2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series Preview: RedBud MX
Tomorrow is round six of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Series – it will be held at RedBud MX in Buchanan, Michigan. You’ll find coverage of this race coming Saturday here on Supercross.com.
A preview of the RedBud race this Saturday should start with a look back at round 5 in Budds Creek MD, where Ryan Dungey won the 450 Motocross class, and Blake Baggett did the same in the 250 MX Lites class. Race coverage from Budds Creek MX is here, including results, points and photos.
After a two week break, the series is headed to RedBud. This has been the first break of the series, and after chatting with many of the riders it was greatly welcomed. One rider who wasn’t looking forward to it was Michael Byrne. He has been finding some speed and his results have been improving each and every week. “Burner” is excited about racing since he was out with a neck injury for all of supercross, where-as most of the other riders are a bit burnt out having raced supercross and now outdoors.
Then there is the comeback of James Stewart. Will he be ready? Or was the extra two weeks still not enough time? (Stewart’s teammate Brett Metcalfe will not be lining up this weekend due to a nasty crash at Glen Helen MX Park. More on that later.)
This break was no vacation for the riders by any means. What it does do is give them a chance to mentally recharge. They don’t have the stresses of traveling or the consequences of a bad weekend. It may sound to the average person that we are blowing the toll of travel out of proportion. It really does take its toll on the body and mind over a whole season. It will show this weekend as everyone will be chomping at the bit to come out and win.
There are two people very hungry for their first win in AMA motocross. The German wonder Kenny Roczen (current MX2 World Motocross Champion) and Red Bull KTM team-mate Marvin Musquin (from France, and the 2009 / 2010 MX2 World Motocross Champion).
Blake Baggett was unstoppable last year at RedBud going 1-1 on the day. Will any of the riders be able to match his pure speed and aggression? The rest of the 250 field has to step up to the level that the fab four of Baggett, Barcia, Tomac and Roczen are at right now. This foursome just has a little bit more then the rest for an entire moto.
Every one, including riders and team managers have been watching the weather forecast and as of right now it says its going to be nice and sunny. Yesterday in nearby areas it was well over 100 degrees. We’ll see what comes Saturday where thunderstorms are always a possibility in that area of the USA during the summertime.
Let’s just hope that the sun comes out so the fans can watch the best in the world do battle. Sadly, one who won’t be lining up this weekend is Brett Metcalfe. Brett had a nasty crash at Glen Helen due to what was said to be a fuel problem. He will most likely be out for the rest of the series. Serious bummer because “Metty” was just starting to gain some traction and come alive as he always does at the tail end of the series.
And this news came in this morning from Joe Gibbs Racing – team member Davi Millsaps will not be racing this weekend, and probably next week as well – ankle injury suffered while training during the week.
The talk around JS7 has been that he’s back riding and to the form that gave him the first two wins of the series. Although this is always good to hear, Ryan Dungey is on a roll and has confidence. If there is anyone in the world that can find speed when needed it’s Stewart! Lets just hope the wrist is up to 30 +2 x2.
Another riding coming back to racing this weekend is Christian Craig. The TLD Honda rider has been out the entire year from an injury to his wrist he sustained last season. Christian has been flying at all of the local tracks and it will be great to see him back in AMA Pro MX action.
Seeing the fab four race the wheels off their motorcycles again this weekend will be awesome. But will one of the other 250 riders make it a five way battle? Let’s hope the weather stays on our side and the track conditions will be unreal! Is Stewart going to stop the streak that Dungey has had since his absence? These are just a few questions that will be answered come Saturday when the gate drops.
Revisit the 2011 RedBud MX race!
Courtesy GEICO Honda
“There is no summer vacation for us,” said rider and 2012 AMA East Regional Supercross Champion Justin Barcia. “You have to stay ahead of the game, which for us means training on and off the track. You take a few days off to rest but mainly I’ve wanted to stay in the same routine I’ve been in. I did actually have time to buy some furniture for my new house, so it’s nice to be able to sit on a couch.”
