Race Report – Hangtown

The 41st Motocross Classic went off without a hitch today at Hangtown in Prairie City, CA. Hosted by the Dirt Diggers, the Motocross Classic is the oldest of the current Outdoor National rounds, and they proved again that they know how to make a motocross track. This year, they added rice and sand to the soil to help fend off the square-edged hardpack that Hangtown is known for; and though the track still got rough, the dirt remained surprisingly soft and rounded. Yes, there were some get-offs (some worse than others), but all in all, the riders of the Lucas Oils Motocross Champioship seemed pleased with the race conditions they were presented.

450 Moto One
With the sun at its highest, the gates slammed down into the dirt, allowing Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki's Mike Alessi to nab yet another holeshot; but his lead was short-lived. He went down before one lap was in the books, allowing privateer Jeff Northrop to enjoy an equally short-lived lead. Honda Red Bull Racing's Ivan Tedesco took over the lead within a blink, while JGR's Cody Cooper yielded a third place spot after the first lap. Meanwhile, mired in the back was championship favorite Ryan Villopoto and Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki's Chad Reed. Villopoto went down early in the first lap and aggravated his knee (which would eventually lead to his withdrawal from the race, and the season).  Reed, however, suffered from a horrifying start and had to do his best to make up for it. Cooper took over second before two laps were in the can.
Tedesco stretched out a lead, but Alessi didn’t let him get far. After passing Cooper for the second place spot, Alessi slowly but surely reeled in the Honda Red Bull Racing rider. With about 20 minutes on the clock, Alessi got by Hot Sauce and settled into the top spot. Though Reed was mired in the pack, he continuously logged the fastest time, lap after lap, and he eventually clawed his way back to sixth.
Alessi built a comfrotable lead, but nearly lost it when he stalled his bike before the finish line. But, before Tedesco could capitalize, Alessi got his machine restarted. When all was said and done, Alessi took the checkers with Tedesco and Short in tow.

450 Moto Two
The sun settled into the western sky as the 450 riders lined up for the final moto of the day on the 41st Motocross Classic from Hangtown. With live SPEED TV coverage honing in on the riders, the stage was set for both everyone in attendance, and for the thousands of folks at home waiting in front of their televisions with Hot Pockets, nachos, or other fine cuisines fit for a tray. Wen the gates dropped and the fielded rounded the first turn, it was Joe Gibbs Racing's Josh Grant who stole the holeshot from Mike Alessi. Ivan Tedesco, still riding the momentum he built in the first moto, moved in behind Grant, ahead of Alessi, Andrew Short, and Chad Reed. Alessi, clearly bummed he had his holeshot stolen, swooped in on Tedesco and took over the second spot.
As the field spread out and the time ticked away, focus stuck with the battle for moto supremacy between Grant and Alessi, as well as the dicing Reed, Tedesco, and Reardon. While Grant fended off advances from Alessi, Reed chipped away at the Hondas in front of him, eventually getting by Tedesco and sealing third place.
Mid-moto, Alessi made his way around Grant, but he couldn't make it stick. Grant found his way back into the lead, taking lines away from the Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki rider. When the checkers came out, Grant crossed the finish line first and celebrated on the podium as the moto winner. Later, however, he was penalized a position for jumping while a medic flag was being waved. The rules state riders must roll jumps when that flag is out, so Grant suffered a position-dock. With that, Mike Alessi was crowned the 1-1 overall winner; the first of his 450 career.

(Note: Ryan Villopoto did not race the second moto, and word is he will sit the rest of the season out to undergo surgery on his injured knee.)
Overall Results (Top Twenty)
1.    Mike Alessi (1-1)
2.    Ivan Tedesco (2-4)
3.    Chad Reed (6-3)
4.    Andrew Short (3-6)
5.    Josh Grant (9-2)
6.    Dan Reardon (7-5)
7.    Matt Goerke (5-9)
8.    Justin Brayton (8-10)
9.    Tommy Hahn (11-8)
10.    Cody Cooper (4-23)
11.    Jimmy Albertson (14-13)
12.    Nick Wey (12-15)
13.    Jake Moss (24-7)
14.    Chris Blose (19-11)
15.    Josh Hill (10-20)
16.    Troy Adams (20-12)
17.    Michael Byrne (18-14)
18.    Bobby Bonds (13-19)
19.    Davi Millsaps (15-35)
20.    Jeff Alessi (22-16)


