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2024 AMA Pro Motocross Recap - Southwick

From the hills of Mt. Morris, PA, to the sands of Southwick, Mass, we go in AMA Pro Motocross, a circuit that hasn't been too kind over the last few years, to 450 Class points leader Hunter Lawrence. He's lost the 250 points lead here twice; the first time, he never got it back. This year, though, he's been as consistent as it gets, and mistakes have been kept to a minimum. Would 2024 prove to be any different?

Daytime Program/Injury Notes: 

A good chunk of rain in the area forced a lot of new dirt/sand to be brought in, and sections of the track were rebuilt before Saturday.

- Lots of international flavor in the field. Tom Guyon, Kyle Webster, Gert Krestinov, Alvin Ostlund, and more.

- Star Yamaha using a loophole in the rules to practice at Southwick early was objectively genius.

- Colt Nichols and Beta parted ways officially over the break. He's expected to land at HEP Suzuki shortly.

- 250 Fastest Qualifier: No. 404 Tom Guyon (2:05.091) (Q2 pace was notably off of the top 10 but very impressive)

- 450 Fastest Qualifier: No. 4 Chase Sexton (2:04.370) (Sexton and Jett Lawrence were the only two riders to hit the 2:04 range in Q1)

250 Class Recap

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

Nice to see a scrappy underdog who no one believed in, like Deegan, take home a dominant 1-2 outing at the Wick, good for his fourth National win in five tries this year. Or at least that's what he'd like you to believe if his podium presser were to be taken seriously. You have to love the "nobody believed in me/us" adjacent speech from a guy who won 4-of-5 Nationals and who, at this rate, will win this Championship with rounds to spare.

But if for nothing else, he does deserve credit for locking in after going down on his own in Moto 2 and still nearly pulling out a win. Now Deegan sits 42 points up on Chance Hymas, and we're still a Moto away from the season's midway point. Also, that scrub in Moto 2 was as sketchy as any I've ever seen, but hey, if it works, it works.

2nd - No. 16 Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM) (2-3)

Getting right to the point here, Vialle should not be losing Motos like Moto 2 under any circumstances. He saw a nearly seven-second lead evaporate in just under four laps in an affair that was a formality until that point. Then, to loop out how he did on the last lap was unacceptable. Vialle's a guy who certainly has the clutch gene, but it was certainly not on display in Central Mass. A true gag job if I've ever seen one.

3rd - No. 30 Jo Shimoda (Honda HRC) (9-1)

Not the best Moto 1, but it was a glorious day for our Agenda™ on Saturday. That Moto 2 surge was the best Shimoda has looked on a Honda all year. He wasn't just better down the stretch, but notably better than anyone else, outside of a 2:16 that Deegan put up on lap 13 that got him back into the mix. Back to Shimoda, though, this is the kind of performance that we've been waiting for all year. Now it'll be a matter of replicating this success, and he's a former RedBud winner, which should bode well for next weekend.

7th - No. 47 Levi Kitchen (Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki) (4-7)

Coming out of the break, I needed to see something out of the Master Chef to feel good moving forward, and I'd say he did just that, despite a late incident causing him to finish seventh in the latter Moto. Looking at the lap times in said race, Kitchen's pace was pretty good. He only ran above a 2:20 twice in the opening 11 laps, and the first time was by a matter of a few hundredths of a second. It could've been better, but the panic button has yet to be pressed.

13th - No. 37 Max Anstie (Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha) (39-9)

To the 44% of PulpMX Fantasy owners who had Anstie this weekend, you are in my thoughts. I can't say some rear wheel/suspension issue seconds into his first Moto with Star was on my bingo card, but he hasn't been a stranger to mechanicals outdoors in years past. Not a bad recovery with a ninth in Moto 2 though.

