Historically, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Chad Reed hasn’t gotten along very well with the Unadilla circuit, but he hoped to change it going into this year’s event.
MCRMX’s Jeff Alessi got the first-moto 450cc holeshot, and like his older brother Mike is accustomed to doing, he actually began to pull away from second-placed Davi Millsaps of the Honda Red Bull Racing team. On lap three, though, Alessi crashed out of the lead, handing the spot to Millsaps as Reed was working his way toward the leaders.
After five total laps, Reed had not only caught Millsaps, but passed him, and quickly began to pull away. Over the next half of the race, Millsaps lost touch with Reed and then fell into the clutches of Canidae/Motosport Kawasaki’s Tommy Hahn, who moved into second with four laps to go. Then Millsaps had to fight off Reed’s teammate Michael Byrne, and he was able to do so successfully.
Reed took the win over Hahn, Millsaps, Byrne, Andrew Short, Ivan Tedesco and visiting GP rider Gareth Swanepoel (from the Monster Kawasaki squad for the weekend).
Short got the start in moto two and looked like a new man (or the old Andrew Short we’re used to). However, Reed started close to the front and it wasn’t long before he was working on Short for the lead, and he passed Short on lap five, again immediately checking out.
Short hung on for second over Byrne, Jagermeister KTM’s Justin Brayton, Valli Yamaha’s Kyle Regal, Swanepoel, Ferry and Tedesco.
Reed took his fifth moto win in a row, and the second two-moto sweep in a row, on his way to the overall. Short was second and Byrne was third.
With three rounds left, Reed leads by 82 points over Short.
Muscle Milk KTM’s Martin Davalos got the holeshot to start the opening 250cc moto but was quickly overtaken by Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel. The slick, rutted Unadilla surface obviously agreed with Pourcel, and he quickly pulled out to a massive lead as championship rival Ryan Dungey worked his way through from outside the top five.
Pourcel’s teammate Jake Weimer chased him in second early on, only to lose a spot to Dungey when the Suzuki rider finally made his way up to that position.
Sure not to give anyone a chance, Pourcel actually got the holeshot in the second moto and split. He led his teammate Weimer, Wharton, Austin Stroupe, Justin Barcia and Dungey early on. However, by the end of the moto, the second moto looked much like the first, with the top four repeating from moto one.
Although Pourcel and Dungey came into the event tied in points, they left with Pourcel leading Dungey by six points with three rounds left to run.
The “other” rider in the class, GEICO Powersports Honda’s Kevin Windham, qualified third and raced his way to a decent finish in the first moto, but he missed the staging call for moto two and was forced to take the last gate pick on the far outside. His horrible start led to a un-Windham-like finish.