AMA Pro Racing
Motorcycle Hillclimb high drama kicked into gear at high noon on the Dayton Motorcycle Club’s Devil’s Staircase on October 10 when the AMA Pro Hillclimbers gathered to battle it out for the series championship in the final round for the 2010 season.
Both the Unlimited and Pro Sport championships were up for grabs and there were tight races for the third spot on the podium in Xtreme and Unlimited motorcycle classes.
2009 Unlimited motorcycle champ, Alex Benner led that class by just four points over Colby McCutcheon while rookie Josh Lingle had an even slimmer lead of three points over Scott Hoke for the Pro Sport motorcycle title.
With a commanding fourteen point lead in the Xtreme motorcycle class, Nate Redmann pretty much had that title in the bag- all he needed to do was cross the start line and he would take home the number one plate.
Dayton MC threw the riders a curve by giving the hill a total makeover for 2010. They carved the jumps much sharper and cut the benches wider- creating a hill that strongly favored agile throttle control over raw horsepower and good traction over highflying motorcycling action.
But, as always, it was an all-American event with a skydiver trailing an oversized U.S. flag landing on the hill while the Nation Anthem was sung to a standing crowd of spectators.
First up the hill was Pro Sport rider Hoke. He set the pace at 13.409 seconds. His time was eclipsed by Ian Lau, riding in the middle of the class with a 12.734 second ride. Points leader Lingle laid down a 12.585 second E.T. for the lead.
John Mosko followed with a 13.204 second time to bump Hoke back one spot. After one run in was Lingle, Lau and Mosko- 1,2,3 in order.
The first four heats of exhibition Verti-Cross action followed Pro Sport with eight riders going head-to-head in elbow-to-elbow uphill action. Four riders- McCutcheon, VanHyning, DeBusk and Sam Herline advanced.
Pro Sport had their second and final run next. Nearly every rider topped the hill faster, applying what they learned in the first run. Hoke moved into third, just breaking into the twelves.
Lau rode a flawless 12.417 second ride, moving into first and pushing Lingle to second. Lingle fought back hard but his 12.503 second E.T. was not enough- he stayed in second. At the final it was Lau on top followed by Lingle and Hoke in second and third respectively.
Xtreme Class riders took to the hill next. VanHyning was first to break into eleven-second range with an 11.520 second ride. Phil Libhart was next to ride with a spectacular 11.089 second time.
Now the motorcycle race was on to break into the tens. Riding last in the order, Shane Green came closest with an 11.069 second ride, just 20 thousandths faster than Libhart. After one run Green had the lead with Libhart in second and VanHyning in third.
In Unlimited Class action, Redmann rode first, setting the pace at 11.849 seconds. Points leader Benner, riding in the middle of the order, crested a half second faster. McCutcheon rode next and upped the ante with the first time in the ten second range- 10.920 seconds.
Rider after rider tried to best him, but no one could. Closest was Green with an 11.011 second ride. At the half it was McCutcheon, Green and Benner- first, second and third, respectively.
The Verti-Cross semi-final and final runs came next. VanHyning smoked McCutcheon and DeBusk put away Herline. In the final it was VanHyning over DeBusk for top Hondaors in VertiCross.
In second half Xtreme Class racing, two-thirds of the riders posted faster times with everyone gunning for Green. Jay Sallstrom eclipsed VanHying for number three spot with an 11.403 second ride. Benner fought for a position but his 11.437 second ride was just off the mark.
Green rode last and, standing in first place, didn’t have to. It’s apparently not his style to sit and watch- He rode last and, just to prove his fast time was no fluke, he screamed over the crest in just 10.888 seconds to the thrill of spectators and riders alike.
When Unlimited Class riders faced off for the final time in 2010, all eyes were on the clock to see if McCutcheon’s and Benner’s positions would hold. At the half Benner’s third place put him one point behind McCutcheon for the season.
When Benner rode, he bettered his time, but only by one hundredth of a second, not enough to move up against McCutcheon. Matt Luna posted an 11.123 second E.T. to take over third, momentarily. Sallstrom rode very fast- 10.714 seconds- moving into first place.
Sallstrom’s ride put McCutcheon and Benner tied for the season, so McCutcheon had to ride… and fast. He came through under extreme pressure and crested in just 10.549 seconds to regain first place on the day and to take the class title for 2010.
Falling in behind McCutcheon was Sallstrom and Green in second and third, respectively. McCutcheon’s take on the day- it’s a dream come true!
Series Final Standings:
In the Unlimited Class, McCutcheon’s win gave him the points he needed to take the top spot, knocking Benner to the second step of the Unlimited Class podium. Shane Green came to Oregonia in third place, finished third on the day and took the third spot on the podium for the season.
In the Xtreme Class, Redmann arrived at Oregonia with the title already in hand. He just needed the race to count, and for that he needed only to cross the start line. His fifth place finish on the day was more than enough. Libhart started the day solidly in second and ended the same way.
His second place finish moved him closer to Redmann but was not enough to take the top step on the podium. DeBusk and VanHyning started the day with 130 points apiece, with DeBusk on top due to higher individual race finishes. But VanHyning’s sixth place finish vs. DeBusk’s fourteenth due to a crash on his second run shifted the third step on the podium to VanHyning.
The Pro Sport final remain unchanged from the standings after round eight- Lingle has the top of the podium with Hoke on the next step and Mosko in third. Lingle has taken the title in his rookie year as a Pro Sporter, Hoke moved up to second from his fourth-place finish in 2009. All three, Lingle, Hoke and Mosko are on the Pro Sport podium for their first time.
U/L: 1. Colby McCutcheon (Suz); 2. Jay Sallstrom (Yamaha); 3. Shane Green (Honda); 4. Matt Luna (Kawasaki); 5. Alex Benner (Honda).
Xtreme motorcycle: 1. Shane Green (Honda); 2. Phil Libhart (Tri); 3. Jay Sallstrom (Honda); 4. Alex Benner (Honda); 5. Nate Redmann (Yamaha).
Pro Sport motorcycle: 1. Ian Lau (Honda); 2. Josh Lingle (Yamaha); 3. Scott Hoke (Suz); 4. John Mosko (Honda); 5. Mark Stowe (Yamaha).
Final Series Results – 2010:
U/L: 1. Colby McCutcheon (Suz); 2. Alex Benner (Honda); 3. Shane Green (Honda); 4. Scott Campbell (Suz); 5. Shawn Farnsworth (H-D).
Xtreme motorcycle: 1. Nate Redmann (Yamaha); 2. Phil Libhart (Tri); 3. Chris VanHyning (Honda); 4. Robby DeBusk (Yamaha); 5. Alex Benner (Honda)
Pro Sport motorcycle: 1. Josh Lingle (Yamaha); 2. Scott Hoke (Suz); 3. John Mosko (Honda); 4. Ian Lau (Honda); 5. Amanda Campbell (Honda)