Barcia and teammate Eli Tomac, the 2012 AMA West Regional Supercross Champion are both in the thick of the championship with seven races remaining in the season. Blake Baggett is the series leader with Barcia 13 points behind in second and Tomac in third, 22 out of the lead.
Tomac said he spent the downtime at home in Durango, Colorado.
“I got in a little golf and visited some friends while I was here,” Tomac said. “Those five races in a row wear you down more than you think so it was nice to relax for a few days. I feel like I’m going to come back fresh after getting a little R & R.”
Wil Hahn, who had been making vast improvements during the last few races, also went home to train and relax.
“I took a few days to see my family, but mainly I kept my nose down,” Hahn said. “I wanted to keep building on the momentum I had built before the break.
“It’s exciting to come back at one of my favorite tracks of the year. There are big jumps and the crowd is always awesome there. The fact that it follows the Fourth of July weekend makes it that much more exciting.”
Barcia also is a big fan of RedBud’s near ideal racing surface.
“The dirt is always really good,” Barcia said. “It’s loamy and soft so it makes some good ruts and gives you some good uphills and downhills to race on.”
Tomac made the vote unanimous, noting Redbud’s all-around quality.
“I like it a lot and don’t know many people who don’t like racing there,” Tomac said. “There are a lot of good hills, the dirt is awesome and it has the craziest fans – overall it’s the best race of the year.”
Practice for the RedBud National gets under way at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Saturday with opening ceremonies starting at 12:40 p.m. FUEL TV will air the first motos live at 1 p.m. EDT. The second motos will air on the NBC Sports Network starting at 4 p.m.
Courtesy MX Sports – Red Bull RedBud National Notes and Stats:
Jake Weimer, “The first moto at Budds Creek went good and I was able to get on the podium. The second moto ended up being pretty tough. I didn’t get the best start and got caught in the middle of the pack. While I was trying to work through the pack on the first lap I got drilled in the chest with a rock. It really knocked the wind out of me and I almost pulled off the track, but I decided to keep racing. It wasn’t the best day, but ending with fourth overall was alright. I’m looking forward to RedBud, it’s my favorite track on the series. It has a lot of really big jumps so it should be a lot of fun.”
After suffering a broken hand during practice at the opening round of the season at Hangtown, Tyla Rattray will return at RedBud to make his official debut for the Monster Energy Kawasaki team. The weeks of recovery and time on the bike had Rattray ready to do battle with the top riders in the premier class and he’s excited to see where he stands on the big bike.
“I can’t wait to get back on the track,” said Rattray. “Being on the couch and watching the last few races from home was tough. After breaking my hand at Hangtown, I had to get surgery done on my hand. They installed a plate and some screws and sewed me back up. While I couldn’t ride, I continued to working hard on keeping up the physical side of the training. Since the doctor cleared me to ride I have been at Ryan (Villopoto’s) ranch in Florida training on my KX450F. I’m really looking forward to returning to the series at RedBud, it’s one of my favorite tracks.”
James Stewart will be back on the track at RedBud, looking to resume the dominant form he had at the start of the season. With a full three weeks of rest under his belt, Stewart is eager to get back aboard his Yoshimura Suzuki and begin a climb up the championship standings. Currently, Stewart sits seventh in the points, but with two overall victories under his belt this season, he should be a challenger at the front of the field. The former champion won at RedBud back in 2008, and is also a two-time winner at the track in the 250 Class.
Late last week, news broke that Brett Metcalfe would miss the remainder of the 2012 season after suffered multiple injuries in a practice crash. The Australian rider was fifth in the championship following Budds Creek and looked poised for a strong run in the second half of the season. His absence is sure to be felt out on the track.
Broc Tickle “Budds Creek went well. It was awesome to get my first outdoor podium with my parents in the stands. I’m just going to keep working hard and hopefully I can keep having fun and getting on the podium. I really like the track at RedBud. The dirt is really good. That event is also like a hometown race for me because I lived out there for a little while and my wife’s family is from there.”
Blake Baggett “My main goal is to keep holding onto that red plate. I don’t think I’m hungrier than I was last year, I think I’m just smarter. I really like the track at RedBud. It has a super cool layout and there are a lot of lines which makes for better racing.”
