450 Words: High Point

June 16, 2009 2:35pm
It was one of those weekends where everything just seemed to click. First and foremost, the weather cooperated—a victory in itself, since precipitation always seems to be an issue in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania. I think the annual rainfall at High Point Raceway exceeds that of the Pacific Northwest. Seriously.

  • Is this the last time we'll see Chad with a white number plate?
Secondly, the racing in both classes was excellent. It’s not often that fans have no idea who’s going to win either class before the race. Finally, to top it off, the 450 class was broadcast on NBC, with the second moto being shown live for the first time in the history of the sport. I think everyone involved deserves a big pat on the back. This was a huge step for our sport, and hopefully we’ll see more of it in the future.

As for the 450 class, someone was going to leave the hilly terrain of Southwestern Pennsylvania with a first career win. Many people assumed it would be Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Chad Reed, who looked to be the second-fastest rider behind Mike Alessi; others thought it would be JGRMX/Toyota Yamaha’s Josh Grant, who showed he had the speed to take a moto win back at Hangtown. Both Reed and Grant also have something in common: a 250-class win at this very same track (Reed’s coming in 2002, Grant’s in 2007).

Well, many assumed Reed would win, and they were right. Chad led a lap for the first time this season in the first moto and rode on to a solid 1-1 to take the 450 victory, thus inheriting the series points lead along the way. He now has a 19-point lead over his teammate, Mike Alessi, who had to sit out the event with a broken kneecap. Reed is now 24 points ahead of Andrew Short, who sits third in the standings after a solid runner-up finish on Saturday.

What happens from here? Like Jason Weigandt mentioned in 250 Words earlier today, this class was supposed to be the Villopoto-Alessi rematch, but look how the tables have turned. After this past weekend, Reed appears in complete control of the series, and if he can just keep it on two wheels (which he never has trouble doing), his first American motocross championship is well within grasp. It looks like his last-minute decision to join the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship was a smart one.

1. Chad Reed (Suz)
2. Andrew Short (Hon)
3. Ivan Tedesco (Hon)
4. Michael Byrne (Suz)
5. Cody Cooper (Yam)
6. Ricky Dietrich (Kaw)
7. Nick Wey (Yam)
8. Josh Grant (Yam)
9. Justin Brayton (KTM)
10. Tommy Hahn (Kaw)