Good, Bad, 'n Ugly: WW Ranch 1

Who made it into Grant's picks this week?

250 Class

The Good: Dylan Ferrandis | 1st Place Overall

Dylan went out and did exactly what he needed to do at WW Ranch, and now he has a 13-point cushion heading into the final two rounds of the season. It's not a big enough buffer for him to just cruise out there for the final four motos, but I don't see him finishing worse than second place in any of the remaining motos, and I expect him to at least win one of them as well. He could crash or start 40th in a moto, and the story would completely change, but barring something like that, I think Dylan has distanced himself enough from Jeremy Martin, and he'll be holding up the number one plate in a couple of weeks. Jeremy had nothing for him at WW Ranch. 

Dylan Ferrandis.

The Bad: Jeremy Martin | 3rd Place Overall

Jeremy rode fine, but he was right on Dylan in the first moto and let him slip away. He kept trying outside lines that just weren't working yet, but I'm also not sure if he would have been able to keep up with Dylan for much longer, even if he had changed his lines. Dylan was not going to be denied, and Jeremy couldn't find another gear. Then Jeremy's start in the second moto wasn't great, and that pretty much sealed his fate right away. He rode hard late in the race and was able to make some crucial passes that kept Dylan from pulling too far away in the standings, but it was still a disappointing moto for him. As I said above, I think that this may be the round where Dylan distanced himself enough to comfortably win the title. I'm aware Jeremy can go on a streak of wins, but I don't think he's going to win the title this year unless Dylan shoots himself in the foot and provides a big points opportunity for Jeremy. 

Jeremy Martin.

The Ugly: RJ Hampshire | 12th Place Overall

RJ landed in this category purely because of the insane crash he had in the first moto. It was one of the worst impacts I've seen in our series in a long time, and it's a miracle he wasn't seriously injured. In fact, he even came back and finished in sixth place in the second moto! What a tough dude, although I'd imagine he's going to get some serious physical therapy treatments this week. If there's one thing a rider does not want, it's a big-time injury late in the season. It ruins all of the efforts they've put in up to that point, and it drastically hinders their preparation for the next year. Luckily, RJ was able to avoid that situation here. 

RJ Hampshire (24) and Jett Lawrence.

450 Class

The Good: Zach Osborne | 1st Place Overall

Like Dylan Ferrandis, WW Ranch was a statement race for Zach Osborne, but it also provided some relief in the standings. He absolutely threw down in both motos and looked like the fastest and most fit guy out there, as he has for most of the season. He did have to fight off a surprise appearance by Eli Tomac in the second moto, but he weathered that storm and took home a much needed 1-1 finish. He now has a 29 point lead with two rounds left, and it's looking more and more like he's going to be the champ. If he can just stay away from flat front tires, I think he'll be able to lock this one up without much drama. 

Zach Osborne.

The Good Bonus: Eli Tomac | 3rd Place Overall

Eli Tomac's performance in the first moto was pretty much what we've come to expect from the 2020 version of Eli, but he suddenly decided he was gonna show the boys that the champ's still got it in the second moto as he put on one of his classic charges. The difference this time was that he was a bit late getting to Zach Osborne, and he couldn't get the move done despite trying multiple times. I highly doubt that Eli foresaw his 2020 season going this way, and I doubt he thought Zach Osborne would be the guy to dethrone him, either. That's 2020 for you, though. 

Eli Tomac.

The Bad: Adam Cianciarulo | 4th Place Overall

I don't think it was in the cards for Adam to beat Zach at WW Ranch, but he did lose many more points than he should have. I believe that the collision between him and Marvin Musquin that left Adam on the ground was just a racing incident. They were both going for a line that only one was going to come out of. It may have been an optimistic move by Marvin, but I don't think it was uncalled for. Still, it left Adam on the ground, and he didn't have much intensity for the remainder of the race (Adam stated after the race that the collision left him with a stinger). He lost 14 points on the day, and that pretty much kills the "Could Adam win the title?" hype train that lasted a few weeks. It was fun while it lasted, but I think it's still a win for him to finish second in this series. It's easy to forget that this kid is just a rookie, and it looks like we have many years of him battling for this title ahead. 

Adam Cianciarulo (9) and Chase Sexton.

The Bad Bonus: Joey Savatgy | 9th Place Overall

I mean, Joey's performance at WW Ranch was fine. It didn't raise any eyebrows, but it didn't leave us scratching our heads, either. We've once again come to the point where we have to figure out if Joey's average performances this year are because of the Suzuki or because of him. Would he be finishing better than 7th-9th place if he was on a different bike? Maybe, but I don't think it'd be more than a one or two position difference. I think Joey is essentially the new Tickle. He'll always be on a decent bike, and he'll put in a great performance here and there, but he's mainly on the team to provide some stability and always finish inside the top 10. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but that just seems like the direction his career is heading. 

Joey Savatgy.

The Ugly: Benny Bloss | 38th Place Overall

I'm a big fan of Benny, but this outdoor season has been a struggle for him as a privateer. Heck, I'm sure it's been a struggle for all of the privateers in the class, but the privateer life struggles are much more noticeable when a former factory rider turns into a privateer. It seems like Benny has dealt with a lot of bike problems this year and, as a result, has not consistently finished races since the series began. He has finished both motos at one race, and that was Spring Creek, where he went 13-11. He's been riding well and has some solid moto finishes, but his overall results don't show it. I still think Benny deserves a spot on a satellite team, but if you look at the standings, you could also argue that Justin Rodbell, Henry Miller, and Jake Masterpool deserve spots on teams. Being noticeably faster than everyone besides the factory riders but not fast enough for a team to pick you up has to be a tough spot to be in, and I respect the heck out of these guys for continuing to grind it out. 

Benny Bloss.

Words by Grant Dawson
Photos by Steve Giberson


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