250 Moto One
When the gates dropped for the first 250 moto of the Motocross Classic, Geico Powersports Honda's Justin Barcia snatched up his third holeshot of the season, with Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Christophe Pourcel in tow; Barcia's teammates, Trey Canard and Brett Metcalfe, nipped at the heels of the Frenchman. Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki's Ryan Dungey, meanwhile, was mired deep into the pack. Muscle Milk KTM's Tommy Searle rounded out the top five early on, but yet another transplant, Tyla Rattray, clawed to reel him in. with time clicking away, Canard pulled away from Metcalfe as he inched closer to Pourcel. Barcia, however, did his best to pull away.
Searle went down about four laps in and lost two positions in the process. To add insult to injury, the Brit went down a second time when he cam together with Jake Weimer in the hilltop lefthander. The action continued as Pourcel crept up to Barcia in the late laps, and with just two laps left in the can, Pourcel made his move on the rookie. Pourcel took the moto win, but Barcia proved, yet again, that he has the speed to compete up front with the veterans.

250 Moto Two
Ryan Dungey won the holeshot in the second 250 moto of the day, just as the temperature reached its peak (which wasn't nearly as bad as previous years). Geico Powersports Honda's Blake Wharton was glued to Dungey's rear wheel early on, but as the time ticked, he slowly fell back. Pourcel and Canard made chase early, doing their best to keep Dungey from checking out. The rookie, Justin Barcia, suffered a poor start, but he quickly made up for it, picking off rider after rider in front of him.Out front, Dungey settled in after Wharton fell back. Pourcel and Canard, however, continued to push. Barcia battled back up to sixth, but Tickle got around the young rider in the late laps
The drama came to a head when, just before the 2-lap board came out, Barcia flew over his bars right in front of Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Austin Stroupe. Stroupe nailed Barcia's bike head-on and sent himself over his own bars and into the dirt. He could not finish the race, and was carted off by the Asterisk Medical Unit (more on that as we learn).
As for the front-runners, Dungey held onto his lead despite the advances from Canard and Pourcel. Dungey took the moto win, but Pourcel yielded his first Outdoor National overall win.
Overall Results (Top Twenty)
1.    Christophe Pourcel (1-3)
2.    Trey Canard (3-2)
3.    Ryan Dungey (7-1)
4.    Brett Metcalfe (5-4)
5.    Tyla Rattray (4-7)
6.    Broc Tickle (6-6)
7.    Blake Wharton (9-5)
8.    Jake Weimer (8-8)
9.    PJ Larsen (10-10)
10.    Justin Barcia (2-29)
11.    Matt Lemoine (12-11)
12.    Ben Evans (13-14)
13.    Tommy Searle (30-9)
14.    Steven Clarke (15-15)
15.    Austin Stroupe (11-30)
16.    Max Anstie (39-12)
17.    Eric Nye (16-17)
18.    Sean Borkenhagen (14-19)
19.    Wil Hahn (40-13)
20.     Kyle Cunningham (18-18)


WMX Moto One
Honda Red Bull Racing's Ashley Fiolek narrowly snatched up the holeshot in front of Sherri Cruse in the first moto of the WMX. Rookie Vicki Golden, however, squeezed by Cruse for the second-place position, while Jessica "JP$" Patterson held onto fourth. JP$ made the move on Cruse for third while Sara Price and Mariana Balbi battled it out for fifth. As the fifteen-minute clock ticked down for the first moto, Fiolek settled into her rhythm and steadily pulled away from the chase group. Patterson, meanwhile, relentlessly chipped away at Golden's position, but could not make the pass. The rookie held on like a seasoned vet and held off Patterson, certifying herself her first podium.

WMX Moto Two
Ashley Fiolek grabbed the holeshot, yet again, aboard her factory Honda, but Jessica Patterson snuck by her in the third turn on her Honda of Houston CRF250R. Sherri Cruse snatched up the third place spot early on, while Sara Price and Vicki Golden battled for fourth and fifth. Price shook Golden off and set her sights on Cruse. She showed her a wheel and made her move for third. . Golden followed suit and passed Cruse as well. Price’s position didn’t hold long, however. A mistake allowed Golden to move past the Kawasaki rider; as well, Sheri Cruse moved back into striking distance.
As the fifteen-minute moto winded down, Fiolek backed off, allowing Patterson to build on her lead. With her healthy lead, Patterson easily took the win, and certified herself second overall.  Fiolek coasted to second, gicing her enough for the overall victory on the day.
Overall Results (Top Ten)
1.    Ashley Fiolek (1-2)
2.    Jessica Patterson (3-1)
3.    Vicki Golden (2-3)
4.    Sherri Cruse (4-4)
5.    Sara Price (8-5)
6.    Elizabeth Bash (9-7)
7.    Tatum Sik (7-9)
8.    Jacqueline Strong (6-10)
9.    Mariana Balbi (5-11)
10.    Penni Cyrus (12-6)