I love a great adventure, and motocross racing can really take you on some amazing journeys. The traveling, hotels, restaurants, rental cars, the race track, the friends … and then you have your online, printed mapped directions to guide you to your destination!
However, that’s not always the case! Watch out! Some of those online maps can lead you to a quiet road in the middle of some amazing place … but the hotel you planned on seeing might not be there! (Note to self and y’all – always call ahead and verify the directions!)
After a nice scenic view of the local area, I was ready to find my hotel and catch up on some grub, lost sleep, the Lakers … and get ready for the weekends race!
Round 4 of the AMA Lucas Oil Motocross Nationals took place in the great state of Pennsylvania. Nestled in a grassy patch of land called Mount Morris – the area is truly beautiful. The road to get to the race track was very small and it seemed as if I was driving into the back lots of some homes, but the road continued to wind and weave and I saw more homes with large porches and rocking chairs – just like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting.
All my driving was finally rewarded as the scenery opened up to hillsides of big grassy hills and meadows, and in the distance I could see High Point Raceway.
Deep in the tree lined cities of Pennsylvania, in a little town called Mount Morris, this hidden oasis was alive and thriving with people ready for motocross, and I was ready to check out this sweet track. The ‘weatherman’ talked about possible rain and thunderstorms, which meant we might see some mud racing …. but it certainly didn’t seem the case as I walked the track.
Both 250 Moto’s were high intensity and all the action was easy to see from a variety of viewpoints. Moto 1 was led by Christophe Pourcel – from holeshot to the checkered flag; you would never guess that this guy’s been struggling with abdominal pains the past few weeks.
Trey Canard started Moto 1 in ninth place, but quickly made up time and moved his way up to second place by lap seven. Making passes on guys and keeping the gas on, Trey did pull the fastest lap time of the moto, but it was no match for the leader, who had a nice gap over the rest of the field.
Another racer with a challenge in MotoÃ‚Â one was Ryan Dungey. He started back in 13th place and was forced to battle through some tough situations, but dug deep and made some significant passes to finish third in the moto.
Starting off in fourth and finishing Moto1 in fourth counts as a good race to me, but I am sure Tommy Searle is getting eager for a podium finish. Tommy definitely looked comfortable out on the track, and his effort appeared seamless when he was racing especially up and down the steep grades of the race track.
Those last few spots in the top 20 of any moto are especially hard fought and the guys who gut it out and race like it’s for first place are the heart of motocross. Everyone’s been there one time or another, mid-pack in a class of 40 participants, determined to prove your abilities and skills. Example: #144 Alex Martin battle to 17th place; 475 Kyle Regal of Kemp, Texas followed right behind in 18th, #24 Brett Metcalfe was 19th and the 719 of Vince Freise was 20th.
One of the most important pieces of protection in motocross riding and racing are your goggles – imagine all that roost from the other bikes shooting in your face! Just ask Ryan Clark – ouch!
After an hour break, the 250 riders returned to the gate for Moto 2, and I took my place on a grassy area of Mount Morris. Soon, a barrage of riders fly past me, flinging dirt high in the air, while the extreme sounds of 40 dirt bikes create an impressive earth shaking rattle for me and my camera lenses!
It was Trey Canard who had the lead and his biggest competitors were in his roost, one of which was the guy in 2nd place, Christophe Pourcel.. Each lap it was the same, Trey and Christophe both rode with great speed and agility with Trey leading the race and Christophe right there in second, patiently waiting to make his move.
After an impressive 13 laps in first and with only two laps left to go, Trey’s charge for the win took a radical turn in a split-second mistake – Trey flying over his handlebars pounding straight to the ground. Trey didn’t make it back into the race, but he did get up and make his way to the medic unit to get his injured arm examined. (Broken!)
It was then with nearly two laps to the checkered flag that Christophe Pourcel would benefit from Trey’s unfortunate crash. Of course, Christophe had Ryan Dungey just a few bike lengths behind him, so those last few laps around Pourcel really had to stay focused to the finish – and that’s just what he did. Christophe cruised to another first place finish to take the overall 250 win with a 1-1 sweep, and he not only won the purse money, but also the money for Round 1 of Monster Energy Triple Crown.
Ryan Dungey was quick to battle for a place on the podium. Ryan spent most of the race in a strong third place but with that hard crash by the leader, Ryan quickly turned a third into second, giving him second overall for the day. Unfortunately Ryan Dungey would now loose his point’s leads and red background number plate to the day’s winner.
Justin Barcia was back to earning points at Mount Morris – he rode smooth and looked like he was back in his element even though he lost two positions to Tommy Searle and Ryan Dungey at the end. Finishing the day sixth overall is a step in the right direction though!
One rider on the gas, moving and passing guys left and right was Blake Wharton. He started lap one mid-pack, but made strong and strategic passes on each lap, and in the last few laps of the race he maneuvered past Broc Tickle, Darryn Durham, and Brett Metcalfe for a 6th place finish; not a podium finish, but definitely nice.
Tommy Searle finally got the grand views from the podium at High Point Raceway via his third overall finish. It looks as if Tommy is finding his footing in the AMA Motocross Nationals, and we are bound to see more as he learns his way around the series.
Fourth overall on the day, South African Tyla Rattray. Tyla rode two strong races; Moto one fifth, Moto two fourth.
Matt Lemoine has his best weekend yet in the series. Moto one Matt finished strong in seventh place, but in Moto two Lemoine had to dig deep after getting a bad start – 26th, and moving up to 11th by the checkered flag. Matt Lemoine finished 8th overall at High Point.
Round 4 of the Motocross Nationals was a greatÃ‚Â day of racing; the crowd was awesome, the track was great, and thankfully we didn’t have any rain. Sweet!
And the big winner on the day in the 250 class at the AMA National Motocross at High Point – Christophe Pourcel!
You can view Christophe’s rider profile on Supercross.com here
To see all the results, points, and photos from the AMA Motocross round in Mt. Morris, you can visit this link