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2024 AMA Pro Motocross Recap - High Point

It's funny to look at High Point from a year ago, see how things turned out, and then see how much has changed. Justin Cooper lost the 250 Championship here in 2023 due to a qualifying crash that kept him out of both Motos, more or less handing things to Hunter Lawrence, who is now the 450 Points leader entering this weekend. Then you look at his brother, who struggled a ton here in both Motos a year ago but still found a way to sweep the day. Although not in the 1-1 variety, he had to dig deep at less than 100 percent to get his second national win of the year, but he doesn't have that points gap, let alone lead, that he did in 2023.

What about a guy like Chance Hymas? Last year, this was his breakout ride, but his season also ended at High Point due to an impending ACL surgery. A year later, he looks like a legit contender for Honda HRC, having multiple days like the one he had at Mt. Morris a year ago already. Fun to reflect, but a ton of momentum was on the line this Father's Day weekend, with a looming week off before one of the toughest outs on the schedule coming up in Southwick.

Daytime Program/Injury Notes: 

- A boatload of rain hit Mt. Morris on Friday.

- According to @APsMullet on the bird app, Monster Kawi test rider Broc Tickle is set for one-offs at RedBud and Budds Creek with the team.

- Chase Sexton had a scary get-off in Q2, where he landed on the back of Justin Rodbell's bike. Luckily, neither guy was hurt.

- 250 Fastest Qualifier: No. 38 Haiden Deegan (2:24.178)

- 450 Fastest Qualifier: No. 1 Jett Lawrence (2:22.029)

250 Class Recap

1st - No. 29 Ty Masterpool (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki) (2-1)

Just an unbelievable story, no matter how you want to cut it. Masterpool's first-ever win, Mitch Payton's 300th win as a team owner, in a year where everything has gone wrong for Pro Circuit (again), and for this to all come together last minute and to find this level of success this early is great for everyone involved.

It never really sat right with me that Star Yamaha pulled the cord on Masterpool as quickly as they did, so the fact he's back on a factory ride after his sensational summer of 2023 feels right. It's not a perfect day, seeing as he could've gone 1-1 and nearly threw away Moto 2, but take them how you can get them.

2nd - No. 38 Haiden Deegan (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) (1-2)

After winning what was nothing short of an incredible Moto 1 comeback win for him, NBC decided put a microphone in front of Haiden Deegan. He only needed three seconds before saying something moronic, claiming that Chance Hymas intentionally tried to cut him off at the start before saying, "He thinks he has a chance, and I had to show him that he doesn't." Now, this is me personally, but why would Chance Hymas, on a super sketchy start because of all the rain from Friday, intentionally try to risk coming across and cut off Deegan, FIVE WHOLE SECONDS INTO MOTO 1, when the risk factor isn't even remotely worth it? It might just be me, but I feel that's a reasonable ask.

Although he had another bad start in Moto because of an early tipover, he still managed to nearly win Moto 2 as well in another masterful outing. That, to me, is the frustrating thing with Deegan; he has legitimately unreal racecraft and is an objectively fun guy to watch attack lines, especially from back in the pack. On the other hand, he needs to start acting like a professional sooner or later. I have a tough time seeing what he did to Coty Schock at Birmingham or some of his comments flying when he's in a class with guys like Jason Anderson and Justin Barcia.

5th - No. 16 Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM) (8-4)

Starts weren't as much of an issue as they have been for Vialle, but simply keeping it upright was a colossal problem that singlehandedly kept him off the podium. His pace was solid otherwise, but dumping it out of fourth and then first is rarely going to go well for you, and that was the case here. No Sexton-esque ride from Hangtown is fine, but I would've liked to see a better showing in Moto 1 from Vialle.

9th - No. 47 Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki) (10-9)

I've reached the point where I think that the rib injury Kitchen suffered near the end of Supercross has probably been the catalyst for his results these last two rounds; more specifically, it's either not getting better, or it's gotten worse. He's now gone 7-10-9 in his previous three Motos, and browsing through his lap times, he went down at least twice, and judging on his 33rd-scored start in Moto 1, probably a third as well. Hopefully, the week off does Kitchen well, but we'll have to see come to Southwick.

19th - No. 705 Mark Fineis (Muc-Off/FXR/ClubMX Yamaha) (16-38)

I saw more out of Mark Fineis when he ran up front in Moto 2 than I ever could've on a day where he'd go, say, 5-6, for argument's sake. He made mistakes, yes, but you can't teach time leading the pack, and Fineis got a ton of time out front and then trailing a couple of elite guys like Masterpool and Vialle. Take the good with the bad into the bye week and return at Southwick with that same attack mentality.

