RJ Hampshire is the top rider so far at Loretta’s. The AMSOIL/Factory Connection Honda riders has proven to be the rider to beat in the A and Pro Sport classes and no one has done so as of yet. The Florida-native has so far won both the Open Pro Sport motos and the first 250 A moto.
The 33rd running of the Rocky Mountain ATV-MC Amateur National Motocross at Loretta Lynn’s is well underway with eight of the 36 classes having already completed their second (of three) round of motos, but there is still plenty of racing left at The Ranch.
There have been many standout riders so far but the talk of the race so far has been—the weather! It’s actually pleasant here. Traditionally hot, humid and sometimes stormy weather has been replaced by much cooler-than-usual temperatures and far less humidity than what Loretta veterans are used to. And the good news is that it’s expected to stay this way for the rest of the week, though rain is still a threat. But everyone is loving the excellent weather.
The track itself is holding up well but many of the riders are saying that it’s far more difficult and demanding than usual. Deep ruts are forming quickly, not to mention plenty of braking and acceleration bumps all across the track, and is producing lap times right around the two-minute mark, though the quickest laps turned in by A-class riders Aaron Plessinger and RJ Hampshire have been in the 1:55 range.
Another 20-plus motos are on the menu for Thursday’s racing with the first of the third motos getting underway early in the morning.
Yamahalube/Star Racing/Yamaha’s Aaron Plessinger has had a rough start to his Loretta Lynn’s week. After finishing second to Hampshire in Tuesday’s first Open Pro Sport race after a close battle, he crashed and got banged up in the first 250 A moto and recorded a DNF. He’s riding a bit sore but still finished third in Wednesday’s second Open Pro Sport moto, though he was a bit off the pace, with Hampshire taking the win and Kawasaki rider Colt Nichols second well ahead of him. After finishing sixth in the first Open Pro Sport moto, Kawasaki Team Green’s Darian Sanayei went down in the second moto resulting in a broken collarbone, which required surgery. AMSOIL/Factory Connection Honda’s Jordon Smith, who was expected to do well in the 250 and 450 A classes, is also banged up.
Kawasaki Team Green’s Chris Alldredge (88) has also been impressive so far. The rider from Oregon finished second to Hampshire in the first 250 A moto but came back to win the first 450 A moto over KTM rider Daniel Baker and defending class champion, Yamaha rider Luke Renzland.
Garrett Marchbanks is off to a fast start at Loretta’s. The Kawasaki Team Green rider is so far undefeated, winning the first two Mini Sr. 2 (12-14) motos and the first Mini Sr. 1 (12-13) moto, but he did have a scare in the second Mini Sr. 2 moto. After getting off to a fast start, Yamaha’s Chase Sexton ran him down, passed him, and was heading to what looked to be a sure win, but a small crash kept that from happening. Heading into their final moto, Marchbanks hold the advantage with a 1-1 to Sexton’s 2-2.
KTM’s Peirce Brown dominated the first 85 (9-11) moto over Stilez Robertson and Ethan Mann. After owning an eight-second lead, however, Robertson did manage to whittle it away to just a few seconds at the checkers. Brown also won the second 85 (9-11) second moto over Robertson, but a crash while running second in the first moto, which resulted in an 11th-place finish, puts Peirce out of the championship hunt for that class.
Jett Reynolds finished off Wednesday’s racing with a win in the 65 (7-9) Limited class. It was his first win so far. He fell early in the first (7-9) Limited moto and ended up ninth, and he finished second to Josh Varize in the first 65 (7-11) moto.
Josh Varize is one of the stars so far of the week. The KTM rider from Perris, California, has won all three of the motos he’s competed in so far. He’s won both 65 (10-11) Limited motos and the first 65 (7-11). And he’s won them with lots of room to spare.
Rookie White came alive in the second Schoolboy 2 (13-16) B/C moto. He ran off with the win over Team Green’s Mark Worth, but an eighth after a bad start in the second moto pretty much eliminates his chances of a number-one trophy in the class when it’s all over. That will most likely come down to Worth and Yamaha rider Jon Ames who are currently atop of the leaderboard. Worth is leading the way with a 3-2 and Ames is second with a 2-4.