Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Notes: Rockstar Energy RedBud National MORGANTOWN, W.V. (July 1, 2010) - Make it four in a row for 450 Class rookie and Rockstar/Makita Suzuki rider Ryan Dungey. The Minnesota native and 2010 AMA...
Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Notes: Rockstar Energy RedBud National
MORGANTOWN, W.V. (July 1, 2010) - Make it four in a row for 450 Class rookie and Rockstar/Makita Suzuki rider Ryan Dungey. The Minnesota native and 2010 AMA Supercross champion continues to have a stranglehold on the premier class, winning six of the last eight motos and winning every overall since the season opener at Hangtown. Last weekend, Dungey relied on 2-1 moto scores to grab the overall at a track he has had a rough history at and he currently holds a two moto points lead over the field. This weekend, the 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship hits the halfway point with the 4th of July tradition that is the Rockstar Energy RedBud National in Buchanan, Mich. Joining Dungey as the rider to beat in 2010 is 250 Class points leader Christophe Pourcel who grabbed his second overall win of the season in Colorado. Both riders will look to continue their strong starts to the year this weekend at one of the most popular and well-loved tracks in American motocross at RedBud.
The amount of poise Dungey has shown as the top rider in a deeply-talented 450 Class is exceptional. Since the second round of the championship, the rookie rider has looked comfortable at the front of the field and doesn't appear as though he's ready to relinquish control of the championship. RedBud presents another track in which Dungey has experienced ups and downs throughout his career, but he's eager to get to the legendary Michigan facility.
"At Thunder Valley we used an entire team effort to get the win," said Dungey. "Practice didn't go as planned and I ended up with a practice time that was out of the top ten. I got a good start in Moto 1 but I didn't have that extra step and ended up second to (Josh) Grant. We went back to work and made a couple key adjustments to the bike, which ended up making all the difference. Goose, Roger, Ian, and Adam and Scott at Showa have been working really hard this year and it's showing in the results. We have won four in a row but now is not the time to let up and get complacent. RedBud is another track we haven't been able to put it together in the past so we're going back to work this week to get ready."
Teammate Matt Moss posted moto results of 28th and 19th at Thunder Valley, resulting in an overall finish of 22nd for the Australian rookie who continues to acclimate to the pace of American motocross in his first season on U.S. soil.
GEICO Powersports Honda
Just one week after falling from second to third in the overall standings, Brett Metcalfe put forth another strong podium effort in Colorado to help him return to the runner-up spot in the championship. Through five rounds, the premier class rookie has been one of the most impressive stories of the 2010 season, turning heads each and every week with his consistency. He'll look to continue his stellar 450 Class debut season at RedBud.
Monster Energy Kawasaki
Defending champion Chad Reed has battled some inconsistencies over the last few weeks, but has maintained his top three standing in the championship despite that. While the year hasn't gone exactly how the 2009 title holder would have hoped, it was at RedBud last season where he began to build the momentum that carried him to the 450 Class crown.
"Red Bud is just one of those tracks that you look forward to racing every year," said Reed. "I need to get some better starts and push to be on top of the box again."
For Nick Wey, RedBud signifies the opportunity to return home. A Michigan native, Wey is eager to return to his native state and race in front of family and friends. He has been steadily improving his results this season and he is looking forward to racing on his home turf and a facility he is very familiar with.
"We are starting a stretch of tracks I really like," said Wey. "Red Bud is obviously a favorite of mine and racing in front of the Michigan Mafia is always fun. The track is probably the best in the US, so I know we'll see some good racing."
Mike Alessi hasn't had the season he was hoping for in 2010. The KTM rider kicked-off the year in stellar fashion by grabbing a moto victory and overall podium at the opening round. Since then, Alessi has struggled with consistency, but has shown that he is still capable of running at the front of the field, particularly when he is able to capture on of his trademark starts. The KTM 350cc machine is still a work in progress and the team is working diligently to dial it in.
Honda Red Bull Racing
With his recent run of strong performances and his fifth place position in the standings, it's hard to believe that Andrew Short missed an entire moto in 2010, scoring no points. The veteran rider has rode exceptionally well throughout the first five rounds of 2010 and continues to climb through the championship standings. He currently sits just 14 points out of the runner-up spot and if he continues to run well this weekend at RedBud, he could very well find himself right in the thick of the title fight.
"I like racing the RedBud Motocross event," said Short. "I got a podium finish there last year and finished the round fourth overall so I'd like to better that overall result this weekend. I'm currently sitting fifth in the championship points so my goal right now is to keep getting on the podium and earn as many points as possible."
