MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – It’s been two weeks since the world’s best riders took to the track, but this Saturday, August 13, American Motocross returns to action with the Rockstar Energy Unadilla National from New Berlin, N.Y. The ninth round of the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship will bring the biggest names in the sport back to the legendary Unadilla facility, which in over four decades of existence, has become an international motocross destination. Fittingly enough, the global battle for the 450- and 250-Class championships between riders from all over the world will resume, as just four rounds of competition remain.
The on-track festivities from one of the most iconic tracks in the sport of motocross will boast an early start time. Opening ceremonies will kick off at 12 noon EST, while motos are scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. EST. Additionally, live final moto coverage of the 450 Class will be showcased on NBC Sports at 3 p.m. EST. The second live domestic broadcast on the network this summer will feature the most competitive motocross racing on the planet, across millions of households throughout the country.
At the series’ previous stop from Washougal Motocross Park, the dramatic battle for the 450 Class title continued to evolve, with Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto ultimately taking control of the lead in the standings, while Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey raced to his third win of the season. After amassing a class-leading four wins, and sitting atop the championship since the opening round, TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Racing’s Chad Reed fell to third, following a fourth-place effort. As the dominant trio of the 450 Class heads to Unadilla fresh off a break from competition, just nine points separate the three riders, including a single point between Villopoto and Dungey.
There has been little doubt through the first eight rounds of the season that the premier class title would be decided amongst Villopoto, Dungey and Reed. While Reed proved to be the most consistent over that span, his frightening incident at Spring Creek two rounds ago tightened the points race with his younger rivals. Now, both Villopoto and Dungey have capitalized on Reed’s misfortune, and have set the stage for a memorable showdown over the final month of competition.
Throughout the 250 Class season, one team has garnered all the attention with a remarkable string of success. The Mitch Payton-led Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team, highlighted by Dean Wilson, Tyla Rattray and Blake Baggett, has taken the checkered flag in all 16 motos this summer, resulting in the overall win at all eight rounds of competition. While the aforementioned threesome of riders has shared moto victories, only Rattray and Baggett have managed to secure overalls. Despite missing out on that same opportunity, Wilson still maintains a double-digit lead over his teammates in the standings, and has been the most consistent rider in the entire series, accumulating more points than any competitor, in either class.
At Washougal, the battle for the win once again came down to the three teammates, with Baggett prevailing for a series-leading fifth time this season. Rattray followed closely in second, while Wilson rounded out the podium in third. As a result, Wilson’s lead over Rattray sits at 13 points, with Baggett an additional four points behind.
Unadilla hosted a round of the inaugural AMA Pro Motocross Championship in 1972, and has been a part of the American Motocross landscape ever since. It remains one of the most unique venues in the sport, thanks to its rolling hills and incredible natural terrain. It boasts a high-speed layout, yet is the site of notorious and awe-inspiring obstacles like Gravity Cavity, The Wall, and the Skyshot.
Last year at Unadilla, Dungey responded to a strong challenge from Belgian Clement Desalle, to post perfect 1-1 moto scores and grab his eighth win of the season. In the 250 Class, eventual champion Trey Canard continued his impressive second-half run, taking his fourth win of the season on the heels of a 2-1 performance.
Once again, festivities for the Rockstar Energy Unadilla National begin this Saturday at 8:30 a.m. EST with practice and qualifying. Opening ceremonies begin at 12 noon EST, with motos kicking off at 12:30 p.m. EST.
Previous Round Results and Current Standings
Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship
Peterson CAT Washougal National
Washougal MX Park – Washougal, Wash.
July 23, 2011
Round 8 of 12
450 Class (Moto Finish)
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki (2-1)
- Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki (1-2)
- Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki (4-3)
- Chad Reed, Kurri Kurri, Australia, Honda (7-4)
- Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Yamaha (6-5)
- Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., KTM (9-6)
- Tommy Hahn, Great Bend, Kan., Yamaha (8-7)
- Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM (5-10)
- Jimmy Albertson, San Diego, Calif., Yamaha (11-9)
- Michael Byrne, Rockhampton, Australia, Suzuki (10-12)
450 Class Championship Standings
- Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki – 341
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki – 340
- Chad Reed, Kurri Kurri, Australia, Honda – 332
- Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki – 247
- Kevin Windham, Baton Rouge, La., Honda – 193
- Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM – 183
- Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., KTM – 178
- Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha – 173
- Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki – 159
- Tommy Hahn, Great Bend, Kan., Yamaha – 140
250 Class (Moto Finish)
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki (1-3)
- Tyla Rattray, Durban, South Africa, Kawasaki (2-2)
- Dean Wilson, Glasgow, Scotland, Kawasaki (5-1)
- Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha (3-7)
- Gareth Swanepoel, Johannesburg, South Africa, Yamaha (7-4)
- Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda (4-10)
- Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki (8-8)
- Martin Davalos, Quito, Ecudaor, Suzuki (13-5)
- Darryn Durham, Butler, Pa., Honda (11-9)
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki (9-16)
250 Class Championship Standings
- Dean Wilson, Glasgow, Scotland, Kawasaki – 346
- Tyla Rattray, Durban, South Africa, Kawasaki – 333
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki – 329
- Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha – 233
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda – 201
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki – 187
- Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda – 181
- Gareth Swanepoel, Johannesburg, South Africa, Yamaha – 177
- Martin Davalos, Quito, Ecuador, Suzuki – 152
- Darryn Durham, Butler, Pa., Honda – 144
Tickets for the upcoming Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship are on sale now at www.allisports.com. Special discounts and incentives are available for advance ticket purchasers.
For more information on the 2011 tour, please log on to www.allisports.com/motocross.