Well, that two-week break felt like a two-month break, but we're now set to end the Pro Motocross season over these next three weeks. Also, we're just three rounds away from the SuperMotocross fields being officially set ahead of the opener at ZMax Dragway in Charlotte. Chase Sexton and Hunter Lawrence are all but sure to clinch the two No. 1 seeds and roll into North Carolina with 25 points in the bank, but there's some potential for movement in the top five in both classes between now and the Ironman National.
Don't forget as well that this doesn't just matter for the Championship-contending riders. There's massive money on the line for the Privateer riders in both classes. Every point going into ZMaxx Dragway could make the difference in coming home with seven figures or six for the top 450 guys or any several thousand dollars down the batting order in either class.
- Injured riders will not be removed from the standings if they are inside the top 20. The trade-off is there will be added transfer spots in the Last Chance Qualifier for every injured rider as needed in each class. Unclear if riders will be bumped into the LCQ for injured non-top 20 riders at this time.
- Riders will begin the SMX Playoffs with points in hand based on their combined Supercross-Motocross Points, much like the original 2004 NASCAR Chase for the Cup system. No. 1 seed begins with 25 points, the No. 2 seed 22 points, No. 3 20 points, etc.
- In-event standings in Olympic Scoring/Monster Energy Cup formatting will determine the points payout after both Motos, much like Triple Crown Supercross Rounds currently.
- Points system is the same as Motocross, with the values doubled for round two and tripled for round three.
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Italics - Mathematically Clinched into a Top 20 Seed.
[Instert Name Here]* - Long-Term Injury.
[Instert Name Here]** - Running in opposite class.
SuperMotocross 250 Class
Contenders (Seeds 1-10)
Currently In: Hunter Lawrence, Haiden Deegan, R.J. Hampshire, Levi Kitchen, Jo Shimoda, Max Vohland, Tom Vialle, Justin Cooper, Jordon Smith, Jett Lawrence**
Projected to Jump Into Range: Talon Hawkins
If not for the horrendous luck that Hunter Lawrence had at RedBud and Southwick, he likely would have had the 250 No. 1 seed wrapped up by now. The good news is he's in no danger of losing it to Haiden Deegan, who's 59 points behind. Danger Boy, meanwhile, isn't exactly safe where he's at by any means. Any more off rounds and R.J. Hampshire will pass him up, given he's just five points behind going into this weekend.
Outside of that top grouping, there's only one other points battle anywhere else in the top 10, but it's a three-rider duel with some international flavor. Seeds 5-7, Jo Shimoda, Max Vohland, and Tom Vialle, are all separated by 15 points. Wouldnt call this a super high-stakes battle, given that these spots are worth a point each, but you never know how things may shake out down the line. As for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna's Talon Hawkins, he has zero pressure behind him but needs 49 points to beat Jett Lawrence's 250 Supercross points total of 223. You'd have to imagine that Jett gets any tiebreaker on wins should they tie, even though there's zero chance he's running a 250.
Currently In the Night Show (Seeds 11-20)
Currently In: Max Anstie, Talon Hawkins, Caden Braswell, Chance Hymas*, Enzo Lopes, Jeremy Martin*, Ryder DiFrancesco, Jalek Swoll, Carson Mumford, Dilan Schwartz
Projected to Jump Into Range: Pierce Brown, Seth Hammaker
Especially at the top end of this range, there will be plenty of stagnation. Anstie and Lopes are focused on WSX for the time being. Additionally, Hymas and JMart are done for the year, which makes the key guys here RyderD and Jalek Swoll. DiFrancesco, specifically, can jump from the 17 seed to the 13 seed this weekend if he can get a bad day out of Caden Braswell, who is officially out with TLD GasGas on with the HBI Racing Kawasaki squad (the Ty Masterpool program). Same case for Swoll as well. He's just two points back of RyderD right now and has been able to put up some good outings this summer, just not consistently.
Outside of the top 20, you can take it to the bank that both Pierce Brown and Seth Hammaker will not only make it into a guaranteed SMX spot but do so comfortably. Hammaker, despite having just eight races to his name in 2023, has put up at least 26 points in three of the four Nationals he's run. Seeing as the first injured rider ahead of him, JMart, is 49 points up, that puts the Pro Circuit rider just four Motos away from jumping him in all likelihood. Brown, meanwhile, is basically all set as it is. He's just three points behind No. 20 seed Dilan Schwartz and will most certainly get by him at Unadilla.
Last Chance Saloon (Seeds 21-30)
Currently In: Pierce Brown, Zombie Blose, Mitchell Oldenburg, Nate Thrasher*, Derek Kelley, Cullin Park, Cameron McAdoo, Seth Hammaker Coty Schock, Cole Thompson*
Projected to Jump Into Range: Stilez Robertson and Daxton Bennick
Projected Number of Transfer Spots: Five
Save for Brown and Hammaker, don't expect any substantial movement from anyone currently 21st to 30th. The only active rider that's wont be making it out of this group but is also safe is Derek Kelly. Everyone else is hurt, running WSX, or taking the summer off. Call that a MASSIVE win for now full-time pro-Daxton Bennick and a returning Stilez Robertson. At 55 and 54 points a pop currently, they can both clinch their way into LCQ spots by gaining 48 points over these next three weeks, or average 16 points per weekend.
Forkner needed to be on his A-game from the jump to even have a shot at making the SMX field, and now his path is much harder after a 21st in Moto 1 at Washougal. Not even from a points perspective per se. Should Forkner average 18 points per National, he'd be good, but he already burned his one mulligan and is prone enough to mistakes and bad luck as is. One more mistake, he's probably out of contention, and keep in mind, this is just to make it into the LCQ field. Even with likely five transfer spots up for grabs, no guarantee he, or anyone else, is a lock to make it out.
