Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship: Monster Energy National Team Previews and Series Statistics MORGANTOWN, W.V. (July 2, 2009) - The 2009 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship reaches the halfway point of the season on Saturday with ...
Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship: Monster Energy National Team Previews and Series Statistics
MORGANTOWN, W.V. (July 2, 2009) - The 2009 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship reaches the halfway point of the season on Saturday with the annual Independence Day celebration from RedBud in Buchanan, Mich. Coverage of round six, the Monster Energy Motocross National, can be seen live exclusively on NBC Sports at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Last weekend, the world's best riders competed under the lights at mile-high altitude from Thunder Valley MX. A pair of new faces stood atop the podium in each class as Honda Red Bull Racing's Ivan Tedesco captured his first premier 450 Class victory and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Jake Weimer rebounded from a forgettable fourth round of racing to win in the 250 Class for the first time.
Reed was unable to carry the momentum he gained from his first career victory two races ago, but still put in a solid ride in Colorado finishing fourth overall. He still holds a 14-point lead in the standings and looks to bounce back onto the podium on Saturday. Teammate Michael Byrne was strong once again last weekend. The Australian rider continues to get faster each week, finishing fifth last Saturday. Last season, he stood on the podium at RedBud and hopes to do the same this year.
"I've been struggling with some things that are completely out of my control lately, so it was really great to get that win at High Point," explained Reed. "Going into RedBud, it's one of my favorite tracks on the circuit so I'm hoping to be 100 percent for the race this weekend."
"RedBud is an awesome track and I'm excited about the race," boasted Byrne. "Each week my shoulder is getting a little stronger and I'm getting more comfortable on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450. Hopefully, I'll get a couple of good starts this weekend and get a good result."
Honda Red Bull Racing
It was a big night for Honda at Thunder Valley. The red riders finished 1-2 overall and tightened up the championship battle. Tedesco's win vaulted him to third in the standings and gave him the confidence to win on a regular basis. Injuries sidelined the Florida rider from RedBud last season so he is excited to return. For Andrew Short, the race in his hometown was good for his title hopes. He closed in on Reed and now sits within striking distance. The Colorado native gets stronger as the season goes on, which bodes well for the championship.
"Winning Thunder Valley is really good, especially for the Honda Red Bull Racing team," commented Tedesco. "The team really deserves this win. We've all been working really hard and winning shows that our hard work is paying off. My goal is to continue this momentum and be consistent; finish on the podium every weekend."
"Going on from here, I would be foolish to change anything at this point in time," explained Short. "It's about stepping up now--continue what I've been excelling on in the past and improving my speed at future races."
Monster Energy Kawasaki
Ricky Dietrich continues to be the biggest surprise of the 2009 season. The off-road racer has made a seamless transition into motocross, posting fifth, sixth, and seventh place finishes in three races with Kawasaki. He currently sits ninth in the standings despite missing the second round of the season. His teammate Timmy Ferry made his return to action in Colorado. After taking additional time to heal from injury, he rode to a conservative 17th place finish. Last season at RedBud, Ferry experienced opposite ends of the spectrum with 23rd and second place results for eighth overall. He hopes to improve on that Saturday.
"RedBud is one of the best tracks I've ever ridden," said Dietrich. "The fans are an amazing part of the racing and they do a great job of keeping us motivated. I'm also excited because it is one of the Monster Energy Triple Crown races. Hopefully I can get my first win and also a big check from Monster Energy."
"I learned some things last weekend," explained Ferry. "I worked on them this week and hopefully I can get back to the front of the field. Coming back like this is a long process, and I know I need to be patient with it."
Joe Gibbs Racing was just one spot away from having each of its riders in the top 10 at Thunder Valley. Josh Grant posted a pair of fifth place moto results for sixth overall and still holds down fourth in the points, just nine points out of the top three. He finished fourth overall as a 250 Class competitor at RedBud in 2008. If it wasn't for first moto misfortune, Cody Cooper would have finished well inside the top 10 in Colorado. A 32nd place finish left him without any points, but he bounced back for eighth in moto two to finish 11th overall. He sits eighth in the standings and has a top 10 at RedBud last year to build upon for Saturday.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
Weimer's breakthrough victory was a long time coming for the Idaho rider. As a promising supercross competitor, he continued to develop his motocross skills but could never quite find the consistency he needed. His turnaround from round four is one of the most impressive performances in recent memory and with his newfound confidence, he will likely be a regular at the front of the field. Christophe Pourcel has not let his unfamiliarity with each track on the schedule affect his ability to run up front. The Frenchman has won the first moto at each round this season and thanks to that, has pushed his points lead to nine points heading into RedBud. South African Tyla Rattray continues to be one of the most consistent finishers in the class. Despite earning his worst finish of 2009 with a ninth at Thunder Valley, Rattray still sits third in the points and continues to improve each week.
"I really like racing at RedBud," stated Weimer. "It is a rider's track and hopefully the momentum I built from last week will carry over this week. I'm keeping my program pretty much the same this week so I should be relaxed when its time to go on track."
"I am feeling better every week," explained Pourcel. "The last two races have been a lot better, but I know RedBud will be a test for me. I just plan on riding smart because I want to win this championship."
"I going to rest a little this week," said Rattray. "I think I need to step back a little and take a short break. I'm looking forward to the race, but I know it is going to be a tough one."
If it wasn't for some bad luck, Ryan Dungey could still be atop of the point standings or at least closer than the nine points that he currently site behind leader Pourcel. At the last two rounds, Dungey has had to work his way through traffic to capture hard-earned results. Over the last four motos, Dungey has arguably passed more riders than any of his competitors. His fifth place finish in Colorado was his first off the podium in 2009, but RedBud is a favorite of the Minnesota rider and he looks forward to getting back on top this weekend.
"RedBud is one of my favorite tracks that we race at," stated Dungey. "It's got all you can ask for in a motocross track - elevation changes, good dirt and big jumps. I'm really looking forward to it. It should be a fun race."
GEICO Powersports Honda
Speedy rookie Justin Barcia came just a few laps short of capturing his first career moto victory last week. His fourth overall was the best he's had since the opening round and he continues to learn what it takes to run up front without over-riding. Teammates Blake Wharton and Brett Metcalfe both finished inside the top 10 at Thunder Valley as well, giving the team an impressive overall performance. Both Wharton and Metcalfe are consistent front-runners and each has quietly put together a strong season, sitting fifth and sixth in the points.
After two straight races of overall podium finishes, Tommy Searle is hoping to become a regular on the box. The British rider can always be found in the thick of the battles up front, but goes relatively unnoticed. With his recent performances, he could become a part of the championship fight by season's end. Bad starts hindered Wil Hahns night in Colorado. The Texas rider rode strong, but found difficulty in working his way through the very competitive 250 Class field. KTM welcomed the return of Martin Davalos at Thunder Valley. The Ecuador native showed the speed that makes him such a talented rider early on in the moto, but faded slightly in the end after being removed from race competition since late in the supercross season. His third place finish at RedBud in 2008 is a career best and he hopes to get back up to speed this weekend.
"It's nice to finish on the podium." said Searle. "I hope to continue to improve each weekend to ensure that I stay on the podium and hopefully move closer to the top of the box by the end of the season."
"I have had some bad starts lately which have forced me to have to make a lot more passes then I should have to be making," commented Hahn. "I don't want to have to climb forward through the pack anymore - I want to start up front and stay there."
"It was so much fun to be back and racing," boasted Davalos. "I started well and faded near the end of the moto but still managed to get a top ten. My endurance will continue to improve each race now that I am able to train on the bike again and I hope to get on the podium before the end of the season."