As one of the longest running tracks in American motocross, Unadilla will challenge the riders with its high speed, hilly terrain. Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey leads the way in the 450 Class with a seven race win streak, but this weekend he will be greeted by a new challenger as San Manuel Yamaha's James Stewart returns to the outdoor nationals. The 2008 champion will compete in the final four races of the season and should bring additional excitement to the fold.
Over in the 250 Class, GEICO Powersports Honda's Trey Canard has been hot to say the least. With three straight wins, the third-year rider has moved into second in the championship standings and is slowing chipping away at points leader Christophe Pourcel's advantage.
The return to action for all the stars of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship is something fans won't want to miss. For those who can't be one of the thousands in attendance, live coverage of the final 450 Class moto can be seen exclusively on NBC Sports on Saturday beginning at 3 p.m. ET. Coverage of the 250 Class will air on SPEED on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.
With a 95-point lead over Andrew Short, Ryan Dungey looks to be in position to claim the 2010 450 Class title. His seven-race win streak is a record for a rookie competitor and with a trio of runner-up finishes at Unadilla to his credit from the 250 Class, he is looking forward to racing at a track he's done well at in the past.
"It's been a good couple of weeks since Washougal," said Dungey. "I was able to get off the bike for a couple days, which was nice. It's been a long season, I think 25 races so far, so getting away is good mentally and physically. I'm really looking forward to Unadilla and the rest of the outdoor season. I think we're in a good position to finish strong and wrap a pretty good rookie season."
In addition to Dungey on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450s, Clement Desalle, the Belgian who's currently running in second place in the MX1 GP, will also be joining in on the Unadilla action aboard the Suzuki RM-Z450 before heading to Brazil for the next stop in the World Championships.
Honda Red Bull Racing Andrew Short continues to solidify his runner-up spot in the 450 Class championship. The Texas resident has back-to-back second place efforts over the last two rounds and is settling into a groove as the season moves forward. Last season he finished second at Unadilla and will look for his third podium result on Saturday.
Kevin Windham's return to the outdoor nationals continues to go well. In his second race back, the veteran once again ran at the front of the field but appeared to tire in the late stages of both motos to post a pair of ninth-place finishes. As his stamina increase throughout each round, Windham will look to land on the overall podium before season's end.
GEICO Powersports Honda Brett Metcalfe was one of the fastest riders on the track at the previous round at Washougal. After a pair of tough starts, the Australian was forced to work his way through the field and put on an impressive display en route to third overall. He currently sits third in the standings and through eight rounds has had an impressive rookie season. He sits 16 points from Short in the runner-up spot and with four rounds remaining, could find himself in a career-best position.
Despite a 12th-place effort as Washougal, Josh Grant was still able to move into fourth in the 450 Class championship. The second-year rider is still looking for consistency in 2010 and has several strong performances to show for it. He'll hope to put together back-to-back strong moto efforts as he makes his 450 debut from Unadilla after missing it due to injury last season.
Right behind Grant at Washougal was his teammate Justin Brayton in 13th. His second-place result in the second moto was his best performance of the season and he'll be eager to use the newfound confidence to his advantage this weekend. Last year at Unadilla was one of Brayton's best outings of the 2009 season with a fourth place finish overall.
Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda Washougal was forgettable for Ben Townley to say the least. The New Zealand rider unfortunately wasn't able to complete a single lap in the Pacific Northwest, crashing on the opening lap of Moto 1 and failing to finish the race. The aftermath from the incident was enough to take Townley out of the second moto as well and he fell to sixth in the championship.
After posting a strong start in the first moto with a sixth-place finish, Mike Alessi encountered some misfortune in moto two after getting caught up in an incident in the first corner. He worked his way through the field effectively to bring home a 13th-place finish and 11th overall.
Monster Energy Kawasaki
After announcing his departure from the 2010 season, Chad Reed left the reigns at Monster Energy Kawasaki in the hands of Nick Wey, who showed he's ready to pick up the slack with his best performance of the season at Washougal. A solid 10th-place effort in the first moto followed by a great start and sixth-place finish in Moto 2 resulted in fifth place overall.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki
For the first time in 2010, Tommy Hahn was able to put together a pair of strong moto results. The Texas rider has been fast throughout the season, but has always encountered trouble when looking to back-up a strong performance. At Washougal, a modest seventh-place finish was followed by a third-place effort in Moto 2 which resulted in fourth overall, just missing out on the podium by two points.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
While he still leads the 250 Class standings, Christophe Pourcel has been forced to deal with the strong charge of Trey Canard in recent weeks. Despite missing out on the win at Washougal, Pourcel still posted a very solid runner-up effort to minimize the damage Canard could inflict on his points lead. Last season, the Frenchman dominated at Unadilla with 1-1 moto scores and will look to reassert himself on Saturday.
