Hangtown: Kawasaki Racing summary

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Pourcel Takes 250 Win at Hangtown Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Christophe Pourcel took the 250 class first moto and overall victory at the 41st running of the Hangtown Motocross Classic just ...

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Pourcel Takes 250 Win at Hangtown

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Christophe Pourcel took the 250 class first moto and overall victory at the 41st running of the Hangtown Motocross Classic just outside of Sacramento, Calif. Pourcel's teammate Tyla Rattray was fifth overall after going 4-7. Jake Weimer was eighth overall and Austin Stroupe was 15th overall after a late crash in the second moto.

In the 450 class, Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto finished 16th in the first moto and pulled out of the second with a knee injury. After the first practice, Timmy Ferry opted to not ride while still recovering from a broken heel.

Overall Win
Pourcel earned his second moto win of the season along with his first overall victory by finishing 1-3. Pourcel actually finished second in Moto 2, but was penalized one position after jumping an obstacle under the yellow and red flag.

"My Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki was really good today," said Pourcel. "I rode a good race and got two good starts so I was able to get the win. I didn't see the red and yellow flag, but I slowed down because of all the yellow flags. We're in a tight points race and I hope the two points I was penalized won't be a factor."

Villopoto had an eventful day at Hangtown finishing 16th in the first moto before pulling out of the event with a knee injury. RV2 got a good jump out of the start gate and entered the second turn in fourth position. Contact with another rider sent Villopoto down and when he was able to get back to his bike he was in 38th. A valiant ride through the field saw him move into a points-paying position. After the moto, he and the team decided against riding the second moto because of a lingering knee injury.

"This is really disappointing," said Villopoto. "My injury goes all the way back to when I was riding 80's and it finally caught up to me. We've talked to some doctors and I'm going to find the best one to see what we can do."

Strong Start
Rattray's move to the United States has proved to be fruitful as he earned his second top-five overall finish in as many races. Rattray rode a strong first moto finishing fourth and then he held on in the second to finish seventh.

"The track was really brutal," said Rattray. "I did okay in the practice and then rode pretty well in the first moto. In the second moto I got a terrible start and I came back up to seventh, but then I crashed and fell back to tenth. It wasn't the best day for me, but I still earned some points."

Scary Crash
Stroupe had a strong second moto going, running in the top 10 when a crashed bike hit him while he was landing off the finish line jump. Stroupe wasn't injured severely in the crash, just receiving some bruises.

"I'm just a little sore," said Stroupe. "It just happened so fast I didn't have much control. I'm just glad I don't have any broken bones. I saw Barcia go down and his bike flew up and hit me in the air."

Moving Up
Weimer wasn't able to get the starts he wanted in either moto, but the Idaho native worked his way through the field to score an eighth place overall.

"I've been riding well," said Weimer. "I've just been struggling with my starts. I've had to come through the pack in every moto so far this season. I feel like I'm riding well and if I could get a couple of starts, I would get better finishes. I'm not sure what's going on, the bike is good, but I'm just not getting through the first turn like I should."

New Dirt
The track at Hangtown is notorious for being a hard packed, difficult track but this year the organizers made some changes to the dirt to keep it soft throughout the race. The plan worked as the track didn't get as hard and dusty as it has in the past.

"This track is tough because it gets a lot of holes and it is rocky," said Weimer. "The dirt is really hard so it is rough on your hands and arms. It is tough to get a good flow and difficult to ride. The dirt was a lot better than it usually is, it stayed soft nearly everywhere. There were only a couple of hills where the track was hard and rocky."

Difficult to Pass
Getting out of the starting gate was paramount at Hangtown as the open layout still led to many one-lined sections.

"The track is tough because of the first two corners," said Rattray. "You have to get into them fast and pass a lot of people. The track was one-lined so it was hard to find places to get around guys."

What Could Have Been
Stroupe was poised for another strong finish before his crash in the second moto.

"I was riding well today," said Stroupe. "I was pushing hard at the end of the second moto and I think I could have made up a couple more spots. I'm glad I'm healthy and I can get ready for Texas next weekend."

On the Mend
After the first practice, Ferry was still in pain from his broken heel and he decided not to race so he could continue his recovery.

"It is frustrating right now," said Ferry. "I want to be out there racing with these guys, but I'm still not able to give 100 percent. I'm going to keep working hard and hopefully get back to full strength."

-credit: kr

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About this article
Series AMA
Drivers Jake Weimer , Christophe Pourcel , Ryan Villopoto