Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Notes: Washougal Retro National MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (July 23, 2010) - The Spring Creek round of the 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship was another opportunity for the world's best riders to ...
Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Notes: Washougal Retro National
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (July 23, 2010) - The Spring Creek round of the 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship was another opportunity for the world's best riders to showcase their incredible talents on one of the world's premier motocross facilities. Thousands of fans lined the hillsides as hometown hero Ryan Dungey raced to his sixth consecutive 450 Class victory this season for Rockstar/Makita Suzuki and his third straight win in his home state of Minnesota. The 250 Class produced a stellar battle between two young guns of the sport as GEICO Powersports Honda's Trey Canard and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Dean Wilson went head-to-head for the win. In the end, it was Canard who triumphed for his second straight overall win.
This weekend the series returns to the West Coast and the picturesque Pacific Northwest to celebrate 30 years of American motocross in the state of Washington. The annual event from Washougal Motocross Park has been a staple of the sport since 1980 and in an effort to celebrate the illustrious legacy of the facility, this year's event is known as the Motosport.com Washougal Retro National where vintage bikes, old school gear and three decades of racing memories converge onto one of the most beautiful settings for a motocross track in the world.
With such an exciting event for the thousands in attendance at Washougal to be a part of, the viewers at home can also be a part of the fun with a full day of live coverage through AlliSports.com and SPEED. First motos of the 250 and 450 Class can be seen on live internet stream on AlliSports.com beginning at 4 p.m. ET. Live back-to-back coverage of the final motos brings the day to a stellar conclusion on SPEED, with coverage starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Ryan Dungey continues to add to his advantage over the 450 Class field. With six consecutive victories, his points lead is approaching the double-digit mark, making it increasingly difficult for his rivals to have a chance at the 2010 title. With five rounds remaining, anything can still happen and Dungey's is aware of that. With a hometown victory under his belt, he heads to Washougal looking for his third consecutive victory in the Pacific Northwest.
"I've been training and just keeping my head down and trying just to focus on my own race," said Dungey. "I just keep putting the laps down, and it's working for me. To win in front of my hometown crowd in Minnesota was great, but I was just as excited to see everyone that I grew up racing with. Now I'm looking forward to Washougal and getting to the West Coast."
"Ryan is naturally a hard worker, and I've helped him find the right balance for his race program on when to push and when not to push," said Team Manager Roger DeCoster. "Often times, I have to hold him back instead of pushing him. He's very disciplined. He wants to be fit, he eats healthy and it's working good for him. And Ryan has now proved that the tougher the conditions, the better it is for him. In Millville, it was really tough, really hot, and the humidity was, I think, the highest it's been this season. It looked like riders were struggling more here than they were in Texas. But Ryan put 40 seconds on second place in the second moto and he was smooth and riding clean. He's doing awesome. After the first race at Hangtown, I knew that he wasn't in the right place in the standings. I knew he was a podium guy, but I didn't think he'd be this confident for the rest of the season. He's doing great and I'm happy."
Dungey's teammate Matt Moss is still struggling with a nagging injury that he sustained in December in Australia, but has shown at the start of motos that he's fast. In Minnesota, Moss was in the top 10 at the beginning of both motos. Now he and the team head west, ready to take on Washougal.
Honda Red Bull Racing
Andrew Short's resurgent ride after a tough start to the 2010 season continued last weekend in Minnesota with another strong podium effort. The Honda rider has been the best starter in 2010 and thanks to his speed out of the gates he's put himself in position to run at the front of the field. Short's strong efforts culminated with a move up the standings heading into this weekend and the veteran now sits second in the championship heading into Washougal.
"The start of my season got off to a slower start than what I'd hoped for but I've managed to work my way up into second spot in the series points midway into the season, which I'm really happy about," said Short. "My goal is still to get an overall win this season so that's my focus right now."
Kevin Windham enjoyed a successful return to the world of motocross. Despite a blister on his hand, the fan favorite endured the pain and let adrenaline take over, grabbing the holeshot in the first moto and leading the majority of the laps. For a rider who hadn't competed outdoors in nearly a year, Windham looked more than ready to run up front and will surely get better as each week goes by.
"I went into last weekend not knowing where I stood in terms of race speed but by the end of the round it was clear I wasn't far off the pace," said Windham. "I'm really grateful for the opportunity Honda Red Bull Racing and GEICO Powersports Honda has given me. I'm really excited to see what I can do at Washougal this weekend, now that I've had another week on the bike. It should be a lot of fun."
