The 250 class championship was finally decided at the first-ever National Motocross held at the newly constructed Pala Raceway. Although everyone had their favorite for the title, no one could have predicted the way the story ended. In the 450 class it was the same song that’s been playing for nine of the previous 11 rounds.
In sunny Southern California, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Nick Wey grabbed an early jump out of the gates, but it was holeshot expert Andrew Short taking his 11th holeshot of the ’10 season at the new Pala Raceway track. Motoconcepts Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes quickly settled into second behind Short with 450 National Champion Ryan Dungey, Geico Powersports Honda’s Brett Metcalfe, KTM’s Mike Alessi and veteran rider Kevin Windham rounding out the top-six positions.
Even after having the 450 title in the bag, Dungey remained aggressive and made the pass on Sipes to move into second. Just one lap later Dungey secured the lead from Short and began posting the fastest laps while pulling ahead of the field. Determined to maintain his second-place within the championship, Metcalfe began applying pressure to Sipes for third. Making the pass proved extremely difficult, however, as Sipes put down a good defensive ride. Metcalfe eventually managed the pass for third as Windham fell back to eighth-place. Kyle Regal put in another strong ride by pressuring Sipes in the final laps for fourth. In the end it was Dungey taking the win by more than 28 seconds ahead of Metcalfe. Shorty took third with Sipes holding off Regal for fourth.
In the second and final 450 moto of the 2010 season Metcalfe snared the holeshot ahead of Short, Kyle Chisholm, Sipes and Dungey. After taking an eighth-place finish in Moto 1, Alessi got a horrible start in the second contest and fell shortly afterward. While Dungey and Regal were battling for fourth, Short took a quick line around Metcalfe to take the lead. Metcalfe refused to lay down, however, and regained the lead on the following lap. Toward the back of the field Windham was running in 21st after a miserable start but quickly worked his way through the field.
Both Regal and Dungey made passes on Sipes to move up to fourth and fifth respectively, with Regal then making a mistake and allowing the 450 champion to get by. Dungey then continued putting the final touches on his 2010 season by getting ahead of Chisholm for second. Further up front Short rallied back to the lead over Metcalfe, but both would be eclipsed by Dungey as he took the double victory in the final round of the season. After taking second-place ahead of Metcalfe in the final moto, Shorty took second overall in the 2010 450 championship followed by Metcalfe and Townley, who moved up to fourth ahead of Alessi. After earning a score of 4-6 at Pala, Sipes jumped from eighth in the standings up to fifth overall.
“I didn’t get off to the best of starts in the second moto and I had to work,” said Dungey. “Patience definitely plays a role in it and I’ve learned a lot about that in recent years. It was new track and it was really good. It got rough and I think we all really liked it.”
450 Motocross Pala Results:
1. Ryan Dungey (Suzuki) 1-1
2. Andrew Short (Honda) 3-2
3. Brett Metcalfe (Honda) 2-3
4. Ben Townley (Honda) 6-4
5. Ryan Sipes (Yamaha) 4-6
Andrew Short took second overall at Pala and finished third in the points behind GIECO’s Brett Metcalfe.
6. Kyle Chisholm (Yamaha) 9-5
7. Kevin Windham (Honda) 7-8
8. Justin Brayton (Yamaha) 12-7
9. Kyle Regal (Honda) 5-14
10. Nicholas Wey (Kawasaki) 11-9
11. Daniel Reardon (Yamaha) 16-10
12. Ben Evans (Kawasaki) 15-12
13. Michael Byrne (Yamaha) 14-13
14. Mike Alessi (KTM) 8-21
15. Matthew Goerke (Yamaha) 10-40
450 Motocross Championship Points:
1. Ryan Dungey, 543
2. Brett Metcalfe, 398
3. Andrew Short, 393
4. Ben Townley, 324
5. Mike Alessi, 314
6. Kyle Chisholm, 266
7. Josh Grant, 260
8. Ryan Sipes, 244
9. Kyle Regal, 224
10. Nick Wey, 223
Trey Canard took the 2010 250 Motocross Championship after his rival, Christophe Pourcel, crashed out of Moto 1.
