250 Words: High Point

May 29, 2007 10:20am
The AMA Motocross Lites class is off to a great start in 2007. Two rounds down and we already have two different overall winners—and the champ has yet to win one! But the day started at High Point with some disappointment, as Lites championship contender Brett Metcalfe crashed in the first practice session, breaking his thumb. After only one major race for his new team, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider is on the sidelines indefinitely.

  • This win was long overdue for the SoBe/No Fear/Samsung Honda crew
But this day belonged to SoBe No Fear/Samsung Mobile Honda’s Josh Grant. Beginning on Saturday, Grant showed serious speed on the rough Mt. Morris circuit, logging some of the fastest lap times in the class, sitting third behind Ryan Villopoto and Ben Townley on the time sheet. But it then seemed he lost a bit of speed in Sunday morning’s “Fast 40” qualifying for gate position, as he was seventh fastest. The fastest in the Lites? Lucas Oil/Star Racing’s Broc Tickle.

When the gate dropped for the first moto, it was the Suzuki of Ryan Dungey pulling the Racer X Holeshot, but his lead was short-lived, though, as Josh Grant quickly took over. Grant put his head down and charged, never relinquishing his lead. He was able to take the moto win—the second of his career, with Ryan Villopoto finishing second, and Yamaha of Troy’s Jason Lawrence third.

The second moto Racer X Holeshot Award went to Grant this time, but he could not stave off the hard-charging Ben Townley, who was looking for redemption after a 10th in moto one. And then came Villopoto, passing Grant, trying to chase down Townley. But Grant didn’t waste energy battling with RV—he knew that if he could maintain a third place moto finish, his 1-3 would win the overall over Villopoto’s 2-2. And indeed that’s what he did, taking his first AMA National MX win of his career.
What will happen at Southwick? We’ve never seen Townley ride in the sand, but he’s gotta have some game there too. Also, all three of the guys on Southwick’s ’06 Lites’ podium—Andrew Short, Mike Alessi and Metcalfe—won’t be on this starting gate. Southwick is completely up for grabs!