Round 10 of the AMA National Motocross Championships at Southwick. Drama and more today. First time moto and overall winners. MX Champion’s bike doesn’t make it to starting line. Brett Metcalfe has won his first overall victory in AMA 450 Motocross. Justin Barcia wins his first 450 MX moto. Hurricane Irene starts to make an appearance with rain. Chad Reed has two bad outings. Tyla Rattray wins 250 MX Lites class, while teammate Dean Wilson keeps series points lead.

Moto-X 338

The story right now – Hurricane Irene – it’s on the horizon, but as of noon Eastern (local time), everything has been fine. Stay tuned here for all the info and updates during race day.

The sand track here at Southwick is set in a nice valley surrounded by pine trees. Southwick is the village here in Massachusetts where the race is held. The track is run by the local American Legion, and it’s called Moto-X 338.

During morning practices, it has gone from overcast to rain to no rain, then a brief, hard downpour to lightly raining. The track is holding up very well, and each year the promoter keeps making changes to make the facility better.

In the first timed practice, the Motocross Class has Chad Reed on top with 1 minute 56.43 seconds. Then defending MX series champion Ryan Dungey at 1 minute 56.93. Justin Barcia for American Honda third quickest lap time at 1.57.59, and series point leader Ryan Villopoto next at 1.57.60, Mike Alessi 1.57.61. In the second practice, with the track a bit rougher (sand gets much bumpier and rutted the more the track is used), series points leader and Supercross Champion Ryan Villopoto on top with 1 minute 59 seconds for the quickest lap. Justin Barcia next at 2 minutes even. Then Chad Reed, Ryan Dungey, Brett Metcalfe, Jake Weimer and Mike Alessi.

In the first 250 MX Lites timed practice, Eli Tomac on top with quickest lap – 2 minutes even. Second is Tyla Rattray – 2 minutes 1 second. Followed by Gareth Swanepoel, World MX2 Motocross Champion Marvin Musquin on the KTM, James Decotis next, Martin Davalos, Dean Wilson, Blake Baggett, and Jason Anderson. Justin Bogle 17th, Malcolm Stewart 21st.

2011 AMA Motocross - Round 10 - Southwick, MA - Photo 1 of 10

Eli Tomac

The second 250 MX Lites practice has been red flagged. Now they have begun again. It’s Eli Tomac on top with 2 minutes even (again), Tyla Rattray second, also at 2 minutes. Those two teammates are separated by less than 3/1000ths of a second. Gareth Swanepoel third at 2 minutes 2 seconds, Dean Wilson 2 minutes 2 seconds. Blake Baggett ninth at 2 minutes 3 seconds. Marvin Musquin tenth at 2 minutes 3 seconds as well.

One thing we’ve noticed on some of the bikes today – they are using expanded, larger gas tanks to hold more fuel. (The reason why is the sand helps the motors to use more gasoline.)

Motocross Class Moto 1

Two Suzuki’s up front at the start – Ryan Dungey number 1, and Brett Metcalfe second (number 24). With almost perfect riding conditions, and such high traction because of the sand, the riders are very agressive. Ryan Villopoto is next, followed by Justin Barcia. Then Mike Alessi and Chad Reed.

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Ryan Dungey

No substantial rain yet. Villopoto and Metcalfe are having a good battle for second, which Villopoto eventually ‘wins’. Running order four laps in – Dungey, Villopoto, Metcalfe, Barcia, Alessi, Reed, and Weimer.

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Ryan Villopoto

2011 AMA Motocross - Round 10 - Southwick, MA - Photo 4 of 10

Justin Barcia

Ryan Dungey on the number 1 Suzuki is running comfortably out front, leading Villopoto by almost 10 seconds now. Third is Barcia, then Metcalfe, Chad Reed, Mike Alessi, and C Facciotti on a Yamaha 450. “Hometown” hero John Dowd, riding a Kawasaki, is running 13th.

