2021 FOX RACEWAY 1 NATIONAL PRE-RACE REPORT: MOTOCROSS IS BACK
It feels like a week ago we had just finished the 2021 Supercross season with Cooper Webb coming out on top, taking the 450 championship. Now, after rigorous weeks of testing, we finally get to witness the spectacle that is the Great Outdoors once again. However, to ask who will come out on top at the first round is a difficult question to answer. There are however a handful of riders that we have a hunch that may do well, but just like the past Supercross season, this Outdoor season has a stacked roster. So take a deep dive down below as we prepare you for the upcoming first Pro Motocross round at Fox Raceway with the track map, our list of top 450 contenders, and more.
2021 FOX RACEWAY 1 TRACK LAYOUT
2021 FOX RACEWAY NATIONAL 1: TV SCHEDULE
QUALIFYING SHOW – 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern – Peacock Premium
250 MOTO 1 – 1:00 PM Pacific, 4:00 PM Eastern – MAVTV
450 MOTO 1 – 2:00 PM Pacific, 5:00 PM Eastern – MAVTV
250 MOTO 2 – 3:00 PM Pacific, 6:00 PM Eastern – NBCSN
450 MOTO 2 – 4:00 PM Pacific, 7:00 PM Eastern – NBCSN
PEACOCK PREMIUM LIVE STREAMING:
If you don’t have the NBC Sports Channel for Moto 2, the MAVTV channel for Moto 1 or if you’d prefer to watch the races without any commercials, the weekend races will be aired LIVE on the Peacock Premium streaming service the same time as it’s aired on TV. Qualifying practice will also be shown LIVE on Peacock Premium starting at 10:00 AM Pacific Time, 1:00 PM Eastern Time.
MORE ABOUT PEACOCK TV:
Beginning with the 2021 Monster Energy Supercross season, NBC Sports’ exclusive streaming coverage moved from NBC Sports Gold’s “Supercross and Pro Motocross Pass,” “Supercross Pass” and “Pro Motocross Pass” to Peacock Premium, which is available for $4.99 per month.
The Supercross and Pro Motocross packages included on Peacock Premium has been a one-stop shop for all Monster Energy Supercross and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship fans. Peacock Premium offers comprehensive live coverage and on-demand replays of their respective 2021 seasons, including Supercross qualifiers and races, and Pro Motocross main practice sessions, qualifiers, Moto 1s and Moto 2s.
450 HOTSHOTS COMING INTO ROUND 1:
Zach Osborne surprised many by not only his dominant performances to the first couple rounds of the 2020 Pro Motocross season but by completing the deal and winning the 2020 championship. Zach was tested multiple times in the 2020 season but at the end of the series, he came out on top. Now, Zach continues to struggle with the back injury that he had suffered in the 2021 Supercross championship. Zach has confirmed that the injury is still playing a factor in his riding a few weeks ago in a recent MXA interview (click here to read it), but we spoke to him during press day at Fox Raceway and he said it was feeling better.
It is well known to most people who follow our sport closely that Eli Tomac is heading to the Star Yamaha team at the end of the 2021 season. At this point, but, we wonder if we will see one last hoorah from Eli while on Kawasaki in 2021. In the Supercross season, it became clear that Eli’s speed started to slow down compared to the rest of the insanely stack field. Usually, the races Eli wins are hard-fought after making his way through the pack getting to first place. Now, the competition is tough and less lenient on letting Eli make the pass. If Eli can get good starts in 2021, we expect him to run near the top.
The 2020 season may not have gone as well as Cooper was planning after re-igniting a back injury at the first round that he had sustained earlier in the 2020 season. However, all that time and preparation off the bike allowed him to become healthy so he could dominate the latter half of the 2021 Supercross season. Now, Cooper has a second 450 Championship under his belt which was the main goal of 2021 heading into the outdoors season. There is a possibility that Cooper may not be as strong as he was during the indoors series but we still expect him to come off as a top contender.
Last year, Ken Roczen announced that he would not be attending the 2020 outdoors season to recover from the Supercross season as well as spend time with his newborn and wife. Ken still raced Supercross in 2021, finishing second in the points championship and he immediately took to preparing for the outdoors after Salt Lake City. Ken has stated before that he is a stronger Motocross racer than he is a Supercross one, and we’re excited to see a healthy Ken go head to head again with his rival, Cooper Webb.
One of the most exciting parts about having younger 450 guys is that some of them, are really really fast. Adam and a few others are seriously quick when it comes to riding on a motocross track. Adam finished second place in his rookie year last year and we anticipate the number 9 to perform even better than he did the year prior.
Chase Sexton is another younger rider that is on our “very fast guy” list. Being mentored by living-legend James Stewart, Chase Sexton has serious potential for winning but has struggled with inconsistent performances in the past, aka the 2021 Supercross season. However, we have our fingers crossed that we’ll see Chase give the other top riders a run for their money in the championship.
GasGas is the fun brand amongst the rest of the KTM owned bikes, and their Troy Lee Designs team is taking the “fun” theme to heart. Justin Barcia leads the way in the premier class and while he had a few hiccups in the 2021 Supercross season, he still finished fourth in the championship. It is hard to say exactly how well he will do outdoors but we expect a strong performance nonetheless.
The thousand members of the Star Yamaha team have proven to be a strong force. Similar to Chase Sexton, Dylan Ferrandis had shown signs of brilliance in the 2021 Supercross season but mistakes would hold him back. In several races, Dylan was set to the back of the pack and make his way into the top 10 or even 5. Knowing the potential the French rider has, we’re itching to see more of what he will look like outdoors.
Marvin may not be quite as fast as he once was, but a return to racing after a long injury hiatus last year has slowly brought new life into Marv. Several races throughout the 2021 Supercross season went well for Marv but we’re even more excited to see him rip the outdoors soil.
It was important to note that during the 2021 Supercross season, the speedway races that featured Motocross-inspired track layouts or obstacles typically had the number 7 running up front with the rest of the pack and even leading a few races. Seeing how well Aaron performed at these races gives a glimpse of what may come on Saturday. It would be cool to see some guys that aren’t necessarily expected to do well rise to the occasion and finish out on top.
Now we could go all day with how many fast guys are in the 450 class like Jason Anderson, Christian Craig, Joey Savatgy, Max Anstie and more have potential to do well, but then the list would be extremely long so we’re just gonna stick with short this list for today.