Lucas Oil AMA Pro MotocrosS - Flagstar Bank Freestone National2010-06-02 07:36
The 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship made its season premiere just two weeks ago with the Rockstar Energy Hangtown Classic. After a combined two hours-plus of on-track action in the premier 450 Class and highly-competitive 250 Class, it was Monster Energy Kawasaki's Chad Reed and GEICO Powersports Honda's Eli Tomac who stood atop the podium and claimed the early-season points lead. After a week break, the world's best riders head to the Lone Star State for round two of the 12-race season with the Flagstar Bank Freestone National from Freestone Raceway in Wortham, Texas.
Monster Energy Kawasaki
After a 2009 season in which he sat atop the point standings for the majority of the summer en route to the premier class title, defending series champion Chad Reed will once again sport the red background number one plate, not only as the reigning title holder, but also as current points leader after taking the overall victory at the season opener at Hangtown.
"We got the championship started off on the right foot," said Reed. "Now we need to keep getting good results. It is going to be hot in Texas, but I'm ready for it. Living in Florida gives me a chance to ride and train in brutal heat and humidity. We need to keep working hard and keep the red number ones on for a while."
Reed's teammate Nick Wey is looking to improve his results from Hangtown and has been working hard since the season opener to find some speed.
"Hangtown was a bit of a wake up call to me," said Wey. "I know we have a great bike and I just need to start pushing my limits a little bit more. I've been training and riding hard during the break and I'm ready to get back to the front."
Mike Alessi gave the KTM 350 SX-F a stellar debut in Hangtown, finishing second overall to Reed, including a dominating second moto victory. Alessi showed that despite the smaller engine, the 350 is fast enough to compete with the larger 450's and left little doubt that he will be a factor in the 2010 title chase. He heads to Texas this weekend as the defending race champion.
"I can't say enough about how great my KTM 350 SX-F is running and to get that second moto win at Hangtown was great," said Alessi. "I rode well in Texas last year and I like the tough conditions that Freestone has produced in the past. I am looking forward to a great result at Freestone."
Honda Red Bull Racing
Davi Millsaps kicked-off the 2010 season with one of the best performances of his career. His 3-2 moto scores led the way for Honda and have given him a lot of confidence heading into Texas. After missing the early part of the season last year due to injury, Millsaps is excited about what lies ahead.
"The Freestone National is known as one of the hottest rounds on the Motocross calendar each year and it's looking no different this year," said Millsaps. "Staying hydrated and resting up between races will be the key to making it through the weekend. I missed this race last year because I was injured so I'm looking forward to racing at Freestone Raceway again on my Honda Red Bull Racing CRF450R."
Andrew Short was forced to work harder than he had hoped in Hangtown. A rough start in the first moto meant Short had to work diligently through the field to salvage points. He recovered well in moto two, finishing fifth to break into the top 10 overall by the day's end. He heads to his hometown race this weekend where he finished second overall last season.
"Last year I put the Honda Red Bull Racing team second overall at the Texas round, which I was really happy with," said Short. "The heat will again play a huge factor in the racing outcome this weekend, and as this is a hometown race for me, I'm very aware of how the hot conditions can play out. I'm looking forward to racing on familiar soil, in a familiar environment with friends and family watching on."
GEICO Powersports Honda
Brett Metcalfe was arguably the biggest surprise of the 450 Class at Hangtown. His premier class debut went exceptionally well, posting a fourth place result and giving him considerable confidence heading into the second round of the season.
"I'm really happy I got the opportunity to move up to the big bike class this season," said Metcalfe. "I felt good on my GEICO Powersports Honda CRF450R at Hangtown and can't wait to race it again this week in Texas."
Josh Grant posted the fastest time in practice and qualifying prior to the start of the Hangtown Classic, serving notice to the field he would be a force to be reckoned with come race time. In moto one, the Joe Gibbs rider was arguably the fastest on the track, making a pair of stellar passes to finish in the runner-up spot. In the final moto, a bad start forced him to work his way through the field, but the deep talent level left him in 10th and fifth overall.
