Author: Brent Stallo
Welcome once again to our Friday blog feature, Look Ahead. This is where we take all the water cooler talk from the week, combine it with race results from the season so far, multiply it by each riders height and weight, divide by the overall number of professional races they've attended and, eventually, come up with a solid idea of what to expect going into the weekend ahead. Next up on the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship series...Budds Creek.
Budds Creek has played host to countless AMA battles as well as the 2007 Motocross of Nations. Nestled in the hills of Maryland about 80 miles south of Baltimore, Budds Creek holds a special place in the hearts of all American motocross enthusiasts.
Looking Forward: 450
Did you know that Ryan Villopoto has never lost a professional race at Budds Creek? It's true. Amazing and hard to believe, yet still true. However, he has also missed the last two races at Budds Creek due to injury. RV looked prime at High Point last week when he took the overall away from Reed, Dungey, Millsaps and Alessi and inched within 15 points of Chad Reed. Now the question is, can he continue his astonishing streak at Budds Creek and take home another overall?
Budds Creek will also be the last time we see Kevin Windham race outdoors in 2011. A stand-in rider for American Honda while Josh Grant and Trey Canard heal from injuries suffered during supercross, Windham will sit out the remainder of the season following Budds Creek. We can't help but ask ourselves, will this be the last time we see Kevin Windham race outdoors? While we certainly hope not, it definitely could be. Time will certainly tell. If this does turn out to be K-Dub's farewell race, we hope he goes out on top.
If you can't stand the thought of K-Dub leaving for the remainder of the summer, try focusing on the fact that Josh Grant will be back in the saddle this weekend. It's been a long road for Grant since tearing his ACL at the Phoenix Supercross in January. He's gone through two surgeries and months of rehab to get to this point. While we're sure it will take him some time to get used to being back on the gate, we look for Grant to make a dent in the top five before the season expires.
With Grant back in the mix, Windham looking for a big ride before hanging up his boots for the summer, RV hoping to keep the streak alive and Reed, Dungey, Alessi and Millsaps all looking to pull off a win and close the gap on the leaders, the 450 class at Budds Creek is shaping up to one of the best of the season.
Looking Forward: 250
Three rounds in and we've already seen the red #1 plate switch hands three times. The amazing thing is, all three have been on Pro Circuit bikes. This is the first time in history that's happened.
Tyla Rattray leads the series over Dean Wilson by two points despite only earning one moto win. Rattray is known for his consistency and our guess is he'll continue to post up podiums throughout the remainder of the season. But will he hold onto the #1 plate? He's got his hands full with his Pro Circuit teammates that's for sure.
The big question is will anyone else show the speed to win at Budds Creek aside from the PC riders? They certainly could. Darryn Durham felt what it was like to lead 12 laps at High Point and while he didn't pull it out, he know knows what it takes, which is half the battle. Eli Tomac has been solid so far as well. He sits fourth in points and is within striking distance of the top three if he proves to have winning speed this weekend.
The Lites class has lived up to expectation so far this year and we don't expect to see that change this weekend. As always, we'll be on hand capturing all the action so be sure and check back in Monday morning for our weekly race recap.