OAKLAND, KY. – As the 2013 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship, sanctioned by AMA, Maxxis Bluegrass National concluded at Ballance Moto X mother nature seemed to once again be the twenty-first rider lining up on the gate. Even with spring weather rolling in, defending champion Chad Wienen not only took the overall with a 1-3 finish but extended his points lead at Round 3 of the 10-race series this weekend.
Wienen grabbed the ATVRiders.com Fastest Qualifier Award aboard his Wienen Motorsports SSi Walsh Yamaha presented by Maxxis Tires & Team Vollmer machine. Wienen secured the first gate pick position before the rain rolled in during the first qualifier of the morning. “I knew the first practice was going to be the most important in securing my qualifier time because once the rain came in, the track was going to be slick and times would be slower. I was really happy to have that first gate pick because when rain is a factor the start is crucial,” said Wienen.
Wienen snagged his first SSi Decals Holeshot Award of the 2013 season in Moto 1. With a clear track out front, Wienen charged ahead and found a pace that created a three second gap on the number two position by the end of lap one. Wienen never looked back and had a twenty-five second gap on the rest of the field when he took the checkers and the Moto 1 win.
BCS Can-Am rider Josh Creamer found his rhythm off the gate coming into the first turn in the second place position. Before the end of the first lap, Creamer slid out in a big 90-degree turn and came out in seventh. Wienen Motorsports SSi Walsh Yamaha presented by Maxxis Tires & Team Vollmer rider Thomas Brown capitalized on Creamer’s mistake and put himself in the second place position. Brown charged the field and was able to put a comfortable distance between himself and battle unraveling behind him.
“I was really happy about my moto 1 start, we had a really great mud set up on our machine and our Maxxis tires really hooked up coming off of the start giving me a great jump to help me find the front of the field,” said Brown.
Pennsylvania native and Round 2 overall winner, Joel Hetrick had a top five start and found his way into the third place spot before the end of lap one. Hetrick settled into this position until about halfway through the race when rider on the move Creamer found his way up to fourth and started to put pressure on the 88 machine. Hetrick and Creamer had an intense battle the remainder of the moto but it wasn’t until there were a few laps to go when Creamer came along the long straight stretch and was able to make a pass on Hetrick.
“I really had to put my head down and work all the way through the moto to keep in the front of the field. My machine was really working great out there and allowed me to put the final charge for that third place position,” said Creamer
Last year’s overall winner at Ballace Moto X, veteran John Natalie was able to secure a top five start on his MotoSport.com Motoworks DWT machine and finish out the moto in fifth. While rookies Kyle Fix and Casey Martin, aboard his PRP DASA T&T Racing machine, battled out the moto for the sixth place position.
As the Moto 2 gate dropped, Natalie came off the line with a vengeance to get to that top spot and that’s what he did as he grabbed the SSi Decals Holeshot Award. Natalie had pressure early on in the moto from the second place rider but was able to hold his lines and make for his first moto win of the 2013 season. “Heading into moto two I knew I had to get a good holeshot and really concentrated on my start. After pulling out of the first turn in first I knew I just had to ride smooth and not make any mistakes. It felt really good to get my first moto win of the season and to land on the podium,” said Natalie.
Josh Upperman had a much better start to moto two after his tenth place finish earlier in the day aboard his Baldwin Motorsports PEP Upperman Racing machine. Upperman came out of the first turn behind the leader and pressured Natalie for a majority of the moto. Unable to make a move on the leader, Upperman comfortably settled into second as the checkers flew. Moto 1 winner, Chad Wienen had a bad start coming into the first corner toward the back of the field. Wienen made quick work and found himself in seventh by the end of the first lap. After battles with Creamer and Denoble, Wienen was able to make his way into the third place position before the final lap and secured the overall win for the weekend.
Nick Denoble had his best moto finish of the season aboard his Walsh Race Craft machine. With a fourth place start, Denoble was able to make a pass into third early on in the race. After being ill at Round 2, Denoble was able to dig deep and find the drive to keep his machine at the front of the field settling into the fourth place position by the end of the moto. Joel Hetrick also had a rough start to moto 2 finding himself toward the back of the pack coming out of the first turn but was able to climb his way up to eighth by the end of lap one. Hetrick was able to battle his way up to fifth before the end of the race, salvaging crucial championship points.
“I’m really excited I was finally able to get a good jump on the gate and was able to come out of the field toward the front. I knew I was in a good position and was able to ride my own race. My Walsh Race Craft machine was really powerful out on the track and helped me get that fourth place finish,” said Denoble.
Josh Creamer and Thomas Brown were amongst the riders with a rough start to moto 2. Creamer found himself sitting in the fourth place position midway through the race but was unable to hold his position and fell back to a sixth place finish. Brown had to work his way up from the very back of the field and was able to salvage a seventh place finish for moto two. Taking the third place overall for the third race in a row, Brown is anxious to climb his way up towards the top of the box.
AMA Pro ATV Results
Chad Wienen (YAM)
John Natalie (HON)
Thomas Brown (YAM)
Josh Creamer (CAN)
Josh Upperman (HON)
Joel Hetrick (HON)
Nick A. Denoble (SUZ)
Casey Martin (HON)
Adam Clark (HON)
Jeffrey Rastrelli (CAN)