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda
After two years away from American motocross, Ben Townley's return to action was impressive. The New Zealand native was in the mix at the front of the field throughout each moto and while he missed out on the podium, his sixth and seventh place moto results resulted in sixth place overall.
Ryan Dungey didn't start off the 2010 season the way he would have hoped. The defending 250 Class champion and 450 Class rookie was a victim of a pair of tough starts in each moto at Hangtown and with one of the most talented fields in history lining up on the gate this season, working his way through the field proved to be a difficult task. He'll look to rebound in Texas where he claimed the 250 Class victory last season.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki
The Hangtown Classic was a tough day for the Rockstar Energy Suzuki team. After winning the final race of the 2009 season, Tommy Hahn had high hopes for the season-opener. A pair of rough starts relegated the Texas native to outside the top ten in each moto and while he moved up to ninth in moto one, he posted a 17th place effort in moto two to finish 12th overall. His 450 Class teammate Jake Moss experienced even more adversity, finishing outside the top 20 in each moto. However, his relentless efforts resulted in the RC Hard Charger Award for the first week.
GEICO Powersports Honda
Eli Tomac's win in his professional debut garnered the majority of the headlines following Hangtown. The rookie's stellar debut quickly made him a star in the series and now he has put himself in the thick of the 2010 title fight by virtue of the victory. All eyes will be on him to see how he moves forward the rest of the season.
"Winning the Hangtown race in my professional racing debut is more than I could have ever imagined," said Tomac. "The GEICO Powersports Honda team and I plan to take every week as it comes, gaining as much experience as I can in my rookie season."
Trey Canard gave the GEICO Powersports Honda team two riders on the overall podium at Hangtown. The senior member of the team is still in search of that elusive first motocross victory and after watching a pair of rookie teammates capture their first wins dating back to last season, he is hungrier than ever to break into the win column.
"I finished on both Freestone National podiums and took third overall last year so I'm hoping to do even better there this season," said Canard. "I'm just like every other racer out there; I want nothing less than to win. My plan is to get good starts on my GEICO Powersports Honda CRF250R in both motos."
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
Christophe Pourcel is in a familiar position atop the 250 Class standings as he sits tied for the points lead after the first round. While he missed out on capturing the overall victory, his runner-up effort put him in prime position for the championship chase. Pourcel knows it is a long season and he knows the best way to win the title.
"I focused on getting moto wins and scoring as many points as I can," said Pourcel. "You have to be patient and sometimes the win isn't there. That is when you need to get as much as you can."
Pourcel's teammate Jake Weimer just missed out on the overall podium at Hangtown, and he is looking to make his move up this weekend. Despite the solid effort, he knows there are areas for improvement and has worked diligently to make the adjustments.
"I've been working on my starts," said Weimer. "There are a lot of fast guys, so you want to get through the first turn up front. We worked hard this week to get better starts and I hope the results show it on Saturday."
Rookie rider Dean Wilson was also strong at Hangtown, finishing sixth overall in his Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship debut, highlighted by a fourth place effort in the final moto in which he battled with Pourcel throughout the race.
Tommy Searle kicked off the Hangtown event with an incredible battle for the win with Pourcel. His runner-up effort in moto one looked to be a sign of more to come from the British rider, but misfortune struck in moto two, relegating Searle to a ninth place result.
"I am resting up this week and preparing myself for the next round in Texas," said Searle. "I am very happy with my bike and know that I am capable of running up front and should be on the podium at Texas."
DNA Shred Stix/Star Yamaha
Broc Tickle helped give the Star Racing Yamaha team a strong start to the 2010 season. The longtime Yamaha rider continued what has been a breakout season by finishing seventh overall at Hangtown. Teammates Max Anstie and Martin Davalos finished just outside the top 10 in 11th and 12th, respectively and will look to move up this weekend at Freestone.
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda
Wil Hahn's first moto of 2010 didn't go like he had hoped with a 13th place result, but after grabbing the holeshot in moto two and leading early on, he showed his impressive start to the season in supercross wasn't a fluke. After a sixth place effort in the final moto, Hahn brought home eighth overall.
Source: MX Sports Pro Racing
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