CANIDAE Kawasaki Steel City Report

CANIDAE Kawasaki’s Tommy Hahn brought home his first, and the team’s first 450 National overall victory by capturing his first win in Moto #1 and finishing a strong 4th in Moto #2 to grab the overall championship this past weekend at Steel City.

Delmont, PA - Tommy Hahn has performed extremely well this season but the young rider from Decatur, TX in his rookie season in the premier class, has been working so hard to take that next step in his career…a win! As the season starts to wind down on the 2009 Motocross National Series, team CANIDAE Kawasaki is fighting hard to improve on what has already been a fantastic season for the team.

As the gate dropped for Moto1, Hahn would round the first corner inside the top 5. He would quickly begin to move to the front as he picked off riders that were between him and victory. By lap 3, Hahn would get around Andrew Short and Jeff Alessi to grab the lead but that lead would be short lived as Short got back by the next lap as well as his teammate, Ivan Tedesco. Hahn would move up to 2nd when Tedesco had problems and began to pressure Short again for the lead. On lap 7, Hahn would grab the lead and this time, he would make the pass stick and quickly put distance on the rest of the field. When the checkered flags flew, Hahn rode an aggressive and smart race to take his  very first Moto win by almost 6 seconds! This is a huge accomplishment for the young rider in his first year in the premier class. Great job Tommy!

Moto 1 for the 250 class would see CANIDAE Kawasaki riders Kyle Cunningham and PJ Larsen on the line, ready to put an exclamation point on this 2009 season. As the 40 riders shot out of the gate, the CANIDAE boys would get off the line way back in the pack. Larsen would be in 22nd and Cunningham would be 38th as they rounded the first corner.  Cunningham went on a charge and passed 20 riders before the moto was finished for a hard fought 18th place. Larsen would finish in 14th when the checkered flags flew.

Moto 2 for the 450 class would line up for the last time this year with the tension for the CANIDAE team at a fevered pitch. As the gate fell, Hahn would muscle his way into a 5th place start and in perfect position to finish on the podium for the day. As the riders began to string out, the CANIDAE Kawasaki team began to do the math, it was clear that not only did Hahn have an opportunity to finish on the podium; he was in a position to win the overall for the day! Tommy would get into fourth place before the end of lap 1 and then begin to work on Andrew Short in 3rd place.  By the end of the lap, Hahn was comfortably sitting in third place, and if the moto ended then, he would have the overall win for the day but there was well over 30 minutes of racing left. With signals coming in from his mechanic, Jason Thomas, Hahn knew he just needed to maintain his position to take home the coveted win but Hahn found himself of the back tire of Jake Moss in 2nd place. As the battle grew more intense between the two riders, Hahn realized he did not need to risk a crash because Moss did not factor into the overall standings and he would back off just a bit to play it safe. Ivan Tedesco was moving up quickly and he was putting pressure on Hahn for his 3rd place position. On lap 11, Tedesco made a move on Tommy that would push the CANIDAE rider back to 4th place but the position did not matter as long as Tedesco did not win the moto and Tommy was still in the driver’s seat for the overall. Hahn was as cool as the other side of the pillow as he methodically made his way through the last few laps and crossed the finish line with a 4th place finish and 1st place overall! What a great win for this young man as well as the team, his mechanic, team manager Bill Keefe and team owner Bobby Hewitt. So few will reach this level of racing but even fewer will win at this, the pinnacle of the sport, and Tommy Hahn has done just that. Congratulations team CANIDAE Kawasaki rider Thomas Hahn!  

Moto 2 for the 250 riders would be up next and be the last professional motocross race of the year. PJ Larsen would finish the first lap in 20th place and Kyle Cunningham in 25th, not the way these riders wanted to end their respective seasons. Both riders would put on a charge that would see them head towards the front. PJ would pass six riders as he finished lap 2 in 14th place and Kyle would keep the pressure on in the 20th spot. By lap 4, Larsen had worked his way to 12th and Cunningham was in 17th but closing the gap. At the half was point in the race, the CANIDAE teammates were side by side, and battling for position as Cunningham moved passed the rookie into 13th place. With two laps to go, Larsen would crash hard right after the finish line jump and that would put an end to the rider’s day and season. Kyle was still moving forward but was running out of time. He would only be able to pass one more rider to finish in the 12th position when the checkered flags flew. This was a great comeback ride from this Cunningham, after a tough start. These two riders are the future of the sport and will be the ones to watch next year.

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