Budds Motocross: Saturday AM Warm-Up

2011 AMA Motocross

As the 2011 AMA Motocross Championship gets ready to take to the dirt for Round 4 in Budds Creek MX Park, Mechanicsville, Md., tonight, the series had two winners. Two-Two Motorsports Honda’s Chad Reed took the first two rounds (Hangtown, Freestone), and the 2011 AMA Supercross Champion, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, took last week’s round in High Point.

In the Motocross point standings, Reed leads with 138 points after 3 of 12 rounds, 15 points ahead of Villopoto. The reigning AMA Motocross Champion, Rockstar Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey, is in third with 111 points.

Following are some team stats, facts and rider quotes from as the 2011 AMA Motocross Championship preps for tonight’s MotoTees Budds Creek National:

TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Racing Motocross

After a slow start to the day in Moto 1, when he was hit by a rock while working his way through the field, Chad Reed reversed his fortunes in the final moto and capped off the day with his third moto win of the year.

As a result, Reed’s 5-1 moto scores helped him post his third straight podium finish in third. While he watched his two-race winning streak come to an end, Reed still left High Point with the points lead.

Monster Energy Kawasaki Motocross

It took a couple rounds, but Ryan Villopoto looks to be hitting his stride this summer. He dominated the first moto of the day at High Point, leading every lap and putting himself in position for the overall win. In Moto 2, he rode smart in muddy conditions, bringing home a runner-up finish and earning his spot atop the podium for the first time since his 450 Class debut in 2009. Now, Villopoto carries the momentum into Budds Creek.

Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F Motocross) says: “It was definitely good to get the monkey off my back and get the win. Now I want to keep that going and hopefully put some more wins together. I’ve always liked Budds Creek, and I’m really looking forward to going there for the first time on a 450cc bike.”

Jake Weimer showed impressive resiliency at High Point. After a solid start to the day in the first moto, Weimer overcame a rough start in the final moto, ultimately passing 25 riders to land ninth overall and receive the Ricky Carmichael Hard Charger Award for his efforts.

Jake Weimer (Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F Motocross) says: “I feel like I’ve been riding well, and hopefully I can get closer to the podium at Budds Creek. My Kawasaki KXTM450F has been great, and I think it’s been a good season so far considering the short amount of time I’ve been on the bike, compared to a lot of the other guys in the class.”

Rockstar/Makita Suzuki Motocross

After the misfortune he experienced at Freestone Raceway, Ryan Dungey was eager to turn things around at High Point. The reigning champion started off the day strong, running behind Villopoto in the first moto and putting himself in position to possibly claim his first overall of the season.

In Moto 2, Dungey overcame an early fall to fight his way into the top three. Although he missed out on the win, Dungey still posted his second runner-up effort of 2011 and moved into third in the standings. He enters Budds Creek as the defending race winner.

Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki RMZ-450 Motocross) says: “It was a good weekend. I had a couple of good practices and we were good going into both motos. I got the holeshot in the first, but had a little bobble and got passed.

“I was still able to get back to second. All in all, I felt good. My Rockstar/Makita Suzuki team made some changes on my RM-Z for the second moto, but it rained really hard just before the start, so the track was really muddy, slick, and very technical. I got off to another good start but fell twice in the beginning, but was able to catch up to third and secure second place overall. It’s a good step in the right direction. Next stop is Budds Creek and I really like that track.”

Brett Metcalfe found himself in the thick of a highly-competitive battle inside the top 10 throughout each of the day’s motos at High Point. The Australian rider started the day off by finishing eighth in the opening moto, and endured the conditions in Moto 2 to finish 10th and secure eighth overall. Sitting fifth in the 450 Class standings, Metcalfe is looking forward to Budds Creek.

Brett Metcalfe (Rockstar Makita Suzuki RMZ450 Motocross) says: “It was a pretty tough day for me at Mt. Morris. I didn’t get the results I wanted and I had two bad starts at a track where it’s really important to start up front in order to be in contention for a decent overall finish. It was just one of those days where things just didn’t happen.

“I feel like I rode strong, and my Rockstar/Makita Suzuki worked great. My team did a great job getting my bike dialed in. It was a rough day, but we still came away with some points. We know what we have to do moving into Budds Creek.”

Muscle Milk/Toyota/JGR Motocross

With a third-place finish to start the day, Davi Millsaps was looking for more of the early-season success he’s experienced so far this summer at High Point Motocross. However, the muddy track in Moto 2 was a challenge for Millsaps and the majority of the 450 Motocross Class field. In the end, Millsaps recorded a ninth-place effort in the final moto to finish fifth overall.

American Honda Motocross

Following a tough outing at Freestone, Kevin Windham bounced back with a pair of solid efforts at High Point. The veteran rider endured the challenges of his younger rivals throughout each moto, and outlasted them to post 6-5 moto scores and finish sixth overall.

For the first time in 2011, the American Honda team will feature a pair of 450 Class competitors. As Windham prepares for his final race of the 2011 season, Josh Grant will make his summer debut at Budds Creek Motocross, racing for the first time since January, when he suffered a knee injury. Last season, Grant finished fourth in Southern Maryland, and will look to duplicate that effort on Saturday.

Valli Motorsports/Rockstar Yamaha Motocross

After a season-best effort at Freestone, Ricky Dietrich was looking for similar success at High Point. While he wasn’t able to replicate his efforts from the previous round, Dietrich put forth a respectable effort in Pennsylvania, finishing 11th overall. He also still sits in good position in the standings, currently occupying sixth place.

Fellow Valli Yamaha Motocross rider Nick Wey posted one of his best outings at High Point. The longtime competitor battled his teammate throughout each moto, ultimately coming out on top, finishing just one spot ahead in 10th overall.

MotoConcepts Yamaha Motocross

High Point represented one of the best rounds of the season for Tommy Hahn. After a respectable 10th-place finish in the opening moto, Hahn improved three spots in Moto 2, finishing seventh and landing in the same spot in the overall results for the day.

Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda Motocross

After a breakout performance in Freestone Motocross, Christian Craig entered Pennsylvania with high aspirations. A ninth-place finish in the first moto got the ball rolling in the right direction, however, an issue with his goggles in the muddy final moto forced Craig into the pits, dropping him to 21st in the moto, and 15th overall.

Red Bull KTM Motocross

Andrew Short continues to give it everything he’s got at each round this season. He continues to dial in his KTM 350, and has shown consistent improvement in his performance out on the track. At High Point, he finished just outside the top 10 in 12th, and continues to work his way up the 450 Class standings, where he also occupies the 12th spot.

Mike Alessi’s return to action for the first time since crashing in practice at Hangtown was highlighted by a pair of strong motos, in addition to running at the front of the field. Alessi’s 4-4 moto scores and fourth-place finish overall set the tone for what KTM hopes is a strong season. He heads to Budds Creek with a lot of confidence, and will look to challenge for the podium.

Mike Alessi (Red Bull KTM SXF 350 Motocross) says: “It felt good to get out on the track and race after a few weeks off. I am still a little off my game since my crash at Hangtown, but I am feeling better every week, and hope to be on the podium soon.”