Photo: Ken Hill

John Natalie says he's feeling good and has no lingering injuries that sent him to the hospital after Round 1 in March with two dislocated ribs and multiple bruises.

He'll also be racing on Saturday with his mouth closed.

The 2015 Mtn. Dew ATV Motocross Championship series takes on Muddy Creek this weekend for Round 3 and Natalie is not only looking to podium again but take the win just as he did at the inaugural Daytona ATV Supercross that opened the season.

The official Round 1 of the year got underway a few weeks later and that's when Natalie and reining Champion Chad Wienen got into it a little bit which sent Natalie flying in Moto 1. He finished fifth overall despite the crash and pain that ultimately forced him to hold back a bit in Moto 2 where he finished fourth.

In Round 2 at Underground MX Park in Kemp, TX Natalie led Moto 1 then made a costly mistake allowing Joel Hetrick by and then leading in Moto 2 a piece of dirt flew in his mouth and got stuck in his throat. He finished third and managed second-place overall.

"I do have a cold but won't let that stop me," Natalie said. "I am just working on being consistent lap after lap. I made a mistake in Texas that cost me the win. I won't do that again. I am ready to win."

Natalie is third in the point standings just three back from Hetrick and 13 from first occupied by the three-time defending Champ Wienen who took the overalls in the last two rounds including two Moto wins. Natalie took both holeshots last time out and leads the Holeshot Championship by one point over Hetrick.

Muddy Creek, which also hosts the Tennesee National in Motocross, is considered one of the most scenic tracks in the ATV MX series and it favors horsepower. Riders will need it with the vast elevation changes and big jumps. The soil is a mix of hard-pack and loam.

Racing starts at 3 p.m. (EST) Saturday. Check out the full schedule and directions to Muddy Creek.

2015 ATV MX Championship Standings

  1. Chad Wienen (112)
  2. Joel Hetrick (102)
  3. John Natalie (99) - MotoSport rider
  4. Thomas Brown (95)
  5. Jeffrey Rastrelli (79)
  6. Nick Gennusa (69)
  7. Josh Upperman (66)
  8. Ronnie Higgerson (66)
  9. Vital Cazenave (53)
  10. Joe Byrd (50)