June 12, 2008
WORTHAM, Tex. – The third round of the 2008 AMA National Motocross Championship saw two GEICO Powersports Honda riders score their best career finishes in the championship.
Under some of the toughest weather conditions in years, the Freestone National, located about 100 miles south of Dallas in Wortham, Texas, featured temperatures that reached 104 degrees, and very high humidity, and as such, even some of the tougher riders on the circuit had trouble finishing both motos under the conditions.
However, GEICO Powersports Honda's Jake Weimer took lemons and made lemonade, as he recorded his best-ever AMA National overall finish with a 4-4 score, coming from behind in both motos to finish just off of the podium in fourth overall.
"I've gotten fourth in motos before, but never two motos in a row, and the best I've done overall before is fifth," Weimer said. "It was tough. That was probably the toughest race I've ever done. For some reason, it was real difficult, and the results show that, in how many people finished, and how many people pulled off and passed out. It was tough. I'm sure 98% of the guys that did finish wanted to pull off, but it was just kind of one of those things where you've just got to tell yourself to keep going. My mechanic gave me a pitboard that said, 'six laps to go,' at one point, and I was like, 'Oh, dude, I can't do that.' Somehow, I kept going, though. The whole second moto, my times were never really good, but my fastest lap was the second-to-last lap, so I was laughing about that, because I was hurting for sure."
Weimer now sits sixth in points and is within striking distance of fourth in the championship already, and there are still nine rounds left to run.
Teammate Dan Reardon had his best showing so far in AMA Lites MX, too, as he not only scored his best overall finish yet (sixth), but his best moto finish yet (seventh) in Texas.
"My first round definitely wasn't what I was looking for," Reardon said. "I had some problems there pretty much all weekend. It's all part of riding and racing, though. Then, after we got through that, the next round in Hangtown, I picked things up a little bit, and things got a little bit better. I ran up front, and I finished eighth, and I think it changed my perspective a little bit. I look forward to every weekend because I haven't been to any of these tracks before, although I don't look forward to getting lost in my rental car. But it was good in Texas. My starts weren't the best, and I'm struggling with them when the start lines get a little deep, but I'm working on it, and getting more comfortable. The first moto, I was about 18th and worked my way to about 10th, then I crashed, went back to 18th, and had to re-pass all of those people again. It was a long moto for me. The second moto, I was around 16th, and I worked my way up to sixth at one point, but then got passed and put back to seventh."
Reardon said the heat got him good in the second moto.
"The heat was crazy," Reardon said. "It was about survival the last few laps. My body had that pins-and-needles sensation, and cold chills, and with a couple laps to go, I just wanted off the bike. Once I was off of it, I stood in a cold shower for like 20 minutes just to cool back down. My body went through it this week. I'm just looking forward to this weekend and getting back out there again."
Coming from Australia, the heat was even worse for Reardon. His situation is very different than what most could imagine.
"I actually live on the east coast of Australia, and most of our races are in the south where it's a little cooler," Reardon said. "I have been in the heat like that before, but it's been so long... I left Australia pretty much at the end of winter, and got here at the beginning of winter, so I've had like a year straight of winter, which was a little weird."
With his finish, Reardon moved to ninth in the points standings.
Trey Canard had a tough go of it in Texas, which is the closest to a hometown National as he is going to get, coming from Oklahoma. He was running midpack on the opening lap when he went down and suffered a minor concussion. He nearly finished the moto, catching up to a points-paying position, but then pulled off late in the moto after he began to get dizzy, likely from a combination of heat and hitting his head. He sat out moto two to be safe.
The GEICO Powersports Honda team continues the torrid schedule and heads to Pennsylvania this coming Sunday for round four of the AMA Motocross Nationals at High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris.
Team Sponsors: GEICO Powersports, Honda, Planet Fitness, No Fear Energy, AMSOIL, Factory Connection, Torco Racing Fuels, No Fear, Shoei, Gaerne, Spy, DVS, Cycra, Dunlop, EK, Ferodo, Hinson, Ogio, One Industries, Pro Circuit, Renthal, Showa, TAG, Twin Air, and Works Connection.
Freestone Lites Overall:
1. Ryan Villopoto 1-1 Kaw
2. Ryan Dungey 2-2 Suz
3. Austin Stroupe 3-3 Kaw
4. Jake Weimer 4-4 GEICO Powersports Honda
5. Tommy Hahn 6-5 Kaw
6. Dan Reardon 11-7 GEICO Powersports Honda
7. Broc Tickle 10-8 Yam
8. Brett Metcalfe 9-9 Kaw
9. Andrew McFarlane 7-12 Kaw
10. Wil Hahn 16-6 Yam
AMA Lites National MX Championship (After 3 of 12 rounds):
1. Ryan Villopoto (141/2 wins)
2. Ryan Dungey (126)
3. Austin Stroupe (120/1 win)
4. Brett Metcalfe (96)
5. Jason Lawrence (95)
6. Jake Weimer (89)
7. Broc Tickle (56)
8. Tommy Hahn (54)
9. Dan Reardon (53)
10. Trey Canard (47)