Good, Bad, 'n Ugly: Fox Raceway

Wrapping up the season Grant's observations on who had it, and who missed.

Good, Bad, 'n Ugly: Fox Raceway

250 Class

The Good: Dylan Ferrandis | 3rd Place Overall

Dylan was able to seal his first outdoor title at Pala without any drama, and he'll join Aaron Plessinger and Cooper Webb as Star Racing Yamaha riders who won both the 250 Supercross and motocross titles in their final year with the team. As far as I know, he'll also remain with Star Racing Yamaha for 2021 as they're taking over the Factory 450 Yamaha effort. So unlike Cooper Webb and Aaron Plessinger (who both struggled to find success with the Factory Yamaha 450 team), things will remain very familiar for Dylan. Next year, I think his rookie season could play out very similarly to how Adam Cianciarulo's did this year. I'm really looking forward to watching battles between him and Adam; I can tell you that much. 

Anyway, a huge congrats to Dylan and the team on a great season, and I hope he enjoys his well deserved time away from racing. 

Dylan Ferrandis.

The Bittersweet: GEICO Honda

It was fitting to see GEICO Honda sweep the podium of the final moto of the season, considering it was the final moto the team will ever compete. This was an unexpected last dance for one of the most prestigious teams in the history of the 250 class. It wasn't until a month or so ago that we all heard the news that GEICO would not be returning as a title sponsor, and that the future of the team was uncertain as a result. Well, we now know that GEICO pulling out doomed the team, and this outdoor season was the final time we'd ever see them in action. So you could say it was bittersweet to see Jett Lawrence get his first overall win and Jo Shimoda score his first moto podium on Saturday. There will be a Honda effort in the 250 class next year, but it's unclear what it will look like and how many riders Honda will retain from their current lineup. My guess would be that we'll either see both Lawrence brothers on red or Jett Lawrence and Jo Shimoda. Right now, I'm just a little bummed that another team is closing its doors. The racing action was good this year, but, man, 2020 sucks. 

This gives a whole new meaning to last lap... Jeremy Martin in the saddle on his way to the moto two win.

The Tough: Cameron McAdoo | 10th Place Overall

Cameron raced Pala with three broken fingers on his right hand! He wasn't expected to race, but the dude just toughed it out and still was able to finish inside the top 10 overall with 10-11 moto scores. I already liked Cameron, but gritty performances like this make me like him even more as a rider. I can't imagine doing a lot of things with three broken fingers...let alone ride two 35 minute motos on a track like Pala. 

I'm looking forward to watching Cameron continue to develop into a podium contender in 2021. 

Cameron McAdoo.

The Bad: Justin Cooper | 11th Place Overall

Okay, this wasn't a bad performance by Justin in the slightest, but he did get robbed of a shot at a solid overall result when his bike started having issues on the sight lap of moto two. That alone sucks quite a bit, and no rider wants to end their season with a DNF, especially with how Justin had been getting better and better as the season came to an end. I hope he can stay healthy throughout the offseason and come into 2021 ready to step into Dylan's shoes as "The Guy" at Star Racing.

Jett Lawrence and Justin Cooper duking it out in the first moto.

The Ugly: Alex Martin | DNS

Alex fractured his fibula during qualifying after he caught his foot under his bike going through a corner, and I think it's safe to say that everyone in the industry is bummed for him. He'll have time to recover, but like I've said multiple times recently, the last thing any of these riders need is a significant injury at the end of the season, especially with the shortened offseason this year. All we can do is hope that his recovery goes as smoothly as possible, and he's ready to go for next year. 

Alex Martin.


450 Class

The Good: Zach Osborne | 6th Place Overall

From being a hyped-up amateur to having to go to Europe just to have a team to ride for, to coming back to the USA and being thought of as just another average rider, I'd say that Zach Osborne has had one of the greatest story arcs we've seen in a long time. He wasn't necessarily a huge pick up by GEICO Honda when he initially came back from racing the GPs for several years. He was solid in his first two years back, but he was never a title contender for GEICO Honda and ended up signing with Husqvarna when the brand first came back to racing. He wasn't considered a massive "get" necessarily. At the time, my expectation was that he'd provide them with solid results while they built up their program, and that's what he did for quite a while until he took a leap to the next level. It's easy to say it was solely the switch to Aldon Baker's program, but I also think he was just able to take his skills to the next level as a whole. Two 250 Supercross titles and a 250 outdoor title later, and here we are. He's now a 450 outdoor champion with the team and perhaps one of the most unexpected winners we've had in recent memory. That's the craziest part of this whole deal to me. A multi-time 250 champ moved up to the 450 class last year, and a lot of people (including me) thought he'd just be a solid guy for the team for a few years and then move on from the sport. I don't remember anyone predicting that he'd win a 450 title in his career. Heck, I didn't think he'd be able to beat the likes of Eli Tomac and Marvin Musquin outdoors, but he did. A lot of us overlooked him coming into this season, and he proved us all wrong, and I love it. If only our sport was bigger, a story like this would get a film...or at least an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary.

Zach Osborne.

The Good Bonus: Chase Sexton and Christian Craig

It's weird how things tend to line up in the racing world, eh? GEICO Honda's final race and they sweep the final 250 moto of the year and two other riders that were technically still under contract with them killed it in the 450 class. Chase Sexton was able to land his first 450 overall win, and it's pretty clear that he and Adam Cianciarulo are the future of the 450 class. Chase still strikes me as someone who could have a career that mirrors Ryan Dungey's career pretty closely, and I'm very curious to see how he'll do in his first 450 Supercross season.

Christian Craig was really good at the final two rounds of the season and should be heading into the offseason the most confident he has been in a long time. Could this lead to Christian having his best season in a long time in 2021? He'll be on a great bike since he already has a deal in place with Star Racing Yamaha. He just needs to stay healthy.

Christian Craig and Chase Sexton after crossing the line in moto two.

The Bad: Marvin Musquin | 5th Place Overall

Marvin's results trended down in these last two rounds of the season, and I have to imagine the couple of big crashes he has had recently are part of the reason why. There might have also have been a bit of a realization on his part that he was pretty much out of the championship fight and didn't want to risk having another hard crash, but I'm leaning more towards that he was probably dealing with some small injury, or he was just a bit shaken up by those recent crashes. He finished out the series, though, and now he can give his body a break before it's time to start preparing for Supercross. I just hope he makes it through the offseason healthy and is behind the gate at the first round of Supercross.

Marvin Musquin duking it out with Adam Cianciarulo.

The Ugly: JGR Suzuki

I already mentioned how Alex Martin fractured his fibula above, but Joey Savatgy was also inactive with an ankle issue, and Fredrik Noren dislocated his knee cap....so you could say that the black cloud is very much still hanging over JGR's motocross effort. I dunno, man. I never hear a bad thing about this team as an operation, but nothing ever goes their way. They have gone out and paid superstar riders in the past and have received minimal results in return. More recently, they've gone out and hired riders with the sole expectation of consistent results, and the team has just been bombarded with injuries on a near-constant basis. It seems like it's becoming a tradition to say that I hope things go better for them next year, but here I am saying it again. Hopefully, it comes true this time, and we're sitting here this time next year discussing how good things went for them. 

Isaac Teasdale effectively was the JGR team during the motos at Fox Raceway.


Words by Grant Dawson
Photos by Steve Giberson

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