Sure, the 2022 Budds Creek Motocross ended with Eli Tomac and Chase Sexton still one point apart in the standings. Yeah, Jett Lawrence has a firm grip on his second 250MX number one plate. No, Ryan Dungey still hasn’t earned a trophy for this efforts. As much as things stayed the same at round ten Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, that one humid day of competition at the Maryland track upped the excitement tenfold.
Chase Yentzer jumped into the pro ranks immediately after Loretta’s and has gone 39-40-32-25 in four motos with the BarX/Chaparral/Suzuki team. Okay, that’s not the best record to start a pro career, but the Pennsylvania rider seems to have picked up on the pace while learning the tracks in Timed Qualifying and found following the eclectic Williams-Talviku-Baker-Prebula pack in Moto Two.
Soak it down. Budds Creek is always wet and heavy during the morning practice sessions, usually due to rainy weather leading up to the weekend, but this year it was all from the hose work by the track crew. Shoutout to the Budds Creek Minutemen and new track proprietor Ezra Beasley on their efforts to the Maryland property ready for the National.
Garrett Marchbanks made it very clear that he doesn’t want to be a “450 Guy” now. We asked the Muc-Off/FXR Moto/ClubMX rider that question after 13-14 finishes put him twelfth overall at Budds Creek, to which he responded, “I know a lot of people say that, but no. I don’t want to be a 450 guy. I feel like I have too much to prove in the Lites Class. I feel like I could win a title in Supercross. I know a lot of people would say, ‘whatever, he’s past due.’ But I could cut weight and get back to where I was at two years ago, when I was at Kawi. People saw flashes of speed this year and last year, but I dealt with COVID a lot a Supercross this year, so I hope that next year to just stay healthy, race Lites, hopefully stay light enough, and race the Lites Class in 2023 for outdoors.” For those keeping stats, Marchbanks has finished in the top-15 fourteen times this summer.
Ryan Dungey told us that he made a fork change on his Red Bull KTM before Moto Two at Budds Creek, but no, it’s not a move to the AER fork. “I’m still on the 52 springs at the moment,” said Dungey. Of all the suspension components that RD5 has used during his years at KTM, we’re pretty sure he’s always kept the full-size factory sticks on the front-end.
There were a few riders who tested new cameras during the morning practice sessions. This was the first use of onboard equipment in a few years and was an interesting departure from past attempts, as they were not from a presenting sponsor like GoPro/Garmin and per the AMA’s mandate that restricts anything from being attached to a helmet, had to be mounted to the motorcycle. However, we never saw any of the footage used on the broadcast?
About time vented number plates came back around. We noticed a few privateers and the Twisted Tea/Progressive/HEP Motorsports/Suzuki squad had pieces from Anchor Tape Co on their bikes at Budds Creek. The startup, run by Florida racer Jack Chambers, sells the custom cut and printed pieces for $150.
It didn’t take long for Dylan Ferrandis to find the pace. The defending champion told us at Unadilla he expected to be closer to the top-five by Budds Creek, a claim he backed up with a 1:57.020 sprint that put him fifth overall in Timed Qualifying and a thirteenth to sixth push in Moto One. Yes, things went astray in Moto Two, but that’ll be mentioned below…
Max Vohland continues to build. The Red Bull KTM rider found the flow at Budds Creek early and took P1 in Session One of Timed Qualifying with a 1:58.411 lap. The teenager’s pace was bested in Session Two by Lawrence-Cooper-Shimoda-Hampshire, four riders that have all won motos at some point this summer. Vohland told us that getting the fastest lap is another task he’s been trying to check off and expects this will help get him closer to the podium.
Antonio Cairoli made the quick trip to Maryland for another tune-up ahead of this year’s MXON, his last race in the States until the international assembly in Michigan. Budds Creek is one of the few places the nine-time world champion had spun competitively laps at before (the famous/infamous ’07 des Nations) and we were eager to see how he got around the off-chamber, tacky course. A crash and resulting run-in with Barcia in Moto One left TC22 with a boxer’s fracture in his hand, but it wasn’t seen as a major issue by the injured rider or team.
Budds Creek Best Whip Entry: Marshal Weltin
Budds Creek Best Whip Entry: Ken Roczen
Hearing Jason Anderson's comments on the podium about tire choice after Moto One were telling. The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider is right; he usually sticks to a intermediate knobby pattern, no matter the conditions, and spends plenty of time on it in loam. hard-pack, sand, and silt.
Team USA announced its three-rider roster at Budds Creek, with Eli Tomac in the MXGP position, Justin Cooper in MX2, and Chase Sexton in the Open role. This was the widely expected roster, a group with undeniable speed and some experience at the event (Cooper and Tomac have gone before, Sexton is a first-timer). Can they earn the Chamberlain Trophy for the first time since 2011, when Dungey-Baggett-Villopoto earned the overall in France? We'll see at the end of September.
Ooof. As bad as this looks for Carson Mumford, the BarX/Chaparral/Suzuki rallied back from this starting gate mistake to finish fourteenth in 250 Moto One.
