Colorado native Eli Tomac, who rose to the sport’s top level, the 450 Division, in 2014, won the 250 overall on the track near Millville in 2012 and 2013.
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Since then, there have been six different overall 250 winners in seven years, with Jeremy Martin from Millville being the only rider to win the class twice in that span (2014, 2016).
There won’t be a repeat in the 250 class this year, again, as the AMA Series makes its annual stop at Spring Creek on Saturday. The races start at noon.
Last year’s overall 250 winner on the track, Dylan Ferrandis, has moved up to the 450 class this season and leads the points standings.
Here’s a look at five riders to watch in the 250 division on Saturday:
The Queensland, Australia native won’t be turning 18 until August 9, but he has become the rider to beat in the world’s best motocross series. He’s in a close battle with Justin Cooper, holding just a three-point lead as they arrive in Millville this weekend. Lawrence has been very good this summer, but not dominant. He has three wins and seven podiums (top three) in 10 races. The rider of Team Honda HRC’s No.18 motorcycle finished 9-3 in both races at Southwick last weekend for a sixth place overall, the first time this season he has failed to secure a podium in the general classification.
The Cold Spring Harbor, NY native has arguably been more consistent than Lawrence this summer, placing in the top five in nine of 10 races so far. He has two motorcycle wins and has finished on the podium in all five races. Cooper has performed well in his three previous appearances at Spring Creek. He was fifth last year; his best result on the track came in his first race there, a second overall in 2018. Cooper drives # 32 for Monster Energy / Star / Yamaha Racing.
The Hudson, Fla. Native sits fourth in the points standings this season and comes off a solid fourth place finish in Southwick, Mass., Last weekend. Hampshire was the fastest driver in qualifying at Southwick, but placed second and sixth in both races. Hampshire, who finished sixth overall at Spring Creek last year, has raced the track six times – and finished in the top 10 each time – but has never been in the top five.
“I felt great there and my bike was really good,” said the No. 24 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider last weekend. “I just had a few mistakes that cost me dearly. It’s not a bad points day, but I can’t wait to be in Millville and get on from here.
It’s been a while since hometown favorite – Martin is a son of Spring Creek MX Park owners John and Greta Martin – raced in front of a crowd of 20,000 on his home track. Martin finished second overall last year at Spring Creek, which saw a more limited crowd size due to COVID-19 restrictions. Martin was unable to run at Millville in 2018 and 2019 due to a serious back and neck injury. Martin still rides well at home, finishing first or second overall in four of his last five appearances on the track. Eighth in the 250 class points standings, Jeremy suffers from wrist and shoulder injuries that caused him to miss two races last month. Martin is back with Monster Energy / Star / Yamaha this season, riding his familiar # 6.
A month ago, Martin’s older brother was sure he couldn’t run at Spring Creek, a race he hasn’t missed since making his professional track debut in 2008. He crashed at training and broke his arm in Thunder Valley, Colorado on June 6 – the same day his brother crashed and worsened his wrist and shoulder injuries. Alex rides for a new team this season, Rock River Yamaha, after his old team, JGR Suzuki, disbanded after last season. Like his brother, Alex has always been strong on his home track. In the past five years, he’s finished third, second, third, second and third at Spring Creek. Martin is back as a private rider this season, riding his No. 26 for the Rock River Yamaha team.