Type to search


2019 Southwick Motocross | Race Preview



Some rounds of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship hold more significance than others. No, there’s no difference in points or purse payout over the twelve stops, but a certain level of prestige comes along with a win at iconic tracks like Southwick, RedBud, Spring Creek, Washougal, and Unadilla. All of the greats have had their share of success and struggles at the aforementioned venues, and to win at any of those puts a rider in rare air. That’ll be the case this weekend when the series pulls into suburban Massachusetts for the sixth race of the summer, the 2019 Southwick Motocross.

Hidden behind trees, between an American Legion and a school, on the outskirts of town, is a circuit that has changed championship chases for the better and worse. Grant Langston separated his shoulder there in 2001 and considered sitting out the race, then popped a few pain killers and lined up. Ryan Dungey nearly missed a moto due to a mechanical issue that his team managed to sort out with seconds to spare, just before bands of rain from a torrential hurricane hit in 2011. Dungey had to make a mid-moto pit stop after fuel spilled out of his tank in a crash in 2012. Riders overheated the early iterations of the four-stroke engines to the point teams had to have water sprayers on hand. Ricky Carmichael was practically perfect at the venue from 2000 to 2007. Henry, Hannah, Howertown, McGrath, Metcalfe, Tomac, Stewart, Ward, Emig, Goerke, Lusk, Stanton, Johnson, Hansen, Kiedrowski, LaRocco, Smith, and Karsmakers have all won the premier class there. The 125-250 class list is just as diverse. Trust us, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single track with a more impressive and varied list of winners than the Wick. 

Then there’s the usual chaos of qualifying. There’s always one B Group (this year it’ll be the 250 class) that is fortunate enough to do their first qualifying practice session when the track is smooth as glass and their lap times are significantly faster than the A Group that follows. It’s even common for a factory-backed star to race their way into the day’s motos via the LCQ, something that never happens at other tracks. Northeast natives go wild when some of their local boys beat some of the best in the world and it’s a topic of bench racing talk for the rest of the year.

Those that are willing to work always fare best at Southwick. The sandy surface constantly changes, not just moto to moto but lap to lap, and riders have to constantly search for the best line around the 1.34-mile circuit.

This’ll be the second week in a row of warm weather at a sand track. Thankfully, the forecast is much more mellow compared to what we saw in Florida, but it’ll still be hot with hopes of a breeze flowing between the trees on Saturday. Will riders have properly re-hydrated and recovered in the short period of time? That’ll be something on everyone’s mind, from racer to team member to spectator, when the gates drop for the final motos.

Wunderground Forecast For Saturday

After five rounds of racing, we now know which riders will be in the mix from week to week. Adam Cianciarulo, Justin Cooper, Dylan Ferrandis, Hunter Lawrence, and Chase Sexton all have moto wins to their credit, but only the first three mentioned still have a true shot at the title (Lawrence was put in a hole due to struggles at the start of the year, Sexton lost significant points when he was forced to abandon the second moto in Florida due to heat-related issues). Things are a little different in the 450 class, where Eli Tomac, Ken Roczen, Marvin Musquin, Zach Osborne, and Jason Anderson are separated by 33-points and all are yet to experience a DNF, DNS, or a terribly bad day. Here’s what we’ll be watching for from each rider at Southwick…

Marvin Musquin & Dylan Ferrandis

The Florida round was a breakthrough for the French riders. Mixed results at the first four rounds put both riders at risk of falling out of championship consideration, so there was a sense of urgency in their riding. Ferrandis forced his way to the front of the field in both motos for 4-1 scores and second overall; his win in 250 Moto Two was his first of the summer. Musquin, meanwhile, went all-out in 450 Moto One and nabbed his first moto win of the summer, followed it up with a conservative third-place result in 450 Moto Two, and claimed his first overall win of the summer. They were fazed by the heat at the end of the day, but never made much of a fuss about how challenging it was.

Was Florida an indication of what’s to come from Musquin and Ferrandis as we approach the middle of the season? We have to assume so since the duo won their classes at Southwick in 2018 and have a history stringing together solid results at crucial times in a race season.

