Good, Bad, 'n Ugly: Washougal

250 Class
The Good: Dylan Ferrandis | 1st Place Overall

How about those starts?! As I've mentioned before, getting out of the gate has been Dylan's Achilles' heel during this championship and has cost him dozens of points by now. It wasn't a problem at Washougal, though, as the entire Star Racing team rocketed out of the gates in both motos and started up front. This was exactly what Dylan needed after how disappointing his day at Spring Creek was, and he made the most of it by winning both motos. The gap to Adam Cianciarulo is now 28 points with three rounds to go. I mentioned last week that at this point I expect Adam to walk away from Ironman with a number one plate in his hand, and I'm still sticking by that statement for now. But, I'm very interested to see how Dylan's last-ditch effort goes. If he could erode Adam's lead and take the title at Ironman, it would go down as one of the best comebacks in recent memory. Also of note is that Dylan won Unadilla last year, so the hunt is very much on for the Frenchman. 

Dylan Ferrandis got a champagne upgrade at Washougal.

The Bad: Garrett Marchbanks | 22nd Place Overall

Garrett's second full season of outdoors with the Pro Circuit Kawasaki squad has not gone according to plan in any way, shape, or form. His best moto finish of the season is an eighth place at Hangtown, which isn't....great? He also picked up an injury at High Point and had to sit out several races, but since he has returned his results have been more of the same. Mitch Payton doesn't have a history of keeping riders who struggle to do better than eighth place around for very long, so I would imagine Garrett is starting to feel a little bit of pressure by now. Now, I do fully expect him to be back with this team next year, but this year has just added more and more of a need for him to make big strides by this time in 2020. He is still pretty young, though, so hopefully he's about to hit his stride and start making his way towards the front of the field. 

Garrett Marchbanks.

The Ugly: Hunter Lawrence

A practice crash last week resulted in an injury that required surgery for Hunter and I'd imagine his season is pretty much done. I believe it's a collarbone injury, so depending on the severity of it he could end up coming back at Budds Creek or Ironman, but is there really a point in that? He might as well get himself back to full health and then head into off-season preparations. His rookie season has had its ups and downs, but he has shown us what he's capable of. I am very excited to see what he can do in his first full year of racing in 2020, especially since he has had time to adjust to living in America and has gotten some gate drops with his competition. For now, though, I wish him a speedy recovery. 

Hunter Lawrence (at Spring Creek).


450 Class
The Good: Eli Tomac | 1st Place Overall

That Eli Tomac showed up at Washougal and proceeded to slice through the field in both motos to go 1-1 and extend his lead in the standings to 50 points. It is interesting how different Eli's performances can be from week to week, but sometimes I guess he just feels good enough to lay it all out there and sometimes he doesn't. But, honestly, at this stage in the championship I didn't expect him to go all out to pass Ken Roczen in the first moto and Marvin Musquin in the second moto, but he did and it was damn fun to watch. I'm interested to see if he'll continue to ride like this for the final three rounds, or if he'll be more willing to settle for second or third place if it means riding at a safer pace. 

Eli Tomac (1).

Finally! Seeing Joey have a good day in the office after such a rough season was great. He had his starts on point and even led for a bit in the first moto, and if I was him I'd look at this weekend as a huge step in the right direction. Is seventh place ultimately where he wants to be at the end of the day? Of course not, but let's not get ahead of ourselves here. Actually finishing both motos inside the top ten is what he needs to be focused on right now. 

Joey Savatgy.

The Good Double Bonus: Ken Roczen | 2nd Place Overall

Kenny has definitely made some strides in terms of his physical condition recently. He's still not 100%, but he did say on the podium that they know what his physical issues are at this point and I'd assume they're working on them given his results at Washougal. He went 2-3 on the day and he didn't seem to be physically smoked at the end of the day like he did during the middle stint of the championship. So I'd say it's reasonable to expect that he'll be back in the top three mix for the remainder of the season. How cool would it be to see him win another moto before we wrap up this series? 

Ken Roczen.

The Bad: Aaron Plessinger | 17th Place Overall

A mechanical issue before the first moto started (resulting in a DNS), and a mediocre start and finish in the second moto led to another disappointing weekend for Aaron Plessinger. This is his rookie season and he did just return from injury at Southwick, but I have to admit even with all of those things in mind I expect a little bit more from him. His best finish since his return is a ninth place in the second moto at Spring Creek. I should say that I'm not expecting him to fight for wins or even podiums this season, but I was thinking he'd be inching towards the top six or seven by now. I'd imagine his starts are a big reason why he's been a little further back than expected, and I would really like to see him get one start inside the top five before the end of the season so we can see where he is. 

Aaron Plessinger. We heard it was a clutch issue, and judging from where the team is focused, it looks like it was on the hydraulic lever side

The Ugly: Benny Bloss | 38th Place Overall

Benny went down hard during the first moto and his day was over. From how his crash looked and how he was sitting on he track after, I was worried that he had re-injured the knee that ended his Supercross campaign before it started. From the team's social media, though, it sounds like he's just banged up and should be back for Unadilla. That's great to hear, as I'd like to see Benny remain with the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM guys next season. I believe that he has a lot of potential, but I'm not sure if he has done enough this year to retain his seat. But at least he'll still have the rest of the year to prove himself and not be forced to the sidelines. 

Benny Bloss.


Words by Grant Dawson
Photos by Steve Giberson

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