|HURRICANE MILLS, Tenn. (August 8, 2021) — The fifth and final day of the 40th Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship capped off a memorable week of racing at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch. The remaining 17 classes contested their third and final motos, as a total of 33 different riders became AMA National Champions at the 2021 event.|
Following the conclusion of the races, each newly crowned champion was celebrated for their exceptional efforts at the awards ceremony. One of the most significant accolades of the evening, the 2021 Nicky Hayden AMA Motocross Horizon Award, was given to Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Levi Kitchen, who prevailed as champion in 250 Pro Sport and Open Pro Sport and was recognized as the most promising amateur racer in the country because of it.
The Loretta Lynn’s class trophies were handed out to 33 different riders.
Photo: Align Media
|Open Pro Sport|
The highlight moto of the final day featured one of the tightest championship battles of all 36 classes at Loretta Lynn’s, as Open Pro Sport featured a three-way tie atop the overall classification between Kitchen, Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green’s Chance Hymas, and Bar X/Chaparral/ECSTAR/Suzuki Racing’s Preston Kilroy.
As the gate dropped on the third and final moto of this hotly contested division, it was Honda rider Luke Kalaitzian who grabbed the STACYC Holeshot, only to be quickly passed by Hymas. The Kawasaki rider was well aware of the significance of the moment and wasted no time trying to establish a gap on the field, as Kilroy slotted into second and Kitchen battled for a spot inside the top five.
Hymas paced the field on the opening lap and enjoyed a multiple bike length lead over Kilroy, but the Kawasaki rider went down and gave up the top spot. That allowed Kilroy to assume first place, followed by JMS Performance Yamaha’s Jace Kessler and Kitchen, while Hymas remounted in fourth. Kilroy was comfortable up front and managed a multi-second lead through to the first half of the moto when Kitchen, who had made the pass for second, closed in and mounted a challenge.
As the race reached the halfway mark, Kitchen went on the attack and was able to get alongside Kilroy a couple times, but the Suzuki rider responded and fended off the pressure. As he reestablished some bike lengths over Kitchen, Kilroy’s hopes were dashed in an instant when he stalled his motorcycle while navigating through a turn. As Kitchen rode by with the lead, Kilroy was left struggling to refire his Suzuki and continued to lose numerous positions.
With the lead in hand, Kitchen enjoyed a double-digit lead over Hymas in second and Kessler in third. It was smooth sailing for the Yamaha rider from there on out as he took the moto win and the Open Pro Sport title with his second straight moto win. Hymas finished second, with Kessler third. Kilroy eventually resumed and finished 10th.
Open Pro Sport Moto 3 ResultsLevi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., YamahaChance Hymas, Pocatello, Idaho, KawasakiJace Kessler, Eagle Mich., YamahaLuke Kalaitzian, Sun Valley, Calif., HondaCullin Park, Clermont, Fla., Honda
Levi Kitchen wrapped up the Open Pro Sport title.
Photo: Ken Hill
|Kitchen’s 3-1-1 moto scores gave him the edge over Hymas by a single point for a sweep of the Pro Sport division, where he prevailed as champion in both the 250 and Open category.|
Open Pro Sport Overall Standings (Moto Scores)Levi Kitchen, Washougal, Wash., Yamaha (3-1-1)Chance Hymas, Pocatello, Idaho, Kawasaki (2-2-2)Preston Kilroy, Afton, Wyo., Suzuki (1-3-10)Cullin Park, Clermont, Fla., Honda (8-5-5)Hunter Yoder, Menfiee, Calif., Honda (6-8-8)
Kitchen earned the Nicky Hayden AMA Motocross Horizon Award.
Photo: Align Media
The first two motos of 250 B has been a display of dominance from Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Nick Romano, whose back-to-back moto wins provided him with an edge over NSA/bLU cRU Yamaha’s Gage Linville and Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green’s Gavin Towers entering the deciding moto.
