Round two of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship brings us back down to southern California at Fox Raceway. Unlike last weekend, tomorrow is set to be filled with blue skies and nice weather, giving the riders a better chance to become familiar with the new track without having any interference from mother nature. The 250 and 450 classes were combined for today’s press day, giving us a chance to see all of the factory riders all in one practice session. With an abundance of sunshine, a good breeze and warmer temperatures than what we’ve seen in a while, the track got pretty dried out and dusty before the end of the day. Today we also got a first look at the freshly mounted red plates aboard both Adam Cianciarulo’s Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki and Ken Roczen’s HRC Honda as they headed out for press day with the rest of the 250 and 450 classes. With press day now over with, here’s what to look for coming into round two: (For extended coverage of the 2019 Fox Raceway National, click here)
Last weekend HRC Honda’s Ken Roczen took home the overall win after putting in 1-2 moto scores. With Fox Raceway being one of the hot spots for teams and riders to ride at during the week, Ken has definitely put in a lot of laps at the facility. Being familiar with the track and having a nice target on his back as the points leader in the 450 class, there’s no doubt we’ll see him back up front this weekend.
Monster Energy/Kawasaki’s Eli Tomac came into the 2019 season with the big number one plate on his bike and the red background, but left Hangtown four points out of the points lead behind Ken Roczen. Eli doesn’t spend as much time on the public SoCal tracks like many of his competitors, so he may have a disadvantage compared to others coming into Fox Raceway this weekend.
Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson sits third in the title chase after scoring 2-5 moto scores last weekend in Sacramento. The 2018 Monster Energy Supercross champion had to sit out most of the 2019 Supercross season due to an injury suffered during a practice crash right after round three this year, so a podium finish from his first gate drops since January makes it seem likely he’ll be a title contender for the 2019 Pro Motocross Championship.
The 450 class rookie Zach Osborne had a great ride last weekend at Hangtown, going 5-3 in the motos. The Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna showed great speed in the different conditions in Sacramento, so it seems he’ll be running toward the front regardless of what the track throws his way.
Your 2019 Monster Energy Supercross champ, Red Bull/KTM Factory Racing’s Cooper Webb finished round one of the outdoor series with 3-6 moto scores for fifth overall on the weekend.
Adam Cianciarulo tackled the contrasting conditions in Sacramento last weekend by going 2-1 for the overall win, just his second ever. He now comes into Fox Raceway with not only the red plate and the points lead, but also a bit of a feeling of redemption after losing the 250 West Supercross Championship in Las Vegas just three weeks ago.
Justin Cooper had a phenomenal ride at the season opener in Sacramento last weekend taking the first moto win over a hard-charging Cianciarulo, and then followed it up with a fourth in moto two for second overall on the day. He comes into Pala, Ca sitting second in the points standings will undoubtedly be a threat for the win tomorrow.
Star Racing/Yamaha’s Colt Nichols joined his teammate on the podium in third following his 5-3 moto scores. Sitting third in the standings just eleven points down, Colt is far from out of this championship hunt.
The 2019 250 West Coast Supercross Champion Dylan Ferrandis flip-flopped scores with his teammate Colt Nichols, going 3-5 for the day. After a good finish last weekend and the confidence he’s carrying from his championship three weeks ago, he’ll surely be running toward the front again tomorrow.
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross veteran Ryan Villopoto will be the one to watch here at Fox Raceway in the 125 All-Stars division after taking the first round win over Robbie Wageman and Brandon Ray. The Yamaha rider from Washington has the obvious skills to be able to take the win again here in Pala, but there are still a few others that could give him a run for his money.
Robbie Wageman had a fantastic ride finishing just behind Villopoto last weekend in the 125 class. Robbie, a southern California local, is sure to be a favorite to be able to take the victory over the current “points leader”.
The possible threats to Villopoto’s crown are Monster Energy/Atlas Speed Factory/Husqvarna’s Talon Hawkins and Orange Brigade/KTM’s Joshua Varize. The two youngsters may not have the same level of experience as their older counterparts, but they sure were flying in the press riding session today.
Reigning AMA Endurocross and FIM World SuperEnduro champion Colton Haaker has thrown his hat into the mix for this weekend’s 125 All-Star race here at Fox Raceway. The Rockstar Energy/Husqvarna rider now has a tiny bit more time on his hands, as the AMA Endurocross series was just recently canceled for this year.
The addition of Fox Raceway to the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross circuit may be new for 2019, but the series had stops here back in both 2010 and 2011, where Ryan Dungey took three out of four possible moto wins in the 450 class, only being topped by none other than Ryan Villopoto in that fourth moto. For more history on the Fox Raceway (formerly Pala Raceway national), see the image below.
Here’s an animated track preview of tomorrow’s Fox Raceway National.