10 lap complete – Dungey, Villopoto now within six seconds, Barcia six seconds behind Villopoto, Metcalfe a good distance back. Chad Reed fifth.

On lap 11, Barcia has some sort of problem – is having his bike pushed off the side of the track as he’s walking away. Lap 12 – Chad Reed is having a problem, kick starting his bike to get going again. Both Barcia and Reed are OUT of the race.

It did start raining a few minutes ago. It’s a steady rain too. Ryan Dungey is going to take his Suzuki to this moto win! 30 minutes + 2 laps = 17 laps total. Second goes to Ryan Villopoto. Third is Brett Metcalfe. Fourth Mike Alessi. Fifth C. Facciotti. Sixth thru tenth – Jake Weimer, Justin Brayton, L Smith, John Dowd, and R Marshall. Reed and Barcia are officially scored as 35th and 36th.

2011 AMA Motocross - Round 10 - Southwick, MA - Photo 5 of 10

John Dowd

250 MX Lites Class Moto 1

The holeshot goes to Yamaha mounted Gareth Swanepoel. And a steady rain keeps coming down. The riders are covered with the brown sand of the track within one lap.

Five minutes into this race Swanepoel leads Tyla Rattray, Lance Vincent, Dean Wilson, Gannon Audette, Malcolm Stewart and Kyle Cunningham. Eli Tomac is 28th. Wilson then goes past Vincent and into third.

Ten minutes into this race, as the rain continues to come down, “Swanie” leads Rattray by just over two seconds. Dean Wison third, Gannon Audette is next, and Lance Vincent after that.

Rattray has charged past Swanepoel on lap six, and he’s riding very agressively yet in control. Swanie is next. Then Dean Wilson three seconds behind Swanepoel. Fourth Gannon Audette, Malcolm Stewart has moved into fifth. Ryan Sipes is next, followed by Marvin Musquin. Eighth thru tenth – Jason Anderson, L Vincent, and Darryn Durham. Blake Baggett is 12th, Broc Tickle 13th, and Eli Tomac 14th. Justin Bogle is 22nd.

2011 AMA Motocross - Round 10 - Southwick, MA - Photo 6 of 10

Gareth Swanepol

It is raining harder now. The effects of Hurricane Irene are now starting to show. Tyla Rattray is leading 20 minutes into this race. Swanepoel, another rider from South Africa, just as Tyla is, running in second. Third is series points leader Dean Wilson. With his best ride of the season, Gannon Audette is fourth. Ryan Sipes now fifth, Marvin Musquin sixth, Malcolm Stewart seventh, then Durham, Tickle, Baggett, Vincent, Tomac.

It is raining so hard now, the bikes and front number plates are cleaner than before – like they are getting a shower, courtesy of Mother Nature. Rattray has started to slow … and Swanepoel moves back into the lead! The track is starting to get sloppy. With less than ten minutes to go, Swanepoel is leading, Rattray is second, Wilson is third, Audette fourth, Ryan Sipes fifth. With the tough track conditions, lap times have gone up to the 2 minute 15 second range.

“Swanie” is looking strong now. Still charging. Rattray, for some reason, has dropped back about three seconds. Could be vision problems, but don’t know for sure. Wilson in third.

Two laps to go – Gareth Swanepoel could be headed for his first ever victory in the USA. He’s leading Tyla Rattray by three seconds, and riding very well. Rattray second. Dean Wilson third, then Audette, Broc Tickle now into fifth, Ryan Sipes, Marvin Musquin, D Durham, Blake Baggett and Malcolm Stewart.

South African Gareth Swanepoel has earned this win. He does it – taking the 16 lap race in the rain! Tyla Rattray, also from South Africa, finishes second. Dean Wilson, Tyla’s teammate on Pro Circuit Kawasaki, finishes third. Fourth thru tenth – G Audette, B Tickle, R Sipes, M Musquin, D Durham, B Baggett, and M Stewart.

Motocross Class Moto 2

Drama even before the race starts – first moto winner Ryan Dungey has lost his first gate choice for this second moto. His bike was not to the staging area in time. His bike is in the pits – the team is having problems starting the bike.

