Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Notes and Quotes: Pala Motocross National MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (September 10, 2010) - After three months of showcasing the best motocross action on the planet at the most renowned facilities throughout the...
Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Notes and Quotes: Pala Motocross National
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (September 10, 2010) - After three months of showcasing the best motocross action on the planet at the most renowned facilities throughout the country, the 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship will come to an exciting conclusion this weekend with the inaugural Pala Motocross National. Just over a year old, Pala Raceway is the new home of American motocross in Southern California and this weekend, the world's best riders will hit the track for the first time.
Last weekend at Steel City produced a surprise winner in the 450 Class when newly-crowned rookie champion Ryan Dungey experienced a rare instance of misfortune aboard his Rockstar/Makita Suzuki. When opportunity arose, it was veteran Honda Red Bull Racing rider Kevin Windham who stepped up to take a popular victory, his first since 2007.
The distance between Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Christophe Pourcel and GEICO Powersports Honda's Trey Canard got even closer in the 250 Class when Canard posted a 1-1 sweep to bring his championship deficit to just seven points. The win was Canard's fifth in the last six rounds.
The MotorcycleUSA.com Women's Motocross Championship will also bring its eight-race season to an end at Pala. DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha rider Jessica Patterson holds a comfortable lead over Honda Red Bull Racing's Ashley Fiolek and will look to claim her sixth WMX title on Saturday.
Dungey's quest for the winningest rookie season in motocross history hit a bump at Steel City and resulted in the nine-time winner's first DNF of the season after a fall broke the front brake rotor of his Suzuki in Moto 1. Even though the overall was out of the picture, Dungey rebounded in Moto 2 by dominating his competitors and salvaging a sixth-place finish overall. This weekend, he targets his 10th win of 2010, which would surpass Ricky Carmichael's nine wins during his rookie season in 2000.
GEICO Powersports Honda
After a frustrating day at Southwick two rounds ago, Brett Metcalfe was determined to rebound at Steel City and assume control of his battle with Andrew Short for second place in the championship standings. Thanks to Dungey's misfortune, Metcalfe was in the thick of the overall fight with Windham, but came up just short in an impressive runner-up effort. As a result of his solid outing, Metcalfe moved ahead of Short in the standings and will look to hold on to the position at Pala Raceway and end 2010 on a high note.
Honda Red Bull Racing
Andrew Short also suffered some hard luck at the Southwick round and while able to post a fourth-place finish overall with a respectable outing at Steel City, he still fell from second to third in the championship behind Metcalfe. With just one round and two motos remaining, Short is determined to get back on the podium and head into the offseason with his head held high.
Kevin Windham's 10th career 450 Class victory was possibly his most popular with the dedicated motocross fans. The 32-year-old rider was in top form at Steel City, coming from behind to take the Moto 1 victory away from his younger rival Brett Metcalfe and securing a solid runner-up effort behind Dungey in Moto 2. Albeit in a substitute role, Windham's return to the outdoor nationals has been tremendously successful and has helped bring back fond memories to the Mississippi native. With one round to go, he will continue to make the most of the opportunity he's been given and will surely give the SoCal fans something to cheer about.
After an up and down season, it appears as though Mike Alessi has found his groove. After a long-awaited return to the overall podium at Southwick, Alessi was consistent again at Steel City, relying on a pair of seventh-place moto scores to finish fifth overall. With a return to his home state, Alessi will look to use the local knowledge to his advantage in an effort to get back atop the podium before season's end.
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda
Steel City was yet another defining trait of what has been a tough 2010 season for Ben Townley. After another strong start in which he finished third in Moto 1, Townley found himself at the wrong place at the wrong time in Moto 2, getting caught up in a crash out of the starting gate and ending his day early. His strong first moto score helped him secure 10th overall, but this weekend at Pala, there may not be a rider more determined that Townley to end 2010 with a bang.
Monster Energy Kawasaki
Nick Wey's weekly push into the top 10 overall has worked in the Michigan native's favor in the 450 Class championship. Thanks to a solid second half of the season, Wey has moved into the top 10 in the standings. After just missing out on the top 10 in 11th at Steel City, the California transplant will look close out the season with that same consistency.
With his teammate on the sideline, Justin Brayton gave the Joe Gibbs Racing team its best result of the season at Steel City. After winning his first career moto at the track one year ago, Brayton relied on consistent 5-4 moto scores to stand on the overall podium in third. He'll look to carry that momentum into Pala on Saturday.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
While his advantage is as small as its been all season at seven points, Christophe Pourcel still has control of his own destiny on the path to the 250 Class title. The French rider needs to finish second in both motos at Pala to secure the title, no matter what Canard does. Knowing the task that lies ahead, Pourcel will approach this weekend's race looking to take care of the task at hand.
After an up and down first season in the U.S., Tyla Rattray has found his groove and will likely secure the third sport on the championship podium following Pala. The South African has experienced a breakout season with a pair of overall wins and is also the proud father of a new baby girl. He'll look to keep things going this weekend.
While he is likely frustrated with his recent efforts, Dean Wilson has put together an impressive rookie season in 2010. The Scottish rider has an overall win to his credit and has been on the overall podium on several occasions this season. The return to California should play into Wilson's favor this weekend and he'll look for career win number two in front of family and friends.
GEICO Powersports Honda
Trey Canard's task at Pala is as straightforward as it can be. The five-time winner needs to put together another podium sweep and hole for some racing luck in order to overcome the seven-point deficit. With five wins in the last six races, winning has become familiar for Canard and he will surely put it all on the line at Pala in an effort to leave the 250 Class as a champion.
Jessica Patterson's lead over Ashley Fiolek sits at 22 points heading into Saturday's finale from Pala. While Fiolek has come one strong in the second half of the season, Patterson has been able to respond to her rival's challenges and will look to keep up her strong efforts this weekend to secure her sixth WMX Class title and further solidify herself as the most successful women's motocross rider in history.