SX After-Party

450 Class

Eli Tomac - 1st

"Today could not have gone much better. All day I felt comfortable on Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450, and it showed. Our starts tonight were as good as they have ever been, which put us in a good position right from the start of the race. I was able to follow Adam for the first part of the race, and the difference-maker for me and a lot of riders out there tonight was the sand section. It could either help you or hurt you depending on the lap or if there were lapped riders in the way. I was able to get through there cleanly one time to get past my teammate, and from there, I was able to ride my own race. It is always nice to have the points lead, but we will not settle for anything less than wins from this point forward.”

Eli Tomac.

Cooper Webb - 2nd

“It was tricky all day, and it was easy to make mistakes out there. I’m happy with a second, obviously, I wanted to be up there for that win tonight, I felt great all day, but it’s a good night overall. I felt like I rode good, and I just need to be better on my starts.”

Cooper Webb.

Ken Roczen - 3rd

“It’s a bummer to lose the points lead, but there’s a whole lot of racing left, and overall I’m happy with how my day went. I was pretty consistent throughout the day – I just didn’t get the starts I needed. I lifted my body up too much, so I was a bit deeper in the pack and had to work my way up to the front. Then, ultimately, I tucked the front off the triple, which cost me a lot of time. I’m still happy to be back on the podium. I appreciate being up here because on weekends like last weekend when I’m far away from it; it’s not so nice. No red plate for right now, but I’ll keep trying to fight back for it and keep a positive mindset. We’ll keep working during the week to get some consistency in and try to be up there from the beginning because the lead guys were just too far gone by the time we got into fourth or fifth.”

Ken Roczen.

Justin Barcia – 4th

“I had a pretty scary crash in practice, so it was good to walk away from that. My hand just slipped off the bar over the triple, and I went flying. This track was a difficult track. I wasn’t expecting it to be so hard-packed. We made some good changes going into the night, but I got another one of those bad starts in the Main. I was able to charge through the pack and got fourth place. My bike was working well on the track; it was awesome. It was hard to pass out there, but I was able to make it work. All in all, I gained some confidence going through the pack like that. I’m looking forward to being back at home this week before the next round in Texas.”

Justin Barcia fending off Justin Hill in the final corner.

Justin Hill - 5th

“Today wasn’t a good day. In the first practice, I was 17th, in the second practice, I was 12th, and in the Heat Race, I was sixth. The day wasn’t going my way,” explained Hill of his early struggles. “It was a step in the right direction for me. To go from being on the cusp of the top-ten to being in the top-five, it tells me that I’m doing the right things, and the decisions that I make on race day are working. I’m trying to take control of my situations and get the most out of myself that I can get. I’m doing it within my means, and I want this to be a successful 17 rounds more than anything, more than a podium.”

Justin Hill.

Dean Wilson - 6th

“The Main Event went pretty good; I think it was a step in the right direction,” Wilson said. “It’s been pretty tough coming back from injury to a class that’s so stacked, but I’ve been pushing through, and it’s nice to see a half-decent result. I’m going to use this for next weekend and build off of it and keep it going.”

Dean Wilson.

Malcolm Stewart - 7th

“I felt good for 15 minutes, and then I hit a wall. It’s part of racing. I think there really is nothing to say. I just got tired out there,” admitted Stewart after the Main Event. “The good news is that it’s another race, we live to fight another day, and I ended up in seventh place. That’s another top-ten, and I’m putting points on the board. I know that another opportunity is going to come, and we’ll keep digging. We’ll go to Dallas and the Triple Crown, which should be a good race. I enjoyed being at home and having fun. I get to ride my track on Tuesday, and I’m excited.”

Malcolm Stewart.

Adam Cianciarulo - 8th

“Man, I wanted that 1-2 Kawasaki finish so bad. I felt great all day long, and obviously, with it being somewhat of a hometown race for me, I wanted to put on a show for my friends and family. Finishing in eighth is a tough pill to swallow because we had that podium finish in our hands. My team and I have already made a plan on how to clean up these errors and will be ready to get our sprint on next week in Dallas for the next Triple Crown event.”

Adam Cianciarulo.

Justin Brayton - 9th

“Up until about four laps to go, it was looking like we could get a top-five finish, but right about then it kind of all unraveled and I ended up in ninth. I’m pretty disappointed with it, to be honest. It’s been a challenging week for my family, with everyone kind of having the flu. Now my head has been pounding all day, so it’s been tough to focus. I kind of ran out of gas with four to go, but that’s racing, and you end up ninth or tenth. The race was okay up until that, but the reality is that you get judged by your end result and it doesn’t matter how you rode through the middle.”

Justin Brayton.

Broc Tickle - 12th

“My first race back in almost two years was filled with emotions. I’m very happy with how smooth and calm I stayed throughout the day," said Tickle. "I felt like I haven’t missed a beat overall being away. I will improve each week as a racer and get more comfortable. I want to thank JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki for all the hard work over the last three weeks preparing for Tampa. I'm looking forward to getting more quality riding and training in this week to show up to Dallas a step better than this round.”