250 Class Southwick Top 10

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

2nd No. 16 Tom Vialle (1-2)

3rd No. 30 Jo Shimoda (9-1)

4th No. 48 Chance Hymas (3-5)

5th No. 31 Jordon Smith (7-4)

6th No. 17 Joey Savatgy (5-6)

7th No. 47 Levi Kitchen (4-7)

8th No. 29 Ty Masterpool (6-8)

9th No. 39 Pierce Brown (8-12)

10th No. 166 Casey Cochran (11-10)

250 Class Points After Southwick

1st No. 38 Haiden Deegan (238 Points)

2nd No. 48 Chance Hymas (196 Points)

3rd No. 16 Tom Vialle (195 Points)

4th No. 47 Levi Kitchen (177 Points)

5th No. 30 Jo Shimoda (174 Points)

6th No. 29 Ty Masterpool (146 Points)

7th No. 39 Pierce Brown (133 Points)

8th No. 33 Jalek Swoll (124 Points)

9th No. 31 Jordon Smith (115 Points)

10th No. 17 Joey Savatgy (111 Points)

450 Class Recap

1st - No. 1 Jett Lawrence (Honda HRC) (1-2)

Seeing how drastically different this win at Southwick was compared to last year is a massive credit to Jett, who's still clearly fighting through that shoulder injury, even after a week off. Even more than the National win, he impressed me a ton by being able to hold off Hunter in the dying moments of Moto 2 to preserve things, but more importantly, at this juncture, keep things at a three-point deficit going into RedBud.

2nd - No. 4 Chase Sexton (Red Bull KTM) (3-1)

Sexton said he needed to be better after a distant third in Moto 1, and oh boy, was he. No crushing mistake this week. Just an incredible display of pacing himself on one of the toughest tracks on the schedule, and he knew exactly when the flip on the afterburners on the Lawrence bros. Once he got by Jett on the first main straight, he pulled upwards of six seconds on him on that same lap. That's what I'd call a statement ride if I've ever seen one.

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

Given the issues here in years past, a 2-3 might as well be a 1-1 for Hunter, who left a couple of points on the table, but only a couple. There's no shame in coming up short on a day like yesterday when Jett and Sexton were as good as they were. Plus, he still has the red plate going into the midway point of the season, which is what matters now.

7th - No. 51 Justin Barcia (TLD/Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing) (6-11)

In what could realistically be his final start of the year due to a knee injury, which does not require surgery, Barcia should be able to hang his hat on this performance given that he was scored 29th on Lap 1 of Moto 2. The lap times he was putting up at surface level don't look impressive, but considering he had to get creative to pass at least 18 guys, He looked better on the eye test than his 2:26 average would've suggested. In any case, I hope his recovery goes well; '24 didn't start great by any stretch, but Barcia put together a good string of weekends from Nashville SX to now.

9th - No. 79 Harri Kullas (Nonsenss/Ankriss KTM [Privateer]) (10-10)

Estonia's finest, Harri Kullas, has put together three respectable rounds in this championship. Saturday was his best outing so far, with a 10-10. Given his privateer status, it's not exactly a small feat, but then again, we know he can do even better. Remember last year when he finished sixth overall at Unadilla? Kullas isn't exactly taking things easy this summer either; he's also running in the Brazilian National Motocross series and their Arenacross Championship to boot.

450 Class High Point Top 10

1st No. 1 Jett Lawrence (1-2)

2nd No. 4 Chase Sexton (3-1)

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

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

5th No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis (7-5)

6th No. 7 Aaron Plessinger (12-4)

7th No. 51 Justin Barcia (6-11)

8th No. 36 Phil Nicoletti (9-9)

9th No. 79 Harri Kullas (10-10)

10th No. 762 Kyle Webster (17-7)

450 Class Points After Southwick

1st No. 96 Hunter Lawrence (213 Points)

2nd No. 4 Chase Sexton (210 Points)

3rd No. 1 Jett Lawrence (210 Points)

4th No. 32 Justin Cooper (176 Points)

5th No. 7 Aaron Plessinger (162 Points)

6th No. 14 Dylan Ferrandis (152 Points)

7th No. 21 Jason Anderson (148 Points)

8th No. 51 Justin Barcia (148 Points)

9th No. 27 Malcolm Stewart (133 Points)

10th No. 22 Freddie Noren (90 Points)

Main Image via Honda HRC


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