View From The Infield: French Dip 2

With rain to start the day, Unadilla was like the race of the brown (relatively) clean French rider being chased by a bunch of brown mud-dipped riders.

View From The Infield: French Dip

Before we get started, we have to give full props to the Unadilla crowd, who didn't get scared off by the rain.

There was a pretty good-sized pond just before the apex of the first turn in the early motos, which meant that there was even more incentive than usual to get a great start. TPJ's Dylan Merriam (86) held it on longer than everyone rounding the first turn, and he led early on.

Justin Barcia, on the other hand, got tossed into the mud blender and spent the rest of the moto working his way back to eighth place.

Kailub Russell was on loan from the GNCC series, and trying his hand at an MX National, which is something that he's long wanted to do. The conditions definitely played to his favor (they do say mud is the great equalizer), and he was third early in moto one, before slipping back to sixth by the end. A crash, bike damage, and an injured elbow in moto two ended his day early. Depending on how he checks out with the docs, he's scheduled for the rest of the season on the 557 Factory KTM.

To listen to Kailub's thoughs on how his first National MX race went, click the audio player below.

Before the race, Phil Nicoletti was looking for a top-five finish. He started fourth in moto one, worked up to second, and eventually finished third.

Ken Roczen had a forgettable day, finishing seventh in both motos.

Marvin Musquin led the first six laps, but had to settle for second after Eli Tomac ran him down.

This was a common sight throughout the day's racing. The mud was tough on the bikes.

Eli Tomac started out just inside the top ten, and made a crucial pit stop for new goggles. From there he sliced through the pack to take the first moto win.

Marvin Musquin jumped out front quickly in moto two...

Eli Tomac hugged the tight line on the inside, and came out next to Marvin.

It was Phil Nicoletti who was super-aggressive on the first lap, and he jumped out front for two laps before both Marvin and Eli got by. Phil hung on to finish with a 3-5 score on the day, and third overall.

Pit stops are not what we're used to seeing, but they were pretty common for goggle swaps on Saturday.

Weston Peick had a 9-8 tally for moto scores, and it sounds like he's already contemplating another surgery on his right wrist to try and prevent a pinched nerve from causing numbness.

Cooper Webb and Justin Barcia were battling for Team Yamaha supremacy in moto two. Apparently, it wasn't all fun or nice, as Justin flashed Cooper one of those universal signals of displeasure over the finish line jump a couple laps after this.

With the bike still smoking, Coty Schock makes his way out of the mechanic's area.

Marvin Musquin put in a great ride, stayed out front, and grabbed his third overall of the season. Eli Tomac still has a 15-point lead, and we'll take the fight to Budds Creek next weekend.

Since it had rained pretty steadily from the last practice through to the end of the first 450 moto, there was a small lake that greeted the 250 riders as they headed into the first turn.

There was some bike wrestling in the first turn, with RJ Hampshire boosting a bike off of his Honda.

Austin Forkner had a couple crashes early in moto one, which left him chocolate-dipped, and put a damper on his day.

Michael Mosiman has been showing more speed lately, and he had held it wide through the first turn, and he led the first four laps.

Chase Sexton was the top scoring GEICO Honda rider, with a 5-8 tally, and fifth overall.

Paddle! Paddle! Aaron Plessinger keeping the forward momentum going through a sloppy section. He finished second in moto one.

Shane McElrath was third in the first moto, but was 14th in moto two.

Dylan Ferrandis took over the lead on lap five, and despite a smoking bike, he hung on for the first moto win.

Heading into turn one at the start of moto two for the 250s.
Michael Mosiman was looking for another good start, but a tangle with a late-arriving Cody Williams didn't help.
The two of them checked on how much force it took to move the big Unadilla haybales on the outside of the first turn.

There were a couple of riders in moto two who were hungry for good finishes that took turns at the front. The first was Cameron McAdoo, who took advantage of a good start and led the first four laps.

The horseshoe butt patch didn't seem to do much good for Austin Forkner, as a couple crashes in moto one, and a finish outside the top 20 made for a long day.

After getting by Cameron McAdoo, Mitchell Harrison led six laps in the middle portion of the moto.

Joey Savatgy's second moto finish was third, and combined with the eighth in moto one, he was fourth overall.

Yamalube Star Racing Yamaha's Brad Hoffman checking standings and doing some overall math to pass along to his crew.

Justin Cooper and Jordon Smith were battling during the middle portions of the second moto; and while Cooper ended up sixth, Jordan must have had some issues to cause him to slip back late in the moto.

Aaron Plessinger and Dylan Ferrandis were having a good back and forth least until they got by Mitchell Harrison. After that, they seemed to settle in and call a truce. AP has his eye on the big prize, namely a 250 National title, which he could wrap up as early as the first moto next week at Budds.

Ferrandis and Plessinger were stoked on their 1-2 finish and the battle. Depending on which rumors you believe, one we heard over the weekend suggested that Aaron might be headed to Yamaha to fill the vacancy left by Cooper Webb in '19.

Props to Mitchell Harrison on a solid 4-4 day, and a podium trip for third overall.

That's two overalls for Dylan Ferrandis this season. You have to wonder where he'd be in points if he'd started off the season healthy and at Hangtown.

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