A summer of some of the most memorable racing in Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship history came to an exciting conclusion at the American Motocross Festival from Steel City Raceway on Saturday. The tight and highly-competitive 250 Class championship came down to the wire with Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn., edging out Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel, the race winner, for his first career national championship.
Canidae/Motosport/Kawasaki’s Tommy Hahn, of Decatur, Texas, became the seventh first-time winner of the 2009 season in the 450 Class, winning his first career moto en route to the victory. In the WMX Class season finale, Honda Red Bull Racing’s Ashley Fiolek, of St. Augustine, Fla., secured her second straight title despite not competing in the final moto of the day. GEICO Powersports Honda’s Jessica Patterson, of Tallahassee, Fla., won her third race in a row to close out the season second in the standings.
After a dramatic turnaround in the 250 Class title fight last weekend, Dungey entered Steel City with a 17-point advantage. Pourcel, of France, did what he needed to do in order to stay in the hunt, sweeping the day’s motos. However, Dungey kept the Frenchman in his sights with a pair of runner-up finishes to add this AMA Motocross championship to the AMA Supercross title won earlier this season.
"I knew all year from the very beginning it was going to take every weekend to be there and be in the hunt," said Dungey, who becomes the eighth rider in history to claim entry-class titles in each discipline. "After Southwick, I was able to come out with a bit of a lead to carry into this weekend. All year it’s been him and (I) in a back and forth battle with wins and everything so I’m just pumped to be up here with (the championship)."
GEICO Powersports Honda’s Blake Wharton, of Pilot Point, Texas, rounded out the podium in third.
Not since 1999 has the premier 450 Class seen so much parity when seven winners took the checkers during that season as well. With the title wrapped up, it was another opportunity for a new face to grace the top of the podium as each of the day’s motos produced first-time winners with Hahn and Jagermeister KTM’s Justin Brayton, of Murrieta, Calif. Hahn backed up his moto one victory with a fourth in the final moto to clinch the overall for his privateer Kawasaki team.
"After I won the first moto today I came into (moto two) with an open mind and let it end up where it ended up," said Hahn. "I concentrated on getting a good start and just went from there. I wasn’t going to let (a bad second moto) happen again. It’s happened too much in the past. So I just wanted to go ride as hard as I could for 30 minutes."
Honda Red Bull Racing’s Ivan Tedesco, of Tallahassee, Fla., finished second overall (4-3), while Brayton grabbed third (11-1) for his first career podium finish.
Patterson dominated the WMX Class for the third race in a row, sweeping the day’s motos. Her late-season charge closed the gap over her rival in the standings, but it was too little too late. Fiolek’s lone result of seventh in moto one helped secure the title and served as a bit of good fortune when a crash late in the race resulted in a broken collarbone and forced her to miss moto two.
"I’m in a lot of pain but it’s exciting to be the champion again," said Fiolek. "I knew something was wrong (in the moto) but I just needed to finish. I didn’t get nervous about (Jessica) because I won the first five rounds so I just had to ride smart and that’s what I did."
Honda’s Mariana Balbi, of Brazil, finished second overall (2-2) with Muscle Milk KTM’s Sarah Whitmore, of Cheboygan, Mich., in third (5-3).
American Motocross Classic – Steel City Raceway – Round 12 of 12
450 Class (Moto Finish)
1. Tommy Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Kawasaki (1-4)
2. Ivan Tedesco, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda (4-3)
3. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., KTM (11-1)
4. Jake Moss, Australia, Kawasaki (10-2)
5. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda (5-5)
6. Michael Byrne, Australia, Suzuki (3-9)
7. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda (6-10)
8. Timmy Ferry, Largo, Fla., Kawasaki (12-7)
9. Matt Goerke, Lake Helen, Fla., Yamaha (7-12)
10. Chad Reed, Australia, Suzuki (2-34)
450 Class Championship Standings
1. Chad Reed, Australia, Suzuki, 481
2. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 388
3. Ivan Tedesco, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda, 376
4. Michael Byrne, Australia, Suzuki, 348
5. Thomas Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Kawasaki, 302
6. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha, 280
7. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 249
8. Nick Wey, Dewitt, Mich., Yamaha, 200
9. Cody Cooper, New Zealand, Yamaha, 191
10. Jimmy Albertson, Ozark, Mo., Yamaha, 185
250 Class (Moto Finish)
1. Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki (1-1)
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki (2-2)
3. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Honda (8-3)
4. Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, Ky., KTM (6-5)
5. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki (4-8)
6. Justin Barcia, Cairo, Ga., Honda (3-13)
7. Austin Stroupe, Lincolnton, N.C., Kawasaki (5-10)
8. Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Honda (9-7)
9. Tommy Searle, Great Britain, KTM (13-6)
10. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki (17-4)
250 Class Championship Standings
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 503
2. Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki, 492
3. Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Honda, 378
4. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki, 353
5. Justin Barcia, Cairo, Ga., Honda, 340
6. Tommy Searle, Great Britain, KTM, 332
7. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha, 285
8. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Honda, 273
9. Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki, 236
10. Matt Lemoine, Collinsville, Texas, Yamaha, 189
WMX Class (Moto Finish)
1. Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda (1-1)
2. Mariana Balbi, Brazil, Honda (2-2)
3. Sarah Whitmore, Cheboygan, Mich., KTM (5-3)
4. Tarah Gieger, Vero Beach, Fla., Yamaha (4-4)
5. Jacqueline Strong, Sedona, Ariz., Honda (3-7)
6. Elizabeth Bash, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki (6-6)
7. Sara Price, Canyon Lake, Calif., Kawasaki (8-5)
8. Allison Vrba, Albion, Ind., Yamaha (10-8)
9. Penni Cyrus, Queen Creek, Ariz., Kawasaki (9-10)
10. Alyssa Fitch, Denver, Colo., Honda (12-9)
WMX Class Standings
1. Ashley Fiolek, St. Augustine, Fla., Honda, 350
2. Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda, 345
3. Sherri Cruse, Bakersfield, Calif., Suzuki, 258
4. Sara Price, Canyon Lake, Calif., Kawasaki, 237
5. Elizabeth Bash, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki, 217
6. Vicki Golden, El Cajon, Calif., Honda, 192
7. Sarah Whitmore, Cheboygan, Mich., KTM, 185
8. Mariana Balbi, Brazil, Honda, 170
9. Penni Cyrus, Queen Creek, Ariz., Kawasaki, 157
10. Jacqueline Strong, Sedona, Ariz., Honda, 148