Broc Tickle (20) and Zach Osborne.

Vince Friese - 13th

“I started the day slow and had struggles in the whoops and the sand during practice and the Heat Race. I pulled it together in the Main Event, pulled the holeshot, then rode solid for a good portion of the race,” Friese explained at the end of the night. “I had a couple of big bobbles in the sand that cost me a lot of time. I basically came to a dead stop and had to gather things up before I could get going again. I’m not pumped, but there were some good things to come out of it. I got my starts back and had a good pace in the middle of the race, but I just need to finish it off.”

Vince Friese (64).

Aaron Plessinger – 16th

“I felt good in practice, flowing well. In the end, the dirt was a lot different down here than what I thought it would be. I thought there would be a lot more ruts. I didn’t get great starts which cost me. And then me and the whoops weren’t getting along much today, and I ended up going down there. When I got up, I was staying at pace with the guys at the front. I know the speed is there. I just need to put myself in a good position from the start. We’ll get them next week. I’m excited for the Triple Crown next weekend. It will be a good change.”

Aaron Plessinger.

Kyle Cunningham - 18th

“The weekend went alright being back in the main,” said Cunningham. “Definitely felt good to be back inside the top 20. We made some positive changes testing wise. The last two rounds have been tough with the weather here in Texas; I have only been riding on the weekend. All in all, we made progress and have more to build on.”

Kyle Cunningham.

Ryan Breece - 20th

“Tampa was a lot of fun,” said Breece. “The bike looked really good with St. Jude graphics on it. My Suzuki RM-Z450 had a lot of power out there today.”

Ryan Breece.

Adam Enticknap - 21st

“For me, it felt like a long time coming,” said Enticknap. “This weekend, we put all the pieces together, and we made it happen when it counted. Looking forward to the rest of the season!”

Adam Enticknap.

250 Class

Shane McElrath – 1st

“This win was a big relief, to be honest. All offseason we’ve been steady, we’ve been working. Anything I could improve on, we’ve worked on it. I’ve changed everything having to do with my racing, so it would be easy to question it. I had to trust in those changes and believe we could be up here. I worked as hard as I could, and in the end, it paid off. The track was not easy. It was technical. But that’s what we have worked for, so I felt prepared for this."

Matt Winter and Shane McElrath.

Chase Sexton - 2nd

“There’s obviously a weight to the number one plate, but to me, it’s an honor that I dreamed about when I was little,” said Sexton, the 2019 250SX East Region Champion. “You just want to perform for the people that support you, and we made big strides this offseason. Last year at the opener, I didn’t feel good at all. I didn’t have any race pace. I finished fifth. This year, the bike feels really good. I just want to leave my bike, focus on myself and my riding. Feeling a lot better going into Dallas (next week) than I did after the first round last year.”

Chase Sexton (1E).

Jeremy Martin - 3rd

“Wow, did it feel good to be back at the races lining up on my GEICO Honda!” said Martin. “Felt pretty fast all day long in practice, but I didn’t expect to qualify P1. Come the night show, I struggled a little bit in the heat race and main event with small race craft mistakes, which led to arm pump, so I did my best to manage my race coming home to third place! It’s fine; all those things will come, I haven’t raced in a situation like that with points on the line, racing for a championship, for a long time. A year ago, I was working at a dealership for a buddy of mine! I feel like this is my second chance at racing, so I’m happy to be here. Really excited about this 2020 east coast series and building off this first round!”

Jeremy Martin.

Garrett Marchbanks - 4th

“I was really hoping for a podium this weekend, but I made things a bit hard on myself when I started outside the top ten,” said Marchbanks. “Starts are going to be crucial next week with the triple crown, so we’ll look to work on those this week to come better prepared. Overall still a good night and glad to be in the top 10 on such a tough track.”

Garrett Marchbanks.

Jordon Smith - 5th

“This wasn’t exactly the finish I had in mind when we made our preparations for the start of the season, but I have to look at the positives, and we are out of here healthy,” said Smith. “Sometimes that’s half the battle when you face a track that is tough. After so much time away from a race track, it’s great to be back, and we plan to make the most out of the triple crown next weekend.”

Jordon Smith.

RJ Hampshire - 6th

“I was pretty nervous coming into it,” Hampshire said. “In the Main Event, I had a better start, but I got caught up in the first turn. The opening laps were rough, but once I got into a flow, I was feeling the best I’ve felt all day. I made a pretty good charge, but I crashed with two laps to go while going for the podium. We made a lot of improvements throughout the day, and I think we’re in a good spot.”

RJ Hampshire.

Jimmy DeCotis - 9th

“The first round of 250 East Coast racing was a challenging task for me and the JGR team. We fought hard all day, pushing through an injury, and we ended up with a ninth-place finish," said Decotis. "I’m thankful for my crew and everyone who kept me positive through the adversity. I'm excited for a few days of rest so I can let the body heal and then head to Arlington, Texas healthy and ready to challenge up front."