Dungey is sitting. Standing. Pacing. Waiting at the start line – without his bike. He lost his first gate pick by the bike not being in staging area in time, and now, the gate is ready to drop – as he’s watching, with no motorcycle in sight.

The early leader, as the rain starts to come down even harder – Justin Barcia number 17 on the Honda. Justin Brayton second. For sure riders are aleady having vision and goggle problems with the rain, sand, and mud. Third place is Ryan Villopoto, then Brett Metcalfe, Jake Weimer, Mike Alessi, L Smith, J Morrison, R Marshall, and John Dowd. More drama – Chad Reed is invovled in first turn crash.

Ryan Dungey is in this race. However, he did not start when the gate dropped! He came into the race after all the other riders had already taken off and were on their first lap – Dungey started almost half a lap behind.

By lap five, with Barcia charging out front, Reed has moved into 28th. Dungey is further back. On lap six, Ryan is up to 28th … Reed is in 32nd. And Reed is now out of the race.

Meanwhile, Justin Barcia and the Honda 450 seem to suit each other’s style just fine. Justin is out front, leading Justin Brayton by almost 22 seconds just past the six lap mark. Brett Metcalfe is in third. Ryan Villopoto is in fourth.

With Reed having problems in both motos, and Dungey having this second moto issue, Ryan Villopoto has secured more points towards securing his first ever AMA National Motocross class championship, to go with his 2011 AMA Supercross Series Championship, three 250 MX Lites outdoor national championships, and two regional AMA Supercross Championships. There are only two rounds left in the 2011 AMA MX series, next Saturday at Delmont (Steel City) PA, and the following Saturday at the season finale at Pala Raceway MX in San Diego county.

Lap eight – Justin Barcia out front. Justin Brayton in second, 23 seconds back. Third is Metcalfe. Villopoto, Weimer, Alessi, Smith, Dowd, Sewell, Chisholm. Dungey is up to 17th.

Never before have we heard of a first moto winner, the defending National Champion, battling to retain that championship, not make it with his bike to the starting line for the second moto. More specifically, his motorcycle not making it to the start area. Definitely the ‘big’ storyline of the day.

Another storyline – with two laps to go, Justin Barcia is heading towards his first 450 AMA MX race win. The rain has slowed substantially now. Brett Metcalfe has moved into second, Justin Brayton third. Monster Kawasaki riders Villopoto and Weimer are fourth and fifth. Mike Alessi sixth. Dungey up to 13th.

Even in the deep sand of Southwick, the beginning effects of Hurricane Irene are substantial. The track is a quagmire. Lap times for the fastest 450 guys are now 2 minutes 30 seconds plus. One lap to go.

Justin Barcia is the second moto winner! 15 laps. His first ever 450 AMA MX win. Second goes to Brett Metcalfe, third is Justin Brayton. Villopoto scores fourth, and extends his series points lead. Jake Weimer finishes fifth. Sixth thru tenth – Mike Alessi, Ryan Dungey all the way up to seventh! Local legend, the ‘youngster’, John Dowd eighth. Then L Smith and S Sewell.

Wow … let’s recap … the overall winner with a third and second, and winning his first ever overall win in 450 AMA Motocross – Australian Brett Metcalfe! Second overall is going to go to Ryan Villopoto (2/4) and third overall (believe it or not) Ryan Dungey (1/7). Chad Reed has day he’d like to forget. Amazing.

Ryan Dungey said afterwards of his ‘issue’ in the second moto: We had an electronical issue with the bike. It was running. I was ready to head out. I shut it off, and then it wouldn’t restart. I lost my gate pick. I started walking back … I didn’t even know what to think. We don’t go out there just to win races, we go out to win championships. We have four more races still left and we are going to give it everything we got. I didn’t quit. I tried to salvage as many points as possible. I’ve never been in that position before (of losing gate position, and having the race start without me). I was there in my original gate pick, preparing my spot … but the bike wasn’t there. I thought it was over. I didn’t even know what to think, except I don’t want to lose a championship like that.

