Ryan Villopoto vs Ryan Dungey
After 11 rounds of competition and a summer full of the best motocross racing on the planet, the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship will come to a dramatic conclusion this Saturday, September 10, as American Motocross will crown a pair of champions in its return to Southern California. Pala Raceway, located in Northern San Diego County, will host the second annual Traxxas Pala National, with a three-class showcase of the world's fastest motocross athletes.
Throughout the season, the championship-leading 450 Class duo of Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto and Rockstar/Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey, have engaged in many heated battles in their quest for a national title. Perhaps none of which were more exciting than what took place last weekend at the Steel City Motocross National. The opening moto from Delmont, Pa., featured a tremendous showdown between the pair of Ryan's, with Dungey leading the way from the start, and Villopoto searching for an opportunity to get by throughout the race. The distance between the two riders see-sawed through the entire moto, until a last-ditch effort by Villopoto put him alongside Dungey coming out of the final corner, and ultimately signified the biggest moto win of the year for the points leader. The successful result of the pass has made it one of the most memorable moments in series history, and could be the defining moment in the outcome of the championship.
Following Villopoto's moto sweep, and subsequent third overall win of the 2011 season, 14 points now separate he and Dungey heading into Pala Raceway. With the double-digit advantage in his favor, Villopoto has put the pressure on Dungey, who will look to remain undefeated at the newest facility in American Motocross, following a dominant 1-1 effort one year ago. Should Dungey accomplish that task, and shift the momentum back into his favor, Villopoto would need a minimum finish of fourth in each moto to secure his first 450 Class title.
Steven Frossard out of the last World Championship roundMonster Energy Yamaha's Steven Frossard will sadly not be able to contest the Grand Prix of Italy at Fermo this weekend for the fifteenth and final round of the FIM Motocross World Championship.
The Frenchman had initially planned to enter the meeting after feeling no ill effects in the wake of his crash last Sunday at Gaildorf in Germany. The winner of the Swedish and French rounds of the MX1-GP series this year went for further examination on his chest in Belgium this week and was found to be suffering from a lung infection that was causing a bubble to appear. Medical specialists advised that it would be dangerous to consider participating at the scenic hard-pack circuit near the east coast.
Frossard has had an immense first season in MX1-GP and also with the factory team on the YZ450FM. He picked up six podiums and is currently second in the series; a standing he will retain if fourth-placed Max Nagl cannot amass more than 33 points in the final two motos of the year. He is guaranteed a top four finish.
Frossard will have another x-ray on Monday to determine whether he will be able to represent his country at the 65th Motocross of Nations at St Jean D'Angely the following week.
Ken Roczen / Antonio Cairoli win World titles for KTMThe first time Ken Roczen took part in the FIM Motocross World Championship was back in 2009 at the Grand Prix of Portugal, and from the very first moment, the German young rider eclipsed everybody with his impressive talent and great charisma. Yesterday, he became the youngest rider to obtain an FIM World Title and he did in front of the 22.000 fans gathered in Gaildorf.
Ken Roczen has already broken several records since he started racing Grand Prix, becoming the youngest GP winner ever at the age of 15 years and 53 days at the German MX2 GP in Teutschenthal, being also the youngest Red Plate Holder ever - at the Grand Prix of the Netherlands in Valkenswaard in 2010 at the age of 15 years and 361 days, and at the age of 17, with only two years and a half experience in the FIM Motocross World Championship, he has clinched his first FIM MX2 World Title.
"It's crazy, everybody saw that it was pretty emotional," the young German talent commented. "The first thing I did when I got into my motorhome was start crying like a baby again. I did not feel the pressure that much, but it is always in your head that you can win the World Title, so this race in Gaildorf was different than all the other races," he continued. "The last three laps have been provably the longest in my life, after the crash I was a little bit frustrated and I was so tired that I basically rode and rode and tried to keep the place that I had," Roczen concluded.
Ken Roczen's 2011 season has been outstanding; He has obtained eight GP victories in the 14 rounds so far, and he has been on the second step of the podium in four occasions. He he has only missed the rostrum twice during the French and Portuguese Grand Prix.
Ken Roczen will never forget winning his maiden FIM MX2 World Title in front of his home crowd in Gaildorf, but for all the members of the Red Bull Teka KTM Factory Racing team the German track of Gaildorf was already present in the history of the squad, as it was there when the first orange KTM won a World Title back in 1996 after Mr. Stefan Pierer had taken over the company in 1994. Yesterday it will be another unforgettable moment for KTM, a Ken Roczen and Antonio Cairoli handed the two FIM World Titles on the same day in the old school motocross track of Gaildorf.
Dean Wilson wins 250 Championship
Thousands of fans lined the fences surrounding Delmont's Steel City Raceway on Saturday, as the AMA Pro Motocross Championship celebrated Labor Day Weekend with the Steel City Motocross National. The penultimate round of the 12-race season featured stellar battles throughout the day, and following two gruelling 250 Class motos, the first champion of the 2011 season was crowned, as Kawasaki's Dean Wilson, of Scotland, posted a 1-1 moto sweep, to take his second win of the season, and secure his first-career professional title.
"This is the greatest day to me," said Wilson, who statistically has been the best rider in the entire series this summer. "I went to sleep when I was young dreaming about winning an outdoor championship. Now, it's a dream come true. I was feeling really good today. In the first moto, I got the holeshot, and in the second moto, I didn't get a good start, but I got lucky and found a hole that helped me pass a lot of people. It's just the greatest feeling. I went by the pits and saw on my pit board that I was the 2011 MX Champion, and it gave me goose bumps. I just went out there and rode the way I know how to. I actually didn't want to win it this weekend, because my parents aren't here to share it with me."