Baggett and Patterson Hold Early Advantage in 250 and WMX Classes MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - A huge crowd welcomed the world's best riders to Hangtown last weekend to kick off the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. This Saturday, the series heads to Texas for the second round of the season, celebrating Memorial Day Weekend with the Rockstar Energy Freestone National in Wortham.
After a day full of tightly-contested action in California, TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Racing's Chad Reed, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Blake Baggett, and DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha's Jessica Patterson all walked away with the victories in the three classes of competition. Each rider currently sits atop the championship standings and holds the early advantage in the quest for the coveted title in the 450 Class, 250 Class and WMX Class.
Reed battled head-to-head with reigning 450 Class Champion, Ryan Dungey, throughout the final moto of the day in Hangtown, ultimately outrunning his Rockstar/Makita Suzuki-mounted rival to give him his second consecutive win at the legendary facility. While both he and Dungey posted identical moto scores at the opening round, Reed's Moto 2 win secured the tie-breaker for the overall victory, giving him a slight edge over Dungey coming into Freestone despite amassing the same amount of points.
The competition in the 250 Class at the opening round was as competitive as expected. A handful of riders took their chance at the front of the field throughout both motos, but in the end, Baggett's relentless determination helped him go 2-1 for the day and secure his first career victory in the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team swept the overall podium at Hangtown and now heads to Freestone, where its riders accomplished the same feat one year ago.
With the stranglehold on the Motorcycle-Superstore.com Women's Motocross Championship since the 2008 season, Patterson and American Honda's Ashley Fiolek are expected to go bar-to-bar throughout the 2011 championship. At Hangtown, that's exactly what happened. A strong opening moto by Patterson put the pressure on Fiolek in Moto 2, and the former two-time champion responded in the early stages by fending off her counterpart. However, a persistent Patterson made the pass on Fiolek and eventually moved into the lead to secure the win and set the tone for this rivalry to continue for the rest of the summer.
Freestone Raceway is one of the most challenging tracks on the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship schedule. Track promoter Tony Miller has always tested the fastest riders on the planet with a diverse mix of speed and technicality, and this year won't be any different. The track's trademark sand whoops known as the 12-pack will be a focal point for fans and riders alike, while the sprawling layout will allow for close competition amongst all the riders.
Last season at Freestone, Dungey bounced back from a tough start to his rookie campaign in the 450 Class and swept the day's motos to grab his first career win on the big bikes, setting the tone for his championship run. In the 250 Class, then-rookie Dean Wilson looked to have his inaugural professional victory well within reach, only to lose the overall in the final 1,000 feet after a miscalculation as to which riders were his closest competitors. The error subsequently handed the win over to Christophe Pourcel. The racing in the WMX Class was a showcase for Patterson, who dominated en route to a sweep of the day's motos and her second overall win of that season.
The on-track action for the Rockstar Energy Freestone National begins this Saturday at 8:30 a.m. CST with practice and qualifying. Opening ceremonies begin at 12:30 p.m. CST with motos kicking off at 1 p.m. CST.
Previous Round Results and Current Standings
Rockstar Energy Hangtown National Prairie City SVRA - Rancho Cordova, Calif. May 21, 2011 Round 1 of 12
For media information about the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, please contact Media Manager Brandon Short via email at email@example.com or by phone at 949-365-5750.
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