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450 Words: Three Motos

The three-moto format at Loretta Lynn’s has often produced some peculiar situations for overall AMA National Motocross Championships. In most outdoor motocross circumstances, winning the first moto pretty much puts you in the driver’s seat for the overall win. This is far from the case at Loretta Lynn’s, where all three motos count towards the overall. In fact, at the end of the 27th annual AMA/Air Nautiques Amateur Nationals, six of the 33 championships up for grabs were won without the overall winner winning a single moto!

Three 20-minutes-plus two laps motos create more opportunity for mistakes, while provideing the chance for a contender to stay alive in the case of a mediocre opening moto. For example, the MX Lites C Stock class saw Mission Viejo’s Kyle Wolack post a fourth-place finish in the opening moto. Fourth is a very respectable finish, more than sufficient to keep you in the hunt for the title, but then Kyle placed fourth in the second moto as well, and his title hopes took a little more of a hit. He trailed the lowest scoring rider by two points going into the third moto, but his second-place finish there was enough to win him the national title with an unlikely 4-4-2 score.

Another rider that won a title with 11 points was Missouri’s Vince Friese, the Honda rider who took the MX Lites A class with a 3-2-6 tally. Contenders Les Smith, Michael Hall, and Blake Wharton each won a moto, but none were as consistent as Friese, and he went home with the title.

The Motocross A class title was also captured without a moto victory when North Carolina’s Taylor Futrell put down 3-2-4 moto scores. Justin Weeks won the opening moto, but would end up 28th overall after a DNF and an eleventh. The second moto winner, the aforementioned Vince Friese, finished 12th overall.

The MX Lites B Modified class was extremely inconsistent with two different winners, and one of them on a two-stroke! Justin Barcia won the opening moto, and then crashed to a 19th the second time around. Justin Howell won the second on an RM250 two-smoker, but it was California’s Travis Baker putting in 3-2-2 moto finishes for the overall.

Kentucky’s Clay Woeste won the 51cc (7-8) class with a 3-2-2, and then Texas’ Andrew Pierce rode consistent to a 3-3-3 score for the 65cc (7-11) Modified championship.

The three-moto format is rare in motocross now, but it never fails to produce interesting outcomes at Loretta Lynn’s. And for what it’s worth, the riders that won motos but lost the championships can still be proud of the gold medals they earned, knowing that the factory scouts were watching them.

The MX Lites B Modified class was extremely inconsistent with two different winners, and one of them on a two-stroke! Justin Barcia won the opening moto, and then crashed to a 19th the second time around. Justin Howell won the second on an RM250 two-smoker, but it was California’s Travis Baker putting in 3-2-2 moto finishes for the overall.

Kentucky’s Clay Woeste won the 51cc (7-8) class with a 3-2-2, and then Texas’ Andrew Pierce rode consistent to a 3-3-3 score for the 65cc (7-11) Modified championship.

The three-moto format is rare in motocross now, but it never fails to produce interesting outcomes at Loretta Lynn’s. And for what it’s worth, the riders that won motos but lost the championships can still be proud of the gold medals they earned, knowing that the factory scouts were watching them.
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