Eli Tomac & Adam Cianciarulo

Florida didn’t go the way either anticipated, something they’ve openly admitted. Tomac was marred by a bad start in 450 Moto One and put in a long charge to finish the race in seventh, then bounced back for a big win in 450 Moto Two that allowed him to salvage second overall on the day. Cianciarulo was expected to continue his run of moto and overall wins at his home race but never was able to match the pace of Sexton/Cooper/Ferrandis through either moto, something he later pinned to a lack of comfort and flow on the sand track. His 5-3 scores were enough for third overall. All that said, the day wasn’t terrible because both remained at the top of the points in their class.

Tomac has won Southwick a handful of times in the past and his aggressive riding style works well on the ever-changing sand track, so he will be in the mix barring a big crash or mechanical problem. It’s likely that Cianciarulo spent some time this week working on himself and the bike for a second sand race, and it’s on him to break the notion that he’s not as good on the terrain. Cianciarulo can afford to have another “off day,” because he still has an 18-point advantage on Cooper, but a podium finish is about as much damage control as he can allow.

Ken Roczen & Justin Cooper

There was a sense of uncertainty surrounding these two in Florida, but they seemed to break the tension with good rides. Roczen put himself up front early in 450 Moto One with battles against Webb and Musquin, and his second-place finish seemed to dismiss any uncertainty about his health in the heat. Roczen had a crash in 450 Moto Two that shook him up and broke his momentum, but he recovered to finish the moto in 10th place and was sixth overall on the day. Cooper held his own against a list of riders in both races, strung together 2-2 moto finishes, and used that against the inconsistency of others to take his career-first overall win. Those results should be enough to end the discussion that neither has what it takes to get the job done, especially after Roczen’s energy issues and Cooper’s rough showing at High Point.

With all that said, it’ll be interesting to see if they can ride the momentum into Massachusetts. Cooper says that he grew up riding in sand and feels great at Southwick, while Roczen spends most of his time training at a place called the Moto SandBox. Both need to be on the podium, at the very least, but could very well be in the mix for moto wins at any point on Saturday. 

Michael Mosiman, Jason Anderson & Zach Osborne

By now, you should expect one of the three to be in the mix for a podium finish. Each of them came into the year without a real idea of where they’d rank, which was probably beneficial. Mosiman has shown he’s coming into his own over the last few weeks and he barely seemed out of breath after 250 Moto One in Florida. Anderson has proven to everyone that he has what it takes to mix it up with past champions in the series and is on the verge of winning a race before too long. Osborne has been a welcome addition to the 450 class and has stunned some competitors with late-race pushes. 

All three spend their time between races at Aldon Baker’s central Florida facility, which features a wide variety of soil spread over the top of dark, soft base. The trio shouldn’t have too hard of a time at Southwick, since it’s somewhat similar to what the ride day to day and the layout seems to favor their high-speed, flowy riding styles.

Other Notable Riders

Fredrik Noren has long been known as one of the top outdoor riders in the US and he reminded everyone of his skill last week in Florida. His 9-8 finishes in the motos are impressive in their own right, but when you hear that Noren did all of the bike work between gate drops, while his competition rested and recovered, it becomes downright heroic. It was enough to get the attention of the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team and Noren will spend the rest of the summer aboard the team’s RM-Z450.

Chase Sexton and Cameron McAdoo both had to sit out the second motos in Florida due to heat exhaustion, something that takes more than just a day or two to get over. Did the two riders take it easy this week, get enough fluids, and not do lasting damage to their fitness? That’ll be something to keep an eye on during 250 Moto One.

Aaron Plessinger will make his return to competition at Southwick. A badly broken heel and complications with the surgery incision has kept the 450 rookie on the sidelines since March, but he’s been on the bike for a few weeks and has taken up a residence at Justin Barcia’s practice track in the south.

