BUDDS CREEK, Md. (July 14, 2008) -- In front of an enthusiastic crowd, the second half of the 2008 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship Presented by FMF officially began on Sunday, July 13, with the Monster Energy Budds Creek Motocross National. A ...
BUDDS CREEK, Md. (July 14, 2008) -- In front of an enthusiastic crowd, the second half of the 2008 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship Presented by FMF officially began on Sunday, July 13, with the Monster Energy Budds Creek Motocross National. A reverse direction layout provided unique challenges for the world's best riders, but in the end Kawasaki's James Stewart and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto extended their respective points leads with convincing victories.
Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey grabbed the BTOSports.com Holeshot Award in the opening moto for the AMA Motocross Lites class, his second of the season, but Geico Powersports Honda's Trey Canard made his way around the Suzuki rider a short time later to take the early lead. Dungey's teammate Nico Izzi followed Canard into second. Series points leader, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto was in fourth. Geico Powersports Honda's Josh Grant was way back after he had trouble trying to start his bike, just getting it fired as the gate dropped. His teammate Jake Weimer was in fifth. The opening laps saw some frantic passing with Villopoto and Izzi getting by Dungey. Izzi was on the move and went around Canard on lap two by railing the outside of a turn to take the lead. Villopoto worked his way around Canard by out-braking the rookie on a downhill and set out to work on Izzi. MDK/KTM teammates Ryan Sipes and Martin Davalos were both in the hunt as well in sixth and seventh. Izzi was charging hard in the lead for two laps. DNA Energy Drink/BTOSports Honda's Kyle Cunningham was having his best race of the season in ninth. On the fourth lap, Villopoto passed Izzi and began to stretch out his lead. The action behind him was fierce as Izzi, Dungey and Canard would exchange places, with Canard eventually grabbing second, Dungey third, and Izzi dropping to fourth. Sipes and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Brett Metcalfe slowly closed in on Izzi. Metcalfe was able to get by Izzi going into the back by out-jumping the Suzuki rider. Izzi would eventually finish eighth. Sipes and Metcalfe were neck and neck until Sipes overshot a corner, allowing Metcalfe to get away. Villopoto took moto one followed by Canard and Dungey.
AMA Motocross series leader, Monster Energy Kawasaki's James Stewart crossed the stripe first in moto one for the BTOSports.com Holeshot Award. He was followed by Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Michael Byrne and Red Bull Honda's Andrew Short. Another Red Bull Honda rider, Davi Millsaps, bounced back from a shoulder injury from last week to settle into fourth off the start. Stewart's teammate Tim Ferry was fifth. Stewart would begin to check out and ride away from the field while Short established himself in second. Ferry would get by Millsaps at the finish line and "scrub" Henry Hill to make his way past Byrne into third. Factory Yamaha's Josh Hill was in his best position of the season in sixth followed by MDK KTM's Nick Wey and Moto XXX Honda's Jeff Alessi. Suzuki City Biloxi MS/OTSFF Suzuki's Cody Cooper was in 10th and quickly moved his way up through the pack, getting by Alessi and Byrne in consecutive corners and work his way forward. Ferry closed in and went to work on Short. He would battle with Short for the rest of the moto before moving into second in front of the mechanics area. Cooper continued his charge, passing Wey and moving into fifth. North Racing Inc./Factory Connection Honda's Jimmy Albertson was in the top 10 as well, making him the second privateer battling with the factory riders. Hill finished a AMA Motocross career-best fourth in the moto with Short third, Ferry second and Stewart well ahead in first.
As the gate dropped for the second AMA Motocross Lites moto, Canard raced to the BTO Sports.com Holeshot Award, followed by his teammate Grant. Dungey was up front again as was Villopoto. Early first moto leader Izzi was just inside the top 10 along with MDK/KTM's Justin Brayton, Davalos and Sipes. Grant was quickly passed by Dungey and Villopoto on the second lap. Grant, who once again experienced trouble starting his bike at the gate, dropped out early and failed to finish. Canard held off Villopoto for a shirt time, but eventually succumbed to the pressure of the Kawasaki rider in one of the track's off camber corners. Villopoto would quickly open up a comfortable lead on Canard. The man on the move throughout the moto was Metcalfe, picking off riders on his way to the front. Boost Mobile/Yamaha of Troy's Mike Brown was in the top 15, but fell and finished 18th. While running in second Canard tangled with a lapper and went down hard. He was unable to restart his bike and recorded a DNF. Dungey, who was putting pressure on Canard at the time, snuck by to assume second. Davalos and his teammate Sipes battled and swapped paint all over the track before Davalos got by Sipes for fourth behind Metcalfe, who had worked his way into third. The moto finishing order would be Villopoto, Dungey and Davalos. Overall, Villopoto's 1-1 moto results gave him his sixth win of the season while Dungey returned to the overall podium in second. Metcalfe secured the final spot on the overall podium for his best finish of the season.