Overall Motocross winner Brett Metcalfe: The start of my day wasn’t too good – I had a huge get off on the second lap of practice. I was maybe a bit excited and over-riding … you had to slow down to get into a good rhythm. I got third in that first moto, but I was not happy. I knew I could do better. We made some changes for the second moto and the mud, and the bike was amazing. It was big for me winning the overall. In eight years (racing here in the USA), coming down to those last laps, I was just thinking ‘don’t blow it’. Motocross and the career that it is, is a very emotional roller coaster. You dream about coming here (to the USA), and it motivates you and keeps you going. It’s overwhelming to win and a great feeling.

After Brett was done with the press conference, and in response to a question, he jokingly replied “I’m a winner.” And the entire press room erupted in cheering and applause.

2011 AMA Motocross - Round 10 - Southwick, MA - Photo 7 of 10

Brett Metcalfe

250 MX Lites Class Moto 2

Alex Martin and his Honda are out front early. Tyla Rattray is second. Dean Wilson third. James DeCotis fourth. Gareth Swanepoel is fifth. Then Ryan Morais, Justin Bogle, Ryan Sipes, Marvin Musquin, and L Vincent. Blake Baggett is 13th. West Regional Supercross Champ Broc Tickle involved in a multi rider pile up – he’s now 19th.

Lap four – Tyla Rattray has moved into first place. Alex Martin is second, Dean Wilson third, James DeCotis fourth. Swanie takes a fall, drops to seventh. The running order now on lap six – Rattray, Martin, Wilson, Justin Bogle into fourth, DeCotis fifth, Marvin Musquin sixth, then Swanepoel, J Anderson, R Morais, R Sipes, Blake Baggett, L Vincent, and Darryn Durham.

Tyla Rattray is taking charge of this race, and the overall. He’s leading as the race enters lap nine. Alex Martin is having his best ride of his career, running in second place. Dean Wilson is currently in third. Rookie Justin Bogle is fourth. Gareth Swanepoel has moved up to fifth. Marvin Musquin is sixth. Then J Anderson, James DeCotis, Ryan Morais and Blake Baggett round out the top ten.

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Marvin Musquin

Lap ten – Dean Wilson has worked his way around Alex Martin. It’s Rattray leading Wilson by almost 20 seconds, with Martin running third. Bogle fourth. Rattray appeard headed towards the moto victory and the overall victory if things don’t change.

With the rain having substantially subsided for now, it looks like this race and event is going to be run in entirety, without interuption from Hurricane Irene. But even with very light rain right now, the track is still very tough, bumpy, rutted and wet. And almost every rider has some kind of ‘issue’ with goggles and vision, no matter what system they use.

At the end of this 16 lap race, Tyla Rattray on Kawasaki has won the moto, and the overall victory. Dean Wilson finishes second, and second overall. Third thru tenth in this race – Alex Martin (best ride of his career), Justin Bogle, Gareth Swanepoel, Blake Baggett up to sixth, J Anderson, Marvin Musquin, James DeCotis, and L Vincent. Gareth Swanepoel has secured third overall, and Dean Wilson retains his series points lead – with just two rounds to go!

Dean Wilson said: I kept getting pit signals in the final race, ‘Save the bike’. It was making funny noises. I backed it down the last six laps to keep it together. It’s a tough track on bikes, and especially with the sand and the rain. As far as the championship, I want to win more overalls. If I can win this championship, I’d like to do it with winning these last two races.

Overall 250 MX Lites winner Tyla Rattray: This place is good for me. Obviously in my career I’ve ridden a lot of sand in Belgium. I lost my googles in the first moto, so I backed it down a bit and took second. I’ve going to keep trying hard, there are two rounds left and I’m going to give it my all. in 2012 I’d like to do 250 class in Supercross, and would like to ride the 450 in outdoors Motocross. I don’t know what team I’ll be with next year, but maybe Mitch (owner of Pro Circuit) and I can put something together so I can race 450 in outdoor Motocross next year. I’m really looking forward to the Motocross of Nations. It’s going to be a crazy event in France. It will be good to see everyone again. I really enjoy racing Motocross of Nations.

