Recap: Florida National Amateur Day
2019 Florida MX Amateur Days Report:
Sand, Sun and Amateur Motocross in Florida
Held in conjunction with Round 5 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, the 2019 Florida Amateur Motocross Days took place on June 23rd at Pro Motocross’ newest venue, Florida’s WW Ranch Motocross Park, in Jacksonville.
Riding the same sandy course that the pros competed on Saturday, top amateurs from around the country battled for trophies and contingency in 26 classes, including minis and senior divisions.
Getting to race on the same course as the pros is part of the appeal of MX Sports Pro Racing’s expanded amateur racing program. The program was established to promote the continued growth of the amateur racing component of the world’s most prestigious off-road motorcycle racing series – the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
Some of the best racing of the day came in the mini classes, and in particular, the 65cc classes, where Emile Lacher swept both the 65cc 7 to 11 and 65cc 10 to 11 classes, going 1-1 in each for relatively easy victories. In the 65cc (10-11) division, Lacher led start-to-finish to beat out fellow KTM riders Trip Carr (2-2) and Max Catano (3-3) for the overall win. The 65cc (7-11) race was an exact duplicate of the (10-11) race, with Carr (2-2) and Catano (3-3) once again finishing second and third overall.
Lacher, who trains with Timmy Ferry at the Moto Sand Box, was the only 65cc rider to successfully jump the double on the backside of the track, giving him at least a full second advantage each lap over the competition.
“It was really cool racing on the same track as the pros because the track was the same layout and it got rougher than the tracks I usually race on,” said Lacher.
Lacher also finished second overall in the 85cc (9-11) class. Kawasaki-mounted Drew Adams of Tennessee won both motos to take the overall win, while Lacher finished second in both races. Robby Goad (KTM) went 4-3 for third overall.
Evan Haimowitz (Yam) had relatively clear sailing in the 250B class, his 1-1 performance beating out Roberto Burgos Jr’s (KTM) 3-2 and Jurek Rubalcava’s (Hon) 5-3 for the overall win. Haimowitz grabbed both holeshots and led each race start-to-finish.
“I just rode clean laps and never looked back,” said Haimowitz. “Riding on the same track as the pros was definitely a good experience. I was worried that they weren’t going to till the track and make it gnarly but Junior [Scarborough] and the guys at WW tilled it and the track shaped up just like it would at a national.”
Haimowitz returned later in the day to win the first moto of the 450B class. However, the Florida rider finished second in moto two behind Kawasaki-mounted Wristin Grigg, which Grigg the overall win with a 2-1 score, while Haimowitz ended up second overall with a 1-2 score.
Kevin Assaf went 3-3 to finish third overall on a Suzuki.
Another 1-1 performer was Ethan Lane, who won the Schooboy 2 (12-17) B/C class. The KTM finished ahead of Roberto Burgos Jr (2-2) and Yamaha-mounted Ezra Parker (3-3) in each moto for the overall win.
Florida’s Casey Cochran (Suz) parlayed a pair of holeshots into an overall win in the Super Mini (12-15) division, going 1-1 to top KTM-mounted Caleb Cauther’s 3-2 performance. The Florida race was Cochran’s first in the Super Mini class although he performed like he’d raced the class many times before.
“That was my first race in Super Mini and it’s exciting to win the first one,” said Cochran. “I think it’s good experience to get to ride the same track as the pros; it’s pretty cool.”
Other winners included Tennessee’s Drew Adams (Kaw), who turned a pair of moto wins in the 85cc (9-11) class into an overall win; and Logan Best (Yam), who was equally dominant en route to the 85cc (12-14) overall win.
Ethan Lane (KTM) won both motos to grab the overall win in the 125 B/C (2-Stroke Only) class, while Brandon Scharer (Hon) dominated the 450A divisions with a couple of moto wins for the overall.
The 125 All Stars race has been garnering lots of attention in 2019, and the Florida round saw a packed starting gate. Lake Park, Georgia’s Gabe Linville (KTM) topped Standford, Kentucky’s Luke VonLinger (Hqv) and Hamer, South Carolina’s Brandon Sharer (Yam) for the win.
Every Pro Motocross National in 2019 will feature the special 125 All Star class, which was created to provide an opportunity for the manufacturers that still make 125 two-strokes to showcase these bikes. The 125 class fills a huge gap between 85’s and 250’s, so MX Sports is helping to fill the void by making 125 two-strokes as part of the pro afternoons.