Rome, GA – Under consistent rain and treacherous conditions, MX-338 lived up to its billing as one of the most difficult circuits on the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship schedule. Known for producing spectacular rides over the years, last Saturday’s MX-338 Motocross National was no different as semi-retired privateer John Dowd made his annual appearance at the national that he calls home. The Pirelli-backed 44-year old veteran showed what experience at the “Sandbox” can do, overcoming most of his considerably younger competition to land on the overall podium.
Dowd started the day with an impressive performance in practice and qualifying, posting the fourth fastest time overall and giving him a good gate pick for each of the motos. The track was a mixture between sand and mud with the considerable amount of moisture it absorbed, but the Scorpion MX Soft tires worked flawlessly, showcasing the outstanding versatility of Pirelli’s premier off-road tire.
As the gate dropped on moto one, the Ludlow, Mass. native earned a start within the top 10, but a bobble on the second lap dropped him within the top 15 where he battled for the majority of the moto. He mustered a late surge over the final six laps to work his way up to 10th, giving him an opportunity at a solid overall finish for the day.
In the second moto, Dowd got an even better start and took advantage of the good track position early, moving from eighth to fourth within seven laps. Quoted as saying he only had a good 20 minutes in him, the two-time Southwick winner continued to move forward, finding himself in second place on lap 10 and closing in on the leader. The multiple-second deficit proved too large to overcome and Dowd settled into the runner-up spot, bringing home the stellar moto result that vaulted him to third overall on the day.
The performance allowed Dowd to keep his permanent number of 16 for another year and gave Pirelli its best result of the 2009 season. Fellow Massachusetts rider Robby Marshall brought home fifth.
Additionally, newcomer Taylor Futrell helped promote the caliber of the privateer by finishing fifth overall in the 250 Class where he ran up at the front of the pack for most of the day.
450 Class (Moto Finish)
- Matt Goerke, Lake Helen, Fla., Yamaha (6-1)
- Michael Byrne, Australia, Suzuki (3-3)
- John Dowd, Ludlow, Mass., Kawasaki (10-2)
- Tommy Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Kawasaki (9-4)
- Robby Marshall, Stow, Mass., Suzuki (5-7)
- Kyle Regal, Kemp, Texas, Yamaha (4-10)
- Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda (7-9)
- Chad Reed, Australia, Suzuki (1-31)
- Jake Moss, Australia, Kawasaki (2-30)
- Ricky Renner, Lakeland, Fla., Honda (11-12)
250 Class (Moto Finish)
- Justin Barcia, Cairo, Ga., Honda (1-3)
- Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki (6-1)
- Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Honda (4-2)
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki (2-4)
- Taylor Futrell, Clinton, N.C., Honda (7-7)
- Tommy Searle, Great Britain, KTM (9-6)
- Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Honda (3-15)
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha (8-13)
- Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki (13-9)
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki (15-8)
Pirelli Tire North America designs, develops, manufactures and markets tires for passenger vehicles in both the original equipment and replacement markets as well as markets and distributes tires for motorcycle and motorsports. Located in Rome, Georgia, Pirelli’s Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) employs state-of-the-art technology to manufacture tires for both export and domestic markets. For more information please visit www.us.pirelli.com.