A combination of a very physically demanding track and the hot, humid Central Florida weather put riders to the test on Saturday. With time running out in the title chase, Ferrandis came out swinging. The Frenchman got a great launch from the number one gate pick, but his teammate McElrath just edged him out of the holeshot. In third, Ferrandis made the move for second and then shortly after passed his teammate. He then put the hammer down and built a comfortable gap to cross the line nearly 10 seconds clear of the competition.
In the second moto, Ferrandis got off to another good start behind his teammate Cooper, who earned the holeshot this time, and then quickly made his move to lead. The back-to-back 250SX West Champion put on another masterclass performance to sweep the weekend for his second-straight overall win. Ferrandis’ perfect weekend in Jacksonville expanded his lead in the championship to 10 points with four races remaining.
Cooper qualified second, and in the first moto he got off to a decent start in sixth. He kept pushing and passed his teammate McElrath for fifth before they reached the halfway mark. With a few laps remaining, he advanced to fourth after a rider up front crashed out of the race. The second moto went even better with the holeshot. After Ferrandis passed him, Cooper put in some consistent times to secure a comfortable runner-up finish and second overall for his best result of the season.
The first moto got off to a great start with McElrath grabbing his fifth holeshot of the season. He led the first lap and tried to check out but he had multiple riders in hot pursuit, including Ferrandis. McElrath struggled to find his comfort zone in the challenging conditions and ultimately finished seventh. Undeterred, McElrath came back stronger in the second moto and made his way to third behind his two teammates. With less than 10 minutes remaining, the North Carolinian was under pressure from Ferrandis’ championship rival. McElrath held him off until the final laps, getting passed in front of the mechanics' area and crossing the line fourth for fifth overall.
Frye continued to make progress in his second professional race. He got a decent start in 14th and ran a solid race to finish 12th. In the second moto, Frye had a technical issue that delayed his start. All the way in last place, the 19-year-old regrouped and fought his way through the pack to another 12th-place finish, ending the day 11th overall.
The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team heads west to Lakewood, Colorado, for the penultimate round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at the Thunder Valley Motocross Park, on Saturday, October 3.