RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. – The 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship kicked-off on Saturday with the 43rd Annual Rockstar Energy Hangtown National. For the second consecutive year, TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Racing’s Chad Reed, of Australia, grabbed the overall victory in the premier 450 Class after a strong 2-1 moto effort. In the 250 Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett, of Grand Terrace, Calif., secured his first career motocross win with 2-1 moto scores.
The opening moto of the 2011 season was dominated by defending 450 Class Champion Ryan Dungey, of Belle Plaine, Minn., and the Rockstar/Makita Suzuki rider was looking for the moto sweep to start his title defense on a strong note. As the gates dropped on the final moto, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, of Poulsbo, Wash., took the early lead and a three-rider battle for the top spot ensued between he, Dungey and Reed.
As the race neared the halfway point, Dungey worked his way past Villopoto after pressuring him for several laps and Reed soon followed. Just a few minutes later, Reed made the winning pass on Dungey and slowly began to pull away. Dungey saved himself for one final push at the tail end of the moto, but couldn’t find a way past the 2009 champion.
“I’m a little surprised,” said Reed. “I tested the last two weeks and it’s gone well. Normally, this track is always hard, choppy and one lined. We came back this weekend and it was a completely different track than we were expecting. I had a lot of fun today. It was a great racetrack. I got two good starts, (ran) up front and I fought for it. I’m a little surprised how comfortable I was with the track and bike. We’ve had only a little time to work on the bike.”
“I had a week of outdoor testing and that helped us out,” said Dungey. “I felt good today. Coming into the weekend, we had a couple weeks of testing and got a good base setting. I just wanted to get things started, see where were at and move forward. I was trying to bulldog it in the second moto and Chad (Reed) got by me. I got behind him and saw some different lines. It took me a while to get back up there. I made one last attempt, but I’m happy with that result. I made a hard attempt to get by and was riding on the ragged edge, so I decided to back it down. It’s a long season.”
Dungey’s 1-2 moto results landed him in the runner-up spot overall, while Villopoto finished his first motocross race since the Hangtown round in 2009 with the final spot on the podium (3-3).
The battle for a vacant 250 Class title was a showcase for two of the sport’s rising stars. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson, of Scotland, rode to a strong opening-moto win and put himself in position for the overall in Moto 2. However, Baggett, who rode to an impressive come-from-behind second-place effort in the first moto, took charge, moving up from a start outside to top five to take the Moto 2 victory after a late pass on teammate Tyla Rattray, of South Africa.
“I knew I had done all the training during the week and it was good to come out and see how I was,” said Baggett. “I like outdoors better than supercross because you have to be creative and keep moving around. I was just patient in the second moto. I knew I had to let the race come to me. I just took my time and waited to see where I was. I got around (Dean) Wilson and just kept trying to move forward. I put my head down and looked for lines and ultimately passed (Tyla) Rattray in the same spot I passed Wilson.”
While battling with Baggett, Wilson crashed, dropping from second to third in the moto. He maintained his position to post 1-3 moto finishes and land second on the overall podium. Rattray’s strong Moto 2 performance garnered him third overall (5-2).
In addition to the season premiere of both men’s classes, the Motorcylce-Superstore.com Women’s Motocross Championship began its 2011 season. Reigning champion Jessica Patterson, of Tallahassee, Fla., dominated both of the day’s motos on her DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha, sweeping both motos en route to the overall win. American Honda’s Ashley Fiolek, of St. Augustine, Fla., finished second (2-2) while World Motocross Championship competitor and Red Bull KTM rider Steffi Laier finished third (3-3) in a guest appearance on U.S. soil.
The 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship continues next week, with round two from Freestone Raceway in Wortham, Texas and the Rockstar Energy Freestone National on Saturday, May 28.
Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship
Rockstar Energy Hangtown National
Prairie City SVRA – Rancho Cordova, Calif.
May 21, 2011
Round 1 of 12
450 Class (Moto Finish)
- Chad Reed, Australia, Honda (2-1)
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki (1-2)
- Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki (3-3)
- Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda (6-4)
- Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Honda (5-5)
- Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda (4-7)
- Tommy Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Yamaha (8-8)
- Christophe Pourcel, France, Yamaha (7-11)
- Ricky Dietrich, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha (11-9)
- Christian Craig, Hemet, Calif., Honda (14-10)
450 Class Championship Standings
- Chad Reed, Australia, Honda – 47
- Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki – 47
- Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki – 40
- Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda – 33
- Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Honda – 32
- Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Honda – 32
- Tommy Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Yamaha – 26
- Christophe Pourcel, France, Yamaha – 24
- Ricky Dietrich, Menifee, Calif., Yamaha – 22
- Christian Craig, Hemet, Calif., Honda – 18
- Michael Byrne, Dade City, Fla., Suzuki – 18
250 Class (Moto Finish)
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki (2-1)
- Dean Wilson, Scotland, Kawasaki (1-3)
- Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki (5-2)
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda (3-4)
- Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (4-6)
- Gareth Swanepoel, South Africa, Yamaha (9-5)
- Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha (8-8)
- Darryn Durham, Butler, Pa., Honda (10-9)
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha (11-5)
- Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda (7-13)
250 Class Championship Standings
- Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki – 47
- Dean Wilson, Scotland, Kawasaki – 45
- Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki – 38
- Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda – 38
- Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 33
- Gareth Swanepoel, South Africa, Yamaha – 28
- Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha – 26
- Darryn Durham, Butler, Pa., Honda – 23
- Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha – 22
- Cole Seely, Newbury Park, Calif., Honda – 22
WMX Class (Moto Finish)
- Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha (1-1)
- Ashley Fiolek, St. Augustine, Fla., Honda (2-2)
- Steffi Laier, Germany, KTM (3-3)
- Tarah Gieger, Puerto Rico., Honda (4-7)
- Jacqueline Strong, Sedona, Ariz., KTM (7-5)
- Tatum Sik, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha (8-6)
- Mariana Balbi, Brazil, Yamaha (13-4)
- Kasie Creson, Byron, Calif., Honda (10-8)
- Sayaka Kaneshiro, Japan, Suzuki (9-10)
- Elizabeth Bash, Riverside, Calif., KTM (14-9)
WMX Class Standings
- Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha – 50
- Ashley Fiolek, St. Augustine, Fla., Honda – 44
- Steffi Laier, Germany, KTM – 40
- Tarah Gieger, Puerto Rico., Honda – 32
- Jacqueline Strong, Sedona, Ariz., KTM – 30
- Tatum Sik, Temecula, Calif., Yamaha – 28
- Mariana Balbi, Brazil, Yamaha – 26
- Kasie Creson, Byron, Calif., Honda – 24
- Sayaka Kaneshiro, Japan, Suzuki – 23
- Elizabeth Bash, Riverside, Calif., KTM – 19
Tickets for the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship are on sale at www.allisports.com, Special discounts and incentives are available for advance ticket purchasers.
For more information on the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, please log on to www.allisports.com/motocross.