Southwick Race Report

In one of the most turbulent championships seasons in AMA Pro Motocross history, things got turned upside-down in both classes at Southwick's Motocross 338, round 11 of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship.

  • Ryan Dungey (10) tries to shove Blake Wharton (61) out of the way off the start of the first 250cc moto. Wharton still came away with the lead for a while.
  • Wharton led for a bit, eventually finishing third in the first moto.
  • Dungey took over the lead in the first moto for a bit, and ran as high as third in moto two coming from behind.
  • Justin Barcia chased Dungey down in both motos to go 1-3 for his first-ever overall victory.
  • Tyla Rattray won moto two and finished second overall.
  • Brett Metcalfe had a solid day, going 4-2 for third overall.
  • Barcia celebrates his first-ever moto victory at Southwick.
  • Barcia sprays the bubbly at Southwick.
Coming into the event, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel led the 250cc class by a full 13 points over Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey, and Dungey needed help to win the title, because even if he won every moto from Southwick on to the end of the year, Pourcel would only have to finish second each time to secure the championship.

However, ask and ye shall receive. At Southwick, things went pear-shaped on Pourcel something fierce.

In moto one, Pourcel got a horrible start on the wet, sandy, rutted circuit and moved slowly forward until he sat fifth, while Dungey sat second. The points gap between the positions was six points, and if things stayed that way, the two would’ve gone into moto two only seven points apart.

However, with less than two laps to go, Pourcel’s bike gave up the ghost. He ended the moto with a DNF and no points scored. Dungey did all he could do in second, but he had to settle for the spot, as rookie sensation Justin Barcia, from the GEICO Powersports Honda team, took his first-ever moto victory after passing Dungey around the halfway point.

Barcia’s teammates Blake Wharton and Brett Metcalfe were third and fourth, and Pourcel’s teammates Austin Stroupe and Tyla Rattray were fifth and sixth.

Moto two was all Tyla Rattray out front, though. He got the holeshot and led every lap. However, Pourcel was the last one up in a first-turn pileup and rejoined the race in last while his title rival Dungey rounded lap one in 14th. Barcia was 17th. Metcalfe was second.

As Barcia chased Dungey through the pack, Pourcel worked his way forward, but his advance stalled at 10th place, and then he lost that spot to teammate Jake Weimer, who fell early in the race and took a long time starting his bike. Weimer eventually caught up to ninth.

Barcia worked on Dungey until they sat third and fourth at about the halfway point, and then Barcia took over the third position with two laps to go, solidifying his first-ever AMA National victory. Rattray won the moto over Metcalfe. Dungey was fourth, Ryan Sipes fifth, Tommy Searle sixth.

Pourcel finished well off the pace in 11th and leaves Southwick with a 17-point deficit to make up at the final next weekend at Steel City. It’s a daunting task, to be sure, but at the same time, Dungey made up 30 points in one day at Southwick, so anything’s possible.

250cc O/A:
1. Justin Barcia (Hon)
2. Tyla Rattray (Kaw)
3. Brett Metcalfe (Hon)
4. Ryan Dungey (Suz)
5. Taylor Futrell (Hon)
6. Tommy Searle (KTM)
7. Blake Wharton (Hon)
8. Broc Tickle (Yam)
9. Jake Weimer (Kaw)
10. Blake Baggett (Kaw)

250cc Points Standings (After 11 of 12 rounds):
1. Ryan Dungey (459/4 wins)
2. Christophe Pourcel (442/3 wins)
3. Brett Metcalfe (352)
4. Jake Weimer (322/3 wins)
5. Justin Barcia (312/1 win)
6. Tommy Searle (309)
7. Broc Tickle (263)
8. Blake Wharton (240)
9. Tyla Rattray (236)
10. Kyle Cunningham (174)

  • Chad Reed (22) got squirrelly out of the gate and cut off John Dowd (16) and company in moto one. He led every lap of the moto. In moto two, though, he took a hard fall while leading and DNF'd.
  • John Dowd, at 44 years of age, went 10-2 for third overall.
  • Michael Byrne went 3-3 for second overall.
  • Factory replacement rider Matt Goerke pulled a Kenny Keylon at Southwick, winning the national overall.
In the 450cc class, it was all Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Chad Reed in moto one. He got the holeshot and led every lap, running away with a wire-to-wire victory over fellow Aussies Jake Moss (Monster Energy Kawasaki) and Michael Byrne. Rookie Kyle Regal was fourth in the first moto, in yet another strong ride, and local boy Robby Marshall was fifth, just in front of Valli Yamaha’s Matt Goerke, Honda Red Bull Racing’s Andrew Short, Jagermeister KTM’s Justin Brayton, Canidae/Motosport Kawasaki’s Tommy Hahn, local legend John Dowd and Floridian Ricky Renner (riding a 2007 Honda CRF450R practice bike).

In the second moto, Short got the holeshot but was quickly passed by Reed, then by Goerke for second, then by Dowd for third, Byrne for fourth, Hahn and Tedesco for fifth and sixth, etc. Reed led until just after the finish line on lap 9 of 16, when he cross-rutted and went down hard on the downside of the finish-line jump, handing the lead to Goerke.

Goerke led the rest of the race and, in his third race as a replacement rider at Team Yamaha, won his first-ever AMA National overall. He had never been on the podium at a national previous to this one.

Byrne finished second overall with a 3-3 and Dowd was a very popular third with a 10-2.

However, the championship was decided last week, so even if Reed sits out the finale as he recovers from his bruises and bumps, the championship is over.

450cc O/A:
1. Matt Goerke (Yam)
2. Michael Byrne (Suz)
3. John Dowd (Kaw)
4. Tommy Hahn (Kaw)
5. Robby Marshall (Suz)
6. Kyle Regal (Yam)
7. Andrew Short (Hon)
8. Chad Reed (Suz)
9. Jake Moss (Kaw)
10. Ricky Renner (Hon)

450cc Points Standings (After 11 of 12 rounds):
1. Chad Reed (459/5 wins)
2. Andrew Short (356)
3. Ivan Tedesco (338/1 win)
4. Michael Byrne (316)
5. Josh Grant (280/1 win)
6. Tommy Hahn (259)
7. Justin Brayton (214)
8. Cody Cooper (184)
9. Nick Wey (182)
10. Jimmy Albertson (164)