Race Report – Unadilla

The eighth round of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championships went off without a hitch.  Located in the scenic hills of Upstate New York, the loamy terrain threw everything it could at the riders.  Many reported the track was the roughest they have ridden all year. To fans though, that all just added up to some good old fashioned racing…40 years to be exact.  That is how long the Unadilla Valley Sports Center has been hosting professional racers, and while the bikes are quite different than they used to be, the racing is still as good as ever.  Read on to find out what went down at ‘Dilla.

250 Class Moto 1

With the drop of the gate, Martin Davalos rocketed towards the first turn with the lead aboard his Muscle Milk/MDK/KTM. With what has been a disappointing season so far, Martin looked to be redeeming himself as he would go on to lead the opening laps.  However, a charging and determined Christophe Pourcel was hot on the Ecuadorian's heels on his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki.  The co-points leader looked determined to take single ownership of the championship battle as he quickly moved past Davalos after the first lap.  Behind the lead duo, were Pourcel's teammate Jake Weimer, Geico Powersports/Honda's Justin Barcia and Blake Wharton. Ryan Dungey on his Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki, had a decent start, but certainly had his work cut out for him to catch his French series rival.

Barcia put on a spectacular charge and show for his hometown fans as he made an impressive, if not scary, pass on Weimer going up the uphill whoop section. Unfortunately, his forward movement ended only a few laps later with a small crash, that would see him continue dropping back after remounting.

Following Barcia's fall, Dungey got around Wharton and then went after Weimer who would prove to be a different story.  The number 19 machine would not relinquish second place so easily and put up more of a fight than we have seen in a while.  Eventually Dungey worked his way past Weimer and went to work on Pourcel.  But, by this time Pourcel already had a sizable gap on the rest of the field.

Two riders on the move were Canidae/Motosport/Kawasaki's Kyle Cunningham and Geico Powesports/Honda's Brett Metcalfe.  Cunningham, who started mid-pack, was picking off riders left and right, and seemed very comfortable on the rough circuit, working his way to just outside the top five.  Metcalfe, not content with playing second fiddle to his younger teammates, stuck plugged away and eventually experience won out over youth. Metty battled hard with Wharton, to move into fourth place.

At the finish, Pourcel took the win unchallenged although Dungey was definitely on the move. This would set a good potential battle for the second motos.

250 Class Moto 2

This time around, Pourcel captured the holeshot, and with nothing but clear track ahead, put in some blazing opening laps.  Right on his heels in the first lap were his teammates Weimer and Austin Stroupe, who was in his first ride since being injured at Hangtown.  By lap two, Wharton had made his way past Stroupe for third as Dungey once again had a start outside of the top five.

Wharton, who was riding very well, was able to make the move on Weimer for second place.  Unfortunately, just like his teammate, Barcia, in the first moto, he crashed only a few laps later and would go on to finish 23rd.  Weimer, inherited second place, and there he would stay as Dungey was forced to make his way through the pack.  Riding along with that surge was were Metcalfe and Division Seven/Star Racing/Yamaha's Broc Tickle.  All three riders did there best to make up for mediocre starts with Metty eventually recovering for fourth and Tickle for fifth.

The real battle heated up as Dungey Closed on Weimer.  Not ready to give up a position, even for his newly announced Team USA Motocross des Nations teammate, Weimer shut down Dungey's pass attempts on a few occasions.  Finally though, Dungey was able to work his way around. But once again, by this time Pourcel was already way out in front and any chance for victory for Dungey would have to come from a mistake on the Frenchman's part, which never happened.  Pourcel would take the win ahead of Dungey, ending their shared power of the red number plate.

Results

1) Christophe Pourcel    1-1
2) Ryan Dungey             2-2
3) Jake Weimer              3-3
4) Brett Metcalfe            4-4
5) Broc Tickle                5-5
6) Kyle Cunningham      6-8
7) Tommy Searle           10-7
8 ) Justin Barcia             7-10
9) Matt Lemoine            14-9
10)PJ Larsen                  13-11

450 Class Results and Photos

450 Class Moto 1

The 450 class has been full of surprises this year, so it was appropriate for Moto Concepts' Jeff Alessi to grab the holeshot over Red Bull Honda's Davi Millsaps.  Alessi led the opening two laps in commanding fashion before a small crash that dropped him to mid-pack.  Millsaps assumed the lead, but by this time, Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki's Chad Reed, who had managed a top five start, was on the move and set his sights on the Honda rider.

While Millsaps was able to hold off the Australian for a few laps, Reed quite simply seemed to be on a mission, and made the pass fairly easily.  Behind the lead duo was Canidae/Motosports/Kawasaki's 450 rider, Tommy Hahn.  Seemingly reinvigorated after his second place opening moto finish at Washougal, Hahn rode with grit and determination.  Hahn was possibly the fastest man on the track at times, and seemed very comfortable on the rough terrain.  Slowly stalking the "Duke", Hahn plugged away until he was finally able to over take Millsaps in the closing laps for second place.

Further back, Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki's Michael Byrne quietly put in one of his best performances of the season as he held off the Red Bull Honda duo of Andrew Short and Ivan Tedesco to eventually capture fourth place.

Behind them, visiting Motocross GP rider, Gareth Swanepol put in a commendable ride aboard his Monster Kawasaki and looked fairly comfortable on the fast circuit.

At the finish, Chad Reed took another convincing win, further extending his points lead.

450 Class Moto 2

Muscle Milk/MDK/KTM's Justin Brayton barely edged out Short for the holeshot.  But only a few turns later Short took over the lead.  But then there was Reed.  With a better start than his first moto, Reed set his sights on Short and there was not much the Honda rider could do.  By the 10 minute mark, Reed had worked his way into the lead and checked out.  Tedesco also had a good start and with in the first few laps was riding in third place over Brayton.

Further back, Swanepol and Hahn had to work their way up from top ten starts and both looked to be on the move.  Unfortunately Hahn would not go on to duplicate his first moto performance after a small crash in the middle part of the track.  Swanepoel, however, solidered on to a seventh place.

In front of them things heated up. In the closing laps, Tedesco after battling his way within a few bike lengths of his teammate, fell and gave up third place to Byrne.  Fourth would then go to Brayton who put in one of his best rides of the season.  Perhaps one of the most impressive rides came from pro rookie, Kyle Regal, who recently signed onto the Valli Motorsports team. Kyle looks more than comfortable as he moved from about 10th place to fifth by moto's end.

Reed went on to take another convincing win and his third 1-1 of the season in front of the ecstatic Unadilla hill people, with Short claiming second overall.

Results

1) Chad Reed               1-1
2) Andrew Short           5-2
3) Michael Byrne          4-3
4) Justin Brayton          8-4
5) Davi Millsaps           3-11
6) Gareth Swanepoel    7-6
7) Ivan Tedesco           6-8
8 ) Kyle Regal              10-5
9) Tommy Hahn           2-16
10)Tim Ferry               11-7

250 Class Results and Photos