Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Weimer Reigns at Budds Creek With a torrential downpour turning the track at Budds Creek into a quagmire, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Jake Weimer rode to his third overall win of the season. Weimer...
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Weimer Reigns at Budds Creek
With a torrential downpour turning the track at Budds Creek into a quagmire, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Jake Weimer rode to his third overall win of the season. Weimer finished second in the first moto and then made a late race pass on the muddy track to get his second moto win of the season in some of the worst conditions the series has ever raced in. His teammate Christophe Pourcel finished second overall after going 1-3 and extended his championship lead to 13 points. In his second race back from injury, Austin Stroupe finished fifth overall. Tyla Rattray finished 10th overall in his first race back after breaking his thumb. In the 450cc class, Monster Energy Kawasaki's Timmy Ferry finished seventh overall after going 9-8. Jake Moss made his debut with the team and ran as high as third in the first moto before bad luck forced him out of the race. In the second moto he finished ninth.
Slip and Slide
The second moto for the 250cc class began in a light rainstorm and finished in a downpour as the track deteriorated to a point that the red flag ended the race after only 25 minutes. The bad conditions didn't seem to slow Weimer down as he grabbed the holeshot and then slid back to second. Just before the red flag came out, Weimer passed for the lead and grabbed the moto and overall win.
"I think this means everyone can call me a mud racer now," said Weimer. "I was a little skeptical at the start, but it worked out. I saw (Brett) Metcalfe throw off his goggles and I knew I could get him. My Scott goggles were great and I kept them on the whole race. The puddles were helping me clean them off. "
On Top of the Box
Pourcel looked to be the dominant rider after the practice, posting the fast time for both classes and sitting two seconds ahead of his closest 250cc class competitor. He grabbed the lead early in the first moto and then rode to his 11th moto win of the year.
"I was happy after the first moto," said Pourcel. "I got a good start and followed Jake (Weimer) through the first turn. I was able to get by him and we ran a good pace. He was able to stay ahead of Dungey so I gained some points. In the second moto I just rode smart to avoid making any big mistakes. I was able to finish ahead of Dungey and build a bigger lead in the championship."
Back in the Groove
Stroupe took what he learned last week to ride two consistent motos and earn a top five finish. The weather made the track difficult, but the 18-year-old rider was happy with his results in only his second race since June.
"It was a tough day, but good," said Stroupe. "I got a good start in both motos and decent finishes. The second moto was gnarly, but we got through safe."
Flash of Brilliance
Moss' debut with the team nearly started with a holeshot, as he was one of the leaders heading into the first corner. He emerged in eighth around the 180 degree first turn and steadily moved his way into a podium position. While running third, a rider crashed ahead of Moss and the Australian was unable to get totally clear. The contact damaged a cooling line, which overheated the engine and forced Moss to retire early.
"I really should have had the holeshot in the first moto," said Moss. "Millsaps hit my rear tire and kind of spun me out so I came out about eighth. I worked up to third then Goerke got by me. He crashed and I hit him. It damaged the bike which ended my moto early."
Raising the Bar
Ferry rode two strong motos after getting slow starts in each. In the first moto, Red Dog worked his way up from 36th to finish ninth. In the second moto he got a better jump out of the gate, but still had to fight his way through traffic to make his way to an eventual eighth.
"My second moto was better than my first," said Ferry. "I think I set myself up for another RC Hard Charger award. I put myself in a tough spot in practice. I only had 28th gate pick and it's hard to get a good start here with a bad gate pick. I would have liked to have another practice. Twenty minutes just wasn't enough with laps times around two-and-a-half minutes long. It was better today than last week and I know I'm making progress."
Rattray returned to the track for the first time since breaking his thumb at Red Bud. The South African didn't look like he had missed much time on the bike as he scored a sixth place finish in the first moto.
"The first moto was good for me," said Rattray "Coming back after a month off and getting a sixth place in the first moto is great. It is difficult to come back from injury."
It's always easy to have fun when you're winning even when there is a torrential rainstorm ruining your race. For Weimer the second moto was a blast as he carved his way around the track. He even ran an extra three-quarters of a lap because he wasn't sure if the red flag meant the race was over.
"That moto was a lot of fun," said Weimer. "I wanted to see the pace we were going to run and two laps into it, I just started enjoying it a lot. I did go down once, and I lost my front brake because of the mud, but I really enjoyed riding. Growing up I was always told to race to the checkered flag so I kept going until I saw everyone parked at the podium, and then I pulled in. The crowd that stayed was awesome. They were really loud at the podium and I know they had a good time."
Mother Nature wreaked havoc all day on Saturday as the track went through a cycle of conditions in the ever-changing weather.
"The track was tricky today," said Ferry. "It was muddy in practice, good in the first moto and muddy in the second moto. There were also some added sections and jumps. They kind of threw everything at us."
After nearly getting the holeshot in the first moto, Moss was the last rider out of the starting gate in the second. As he accelerated to leave the starting area his gate bounced up after dropping and stopped him. Moss didn't let the set back slow him much though as he charged up through the field passing 22 riders on his way to a ninth place finish.
"My gate bounced in the second moto," said Moss. "I was the only one on the line when I got going I just tried hard to move forward and I got into the top ten. I'm happy on the weekend. The guys did a great job getting the bike ready for the second moto. I need to thank them."
The start of the second moto in the 250cc class was marred with a red flag when confusion caused the gate to drop early. During the first start Rattray, got a great jump out of the gate, but when the race was restarted he got caught up in a first turn crash and he had to fight his way up through the pack. The muddy conditions made it difficult to find lines, but Rattray still worked his way up to 15th.
"Before they threw the first red flag I was in second," said Rattray. "So I was kind of mad to see it. On the restart I crashed in the first turn and was only able to make it to 15th. The moto in the rain was a lot of fun. Races like this are rocking."
Weather was the story of the weekend and not only did it affect the racing, it also hampered travel plans for the riders and the teams coming to the race. Moss and most of the Monster Energy Kawasaki team didn't get to their hotel until 1:00 am on Saturday. They then had to turn around and leave for the track by 7:00 am to get to the riders meeting on time.
The 250cc championship is going to come down to the final four motos and Pourcel is looking to stay consistent and out of trouble.
"I'm happy to be in the points lead and not the guy trailing," said Pourcel. "You don't know what is going to happen in these last four motos, so any kind of cushion is good. I'm going to get ready for Southwick and just concentrate on each moto."