Buchanan, MI. (July 2, 2011) Over the past weekend DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing/Yamaha visited Michigan’s Red Bud Track & Trail for the sixth round of the AMA MX National Series. With the track and weather at a premium, team riders, #25 Ryan Sipes, #35 Kyle Cunningham, #387 Gareth Swanepoel, #533 Gannon Audette, and #1 Jessica Patterson, all were at full tilt in anticipation of good results.
Taking top honors on the day would be Cunningham, starting moto one in 7th after getting a decent start due to the heavy testing that was done during the prior week. Lap after lap, Cunningham heavily pursued the lead pack, and made his way into 5th and battled to overtake 4th. Riding exceptionally, Cunningham kept strong and pressed on, and when the moto came to a culmination, #35 had gotten himself a hard earned 4th. A start in moto two of 8th left some room for improvement. On lap two Cunningham had taken his YZ250F to 6th, once there he tried his best for the remainder of 30 min. +2 laps and for that things developed just right and 4th was his finishing destination.
For Sipes moto one started out in a grand fashion, rounding lap one in 2nd the Kentuckian assumed the lead on lap four and he comfortably held it for a handful of laps. After slating into 3rd near mid race he would end up spending much of the race in that spot. Late in the moto, Sipes still had the fighting drive in him and was trying to inch closer to the leaders with two laps remaining, but still he’d go on to finish on the podium in 3rd. Moto two got underway with Sipes acquiring a 40th place start after crashing now with his potential coming to existence, Sipes held his own and rode up into the 15th spot. Striving to keep his form, his pace increased and that shifted the #25 machine up to 12th. Never settling, Sipes found some reserve energy and bounced back in the closing laps to nab 11th.
Next in line on the day would be Swanepoel after a strong start to the weekend. Swanepoel’s moto one showed great promise, after a decent start, unfortunately it was followed by a crash, Swanepoel sitting in last place, put his head down and worked on powering forward through the pack. Lap by lap, the FMF backed rider stayed consistent and maintained his role of gaining positions in the field. This allowed him to very convincingly take a well deserved 17th. An uneventful moto two saw Swanepoel start 34th after once again crashing; climbing up to 14th by mid moto, Swanepoel then remained on the charge all the way through the finish to net 11th.
Gannon Audette had a pretty quiet day, having had struggles in both moto’s. Audette would close things out on the day with a consistent 14th and 18th.
Moto 1 Moto 2 = Overall Finish
Kyle Cunningham 4th 4th = 4th
Ryan Sipes 3rd 14th = 7th
Gareth Swanepoel 17th 11th = 13th
Gannon Audette 14th 18th = 18th
Jessica Patterson raced like the former champion that she is, in both moto’s she sat in 2nd and within striking distance. A tick off the leaders speed, rather than risk the title Patterson held onto to the leader’s rear wheel and applied the pressure. With no way of capitalizing on any opportunities, Patterson rode on to a 2 – 2 moto tally and a second overall for the weekend.
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