John Natalie raced to a sixth-place finish in both Motos on Saturday at Sunset Ridge MX Park in Walnut, IL for a sixth overall in Round 4 of the 2014 Mtn. Dew ATV MX National Championship series.
Natalie, a MotoSport-rider, retains his hold on second-place in the standings but drops further back from leader Chad Wienen and is now only one point ahead of third-place Joel Hetrick. This was Natalie's first time off the podium this year. Natalie is still managing some suspension issues which makes his ATV difficult to handle resulting in him losing ground.
"We're having a hard time getting the rear suspension dialed in," Natalie said. "The bike is bouncing all over the place which in turns bounces me around a bit."
In Moto 1, he managed to overtake holeshot winner Josh Upperman but eventually fell behind and settled for sixth place. In Moto 2, Natalie never took the lead but pressured Upperman who took the holeshot again and held on to the lead for most of the race until Thomas Brown took over on the last lap for the win and overall.
Photos: Ken Hill
Brown joins Wienen and Joel Hetrick as the only overall winners this year. Wienen, who won the first Moto and took third in Moto 2 for second overall is the only rider this season to step on the podium in all four rounds.
Natalie expects to spend the two weeks off before Round 5 working on the suspension. He's bringing in a brand new suspension to work with and he's going to rough up his home track to practice on and see if he can figure out the right adjustments.
"We're trying to do whatever we can to get it right. I had speed but the bike was just beating the crap out of me," he said.
ATV MX Round 5 is June 14 at Briarcliff MX in Nashport, OH. This is the first time Briarcliff takes on ATV MX hosting duties and features a mix of loam and hard-pack. Check out the schedule and directions.
2014 ATV MX Round 4 Results
- Thomas Brown (2-1)
- Chad Wienen (1-3)
- Josh Upperman (3-2)
- Joel Hetrick (4-5)
- Jeffrey Rastrelli (7-4)
- John Natalie (6-6) - MotoSport rider
- Ronnie Higgerson (8-7)
- Josh Creamer (5-13)
- Nicholas Moser (11-8)
- Casey Martin (10-9)
2014 Mtn. Dew ATV MX Championship Standings
- Chad Wienen (186)
- John Natalie (158) - MotoSport rider
- Joel Hetrick (157)
- Thomas Brown (138)
- Josh Upperman (132)
- Josh Creamer (119)
- Jeffrey Rastrelli (111)
- Ronnie Higgerson (96)
- Casey Martin (91)
- Tyler Hamrick (74)
Written By: AndrewT