Jimmy DeCotis.

Jo Shimoda - 10th

“Yeah, my day went pretty good until the night show,” said Shimoda. “I was seventh and sixth in for my timed practice sessions, but when the night show started, I was riding so tight! I still was able to get through some sketchy moments, made some saves. In the main event, I had a good start running fifth for five laps, but I couldn’t find the best line through the sand section, which made me slower each lap. I went back to 12th with mistakes, no crashes, just small mistakes. I got better at the end; I passed two guys to get into tenth.”

Jo Shimoda.

Jalek Swoll - DNQ

“I think speed-wise I’m not lacking confidence at all; I just need to get myself in a better position moving forward,” Swoll said. “I was feeling really good in the heat race, but an unfortunate mishap in the whoops caused me to go down, and I banged up my clutch and bars a little bit, so I ended up pulling off. That didn’t help me in the LCQ with a 26th gate pick. I got pinched off on the start and tried to come back to the top-four, and it came down to the last corner, and I just missed the last transfer position.”

Jalek Swoll.

Team Personnel

Jim Perry – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“It turned out to be a good day after a tough start. The guys worked really hard and had things figured out by the Main Event, but the poor starts really hampered the results of the day. Justin got a solid top-five finish, coming back through the pack to finish fourth. Aaron had a tough Heat race and was okay in the Main but had the tip over that put him behind the eight ball. Both guys had adequate times; the starts just weren’t there. We are going to have to start up there (at the front) to race for podiums or challenge for the win. The guys will be working on that this week, because it will be key at the Triple Crown next round in Arlington, and will hopefully be challenging for the win.”

Erik Kehoe - Team Honda HRC Manager

“The goal has been to be on the podium every week, so it’s great for Kenny to get back up there this weekend. I think we’ve still got some things to work on, as we do every week. His starts weren’t as good as he had earlier this season, so we need to work on that a little bit. It’s a long season, so we’ve got to keep with that goal of being on the podium. It’s going to be a long series, so anything can happen.”

Jordan Troxell - Ken Roczen’s Mechanic

“It was a different night. We wanted the win, and we wanted to extend the points lead, rather than give it up, but this is still a step in the right direction after San Diego. For where we were in the opening part of the main – and to have taken a fall – to still come out with a podium and only get beat by a few points, I think we can walk away with a few positives from the day. There’s still a lot of racing left, so we’ll just keep getting after it. We just have to get our starts back; they haven’t been the greatest these past two or three weekends, so we’ve got to fix that.”

Brent Duffe - Justin Brayton’s Mechanic

“The day started off well. Justin was feeling a good flow on the track, and his starts were really good. Everything was actually coming together well until we had a bad start in the main event. Unfortunately, the pace is so fast right now that if you don’t start up front, by the time you get clear track ahead of you, there’s no time to go anywhere. Fortunately, we’re far enough into the season now that the practice is there. Everything is working right. We just have to get that start and go from there.”

Tony Alessi - SmarTop | Bullfrog Spas | MotoConcepts | Honda Team Manager

“We had two guys in the top-five positions for much of the race and ended up with Justin Hill in fifth place, which was his best finish of the season so far. Malcolm finished seventh and showed a lot of promise tonight because he showed that he can get the start and run at podium speed for 75-percent of the race. Vince got the holeshot in the Main Event and made it a great night for the team.”

Jeremy Albrecht - JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team Manager

"It was a good weekend. We had a lot of excitement around Broc’s return to racing, and he did great. It was impressive to see how fast he adapted to his RM-Z450, and he came out swinging. He had a great heat race, battling to finish fourth, and a strong main event ending in 12th. Broc had speed to be in the top-ten, so that excites us for next week."

"Jimmy has been riding better than ever but had a crash last Monday that made his weekend tough," Albrecht added. "I was proud of him for the effort he put in all week and weekend to get a top-ten finish. Jimmy was in a lot of pain and kept fighting to do his best. With another week of recovery, it will help him a ton. I hope you all can see what we have seen at the JGR track."

Dustin Pipes - H.E.P. Suzuki Team Manager

“It was a big step in the right direction with the series headed to the east,” said Team Manager Dustin Pipes. “We checked a goal off with three racers in the Main Event, and we continue to fight moving forward. Although the track obstacles were simple, the dirt was very challenging. Major props to our Crew Chief, Clark Jones, for making critical suspension changes throughout the day to put the racers in the best position possible. I would also like to thank the rest of the staff for the day running smoothly; Chase, Blake, Andy, Clint, and Corey.”

Wil Hahn – Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing Team Manager

“Tonight was a great night for us. We have to go home and do our homework to make sure we keep the ball rolling. I’m really proud of the team and Shane. It felt good to continue the momentum the boys started on the west coast.”

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