The Lucas Oil AMA National 450 Motocross Championship wasn't as close as some of us would have liked. Ryan Villopoto had a good cushion of points going into the weekend at Pala Raceway. There was still room for Ryan Dungey to squeeze a title out of the weekend though, he just had to hope that Villopoto had a very off weekend.
Ryan Villopoto did not have the off weekend Dungey would have hoped for him to have. Though Dungey was out front early in Moto 1, he and Villopoto went back and forth many times. Villopoto eventually got out front and stayed out front, leaving Dungey in second place after Moto 1 and widening the points gap. Chad Reed was back on the podium with a third place finish.
Moto 2 showed us all that Dungey wanted this championship and would fight till the end for it. Justin Barcia had a great ride and it took Dungey getting aggressive to make a pass stick on Barcia. Villopoto was smart though, he stayed close, but not to close to the battling. He knew all he had to do was keep Dungey in sight and the 450 title was his. With Barcia finishing second and Villopoto third, Ryan Villopoto is your new 450 Motocross Champion. Congrats to the Ginger Ninja, 2011 was certainly your year!
Going into the GNCC at Unadilla in New Berlin, NY, the weather had quite a few racers worried about the conditions. Luckily, the GNCC folks had alternates routes ready and everyone arrived safely to a well prepared track. Series points leader, Suzuki's Josh Strang, was out early in a first lap crash with KTM's Cory Buttrick. Strang landed on Buttrick, knocking Buttrick out and bending Strang's sprocket. Strang left the track and went back to the pits, got the parts needed, re-entered the track where he left, fixed his bike and started racing again. Buttrick would head to the hospital to get checked out. At this point he is recovering and we're hoping all is well.
Paul Whibley, Kaileb Russell and Charlie Mullins really took advantage of Strang and Buttrick going out early. Whibley got the MotoSport holeshot, with Mullins and Russell right on his back wheel. Russell passed Whibley fairly quickly, with Mullins coming up quickly behind Russell for the lead. Russell said he had some bad arm pump and just couldn't catch and pass Mullins once he was out front. And from that point, that's where they finished. With Mullins getting the win and Strang finishing in 13th place (two laps down on Mullins), there was a 14 point swing. Mullins now leads Strang in the Series points by 8. Bring on Mountain Ridge.
A local Texas racer, Cheyenne Harmon, has recently gotten himself a new 450 Honda and really started to have some strong finishes. He won the Pro Class Saturday night at Swan MX and then won the XC1 Pro class at the LACC race in Siciliy Island, LA. Louisiana had just recently received about 6" of rain due to the recent hurricane in the area. This gave the racers great terrain and conditions we haven't seen here in Texas in a long time. Bubba Henry and Andy Beebe rounded out the XC1 podium, while Evan Shows, Jason Reine and Clint Woods filled the XC2 podium.
With only a week to get to France after the Outdoors finished up at Pala, Ryan Dungey, Ryan Villopoto and Blake Baggett jumped on their flights to Saint Jean D'Angely, France. Those three riders are representing the USA at this year's Motocross Des Nations. The track in France is tighter and more hard packed than American riders are used too. But we are looking for our 7th consecutive Des Nations win, so we have a decent shot.
The Endurocross Series moves north of the border to Ontario, Canada. This is Round 4 of the series, if you're counting X-Games [I do!]. Taddy Blazusiak is still dominating the series and plans to continue that dominance in Canada. Mike Brown, Geoff Aaron, Cody Webb, Justin Soule and many other top pro's all want a shot of knocking him off the top of the podium.
Locally this weekend, TORCS and TCCRA are having races in Wortham and Archer City respectively. TORCS is heading a bit north to Freestone County Raceway, where the Freestone National was held earlier this summer. TORN will be south of Wichita Falls in Archer City. I do know that we still need rain in Texas, so be ready for dusty conditions.
Thanx again for tuning in and we will see you all next week! Have a great weekend riding, racing and just being a good person. And remember to always enjoy a Pint Full of Awesome.
Pint Glasses: seattime.bigcartel.com
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