MORGANTOWN, W.V. - After a pair of first-time winners stood atop the podium last weekend in Colorado, it is anyone's guess as to who will take the checkered flag in the 450 and 250 classes at Saturday's Monster Energy Motocross National from RedBud in Buchanan, Mich. The race marks the halfway point of the 2009 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship season with round six of 12.
One of the most popular stops on the circuit, RedBud has been dubbed "America's Track" and has served as the centerpiece of the series since its inception in 1974. In 1978, RedBud hosted its first national over the 4th of July weekend and has been American Motocross' Independence Day tradition since its inception. The southwestern Michigan track is notorious for its massive tabletops and the infamous LaRocco's Leap, the largest jump in the series at 120 feet, named after Indiana-born legend Mike LaRocco who became the first rider to ever complete the uphill triple.
For 2009, RedBud will continue its role as the centerpiece of the three-race Monster Energy Triple Crown of Motocross. Current class points leaders Chad Reed and Christophe Pourcel took victories at the opening round of the Triple Crown two races ago at High Point. They both return looking to stay in the hunt for the $25,000 bonus that comes with sweeping all three events and will lead 78 of their rivals out of the gates. Competition from the 450 class will be shown live on NBC beginning at 4:30 ET.
Last weekend, the series completed its only round under the lights at Thunder Valley MX. Honda Red Bull Racing's Ivan Tedesco captured his first-career overall victory in the 450 Class after a dominating 1-1 performance. The 2005 Lites (now 250) Class champion was at the top of his game all evening and moved into third in the standings thanks to his performance.
"This is actually my first win outdoors since 2005," said Tedesco. "I won (in Colorado) in the (250 Class) and that lead to a championship in that class. It's been a long time coming and I've had to battle through some injuries over the years, but I feel like I'm in top form and it feels great. This year didn't start out great at the first race, but I've had podiums and great runs since then."
Tedesco's Honda Red Bull Racing teammate Andrew Short finished second in front of his hometown fans while Canidae/Motosport.com/Kawasaki's Tommy Hahn captured his first career podium. All three riders enter this weekend with considerable momentum with each of the red riders closing in on Reed and his Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki team atop the standings. Also stepping into the mix on Saturday will be Dewitt, Mich. native Nick Wey. The series' top privateer always performs well at his home track and will be eager to build upon his fourth place finish one year ago and reach the podium.
After leaving round four without scoring a single point, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Jake Weimer rebounded impressively with moto finishes of second and first to capture the first motocross victory of his career in the 250 Class. Teammate Pourcel and Muscle Milk/MDK/KTM's Tommy Searle completed the podium.
"This was something huge for me," boasted Weimer. "I didn't know if I was going to ever get an outdoor win. I got two good starts on my Kawasaki and I only made one small mistake in the second moto. I'm really excited because this is my first moto and overall wins."
With a huge wave of momentum behind him and the confidence to win, Weimer's desire to overcome last season's 13th place result at RedBud will be considerable. Pourcel has been strong all season, despite never having been to any of the tracks on the schedule. He built upon his advantage over Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki's Ryan Dungey, who suffered from misfortune in Michigan one year ago with a 14th place result.
The Independence Day celebration at RedBud was led by green machines in 2008 as eventual series champions and Kawasaki riders James Stewart and Ryan Villopoto stood atop the podium. For Stewart, it was his sixth overall victory and 12th moto win en route to a perfect season while Villopoto continued an impressive streak of his own, winning his 11th moto in a row out of 12. Additionally, each rider claimed their second Triple Crown victory, setting the stage for a $25,000 run for the money at the series finale. With each rider absent from the 2009 season, the 450 Class will see just its third different winner in the last eight years at RedBud while the 250 Class will be won by someone other than Ryan Villopoto for the first time since his move into the professional ranks.
On Friday, July 3, the Monster Energy Fan Fest will give the faithful RedBud fans a chance to check out the national track before the world's best riders blast out of the gates. The Monster Energy Kawasaki team and its riders Timmy Ferry and Ricky Dietrich will be on hand to sign autographs as will the Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki squad of Chad Reed, Michael Byrne, and Ryan Dungey. Gates open for Fan Fest at 4 p.m.
Additionally, the first of four rounds of the FMF 2-Stroke Invitational Series will commence during intermission on Saturday between the pro motos. The familiar and well-loved sound of two-stroke engines will resonate through the facility as motocross legends Ricky Carmichael, Jeff Stanton, and Jeff Emig lead a loaded field from the Michigan Mafia out of the gates in this special event.
