250 Words: Glen Helen

May 26, 2009 10:30am | by:

  • Ryan Dungey picked things up where they ended last season
  • Barcia set a blistering pace in both 250 motos
  • Once Canard caught Barcia in moto 1, he just couldn't find a way around
  • Pourcel just wasn't the same rider in moto 2 as he was in moto 1
First of all, Ryan Dungey is not soft. He’s not likely to fold again either like he did last season in supercross. The Rockstar/Makita Suzuki rider was solid at Glen Helen, just as he was solid in clamping down on the West Region title in Monster Energy AMA Supercross. He positioned himself as the series front-runner by being the only one to run up front at the end of both motos.

And then there are the foreign newcomers to Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross: South Africa’s Tyla Rattray, Frenchman Christophe Pourcel, and England’s Tommy Searle. They all rode fast, smart and strong. Pourcel’s methodical ride to the win in moto one was JMB-like, and he also said one of the funniest things anyone has ever said on a podium: When ask by Erin Bates if he had any gas left for the second moto, he looked puzzled, then pointed to the tank on his #377 Pro Circuit Kawasaki and told her, “But they will put more in.” Had Dungey not been there, the Grand Prix guys would have gone 1-2-3 in the final results. Somewhere over in Europe, MXGeoff should be brimming with pride!

This brings us to the real revelation of the day, Justin Barcia. Now I have been lucky enough to see a lot of great national debuts, from Jean-Michel Bayle’s stunning win at Gainesville ’89 to last year’s fast start by Blake Wharton (now Barcia’s GEICO Powersports Honda teammate), but I really can’t recall being more impressed with a maiden voyage than what that MTF graduate did at Glen Helen, a track that gets so rough and choppy and deep that it’s unlike anything an amateur will ever see, no matter how many places he visits growing up.

{LINKS}Barcia led more laps than anyone. He ran out of gas after a terrific first-moto fight for the lead, then came back and did it again—and for even longer—the second time out. The belief in this kid by longtime acquaintances like David Izer of DMXS Radio or Wes Williams of Vurbmoto.com is well-placed. In fact, I am now worried about the bet I made with Izer on DMXS that he wouldn’t win three motos this summer; if he rides like that at Hangtown this weekend, he might get two of them out of the way in a hurry!