Ben Townley went 6-4 for a fourth overall finish at Pala, which is where he also ended up in the points championship.
Stick a fork in the 2010 Outdoor Motocross Season; it is done! This past Saturday was the finale of the Lucas Oil Pro AMA Motocross Championship at Pala Raceway. It was good to have the nationals return to Southern California. There is just something about California motocross events. The girls, the crowds, the industry insiders, and the weather all combined to get the pits a buzz like no other.
But then there’s the traffic. Although the track was amazing, the roads leading into the Pala facility just couldn’t handle the influx of motoheads. Horror stories circulated throughout the day of some of the worst traffic that native Californians have ever seen. That’s bad! By 11:30 the traffic was so snarled it took over 3 hours for fans to travel the final 4 miles into the venue. The Highway patrol eventually started turning people away sometime after noon. I know there are some seriously upset fans out there, and I hope they give Pala another chance next year. They’ve got 12 months to figure out a way to get everybody in. For those that did make it in however, they were witness to a great race at the new facility. The hills were packed, the lots were full of RV’s and the crowd was pumped!
Andrew Short cashed in on all his holeshots in the ’10 season by taking second within the 450 Championship.
In the 450-class the Championship was locked in at Southwick, but there was still some positions to hash out. Brett Metcalfe and Andrew Short were separated by just five points coming into Pala for second place. The first moto saw Short snag the hole shot, but he faded to third, increasing Metty’s lead to seven. Metcalfe then went out in the second moto and grabbed the holeshot. Once again it was looking like the GEICO rider might get his first 450 moto win, but it would not be. Coming into a soft corner, Metty went over the bars and had some serious ground to make up. Meanwhile, Shorty and Ryan Dungey moved to the front with the Suzuki rider eventually taking the top spot. Short would end up second, but Metcalfe was able to get back to third after his get-off to secure second in the championship.
Pala marked the last time Roger DeCoster would manage the Suzuki Factory Team. We had a chance to catch up with DeCoster and Dungey after the race to talk about the season. Roger was pretty tight lipped about his move, but did say that next year Dungey will be a free agent and would like to hire the 2010 champion. Look for the video interview very soon.
The big story coming into the final round was the tight points race between Christophe Pourcel and Trey Canard. Just seven points separated the two juggernauts with the final two motos of the season ahead of them. Pourcel didn’t need
Chirstophe Pourcel looked like he was going to win the 250 Championship, but all it took was one crash.
to win; he just needed to protect his lead by staying close to his Honda rival. Canard on the other hand needed to win both motos and hope that the fast Frenchman would get stuck in the pack.
When the gate dropped it was Pourcel’s teammates, Dean Wilson and Tyla Rattray, out in front followed by Cole Seely. Then came the point’s lead with Canard hot on his heels. This was just what Pourcel needed, and Canard didn’t. The Honda rider needed to make a move quick and charge to the front or it was pretty much over for his hopes of a Number 1 plate. While making a move to get around the Pro Circuit Kawasaki, Ice-Trey tucked the front and went down. You could actually hear the wind being let out of Canard’s sails, and the crowd’s hearts sunk a bit.
Canard remounted and put on a charge to the front, but everyone knew it was in vain. Or so they thought. While moving around a lapper Pourcel went wide and landed off the side of a jump and cart-wheeled off the track. It was immediately
Trey Canard overcame a seven-point defecit to defeat Pourcel in the final round of the 250 motocross season.
apparent the Number-377 was hurt and out of the race. Pourcel ended up badly dislocating his shoulder was out of the moto. Canard crossed the finish line to the cheer of the crowd, but didn’t celebrate. He knew it was 95% in the bag, but it wasn’t done yet.
Rumors ran wild that Pourcel was going to try and race the second moto and hope that Canard would suffer and DNF. Riders have raced injured to salvage points, but this would be a long shot in every sense. In the end Pourcel’s injury was too severe to return. The dislocation was so bad that it was over thirty minutes before the Asterisk Medical team could get the shoulder back into place. He was told if he tried to race his shoulder would pop out again on the first lap. It was over for the Frenchman, and for the second time he had lost the championship after leading the points. Pourcel graciously congratulated Canard on his championship and even asked for one of Canard’s celebratory championship t-shirts. The T-shirts were long gone at that point so Canard gave Pourcel his helmet with a thank you written on it. It’s not often these day that you see two competitors with so much mutual respect for each other, and it’s what makes our beloved sport so great.