ferrandis had the lead but then his bike began smoking, which resulted in his team telling him to back off the clutch. He caught a break when Plessinger, who had been just a few seconds back, had a bad lap and lost a ton of time. That allowed Ferrandis to stretch it out to a 25-second lead, and even though he went off-track and into a fence at one point, he still maintained a huge lead over his teammate for the rest of the race.

With Ferrandis way out front, the only drama was whether anything would happen to his bike before the checkered flag. Fortunately for the Frenchman, it held up to give him his third moto win of the season. Ferrandis is now the only rider aside from Plessinger to win more than two motos in the 250 Class this season.

Plessinger finished second, allowing him to add to his championship lead over Alex Martin, who finished 10th. Rounding out the podium was Shane McElrath, who inherited third place late in the race thanks to a crash from Harrison. Harrison and Sexton rounded out the top five, and Mosiman matched his career-best result with a sixth-place finish.

Forkner was unable to score any points in the moto following his early crash. He finished 23rd, giving him one bad moto result for the fifth consecutive round. The good news for Forkner is that while one moto has been bad each week, he’s balanced it out with a top-two finish in the other moto each time.

250 Moto 1 Results
1. Dylan Ferrandis
2. Aaron Plessinger
3. Shane McElrath
4. Mitchell Harrison
5. Chase Sexton
6. Michael Mosiman
7. Colt Nichols
8. Joey Savatgy
9. RJ Hampshire
10. Alex Martin
11. Jordon Smith
12. Justin Cooper
13. James Weeks
14. Enzo Lopes
15. Cameron McAdoo
16. Hayden Mellross
17. Dakota Alix
18. Martin Castelo
19. Sean Cantrell
20. Jordan Bailey


Several riders, including Michael Mosiman, went down in the first turn while Cameron McAdoo took the holeshot ahead of Dylan Ferrandis and the rest of the field. As riders shuffled around, it ended up being McAdoo, Jordon Smith, Mitchell Harrison and Ferrandis in the top four spots. Under intense pressure from Harrison, Smith went down early and dropped out of contention.

McAdoo ended up leading the first four laps of the race before ultimately losing spots to Harrison, Ferrandis, Aaron Plessinger and Joey Savatgy. It was then Harrison’s turn to enjoy the lead for five laps until he came under fire from the Star Yamaha duo of Ferrandis and Plessinger. The three riders were bunched so tightly together that at one point, Ferrandis went from looking like he would take over the lead to falling back to third in the blink of an eye. The lead eventually changed hands when Harrison made contact with a lapped rider with under four minutes to go and fell. That enabled Plessinger to move into first and Ferrandis into second, but the battle for the lead was far from over. WIth just over two minutes left on the clock, Plessinger went wide while Ferrandis went inside, and Ferrandis emerged from the turn as the race’s fourth different leader.

Plessinger nearly caught a small break on the final lap when Ferrandis got held up by a lapped rider, but it proved inconsequential. Even with his number plate hanging off the front of his bike for much of the race, Ferrandis was able to ride to his second moto win of the day. His 1-1 sweep gave him the overall win for the second time this season, and Plessinger finished behind him with 2-2 results.

Savatgy scored a third-place finish in the moto, but the final spot on the overall podium went to Harrison (4-4). It’s the first overall podium of Harrison’s 250MX career.

Plessinger’s solid day was augmented by the struggles of his main championship rival Alex Martin (10-7, 7th overall). With two rounds to go, Plessinger now holds a 78-point lead over Martin, a deficit that will be nearly impossible to overcome as long as Plessinger stays healthy. That puts him in good shape to clinch the title next weekend at Budds Creek. Plessinger just needs to leave that round with a lead of at least 50 points.

Ferrandis’s big day vaulted him all the way from 10th to fifth in points — an impressive ranking considering he missed the first three rounds of the season due to injury. He now ranks second behind Plessinger in 250 Class moto wins (4) and overall wins (2) this season.

250 Moto 2 Results
1. Dylan Ferrandis
2. Aaron Plessinger
3. Joey Savatgy
4. Mitchell Harrison
5. Cameron McAdoo
6. Justin Cooper
7. Alex Martin
8. Chase Sexton
9. Austin Forkner
10. Colt Nichols
11. RJ Hampshire
12. Jordon Smith
13. Michael Mosiman
14. Shane McElrath
15. Ramyller Alves
16. Luke Renzland
17. Jordan Bailey
18. Hayden Mellross
19. Dakota Alix
20. Sean Cantrell


1. Dylan Ferrandis (1-1)
2. Aaron Plessinger (2-2)
3. Mitchell Harrison (4-4)
4. Joey Savatgy (8-3)
5. Chase Sexton (5-8)
6. Shane McElrath (3-14)
7. Alex Martin (10-7)
8. Colt Nichols (7-10)
9. Justin Cooper (12-6)
10. Michael Mosiman (6-13)
11. Cameron McAdoo (15-5)
12. RJ Hampshire (9-11)
13. Jordon Smith (11-12)
14. Austin Forkner (23-9)
15. Hayden Mellross (16-18)
16. James Weeks (13-34)
17. Enzo Lopes (14-40)
18. Ramyller Alves (36-15)
19. Dakota Alix (17-19)
20. Luke Renzland (41-16)


1. Aaron Plessinger, 415
2. Alex Martin, 337
3. Justin Cooper, 291
4. Shane McElrath, 278
5. Dylan Ferrandis, 254
6. RJ Hampshire, 252
7. Chase Sexton, 251
8. Austin Forkner, 250
9. Joey Savatgy, 247
10. Jordon Smith, 244