Teammate Dean Wilson's rookie season continues to go well despite one of his worst results of the season at Washougal. A fifth-place finish dropped him from second to third in the championship, but the Scottish rider has proven to be capable of winning every time the gate drops so far in 2010.
Tyla Rattray sits fourth in the 250 Class championship, finishing on the podium yet again at Washougal. His sophomore effort has been one of the best turnarounds in recent memory and he hopes to get back on top of the podium before season's end.
GEICO Powersports Honda Trey Canard has his sights set on the 250 Class championship in 2010, but his strong midseason charge might not be enough to catch his French rival. Despite three straight overall wins, Canard still sits 38 points out of the lead, but he's one of the hottest riders on the circuit and in a class that's proven to be unpredictable all season, anything can still happen with four races remaining.
In recent weeks, both Justin Barcia and Blake Wharton have been inseparable. The GEICO duo always appears to be battling one another at the front of the field. At Washougal, Barcia experienced misfortune while running well early on, relegating him to a 16th-place finish. Wharton on the other hand was impressive. The sophomore rider was in the thick of the podium fight, finishing fifth and fourth in the motos to take fourth overall. Ironically enough, the duo also sits fifth and sixth in the championship standings.
Series Statistical Report
Rockstar Energy Unadilla National Unadilla Valley Sports Center - New Berlin, N.Y., August 14
Unadilla enters its fourth decade of American motocross this weekend with its 41st national event.
The legendary facility has hosted an AMA Motocross event since the series' inception in 1972. Unadilla has some of the most uniquely named obstacles in the country like the Gravity Cavity, the Wall and the Skyshot. Kevin Windham made his long-awaited return to motocross last season at Unadilla by competing in the 250 Class. Ryan Dungey's seven straight victories is the most ever by a rookie and the most ever by a rider that didn't achieve a sweep of all 12 rounds.
Dungey's seven wins leaves him two short of the rookie record set by Ricky Carmichael.
Dungey has swept both motos at the last three rounds and has captured 12 of the last 14 motos. He boasts an average finish of 2.1. He is also remains the only rider in the class to capture more than one moto win.
With his seventh win in the 450 Class, Dungey moved into a tie for 14th on the all-time wins list and now has more 450 Class victories than he did through three years of 250 Class competition.
Dungey has led 47% of the laps run in 2010.
Dungey possesses the best average finish of any rider in the 450 Class at 2.1. Andrew Short possesses best average start at 2.3 and boasts a series-leading eight holeshots.
Through eight rounds of his rookie season, Ricky Carmichael only had five overall wins. He went on to win the final four rounds to bring the total to nine.
After just two events, Kevin Windham already sits 17th in the 450 Class standings. James Stewart has not competed in the AMA Motocross Championship since 2008, a 23-month hiatus.
Stewart posted the third perfect season in history when he last competed outdoors.
Only Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki and GEICO Powersports Honda riders have won 250 Class motos in 2010. The two teams are also even in overall wins at four apiece. Trey Canard became the winningest rider in the 250 Class with three after his Washougal victory.
Canard is the first rider this season to win consecutive races and the first rider to claim three wins in a row since 2008.
Of the five different winners in eight rounds of the 250 Class, four were first-time winners in 2010.
Three of Mitch Payton's four Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders have won an overall in 2010.
Pourcel possesses the best average finish of any rider in the 250 Class at 2.8 as well as average start at 4.2.
450 Class Stats
The first race held at Unadilla was July 16, 1972. Gary Jones won on a Yamaha.
This will be the 20th time the gate will drop for a 450 Class race at Unadilla.
10 riders have won at Unadilla in 19 events. Kevin Windham, Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart are the only riders to win at Unadilla in both classes.
Kawasaki has swept at Unadilla an astonishing four times. Unadilla has been used for Inter-am events, Trans-am events, and US GP's in the 1970s and 1980s. The track hosted a 500 national in 1976, 1977, 1989, 1990 and 1991.
Rick Johnson won his last AMA race at Unadilla on October 14th, 1990, in the 500cc class.
