ROSSVILLE, Ind. – The ATVMX Pros left a statement at the series’ first-ever race at Wildcat Creek MX as Round 4 of the 2013 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross National Championship, sanctioned by AMA, took to Rossville, Ind. With a fast rack, close racing and a full gate of pro riders, the inaugural event made for yet another exciting round of racing.
The Wildcat Creek MX track conditions were fast and smooth as the pros went out for the morning’s practice session where Joel Hetrick grabbed the ATVRiders.com Fastest Qualifier Award, taking first gate pick heading into the first moto.
Josh Upperman, aboard his Baldwin Motorsports PEP Upperman Racing machine, grabbed his first SSi Decals holeshot award of the 2013 season in moto 1. But it wasn’t long before Hetrick, who came out of the first turn in second place, found his way around Upperman to take over the lead. From there, Hetrick found a comfortable pace in front of the rest of the field and was able to maintain the lead in order to take the moto 1 win.
“I was really happy with my moto 1 win. I had a lot of fun out on the track and our team really had my machine working well,” said Hetrick.
Coming off of his podium finish at Round 3, John Natalie had another great start in moto 1, rounding the first turn inside the top five on his MotoSport.com Motoworks DWT machine. The 2011 National champ charged hard and made a quick pass on Upperman for the number two position. Trying to make up some ground on Hetrick, Natalie put his head down but was unable to match the speed of Hetrick, finishing second place in moto 1.
Meanwhile, series points leader and defending champion Chad Wienen had a bad jump off the gate and had to make his way up through the field. The Wienen Motorsports SSi Walsh Yamaha presented by Maxxis Tires & Team Vollmer rider came out of the first turn barely inside the top ten but made quick passes to reach the fifth place spot within a few laps. After battling his way through the field, Wienen was able to grab onto the third place position at the end of moto 1.
Fellow Wienen Motorsports SSi Walsh Yamaha presented by Maxxis Tires & Team Vollmer rider, Thomas Brown also got off to a rough start in moto 1 coming out of the first turn mid-pack. Brown settled in behind his teammate Wienen and started making his way through the field. After making his way into fifth, Brown set his sights on veteran Joe Byrd who sat in fourth. With a few laps to go, Brown was able to make a move on Byrd, grabbing the fourth place position. Byrd, aboard his Joe Byrd Quad Riding School Dasa Machine, had his best start in the 2013 season coming out of the turn in the top five. The veteran rider came off strong and was able to ride at a good speed to stay in the front of the field. Byrd had many battles throughout moto 1 and was able to secure the fifth place position before the checkers flew.
“I felt really comfortable out on the track and am happy I was able to grab a podium finish. My Dasa motor was really putting out a lot of power making it possible for my to start and stay out front,” said Byrd
Rookie Kyle Fix had his best moto finish of his pro career thus far finishing eighth in moto 1 aboard his Pro Quad Performance Roberts Racing Burester Motorsports machine.
As the gate dropped for moto 2, Brown grabbed his first-ever SSi Decals Pro Holeshot Award. “I’m really pumped to grab my first holeshot award of my pro career. My starts are something I have always worked on so it was a really good feeling grabbing the holeshot. My Malaska Motorsports motor had a ton of power and my Maxxis tires hooked up perfectly to get me out of that first turn at the front of the pack,” said Brown.
Brown’s teammate, Wienen, came off the line right behind Brown and took over the lead before the end of lap one. Wienen then put his head down and rode his own race to the checkers and the moto 2 win.
“Really happy to get to that top spot on the box again today. My YFZ450R was really working great out on the track and I was able to maneuver it how I needed. I had a bad start to moto 1 and knew I really needed to focus on the gate drop for moto 2 and I was able to come out towards the front and make the pass for the lead early on,” said Wienen.
Brown had a battle unfold behind him as Byrd grabbed another good start and found himself at the front of the field. Byrd started to pressure Brown for the second place position and within a few laps, Brown and Byrd made contact and Brown went off the side of the jump. Brown finally made his way back onto the track but lost quite a few positions along the way.
Byrd took over the second place spot and was able to ride uncontested until about halfway through the moto, when Hetrick battled his way up to the third place position. About halfway through the moto, Byrd and Hetrick were side by side for a few laps when Hetrick came through the roller section and crashed. Hetrick broke his clavicle was unable to finish the moto. Byrd claimed the second place position and his first podium finish in second this season.
John Natalie looked to be off to another great start in moto 2 coming out in the top five but crashed only a few laps into the race and was unable to finish the moto. Josh Creamer also got off to a better start in moto 2 and was in the sixth place position by the end of lap one. Creamer was able to settle into the track, ride a comfortable lap and found himself in third place before the checkers came out for moto 2.
Meanwhile, Brown made his way up through the field, fighting his way up through every position. Before the checkers came out for moto 2 Brown was able to salvage a fourth place finish for his fourth consecutive third place overall finish.
“I crushed the nerves and damaged my tendons and muscles in my neck but am very fortunate as it could have been much worse. I look forward to healing up and coming back to where I left off,” said Natalie.
Adam Clark took his best moto finish of his career in moto two taking the fifth place finish. Clark is in his second year as a pro and sits just outside the top ten in overall series points. There were several rookies who also had a standout weekend including
Tyler Hamrick who not only took a 9th place overall for the weekend but moved into the top ten in series points and Nick Moser rounded out the top ten for the weekend’s overall.
The 2013 ATV Motocross National Championship Series continues May 25 and 26 in Walnut, Ill. for Round 5 of racing at Sunset Ridge MX. For more information, please visit www.atvmotocross.com.
AMA Pro ATV Results
Chad Wienen (YAM)
Joe Byrd (HON)
Thomas Brown (YAM)
Josh Creamer (CAN)
Joel Hetrick (HON)
Kyle Fix (HON)
Adam Clark (HON)
John Natalie (HON)
Tyler Hamrick (HON)
Nick Moser (HON)
AMA ATV Motocross Championship Pro Point Standings
1. Chad Wienen (176) 2. Joel Hetrick (150) 3. Thomas Brown (150) 4. Josh Creamer (144) 5. Josh Upperman (126) 6. John Natalie (123) 7. Joe Byrd (99) 8. Nick Denoble (90) 9. Jeffrey Rastrelli (88) 10. Tyler Hamrick (72)