AMA Motocross Southwick Insider

August 31, 2009
Coverage Provided by VitalMX

Matt Goerke - 2009 AMA Motocross - Southwick
Matt Goerke rides hard and takes his first overall win.

Wow, what a crazy weekend in Southwick. There were new winners atop the podium in both classes (Matt Goerke and Justin Barcia), privateers flexing their muscles (Robby Marshall and John Dowd), a newly crowned champ (Reed) crashing out, a huge swing in points in the 250 title chase between Christophe Pourcel and Ryan Dungey, and…a 44-year-old on the podium in the 450 class? Believe it.

Let’s start with the winners. Matt Goerke first showed up as a substitute for Josh Hill at Unadilla, and…well, he had a horrible day, with a first-turn crash in the first moto, and a DNF in the second moto after sucking a section of trackside banners into his rear wheel. He was visibly frustrated at the blown opportunity, but he’d also shown quite a bit of speed during practice, laying down the fastest lap times. You knew there was some potential there. Fast-forward seven days to Budds Creek, and Matt scored a third in the first moto, but once again had problems in the muddy second moto. Most importantly, though, it showed the guys at Yamaha that he had the potential they were looking for, and combined with the decision to sit out Hill through the end of the season, and Matt’s deal was extended.

In the first moto at Southwick, Matt was running in sixth spot when a crash dropped him to 11th place. But he was able to remount, and charge back to sixth again. In the second moto, however, he was in a solid second spot and keeping pace with Reed, who was leading. When Chad made a rare mistake, cross-rutting on the face of the finish line jump and crashing hard, Matt took over the lead with seven laps to go, and held on strong to the finish. It was not only his first moto win, but first overall. Pencil him in as the most successful substitute rider this season.

Robby Marshall - 2009 AMA Motocross - Southwick
Robby Marshall managed the conditions of the track quite well considering he was racing without goggles.

So what’s the word on Reed? Once he’d cleared the cobwebs, we saw him leaving the track on the back of his bike, with his mechanic, Mike Gosselaar at the controls. That’s much better than seeing him on the back of the Asterisk Mobile Medical Mule. Will he be at Steel City? It’s probably a little too early to say for sure. We heard that he rang his bell pretty hard.

In the intro we mentioned that there were some privateers flexing their muscles at the front of the 450 pack, and that was definitely true. Robby Marshall got a great start in Moto 1, and passed Michael Byrne on the first lap to land in third spot. At that point it was Reed out front, Monster Energy Kawasaki substitute rider Jake Moss in second, and Marshall in third… and it stayed that way until the last lap, and with the partisan local crowd cheering him on, Marshall began pressuring Moss for second spot. One minor detail, though… early in the moto Marshall had tossed his goggles, and had ridden the bulk of the moto without them. Judging by his sand-coated face, we were amazed that he could hang in there. With a little more than half a lap until the end, Marshall crashed and dropped two spots, but he was able to remount and grab fifth, ensuring local hero status.

Oh, one other highlight? It was an Aussie 1-2-3 in the first 450 moto. Team Australia (Reed, Brett Metcalfe and Michael Byrne) should also be stout for the upcoming MXoN in Italy.

John Dowd - 2009 AMA Motocross - Southwick
During his annual appearance at his home track Dowd showed he’s still got what it takes grab a podium spot.

In the second moto, it was another legendary Southwick rider’s turn for the spotlight, when 44-year-old John Dowd made his annual appearance to school some of the sport’s best riders on how to ride the Massachusetts sand. Dowd started eighth, but went to work picking off rider after rider on his Chaplin Kawasaki. By the time Reed crashed out of the lead, Dowd inherited second spot behind Goerke. If you wanted a status check on where the leaders were, you only needed to listen to the crowd, as they urged him on to the finish. While John didn’t make it up to where he could pressure Goerke, his 10-2 moto finishes were good for a third overall, yet another podium finish, and another chapter in Southwick history.