Ivan Tedesco “I got good starts at Budds Creek. I pulled the holeshot in the second moto and was stoked on that. Before we even finished the first lap I went down pretty hard going into a corner. My front tire slipped into some ruts and I knifed the front end. I slammed my head and tweaked my knee a little so I decided to pull off the track.”
Television Coverage from RedBud begins on Saturday, July 7, with live first moto coverage of the 450 and 250 Classes on FUEL TV, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern. Both motos will also be streamed live on AlliSports.com. Live second moto coverage of the 250 Class can be seen on NBC Sports Network at 4 p.m. Eastern, while the final moto of the 450 Class will air on Sunday, July 8, at 1:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC.
- This is the 39th running of the RedBud National
- RedBud is the site of the largest obstacle in American Motocross. LaRocco’s Leap, named for former championship rider and local hero Mike LaRocco, is a 120-foot uphill triple jump. The iconic obstacle has been giving riders big air for over two decades
- RedBud has hosted a national during the 4th of July holiday weekend since 1978
- Ricky Carmichael captured seven consecutive wins in the 450 Class at RedBud on three different brands of motorcycles
- Only two foreign-born riders have won at RedBud in both the 450 (Chad Reed and Sebastien Tortelli) and 250 (Grant Langston and Stephane Roncada) classes
- Ryan Dungey has won 31 of the 58 motos he’s entered in his 450 Class career (53%), claiming the overall in 17 of 29 races (58%)
- Through his first 29 career 450 Class races, Ricky Carmichael captured 21 overall victories. Ryan Dungey has claimed 17 wins in his first 29 starts and already sits sixth on the all-time wins list, just one behind Stewart and Kent Howerton
- The first Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship race held at RedBud was July 28th, 1974. Kenny Zahrt won on a Bultaco, marking the last AMA Pro Motocross win for that manufacturer
- Marty Tripes won his last Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship race at RedBud in 1979
- Jeff Ward won at RedBud on 125cc, 250cc, and 500cc bikes
- Overall Wins: Ryan Dungey – 3, James Stewart – 2
- Moto Wins: Ryan Dungey – 6, James Stewart – 4
- Laps led: Ryan Dungey – 79, James Stewart – 68, Mike Alessi – 18, Tommy Hahn – 1
- The first 250 Class race held at RedBud was May 23, 1976. Bob Hannah won on a Yamaha
- Overall Wins: Eli Tomac – 2, Blake Baggett – 2, Justin Barcia – 1
- Moto Wins: Blake Baggett – 4, Eli Tomac – 3, Justin Barcia – 3
- Laps led: Justin Barcia – 52, Ken Roczen – 51, Blake Baggett – 27, Eli Tomac – 27, Blake Wharton – 6, Jessy Nelson – 1, Phil Nicoletti – 1
Past Winners – REDBUD – Buchanan, Mich.
July 2, 2011 / Chad Reed, Australia / Honda
July 3, 2010 / Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, MN / Suzuki
July 4, 2009 / Josh Grant, Riverside, CA / Yamaha
July 6, 2008 / James Stewart, Haines City, FL / Kawasaki
July 1, 2007 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Suzuki
July 2, 2006 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Suzuki
July 3, 2005 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Suzuki
July 4, 2004 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Honda
July 6, 2003 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Honda
July 7, 2002 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Honda
July 1, 2001 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Kawasaki