Yamaha has not won a 450 Class event at Unadilla since 1973. James Stewart, who won at Unadilla the last time he competed there, will look to end that drought.
Wins by brand at Unadilla
Kawasaki - 7
Honda - 6
Suzuki - 4
Yamaha - 2
First time winners at Unadilla
Greg Albertyn, 1996 - Suzuki
Last win by brand at Unadilla
Suzuki - 2009
Kawasaki - 2008
Honda - 2007
Yamaha - 1973
Past Winners at Unadilla
August 15, 2009 Chad Reed, Australia Suzuki
July 20, 2008 James Stewart, Haines City, FL Kawasaki
July 15, 2007 Kevin Windham, Centreville, MS Honda
July 16, 2006 Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL Suzuki
July 17, 2005 Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL Suzuki
July 18, 2004 Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL Honda
July 20, 2003 Kevin Windham, Centreville, MS Honda
July 21, 2002 Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL Honda
July 15, 2001 Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL Kawasaki
July 16, 2000 Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL Kawasaki
July 18, 1999 Mike LaRocco, South Bend, IN Honda
July 19, 1998 Jeff Emig, Riverside, CA Kawasaki
July 20, 1997 Jeff Emig, Riverside, CA Kawaski
July 21, 1996 Greg Albertyn, South Africa Suzuki
July 23, 1995 Mike LaRocco, South Bend, IN Honda
July 17, 1994 Mike LaRocco, South Bend, IN Kawasaki
July 11, 1993 Mike Kiedrowski, Canyon Country, CA Kawasaki
July 29, 1973 Pierre Karsmakers, Holland Yamaha
July 16, 1972 Gary Jones, Hacienda Heights, CA Yamaha
The first race was held at Unadilla on October 15, 1989. Damon Bradshaw won on a Yamaha.
This will be the 21st time the gate will drop at Unadilla for the 250 Class.
Guy Cooper was the first rider to win back-to-back at Unadilla in 1990 and 1991. He would also earn his last 250 Class victory at Unadilla in 1991 on a Suzuki. Christophe Pourcel will look to go back-to-back this weekend.
Yamaha has not won a 250 Class race at Unadilla since 2004.
Kawasaki has won the past four races at Unadilla and seven of the last eight.
Honda has just one win in 20 years at Unadilla. Wins by brand at Unadilla
Kawasaki - 12
Yamaha - 3
Suzuki - 3
Honda - 1
KTM - 1
Last win by brand at Unadilla
Kawasaki - 2009
Suzuki - 2005
KTM - 2001
Yamaha - 2000
Honda - 1996
Past Winners at Unadilla
August 15, 2009 Christophe Pourcel, France Kawasaki
July 20, 2008 Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, WA Kawasaki
July 15, 2007 Ben Townley, New Zealand Kawasaki
July 16, 2006 Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, WA Kawasaki
July 17, 2005 Broc Hepler, Kittanning, PA Suzuki
July 18, 2004 James Stewart, Haines City, FL Kawasaki
July 20, 2003 James Stewart, Haines City, FL Kawasaki
July 21, 2002 James Stewart, Haines City, FL Kawasaki
July 15, 2001 Grant Langston, South Africa KTM
July 16, 2000 Stephane Roncada, France Yamaha
July 18, 1999 Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL Kawasaki
July 19, 1998 Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL Kawasaki
July 20, 1997 Kevin Windham, Baton Rouge, LA Yamaha
July 21, 1996 Steve Lamson, Pollock Pines, CA Honda
July 23, 1995 Ryan Hughes, Escondido, CA Kawasaki
July 17, 1994 Ryan Hughes, Escondido, CA Kawasaki
July 11, 1993 James Dobb, Corona, CA Kawasaki
October 13, 1991 Guy Cooper, Stillwater, OK Suzuki
October 14, 1990 Guy Cooper, Stillwater, OK Suzuki
October 15, 1989 Damon Bradshaw, Charlotte, NC Yamaha
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About the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship
The Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship is the world's most prestigious motocross series. The Series is managed and produced by MX Sports Pro Racing, whose mission is to raise awareness of motocross racing through the promotion of professional championship racing events nationwide.
The series is also produced in conjunction with Alli, the Alliance of Action Sports, a global business that encompasses national and international action sports events, multimedia production and a consumer-based lifestyle brand. Alli is owned by NBC Sports and MTV Networks and represents a vast network of athletes, fans, brands and properties.
The Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross series is sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America. AMA Pro Racing operates a full schedule of events and championships across every spectrum of motorcycle competition.