Afterward, Dowd talked about training with Geico Powersports Honda’s Justin Barcia during the week prior to the race, and it was apparent that the two riders have a lot of respect for each other. But you also couldn’t get a clear picture of who was teaching who, as they both claimed that the other was pushing the pace. Either way, they’re among the best of the old school and new school riders from the Northeast.

Justin Barcia - 2009 AMA Motocross - Southwick
Barcia managed his first overall win despite a bad start on the second moto.

Speaking of Barcia, he had a breakthrough day at Southwick, scoring not only his first moto win, but his first overall… and it didn’t come easy. The first moto wasn’t so bad. He nailed a great start and was running behind Blake Wharton (Geico Powersports Honda) and Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki). After both he and Dungey dispatched Wharton, they set out to determine who’d take the win. Unfortunately for Dungey, and off-track excursion allowed Barcia to get by and grab the Moto 1 win.

But there was a silver lining to Dungey’s second-place finish. His main rival in the 250 title chase, Christophe Pourcel, had a horrible moto, suffering his only DNF of the season. That caused a 22-point swing in the championship chase, from 13 down for Dungey to plus-nine.

Moto 2 was a little strange for the title and overall chase in the 250s. When Broc Tickle hit the gate, it caused Barcia’s gate not to fall. By the time he ran into it, got untangled, and headed for the first turn, he was in nearly last place. The only rider behind him? Pourcel, who along with Dungey, had gotten tangled in the first turn. So with the first moto winner and two championship title contenders stuck near the back of the pack, who was running up front? That’d be Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s former MX2 World Champ, Tyla Rattray, who went on to score his first moto win since jumping over to the U.S. scene. This was also Rattray’s second race back since surgery for a broken thumb suffered at Red Bud.

250 Class Podium - 2009 AMA Motocross - Southwick
Honda dominated the overall with two riders in the top three spots.

Amazingly, Barcia was able to make it all the way back to third, which scored him the overall. Dungey was fourth at the end, while Pourcel could only make it to 11th. That boosted Dungey’s points lead to 17, with two motos remaining. The battle between these two will be the highlight of the final round of the series next week at Steel City.

At the end of the day we asked Mitch Payton if they had any idea what caused Pourcel’s DNF, and he said while they’d done some minor electrical troubleshooting to see if they could figure out if it was related to the water on the track, but hadn’t yet cracked open the engine to check the internals. So how long does it take the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki crew to do an engine swap? About 16 minutes for that one. Their record? About 12 minutes from the time the bike hits the stand to when they kick over the replacement. That’s fast.

Silly season rumors? How about Reed to Honda? That one popped up last week, though we’re not sure where it came from or if there’s any truth there. Smart money says that Dungey will stay with Suzuki. Once Reed and Dungey are locked up, we think a lot of other puzzle pieces will start falling into place. We also saw interim Geico Powersports Honda team manager Mike LaRocco deep in discussions with Trey Canard, and a 2010 Honda 250 that was on hand for Trey to test ride.

250 Overall Results:
1. Justin Barcia (Honda) 1-3
2. Tyla Rattray (Kawasaki) 6-1
3. Brett Metcalfe (Honda) 4-2
4. Ryan Dungey (Suzuki) 2-4
5. Taylor Futrell (Honda) 7-7
6. Tommy Searle (KTM) 9-6
7. Blake Wharton (Honda) 3-15
8. Broc Tickle (Yamaha) 8-13
9. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki) 13-9
10. Blake Baggett (Kawasaki) 15-8
11. P. J. Larsen (Kawasaki) 10-14
12. Ryan Sipes (KTM) 25-5
13. Austin Stroupe (Kawasaki) 5-29
14. Vince Friese (Honda) 11-16
15. Steven Clarke (Suzuki) 16-12
16. Scott Champion (Honda) 12-17
17. Alex Martin (Honda) 20-10
18. Christophe Pourcel (Kawasaki) 27-11
19. Wil Hahn (KTM) 14-34
20. Spencer Dally (Honda) 18-20

