We start our preview and race coverage of the AMA National MX in Texas with “5 Things to Look for at the Freestone National Motocross” by Brian King
1. Another Competitive Race.
Ryan Dungey, Chad Reed, and Ryan Villopoto – all Supercross Champions, made the racing last Saturday at Hangtown incredibly exciting. Fan favorite Kevin Windham taking the holeshot only added to the frenzy of the 30,000+ fans on hand in Rancho Cordova. But they were not the only ones making it exciting. Brett Metcalfe, Davi Millsaps, and the return of the Crafty Frenchman Christophe Pourcel made the racing exciting all over the track. The race at Freestone should be no different.
2. More Dominance from Pro Circuit in the 250 Lites MX Class
Blake Baggett, Dean Wilson, Tyla Rattray, Broc Tickle. That is quite a lineup. Broc Tickle, fresh off of winning the West Coast Lites Supercross Championship, was the only non-factor last Saturday from “Team Green”. That is not going to last. He showed tremendous talent last year on a Yamaha that was not nearly as tricked out as a PC Kawasaki. He will become a front runner, joining his teammates. That starts this week at Freestone.
3. Ricky Who?
Motocross fans may be unfamiliar with Ricky Dietrich, but WORCS off-road fans are very familiar with the accomplished off-road champion. He filled in on a Factory Kawasaki a couple of years ago and scored some top fives in the process. No surprise, then, that the Valli Motorsports Yamaha rider found himself in the top ten at Hangtown. Look for the same results again at Freestone.
4. 250 MX Lites: Lotta Green.
Geico Honda’s Eli Tomac put in a good ride at Hangtown, but could not hold off the Kawasaki assault. Justin Barcia, the East Coast Lites Supercross Champion, grabbed the holeshot in moto two and led for several laps before diving over his handle bars. He was not a factor after that. Blake Baggett was the lone rider whose lap times got faster toward the end of both motos. Dean Wilson won the first moto and put in a solid ride in the second moto. Tyla Rattray ran up front all day long. Baggett is clearly the favorite at this point based on the fitness level he displayed in Round 1. Look for Tomac and Wilson to join him on the podium.
5. Motocross class: Constant shake up.
There are quite a few riders who have the capability of throwing a wrench into the Reed-Dungey-Villopoto podium domination. Tommy Hahn put in a good ride at Hangtown. Off-road champion Ricky Dietrich is no stranger to winning. Christophe Pourcel did not look fantastic on the blue bike, but we know from last year that Hangtown can be a poor indicator of future results. And who can forget ageless veteran Kevin Windham? Jake Weimer rebounded nicely from a dismal first moto and rode well in the second moto. Davi Millsaps reminded us that he is one of the fastest riders out there. Brett Metcalfe put in a good ride after finishing second in the championship in 2010.
Look for someone to step up and remind the top three that they will have work hard for 11 more rounds if they want to hold up the number one plate after Pala. Podium: Dungey, Villopoto, Metcalfe.
Next, a lot of info from MXSports on this upcoming race!
Past Motocross Champions Chad Reed and Ryan Dungey Lead Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Field into Freestone This Weekend
Blake Baggett and Jessica Patterson Hold Early Advantage in 250 and WMX Classes
A huge crowd welcomed the world’s best riders to Hangtown last weekend to kick off the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. This Saturday, the series heads to Texas for the second round of the season, celebrating Memorial Day Weekend with the Rockstar Energy Freestone National in Wortham.
Freestone Raceway is one of the most challenging tracks on the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship schedule. Track promoter Tony Miller has always tested the fastest riders on the planet with a diverse mix of speed and technicality, and this year won’t be any different. The track’s trademark sand whoops known as the 12-pack will be a focal point for fans and riders alike, while the sprawling layout will allow for close competition amongst all the riders.
Click here to see the results from last year’s 2010 event at Freestone
See results and points from the Hangtown race for the Motocross and Lites class
See a video recap from Hangtown MX
See results and points from the Hangtown race for the Women’s MX class
The on-track action for the Rockstar Energy Freestone National begins this Saturday at 8:30 a.m. CST with practice and qualifying. Opening ceremonies begin at 12:30 p.m. CST with motos kicking off at 1 p.m. CST.
450 Class Stats
- The first Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship race at Freestone Raceway was held on September 2, 2007. Grant Langston won on a Yamaha en route to the series championship.
- Freestone wins by brand: Suzuki 2, Kawasaki 1, Yamaha 1
- Ryan Dungey became the first rider to claim his inaugural 450 Class victory at Freestone.
- Since joining the schedule, Freestone has produced four different winners in four seasons. Additionally, three different manufacturers have sat atop the podium.
250 Class Stats
- The first 250 Class race at Freestone Raceway was September 2, 2007. Ryan Villopoto won on a Kawasaki.
- Christophe Pourcel became the third different winner at Freestone last season.
