Just like peanut butter and jam, Tom and Jerry, Eric Sorby and James Stewart, July 4th and RedBud Track N Trail go together like no other. We were hitting the midway point of the AMA nationals and RedBud was the site where the motocross warriors were getting set to go at it. Now there are certainly a lot of tracks on the series that are special for their own reasons (High Point, Southwick and Millville are all great in my opinion) but I think that RedBud could quite possibly be the crown jewel of the outdoor nationals. For as long as I remember, there have been great crowds there, a nice track, the amenities there are nice and it just seems that no one really has anything to complain about when it comes to the track. Add in the holiday atmosphere and you have a great race!
There have been more than a few grumblings from the riders that Ryan Dungey has had pretty much everything go his way this year (and even last summer when Christophe Pourcel's Kawasaki blew up and basically handed The Dunge the national title) with James Stewart getting hurt, Chad Reed breaking his hand and Ryan Villopoto crashing out in supercross which left him as the last man standing. Now in the outdoors he's been dominating the races but has also had a few things go his way such as this weekend when he was trailing Ben Townley on the last lap with Chad Reed right in tow on the last lap in the first moto. Then disaster struck when BT went down and the crash collected Reed but somehow missed Dungey. Ryan then went on to cruise to the win in the first moto and turned a potentially third place to a first.
I think there's some truth to that, that Dungey is indeed very fortunate at times in his racing but in the end there's not much you can do about it if you're one of the other racers complaining about it. Ryan has worked very hard and I suppose when you're on a roll like he is, then you're on a roll and everything comes together. He's also had some bad crashes (San Francisco for example) and things that he's fought through to have the ginormous points lead that he has so I'm not sure if the "he's lucky" comments have much traction. RC was "lucky" many times as well with some massive crashes that he just got up from but life works like that, when things are good, they're great and when things aren't working out for you, then it's really bad. See Weimer, Jake for exhibit A.
This weekend at Red Bud he took that gift from BT101 and then in the second moto, crushed everyone once again to go 1-1 on the day. About halfway through the moto when everyone else's times were dropping, he was doing the same time and that's why he won so handily. It was his fifth straight win and what can you say at this point? He's going to be the first rookie to ever win two titles in the premier class and should solidify his place amongst the greats of the sport. Including supercross, he's won 11 out of the 23 races held this season in the 450 class, he's been as dominant as anyone not named Ricky Carmichael or James Stewart and yeah, he's pretty much the man right now.
Trey Canard is jumping up to a Factory Honda ride next year, that's pretty much the worst kept secret in the pits so this is his last year in the 250's. He's made some changes in his program this year with dropping trainer Jeff Spencer (Andrew Short has also parted ways with Spence) and adding Tim Ferry as a riding coach and last weekend at Lakewood his changes paid off in the form of a solid second place. Since the opener at Hangtown, he hadn't been the Trey Canard that we expected to see but in Lakewood, he was a different guy.
This weekend at RedBud, Trey didn't get the start in the first moto that he needed and was outside the top ten to start with. He worked hard all moto to end up in fourth. He was very aggressive out there and attacking the track and to me, he seemed to be one of the fresher guys at the end of the moto (except for Christophe Pourcel who never seems to get tired, excited or have any change in his form whatsoever from the start to the end.)
Second moto he had his work cut out for him as he didn't get a great start and he was forced to slice through the pack. He stalked leader Dean Wilson for a number of laps before making an aggressive pass and taking off for the moto win. Combined with Pourcel's lackluster fifth (the second moto blues strike again for the 377. Just one week after seemingly breaking through with a dominant moto win in Lakewood, we now have to keep asking the question of what's wrong with Pourcel in the second motos.) Canard got the overall on the day making him the fifth different winner in six races in the 250 class.
Since turning pro late in the season of 2007, Canard has had a chance to race 34 nationals (up to RedBud) but because of injury, RedBud was only his 20th career outdoor race and his first-ever overall win. Good job to Canard and too bad Ferry wasn't there to see it but I like to think that I'm Timmy's eyes and ears anyways so in a sense, he was there.
I feel bad for Tyla Rattray. Years from now when someone is looking at the results from the 2010 RedBud national, they're going to see that Rattray went 2-11 and just assume that he had a bad second moto. Well that would be the correct assumption but you would have to have been there to realize just how close Ratters came to the overall win on the day. With three laps left in the second moto and with Tyla going for the pass on Dean Wilson which would have given him second and the overall win on the day, Rattray got kicked over the bars on a downhill and wadded up big-time. He was so close to winning his second race and he showed a ton of grit and heart in getting up and getting back into the race. An eleventh is the best he could do but he was so close to the win.
That's why you have to go to the races to report on them, because Rattars could've, would've should've won RedBud but instead, he got sixth and a sore neck.