July 2, 2000 / Sebastien Tortelli, France / Honda
July 4, 1999 / Kevin Windham, Ethel, LA / Honda
July 5, 1998 / Jeff Emig, Riverside, CA / Kawasaki
July 6, 1997 / John Dowd, Chicopee, MA / Yamaha
July 7, 1996 / Jeff Emig, Riverside, CA / Kawasaki
July 2, 1995 / Jeremy McGrath, Murrieta, CA / Honda
July 3, 1994 / Mike Kiedrowski, Canyon Country, CA / Kawasaki
July 4, 1993 / Mike Kiedrowski, Canyon Country, CA / Kawasaki
July 5, 1992 / Mike Kiedrowski, Canyon Country, CA / Kawasaki
July 7, 1991 / Damon Bradshaw, Mooresville, NC / Yamaha
July 8, 1990 / Jeff Ward, San Juan Capistrano, CA / Kawasaki
July 2, 1989 / Jeff Stanton, Sherwood, MI / Honda
July 7, 1985 / Rick Johnson, El Cajon, CA / Honda
July 1, 1984 / Rick Johnson, El Cajon, CA / Yamaha
July 3, 1983 / David Bailey, Axton, VA / Honda
June 1, 1980 / Steve Wise, Pharr, TX / Honda
July 1, 1979 / Marty Tripes, Santee, TX / Honda
July 2, 1978 / Kent Howerton, San Antonio, TX / Suzuki
May 22, 1977 / Tony DiStefano, Morrisville, PA / Suzuki
April 28, 1974 / Ken Zahrt, Woodland Hills, CA / Bultaco
July 2, 2011 / Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif. / Kawasaki
July 3, 2010 / Trey Canard, Shawnee, OK / Honda
July 4, 2009 / Jake Weimer, Rupert, ID / Kawasaki
July 6, 2008 / Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, WA / Kawasaki
July 1, 2007 / Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, WA / Kawasaki
July 2, 2006 / Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, WA / Kawasaki
July 3, 2005 / Grant Langston, South Africa / Kawasaki
July 4, 2004 / Michael Brown, Johnson City, TN / Yamaha
July 6, 2003 / James Stewart, Haines City, FL / Kawasaki
July 7, 2002 / James Stewart, Haines City, FL / Kawasaki
July 1, 2001 / Larry Ward, Florence, SD / Yamaha
July 2, 2000 / Stephane Roncada, France / Yamaha
July 4, 1999 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Kawasaki
July 5, 1998 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Kawasaki
July 6, 1997 / Kevin Windham, Baton Rouge, LA / Yamaha
July 7, 1996 / Steve Lamson, Pollock Pines, CA / Honda
July 2, 1995 / Steve Lamson, Pollock Pines, CA / Honda
July 3, 1994 / Jeff Emig, Riverside, CA / Yamaha
July 4, 1993 / Jeff Emig, Highland Ranch, CA / Yamaha
July 5, 1992 / Jeff Emig, Highland Ranch, CA / Yamaha
July 7, 1991 / Mike Kiedrowski, Canyon Country, CA / Kawasaki
July 8, 1990 / Guy Cooper, Stillwater, OK / Suzuki
July 2, 1989 / George Holland, Kerman, CA / Honda
July 3, 1988 / Guy Cooper, Stillwater, OK / Honda
July 5, 1987 / Micky Dymond, Yorba Linda, CA / Honda
July 6, 1986 / Micky Dymond, Yorba Linda, CA / Honda
July 7, 1985 / Ron Lechien, El Cajon, CA / Honda
July 1, 1984 / Jeff Ward, Mission Viejo, CA / Kawasaki
July 3, 1983 / Johnny O’Mara, Simi Valley, CA / Honda
July 4, 1982 / Mark Barnett, Bridgeview, IL / Suzuki
July 5, 1981 / Mark Barnett, Bridgeview, IL / Suzuki
May 23, 1976 / Bob Hannah, Whittier, CA / Yamaha
July 3, 1988 / Jeff Ward, Mission Viejo, CA / Kawasaki
July 5, 1987 / Rick Johnson, El Cajon, CA / Honda
July 6, 1986 / Rick Johnson, El Cajon, CA / Honda
July 7, 1985 / Broc Glover, El Cajon, CA / Yamaha
July 1, 1984 / David Bailey, Axton, VA / Honda
July 3, 1983 / Broc Glover, El Cajon, CA / Yamaha
July 4, 1982 / Danny Chandler, Foresthill, CA / Honda
July 5, 1981 / Chuck Sun, Sherwood, OR / Honda
June 1, 1980 / Denny Swartz, Marietta, OH / Maico
July 1, 1979 / Danny LaPorte, Yucca Valley, CA / Suzuki
July 2, 1978 / Rick Burgett, Sandy, OR / Yamaha
April 28, 1974 / Mike Hartwig, Hadley, MI / Yamaha