Monster Energy Kawasaki Makes a Splash at Budds Creek Monster Energy Kawasaki continued its domination of the Toyota AMA Motocross Championship putting all four riders who competed, on the podium. Monster Energy Kawasaki's James Stewart and...
Monster Energy Kawasaki Makes a Splash at Budds Creek
Monster Energy Kawasaki continued its domination of the Toyota AMA Motocross Championship putting all four riders who competed, on the podium. Monster Energy Kawasaki's James Stewart and Timmy Ferry went 1-1 and 2-2 respectively for first and second overall. In the AMA Motocross Lites class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto went 1-1 for his sixth straight overall win, while Brett Metcalfe went 5-4 in the motos for third overall.
Perfect so Far
Stewart is a perfect 14 for 14 in motos this season after sweeping his way to his seventh overall victory of the season. Stewart wasted no time getting to the front, earning the holeshot in both motos and leading wire-to-wire.
"It was good out there today," said Stewart. "I just tried to stay focused and it worked out so I'm happy. The track was different today, so it was a bit of a challenge. I just rode my own race and got another win."
Back on the Podium
Ferry returned to the podium at one of his favorite tracks, finishing 2-2. Last year during the Motocross of Nations Ferry earned the MX3 title at Budds Creek and back in 2003 he won a moto when they raced the track backwards like they did this weekend. Ferry's ride through the field was a typical "Red Dog" ride and he passed his way to second in both motos.
"I got one good start today," said Ferry. "My second start wasn't that great, but it let me do what I do and ride through the field to get up to second. I had some really good lap times the second moto. This is the best I've felt all year. I'm finally coming into my own."
Metcalfe entered the weekend still feeling the effects of a shoulder injury and only ran one practice on Saturday. On Sunday, Metcalfe rode great in both motos, but injured his right ankle near the end of the second moto. Despite the added injury, he earned his first motocross lites podium of the year.
"My run today makes my shoulder feel a lot better," said Metcalfe. "It was better this weekend, but I tweaked my ankle in the second moto. It feels good to be back riding at my full ability. I've known the last couple of weeks I was faster, but I just couldn't push it with my shoulder."
Stewart's holeshots weren't pure power this weekend. The veteran rider scouted out the start area during earlier races and came up with a plan to get his Kawasaki KX™450F to the front by the holeshot line.
"It was cool to get a good start," said Stewart. "I actually went out and watched the start of the races yesterday and I saw the guys inside kind of pushing out. I knew if I could get to the inside, my Kawasaki could pull up the hill and beat everyone to the holeshot line."
Missing in Action
After the second moto was over, Metcalfe was nowhere to be found at the podium as he rode his bike straight to the truck to look after his ankle. While he was at the truck with his foot in a bucket of ice, he got word he finished third and rushed to the podium for his trophy.
"I didn't know I made the podium," said Metcalfe. "I thought I lost it when I hurt my ankle. So after the race I went straight to the truck and put my foot in a bucket of ice. They had to come get me on the Mule and bring me down to the podium. My ankle wasn't hurting as bad when I heard about the podium."
At every race this season, Stewart has built a sizeable lead during the motos and has been able to control the pace. While riding all alone may be difficult for some riders, Stewart carries over his practice during the week to compete against the clock and maintain focus.
"Riding up front all alone isn't that hard," said Stewart. "That is how I ride at home so I just transfer that to the weekend. I just try to stay focused and get good lap times during the race."
Villopoto has made his name at Budd Creek, winning every race he has entered as a professional at the Maryland facility. This year the promoters changed the direction of the track to add a little spice to the event. Though the track led to some battles not everyone was thrilled with the change.
"We ran the other direction last year," said Villopoto. "I think there is a better rhythm when we run it the other way and overall I think it's a better racetrack. But we all have to ride the same track and it turned out good today for me."
Long Race The short track and quick lap times made for a long race at Budds Creek as the riders completed 18 laps during each of the two 30 minutes plus two lap motos. The long races provided more enjoyment for the fans and even led to Stewart joking with the AMA and NPG officials
"We ran a lot of laps today," said Stewart. "It was so long I almost suggested they add two laps, put up some lights and call it a supercross"
Villopoto easily set the fastest laps in his motos by choosing the smoothest lines around the track. The Budds Creek layout combines steep hills with tight turns putting a premium on keeping your momentum through the turns.
"My bike is the best bike," said Villopoto. "The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki KX™250F gives us the best power and we are able to run any line on the track. The lines are a big deal, the more momentum you can carry the faster you are up the hills and down."
Ferry's ride through the field allowed him to find the fastest way around the track and gave him the right lines to run fast lap times.
"I was going everywhere," said Ferry. "The track was really bumpy and all it took for good lap times was finding a smooth line. A smooth section was worth a second a lap sometimes. I was searching out there for the best lines, but some of them I found by luck. I guess that was a good thing about having to pass all those guys, I was able to find a lot of good lines."