After sucking pretty good at Lakewood (now that I think about it, he wasn't very good there last year either), Chad Reed was back this weekend and was his usual strong self. He was no match for Dungey in the second moto but in the first one, he was more than enough for The Dunge and so was Townley. He finished second overall on the day and was right there in the first moto for the win. He was working hard as he slowly inched up on the leaders. In the second moto, he wasn't able to match Ryan but he was better than anyone else.
It's just not working for Mike Alessi right now. He's frustrated, the team is frustrated and everyone is looking for answers right now. That Hangtown second moto win seems like a long time ago right now as Mike fell early in the first moto and worked hard to come back to a tenth. In the second moto, Mike got a decent start and was there before getting eaten up by the pack and eventually dropping back to ninth. That's so unlike Alessi, it's not even funny.
Here's the thing, he's on a KTM 350 and he can't get the starts. When Mike Alessi doesn't get the start, he doesn't control the race and can't ride as well. The starts are disked up and loamy or there is altitude like last week. He barely jumped Larocco's leap and from years past, I know that jump is a second, second a half advantage to do. He doesn't have the machine right now to allow him to do the jumps that his competition is doing or allow him to be up front off the start. It's that simple. His move to the back of the pack last week and this week is shocking to see for someone that is used to seeing Mike be one of the guys outdoors. I know that Tony Alessi pulled Reed in for a meeting on Friday to get his thoughts on how to get out of this slump and I was asked my opinion on a few things as well, Team Alessi is really trying hard to figure this thing out.
Coy Gibbs got a surprise visitor at his race shop last week. This should be interesting to say the least…
Some silly season gossip that is out there in the pits right now- Millsaps is out at Honda (I know, shocking), Pourcel or Weimer will be there with Canard and maybe Short, JGR might not be on Yamaha's next year and L&M has Stewart pretty much signed for next year but the bike color is still to be determined, Hart & Huntington will be going bigger next year and will keep Blose and team him with a big name on another brand, Josh Grant and JGR can't come to terms and it looks like he may be moving on (the big sticking point is Grant wants to be back in California), Kawasaki is going to most likely be the same team as this year, there is an Aussie KTM team coming over to America next year with PJ Larsen and Tye Simmons, KTM is going to be a player in the 450 class next year with a big name riding the 350 indoors.
Let's take a look at the results shall we?
1 38 Trey Canard Shawnee, OK Honda CRF250R 4 1 43
2 108 Dean Wilson Menifee Kawasaki KX 250F 3 2 42- Wilson's going to win some more races this summer, he's been in the mix at every round but Hangtown. Yay Dean!
3 377 Christophe Pourcel Groveland Kawasaki KX 250F 1 5 41-Pourcel jumped the Leap one time either moto and it was the second lap of the first moto. He was the only 250F that I saw do it all day.
4 17 Justin Barcia Ochlocknee, GA Honda CRF250R 5 3 36- Bam-Bam nailed Canard at one point but held it together for a pretty good day.
5 21 Blake Wharton Aubrey, TX Honda CRF250R 6 4 33- Blake has hired former World Champion and all around nice guy Sebastian Tortelli to help him out. Between Seb, Ferry and Larocco, the guys hanging out at the GEICO team would easily win any World Vet title!
6 28 Tyla Rattray Wildomar, CA Kawasaki KX 250F 2 11 32
7 20 Broc Tickle Holly, MI Yamaha YZ 250F 7 6 29- Yawn, another week, another good finish for Tickle. Another week of no one talking about him. They will next year when he's on Pro Circuit…that's my prediction.
8 12 Jake Weimer Rupert, ID Kawasaki KX 250F 11 7 24- For Weimer, he'll take this. Even though he was much higher in the first moto before going down.
9 577 Martin Davalos Cairo, GA Yamaha YZ 250F 10 8 24- I've been hard on Davalos but he's holding it in there inside the top ten almost every week. That's pretty good.
10 243 Eli Tomac Cortez, CO Honda CRF250R 12 9 21- If we forgot about the first three motos of the year, Eli's been doing pretty well for a rookie. But then you all of a sudden remember when he was working most everyone and have to wonder what happened.
11 61 Vince Friese Murrieta, CA Yamaha YZ 250F 14 13 15
12 341 Nico Izzi Murrieta, CA Yamaha YZ 250F 9 18 15- Izzi was back from his benching, err, holiday, err, agreed upon vacation, err whatever it was.
13 200 Cole Seely Newbury Park, CA Honda CRF250R 13 15 14
14 36 Darryn Durham Butler, PA Honda CRF250R 8 20 14- DDT had his best race of the year going in the second moto when he ran out of gas with less than a half-lap remaining. That's like a bummer dude.