TIME SHOWN IS PACIFIC STANDARD TIME. Adjust the time to your location (Southwick is three hours ahead)


12. Shane McElrath
23. Chase Sexton | After winning 250 Moto One at Florida, the GEICO Honda rider pulled out of Moto Two due to heat-induced illness. Sexton is on the entry list and it will be interesting to see how he fares just one week later.
26. Alex Martin
31. RJ Hampshire
32. Justin Cooper | The Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha rider is currently second in the point standings.
34. Dylan Ferrandis | The Monster Energy/Star Racing/Yamaha rider is currently third in the point standings.
39. Colt Nichols
44. Cameron McAdoo | After finishing 250 Moto One at Florida, the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM rider collapsed and was ineligible for Moto Two due to heat-induced illness. McAdoo is on the entry list and it will be interesting to see how he fares just one week later.
45. Brandon Hartranft
52. Jordan Bailey
55. Kyle Peters
59. Nick Gaines
61. Garrett Marchbanks | The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider returns after sitting out the Florida round.
66. Mitchell Oldenburg
73. Martin Davalos
78. Ramyller Alves
92. Adam Cianciarulo | With overall wins at Hangtown/Fox Raceway/Thunder Valley/High Point, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider leads the championship standings.
110. Yusuke Watanabe
123. Mitchell Falk | The Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM rider returns to action after breaking his collarbone at Hangtown.
156. Jacob Hayes
161. Justin Thompson
162. Maxwell Sanford
164. Matthew Klann
167. Cody Williams
168. Cale Kuchnicki
186. Tyler Monks
187. Walter White
194. Jerry Robin
196. Hunter Lawrence
210. Jonathan Mayzak
233. Derek Drake
238. Ben Robinson
248. Travis Delnicki
294. Nicholas McDonnell
298. Chase Simone
301. Jordan Jarvis
334. Christopher Lauro
340. Blake Taylor
345. Joshua Prior
346. Kevin Moranz
357. Kameron Barboa
390. Salvatore Cusimano
407. Benjamin Nelko
423. Matthew Fisk
432. Salvatore Colangelo
459. Austin Brooks
483. Bryton Carroll
491. Gabe Guiterres
514. Anthony Roth
515. James Doolittle
516. Yeissen Rubalcava
573. Hunter Calle
580. Bobby Tiso
583. Corey Ridel
610. Hayden Halstead
622. Zac Maley
631. Bradon Dickson
640. Aaron Zielfelder
657. Justin Wolf
664. Hunter Stempel
677. Billy Healy
701. Jake Pinhancos
719. Joshua Berchem
741. Spencer Mang
769. Andrew Rossi
778. James Harrington
838. Larry McVay
841. Jeff Walker
847. DJ Christie
889. Cody Williams
916. Jorge Rubalcava
923. Chris Moore
931. Stephen Vuckson
936. Ty Masterpool
949. James Manni
956. Austin Phelps
964. Mitchell Goheen


6. Jeremy Martin | GEICO Honda rider is still recovering from the vertebra burst fractures he suffered in the 2018 season; he is expected to return to competition in 2020.
24. Austin Forkner | Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider will miss the entire summer with torn ligaments in his knee.
28. Jordon Smith | The Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM rider could no longer deal with the lingering tendonitis in his wrist from a crash in the Supercross season and will soon undergo surgery to correct the injury; Smith will miss the rest of the summer.
36. Michael Mosiman | The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider is out for Southwick after a practice crash earlier in the week.
38. Christian Craig | Despite a notification from WADA of an adverse finding for a prohibited substance in an anti-doping test, the GEICO Honda rider is cleared to ride until a final decision by the FIM. The ongoing issue has impacted his 2019 season and it sounds as though Craig will not line up until the matter is clear.
40. Sean Cantrell | Lingering wrist injuries will keep the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull/KTM rider from the opening rounds of the season.
64. Jimmy Decotis | Due to a recent restructure at the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team, Decotis will not be a part of the two-rider 250 team this summer.
67. Enzo Lopes | Due to a recent restructure at the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team, Lopes will not be a part of the two-rider 250 team this summer.
72. Martin Castelo | Although on the entry list, Castelo sustained a concussion in Florida and has made the decision to hold off on riding until he is back to full health.
112. Thomas Covington | The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider is out for Southwick in order to recover from an ongoing case of Epstein Barr that is draining his energy levels. 


