Frenchman Dylan Ferrandis (Yamaha) continued his impressive season by leading the way in the 450 class for his third victory of the season.
In the 250 class, American Husqvarna rider RJ Hampshire demonstrated incredible speed all day en route to his third career win.
But topping the points tables in both classes is a France-Germany 1-2 in the 450cc class and an Australian, Jett Lawrence (Honda, pictured here) on top in the 250cc class after four rounds.
As the gate dropped on the opening 450 Class moto, Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger prevailed with the holeshot ahead of KTM rider Cooper Webb and Honda’s German rider Ken Roczen. A quick pass by Webb in the second turn allowed him to steal the lead from Plessinger who retaliated to retake the lead just turns later.
It was Plessinger, Roczen, and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo at the completion of the opening lap. Championship point leader Ferrandis was sixth at the start.
As the moto surpassed the 10-minute mark, Roczen started to close on Plessinger for the lead, eventually making the pass stick as Plessinger slid back to second. As Cianciarulo continued his charge in third, he would soon find himself under pressure from Ferrandis who was turning the fastest lap times of the race.
Ferrandis was relentless in his push to the front and made the move on Cianciarulo just before the halfway point of the moto.
The battle for the lead began to tighten up as Plessinger closed in on Roczen while his team-mate Ferrandis closed in on them both with 10-minutes remaining.
The Yamaha team-mates pulled alongside each other several times before Ferrandis took possession of second with a pass on Plessinger through the sand rollers.
Ferrandis’ charge to the front could not be stopped as he struck on his championship rival Roczen to take the lead with just three laps remaining. The Frenchman would hold on to claim his second moto win of the season with 2.9 seconds to spare on Roczen. After leading early, Plessinger would finish third.
The deciding 450 class moto kicked off with Plessinger launching out of the gate to sweep the holeshots by edging out the Monster Energy Kawasaki duo of Eli Tomac and Cianciarulo, followed by Roczen and Ferrandis.
Cianciarulo would lose the front end coming downhill on the opening lap and be forced to rejoin near the tail end of the field as Plessinger, Tomac, Roczen, and Ferrandis led the way on the opening lap.
The battle immediately intensified up front as Tomac made quick work of Plessinger to take the number one position from Plessinger. Just behind the leaders, Roczen and Ferrandis matched one another’s pace in an effort for valuable championship points and to keep the leaders in sight.
Roczen made a costly mistake that saw him go down hard, but he was able to dust himself off and remount in sixth.
Up front, Colorado’s Tomac and Plessinger were separated by no more than two seconds for the majority of the race as they took turns on clocking the better lap times.
With the race winding down, the battle for second began to heat up as Ferrandis closed in on his team-mate Plessinger. He would use an excellent drive through the sand rollers to take second and set his sights on the race leader Tomac.
As the crowd cheered them on, Tomac held on to take his second moto win of the season by just 1.5 seconds over Ferrandis. A distant third would go to Plessinger, while Roczen recovered for sixth.
It was Ferrandis whose hard charging and consistency would give him the overall victory (1-2). Tomac earned his second consecutive podium of the season in season (4-1), while Plessinger completed the podium with an impressive 3-3 moto scores on the day. Roczen’s 6-2 was good enough for fourth.
A jump during the red cross flag in race one resulted in Ferrandis being docked a single point and Roczen two points, however, the overall finishes remained the same.
“I gave it everything and it was a big fight today,” said Ferrandis. “I charged really hard at the end of the motos. I wanted to win the second moto, but Eli [Tomac] was riding really good. I dreamed of winning here at RedBud and thanks to the fans for cheering loud for us all day. It’s been a good start to the season and I’m really looking forward to keep working hard so we can stay up front the rest of the season.”
With the win, Ferrandis was able to extend his lead in the championship standings to 14-points over Roczen who lost crucial points in the second race. Plessinger sits third, 36-points off the lead.
In the 250cc class, it was Hamphire finishing the day on top by virtue of 2-2 results, giving him the RedBud round win for the second consecutive year.
Justin Cooper’s second moto win earned him second overall (4-1) as Jett Lawrence completed the podium in third (1-6), followed by his brother Hunter Lawrence in fourth (3-4).
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RESULTS & STANDINGS:
450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
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450 Class Championship Standings (Round 4 of 12)
250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
250 Class Championship Standings (Round 4 of 12)