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450 Words: Southwick

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  • Goerke overcame a first moto tumble and a 40th gate pick to win his first national.
  • How do the old guys stay so fast at Southwick?
  • Robbie Marshall was challenged for second place late in moto 1.
The 2009 Southwick national was certainly an epic race and I’m not sure four hundred and fifty words can cover just what happened out there. For a fan such as myself, there were so many plot points, twists, turns and MacGuffins out there that it was like a great mystery novel.

The story after the first moto at Southwick was Chad Reed and his continued dominance of the 450 nationals. By all rights, the race was his to win. He was the best rider at Southwick and was well into checking out in the second moto for a 1-1 day when disaster struck. Cross-rutting the finish and crashing heavily ended his day early. Reed was thought to be the major player at the start of the day but in the end, was nothing more than a MacGuffin.

A central character ended up being a rider that was in the peripheral of the story when you were talking about who could do what. Matt Georke picked up a vacated Factory Yamaha machine, went out this weekend and won the whole thing with a fantastic 6-1 score. Matt has always been a great sand rider and to see him up front this weekend wasn’t that big of a shock. The 6-1 score for the overall was a shock, but the way 2009 has gone, it was to be expected.

Certainly everyone who reads novels loves when someone’s past life intersects with the present, and at the ‘Wick, the old man that once held court at the track was once again making his presence felt. The Junkyard Dog, John Dowd, is a hero of the faithful. Dowd’s days of big factory checks, regular podiums and championships are long gone and no one would blame him if he would’ve sat back in his rocker, looked up at his awards and been proud. There was nothing more to accomplish for a most unlikely motocross hero.

  • A happy, dirty, Junkyard Dog.
  • The race was Reed's to lose, and he lost it with a big get-off.
The only reason for John Dowd to come out to the national and lineup was for fun. The fun that comes with flowing around a sand track, the bike moving underneath you while you’re pinned. The fun of going out there with nothing to prove and no matter where you finish, getting a pat on the back and a “Good job.”

Only John Dowd wasn’t into just having fun. His inspiring eighth to second charge in the second moto was spurred on by the competitive desire that he once dealt with minute by minute. The fans cheering him on around the track was just like back in the old days, and for 30 minutes plus two laps, MX-338 was John Dowd’s house once again.

And that, my friends, made him the star in what has been an awesome novel titled, “The 2009 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship.”

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