SuperMotocross 450 Class
Contenders (Seeds 1-10)
Currently In: Chase Sexton, Aaron Plessinger, Cooper Webb, Adam Cianciarulo, Jett Lawrence, Dylan Ferrandis, Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac*, Justin Barcia
Projected to Jump Into Range: None
Barring some sort of catastrophic end to the year, Chase Sexton will have the No. 1 450 class seed locked up with at least two Motos to go in the MX season. Should he somehow gain 26 points on Aaron Plessinger tomorrow in Unadilla, he'd be all set right then and there.
The key guy to watch in the top five from a numbers perspective, however, is surprisingly Cooper Webb. We won't see him until Charlotte, but he certainly will not be the 450 Class No. 3 seed. Adam Cianciarulo will most likely pass him after just one Moto this week, while Jett Lawrence should get him at some point during the Budds Creek National. If it's any consolation for the Jett, there's a 99% chance he wins the 450 Motocross title tomorrow.
The other two guys mathematically in range of Webb though are Jason Anderson and Dylan Ferrandis. The Frenchman has averaged 38.125 points per National this year, putting him on track to get by. For Anderson, that DNF in Millville Moto 2 could cost him here, but if he can match the 36 points he put up at Washougal a few more times, he'd also be in the clear. Assuming all four guys pass him, that's six fewer points for the Star Yamaha-bound rider. The five seed sounds much better than the seven seed in a vacuum, so that's exactly what he should be hoping for if you're Webb.
Although we did expect to see Ken Roczen at Unadilla this weekend, that is no longer the case. Only one rider can realistically pass the 340-point benchmark he has established, and that's the returning Justin Barcia. Of all years for Barcia to get hurt, this one stings the most. From Daytona Supercross to East Rutherford Supercross, you could argue he was the second-best 450 rider on the planet. He'd be a lock as a top-five seed going into SMX, which especially sucks, but there is a path to get an additional two points before Charlotte. Should BamBam average at least 25 points per National (say an 8-9/9-8 or a 7-10/10-7), he'd be in the clear. I don't foresee Barcia competing for wins at this point in the year, but that feels quite obtainable. Outside of that, everyone in this range will be mathematically locked into the main field tomorrow, barring Barica gaining next to no points.
Currently In the Night Show (Seeds 11-20)
Currently In: Freddie Noren, Grant Harlan, Justin Hill, Dean Wilson, CHIZ, Ty Masterpool, Garrett Marchbanks, Shane McElrath, Colt Nichols, Josh Hill
Projected to Jump Into Range: Jose Butron
Just to start things here, for those who haven't heard, Grant Harlan and his family's race shop caught on fire earlier this week, and just about everything inside was lost. His YZ450 he ran in Supercross, parts, tools, everything. In light of that news, Troy Dog and the fine folks over at VurbMoto have joined up with the Harlans to start a fundraiser for the family. The three prizes you can raffle on as many times as you want include signed number plates, jerseys, and a VIP race day experience at any event of your choosing. Additionally, anything extra after the damages are covered will be donated to Road2Recovery.com, which does great work raising funds for riders at all levels dealing with significant injuries. A real win-win here. Click that top link if you're interested in lending a hand, and be a friend tell a friend.
As it relates to Harlan and everyone else in this range, the only rider who will realistically clinch a main-field birth this weekend is No. 11 seed Fast Freddie Noren, who would have to give up 16 points to Jose Butron to not be in the clear. Harlan is the only other rider who can make it in, needing to gain 10 points on Butron. Additionally, everyone in this range, specifically all of the World Supercross competing riders, may not be officially locked in until after Ironman. Because of injuries, however, they all should be safe inside the top 20. Well, except for Josh Hill. Butron, who is 21 points back, could blow by the elder Hill brother as soon as this weekend. Remember that he lined up for Washougal but only picked up four points.
Had injuries not plagued this entire class this year, it would have been interesting to see some of the WSX guys come at the end of the year with little to no Motocross prep to simply get themselves into the top 20. There's always next year though.
Last Chance Saloon (Seeds 21-30)
Currently In: Christian Craig*, Jose Butron, Lorenzo Locurcio*, Kevin Moranz, Justin Starling, Benny Bloss, Phil Nicoletti, Derek Drake, Joey Savatgy, Justin Cooper**.
Projected to Jump Into Range: Romain Pape
Projected Number of Transfer Spots: Three
If no one gets bumped into LCQ range, things will be very tight for what is most likely going to be three transfer spots. Joey Savatgy is the clear cream of the crop here, but beyond him, things become interesting. Of the eight projected and healthy riders here, I would be shocked if any less than five don't make it into a single round. The lone question mark here is Benny Bloss with that said. He left Rock River Yamaha after Supercross and was announced as the inaugural rider for Facotry Beta a bit afterward. As of this month, Bloss has officially begun testing the bike ahead of the 2024 Supercross season. Do they speed up their timetable and jump into the game about four months early? Or will Bloss run his own mini-program should indeed lineup this September?
Just one rider outside the top 30 outside of Pape has a shot to get in at the buzzer, but he's set to miss both Unadilla and Budds Creek and likely needs help anyway. You may know him as the bane of your existence in PulpMX Fantasy, but he goes by Jerry Robin. He needs Pape to score no points the rest of the way, which isn't completely out of the realm of possibility, but remember this. Robin put up an 8-14 and a 10-9 to open up the season, good for 21 points per National. If he were even to get four fewer points than that, he'd be in the clear and would knock Savatgy out of the SMX playoffs, assuming he doesn't line up the rest of the way. That'd be quite the upset all things considered.
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