2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series Preview: Steel City MX
Once again Steel City MX will host the AMA outdoor National Motocross as it has every year since the late eighties. The Steel City circuit has hosted some epic races. Last year was by far some of the best – Ryan Villopoto stalking and pressuring Ryan Dungey until the final two corners, where Villopoto brilliantly raced around the outside of Dungey taking the win. That pass gave him the overall and eventually helped him win the outdoor title.
Welcome to this week’s Friday preview of the Steel City / Delmont National! Coverage of the race on Supercross.com will be here.
The 450 title is all sewn up this year – and it now belongs to Ryan Dungey. So the 450 class will be racing strictly for bragging rights or the right to do the move which we call “The Gurney” … more on that later.
What isn’t said and done is the 250 class title, with Justin Barcia sitting 24 points behind leader Blake Baggett. Not an insurmountable number, but something will have to go very, very wrong for BB12 to mess this one up.
Just like so many of the other Nationals, Steel City has enough history to fill up a small book. We’ll only touch on a few of the the moments. First has to be Ryan Hughes breaking his chain in 1995 and pushing his bike all the way to the finish line. Talk about heart! These days most guys would just drop the bike, throw their helmet, and wait for a team member.
Then of course back in 2000 there was the final moto where Travis Pastrana bested Stephane Roncada for the 125cc championship. This would be the only title that Pastrana would win outdoors in his far too short supercross and motocross racing career. Then, one year later the picture would be of Grant Langston sitting on the side of the track with a broken wheel, watching his championship slip away … Mike Brown would go on to win that 2001 title.
“The Gurney” never gets old. What’s “The Gurney” you might ask? Well Dan Gurney was a prolific car driver from the past and the first to ever spray champagne on the podium. He will go down in history not only for his winning ways but the way that he changed podium celebrations forevers. Dungey isn’t going to give up just because he clinched the championship … but certainly Mike Alessi wants a win … along with a lot of other guys that could step up in the 450 class …. Rattray, Short, Weimer, Brayton, Tickle, etc. There are plenty of guys that want to “Gurney”.
The 250 class championship race is far from over. Baggett has a 24 point lead which could be easily erased with a mechanical DNF or a couple of terrible motos. However, he has been the man to beat this year. Four motos left to go …
Then again, we’ve seen crazier things unfold in the 250 class. That’s the nature of motor sport. Now that Ken Roczen got that first outdoor moto win off his back, he will want an overall to go along with it. Steel City is another Euro style track that I could see Kenny or Marvin sneaking another moto win or overall on. The man who really needs to pull out a win though is Justin Barcia! He has to start gaining points on Blake Baggett … he’s had a couple of races recently that are less than he wanted.
Let’s see who can be on the podium doing “the Gurney” this weekend. Will the 250 class have a major shakeup? Or will Baggett keep on truckin’ to the path of 250 National Champion? Coverage will be on Supercross.com
The Steel City National will feature a full day of live broadcast coverage. Opening motos of both the 450 and 250 Classes will be featured live on FUEL TV, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern. Final moto coverage of both classes can be seen on NBC Sports Network, beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern.
Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship – FMF Steel City National – Notes Courtesy MX Sports
Jake Weimer “I had a rough one in Unadilla. I was super sore after my crash, but it was a blessing to have this past weekend off to have some extra time to get back to 100-percent. Steel City is a fun track, so I’m looking forward to getting the train back on track and getting back up on the podium.”
Tyla Rattray “These past two weeks I went back to California to test with the team. I didn’t have the weekend I wanted in Unadilla and was motivated to get back to work. We worked hard all week and I’m excited to go to Steel City. I really like the track; it has good dirt and should get nice and rough.”
Broc Tickle “I had a great weekend in Unadilla. I’ve been having a lot of fun, working hard, and it’s showing in my results. For the weekend off I relaxed, played some golf, and I am ready to get back into it. Steel City is a really fun track. There’s always a chance of rain and I like when it’s muddy. It’s really rutty and lots of off-cambers, so I always have fun there.”
Team Yoshimura Suzuki – James Stewart‘s return to the Nationals has had a little bit of everything and after spending an extended time away from competition, he returned to action at Unadilla in full health. Stewart looked like he was ready to make a return to the top of the podium after grabbing the lead early in the opening moto, but misfortune relegated him to ninth. In his efforts to finish on the podium in Moto 2, he experienced even more misfortune, ending his afternoon early and after suffering an injured finger, also ending his season.
Blake Baggett “Unadilla was a hard day at the office. I didn’t ride like myself and it cost me. I went back to California during the break and practiced on some hard-packed dirt and worked on getting back on the edge. I’m looking forward to Steel City, it should be good.”
