Excitement will be at a fever pitch at the 12th Annual Giant RV AMA Motocross Nationals at Glen Helen. Four different riders on four different brands of motorcycles are in the hunt to win the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship. Yamaha’s Grant Langston leads the way coming into the hilly Glen Helen Raceway, but he is closely followed by Honda’s Andrew Short, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Tim Ferry and Mike Alessi of Red Bull KTM.
Only 15 points separate the top four riders in the Motocross championship battle. This makes the 2007 edition of the series one of the closest in the history of AMA Motocross. All four riders are vying for the first AMA Motocross title in the post-Ricky Carmichael era. Langston is a former AMA Motocross Lites (then called AMA 125 Motocross) Champion.
Langston is thrilled with the unexpected turn of events that led to him being the series leader going into the final round.
“When James got hurt it just blew things wide open,” Langston said referring to Kawasaki’s James Stewart, who was leading the series when he injured his knee at the Washougal, Wash., round in July. “Did I expect to be leading the points going into the final round? No, not really. I was sixth in the championship four rounds ago. It’s been quite a jump and I’m excited to be in the position I’m in.”
Langston has momentum on his side having won the overall in the last two AMA Motocross events in Delmont, Pa., and last weekend in Wortham, Texas.
“I like Glen Helen,” Langston continued. “I’ve always done well there. I’m definitely looking forward to it and hopefully I can finish this off and win a championship.”
Andrew Short had an excellent opportunity to close the gap on Langston in Texas this past Sunday, but he fell in the second moto and had to settle for a third overall. In spite of this Short is only eight points back with 50 points on the line at the finale.
“I left it all on the table in Texas,” Short said. “I was pretty disappointed about tipping over. That kind of mistake gives me a lot of motivation to go and do well at Glen Helen.”
Tim Ferry led the series earlier this summer and expects a dogfight this Sunday.
“Everyone’s going to see a good battle in the final race,” Ferry predicted. “This is what everyone wants to see. I’d like to close out the season with a win and to have a little luck go my way.”
Ferry is the only defending Glen Helen Motocross National winner in the field. He won the race in 2001.
While the battle is between a quartet of riders in the Motocross class, the Motocross Lites division is a two-man contest.
Monster Energy Kawasaki teammates Ryan Villopoto and Ben Townley have traded the Lites class lead back and forth all season long. Defending champ Villopoto has given himself a little breathing room with victories in the last two rounds. That has pushed his lead over Townley to 19 points going into Glen Helen.
The Glen Helen season finales will be featured on SPEED. The Motocross class will air on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 9:00 pm. The Lites class can be seen on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 3:00 pm.
For additional information on 12th Annual Giant RV AMA Motocross Nationals at Glen Helen call (909) 880-3090 or visit the website www.glenhelen.com. Advance Sunday tickets are available at participating area Yamaha dealers.
WHAT: The Giant RV Glen Helen National, the final round of the 2007 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship presented by FMF.
WHERE: Glen Helen Raceway in Devore, Calif., take the Devore exit off I-215 just north of San Bernardino and follow signs.
WHEN: Sept. 8-9, 2007
SCHEDULE: Saturday - Pro timed qualifying, 1:00-4:35 pm., Lites Consolation Race 4:45 pm; Sunday - Pro Motocross Consolation Race 9:15 am. Qualifying 10:00 am. Opening Ceremonies begin at 12:30 pm with final events beginning at 1 pm.
2006 WINNERS: AMA Motocross: James Stewart (Kawasaki) AMA Motocross Lites: Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki).