Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Notes: Rockstar Energy Unadilla National MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (August 12, 2010) - After eight rounds of the 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, the world's best riders took a break from...
Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Notes: Rockstar Energy Unadilla National
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (August 12, 2010) - After eight rounds of the 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, the world's best riders took a break from competition in preparation for the final month of racing. Now, following a three-week break, the most prestigious motocross championship on the planet returns to action this weekend at legendary Unadilla Valley Sports Center in New Berlin, N.Y., for the Rockstar Energy Unadilla National.
As one of the longest running tracks in American motocross, Unadilla will challenge the riders with its high speed, hilly terrain. Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey leads the way in the 450 Class with a seven race win streak, but this weekend he will be greeted by a new challenger as San Manuel Yamaha's James Stewart returns to the outdoor nationals. The 2008 champion will compete in the final four races of the season and should bring additional excitement to the fold.
Over in the 250 Class, GEICO Powersports Honda's Trey Canard has been hot to say the least. With three straight wins, the third-year rider has moved into second in the championship standings and is slowing chipping away at points leader Christophe Pourcel's advantage.
The return to action for all the stars of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship is something fans won't want to miss. For those who can't be one of the thousands in attendance, live coverage of the final 450 Class moto can be seen exclusively on NBC Sports on Saturday beginning at 3 p.m. ET. Coverage of the 250 Class will air on SPEED on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.
With a 95-point lead over Andrew Short, Ryan Dungey looks to be in position to claim the 2010 450 Class title. His seven-race win streak is a record for a rookie competitor and with a trio of runner-up finishes at Unadilla to his credit from the 250 Class, he is looking forward to racing at a track he's done well at in the past.
"It's been a good couple of weeks since Washougal," said Dungey. "I was able to get off the bike for a couple days, which was nice. It's been a long season, I think 25 races so far, so getting away is good mentally and physically. I'm really looking forward to Unadilla and the rest of the outdoor season. I think we're in a good position to finish strong and wrap a pretty good rookie season."
In addition to Dungey on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450s, Clement Desalle, the Belgian who's currently running in second place in the MX1 GP, will also be joining in on the Unadilla action aboard the Suzuki RM-Z450 before heading to Brazil for the next stop in the World Championships.
Honda Red Bull Racing
Andrew Short continues to solidify his runner-up spot in the 450 Class championship. The Texas resident has back-to-back second place efforts over the last two rounds and is settling into a groove as the season moves forward. Last season he finished second at Unadilla and will look for his third podium result on Saturday.
Kevin Windham's return to the outdoor nationals continues to go well. In his second race back, the veteran once again ran at the front of the field but appeared to tire in the late stages of both motos to post a pair of ninth-place finishes. As his stamina increase throughout each round, Windham will look to land on the overall podium before season's end.
GEICO Powersports Honda
Brett Metcalfe was one of the fastest riders on the track at the previous round at Washougal. After a pair of tough starts, the Australian was forced to work his way through the field and put on an impressive display en route to third overall. He currently sits third in the standings and through eight rounds has had an impressive rookie season. He sits 16 points from Short in the runner-up spot and with four rounds remaining, could find himself in a career-best position.
Despite a 12th-place effort as Washougal, Josh Grant was still able to move into fourth in the 450 Class championship. The second-year rider is still looking for consistency in 2010 and has several strong performances to show for it. He'll hope to put together back-to-back strong moto efforts as he makes his 450 debut from Unadilla after missing it due to injury last season.
Right behind Grant at Washougal was his teammate Justin Brayton in 13th. His second-place result in the second moto was his best performance of the season and he'll be eager to use the newfound confidence to his advantage this weekend. Last year at Unadilla was one of Brayton's best outings of the 2009 season with a fourth place finish overall.
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda
Washougal was forgettable for Ben Townley to say the least. The New Zealand rider unfortunately wasn't able to complete a single lap in the Pacific Northwest, crashing on the opening lap of Moto 1 and failing to finish the race. The aftermath from the incident was enough to take Townley out of the second moto as well and he fell to sixth in the championship.
After posting a strong start in the first moto with a sixth-place finish, Mike Alessi encountered some misfortune in moto two after getting caught up in an incident in the first corner. He worked his way through the field effectively to bring home a 13th-place finish and 11th overall.
Monster Energy Kawasaki
After announcing his departure from the 2010 season, Chad Reed left the reigns at Monster Energy Kawasaki in the hands of Nick Wey, who showed he's ready to pick up the slack with his best performance of the season at Washougal. A solid 10th-place effort in the first moto followed by a great start and sixth-place finish in Moto 2 resulted in fifth place overall.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki
For the first time in 2010, Tommy Hahn was able to put together a pair of strong moto results. The Texas rider has been fast throughout the season, but has always encountered trouble when looking to back-up a strong performance. At Washougal, a modest seventh-place finish was followed by a third-place effort in Moto 2 which resulted in fourth overall, just missing out on the podium by two points.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
While he still leads the 250 Class standings, Christophe Pourcel has been forced to deal with the strong charge of Trey Canard in recent weeks. Despite missing out on the win at Washougal, Pourcel still posted a very solid runner-up effort to minimize the damage Canard could inflict on his points lead. Last season, the Frenchman dominated at Unadilla with 1-1 moto scores and will look to reassert himself on Saturday.
Teammate Dean Wilson's rookie season continues to go well despite one of his worst results of the season at Washougal. A fifth-place finish dropped him from second to third in the championship, but the Scottish rider has proven to be capable of winning every time the gate drops so far in 2010.
Tyla Rattray sits fourth in the 250 Class championship, finishing on the podium yet again at Washougal. His sophomore effort has been one of the best turnarounds in recent memory and he hopes to get back on top of the podium before season's end.
GEICO Powersports Honda
Trey Canard has his sights set on the 250 Class championship in 2010, but his strong midseason charge might not be enough to catch his French rival. Despite three straight overall wins, Canard still sits 38 points out of the lead, but he's one of the hottest riders on the circuit and in a class that's proven to be unpredictable all season, anything can still happen with four races remaining.
In recent weeks, both Justin Barcia and Blake Wharton have been inseparable. The GEICO duo always appears to be battling one another at the front of the field. At Washougal, Barcia experienced misfortune while running well early on, relegating him to a 16th-place finish. Wharton on the other hand was impressive. The sophomore rider was in the thick of the podium fight, finishing fifth and fourth in the motos to take fourth overall. Ironically enough, the duo also sits fifth and sixth in the championship standings.