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda
While he is likely frustrated with his efforts on occasion, Ben Townley is putting together a solid 2010 season. Last weekend, the New Zealand rider was in the mix at the front of the field, but made a small mistake at the start of the second moto that hurt his overall standing for the event. Despite that, Townley continues to move up the standings and broke into the top three after Millville. He heads to Washougal with some past success and hopes to break through for his first win in the premier class on Saturday.
GEICO Powersports Honda
Brett Metcalfe experienced one of his toughest outings of the 2010 season at Spring Creek. The Australian premier class rookie has been extremely consistent during his inaugural season on the big bikes, but misfortune struck Metty in Minnesota and as a result, he fell from third to fourth in the championship. Despite that, he has shown a knack for bouncing back and is only a handful of points away from moving back onto the championship podium.
Josh Grant left it all on the track in Millville. The second-year premier class rider surged onto the podium after the first moto and set himself up for his first overall podium result of the season in moto two. However, the intense Minnesota humidity took its toll on Grant and over the course of the last couple laps, he dropped several positions, just missing out on the podium.
Justin Brayton also experienced a tough weekend at Spring Creek. While he has gradually increased his race pace and overall speed since returning from injury, Brayton found difficulty in moving up through the field and in the end brought home a conservative 13th-place effort and has regrouped for an all-out attack on Washougal this weekend.
Monster Energy Kawasaki
Chad Reed exited the Millville event last weekend prior to the conclusion of the first moto. An apparent neck injury forced the defending champion to the sidelines for the remainder of the moto and also forced him to scratch from starting Moto 2. As a result, he fell from second to sixth in the championship standings. In announcement today from Reed, the defending champion has contracted the Epstein Barr virus and will be out of competition indefinitely.
After posting a season-best effort at his home race in RedBud, Nick Way went back-to-back with top-10 efforts after another strong showing at Spring Creek. He'll look to continue his move up the standings this weekend at Washougal.
"I'm riding better every week," said Wey. "It is going to be tough this weekend though, I tweaked my ankle and took a couple of days off during the week. The rest probably did me some good and I'll be ready to get out there and battle for a top five."
After a troublesome outing at Millville in which he found himself on the ground in the first moto and attempting to restart his bike in the final moto, Mike Alessi suffered one of his worst outings of the 2010 season in 11th. The KTM rider is one of the most dedicated riders in the field and after such a tough performance last weekend, he will be looking to get his bike back onto the podium in Washington.
"I just need to keep it on two wheels and start getting the good starts I am known for," said Alessi. "I like the Washougal track and am hoping to return to the podium at this round."
Rockstar Energy Suzuki
Tommy Hahn's return from injury was much like his entire 2010 season - up and down. A strong start in the opening moto put Hahn in position to step onto the overall podium and after running up front throughout the early portion of Moto 2, it appeared as though the Suzuki rider would post a season-best effort. However, a flat tire forced him into the pits and relegated him to a 14th-place effort overall.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
Dean Wilson led the way for the Pro Circuit stable at Millville, posting a runner-up effort after a great battle for the win. The rookie rider sits second in the standings and gained points over his teammate Christophe Pourcel in the continued quest to close the gap in the standings.
"This season has been fun," said Wilson. "I've learned a lot already and I hope I can turn that into more wins as the season winds down. I want to get the win this weekend and close the gap to my teammate Pourcel."
Tyla Rattray joined Wilson on the overall podium while Jake Weimer put forth his best effort of the 2010 season.
"Last week, it was good to get on the podium in the first moto," said Weimer. "I know I can win races this year, so hopefully this is the week I can get my first win of the season."
GEICO Powersports Honda
Trey Canard is the hottest rider in the 250 Class. After grabbing his first career victory at RedBud, the Honda rider kept things going, posting back-to-back wins and moving into third place in the championship standings. With such a huge wave of momentum, Canard will look to become the first three-race winner this season in the class at Washougal.
"It feels awesome to get two wins in a row and I'm excited to keep that momentum going heading into Washougal this weekend," said Canard. "The last time I raced at Washougal was in 2008 and I got hurt in that race so I have mixed emotions about the track. I do think that track really suits my style and I enjoy visiting that area so I'll be giving it my best shot".
Canard's teammates Blake Wharton, Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac all had their chances to run at the front of the field in Millville. Each rider has experienced some ups and downs in 2010, but they are one of the most talented groups of riders in the class and will look to put Honda on the podium this weekend.