The amateur motocross circuit reached its peak over the past two weeks, grabbing the national spotlight with the sport’s two biggest amateur national events in Ponca City, Okla. and Hurricane Mills, Tenn. In the end, the Thor amateur team walked away with 13 championships and 41 podium finishes in tow.
Dean Wilson was the star of the amateur nationals, taking home five titles in the six classes he entered.
(Courtesy Vurb Moto)
The Ponca City Grand National Championship marked the first week of the 11-day racing voyage for the amateur program. Thor riders won six championships and an additional 14 podium positions.
Once again, Dean Wilson led the way with the most titles winning three championships at Ponca City. Wilson had his work cut out for him as other riders in the A Class were not going to make it easy for him to continue his winning streak. While leading the 450 A Stock Class, Wilson went down in a slippery section of the track. He fell to ninth place and had a 14-second deficit from first place to overcome. The Scotland native was able to remount his bike and charge back to second place for the overall championship.
Unfortunately, in the 450 A Mod Class Wilson didn’t have the same luck. While leading once again, he went into a corner in which the rut gave out causing both wheels to slip out from under him. Wilson was stuck under his bike for almost 10 seconds as Thor teammate Justin Weeks capitalized to make a pass for the lead. Weeks went into Ponca with the best fitness he has had in years. His championship in the 450 A Mod Class marked his first championship since 2006.
Justin Weeks experienced some breakthrough performances at Ponca and Loretta’s, capturing a pair of championships.
(Courtesy Vurb Moto)
Ponca also marked significant championships for a pair of Xtreme Team Green Kawasaki riders, Zack Freeberg and Justin Bogle. Ponca marked the first amateur national Freeberg has raced in almost a year. Lining up on the starting gate next to the nation’s top intermediate riders filled the 16 year old with nerves. After the first few motos, Freeberg seemed to relax into his normal riding style, winning the 450 4-Stroke Non-Pro Class.
Bogle has struggled this year with bad starts and horrible crashes. With school out for the summer, he was able to dedicate his time to train for the nationals. In almost every moto, Bogle rode in the top three, paying off at the end of the week when he took the title in the 125 2-Stroke Non-Pro Class.
Justin Bogle took the honors in the 125 2-Stroke Non-Pro at Ponca City.
(Courtesy Vurb Moto)
After a successful start to the busiest two weeks in amateur motocross, the Thor team packed up and made the voyage south to Loretta Lynn’s Ranch and the AMA /Air Nautiques Amateur National Motocross Championships. The Thor team captured 18 podium finishes, including six championships.
Sean Cantrell has proven to be the most consistent rider in the 65cc 7-9 Class this season. At Loretta’s, he stayed true to consistency to take the 65cc 7-9 stock Class crown.
Matt Tedder Sr. made history at The Ranch this year, becoming the inaugural champion of the new Masters 50 Plus Class.
With a Ponca title to his credit, Justin Weeks came into Loretta’s with a newfound confidence after his great performance just one week prior. Weeks put his Rockstar Suzuki on top of the podium in every moto of the 450 A Class for a perfect 1-1-1 moto sweep for the overall.
Sean Cantrell holds his number 1 plate high after winning the 65 (7-9) Stock Class at Loretta’s.(Courtesy Vurb Moto)
Justin Starling entered the 2009 season without any manufacturer help. In search of a bike, he was able to get a little help from close family friend and fellow Thor rider Travis Pastrana. The freestyle star and former motocross champion gave Starling his practice Suzuki RMZ-450. Determined to get the support of a bike manufacturer for next year; Starling was methodical in his training to get prepared for Loretta’s. All his hard work and determination paid off when he captured the title in the 450 B Stock Class.
After a successful year on the amateur national circuit and a dominating debut in the MX2 class at the Canadian Motocross Nationals, Dean Wilson came into Loretta’s with a huge amount of pressure to maintain the high standard of performance he set for himself. He handled the pressure with ease taking titles in the 250 A and 450 A Pro Sport classes. In addition to the two championships, Wilson was awarded the prestigious Horizon Award as the top performer among every class at Loretta’s.
Thanks to his pair of championships at Loretta’s, Wilson received the prestigious
Horizon Award for 2009.