Kids (6-11 years) $35
Children under 5 FREE
Kids (6-11) $15
Children under 5 FREE
Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Standings
Round 5 of 12 at Thunder Valley MX
450 Class (Moto Finish)
- Ivan Tedesco, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda (1-1)
- Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda (2-2)
- Tommy Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Kawasaki (7-3)
- Chad Reed, Australia, Suzuki (3-7)
- Michael Byrne, Australia, Suzuki (6-4)
- Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha (5-5)
- Ricky Dietrich, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki (11-6)
- Jimmy Albertson, Ozark, Mo., Yamaha (10-9)
- Kyle Summers, Discovery Bay, Calif., Yamaha (9-10)
- Jake Moss, Australia, Honda (4-33)
450 Class Championship Standings
- Chad Reed, Australia, Suzuki, 195
- Andrew Short, Smithville, Tex., Honda, 181
- Ivan Tedesco, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda, 160
- Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha, 151
- Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki, 142
- Thomas Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Kawasaki, 123
- Michael Byrne, Australia, Suzuki, 117
- Cody Cooper, New Zealand, Yamaha, 104
- Ricky Dietrich, Menifee, Calif., Kawasaki, 88
- Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 79
250 Class (Moto Finish)
- Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki (2-1)
- Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki (1-6)
- Tommy Searle, Great Britain, KTM (5-3)
- Justin Barcia, Cairo, Ga., Honda (9-2)
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki (6-4)
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha (3-8)
- Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Honda (7-5)
- Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Honda (4-11)
- Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki (8-9)
- Darryn Durham, Wildomar, Calif., Yamaha (10-12)
250 Class Championship Standings
- Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki, 217
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 208
- Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki, 160
- Tommy Searle, Great Britain, KTM, 153
- Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Honda, 144
- Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Honda, 141
- Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 139
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha, 130
- Justin Barcia, Cairo, Ga., Honda, 117
- Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki, 113
For more information, please contact Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship media coordinator Brandon Short via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (949) 365-5752.
For fan and racing information on the 2009 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, log onto www.allisports.com.
MX Sports Pro Racing
MX Sports Pro Racing manages and produces the world's most prestigious motocross series - the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. An industry leader in off road powersport production and management, its mission is to raise awareness of motocross racing through the production of professional championship racing events nationwide. Through its various racing properties, partnerships and affiliates, MX Sports Pro Racing fields more than 60,000 action sports athletes each year and attracts millions of active fans, spectators and enthusiasts. For more information, please visit www.mxsportsproracing.com.
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Alli, the Alliance of Action Sports, is a global business that encompasses national and international action sports tours and events, multimedia production, and a consumer facing lifestyle brand. The Alliance includes: the Dew Tour, Winter Dew Tour, China Invitational, Maloof Money Cup, Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, King of Wake series, and the Gatorade Free Flow Tour; Alli TV Productions, which creates original content, produces and presents content with partners, and distributes Alli content through a variety of channels. Alli is owned by NBC Sports and MTV Networks and represents a network of athletes, fans, brands and properties. Its mission is to facilitate the momentous growth of action sports, through competition and lifestyle, for a new generation of fans and athletes. The Alli properties are home to more than 550,000 spectators each year and broadcasts more than 150 hours of original content in 100 countries and 280 million homes worldwide. More information can be found at www.allisports.com.
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Lucas Oil is a worldwide leader in the production of oils, greases, and additives. Based in Corona, Calif., Lucas Oil Products is one of the fastest-growing additive lines in the consumer automotive industry, featuring a premium line of oils, greases, and problem-solving additives. Through innovative product research and development, along with aggressive marketing programs, Lucas Oil Products has established itself as the top-selling additive line in the American truck-stop industry.
Forrest Lucas and his wife, Charlotte, founded Lucas Oil Products in 1989 after he spent 20 years as a truck driver and owner of a nationwide long-haul trucking fleet. They experienced firsthand the need for better lubricants and fuel treatments to maintain their equipment.
Lucas Oil is involved in an array of motorsports sponsorships, including the "Official Motor Oil of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship." For more information on Lucas Oil, please visit www.LucasOil.com.
AMA Pro Racing
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. From its Daytona Beach headquarters, the organization operates and manages AMA Pro Road Racing, which includes AMA Pro American Superbike, AMA Pro Daytona SportBike, AMA Pro SuperSport and AMA Pro SunTrust Moto-GT. AMA Pro Racing also manages and works closely with the day-to-day operational organizations of the AMA Pro Flat Track Championship and the AMA Pro Supermoto Championship Series in addition to other two-wheel and ATV series. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.