2011 AMA Motocross - Round 10 - Southwick, MA - Photo 9 of 10

Tyla Rattray

Motocross Class Results
  1. Brett Metcalfe – SUZ – 3/2
  2. Ryan Villopoto – KAW – 2/4
  3. Ryan Dungey – SUZ – 1/7
  4. Justin Brayton – YAM – 7/3
  5. Mike Alessi – KTM – 4/6
  6. Jake Weimer – KAW – 6/5
  7. Justin Barcia – HON – 36/1
  8. John Dowd – KAW – 9/8
  9. Les Smith – YAM – 8/9
  10. Kyle Chisholm – YAM – 11/10
  11. Colton Facciotti – YAM – 5/36
  12. Shane Sewell – YAM – 17/11
  13. Nick Wey – YAM – 14/14
  14. Robert Marshall – KTM – 10/34
  15. Michael Byrne – SUZ – 15/17
  16. Kyle Keylon – KAW
  17. Ben LeMay – YAM
  18. Kyle Regal – SUZ
  19. Travis Sewell – YAM
  20. Tye Simmonds – KTM
Motocross Class Point Standings
  1. Ryan Villopoto – 431
  2. Ryan Dungey – 423
  3. Chad Reed – 366
  4. Brett Metcalfe – 304
  5. Mike Alessi – 243
  6. Jake Weimer – 221
  7. Andrew Short – 196
  8. Kevin Windham – 193
  9. Davi Millsaps – 173
  10. Justin Brayton – 163
  11. Nick Wey – 143
  12. Tommy Hahn – 140
  13. Michael Byrne – 134
  14. Ricky Dietrich – 133
  15. Christian Craig – 131
  16. Tye Simmonds – 94
  17. Jimmy Albertson – 87
  18. Ben Lamay – 72
  19. Justin Barcia – 65
  20. Les Smith – 62
250 Class Results
  1. Tyla Rattray – KAW – 2/1
  2. Dean Wilson – KAW – 3/2
  3. Gareth Swanepoel – YAM – 1/5
  4. Alex Martin – HON – 10/3
  5. Blake Baggett – KAW – 9/6
  6. Marvin Musquin – KTM – 7/8
  7. Broc Tickle – KAW – 5/12
  8. Gannon Audette – YAM – 4/16
  9. Justin Bogle – HON – 18/4
  10. Darryn Durham – HON – 8/13
  11. Malcolm Stewart – SUZ – 11/11
  12. Lance Vincent – HON – 13/10
  13. Tyler Medagiia – YAM – 12/15
  14. Ryan Sipes – YAM – 6/35
  15. Jason Anderson – SUZ – 35/7
  16. James DeCotis – HON – 36/9
  17. Joshua Clark – HON – 21/14
  18. Dalton Carlson – KTM – 17/18
  19. Eli Tomac – HON – 14/32
  20. Cole Seely – HON – 15/31
250 Lites MX Class Point Standings
  1. Dean Wilson – 438
  2. Tyla Rattray – 400
  3. Blake Baggett – 398
  4. Kyle Cunningham – 264
  5. Eli Tomac – 246
  6. Gareth Swanepoel – 241
  7. Broc Tickle – 220
  8. Justin Barcia – 181
  9. Martin Davalos – 175
  10. Alex Martin – 170
  11. Darryn Durham – 169
  12. Malcolm Stewart – 157
  13. Cole Seely – 151
  14. Gannon Audette – 141
  15. Marvin Musquin – 101
  16. Travis Baker – 98
  17. Nick Paluzzi – 97
  18. Nico Izzi – 91
  19. Jason Anderson – 89
  20. Ryan Sipes – 80

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Brett Metcalfe

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