250 Class High Point Top 10

1st No. 29 Ty Masterpool (2-1)

2nd No. 38 Haiden Deegan (1-2)

3rd No. 48 Chance Hymas (4-3)

4th No. 30 Jo Shimoda (3-5)

5th No. 16 Tom Vialle (8-4)

6th No. 929 Julien Beaumer (6-8)

7th No. 34 Ryder DiFrancesco (5-13)

8th No. 39 Pierce Brown (13-6)

9th No. 47 Levi Kitchen (10-9)

10th No. 31 Jordon Smith (9-10)

250 Class Points After High Point

1st No. 38 Haiden Deegan (191 Points)

2nd No. 48 Chance Hymas (159 Points)

3rd No. 16 Tom Vialle (153 Points)

4th No. 47 Levi Kitchen (144 Points)

5th No. 30 Jo Shimoda (136 Points)

6th No. 29 Ty Masterpool (116 Points)

7th No. 33 Jalek Swoll (116 Points)

8th No. 39 Pierce Brown (109 Points)

9th No. 929 Julien Beaumer (103 Points)

10th No. 31 Jordon Smith (82 Points)

450 Class Recap

1st - No. 1 Jett Lawrence (Honda HRC) (1-1)

It's hard not to be impressed with how Lawrence responded after his crash at Hangtown. That's now three Moto wins and two National wins in a row, and he's less than 10 points out of the points lead going into the break. James Stewart (so good, by the way) pointed it out during his and Sexton's battle, which was fantastic, by the way, that he knew his shoulder was bothering him in that second Moto, and just looking at the lap times, I'd have to agree. After Sexton's fall, Lawrence lost nearly 8.5 seconds of his late lead on the final three laps alone and over 10 seconds over the last five. His shoulder will almost certainly be a storyline all season, but he can manage the pain and put together good results for now.

2nd - No. 4 Chase Sexton (Red Bull KTM) (3-2)

Losing Moto 2 the way he did stings, but the positives for Sexton are as follows: He didn't lose a single point to Hunter Lawrence despite finishing nearly 40 seconds back of him in Moto 1. And most importantly, we saw him pass Jett Lawrence clean for the lead, twice. The issue that they need to fix going into this second leg of the Championship is simply having that pace all day long and (a shocker here, I know) limiting mistakes.

3rd - No. 96 Hunter Lawrence (Honda HRC) (2-3)

It would've been nice to see Hunter take three extra points off his brother's plate in that first Moto, but the key thing is that the red plate is still his going into the bye week. Now, the biggest thing to monitor coming out of the break is how Hunter handles going back into his house of horrors, Southwick, Massachusetts. He lost the 250 Points lead there two years in a row, and for good in the former trip, scoring Moto finishes of 6-8-26-8. If he can exercise the demons at a place where his younger brother DOMINATED last year in some real-deal New England humidity, that'll be an enormous confidence boost for the 96.

16th - No. 36 Phil Nicoletti (Muc-Off/FXR/ClubMX Yamaha) (11-20)

I was at a family event as 450 Moto 2 kicked off, and I outright missed Filthy Phil's first holeshot and second instance of him leading a 450 Moto of the summer. Furious would be an understatement.

450 Class High Point Top 10

1st No. 1 Jett Lawrence (1-1)

2nd No. 4 Chase Sexton (3-2)

3rd No. 96 Hunter Lawrence (2-3)

4th No. 7 Aaron Plessinger (5-5)

5th No. 32 Justin Cooper (4-6)

6th No. 21 Jason Anderson (7-4)

7th No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis (6-7)

8th No. 51 Justin Barcia (10-8)

9th No. 27 Malcolm Stewart (9-9)

10th No. 12 Shane McElrath (8-10)

450 Class Points After High Point

1st No. 96 Hunter Lawrence (171 Points)

2nd No. 4 Chase Sexton (165 Points)

3rd No. 1 Jett Lawrence (163 Points)

4th No. 32 Justin Cooper (143 Points)

5th No. 7 Aaron Plessinger (134 Points)

6th No. 21 Jason Anderson (130 Points)

7th No. 51 Justin Barcia (121 Points)

8th No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis (120 Points)

9th No. 27 Malcolm Stewart (113 Points)

10th No. 22 Freddie Noren (82 Points)

Weekly Lit Kit: Mattia Guadagnini of MXGP Factory Husqvarna (Fox, #ForzaItalia)

Main Image via Octopi Media and Kawasaki


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