As the field charged down the start straight and into the first turn it was Romano who emerged with the STACYC Holeshot with Towers right on his rear fender. A motivated Towers went on immediate attack and was able to get by Romano to seize the early lead while MotoSport Hillsboro Honda’s Preston Boespflug slotted into third ahead of Linville.
Towers’ pace through the first half of the moto was impressive and he managed about a second lead over Romano throughout the first 10 minutes. However, Romano picked up his aggression at the midway point and closed in on his Kawasaki mounted rival. The Yamaha rider made an impressive pass to take over control of the moto and never looked back. Towers kept Romano honest for several laps, but the distance between the lead pair grew significantly in the closing laps.
Romano went on to complete the 1-1-1 sweep, followed by Towers in second and Boespflug in third, while Linville never factored into the moto in fourth.
250 B Moto 3 ResultsNick Romano, Bayside, N.Y., YamahaGavin Towers, Venetia, Pa., KawasakiPreston Boespflug, Battle Ground, Wash., HondaGage Linville, Lake Park, Ga., YamahaTalon Hawkins, Temecula, Calif., HusqvarnaThe undefeated record in 250 B capped off a memorable week for Romano in the class, where he finished five points clear of Towers in the final standings.
250 B Overall Standings (Moto Scores)Nick Romano, Bayside, N.Y., Yamaha (1-1-1)Gavin Towers, Venetia, Pa., Kawasaki (3-3-2)Gage Linville, Lake Park, Ga., Yamaha (2-2-4)Preston Boespflug, Battle Ground, Wash., Honda (5-4-3)Talon Hawkins, Temecula, Calif., Husqvarna (10-5-5)
Nick Romano went 1-1-1 for the 250 B crown.
Photo: Align Media
|Schoolboy 1 (12-17) B/C|
Fresh off capturing his first AMA National Championship on Friday, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Evan Ferry entered Saturday’s Schoolboy 1 finale within reach of a second title at Loretta Lynn’s.
As the field stormed through the first turn to begin the final moto it was EBR Performance Yamaha’s Crocket Myers who came away with the STACYC Holeshot, but he was quickly passed by KTM Orange Brigade’s Mark Fineis, who wasted little time taking control of the moto. After the completion of the opening lap Fineis already held a multiple second lead on the field, while Ferry was trying to fight his way into the top three.
While Fineis continued to lead the way out front, the battle behind him heated up as Ferry broke into the top three and continued to challenge Spykes KTM’s Trevor Colip for second. Ferry made the move and looked to make inroads on his deficit to Fineis, but the KTM rider was too good and time was running out.
Fineis closed out the week in the class with back-to-back moto wins, but his 19th-place finish in the opening moto prevented him from contending for the overall. Ferry finished in second, while EBR Performance Yamaha’s Collin Allen was third.
Schoolboy 1 (12-17) B/C Moto 3 ResultsMark Fineis, Westfield, Ind., KTMEvan Ferry, Largo, Fla., HusqvarnaCollin Allen, Clayton, N.C., YamahaLogan Best, North Port, Fla., YamahaCrockett Myers, Anderson, Texas, YamahaFerry’s runner-up finish in the final moto was more than enough to secure the Schoolboy 1 title for his second championship of the week. He finished a commanding nine points ahead of Myers in the final standings.
Schoolboy 1 (12-17) B/C Overall Standings (Moto Scores)Evan Ferry, Largo, Fla., Husqvarna (1-2-2)Crockett Myers, Anderson, Texas, Yamaha (4-5-5)Collin Allen, Clayton, N.C., Yamaha (10-3-3)Trevor Colip, Bowling Green, Ind., KTM (5-7-7)Mark Fineis, Westfield, Ind., KTM (19-1-1)
Evan Ferry was a two-time champion at Loretta Lynn’s.