15 50 Alex Martin Millville, MN Honda CRF250R 20 10 12
16 87 Les Smith York, SC Honda CRF250R 16 14 12
17 3 Mike Brown Bluff City, TN KTM 250SXF 19 12 11- I bet a former factory Kawasaki/Suzuki rider from Australia who is out with a broken hand that Brownie would get top ten in one moto. I'm now out $20 to said rider. Brownie's going to Canada in a few weeks to race the 350 up there.
18 185 Killy Rusk Aztec, NM KTM 250 SX-F 18 16 8
19 175 Phillip Nicoletti Bethal, NY KTM 250 SXF 15 23 6
20 834 Hunter Clements Weston, MO Honda CRF250R 24 17 4
21 31 Matthew Lemoine Collinsville, TX Suzuki RM Z250 17 38 4
22 92 Michael Willard Newark, OH Honda CRF250R 23 19 2- Willard ran the Mandingo Pickles helmet this weekend to much fanfare from the crowd.
23 166 Dakota Tedder Surfside, CA Kawasaki KX 250F 29 22 0
24 505 Sean Lipanovich Tallahassee, FL Honda CRF250R 28 24 0
25 991 Branden Miller Fisherville, TN Kawasaki KX 250F 26 29 0
26 48 Max Anstie Hemet, CA Yamaha YZ 250F 21 35 0
27 160 Corey Pennington Santa Cruz, CA Kawasaki KX 250F 27 30 0
28 881 Jerry Lorenz Morrice, MI Kawasaki KX 250F 31 27 0
29 211 Tevin Tapia Federal Way, WA KTM 250 SXF 38 21 0
30 521 Kyle Gills Wiggins, MS Kawasaki KX 250F 34 25 0
31 90 Willy Browning Pleasantville, OH KTM 250 SX-F 22 39 0
32 133 Myles Martin Tedder Surfside, CA Kawasaki KX 250F 32 31 0
33 140 Johnny Moore Madison, MS Honda CRF250R 30 33 0
34 285 Tony Archer Waldorf, MD Suzuki RM Z250 36 28 0
35 370 Drew Yenerich New Lenox, IL Yamaha YZ 250F 39 26 0
36 613 James DeCotis Peabody, MA Honda CRF250R 25 40 0
37 924 Greg Durivage Waterville, OH KTM 250 SX-F 37 32 0
38 565 Preston Mull Livingston, CA Honda CRF250R 35 34 0
39 628 Joey Rossi Encinitas, CA Kawasaki KX 250F 33 37 0
40 585 Travis Baker Murrieta, CA Yamaha YZ 250F 40 36 0- Baker returned from injury and had a rough day but he was up there at various points in the motos.
1 5 Ryan Dungey Belle Plaine, MN Suzuki RMZ 450 1 1 50- Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead (or in second place). Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…the Dungenator!
2 1 Chad Reed Tampa, FL Kawasaki KX 450F 2 2 44
3 101 Ben Townley Corona, CA Honda CRF450R 4 3 38- BT101 makes a second straight podium but he's probably pissed about that first moto, last lap crash that caused him to lose the moto win. He's got some GP teams courting him for next year as well.
4 29 Andrew Short Smithville, TX Honda CRF450R 3 5 36
5 24 Brett Metcalfe Lake Elsinore, CA Honda CRF450R 5 4 34- Solid once again.
6 33 Josh Grant Riverside, CA Yamaha YZ 450F 6 6 30- One year after dominating this very race, JG went 6-6 in what had to be a frustrating day. One person close to the team told me that they cannot figure out how to get a start on the 2010 YZF450. He asked me to think about one person on that machine that could start up front and you know what? I couldn't.
7 41 Kyle Regal Kemp, TX Honda CRF450R 7 7 28- Good ride for Regal once again. Wonder if he was pissed that Honda didn't replace Millsaps with him for the rest of the year?
8 46 Ryan Sipes Flaherty, KY Yamaha YZ 450F 8 8 26- Sipes had a great race and in the first moto was on the move coming from outside the top ten to an eighth. Here are Sipes points scored at each race this year. 27-5-21-28-7-26 so basically it's a either a really good day for Ryan or he really sucks. There is no in-between.
9 800 Mike Alessi Victorville, CA KTM 350 SXF 10 9 23
10 27 Nicholas Wey DeWitt, MI Kawasaki KX 450F 9 12 21- Wey has his best race of the year and it takes place at RedBud. Not that shocking really.
11 122 Daniel Reardon Menifee Yamaha YZ 450F 11 11 20
12 42 Ben Evans Boise, ID Kawasaki KX 450F 13 16 13- Finally! After underachieving most of this summer, Evans puts in a strong ride and finishes about where he should be.
13 43 Steven Clarke England Suzuki RMZ 450 16 14 12- Good ride for Scuba, the last two weeks have been much better for the Englishman.
14 712 Matt Moss Temecula, CA Suzuki RMZ 450 15 15 12- All the Aussies I know say he should be in the 250 class and can't understand why Suzuki signed him for this spot.
