As the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 250MX title chase winds down, Dylan Ferrandis scored an important victory in both motos to take the overall and maximum points at round 9 of the championship at Washougal MX Park on Saturday, July 27. His teammate Justin Cooper ended the day third (2-4), the fifth double podium this season for the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing squad. Colt Nichols salvaged an eighth-place finish overall (5-9), with rookie Ty Masterpool finishing 13th (12-15) and Mitchell Oldenburg further back in 16th (37-11).
When it came to the starts, the Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing prepped YZ250F proved to be a weapon with all five rocketing up front out of the gate. The team kept their impressive holeshot record – 11 out of 18 so far, this season – with Cooper taking the honors in Moto 1 and Nichols in Moto 2. From there Ferrandis was the man to beat, holding off the competition and eventually besting his teammate. The Frenchman took the lead from Cooper in the whoops section and maintained the top spot to the checkers.
In the second moto, Ferrandis didn’t waste any time getting to the front, passing his fellow bLU cRU rider Nichols at Horsepower Hill. Although he had the lead early, he had his work cut out. His title rival Adam Cianciarulo pulled out all the stops and pressured him throughout the race making for a thrilling last lap as Ferrandis held on to the win by .548 of a second to take the overall. The result on the day was important for the championship battle as he closed the gap to 28 points with three rounds remaining.
Cooper, who maintains a healthy third place in championship standings at 346, was looking to return to the top this weekend. The New Yorker got off to a great start with the holeshot, and while he lost a position to his French teammate, he was able to hold on to the runner-up spot in the first moto. He got another good start in the second moto, but was unable to capitalize on it and found himself shuffled back in eighth. Cooper fought back and charged his way up to fourth. The 21yr old kept pushing hard to try and take third, but a bobble had him looking at the bigger picture – championship points and the final spot on the podium.
The other holeshot winner on the day, Nichols, was also unable to capitalize on his starts. In the first moto, he got shuffled back to sixth. He was able to work his way into the top five, but a mistake had him on the ground and having to go to work all over again from 10th. Nichols never gave up and was able to fight his way back to fifth. In the second moto, his start was stellar, but the Oklahoman lost his early lead to his teammate. He got shuffled further back to fourth then another error had him back on the ground and having to salvage a ninth-place finish to take eighth overall.
The day also proved tough for both Masterpool and Oldenburg. The rookie had to work his way back through the pack to finish 12th after a crash in the first moto, and managed a 15th-place finish in the second moto to end the day 13th overall. As for Oldenburg, bad luck found him caught up with a lapper, ending his race early in Moto 1. A bit beat up, the Minnesotan rallied for the second moto to finish 11th and salvage a 16th overall finish.
The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team gets a weekend off before heading back east to New Berlin, New York, for round 10 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Unadilla on August 10.