Photo: Align Media
|Schoolboy 2 (12-17) B/C|
With one championship under his belt, Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Nick Romano entered the Schoolboy 2 finale within striking distance of a second Saturday triumph. The Yamaha rider carried a five-point lead over KTM Orange Brigade’s Caden Braswell with everything on the line for Moto 3.
The final Schoolboy 2 moto began with EBR Performance Yamaha’s Ben Garib at the head of the pack with the STACYC Holeshot, followed closely by Braswell. Romano was faced with his toughest challenge of the week as he began the moto well outside the top 20.
The clear track allowed Braswell to open up a lead of nearly five seconds on the opening lap, as Garib battled Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green’s Gavin Towers for second. Behind them, Romano was doing all he could to come through the field. He was on the verge of the top 15 after a couple laps and was soon knocking on the door of the top 10, but as the laps added up and the field became more spread out it became increasingly difficult for Romano to make up positions. Nevertheless, he kept his head down and continued to fight, defying the odds to move up to fifth.
With less than a minute remaining in the moto Romano appeared to have the overall in his grasp but he encountered misfortune and dropped several positions. Braswell was never challenged up front and rode to an impressive Moto 3 win. Towers rode to a strong second, while Garib followed in third. Romano did all he could to recover on the final lap and finished eighth.
Schoolboy 2 (12-17) B/C Moto 2 ResultsCaden Braswell, Shalimar, Fla., KTMGavin Towers, Venetia, Pa., KawasakiBen Garib, Chile, YamahaBrock Bennett, Bakersfield, Calif., HusqvarnaTalon Hawkins, Temecula, Calif., HusqvarnaBraswell’s final moto triumph, combined with the late heartbreak for Romano, put the KTM rider atop the overall standings for the Schoolboy 2 title with a score of eight points. Garib finished two points back in the runner-up spot, while Romano dropped from first to third.
Schoolboy 2 (12-17) B/C Overall Standings (Moto Scores)Caden Braswell, Shalimar, Fla., KTM (5-2-1)Ben Garib, Chile, Yamaha (4-3-3)Nick Romano, Bayside, N.Y., Yamaha (1-1-8)Gavin Towers, Venetia, Pa., Kawasaki (7-5-2)Brock Bennett, Bakersfield, Calif., Husqvarna (6-4-4)
Caden Braswell’s Moto 3 win vaulted him to the Schoolboy 2 championship.
Photo: Ken Hill
|Supermini 1 (12-15)|
While he may have missed out on a shot at two Supermini championships, KTM Orange Brigade’s Haiden Deegan was determined to end Supermini 1 on a high note. He entered Saturday’s final moto with a shot at the 1-1-1 sweep and sat comfortably atop the overall standings.
The final Supermini 1 moto began with Calaman Plumbing KTM’s Carter Malcom earning the STACYC Holeshot, but he was quickly passed by Rides Unlimited KTM’s Noah VIney. As Viney looked to take advantage of his strong start, Deegan was right where he wanted to be in the top three. The KTM rider went to work and made the pass on Race Tech KTM’s Dilon Blecha for second. Once into the runner-up spot, Deegan set his sights on Viney. After a couple patient laps, Deegan made his move and took over the lead, only to give it back to Viney a few laps later after an uncharacteristic miscue.
Never one to panic, Deegan regathered himself and went back on the attack. It took a single lap to reclaim the top spot and Deegan charged home to another emphatic victory to secure the three-moto sweep. Viney enjoyed his best moto of the week in second, with KTM rider Adler Caudle in third.
Supermini 1 (12-15) Moto 3 ResultsHaiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., KTMNoah Viney, Murrieta, Calif., KTMAdler Caudle, Moore, Okla., KTMKrystian Janik, Oak Lawn, Ill., KawasakiDilon Blecha, Fruita, Colo., KTMDeegan’s path to the Supermini 1 championship was a dominant one, as he finished seven points ahead of Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green’s Krystian Janik.