- Freestone wins by brand: Kawasaki 3, Suzuki 1
- There has never been a first time winner at Freestone in the 250 Class.
- By virtue of Pourcel’s move into the 450 Class, there will be a first-time winner at the Freestone facility this season.
450 Class – June 5, 2010 – Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, MN – Suzuki, June 6, 2009 – Mike Alessi, Victorville, CA – Suzuki, June 8, 2008 – James Stewart, Haines City, FL – Kawasaki, September 2, 2007 – Grant Langston, Clermont, FL – Yamaha
250 Class – June 5, 2010 – Christophe Pourcel, France – Kawasaki, June 6, 2009 – Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, MN – Suzuki, June 8, 2008 – Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, WA – Kawasaki, September 2, 2007 – Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, WA – Kawasaki
Chad Reed “I’m really happy about last weekend’s opening-round win, and I couldn’t ask for a better start to my season,” said Reed. “I plan to continue riding the wheels off my Honda for the entire season and put TwoTwo Motorsports on the podium at the next 11 rounds in the series.”
Ryan Dungey “Overall, our day was really good at Hangtown,” said Dungey. “I was able to get out in front and pull away for the win in the first moto, which was a good start to the season. I wasn’t able to get the job done in the second moto and ended up in second for the moto and second on the day. It’s a really good solid start for the season. We’ll keep moving forward and building from here and we’ll be good. Texas should be good. We’ve done pretty well there the last few years and I like the dirt there – It’s pretty much like what I grew up riding on.”
Brett Metcalfe “It was really awesome (at Hangtown),” said Metcalfe. “It’s good to be back with my Rockstar/Makita Suzuki team after being out injured for a while. It is good to be back racing and I really like the outdoors, so that’s a plus for me. I wanted to get a good start to the season and I’m really happy with fifth overall. I’m really looking forward to the next round in Texas, so I can build on this result. Freestone can be one of the more gnarly events with the heat and humidity. I’m actually heading out there early to get acclimated a bit. Hopefully that will translate into a better performance.”
Ryan Villopoto “I was a little disappointed with my result at Hangtown, but I got some good points and there is still a lot of racing left,” said Villopoto. “It was my first race back in almost two years so it felt good to finally get a motocross race out of the way after so long. I was a little sick, but I’ve been feeling better everyday and I’m getting closer to getting back to 100 percent.”
Jake Weimer “The second moto last week was really good for me to see that I could run up at the front of a very competitive class,” said Weimer. “I really want to continue to improve, and I think we can do well in Texas.”
Kevin Windham “I’m looking forward to Texas this weekend,” said Windham. “I’m hoping the weather can be a little kinder to everyone there than what it’s been in the past. I’m feeling good, and last weekend’s fourth overall was a positive start to the motocross season.”
Mike Alessi “I am very thankful that I am going to be okay,” said Alessi. “I had a really bad crash and was lucky to walk away with no broken bones. My doctors advised me to wait three to four weeks before returning, so I am hoping to make High Point my first race back.”
Andrew Short “I had a rough week in Hangtown,” said Short. “Although we struggled with some mechanical problems, there were lots of positives to take away. I had really good speed in the second moto and felt like I was where I belonged. Our plan is to put last weekend behind us and focus on my hometown race this weekend. I am really looking forward to Freestone, as I will have lots of family and friends in attendance.”
Blake Baggett “I have been training a lot to be ready to push the entire 35 minutes of racing,” said Baggett. “One win is nice, but now I am ready to keep adding to it. I’ve done well in Texas before and I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
Dean Wilson “I think I rode pretty good last week, but I made a few mistakes that ended up costing me,” said Wilson, who almost grabbed the overall win at Freestone in 2010. “Last year in Texas, I had some moments as well, so hopefully those are all behind me now and I can go out and get a win.”
Tyla Rattray “Texas is pretty brutal,” said Rattray. “It will be the toughest man standing after finishing two 35-minute motos. It’s been a good week of training so hopefully I can go out and finish the moto on top.”
Eli Tomac “I think I’ve really grown as a racer since my rookie motocross season last year,” said Tomac. “But no amount of experience really matters when it comes to dealing with the Texas heat. However, I feel like I’m a little more prepared this year and I know that the worst case scenario is weather, so I’ll be doing everything I can to stay cool. Fourth overall in the series points is a good platform to build from.”
Marvin Musquin “I am really excited about my results at Hangtown,” said Musquin. “I felt really comfortable on the bike all day. I wish I would have had a little better start, but I was able to come through the pack pretty well. I am looking forward to this weekend.”
Television coverage for Saturday’s Rockstar Energy Freestone National begins with live coverage of the opening motos for both the 450 and 250 classes on FUEL TV, beginning at 2 p.m. EST. Same-day, final moto coverage of both classes will air back-to-back, beginning with the 450 Class on SPEED at 10 p.m. EST. The 250 Class will be shown immediately after, at 11 p.m. EST.