Monster Energy Kawasaki Sweeps Second Jewel of Triple Crown Monster Energy Kawasaki Sweeps Second Jewel of Triple Crown Monster Energy Kawasaki riders James Stewart and Ryan Villopoto earned a little extra money from their primary sponsors...
Monster Energy Kawasaki Sweeps Second Jewel of Triple Crown
Monster Energy Kawasaki Sweeps Second Jewel of Triple Crown Monster Energy Kawasaki riders James Stewart and Ryan Villopoto earned a little extra money from their primary sponsors this weekend as they swept the second leg of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Triple Crown of Motocross at Red Bud Motocross USA in Buchanan, Mich. Both Stewart and Villopoto went 1-1 on the way to their respective overall victories. In the AMA Motocross class Timmy Ferry finished 23-2 for eighth overall. In the AMA Motocross Lites class Brett Metcalfe continued to recover from a shoulder injury, finishing 11-10 for ninth overall. For the Motosport Xtreme Kawasaki team, Andrew McFarlane and Kyle Chisholm earned top -10 finishes. Austin Stroupe and Branden Jesseman did not compete.
Stewart ran his perfect season to 12-straight moto wins and six overall victories as he cruised to the top of the podium at Red Bud. Stewart continued his domination, leading 18 of the 19 laps on Sunday.
"It feels good to get another victory," said Stewart. "It is special because it's been a while since I won here. The last time I got an overall win at Red Bud was in the motocross lites class."
A Streak of his Own
Stewart isn't the only one on a winning streak as Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Villopoto has reeled off 11 straight moto wins and five-straight overall victories. With his 1-1 finish, Villopoto increased his series lead to 95 points.
"Everything is going good for us this year," said Villopoto. "The motos went well today. It was unfortunate for my competition because they had some bad luck and I gained a lot of points on them. I have a 95 point lead right now so I've got a nice cushion there. That's what I want and now I need to play it safe to keep my mistakes to a minimum."
A Class of its Own
The Kawasaki KX™250F has taken the overall win in 17 of the last 18 outdoor nationals. The dominating bike was in its element at Red Bud, a demanding track for both the bike and the rider.
"Red Bud is always a very good track," said Villopoto. "It is a technical track that is probably the roughest one all year. My Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki handled great all weekend. You can't ask for more."
Known not only for a challenging track, but also its spectacular fans, Red Bud is always a favorite for riders. Large crowds cover the hills and show their enthusiasm throughout the weekend cheering the riders on.
"The fans are awesome in Michigan," said Stewart. "A lot of them came out here for the Fourth of July weekend and I wanted to give them some fireworks. They put on a great event here at Red Bud and I was able to show my style on the last lap."
Bad Luck Moto
Ferry had a roller coaster type of first moto as he rode well throughout, but the results did not come as he finished 23rd. Red Dog was running as high as fifth and gaining on the rider in front of him before a fall sent him to the back of the pack.
"My first moto was really frustrating," said Ferry. "I was riding really well. I got up to fifth by the second lap and then I fell. I couldn't get the engine started. As I was falling it was like the bike was still running so I went to give it a little throttle and drop the clutch at the same time to try to rev it up, but instead it stalled. I finally got it running and I was still riding good. I got back by (Andrew) Short, but I was a lap down."
Back on the Podium
After the bad luck in the first moto, Ferry focused on finishing well in the second and showed the patience of a veteran to finish second in the final moto.
"I got a really good start in the second moto," said Ferry. "I came out fifth and then got up to third early. I wanted to get into second pretty quick, but after all the kicking trying to start my bike in the first moto I was exhausted. I felt he was going to get tired so I bided my time and sat back. He did get tired and I got him and then put in a couple of fast laps to build a gap. After that I cruised to second in the final moto."
On the Mend
Metcalfe is still recovering from a shoulder injury, riding through the pain to finish in the top 10. With three more races scheduled for the next three weeks, Metcalfe is planning to heal on the job.
"I felt a little bit better this weekend," said Metcalfe. "That means my shoulder is getting better and that's the direction we want it to go. My moto scores were better than last week so I'm happy with that. It's mentally challenging knowing you are better than your results. You just need to keep a belief in yourself that as you heal you will get the results you're used too."
Monster Energy Kawasaki team manager Mike Fisher, a former Kawasaki pro rider, knocked the dust off of his gear for two ceremonial laps at Red Bud. Though Fisher has been retired for years, his competitive juices were flowing as he nearly attempted LaRocco's Leap. The jump is the biggest and possibly the most intimidating on the circuit and though Fisher didn't try the leap, he still gave the crowd something to cheer about.
Holding On Even while battling his injury, Metcalfe has been able to stay near the top of the points standings. After Red Bud, Metcalfe is fourth in the standings, just three points back of third.
"A lot of guys are having some rough motos," said Metcalfe. "That's helping me, but with my injury I'm kind of helping them too. I expect next week to be as much of an improvement as this week so we should be in good shape to stay in the series standings."
McFarlane and Chisholm both rode their Motosport Xtreme Kawasakis to season's best finishes at Red Bud. McFarlane went 7-10 to finish sixth overall while Chisholm came home seventh overall after going 11-7
Series Leaders Though Stewart is sitting on a 79-point lead in the standings and Villopoto has an even bigger gap with a 95-point lead, neither are taking their lead for granted knowing there are still six races left on the schedule.
"My goal all year has been about getting points," said Stewart. "I'm taking it race-by-race. I have a good points lead now, but it could tighten up. So I'm going to keep concentrating on winning motos."
"I'm going to keep pushing on," said Villopoto. "I still want to get moto wins. Obviously with the lead I have, it's hard to not think about the championship. That is a couple of races ahead though, so we need to wait for that to come and just keep on winning races."
-credit: kawasaki usa