Buchanan: Kawasaki Racing race report

Reed and Wilson Celebrate Seconds at Red Bud Monster Energy Kawasaki's Chad Reed returned to the podium at Red Bud in Buchanan, Mich. finishing 2-2 and claiming second overall in the 450 class. Dean Wilson also brought home a runner up finish ...

Reed and Wilson Celebrate Seconds at Red Bud
Monster Energy Kawasaki's Chad Reed returned to the podium at Red Bud in

Buchanan, Mich. finishing 2-2 and claiming second overall in the 450 class. Dean Wilson also brought home a runner up finish after going 3-2 in the 250 class. Wilson's Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammate Christophe Pourcel won the first moto and finished fifth in the second, to claim third overall. Both Tyla Rattray and Jake Weimer had crashes while riding up front and they finished sixth and eighth overall, respectively. Nick Wey scored his first top-10 overall of the season at his home track and in the WMX class, Monster Energy Kawasaki's Sara Price battled for a fourth place overall finish.

How the Cards Fall
The first 450 class moto at Red Bud was one of the best races of the last few years with the top three running together for nearly all 35 minutes. On the last lap Reed was running third, but looking to make a move for the lead when Ben Townley went down in front of him and he had no where to go.

"In the first moto, I felt like I rode a good race and I was good enough to win," said Reed. "The chips didn't fall my way. On the last lap we were all together and Ben went down. If he falls to the right, I slip by and win the moto, if he falls to the left I get caught up and finish second. And he fell to the left. Seems like that is how my season is going."

On Pace
Wilson didn't look like an 18-year-old rookie on the track at Red Bud as he rode a smart race and didn't try and do too much on the track. In the first moto, he slowly worked his way up to third on the tight track and after getting the lead in the second turn of the second moto, he rode a strong pace and led 10 laps before settling for second.

"I tried to pace myself out there," said Wilson. "I knew it would be a long moto, and the track was rough, so I rode steady and didn't push too hard. It felt good to lead the second moto early. (Trey) Canard made a pretty aggressive pass to get by me, but it was clean. I went off the track, but I stayed on the throttle and didn't lose too much ground. It was a good weekend, I finished second and stayed safe."

Points Lead
Pourcel continued his streak of winning at least one moto, dominating the first moto at Red Bud. In the second moto, a slow start and tight track kept him from moving up higher on the podium.

"I got a great start in the first moto and everything was working for me," said Pourcel. "In the second moto, I didn't get a start and the track was very tight so it was difficult to pass and move up."

What Might Have Been
Rattray looked strong all day and after finishing second in the first moto, the South African was in position to possibly claim the overall win. Late in the second moto an aggressive move sent him over the bars and by the time he got up he had dropped back to 11th. Last year, a crash at Red Bud broke his thumb and sidelined him for a few races, this year he injured his other thumb, but he will be back to race the next round.

"I thought I was riding well today," said Rattray. "I had some bad lines early, but I was behind Pourcel and followed him to find some good lines. In the second moto I was making a charge at Dean (Wilson) on the off-camber turn. I didn't see the bump until the last minute. I tried to wheelie over it, but I couldn't and I went over the handlebars. I hurt my other thumb this year, but it's not bad at all and I'll be ready for Millville."

Top Ten
Wey rode two solid motos on his way to his first top-10 overall finish. The Michigan native excited the home fans with two strong motos.

"Tenth overall is better than I've been doing so far this season," said Wey. "I felt more competitive, especially in the first moto." Atmosphere This marked Wilson's first trip to Red Bud and he was impressed by the fan support he saw and heard all day.

"This is the best race of the year," said Wilson. "The track was rough today, but the crowd was unbelievable. This is the best crowd I have ever heard. It was so much fun on the podium."

In the second moto Reed knew he had the speed to get the win and steal the overall victory, but he felt he pushed too hard.

"In the second moto, I was just too excited," said Reed. "I wasn't riding purposeful, I was riding aggressive and forceful. I paid the price and made mistakes which kept me from challenging for the lead."

Moving Up
After getting a good start in the first moto, Weimer was right at the front and pushing to get his first podium of the season. Lady Luck just wasn't on his side again as a crash late in the moto sent him back to 11th.

"It seems like there is a black cloud over my head right now," said Weimer. "I was up front and riding well and then my rear brake was just gone. I'm not sure what happened, it was probably a rock or something, but the brake didn't fade it just didn't work. Coming down the hill, I had nowhere to go and I hit someone and went down. In the second moto I didn't get the start I needed and it was so tough to pass. The track was pretty much one-lined, but at least I stayed on two wheels."

Home Cooking
Racing in Michigan isn't much different than racing anywhere else for Wey, because he wants to do well at every event, there is no added pressure racing at his home track.

"Racing in Michigan doesn't add any pressure to me," said Wey. "I want to do my best at every race, so I would say there isn't any added pressure here at Red Bud. Of course I want to do well in front of my family, friends and fans here, but I know they watch on TV too, so I need to do well everywhere."

Comeback Kid
Price looked good in both of her motos as she raced at Red Bud for the first time. The 17-year-old WMX class sophomore rebounded from a seventh place finish in the first moto, to finish fourth in the second moto and fourth overall.

"I made several mistakes in the first moto and I didn't want to let that happen again," said Price. "The second moto was fun because I was racing with Tarah (Geiger) until the checkered. We had a pretty good battle and overall I'm happy to get more points for the season. I just wish that first moto was better to put me on the podium again."

Soil Sample
The trophies at Red Bud were unique this year, giving the top three riders some of the dirt they raced on as a prize.

"My goal is to get a trophy every week," said Reed. "So it is good that everyone is getting creative. Sometimes when it is just a traditional trophy it becomes a dust collector, but it is cool when you get something unique."

-source: ama

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About this article
Series AMA
Drivers Chad Reed , Jake Weimer , Dean Wilson , Tyla Rattray