250 Point Standings:
1. Ryan Dungey 459
2. Christophe Pourcel 442
3. Brett Metcalfe 352
4. Jake Weimer 322
5. Justin Barcia 312
6. Tommy Searle 309
7. Broc Tickle 263
8. Blake Wharton 240
9. Tyla Rattray 236
10. Kyle Cunningham 174
11. Matt Lemoine 174
12. Darryn Durham 150
13. Trey Canard 139
14. Ben Evans 124
15. P. J. Larsen 114
16. Steven Clarke 108
17. Max Anstie 107
18. Wil Hahn 104
19. Alex Martin 94
20. Austin Stroupe 93

450 Overall Results:
1. Matt Goerke (Yamaha) 6-1
2. Michael Byrne (Suzuki) 3-3
3. John Dowd (Kawasaki) 10-2
4. Tommy Hahn (Kawasaki) 9-4
5. Robby Marshall (Suzuki) 5-7
6. Kyle Regal (Yamaha) 4-10
7. Andrew Short (Honda) 7-9
8. Chad Reed (Suzuki) 1-31
9. Jake Moss (Kawasaki) 2-30
10. Ricky Renner (Honda) 11-12
11. Ivan Tedesco (Honda) 36-5
12. Les Smith (Kawasaki) 12-14
13. Tyler Bowers (Honda) 22-6
14. Jimmy Albertson (Yamaha) 15-13
15. Christian Craig (Yamaha) 29-8
16. Justin Brayton (KTM) 8-24
17. Jeff Alessi (Honda) 24-11
18. Davi Millsaps (Honda) 14-20
19. Cody Cooper (Yamaha) 13-25
20. Nick Wey (Yamaha) 30-15

450 Point Standings:
1. Chad Reed 459
2. Andrew Short 356
3. Ivan Tedesco 338
4. Michael Byrne 316
5. Josh Grant 280
6. Tommy Hahn 259
7. Justin Brayton 214
8. Cody Cooper 184
9. Nick Wey 182
10. Jimmy Albertson 164
11. Davi Millsaps 149
12. Mike Alessi 142
13. Ricky Dietrich 136
14. Matt Goerke 131
15. Kyle Regal 107
16. Tyler Bowers 95
17. Jake Moss 94
18. Jeff Alessi 85
19. Antonio Balbi 81
20. Jarred Browne 72

Women’s Overall Results:
1. Jessica Patterson (Honda) 1-1
2. Ashley Fiolek (Honda) 2-3
3. Tarah Gieger (Yamaha) 3-7
4. Sherri Cruse (Suzuki) 4-2
5. Heidi Cooke (Kawasaki) 5-6
6. Sara Price (Kawasaki) 6-4
7. Julie Anne Parizek (Kawasaki) 7-5
8. Alyssa Fitch (Honda) 8-9
9. Elizabeth Bash (Kawasaki) 9-8
10. Jacqueline Strong (Honda) 10-12
11. Penni Cyrus (Kawasaki) 11-10
12. Krisa Sweeney (Kawasaki) 12-14
13. Ashley Boham (Kawasaki) 13-13
14. Allison Vrba (Yamaha) 14-17
15. April Zastrow (Honda) 15-16
16. Brittany Gagne (Suzuki) 16-15
17. Danielle Sawicki (Kawasaki) 17-11
18. Nicole Madsen (Yamaha) 18-18
19. Tressa Rau (Honda) 19-20
20. Ayla Cabus (Honda) 20-19

Women’s Point Standings
1. Ashley Fiolek 336
2. Jessica Patterson 295
3. Sherri Cruse 258
4. Sara Price 208
5. Vicki Golden 192
6. Elizabeth Bash 187
7. Sara Whitmore 149
8. Penni Cyrus 134
9. Mariana Balbi 126
10. Jacqueline Strong 114
11. Tatum Sik 101
12. April Zastrow 91
13. Ashley Boham 82
14. Kimberly Kocher 81
15. Sayyaka Kaneshiro 80
16. Jackie Ives 68
17. Hailey Larson 60
18. Alyssa Fitch 59
19. Nichole Madsen 59
20. Danielle Sawicki 44

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