The MAVTV+ 50-Day Countdown to the 2022 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship hits 2010, as we go over each year of the series’ history, beginning with 1972. The 2010 season would feel the winds of change, which started off as a gentle breeze in Anaheim, and increase in strength throughout the year to the point where the entire landscape of the sport had been rearranged. It shouldn’t have come as a huge surprise, however, as the makings of a pivotal season were already in place before the first gate even dropped.
Rising 450 sensation Ryan Villopoto was back from the knee injury that forced him to sit out the 2009 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, Chad Reed was coming into the year on a new team, Monster Energy Kawasaki, James Stewart would be riding Yamaha’s radical, all-new YZ450F, and Ryan Dungey was set to make his debut in the premier class after winning the 250SX West Region title and 250 Pro Motocross Championship.
At the opener in Anaheim Dungey signaled he’d be a force to be reckoned with by giving defending champ James Stewart all he could handle. The two put on an incredible race, with Dungey leading almost the entire time. Stewart would eventually get by him with a few laps to go, and then Dungey crashed while trying to retaliate, but Dungey’s performance that night was a big eye opener. One week later the series would see a big shakeup in Phoenix. First, Stewart got a bad start in his heat race, and crossed lines on a jump and collided with Kyle Partridge. Stewart would suffer a wrist injury but still race the main. There, Stewart and Reed collided. The two found themselves tangled up on the ground, and as Reed tried to free himself it appeared as though he was shoving Stewart. Reed ended up DNF’ing due to a broken hand, but Stewart was able to finish the race. Afterward Stewart angrily stormed the Monster Energy Kawasaki pits looking for Reed, who wasn’t there, and even kicked over Reed’s motorcycle, prompting many a Kaw-tipping joke for the next few weeks. Oh, and Dungey? He won the thing.
It turned out Stewart’s wrist was broken, and he would exit the series after just three races. Just like that, the sport’s two biggest superstars were watching the races from the couch, but that didn’t put a damper on the action, as Dungey and Villopoto went at it hard all season. Things finally reached a fevered pitch in St. Louis, where the Ryans put on a tremendous race. In an uncharacteristic move, Villopoto pulled a blatant takeout move on Dungey, attempting to saw his front wheel completely off, but ended up going down himself. When the two got going again Villopoto crashed spectacularly hard on a jump, sustaining major injuries that would sideline him for the rest of 2010. From that point forward the season belonged to Dungey, and he clinched the championship in his rookie year one week later in a very soft and muddy Seattle. On an interesting side note, Kevin Windham absolutely trounced the field that night on a track that was so loose it barely held together during track walk. One week later he killed everyone again in Salt Lake City, another mess of a race in which actual snow was falling at one point during the main event. Windham, now a 30-something veteran, had the fans completely on his side at this point, and those Seattle and Salt Lake wins, the final two of his supercross career, had the crowd going crazy.
2010 St. Louis Highlights
In the 250 Class, Jake Weimer ruled the 250SX West Region, winning four of eight races and beating Wil Hahn by a comfortable 15 points. In the East there wasn’t much parity either, as Christophe Pourcel was the obvious master of the class. The Frenchman won five of eight races, clinching the championship early and still rounding out the season thirteen points ahead of Justin Barcia after DNF’ing in St. Louis.
In Vegas the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki team laid down a show of total domination in the Dave Combs Sr. East/West Showdown, with all four PC riders, Jake Weimer, Josh Hansen, Christophe Pourcel, and Dean Wilson miles ahead and battling for position. Weimer would win with a comfortable margin over Josh Hansen, backing up the championship he’d clinched one week prior.
Next up were the great outdoors, and things looked just as wide open as they had several months earlier before A1, but once again, Dungey would take control, although he got out of the gate a bit slow at the season opener at Hangtown. Reed, the defending champ, won that one, with Mike Alessi winning a moto on the KTM 350, but Dungey came roaring back to sweep round two in Texas, and from that point forward it quickly became apparent nobody other than Dungey was going to get close to this title. Dungey had plenty of speed, but his fitness seemed to be on another level as well, and he regularly stretched things out and put a serious hurt on the field around the twenty-minute mark. Guys like Brett Metcalfe, Andrew Short, and Ben Townley tried to put up a fight, but to no avail. Resistance was futile!
Dungey would end the season with an incredible 19 (of 24) moto wins and a gargantuan 145-point margin of victory. It was a stunning display of mastery, amplified by the fact that it was just Dungey’s first year in the premier class.