A full day of live television coverage from Steel City begins on Saturday, September 1, with live first moto coverage of the 450 and 250 Classes on FUEL TV, beginning at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. Second moto coverage of both classes will be showcased live on NBC Sports Network, beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern.
- Overall Wins: Ryan Dungey – 8, James Stewart – 2
- Moto Wins: Ryan Dungey – 14, James Stewart – 4, Mike Alessi – 1, Tyla Rattray – 1
- Laps led: Ryan Dungey – 190, James Stewart – 69, Mike Alessi – 51, Michael Byrne – 9, Tyla Rattray – 4, Broc Tickle – 4, Andrew Short – 2, Tommy Hahn – 1
- Overall Wins: Blake Baggett – 4, Eli Tomac – 3, Justin Barcia – 2, Marvin Musquin – 1
- Moto Wins – Blake Baggett – 9, Eli Tomac – 6, Justin Barcia – 4, Ken Roczen – 1
- Laps led – Justin Barcia – 107, Ken Roczen – 79, Eli Tomac – 62, Blake Baggett – 51, Marvin Musquin – 12, Blake Wharton – 6, Zach Bell – 7, Jessy Nelson – 2, Phil Nicoletti – 1
Past Winners – STEEL CITY – Delmont, Pa.
September 3, 2011 / Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, WA / Kawasaki
September 4, 2010 / Kevin Windham, Centreville, MS / Honda
September 5, 2009 / Tommy Hahn, Decatur, TX / Kawasaki
August 31, 2008 / James Stewart, Haines City, FL / Kawasaki
August 26, 2007 / Grant Langston, South Africa / Yamaha
September 3, 2006 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Suzuki
September 4, 2005 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Suzuki
September 5, 2004 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Honda
August 31, 2003 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Honda
September 1, 2002 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Honda
September 2, 2001 / Kevin Windham, Centreville, MS / Suzuki
September 3, 2000 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Kawasaki
September 5, 1999 / Greg Albertyn, South Africa / Suzuki
September 6, 1998 / Doug Henry, Oxford, CT / Yamaha
August 31, 1997 / Jeff Emig, Riverside, CA / Kawasaki
September 1, 1996 / Jeff Emig, Riverside, CA / Kawasaki
September 3, 1995 / Jeremy McGrath, Murrieta, CA / Honda
September 4, 1994 / Mike LaRocco, South Bend, IN / Kawasaki
September 3, 2011 / Dean Wilson, Scotland / Kawasaki
September 4, 2010 / Trey Canard, Shawnee, OK / Honda
September 5, 2009 / Christophe Pourcel, France / Kawasaki
August 31, 2008 / Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, MN / Suzuki
August 26, 2007 / Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, WA / Kawasaki
September 3, 2006 / Broc Hepler, Kittanning, PA / Suzuki
September 4, 2005 / Broc Hepler, Kittanning, PA / Suzuki
September 5, 2004 / James Stewart, Haines City, FL / Kawasaki
August 31, 2003 / James Stewart, Haines City, FL / Kawasaki
September 1, 2002 / James Stewart, Haines City, FL / Kawasaki
September 2, 2001 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Kawasaki
September 3, 2000 / Travis Pastrana, Annapolis, MD / Suzuki
September 5, 1999 / Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL / Kawasaki
September 6, 1998 / Robbie Reynard, Norman, OK / Suzuki
August 31, 1997 / Kevin Windham, Baton Rouge, LA / Yamaha
September 1, 1996 / Kevin Windham, Baton Rouge, LA / Yamaha
September 3, 1995 / Steve Lamson, Pollock Pines, CA / Honda
September 4, 1994 / Robbie Reynard, Moore, OK / Kawasaki
September 5, 1993 / Robbie Reynard, Moore, OK / Kawasaki
September 27, 1992 / Jeff Emig, Highland, CA / Yamaha
September 29, 1991 / Guy Cooper, Stillwater, OK / Suzuki
September 30, 1990 / Mike Kiedrowski, Canyon Country, CA / Honda
October 1, 1989 / Jeff Matiasevich, La Habra, CA / Kawasaki
September 5, 1993 / Mike Kiedrowski, Canyon Country, CA / Kawasaki
September 27, 1992 / Jeff Ward, San Juan Capistrano, CA / Kawasaki
September 29, 1991 / Jeff Ward, San Juan Capistrano, CA / Kawasaki
September 30, 1990 / Jeff Ward, San Juan Capistrano, CA / Kawasaki
October 1, 1989 / Jeff Ward, San Juan Capistrano, CA / Kawasaki