Supermini 1 (12-15) Overall Standings (Moto Scores)Haiden Deegan, Temecula, Calif., KTM (1-1-1)Krystian Janik, Oak Lawn, Ill., Kawasaki (4-2-4)Dilon Blecha, Fruita, Colo., KTM (8-4-5)Trace Holland, Spicewood, Texas, KTM (9-6-8)Zayden Mason, Hazleton, Ind., KTM (7-12-7)
Haiden Deegan dominated the Supermini 1 division.
Photo: Align Media
As the stacked field of veteran talent in Senior (45+) lined up on the starting gate for the final time, Rockstar Energy/Munn Racing Husqvarna’s Mike Brown entered in full control of his own destiny with back-to-back moto wins and a manageable lead over both The Wick 338/Pilgrim Powersports Kawasaki’s Keith Johnson and Shift MX Husqvarna’s Jeff Emig.
Brown seized the moment and took matters into his own hands off the start by easily securing the STACYC Holeshot, followed by Brewer Cycles KTM’s Edward Walston. This did not bode well for neither Emig nor Johnson, as both were forced to come through the field. Emig completed the first lap in 13th, while Johnson encountered misfortune and started his race in 31st place.
Being the experienced veteran that he is, Brown maximized the advantage he had with a clear track to establish a near 10-second lead over the field on the opening lap. It was clear it was Brown’s race and title to lose, and as long as he avoided incident, he’d be too difficult to catch. Emig did all he could to keep matters interesting and successfully clawed his way up to second just past the halfway point of the moto. However, he faced an insurmountable 45-second deficit once he got there.
Brown enjoyed the single-most-dominant performance of the week to complete the 1-1-1 sweep in incredible fashion. Emig finished a distant second, while Rynopower Honda’s Ryan Hughes finished third. Johnson put in a valiant effort to finish eighth.
Senior (45+) Moto 3 ResultsMike Brown, Bristol, Tenn., HusqvarnaNoah Viney, Murrieta, Calif., KTMRyan Hughes, Escondido, Calif., HondaEdward Walston, Pinetops, N.C., KTMBilly Fosnock, Collinsville, Ill., KawasakiBrown’s impressive sweep of the motos provided him with his seventh Loretta Lynn’s title since retiring from full time professional competition. Emig finished a strong second, five points back, while Johnson rounded out the top three.
Senior (45+) Overall Standings (Moto Scores)Mike Brown, Bristol, Tenn., Husqvarna (1-1-1)Jeff Emig, Riverside, Calif., Husqvarna (3-3-2)Keith Johnson, Carver, Mass., Kawasaki (2-2-8)Kevin Walker, Kingsport, Tenn., Suzuki (6-4-6)Barry Carsten, Bayville, N.J., Suzuki (5-6-7)
No one was any match for Mike Brown in Senior (45+).
Photo: Cheryl Gray
|Additional AMA Amateur National Champions from Saturday (Moto Scores)|
250 C Limited: Nico Long, Scottsdale, Ariz., KTM (1-1-2)
250 C Jr. (12-17) Limited: Gabe Holland, Winterville, Ga., KTM (1-1-2)
450 B Limited: Julien Beaumer, Lake Havasu, Ariz., Husqvarna (1-3-2)
450 C: Brennan Schofield, Canada, Yamaha (3-2-5)
College (18-24): Justin Cokinos, Hanover, Mass., GASGAS (1-2-2)
Women: Sophia Phelps, St. George, Utah, Kawasaki (2-1-1)
65cc (7-9): Elliott Bowsher, Cornelius, Ohio, GASGAS (2-1-1)
65cc (10-11): Vincent Wey, Murrieta, Calif., Husqvarna (3-1-1)
85cc (10-12): Drew Adams, Chattanooga, Tenn., Kawasaki (1-1-1)
Supermini 2 (13-16): Krystian Janik, Oak Lawn, Ill., Kawasaki (4-2-2)
Girls (11-16): Kyleigh Stallings, Austin, Texas, Husqvarna (1-1-1)