Mike Alessi at the Hangtown Motocross Classic. Simon Cudby Ryan Dungey at the Spring Creek National. Simon Cudby Dungey at the Spring Creek National. Simon Cudby Dungey at the High Point National. Simon Cudby Dungey at the Unadilla National. Simon Cudby Brett Metcalfe at the Unadilla National. Simon Cudby Metcalfe at the Steele City National. Simon Cudby Andrew Short at the Washougal National. Simon Cudby Short at the Steele City National. Simon Cudby Ben Townley at the Hangtown Motocross Classic. Simon Cudby Reed and Townley at the Freestone National. Simon Cudby Townley at the Freestone National. Simon Cudby
As for Reed, his performance suffered after Hangtown and he would eventually exit the series after Spring Creek to deal with a case of Epstein-Barr Virus. Davi Millsaps would also leave early after sustaining a kidney injury at Budds Creek. Stewart, on a supercross-only deal, did make a surprise motocross appearance at Unadilla, with his wrist now healed. He took a podium in moto one, but didn’t race moto two.
In the 250 Class the action started out hot, with rookie Eli Tomac coming out of the gate hard in his very first race as a professional, going 3-1 for the overall win. Afterward on the podium Tomac didn’t even know how to open his bottle of victory champagne, and his teammate, Trey Canard, had to show him how. Tomac has since become well-versed in the uncorking arts, but he wouldn’t get any more practice in 2010, as the extreme Texas heat at round two took it out of him and he struggled to recover all season.
The commander of the series, or so it seemed early on, was Pourcel, who was clicking off wins with perceived ease. At times he almost looked bored, and it seemed as though he sought amusement during the motos by toying with the competition. Not surprisingly, Pourcel built up a pretty big points lead that made him look unbeatable for the championship. Nobody told Canard, however, and the GEICO Honda rider, after getting the momentum he needed by winning a moto at RedBud, started riding like he was in the middle of an intense championship battle. Canard started stacking up win after win, and when Pourcel DNF’d a moto at Unadilla, the chase got real. Canard hung a 1-1 on Pourcel at Steel City, getting himself within nine points heading into the finale. Not a cushy lead, but a tough gap for Canard to overcome in just two motos. It turned out he didn’t even end up needing two motos, as Pourcel went down in the first moto and broke his arm. To add insult to injury, Canard had gone down earlier in the moto and all Pourcel had to do was cruise. Somehow, he crashed. Just like that, what once seemed like a sure thing slipped from Pourcel’s grasp and landed in the hands of Canard.
2010 250 Class Points Finish
2010 450 Class Points Finish
At the FIM Motocross of Nations, which was held at Thunder Valley in Colorado, that year, the good times would keep rolling for Dungey and Canard, with home state native Short getting in the mix as well. Facing formidable threats in the form of MX1 Champion Antonio Cairoli, MX2 Champion Marvin Musquin, Ken Roczen, Ben Townley, and more, the Americans showed their mettle. Going into the third and final moto of the day, Team USA trailed Germany by five points and needed to perform flawlessly. Short, who was a bit banged up after getting slammed by Townley earlier, nailed the holeshot, and Dungey came out of the first turn in second. After a brief spat with Townley, Dungey took over the lead from Short and straight up disappeared, just like he’d been doing in the nationals all season. Short would secure second, while Germany’s Max Nagle crashed and ended up 39th. This handed Team USA the win, with Belgium and Germany taking second and third, respectively.
2010 Motocross of Nations Results
|Ryan Dungey||1||Race 1 (MX1 + MX2)||MX1||Suzuki|
|Ryan Dungey||1||Race 3 (MX1 + Open)||MX1||Suzuki|
|Andrew Short||2||Race 3 (MX1 + Open)||Open||Honda|
|Trey Canard||7||Race 2 (MX2 + Open)||MX2||Honda|
|Trey Canard||12||Race 1 (MX1 + MX2)||MX2||Honda|
|Andrew Short||13||Race 2 (MX2 + Open)||Open||Honda|
|Clement Desalle||3||Race 3 (MX1 + Open)||Open||Suzuki|
|Clement Desalle||4||Race 2 (MX2 + Open)||Open||Suzuki|
|Steve Ramon||6||Race 3 (MX1 + Open)||MX1||Suzuki|
|Steve Ramon||7||Race 1 (MX1 + MX2)||MX1||Suzuki|
|Jeremy Van Horebeek||10||Race 2 (MX2 + Open)||MX2||Kawasaki|
|Jeremy Van Horebeek||13||Race 1 (MX1 + MX2)||MX2||Kawasaki|
|Ken Roczen||3||Race 2 (MX2 + Open)||MX2||Suzuki|
|Maximilian Nagl||5||Race 2 (MX2 + Open)||Open||KTM|
|Ken Roczen||6||Race 1 (MX1 + MX2)||MX2||Suzuki|
|Marcus Schiffer||14||Race 1 (MX1 + MX2)||MX1||Suzuki|
|Marcus Schiffer||16||Race 3 (MX1 + Open)||MX1||Suzuki|
|Maximilian Nagl||39||Race 3 (MX1 + Open)||Open||KTM|