Josh Grant broke through with his first moto win of the 2010 season at Thunder Valley. After several strong moto performances in which he was on the verge of breaking into the win column, he put it all together in the opening moto, passing Dungey and riding to a convincing victory. However, in the second moto he tangled with other riders off the start and went down in the first corner, eliminating any chance at an overall victory. He hopes to rebound this weekend at the facility he captured his first career overall win at last season.
In his continued efforts to come back from injury, Justin Brayton posted another solid top-10 effort in Colorado, posting moto scores of 13th and ninth en route to finishing 10th overall.
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda
After several rounds of misfortune along with up and down results, Ben Townley was able to put together a pair of consecutive strong moto scores to break onto the overall podium for the first time since his return to competitive racing. The New Zealand native has run well throughout the season and he hopes the momentum he gained at Thunder Valley will carry over to RedBud and beyond.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki
After a very strong first moto in which he finished on the podium with a third place effort, Tommy Hahn appeared to be in position to land on the overall podium in Colorado. However a fall in Moto 2 dropped him to the back portion of the field and he had to pull off of the track. Tommy broke two bones in his foot and stretched ligaments and tendons in his foot and ankle area. He's sitting out for Red Bud but hopes to be back for the next round in Millville, Minnesota. The Texas native currently sits ninth in the standings.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
Once again, the Mitch Payton-ran Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki squad flexed its muscle at Thunder Valley putting two riders on the overall podium, led by race winner and 250 Class points leader Pourcel. The Frenchman became the first two-time winner in 2010 and also remains the only rider this season to post multiple moto victories.
Rookie Dean Wilson joined his teammate on the podium in Colorado, moving into the second in the standings and continuing what has been a stellar inaugural season for the Scottish rider through five rounds.
Despite falling from second to third in the championship, Tyla Rattray still put forth a solid fourth-place effort at Thunder Valley. The South African native has become fully acclimated to American motocross and is a legitimate title contender. He hopes to come back with a return to the podium this weekend at RedBud.
"Colorado isn't my favorite track," said Rattray. "But Red Bud is. It is very fast with a lot of big jumps. I look forward to this race more than any other every year."
For Jake Weimer, RedBud signifies the site of his second career overall win last season. After his worst outing of the year last weekend at Thunder Valley, he will be eager to rekindle some of the fortune he achieved in Michigan last season.
"I won at Red Bud last year, so I can't wait to get back there," said Weimer. "This year hasn't gone how I would have hoped, but I am riding well. I have the speed to win, it just seems that every moto something holds me back."
GEICO Powersports Honda
For the first time since taking third overall at the season opener at Hangtown, Trey Canard finished on the overall podium with a runner-up effort in Colorado. Canard has had an up and down season so far, but is still fourth in the standings. He hopes that the momentum he garnered from his stellar performance last weekend will carry over to RedBud, a track he has raced at one once in his young career.
"Last weekend in Colorado I really feel as though my season took a turn for the better," said Canard. "Finishing on both moto podiums and getting second overall for the round was definitely a step in the right direction and the results I should be getting at this point in the championship."
The three remaining members of the GEICO Powersports squad all finished inside the top 10 at Thunder Valley, resulting in an overall solid weekend for the team. Blake Wharton finished fifth overall with Eli Tomac posting an eighth-place effort and Justin Barcia rounding out the order in 10th.
DNA Shred Stix/Star Yamaha
Broc Tickle posted a sixth place finish at Thunder Valley to further solidify his fifth place positioning in the standings. His teammate Martin Davalos was also strong in Colorado, posting a pair of eighth place finishes to put together his best result of the season so far.
After a short break, the MotorcylceUSA.com Women's Motocross Championship returned to action in Thunder Valley with DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha's Jessica Patterson posting yet another 1-1 performance to keep her perfect season intact. This weekend, the WMX will make history by competing at RedBud for the first time in American motocross history. As one of the most popular tracks on the schedule, the nation's fastest women will have the opportunity to put on a show for the enthusiastic Michigan fans at the Rockwell Watches National. With Patterson leading the way, remaining Thunder Valley podium finishers Ashley Fiolek and Sara Price will look to end the five-time champion's early-season dominance.
"I'm really looking forward to heading back to Michigan, where it all started for me," said Fiolek, who rides for Honda Red Bull Racing. "I was born and spent my early years there learning to ride and I'm really excited that the women's competition gets to race in Michigan this year."
"Red Bud is a very cool track," said Monster Energy Kawasaki's Price. "I can't wait to see 'LaRocco's Leap' and all the other big jumps. I know the track is fast and I'm ready to get back up on the podium."
The stars of the WMX Class will lay it all on the line at the start of each moto in hopes of capturing the $250 MotorcycleUSA.com Holeshot Award while Rekluse will provide its best sponsored female with the Top Rekluse Rider award and $100 in prize money.