The weather and racing in Maryland were both hot, humid, and anything but predictable. As the series winds down, one champion has now been crowned, but the other series is still completely up for grabs with two races remaining. Budds Creek is known for the excellent track conditions and for a while, that held true…until the rains came. Read through the Race Report, check out the photos, and be sure to check back on Monday for Kickstart and the news from the pits.
450 Moto 1
Red Bull Honda's Davi grabbed the opening holeshot of the day. Geico Powersports/Honda's Daniel Reardon was railing the outside of the first turn when his front end knifed in and he cut across nearly the entire track, taking out several riders along the way. Making it through the melee though was Moto Concepts' Jeff Alessi in second and would go on to put in some very impressive laps. Championship hopefuls, Red Bull Honda's Andrew Short and Rockstar/ Makita/Suzuki's Chad Reed had been entangled in the first turn confusion, and on the opening lap were barely within the top ten.
Behind Alessi was Cody Cooper who was putting in one of his best performances of the year aboard his Toyota/JGR/Yamaha. But no before long, Cooper would crash and Alessi slowly began dropping in rank, when he was displaced by a charging Reed. The Suzuki rider put on a frantic ride to move himself into second by around the 12 minute mark. Following Reed up through the pack were factory replacement riders Jake Moss on the Monster Kawasaki and Matt Goerke on the factory Yamaha. Perhaps riding with some newly inspired confidence the two riders looked very deserving of their temporary gigs as they rapidly sliced their way through the pack.
Other riders putting in some equally impressive performances were Valli Motorsports' Kyle Regal, Red Bull Honda's Ivan Tedesco, and Rockstar/Makita/ Suzuki's Michael Byrne, who had begun the moto 15th, 14th, and 13th respectively. Climbing very rapidly, Tedesco had moved up to fifth place by the halfway mark. However, although Regal's ascension was more gradual, he never stopped moving forward and by moto's end would claim fourth place.
Back to the leaders, Millsaps at one point held a ten second advantage over Reed as he was able to break away very quickly from the rest of the pack in the opening laps. But Reed was easily the fastest rider on the track and in the closing laps pulled up within a second of the Honda mounted rider. In a tricky off-camber section on the far side of the track, Millsaps bobbled in a rut, allowing Reed to close within a second. But with the white flag waving, Millsaps seemed re-inspired by Reed's pressure and picked his pace back up. With the white flag already waving Millsaps regained his composure and was able to hold on for the win mere tenths of a second over Reed.
450 Moto 2
With the forecasted rain finally beginning to fall, Ivan Tedesco claimed the holeshot, but this time around, Reed was not too far behind in second. Rounding out the top five were Canidae/Motosport/Kawasaki's Tommy Hahn, and Red Bull Honda teammates Davi Millsaps and Andrew Short. As the rain would pick up and then taper off again, Reed began reeling Tedesco in. about ten minutes in, the Suzuki pilot was able to make the pass just after the finish line jump and then continued on to open up a gap.
Hahn, in his recent string of strong single-moto performances, redeemed his poor first moto showing by not only maintaining third, but he would also go on to catch Tedesco and pass the Honda rider for second place.
This time around, Regal did not have to make up the same amount of ground that he had in the first moto. Still the result was the same as the pro rookie picked his way from a seventh place start to finish the moto, again, in fourth place.
Possibly one of the strongest rides of the day came from Jake Moss, who began the second moto in 22nd place. But the young Australian slowly picked off riders and went on to take ninth place.
But the true story was happening way out front. News came over the speakers, that according to Short's position, Reed would take the championship title if they finished in the positions they were riding in at the time. Sure enough, as the laps wound down, the excitement of a possible title winner at Budds Creek seem to get the crowd moving. Reed rounded the track and once he crossed the finish line you could feel the relief and happiness that the championship meant for the talented Australian. With two rounds remaining in the series, Chad Reed became the 2009 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross 450 Class Champion.
1) Chad Reed 2-1
2) Davi Millsaps 1-6
3) Ivan Tedesco 5-3
4) Kyle Regal 4-4
5) Tommy Hahn 12-2
6) Michael Byrne 6-5
7) Tim Ferry 9-8
8) Andrew Short 7-10
9) Matt Goerke 3-27
10) Jimmy Alberston 11-12
250 Class Moto 1
Muscle Milk/MDK/KTM's Ryan Sipes rounded the first turn in the lead ahead of Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Jake Weimer, but it not take long for Weimer to claim the lead for himself. In pursuit of the lead were Weimer's teammate Christophe Pourcel, Tommy Searle, Ryan Dungey, and Justin Barcia.
Dungey wasted little time in getting around Searle for third place, and Barcia would displace the Brit only a lap later. Soon the battle for first heated up with Dungey tailing Pourcel and Weimer in second and first. But just when the crowd thought they would finally see the much anticipated dog fight between the two main championship contenders, Pourcel made the drive for first and made it stick, placing Weimer in between the two rivals.
As the laps wound down, Dungey slowly seemed to lose his grip on the two leaders and was, unfortunately, not able to ever make a charge for the lead. Weimer, however, did not seem very concerned about his teammates championship hopes, and in the closing laps, regrouped for another attempt at the lead. With only a few laps remaining, it looked as though Weimer may have had the speed for a pass, but it was too little, too late, and Pourcel took the moto win ahead of Weimer, Dungey, and Barcia.
250 Class Moto 2
Earlier in the day, the flash flood warnings seemed like they would never come to fruition, but by the time the second moto came around, the forecast could not have been more accurate. To make matters worse, a flubbed start due to an inexperienced 30-second card holder, meant a restart with some very muddy riders.
At the drop of the gate, it seemed almost perfect timing that the rain increased from a strong drizzle to a torrential downpour as Geico Powersports/ Honda pilot Brett Metcalfe grabbed his first holeshot in a while, with first moto runner up, Weimer, hot on his heels. Rounding out the top five were Pourcel, Sipes, and Phil Nicoletti. Ryan Dungey started around tenth place and therefore had some ground to make up; not an easy task in muddy conditions. So the Suzuki rider put his head down, threw his goggles off, and went on the hunt.
Up front, Metcalfe was enjoying a spectacular ride, and at one point opened up a sizable lead on Weimer. However that did not last long and soon, Weimer was nipping at his heels. With the track deteriorating so quickly (there were literally small waterfalls and ponds forming on the track) Pourcel perhaps figured the wisest thing he could was just keep the bike running and so he did not force an issue on the lead duo.
Finally, with lighting in the sky and thunder rolling through, Weimer was able to make the pass on Metcalfe in the tricky whoop section. Unfortunately for Metty, he had little chance of redeeming himself when officials decided to call the race at the 25-minute mark with a red flag. With that, Weimer had took home his third overall win of the season.
1) Jake Weimer 2-1
2) Christophe Pourcel 1-3
3) Ryan Dungey 3-4
4) Justin Barcia 4-7
5) Austin Stroupe 8-6
6) Brett Metcalfe 18-2
7) Matt Lemoine 14-5
8) Ryan Sipes 11-9
9) PJ Larsen 10-10
10) Tyla Rattray 6-15