This Saturday, MX riders approach another challenge at the MotoTees.com Budds Creek National, the fourth round of the 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. But the technical layout of the Budds Creek in Southern Maryland will be extra difficult for motocross racers – the track features several elevation changes and multiple racing lines.
The rider to catch is Ryan Dungey, who showed much dominance at High Point Raceway last Saturday. After sweeping both motos in Mt. Morris, the Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider extended his lead in the 450 Class to 126 points.
The defending Supercross Champion didn’t get out front until the second half of both motos, but once there he quickly gapped the field, showing the strength of his Suzuki RM-Z450. Finishing second overall at High Point was Honda Red Bull Racing rider Andrew Short (3-2 moto finishes) and GEICO Powersports Honda rider Brett Metcalfe in third (6-3).
But Metcalfe is not far behind in the championship race. Just 25 points separate him from Dungey, the dirt bike rider Metcalfe maintaining his status after four top-five finishes. Unlike his usual quick starts this season, Metcalfe ended up near the end of the field during the start of Moto 1 last week, but battled for sixth. Metcalfe’s rhythm intensified in Moto 2, and he ended up finishing third.
Also not far away in third with 98 points is Jagermeister KTM rider Mike Alessi, who has four top-five finishes, including a moto win at the opening round in Hangtown. Alessi is competing on the new KTM 350 SX-F, a machine that’s shown it has a competitive edge regardless of size.
One motocross bike that many expected to constantly be up front is the Monster Energy Kawasaki ridden by Chad Reed. The Australian kicked off the season with a 1-3 moto finish in Hangtown, and a 2-3 in Freestone, but didn’t have much strength at High Point.
Reed placed 13th in Moto 1, and 18th in Moto 2 due to a broken front brake caliper. Going into High Point, he had the championship lead, but his low finishes there dropped him to fourth with 96 points.
Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider Christophe Pourcel leads the 250 Class with 129 points, but last week’s winner Tyla Rattray is only 27 points behind. Rattray, who is a former FIM World Champion, had his first overall victory in American at High Point, with a consistent 2-2 moto finish.
Pourcel took the win in Moto 2, but his fourth-place finish in Moto 1 robbed him of points. GEICO Powersports Honda rider Justin Barcia won Moto 1, but had difficulties in Moto 2, finishing 21st.
During last year’s Budds Creek National, Red Bull Honda rider Davi Millsaps grabbed his first win of the season in Moto 1, but only placed in sixth during Moto 2. This gave him an overall second-place finish.
The man who took overall win was Reed, who took victory in Moto 2 and second in Moto 1. Reed’s victory allowed him to clench the title at Budds Creek when only two rounds remained.
In the 250 Class, Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider Jake Weimer took the overall win at the 2009 Budds Creek National with a 2-1 moto finish. Weimer’s teammate Christophe Pourcel took overall second with a 1-2 moto finish.
SPEED TV will air the MotoTees.com Budds Creek National on Saturday, June 19, with the 250 Class at 8 p.m. and the 450 Class at 9 p.m.
450 MX Class Championship Standings
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 126
2. Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Honda, 101
3. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., KTM, 98
4. Chad Reed, Australia, Kawasaki, 95
5. Ben Townley, New Zealand, Honda, 87
6. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha, 82
7. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 79
8. Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 76
9. Tommy Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Suzuki, 71
10. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Yamaha, 55
250 MX Class Championship Standings
1. Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki, 129
2. Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki, 102
3. Dean Wilson, Canada, Kawasaki, 100
4. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 93
5. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 90
6. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha, 89
7. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki, 80
8. Justin Barcia, Ochlocknee, Ga., Honda, 79
9. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda, 72
10. Tommy Searle, England, KTM, 60