The first race of the second half of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship season couldn’t have gone much better for Chad Reed, whose second overall win gave him a commanding lead in the 450 Class points. Even though things did not work out as well in the 250 Class, both Christophe Pourcel, who maintained his overall podium streak, and Jake Weimer left Spring Creek with solid results that solidified their spots in the standings.
An Early Arrival
The series’ annual visit to Millville, Minn., for the Honda Motocross National came a month earlier than usual, and the riders and teams were greeted by overcast skies and some morning showers. That didn’t keep the fans from pouring into Spring Creek MX Park, though. Some, however, did dress in long sleeves and jeans instead of the normal summer attire.
Break Lets Reed Address Health Issue
The break in the schedule between rounds six and seven of the 12-race season may have been exactly what Reed needed to put him in the physical and mental condition necessary to seize control of the 450 Class championship. The two-time Supercross Series title-holder has been hampered by a mysterious stomach ailment all season, but during the downtime he worked closely with his doctor and said after claiming his second overall win that it was the first time he felt he could ride at his best since the outdoor season got under way.
Those are not encouraging words to his rivals since the Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki team leader will go into this weekend’s event at Washougal, Wash., leading Honda teammates Andrew Short and Ivan Tedesco by 37 and 49 points, respectively.
A Good Place to Race
Reed said before Saturday’s activity that Spring Creek was one of his three favorite tracks, even though he had finished 10th overall there on his most recent visit in 2007. He demonstrated why he likes the track so much with 2-1 moto finishes and second overall win in the last four races.
A Perfect Day Despite the Gray
Reed got the holeshot in Saturday’s first moto, but shortly thereafter was overtaken by Joe Gibbs Racing’s Josh Grant, the overall winner at RedBud. Those two quickly pulled away from the field and Reed mounted a late charge before settling for second. In the second moto, Honda’s Ivan Tedesco got out front at the start, but by the end of lap three Reed had his Suzuki in the lead and was never threatened.
“In the first moto, I was super-happy with my start,” the Florida resident said. “It seems like the starts are finally coming together for me. I did struggle a bit coming out of the whoops and we made a few changes to the bike that really helped in the second moto. It’s good to get more points in the championship. That’s the main thing, to keep those points coming in.
“What a perfect day. I love this track and I had a blast out there. The weather was cool, the track was nice and smooth, and we were just going for it. I felt real comfortable today and I want to thank all the Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki guys for working so hard.”
Hill Shows Good Speed
Josh Hill continues his season-long battle to find the consistency that will make him a contender. The Yamaha rider from Murrieta, Calif. was fast all day, standing third overall in practice and passing 18 riders en route to a 10th place finish in the first moto. He wound up 16th overall, however, after a 34th in moto two and is 21st in the point standings.
Pourcel Holds Onto Points Lead
Young Frenchman Christophe Pourcel failed to win a 250 Class moto for the first time this season in Millville, but remained the only rider in the class to stand on the overall podium after each round of the series by finishing 2-2 for second overall. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider also continued to impress with his maturity by keeping the championship uppermost in his mind and turning in a consistent, intelligent ride that kept him in the points lead.
Weimer’s Winning Streak Snapped
Jake Weimer couldn’t make it three in a row, but his outing at round seven still worked to his benefit. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider had taken overall honors at the past two races, but never had the chance to threaten the front-runners at Spring Creek. The Idaho resident was sixth overall with moto finishes of 6th and 7th and gained a spot in the point standings moving into sixth, just 10 points out of the top five.
The Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship continues next week for its final trip out west with the Motosport.com Motocross National in Washougal, Wash. The series' eighth round also marks the return of the Women’s Motocross Class and its sixth round of 2009, featuring ThorMX rider Sara Price.
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