15 32 Kyle Cunningham Ft. Worth, TX Yamaha YZ 450F 39 10 11- Kyle just has to put two motos together and he'll end up having a great day. He's got the speed.
16 134 Travis Sewell Westville, IN Yamaha YZ 450F 12 20 10- Great ride for Sewell!
17 209 Heath Harrison Silverhill, AL Kawasaki KX 450F 14 19 9
18 57 Jarred Browne Nuevo, CA Suzuki RMZ450 34 13 8- Browne picked up a ride on the Rockstar Suzuki team as team manager Bill Keefe had absolutely NO ONE that wasn't injured.
19 251 Joshua Clark North Franklin, CT Kawasaki KX 450F 19 17 6
20 58 Weston Peick Wildomar, CA Yamaha YZ 450F 17 23 4
21 23 Justin Brayton Cornelius, NC Yamaha YZ 450F 35 18 3- I think his bike broke in the first moto and I think he crashed in the second moto. Not a good day for JB.
22 88 Ricky Renner Lakeland, FL KTM 450 XC 18 34 3
23 832 Joshua Strang Murrieta, CA Suzuki RMZ 450 20 28 1- The GNCC points leader showed up to compete and did himself proud with a point scored. Wonder how Suzuki feels about him risking life and limb while leading that series to come out and grind it out?
24 167 Ryan Mills Clintondale, NY Honda CRF450R 21 26 0- In one of the more unbelievable motos I've ever seen, Mills won a moto at RedBud back in the day on a KTM.
25 774 Robby Marshall Stow, MA Kawasaki KX 450F 25 24 0
26 864 Austin Haught St. Johns, MI Honda CRF450R 27 25 0
27 606 Ronnie Stewart Easton, PA Suzuki RMZ 450 23 29 0
28 241 Derek Anderson Arvada, CO Kawasaki KX 450F 33 22 0
29 707 Alexander Millican Rockwall, TX Yamaha YZ 450F 26 31 0
30 8 Grant Langston Murrieta, CA Yamaha YZ 450F 38 21 0-GL knocked himself silly in the first moto and then while in tenth or so in the second moto, twisted his knee and had to pull out.
31 351 Shane Sewell Westville, IN Yamaha YZ 450F 22 37 0
32 204 David Gassin Pioneer, CA Yamaha YZ 450F 30 30 0
33 771 Terren ODell Siloam Springs, AR Yamaha YZ 450F 24 36 0
34 482 Cory Green Nowata, OK Kawasaki KX 450F 29 32 0
35 862 Ozzy Barbaree White Hall, AR Suzuki RMZ 450 28 33 0- The Ozzman comeths!
36 157 Sean Hackley Jr. Ovilla, TX Kawasaki KX 450F 36 27 0
37 587 Dustin Kendall Carlisle, PA Yamaha YZ 450F 32 39 0
38 196 Tyler Wharton Aubrey, TX Honda CRF450R 31 40 0
39 55 Kyle Chisholm Valrico, FL Yamaha YZ 450F 40 35 0- The Chiz went down in the first turn in the first moto and hurt his head/elbow. He tried to race the second moto but the pain was too much for him and he pulled off.
40 290 Brandon Haas St. Charles, MN Yamaha YZ 450F 37 38 0
I walked by the Suzuki truck on Friday and there was a bunch of wheels out there being relaced and getting ready to go. When I was a mechanic, RedBud was always the last race on the brand new set of wheels that you had built for the beginning of the motocross season. With it being the half-way point and with Larocco's Leap being out there, it's a perfect time to build wheels. Coming up short on The Leap is potentially a heavy price to pay. Many broken wheels, broken frames and some broken wrists as well were all prices that have been paid on that jump.
But having said that, the jump has changed quite a bit over the years and right now, I think it's a perfect landing and the guys don't fall out of the air like they used to. Add in the landing and the advent of four-strokes and the jump doesn't cause the riders to quite shake in their boots like it used to.
Andrew Short was in second in the first moto and led the second moto for a couple of laps before dropping back. His 3-5 day could've been a 2-2 pretty easily as Shorty continues to either impress you (he's second by a long ways in laps led this year) or disgust you (as he's second by a long ways in laps led this year but has yet to win an overall). I've been a bit surprised by Short getting dropped so easily by the front runners but in the past he would come from the back to the front but he never really led any laps. Now he's doing the opposite. So hopefully for him, he figures it all out soon and gets that win.
By the way here are the stats on the laps led this year:
Ryan Dungey- 77
Andrew Short- 39
Kudos to Mxsports for revamping the results and the archives and providing this information to the media and fans. It's pretty cool to have it all there at your fingertips.
Thanks for reading, email me at email@example.com if you want to chat! Thanks for reading.