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Self-directed anger fuels Chance Hymas’ first Pro Motocross win

Chance Hymas rolled into technical inspection with a smile on his face after winning Moto 2 of the RedBud Nationals in Buchanan, Michigan.

Hymas was happy, but he didn’t know just how happy he would soon be.

“I didn’t even know I had the overall until I came in, and everyone was super-stoked,” Hymas said in RedBud’s post-race news conference. “I was like, ‘alright, a moto win!’ ”

It took a few heartbeats for the implications of that win to sink in.

“I came over, and they [said] ‘You got the overall,’ ” Hymas continued. “Man: 4-1. The last time [I did that], I barely got second.”

The extreme elevation changes of Pro Motocross often make the sport resemble a rollercoaster. The same is true of a rider’s emotions. A little more than 30 minutes earlier, Hymas was angry with himself for giving up the lead to Ty Masterpool after pacing the field for nine of the 16 laps that constituted Moto 1.

“Those guys were on it the first moto, and I was making bad choices,” Hymas said.

MX 2024 Rd 06 RedBud Chance Hymas leads Ty Masterpool.JPG

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“I was pretty mad after the first moto with the way I was riding, and I knew I had to put the anger somewhere ... I put it in the second moto,” Hymas said. “I executed my start perfectly, had a bike length on everybody, and I said, ‘all right, we need to put the gap in right now and ride like I usually do.’ ”

After earning the holeshot, Hymas put a 2.9-second gap on the field by the conclusion of the first lap. His second trip around RedBud MX Park was better still, combining for a more than five-second lead on Lap 2. Hymas’ lead was 6.3 seconds on Lap 3, 7.2 seconds on Lap 5, and 8.5 seconds on Lap 9.

For the moment, Hymas could relax and find the rhythm he knew was needed.

“I just rode a lot more relaxed in the second moto,” Hymas said. “The first moto, I got out front, and I was trying to build a big gap, and I was overriding the bike and taking bad lines. My riding style and the way I set up the bike, I can’t ride the bike like that for 30 minutes.”

But winning is rarely simple. On Lap 10, teammate Jo Shimoda began to close, methodically shrinking the advantage. Increments became deficits. Shimoda closed to within five seconds on Lap 11, 4.3 on Lap 12, 3.9 on Lap 13, and 1.3 when the white flag waved over the field on Lap 15.

Shimoda could see Hymas.

Hymas could hear Shimoda’s bike.

MX 2024 Rd 06 RedBud Chance Hymas and Jo Shimoda finish 1-2.JPG

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“I executed a really good second moto and put a pretty good gap, but Jo reeled me in, and I had to pick up the pace,” Hymas. “I was stoked - Honda 1-2 - and it shows how much we’re working and how badly we want this. We’re figuring it out.”

A slight bobble by Shimoda on the final lap drained a little drama from the finish, but it did nothing to rob Hymas of his first career win.

The overall win has a further ripple effect. While it has not been officially announced, PulpMX’s Steve Matthes reports that this win triggers a provision in Hymas’ contract that renews the rider for the 2025 season.

After Haiden Deegan finished sixth in Moto 2, Hymas is the only rider with a perfect streak of top-five finishes in the first 12 motos of 2024, and with half the season remaining, he still has time to mount a charge on Deegan for the championship lead. It won’t be easy, as Deegan has amassed a 42-point lead over second-place Hymas, but Hymas has the momentum.

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