CHINO, CA (JUNE 19, 2012) – Yoshimura-backed teams continued to dominate at round five of the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championships at the Budds Creek National in Mechanicsville, MD, on Saturday. The Honda Racing, Yoshimura Suzuki and Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki teams took on the competition using their Yoshimura products to the fullest to conquer Budds Creek.
In the 250 class at Budds Creek, Yoshimura-backed GEICO Honda teammates Justin Barcia, Eli Tomac and Wil Hahn put together strong rides throughout the entire day. After qualifying first in practice, Barcia continued his momentum by grabbing the win in moto one. In moto two, he was able to work his way through the pack from outside the top 20 to finish fifth, placing him on the podium with a third overall.
"I felt great in moto one, but moto two was just off for me," said Barcia. "I got a bad start in the second race, which put me in a bad position, and then after going down, it set me back even more from the top four guys. I really had to work for the fifth-place finish and I'm grateful to be on the podium again and still second in points."
Tomac put together a solid charge, finishing 5-3 for a fourth overall. "The track was tricky today when it came to passing," said Tomac. "It was pretty one-lined and the passing lanes didn't set up like they have in the past so it made it really tough to come through the pack. Between that and the lappers you had to be really careful not to make any mistakes because it could really hurt you."
After posting fifth-quickest qualifying times in 450 practice, Yoshimura-backed Team Honda Muscle Milk's Brayton came out swinging in moto one, nailing the holeshot and riding a solid race to finish fifth. After grabbing a mid-pack start in moto two, he was able to charge his way to an eighth-place finish, giving him fifth overall. "Today was a good day for me," said Brayton. "It felt like everything finally started to come together and I was able to ride up front where I belong. Race one went really great. After getting the holeshot I fell back a few positions but was still able to maintain a good pace. In the second race, my start wasn't as great but I was still able to finish strong. I am really going to take advantage of these next two weekends off and come to RedBud strong."
Team Yoshimura Suzuki Racing picked up another top-10 finish and moved into the top five in the overall championship points standings at the Budds Creek National. Brett Metcalfe raced his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 to two respectable moto finishes to bring home sixth overall. This impressive result also moved Metcalfe up to fifth in the title chase.
This weekend saw Metcalfe overcome two lackluster starts by putting his head down and charging through the field on his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450. In the first moto, the Australian clicked off solid laps to get to eighth by the race's end. In moto two, Metcalfe came out even stronger and slotted into eighth by the halfway point. Aggressively battling for the remainder of the moto, Metcalfe moved into seventh and eventually sixth, for a combined-moto result of sixth overall.
"It was a tough track," said Metcalfe. "In moto one, I had a bad start and I came from a long ways back to get up to eighth. During the break, I worked with the Yoshimura Suzuki team and we made some changes for the second moto. I needed a good start but I didn't get it, and I was back in 20-plus position. But I rode hard, the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 was brilliant and I made good passes. Now, we have a break and I'm going to focus on my starts to be better at RedBud. I want to really put the hammer down to get the results I want."
Yoshimura Suzuki teammate James Stewart continues to suffer from a wrist injury incurred in his recent crash at round three at Thunder Valley. Knowing the series was about to go into a two-week break before the next round, Stewart opted out of Budds Creek so he could focus on recovering and returning 100 percent at RedBud. "I was sorry to miss Budds Creek,” said Stewart. “I'm getting better, but I'm still not where I need to be to be racing. I'm just looking forward to being completely healthy in a few weeks so I can come back and race the way I was racing at the start of the season.”
For Yoshimura-backed Rockstar Energy Racing in the 250 class, Jason Anderson enjoyed his best result of the season. Anderson rallied after a poor start to finish seventh in the first moto, and then sixth in the second to bring home a commendable sixth overall for the day. "This weekend was good," said Anderson. "I had a bad start in the first moto, but came up to seventh. In the second moto, I was running fourth and ended up coming out with sixth in the moto. I was sixth overall and I felt more solid than I usually do, so this was a good day for me. We're going to keep at it during the break and be fighting-strong for RedBud."
Yoshimura-backed Rockstar Energy Racing teammate Blake Wharton is getting back into his 250 MX groove after missing last season due to injury. Although he got a less-than-stellar start in the first moto, Wharton came back to ninth. In the second moto, he crashed on the first lap but rallied to finish 18th. Overall, Wharton was 12th for the day. "I rode pretty good in the first moto," said Wharton. "But it was a rough weekend. You have them every now and then – sometimes, more often then you want. But we've got a little break now, so we'll rest up and come back strong for RedBud."
Continuing to progress and improve in the 250 class, Yoshimura-backed Rockstar Energy Racing's Hunter Hewitt went down at the start of the first moto and had to come from dead last. Even so Hewitt made it from 40th to 25th. In the second moto, he got off the line better and finished 15th. Hewitt finished the day in 18th overall. "Today was kind of tough," said Hewitt. "In the first moto, I went down on the start and couldn't re-start my bike. I came from last all the way to 25th. In the second moto, I just tried the best I could. I got a decent start and went all the way to 15th and stayed there. Now, we've got a two-week break before RedBud, which is really much appreciated."
Finally, Yoshimura-backed Rockstar Energy Racing's Jessica Patterson currently leads the overall championship points in the WMX class, which didn't run at Budds Creek. And Rockstar Energy Racing's Martin Davalos continues to recover from a recent crash.
The next stop for the Yoshimura-backed teams is the sixth round of the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday, July 7th, at the RedBud National in Buchanan, MI.
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