(Courtesy Vurb Moto)
“Winning the horizon award is a great achievement,” boasted Wilson. “That’s what all of my hard work for the past ten years has been working towards. I couldn’t have ended my amateur career on a better note.”
While Thor’s presence on the track was inspiring, its presence off the track was equally impressive. One of the strongest supporters of Loretta Lynn’s, Thor and Parts Unlimited provided numerous amenities, activities and events for the thousands camping out to both watch and participate in the festivities.
As part of the 2010 launch of the newest and most technologically advanced gear from Thor, all team riders introduced the new lineup to the masses by wearing the latest apparel on the track. Adding to the Global Launch, Thor’s professional stars visited The Ranch to sign autographs for the fans. Ryan Villopoto, Jeremy McGrath, Ryan Morais and even freestyle daredevil Robbie Maddison made special appearances, enjoying the on-track action as well as the summer camp feel surrounding the event.
The Hall of Champions was a hit for all in attendance at Loretta Lynn’s, honoring champions from past and present.
(Courtesy Thor MX)
The brand new “Hall of Champions” served as a highlight of Loretta’s, celebrating champions of past and present at the 28th running of the event. To start the week off right, a pit bike race brought the fans to their feet on Wednesday night while Thor/Pro Circuit appreciation dinner gave thanks to all sponsored riders and their families.
It was a memorable couple weeks for everyone involved and with such strong showings by the talented Thor amateur competitors, the future is looking bright.
Ponca City Champions
Dean Wilson – 250 Mod Pro; 250 Stock Pro; 450 Stock Pro
Justin Weeks – 450 Mod Pro
Justin Bogle – 125 2-Stroke Non-Pro
Zack Freeberg – 450 4-Stroke Non-Pro
Carter Haplain – Super Pee Wee 6-9
Dean Wilson – 450 Mod Pro
Tyler Sjoberg – 250 Mod Pro
Justin Weeks – 250 Stock Pro; 450 Stock Pro
Tristan Charboneau – 85 Mod Thru 11
Carter Halpain – Junior Cycle Stock 6-8; PW Mod 7-8
Logan Leitzel – PW Stock 7-8
Tyler Sjoberg – 250 Stock Pro; 450 Mod Pro
Tyler Stewart – 85/150 Mod 14-16
Logan Leitzel – Super Pee Wee 6-9
Carter Halpain – Junior Cycle Mod 6-8
Lance Kobusch – PW Mod 7-8; PW Stock 7-8
Loretta Lynn’s Champions
Dean Wilson – 250 A; 450 A/Pro Sport
Justin Weeks – 450 A
Justin Starling – 450 B Stock
Matt Tedder Sr. – Masters 50 Plus
Sean Cantrell – 65 (7-9) Stock
Malcolm Stewart – 450 A; Four Stroke
Jeremy Martin – Super Mini 1 (12-15); Super Mini 2 (14-16)
Justin Bogle – Schoolboy 2 (14-16) B/C
Sara Price – Women (14 Plus)
Sean Cantrell – 65 (7-11) Modified
Zack Freeberg – 250 B Modified
Tracy Morgan – 250 C Stock
John Grewe – Vet 35 Plus; Senior 40 Plus
Justin Dunn – 65 (7-9) Stock
Cole Thompson – Super Mini 1 (12-15)
About Parts Unlimited
Parts Unlimited is the world's largest distributor of aftermarket accessories in the powersports industry and is owned by LeMans Corporation headquartered in Janesville, Wisconsin. Parts Unlimited sells to over 12,000 dealerships world wide and continues to expand its market penetration with its sister companies, Parts Canada, Parts Europe and Drag Specialties.
Parts Unlimited continues to promote racing through its campaign WE SUPPORT THE SPORT®, helping to drive consumers to dealerships, while entertaining its dealers through hospitalities at the events it sponsors.
About Thor Motocross
Thor is one of the originators of motocross apparel. When Torsten Hallman made his first U.S trip to race and promote motocross in 1966, he inadvertently started to develop Thor riding gear. Thor is a hardcore, grass roots company that understands what it takes to reach the top and more importantly, how to stay there. It is one of a few companies with over 40 years experience in the motocross marketplace.