In the final AMA Motocross moto, Stewart would barely edge out Atomic Racing Honda's Paul Carpenter for his third straight BTOSports.com Holeshot Award. Once in the lead, Stewart would not relinquish it for the rest of the moto in another flawless ride by the Kawasaki rider. Short was in second followed by Byrne and Cooper. Second place first moto finisher Ferry was in 11th, a victim of a bad start. Spike Hardcore Energy Yamaha's Eric Sorby was also up front with Wey. Ferry quickly made his way around Sorby and Alessi by soaking up the jumps and staying lower than them. This moto would prove to be different than the first with a determined Byrne refusing to let Cooper get by, despite repeated attempts by the privateer rider. Byrne would ride a solid race and end up fourth in the moto. Millsaps high-sided in a turn and fell on his tender shoulder, forcing him to pull out of the moto. Ferry rode around the outside of Byrne and charged after Short. After reeling Short in, he made his pass on the inside before the big tabletop, diving into a turn and grabbing second from the Honda rider. The moto would finish the same as the overall with Stewart going 1-1, Ferry 2-2, and Short 3-3 on the day.
Andrew Short, Red Bull Honda, AMA Motocross, Third Overall
"I saw (Tim Ferry) coming the whole time. It was awesome to get some good starts. I tried my best to gap (Ferry) early on but he caught me. It's awesome to get two podiums (in a row). It feels really good and it's good for our team. Heat was definitely a factor. I couldn't go all out in the second moto. I wanted to pace myself in that moto and latch on to Timmy once he caught me but I couldn't. It's hard to battle with Timmy's experience and I need to be able to capitalize if he gets a good start. I need to latch on to him and learn his lines. I thought the track was awesome today. The track crew did an awesome job. Unadilla is definitely my favorite (track). It's rocky and rough. I just need to go home and train and work on getting ahead of Tim."
Tim Ferry, Monster Energy Kawasaki, AMA Motocross, Second Overall
"That's definitely the closest I've been to the front in quite a while. Andrew is tough to pass. Sometimes it takes me a whole moto and in a way, he is the hardest guy to get around for me. I've always liked this track. It's definitely a good track and it reminds me of RedBud. I knew I had my work cut out for me in the second moto. I kind of rode out of my comfort zone and it worked out for me. I found some new lines, but it was disappointing to not be up there with them in the beginning. The track direction doesn't matter. It works either way for me."
James Stewart, Monster Energy Kawasaki, AMA Motocross, Overall Winner
"Once I got the (BTOSports.com Holeshot Awards), I just rode my own race and it was good. I don't mind if I have to come up through the pack or be out front. I've just been fortunate to come out in the front of the pack (this season). I thought that if I didn't get the jump I just wanted to at least be on the inside. I just cut in and got on the gas quicker and beat them to the top of the hill. The easiest thing for me is to just race lap by lap and beat the time I'm up against. Today I feel like I did that and to me it's all about just hitting lines and having fun. I don't really care about (the perfect season). I just focus on each race and each moto. I've never set that as a goal. I just want to stay up and have fun. I'm going into Unadilla with a positive outlook. It wasn't the track that got me last year, I got myself."
Brett Metcalfe, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki, AMA Motocross Lites, Third Overall
"I was worried I wouldn't make the podium. I got into third and was running a good pace then all of a sudden I popped my ankle over one of the rollers and I was in a lot of pain and I just couldn't hold on. It's awesome to finally get a little reward (after my problems). I don't think the heat here was nearly as hot as Texas. I was able to get through without any problem. The rest of the team really stepped up this weekend with (team owner Mitch Payton) gone."
Ryan Dungey, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki, AMA Motocross Lites, Second Overall
"I was a little behind Trey (Canard) and I closed up on him. He just swapped. It's not how I want to take the position but it's what happened. I just put in some good laps, Ryan (Villopoto) was a little ahead so I just rode my own race from there. The track was a blast. I had a good time. I think our class has a lot of competition. The track is good and it just suits both (classes) well."
Ryan Villopoto, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki, AMA Motocross Lites, Overall Winner
"I've been able to ride good here the last three years. I like the track. I like going the other way a little better, but it turned out decent. I didn't get the start I wanted in both motos so I just had to put my head down, get around the guys, and pull the gap. I don't want to put myself into a position to get taken out. I just take my time, look for some lines, and work around guys. The lap time was kind of short today, which makes it harder because it becomes more mental. If I'm close to the front, I wait for it to come for me. But if it doesn't come to me then I have to go get it. Unadilla isn't one of my favorites, but the layout is good."