Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray grabbed the 250 class overall win for the second-straight year at MX 338 in Southwick, Mass with an impressive 2-1 moto finish during Round 10 of the AMA Motocross Championship series. Finishing just behind him in second was teammate Dean Wilson with a 3-2 moto result, which extended his points lead in the class championship to 38 points. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto also extended his lead in the 450 class championship to eight points after he finished second overall with a 2-4. Jake Weimer remained consistent as he finished sixth overall for the second-straight race aboard the 2012 Kawasaki KX(TM)450F. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett came from behind to finish fifth overall with a 9-6, while Broc Tickle showed speed finishing seventh overall with a 5-12.
Back Into Second
After a tough round at Unadilla, Rattray was able to bounce back in a big way as he grabbed his fourth overall victory of the season. In the first moto, Rattray made his move to the front and was able to finish out the 30 minutes plus two laps in second. After a few set-up changes, Rattray came out ready to lock up the overall and after passing for the lead on the third lap, he captured his fourth moto win of the season.
“The track was a lot rougher than we were thinking it would be in the first moto so we made some changes and the bike was perfect in the second moto,” said Rattray. “I’ve ridden on tracks like this all my life and I think it helps a lot when we come to a track like Southwick. It’s obviously different than anything we see all year and I’m always happy to come here.”
More Points For Wilson
Following his win last week at Unadilla, Wilson entered the race in Southwick with a 25-point gap in the standings. With his smart riding in the deep sand of Southwick, Wilson was able extend that lead to 38 points over second with another podium finish with a 3-2 moto score.
“I didn’t do the greatest here last year so I wanted to come in and put together two good motos and see what happened,” said Wilson. “It was nice to be up on the podium again and add more points to my lead. I would really like to win again this season. We’ll see what happens at Steel City.”
Race By Race
Villopoto started the day with the top qualifying time, but track conditions continued to change as rain started to fall. In the first moto, Villopoto got a good start, but was pushed back to fifth after the second turn. He moved his Kawasaki KX(TM)450F into second and made a push in the final laps, but couldn’t make a pass in time. In the second moto, conditions were even worse and Villopoto did what he needed to keep his bike on two wheels to finish fourth.
“It was pretty gnarly out there during the second moto,” said Villopoto. “Even with the sand, the track was slick and it was hard to get into a groove. I knew I wanted to make sure I didn’t go down because it is really hard to get going again with your hands covered in mud and sand. I would have liked to have left with more than a one-point gain in the championship, but we did get another point ahead of second.”
Another Great Finish
In his rookie motocross season in the 450 class, Weimer continued to get good starts and maintain his position near the front. The starts were important at Southwick, and Weimer was able to put his 2012 Kawasaki KX450F just outside the top-five for the second-straight week.
“It’s nice to finally feel like I’m getting into a groove with my riding,” said Weimer. “I am definitely feeling more comfortable now. I was so close to a top-five this week and I know that I’m riding more consistent. Hopefully I’ll be able to put us into the top-five, not just outside of it.”
Managing the Roost
With the mixture of rain and sand at the MX 338 track, Baggett had to tackle conditions he isn’t normally used to. In both motos he had to make charges to the front from mid-pack and in both motos made it inside the top-10. Showing off his never-give-up attitude, he finished the day with a 9-6 moto score that was good enough for fifth overall.
“In the first moto I was making good progress, but had to pull off my goggles with just a few laps to go,” said Baggett. “With those conditions, I had to come in so I lost a few positions there. My second moto wasn’t much better. I am just glad to get out of here healthy and I’m definitely looking forward to next week at Steel City.”
Showing What He’s Got
After a year of battling bad luck, Tickle was finally able to put his speed up front as he finished fifth in the first moto at Southwick. Unfortunately the bad luck would follow him to the second moto where an early moto crash pushed him back to 26th on the first lap. Showing his determination once again, Tickle made it all the way up to 12th to finish seventh overall.
“I am happy to finally be able to show my speed in one moto, but then I have a bad second moto and can’t put together what I think could have been a podium finish,” said Tickle. “I felt really good coming into the weekend. Despite all the bad luck, I can at least say that I haven’t given up during any moto when I have been able to come through the pack. I just hope everyone can see that.”
Top-10 for Junk Yard Dog
While he’s already attended two rounds this season, 46-year-old Kawasaki rider John Dowd was happy to have the AMA Motocross Championship back in his home state of Massachusetts. Since 1987, Dowd has been racing at his hometown track and despite being the most senior racer on the track, he scored an impressive 9-8 moto finish to end the day eighth overall.
While Massachusetts declared a state of emergency in preparation for Hurricane Irene, the racers took to the track in wet conditions. The fans weren’t afraid to come out and see their favorite racers as attendance was better than expected despite surrounding conditions.
“It was great to see all the fans come out considering the weather and hurricane warnings,” said Weimer. “I was thinking the hurricane would have scared everyone away, but it seemed to be a really good turnout.”
The series hits the final stretch with only two races to go as the series heads to Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pa. over Labor Day weekend. Wilson holds on to a 38-point lead over his teammate Rattray with only 100 points available over the next two rounds, while Villopoto will try to extend his eight-point lead in the 450 class.