Good, Bad, 'n Ugly: Ironman

We're getting down to the wire for the '21 season...but there's still time to notch appearances in every category.

Good, Bad, 'n Ugly: Ironman

250 Class

The Good: Jett Lawrence | 1st Place Overall

It was a perfect day for Jett Lawrence, as he secured his first 1-1 performance since turning pro and took over the red plate from Justin Cooper. He has bounced back from his mid-season slump in a huge way, and now he has all of the momentum heading into the final two rounds of the season. He now has an 11 point cushion in the standings, and with Justin Cooper fading in both motos on Saturday and sighting "an illness" as a contributing factor...I would put my money on Jett taking home his first AMA championship at the end of this season. It's so hard to believe that he's only 18! Crazy! Honda has to be extremely stoked on what their 250 squad could accomplish over the next two years with the Lawrence bros.

Jett Lawrence.

The Bad: Hunter Lawrence | 9th Place Overall

Like Justin Cooper, Hunter Lawrence also cited "an illness" as a contributing factor to his mediocre performance at Ironman. I'm not here to speculate as to what he was sick with, but I will give props to him for still pushing through and finishing both motos. I've never raced while I was sick, nor do I ever plan to. Even with this so-so performance, Hunter is currently third in the championship and continues to prove that Honda's smaller 250 squad is arguably the best in the paddock. 

Hunter Lawrence.

The Ugly: Jeremy Martin | 41st Place Overall

Jeremy looked fantastic on Saturday, and it was honestly a bit heartbreaking when they showed that he had crashed. He has been through a lot in 2021, but he has kept pushing through and racking up solid results despite not being 100% healthy. He's officially done for the season, and it's time for him to get his body fixed and rehabbed finally. He'll be back with Star Racing Yamaha in 2022, and my goodness I think we are all hoping that next year goes better for him. 

Jeremy Martin.

450 Class

The Good: Eli Tomac | 1st Place Overall

Oh! That Eli Tomac showed up on Saturday! As usual, Eli makes no sense at all and decided to give us a vintage Eli Tomac performance on Saturday. Dylan Ferrandis did win the first moto, but Eli looked like his old self again and sealed the win with a second moto victory. What does this mean? Nothing. Eli could show up next week and go 1-1 or 4-7, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised. We just never know which guy is going to show up to the gate each week. It's awesome to see that he's still got it, but I hope we see this version of Eli more next year when he's on new machinery. 

Eli Tomac.

The Bad: Ken Roczen | 4th Place Overall

I mean, fourth place isn't a horrible day for Kenny, but it's never fun to watch him have blazing fast speed early on and then slowly fade backward as the moto drags on. He would have needed a miracle to win this title heading into Ironman, and now I'd say that it's effectively over. Dylan Ferrandis will be your 2021 outdoor champion, but it will be fantastic to see Kenny finish in second place in the standings assuming nothing crazy happens in the last two rounds. I think it's a significant accomplishment for Kenny to make it through the whole series without any major health issues, which have been a problem in the past. 

Ken Roczen and Dylan Ferrandis.

The Ugly: Depth of Field

There's still some great racing to watch, but it does feel like the field is a bit thin right now. Luckily, the top five are still blazing fast and can provide us with some awesome battles, but as is the norm for this sport, the field of talent has shrunk as the season has gone on due to several different reasons. This isn't that huge of a deal, though. We only have two rounds left, and I'm sure there will be some good battles for us to watch as the championship comes to a close.

Between injury and illness, we lost a number of top riders between Budds Creek and Ironman.


Words by Grant Dawson
Photos by Steve Giberson

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