BYRNE GRABS 1ST PODIUM AT RED BUD2008-07-08 12:58
Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing's Michael Byrne picked up his first podium of the 2008 AMA Motocross season at Red Bud Track & Trail in Buchanan, Michigan, on Sunday afternoon.
The Australian rider put in two strong motos, bringing home two fourth-place finishes to take the overall third-place result.
Team mate Mike Alessi had a great first moto, getting the holeshot on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 and finishing in second place. Unfortunately, Alessi crashed hard in the second moto and was unable to finish the race. He suffered two broken scapulas, a broken rib and a bruised lung.
In the Motocross Lites class, Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Nico Izzi finished in the top five after two strong motos. The young rider raced his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z250 to fourth and fifth-place moto finishes for an overall fifth-placed result.
Team mate Ryan Dungey had a spate of bad luck in that the young rider had a crash in the first moto and finished 13th, and then suffered a mechanical problem in the second moto and didn't finish the race. In spite of this, Dungey is still second overall in the championship points chase while Izzi is in seventh place.
Roger DeCoster - Team Manager:
"We were pretty concerned after seeing Mike's crash. It happened in a very fast section and he ended up coming to rest on a blind part of the track and was then hit by several riders. Due to the nature and severity of his injuries, it is not likely that we'll see Mike back in action this season. It's unfortunate as Mike has done an exceptional job all season with capturing nearly all of the holeshots and sitting in a strong second place in championship points. In fact, in the first moto of this weekend, Mike got the holeshot once again and finished in second place over 30 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor. He has shown a lot of heart this year and we'll be anxious to get him back healthy again."
"This weekend started off good. I was happy with my lap times in practice on Saturday and I felt really comfortable on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450. I qualified the best I have all year as far as a gate pick goes. In the first moto, I got a really good start - Mike Alessi and I were one/ two, which shows that our bikes are really fast and working really good. In the second moto, I got a good start and then Mike fell and got hurt, they threw a red flag and restarted the race. In the restart I didn't get as good of a start and I knew I had to put my head down and catch up to the guys in front of me to get the overall podium finish, so I tried to be patient and keep the pressure on."
"This was a good race weekend. In the first moto, I got a pretty good start on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z250 - I was maybe sixth or seventh, and then worked my way up into third. I stayed there for about six laps and then I started to get tired and faded back to fourth and held that position. In the second moto, I got a pretty bad start but worked my way up and into fifth. I'm just pumped on having two solid motos, that were consistent, and now I need to work a little harder and get back up on that box."
"It was kind of a tough weekend, but that's racing. Right now I'm just focusing on my training this week and getting ready for next weekend's race at Budds Creek."
AMA Motocross Top 10:1. James Stewart (Kawasaki) 1-1 2. Andrew Short (Honda) 3-3 3. Michael Byrne (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) 4-44. Nick Wey (KTM) 5-5 5. Charles Summey (Yamaha) 9-7 6. Jeff Alessi (Honda) 7-9 7. Jimmy Albertson (Honda) 8-10 8. Timmy Ferry (Kawasaki) 23-2 9. Mike Alessi (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) 2-3310. Cody Cooper (Suzuki) 16-6.
AMA Motocross Lites Top 10:1. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki) 1-1 2. Trey Canard (Honda) 2-2 3. Martin Davalos (KTM) 6-3 4. Josh Grant (Honda) 5-4 5. Nico Izzi (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) 4-5 6. Andrew McFarlane (Kawasaki) 7-10 7. Kyle Chisholm (Kawasaki) 11-7 8. Kyle Cunningham (Honda) 12-9 9. Brett Metcalfe (Kawasaki) 10-11 10. Ryan Sipes (KTM) 3-20.
Source: Team Suzuki Press Office
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