Riders and fans alike could not have asked for a better Independence Day weekend for racing. With temps in the mid-80, crystal clear skies, and a slight breeze, the conditions were ideal for great racing, and that is exactly what the Michigan Mafia got. An absolutely stunning track produced excellent racing in all three classes and if anyone left dissappointed, it was because they weren’t paying attention. In case you were one of those few, or you were unable to catch the live Alli and NBC coverage, here is a recap of all six motos from Red Buuuuud.
In what is becoming a common occurrence, Honda Red Bull Racing’s Andrew Short took the holeshot with more than a few title hopefuls were hot on his heels including Lucas Oil/TLD/Honda’s Ben Townley, Rockstar /Makita/Suzuki ace Ryan Dungey, and Chad Reed aboard his Monster Energy Kawasaki. However, on the opening lap, Townley was able to over take the lead and immediately put his head down to charge. With Townley out front, Short was left to deal with Reed and Dungey as the two riders were applying constant pressure to the factory Honda ace. As the race hit mid-stride Dungey inched every closer to Short and eventually both and Reed were able to make their way around. But the action did not stop there.
The Dungey/Reed duo attached themselves to Townley, ushering in a battle that would last the entire moto. The laps were clicking off, and as the checkered flag got closer, the three riders became closer and closer. The freight train or riders were definitely in a league of the own and Dungey even attempted to make the pass on a few occasions, but to no avail. With Reed also in the zone, the three riders seemed glued to one another.
Finally on the last lap, Reed and Dungey were able to force Townley into a mistake on the far side of the track. Unfortunately the TLD crash on his own but Reed was so close at the time that he also got stuck in the crash. So in one lap, and the most crucial one, Townley gave up his moto long lead and dropped back to fourth while Reed was able to remount in second. At the finish it was Dungey, Reed, Short, Townley, and Brett Metcalfe.
Following the excitement of the first moto, many were expecting and hoping for another battle royale, but it was not to be. While Short was again jumped out to the early lead, it was not long lived, as Dungey took over the lead and never really looked back. Towley was not far behind and took over second, while Reed eventually bumped up to third place. The incredible preparation of the track allowed for multiple lines on just about every segment of the track and Reed took advantage of this, moving past Townley midway through the race.
Further back in the pack was Brett Metcalfe, who was also eventually able to overtake Short to hold a solid fourth place position. Muscle Milk/Toyota/JGR/Yamaha’s Josh Grant put in another consistent ride, matching his first moto finish with sixth place, while Honda privateer, Kyle Regal, was a rider on the move, charging from just inside the top ten to seventh at the finish line. The young 450 pilot was rapidly gaining on Short and Metcalfe but simply ran out of time. At the finish, it was Dungey, Reed, and Townley rounding out the podium for the moto and the day.
1) Ryan Dungey 1-1
2) Chad Reed 2-2
3) Ben Townley 4-3
4) Andrew Short 3-5
5) Brett Metcalfe 5-4
6) Josh Grant 6-6
7) Kyle Regal 7-7
8) Ryan Sipes 8-8
9) Mike Alessi 10-9
10) Nick Wey 9-12