CONSISTENCY PAYING OFF FOR WARD 2004 AMA Supermoto Champ leads series coming into Utah PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 13, 2006) -- Jeff Ward normally doesn't like it when he finishes anywhere but first, but the 2004 AMA Supermoto Champion was all ...
CONSISTENCY PAYING OFF FOR WARD
2004 AMA Supermoto Champ leads series coming into Utah
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 13, 2006) -- Jeff Ward normally doesn't like it when he finishes anywhere but first, but the 2004 AMA Supermoto Champion was all smiles after his 5-2 finish in this past Saturday's AMA Supermoto Championship presented by Parts Unlimited rounds in Shawano, Wis. His pair of consistent finishes riding his Troy Lee Designs Honda, combined with tough breaks for his rivals, helped pad Ward's lead as the series travels to Miller Motorsports Park, in Tooele, Utah, this Saturday, June 17.
Ward extended his points lead over rival Doug Henry after Henry suffered a pair of crashes and finished 11-6 in Wisconsin. Henry was battling for the lead when he went down in both Supermoto main events. Defending series champ Jurgen Kunzel continued his struggles and is in seventh place in the standings after a 7-4 showing in Shawano.
Ward is taking victories when he can get them and settling for a truckload of championship points when he can't.
"Some tracks suit me and some don't and this has just been a track I really struggle on," Ward said of last week's USA International Raceway venue. "It just goes to show how easy it is to go down on this track with a lot of top riders falling. I just wanted to race for points and we got extremely lucky to get what we did on what was a bad weekend for us I think."
While Ward came out of last week's race unscathed, Henry comes to Utah a bit battered after the crashes in Wisconsin. To add insult to injury, he flew straight from Wisconsin to Massachusetts to race in the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship in Southwick on Sunday, where he crashed yet again. In spite of his troubles Henry is still a solid second place in the points and feels he can make up ground on Ward as the season progresses.
"A lot of things can happen in these doubleheader weekends," Henry said with his typical optimism. "I've had my share of bad luck, but it's hard for any rider to get through this series without problems here and there. If I can get things on track maybe my competition will have some bumps along the way."
Henry's Graves Motorsports Yamaha teammate Mark Burkhart won his first AMA Supermoto round of the season on Saturday, but ended the weekend badly with a high-speed crash on the road racing section. Burkhart was not seriously injured and is expected to race this weekend.
Red Bull KTM HMC rider Kurt Nicoll is hanging tough in the standings. The Brit has scored top-10 finishes in every round, including a pair of podiums and is only a point behind second-place Henry in the championship.
Utah fans will have one of their own to cheer for at Miller. Cassidy Anderson, of Provo, leads the Hot Wheels Supermoto Lites class with three wins in three races.
"I've been pretty confident this season," said Anderson, who rides with Troy Lee Designs Honda. "Starts are so important and I've been doing well with those. I've been keeping a pretty conservative pace in the races so far and seem to have a little reserve to push if I need to. Everything is going really well. I'm looking forward to racing in Utah."
Ben Carlson has been the class in the 70/30 Racing Supermoto Unlimited class on his Team Red Bull KTM HMC bike. Carlson, of West Bend, Wis., has won two of the three rounds leading up to this weekend's race.
The AMA Supermoto Championship this weekend at Miller Motorsports Park is part of the Honda Summit of Speed that runs June 16-18. The event will also feature a full AMA Superbike Championship weekend. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster. Visit the website www.millermotorsportspark.com for additional information.