1. Eli Tomac | With five wins in the ten motos run so far, the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider leads the championship standings.
2. Cooper Webb
4. Blake Baggett
7. Aaron Plessinger | The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing rider returns to action after suffering a broken heel at the Daytona Supercross.
16. Zach Osborne
17. Joey Savatgy
19. Justin Bogle
21. Jason Anderson
25. Marvin Musquin | The Red Bull KTM rider jumped to third in the series standings with his Moto Win and overall victory at the Florida Motocross.
29. Benny Bloss
41. Ben LaMay
43. Tyler Bowers
49. Henry Miller
51. Justin Barcia
56. Lorenzo Locurcio
63. John Short
69. Jake Masterpool
80. Heath Harrison
88. Chris Canning
94. Ken Roczen | The Team Honda HRC rider is currently second in the championship standings.
100. Dirco Van der Westhuizen
101. Fredrik Noren | The Southwick round will be the first race of Noren’s fill-in ride with JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing; he will complete the summer with the team.
103. Dean Ferris
115. Gregory Hutchinson
116. TJ Albright
119. Issac Teasdale
125. Luke Neese
152. Ryder Hanninen
217. Cory Gilliam
222. Brandon Hugney
241. Dylan Clark
243. Hunter Braun
254. Cody Briner
261. Landon Davis
265. Nick Fratz-Orr
270. Jacob Runkles
295. Jack Pagano
309. Jeremy Smith
314. Tyler Stepek
317. Richard Tolman-Moschetti
319. Coty Schock
332. Dustin Winter
351. Eric Grondahl
354. Matthew Toth
383. Casey Brennan
405. Joe LaFalce
412. Jared Lesher
429. Derrick Barnaby
431. Travis Marsh
442. Zachary Johnson
449. Dakota Kessler
468. Austin Walker
489. Ricci Randanella
511. Charles Wernig
524. Frank Peneno
532. Rocky Cagno
553. Brent Rouse
570. Thomas Lanphear
582. Alexander Brown
591. Tanner Myers
607. Kyle Endriss
611. Jacob Morrison
626. Matthew Desjardins
645. Jacob Pogodzienski
647. Matthew Hubert
661. Noah Chambers
688. Gabe Woodrow
696. Nick Kraeger
700. Justin Weeks
711. Tristan Lane
716. Ryan Dowd
718. Toshiki Tomita
729. Philip Bugbee
738. Kyle Hameister
761. Matt Tovani
763. James Henshaw
771. William Clark
776. Seamus Sullivan
802. Marshall Macintyre
804. Cole Robbins
813. Aaron Lampi
827. Blake Ovitt
834. Kristopher Corey
856. Scott Iverson
880. Conor Sheridan
886. Shane Kelleher
919. Brian Borghesani
929. Taiki Koga
962. Joseph Tait
971. Benjamin Brouillard


14. Cole Seely | Team Honda HRC rider is sidelined for the remainder of the summer due to a torn labrum and broken shoulder socket, injuries that required surgery and a three-month recovery.
15. Dean Wilson | A shoulder injury from a crash at the Nashville Supercross will keep the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider sidelined through the opening part of the summer. He will line up at RedBud
46. Justin Hill | JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing rider is out for the rest of the summer after suffering a recent shoulder injury and necessary surgery.
54. Dylan Merriam | A hard crash at the 2019 Thunder Valley Motocross left the California privateer with a broken collarbone, fractured T1 vertebrae, fractured rib, bruised lung and pulled groin.

Michael Antonovich

Michael Antonovich has a wealth of experience with over 10 years of moto-journalism under his belt. A lifelong racing enthusiast and rider, Anton is the Editor of Swapmoto Live and lives to be at the race track.

  • 1

You Might also Like


  1. Aaron Sorgius June 27, 2019

    What an article. There really is no place like southwick🤘 I’d like to see more of the privateer life and the behind the scenes of how much those guys really have to give up . Day in and day out. As always these articles are my favorite to read and always go so into depth about each title.

  2. Brian Whitehead June 28, 2019

    I feel bad for Marvin having all those bad Moto’s and I am really happy that Zack Osborne has been at the front. That guy really deserves it and I think he will stand on top of the podium soon. You guys have one of the best nights for keeping up to date on the motocross world.