Which Rookie Had the Best East/West Showdown?

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Rookie report, it’s back! I thought I was bringing this new great idea to the table. Then Troy said that Vurb did this 14 years ago, but to hell with that I’m taking over now. Each week I’m going to report on the rookies in the 250 class and give you a little insight on how the new guys are doing.

Julien Beaumer – Red Bull KTM

Qualifying – 6th

Heat – 13th

LCQ – 1st

Main – 9th

Grade – A

The standout rookie of the weekend, Julien continued his phenomenal rookie season. Beaumer had a rough heat race, but did not let that faze him. He went into the LCQ and took care of business. Beaumer got the holeshot and stayed out front to take home the win. While no rider wants to be in the LCQ, I think the extra time on the track helped Beaumer for the main. The technical track was claiming riders all night, so a few extra laps on the track could have potentially helped him maybe learn a few things the other guys didn’t get to see in the heats. Beaumer did not have the best start for the main and had to fight through the pack and was able to make 4-5 passes and get up to 9th place. Beaumer was the highest finishing rookie of the weekend.

Ryder DiFrancesco – Troy Lee Designs / Red Bull GasGas

Qualifying – 12th

Heat – 3rd

Main – 19th

Grade – A

While his main result does not show it, this was without a doubt Ryder D’s best weekend so far this year. The GasGas rider got out front in his heat race and managed to lead a few laps. Yes, it’s a heat race, but with it being a showdown this is like leading laps in the main event. A first turn pile up would cause the race to be red flagged and a staggered start to resume the race. While Jordon Smith was creeping in on Ryder, I would love to see if he could have held off Smith. Ryder was able to pull a decent gap after the restart and got out to a two second lead. Unfortunately the veterans of Hampshire and Smith were able to run him down, but talk about a confidence booster that I think Ryder and his team needed. While the main was rough, DiFrancesco and his team should have positive vibes going into a off week to get prepared for Denver.

Casey Cochran – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna

Qualifying – 16th

Heat – 4th

Main – 15th

Grade – A

The 17-year-old rookie looked like a veteran in his heat race. Again, it’s a heat race, but this is not your normal heat race. Casey’s starts have been pretty spot on and he managed to use his starts to get out front and finish in fourth. For me, this is like getting fourth in a main for Casey. He showed he has the talent to be out there and with a little more experience he’s going to be a threat. His main results have not been the best, but mistakes are going to happen. Bringing these younger riders in for a few rounds to end the season is a great opportunity for them to let these mistakes happen and learn from them for the next season. Getting 4-5 races under his belt will only help his confidence going into next season.

Daxton Bennick – Monster Energy / Star Racing Yamaha

Qualifying – 18th

Heat – 13th

LCQ – 3rd

Main – 20th

Grade – D

Dax just did not seem comfy all weekend. Mistakes followed him all weekend and he just couldn’t get away from them. While a third in his LCQ race was the highlight of his weekend, it has been a frustrating few weeks for him. His starts have not been up to par and I believe that bad starts might be the root cause of his poor results the last few rounds. He has the speed, but when you have to come from the back of the pack each race it’s going to be hard to get a good result on a normal race weekend, let alone a triple crown. Bennick’s season had started out so strong but has slowly trickled the opposite direction as the season has gone on, with a few rounds left, let’s hope Dax can finish on a few high notes.

Nick Romano – Monster Energy / Star Racing Yamaha

Qualifying – 20th

Heat – 15th

LCQ – 14th

Grade – D

Nick had such a good heat race going until the dreaded sand section claimed him as a victim and his night fell apart after that. Nick would fall back to 15th and fail to qualify straight into the main. The LCQ was not Romano’s friend either, getting pinched in between riders off the start, would push him to the back of the pack and Nick wouldn’t be able to find his way towards the front. Going back to the factory rig after a 14th place LCQ can not be a good feeling for Nick, but he needs to put this race behind him and bounce back the last few rounds just like his teammate Dax. Both of these guys are young and have such a bright future in front of them. This is a round to put behind them and be thankful they both came out healthy from a track that claimed a lot of riders. I expect both of these guys to come out swinging next weekend.

Anthony Bourdon – Toyota of Redlands Bar X Suzuki

Qualifying – 26th

Heat – 8th

Main – 16th

Grade – B+

The Frenchman had a pretty average weekend compared to the rest of his season. Bourdon, who is typically around the top 10 position on the west coast, had a very good ride in his heat race. Finishing eighth, Bourdon would head straight into the main. Bourdon got off to a great start in the main and would start out in the seventh or eighth position. Anthony slowly trickled back and would end up 16th overall. I’m not sure if Anthony maybe had some small mistakes or if the stacked field was just a little too much. There were 11 factory riders to finish in front of him so 16th in a shootout is nothing to be ashamed of.

Main Image: Octopi Media

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