Author: Brent Stallo
A lot of questions were answered following Round 1 of the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross at Hangtown, the most important of those answers being, yes, there is potential for the outdoor season to match that of the 2011 supercross season. While there doesn't look to be a "Big 5" after Round 1, the possibility of a "Fearsome 3" is alive and well.
In our "Looking Forward" feature on Friday we painted Ryan Villopoto as the favorite coming into the season. Our reasons? Well, he's the current supercross champion and despite not having ever raced a full 450 outdoor season he has shown supreme outdoor skills in the past. Well, while it's too early to call, after watching Hangtown, there are definitely some heavy hitters that will be vying for the title alongside RV.
Villopoto showed the speed, but seemed to lack endurance. Was it his rumored flu bug that was the cause or his two-year absence from the series? Those answers will present themselves in due time, but for now the crown lies atop the heads of Chad Reed and Ryan Dungey.
Reed was able to take the overall with two fantastic rides, marking his second consecutive win at Hangtown. Reed's win didn't come easy, though. Dungey took the first moto win after working his way around Kevin Windham and Brett Metcalfe and was leading the second moto for a number of laps after passing Villopoto for the lead around the 10-minute mark. Reed, however, took note and passed Dungey with the same speed and consistency Dungey used on Villopoto. Dungey would mount a charge towards the end of the race, but Reed's experience worked in his favor, as he was able to fend off the returning champ.
We're off to a storybook beginning to the new season, as three riders have already shown championship speed, with a number of others who we are sure will find a way to pick up the pace. A huge shout out to Kevin Windham, Brett Metcalfe and Davi Millsaps on great opening round rides, as well. It's going to be a long, hot summer in the 450 class and we have a feeling the one who shows the most consistency will be the one donning the number one plate at the end of the season.
450 Top 10 Overall
- Chad Reed
- Ryan Dungey
- Ryan Villopoto
- Kevin Windham
- Brett Metcalfe
- Davi Millsaps
- Tommy Hahn
- Christophe Pourcel
- Ricky Dietrich
- Christian Craig
When the top 20 Lites riders from the East meet the top 20 from the West there's only one possible outcome; the best racing money can buy. The list of potential winners was long coming into Hangtown, and after seeing two separate moto winners and a host of lap leaders, that list remains equally as long heading into Freestone.
As expected, the Pro Circuit trio of Blake Baggett, Dean Wilson and Tyla Rattray stole the show, with Baggett proving to be the brightest shining star of them all.
In the first moto it looked as if we would see a repeat of 2010, as GEICO Powersports Honda rider, Eli Tomac took to the lead early with a blistering pace. It was a pace, however, that would be matched and eventually outdone by Dean Wilson on the fifth lap. Wilson would go on to impress with a first moto win while Tomac would settle for third after being tracked down and passed late in the race by Baggett. France's, Marvin Musquin looked solid behind Tomac on his way to fourth while Rattray would round out the top five after starting in ninth.
Other notables in the first moto were Darryn Durham, who rode brilliantly inside the top five before dropping to 10th by the end of the moto and Gareth Swanepoel, who made his name well known with a strong ninth place finish.
In moto two it was all Justin Barcia, well, at least off the start it was. Barcia grabbed the holeshot and looked poised to redeem himself from a first moto stumble. Barcia had the speed, but would eventually find himself on the wrong end of the bike as he flipped over the handlebars early in the race.
Barcia's blunder gave way to the Pro Circuit trio to take charge. Rattray took the lead while Wilson and Baggett battled for bragging rights. Wilson, in second, needed to either hold his position or have Rattray win the moto in order to get the overall, neither of which happened.
While battling with Baggett for second, Wilson hit the eject button going through a corner. A huge gap held over Tomac allowed him to remount in third, but Baggett was long gone. Rattray held pace for most of the moto, but would eventually fall victim to a blistering fast Blake Baggett. Baggett's moto win gave him the overall with Dean Wilson's 1-3 moto scores giving him enough points for second with Tyla Rattray holding down the number three spot overall with 5-2 moto scores.
At least six riders showed winning speed at Hangtown and with 11 rounds now left in the series, we wouldn't be one bit surprised to see at least six different winners. Hold on to your handlebars, because it's going to be one heck of a great season.
Be sure and log back on throughout the week for more coverage of the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championships, as well as next week for more highlights from Round 2 at Freestone County Raceway.
250 Top 10 Overall
- Blake Baggett
- Dean Wilson
- Tyla Rattray
- Eli Tomac
- Marvin Musquin
- Gareth Swanepoel
- Kyle Cunningham
- Darryn Durham
- Broc Tickle
- Cole Seely