The opening moto of the 250 Class began with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Mitchell Harrison prevailing with the MotoSport.com Holeshot, but he quickly gave way to the Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing teammates of Shane McElrath and Dylan Ferrandis. As the lead duo quickly built a gap over the field, the race soon turned into a breakaway for the Star Yamaha squad as Cooper moved into third. With Cooper closing in, Ferrandis picked up the pace and put the pressure on McElrath for the lead, successfully making the pass about 10 minutes into the moto. Once out front the Frenchman was able to sprint away to a multi-second advantage. As Ferrandis continued to build on his lead the battle for second intensified between McElrath and Cooper just past the halfway point of the moto. Cooper soon made his way around his teammate and looked to chip away at the deficit to Ferrandis.
Out front Ferrandis was able to maintain a comfortable margin over Cooper the rest of the way to secure his eighth moto win of the season and his fifth consecutive checkered flag by 5.3 seconds over Cooper, with McElrath securing a 1-2-3 sweep for Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing. GEICO Honda’s Jeremy Martin followed in fourth, while his teammate Hunter Lawrence rounded out the top five.
As the field roared out the gate to start Moto 2 it was Cooper who came away with the MotoSport.com Holeshot, followed by his teammates Jarrett Frye and McElrath, with McElrath getting by Frye for second. Ferrandis started outside the top 10 while his primary championship rival, Martin, got by Frye for third. Martin didn’t stop there. He kept his push to the front going and made the pass on McElrath for second before attacking Cooper for the lead. As the battle for first took shape Ferrandis had worked his way to just outside the top five.
Cooper responded to the pressure and maintained his hold of the lead. Behind them Ferrandis encountered some misfortune when two riders ahead of him came together and forced the Yamaha off track and onto the ground. The point leader got back on his bike and reentered quickly, but had to make up a few lost positions from 10th place. Back up front, Martin closed back in on Cooper just past the halfway point of the moto. The lead duo again engaged in a spirited fight, where Cooper fended off virtually every one of Martin’s moves and successfully rebuilt his advantage after several laps of tight racing.
As time ran out on the moto the focus shifted to the battle for third, which turned into a three-rider fight between McElrath, Lawrence and Ferrandis, who successfully battled back from his early incident. Lawrence was aggressive in trying to keep Ferrandis at bay and it carried him by McElrath for third. Ferrandis followed through into fourth and then made an impressive pass on Lawrence to take control of third. Out front Cooper pulled out to a margin of more than five seconds and carried on to his first moto win of the season, followed by Martin in second and Ferrandis in third after a resilient ride.
The second moto win was enough to put Cooper atop the overall classification (2-1) for his second career victory, where he became the fourth different 250 Class winner this season. Ferrandis’ spirited effort in Moto 2 allowed him to secure the runner-up spot (1-3), while Martin ended up third (4-2).
“A lot of pressure was on my shoulders, but I’m glad it’s off,” exclaimed Cooper. “There were only two rounds left (entering today) so it’s a good time to do it. Now I can go into next weekend feeling a lot more confident and look to finish out the season strong. I really enjoy this place. I get good vibes here. It just feels good to pull off a win.”
The come-from-behind effort by Ferrandis paid dividends in the 250 Class standings where he gained five points on Martin to carry a 18-point lead into the final round.
“I was in a bad position (in the second moto). I wanted to get as many points as possible, so I rode as hard as I could,” said Ferrandis. “I got a bad start and then I got caught up in an incident. There was nothing I could do. I just put my head down and gave it my all. We still were able to get on the podium so that’s good for the championship.”
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
WPS/FLY Racing Thunder Valley National
Thunder Valley Motocross Park - Lakewood, Colorado
October 3, 2020
250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)
Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (2-1)
Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (1-3)
Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda (4-2)
Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., Yamaha (3-5)
Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (5-4)
Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (6-6)
Jo Shimoda, Japan, Honda (7-8)
Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Kawasaki (8-9)
Jarrett Frye, Mechanicsville, Md., Yamaha (9-10)
Carson Mumford, Simi Valley, Calif., Honda (13-11)
250 Class Championship Standings
Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha - 352
Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda - 334
Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., Yamaha - 254
Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha - 251
Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki - 242
Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda - 230
RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna - 217
Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki - 165
Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Kawasaki - 163
Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., KTM - 148
PC: Align Media