After a weekend off, the series returned to action at the 2018 Unadilla Motocross. Just like last year, the already tough track was affected by heavy rains that made things interesting. By the final checkered flag, the race results certainly indicated that there had been some shakeups to the usual order we’ve grown accustomed to seeing this year. However, when it came to the top contenders, many of the usual suspects found their way onto the box once again. With two rounds left, the 2018 Unadilla Motocross wasn’t necessarily a highly impactful one in the grand scheme of the championship, but it further solidified the points spreads in both classes.
450 MOTO ONE
Dylan Merriam pulled a massive holeshot to start off the first moto of the day while Musquin and Baggett went to battle over second place. Meanwhile, Justin Barcia would go down on the start and take a while to get going again due to the amount of mud stuck built up on the bike. Musquin would eventually make the pass on Merriam and start pulling away from the field. Behind him, Phil Nicoletti had made his way around Baggett to take over second place.
Meanwhile, Eli Tomac had suffered a less than ideal start and was trying to fight his way forward. However, his goggles broke and he was forced to pull into the pits, delaying his progress and causing him to a lose a position to Benny Bloss. Tomac would quickly regain the spot and go after Baggett, however, he wouldn’t need to make a pass as Baggett too had to pull into the pits for goggles.
At around the 11-minute mark, Tomac closed in on Nicoletti and Musquin. It seemed like things were developing slowly, but Nicoletti’s pace slowed and Tomac got by. Then just a few corners later, he caught Musquin, who’s goggles had also broken in a similar fashion. This required Musquin to pull off and forfeit the lead to Tomac. Once into the lead, Tomac would stretch out his lead and go on to take the win.
450 MOTO TWO
Musquin narrowly edged out the holeshot over Tomac, but Nicoletti would go after the lead to get out front early. Barcia and Kailub Russell would also be in the mix, but the two would end up going down together. Nicoletti would lead for the first seven minutes before Musquin would sneak up the inside to take the position. Tomac would also pass Nicoletti a short while later, shuffling Nicoletti back to third.
With just 10 minutes and two laps to go, Barcia and Webb went to battle with one another. The two would both pass Nicoletti for third and fourth, with Webb holding the podium spot. Barcia would go around the outside of Webb, but Webb would make the pass back briefly. A few corners later, Barcia would make the pass stick on the inside for third. He would hang onto the spot despite going down in the closing laps, but the overall third place spot would go to Nicoletti due to Barcia’s struggles in the first moto. Musquin, meanwhile, was far ahead of the rest of the pack and would take the win without challenge.
250 MOTO ONE
Michael Mosiman led the field through the first turn and around Unadilla for a full lap. Dylan Ferrandis put pressure on Mosiman early on, but slipped back into third place, with Mitchell Harrison taking over second. Joey Savatgy also looked to be in a good position early, but went down in the Gravity Cavity. He would lead the race for almost twelve minutes before going down over a jump. This would allow Ferrandis to move into the lead. Mosiman would drop to fourth.
Just a few minutes later, Plessinger would go to work on Harrison for second place. He would make the move and find himself right behind his teammate Ferrandis. Although Ferrandis would start to pull back away, his bike had been smoking on and off with over ten minutes to go. Then, with just a few minutes left, he would crash into the fence, but due to a 25-second lead, he managed to gather himself and hang on for the win.
250 MOTO TWO
Avoiding a first turn pileup, Cameron McAdoo pulled the holeshot and got away from the chaos early. Behind him, Jordan Smith, Harrison, and Ferrandis would all battle with one another over second, third, and fourth. Smith would end up losing the front end, giving Harrison and Ferrandis the opportunity to take both podium spots. Savatgy would also capitalize, moving into fourth place. Six minutes into the moto, Ferrandis would make the pass on Harrison, but he would then lose it again due to a handful of mistakes.
As the moto continued to develop, Harrison, Ferrandis, and Savatgy continued to run fender to fender, but Plessinger had now caught up to the pack as well. Meanwhile, McAdoo’s lead was down narrowed down to under two seconds. With 18 minutes and two laps left, Harrison made the move for the lead on the inside of McAdoo. Then, Plessinger would get past Savatgy for fourth. Moments later, Ferrandis would make the pass on McAdoo for second. He would immediately face pressure from Plessinger, who would waste little time making the pass.
From there, the two teammates would both try to make their way to the front, but Harrison would defend his lead from both riders. Meanwhile, Ferrandis, who had led Plessinger for several minutes, got stuck in a rut while making a pass for the lead and slid back to third. Then, with three and a half minutes left, Harrison would run into the back of a lapper and go down, ending up in fourth. This would leave Plessinger and Ferrandis to fight over the lead. Somehow, Ferrandis would go from a deep inside line to the outside to take the lead away. Once into the lead, Ferrandis would hold on for the win. Plessinger would take second, with Savatgy third.