Tyler Stepek was the hometown hero at Budds Creek. We saw lots of shirts and heard plenty of cheers for the Mount Airy native as he pushed to season-best 16-19 finishes for nineteenth overall in the 250 Class.
Two shots of RJ going up the triple.
Another exciting Mosiman-Lawrence matchup. The two, who are incredibly friendly with everyone yet have a bit of a rift between them, went on for a while in 250 Moto One. Mosiman's intensity got him into early lead and turned to a crafty defense of a top-three spot until a washout allowed Lawrence the chance to go by and wave a finger for the mistake.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider sent it lap after lap, a huck that required a Knievel-length run but could shave a few tenths from a lap time if downsided perfectly.
Did you think Guillem Farres was the core of the "Star Racing kept everyone out of the GOAT Farm for a Spanish rider to test" rumors? The teenager, who has some experience in EMX250 and MX2 but is more familiar with the German ADAC series, told us he had only a few days on the Yamaha, a bike that is much different than his usual KTM. Farres told us he's in for Ironman, too, and hopes Star will support him as Spain's MX2 rider at the MXON.
Battlin’. It’s been interesting to see how guys like Justin Cooper and Hunter Lawrence overcome their mistakes and make it to the front of the pack in the 250 Class. Glimpse of 2023’s outdoor matchup?
RJ was really, really happy with his decision to run the sand tire. The scoop tread was great for the conditions in 250 Moto One, when the track was still soft and even a little sloppy in spots (an erratic hose turned one tight corner into a water crossing). Hampshire stuck with it for Moto Two, too.
Like a cornerman in the boxing ring, Nick Wey had ice packs and towels ready for Jo Shimoda after 250 Moto One. Keeping the core temperature controlled is key in the humidity.
Will we see Ryan Dungey on the starting line again? We’ve heard a few different things recently, everything from a full return to SX-MX with Red Bull KTM, an MX-only summer gig, or a decision to stop racing again.
Red Bull KTM had the full data acquisition kit on Aaron Plessinger’s AER 48 forks. This whole setup is cool to see. Plessinger will tell you that he isn’t the greatest test rider and that they’ve tried a lot to dial in the new orange bike, but we never thought the factory team would find the remedy in production components.
Oh, and they’re in clamps from the PowerParts catalog.
It’s been great to see Eli’s last summer from the side of the track. It was inevitable that the current generation of stars would fade out, evident in the rise of SX-only contracts, but to see it happening so quickly is a sad surprise. Like we’ve said a lot lately: enjoy these next few years.
What we said about Anderson and the intermediate Dunlop? Same applies for Eli Tomac and the sand scoop. ET has told us it’s one of the rubbers he uses most at his practice track in Colorado, so he knows exactly how it’ll feel in a variety of conditions, even unfavorable ones, and he pushed it to the limits in two very different motos at Budds Creek.
Every point counts.
Chandler Baker, a new addition to the 250 Class, and a visual display of Budds Creek’s off-chamber corners.
How many line combinations do you see? (There’s no right answer.)
The start at Budds Creek might be the trickiest of the entire Pro Motocross tour, as it’s a long, fast chute dumps into a tight lefthander. The track crew ripped the lane deep for each moto, then smoothed out the last 30 feet or so with a dozer to keep front-ends from knifing in the soft dirt.
Jo Shimoda thought his Moto Two win was enough to earn him the overall and rode up to the top of the podium as soon as he crossed the checkered flag. Eddie Ayala, Kawi’s PR rep, had to break the bad news that 3-1 finishes weren’t enough, but that he finished second instead. That’s okay, though, because Jo’s recent run of results boosted him to second in the championship standings.
RJ Hampshire said that there were a few new parts on his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing bike a Budds Creek, a recent development that the team created/tested and that he pushed to use. Anyone else curious to see the changes made to 2024 machines from the Austrian OEMs?
We’ve gotten to know a few fans and families over the last few summers, including Tommy B and his dad. Always great to see you guys on the fence line!
What a time to be alive.
We only saw the aftermath of Dylan Ferrandis and Justin Barcia’s Moto Two run-in, as Barcia raced by on his own while Ferrandis coasted on the access road
a few moments later with a busted clutch lever. The incident left a lasting impact on both riders: Barcia’s immediate DQ took away a decent points haul from Budds Creek while Ferrandis will sit out Ironman due to pain in his back.
Budds Creek is one of the most viewer-friendly tracks on the Pro Motocross calendar. The Maryland hills offer plenty of great spots to watch from and makes it easy to follow riders as they fly around the challenging course. If you can deal with the humidity, it’s a must-attend event.
The lack of statements from the AMA or GASGAS regarding the Barcia disqualification was interesting. The decision, made quickly on Saturday afternoon, went unannounced to the assembled media that were near the AMA trailer doing interviews, even though it helped caused the delayed post-race results. GASGAS made no mention of it in the post-race PR, which wasn’t a surprise, but there’s been no follow-up in the days since. Did JB’s SX incidents play a part? Is this a precedent setter for the rest of the field, or will guys take it upon themselves to settle the score?
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.