The first race for the 250s was an amazing contest to witness. Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson captured the holeshot ahead of Troy Lee Honda’s Cole Seely, Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray, Geico Powersports Honda’s Trey Canard and current championship leader Chirstophe Pourcel. In a race that claimed multiple riders, DNA Shred Stix Yamaha’s Martin Davalos was the first to go down in the second turn during the opening lap. Shortly afterward, Pourcel managed a pass on Canard to move into fourth and continued to push on in an effort to put as much distance between himself and Canard as possible.
Up front Seely made a hard-charge ahead of Rattray to move into second, but it was short-lived as the Kawasaki rider regrouped and took second-place back only a few laps later. With Wilson putting in the fastest laps up front, Canard continued to pour on the throttle and moved right up to Pourcel’s rear wheel. As Pourcel and Canard battled they both advanced ahead of Seely for third and fourth respectively. Just a few laps later Canard chose an inside line and attempted a pass on the championship leader. The passing attempt was successful, but Canard was unable to regain control of the bike while exiting the turn and crashed out. After losing more than 11 seconds on Pourcel it appeared the championship battle between the two was over.
But then the unthinkable happened. For the second year in a row Pourcel lost his grip on the championship by crashing and injuring his right shoulder. The accident allowed Canard to finish fourth and gain an 11-point lead in the series with just one moto remaining. Meanwhile, Wilson led a start-to-finish victory ahead of Kawasaki teammate, Wilson, with Seely finishing third ahead of Canard.
After popping his dislocated shoulder back into place during intermission, Pourcel was absent from the 250 field during the start of Moto 2. Wilson was like a charging bull out of the gates, taking his second holeshot of the day at the start of the second race. Behind Wilson were Canard, Rattray and Davalos as Rattray began putting the heat on Canard. Moving up to fifth in the early laps was Geico Honda’s Eli Tomac. In the process of making up time after a poor start, Seely hit the deck while running back in 10th.
Approximately halfway through the contest Rattray put the moves on Canard to move into second-place behind Kawasaki teammate, Wilson. Honda teammates Tomac and Justin Barcia both advanced into fourth and sixth positions respectively as Durham dropped back to ninth. In the final laps a battle broke out between Davalos and Barcia with the #17 bike settling into fifth-place. For the second time on Saturday Wilson led a start-to-finish win ahead of the field, taking the overall at Pala
Kawasaki’s Tyla Rattray moved into second in the championship after Pourcel couldn’t ride the second moto.
Raceway over Rattray and Canard. The ‘10 250 National Championship, however, went to Canard after Pourcel was unable to participate in the second race. Pourcel’s day was made that much worse after Rattray took second in the standings – just three points ahead of the Frenchman. Wilson took fourth in the series after his two phenomenal motos at Pala and was only six points behind Pourcel in third.
“There’s so many emotions and thoughts running through my head,” said Canard, who won five of the final seven races of the season to overcome a 57-point deficit to Pourcel. “When the time came, I thought about all these hard years and it made it that much better. I’m still kind of dreaming right now. I’m just stoked.”
“I’ve had a lot of crashes in my life. I didn’t break anything; I just dislocated my shoulder,” said Pourcel about his championship destroying injury. “It’s just how it is. It’s just motocross, and I lost again.”
250 Motocross Pala Results:
1. Dean Wilson (Kawasaki) 1-1
2. Tyla Rattray (Kawasaki) 2-2
3. Trey Canard (Honda) 4-3
4. Eli Tomac (Honda) 8-4
5. Justin Barcia (Honda) 6-5
6. Cole Seely (Honda) 3-12
7. William Hahn (Honda) 7-7
8. Broc Tickle (Honda) 5-9
9. Martin Davalos (Yamaha) 14-6
10. Les Smith (Honda) 13-11
11. Phillip Nicoletti (KTM) 11-13
12. Austin Howell (Suzuki) 10-14
13. Tommy Weeck (Suzuki) 9-18
14. Gareth Swanepoel (Yamaha) 38-8
15. Topher Ingalls (Yamaha) 15-15
250 Motocross Championship Points:
1. Trey Canard, 474
2. Tyla Rattray, 446
3. Christophe Pourcel, 443
4. Dean Wilson, 437
5. Justin Barcia, 348
6. Eli Tomac, 327
7. Broc Tickle, 287
8. Blake Wharton, 285
9. Martin Davalos, 251
10. Will Hahn, 213
2010 AMA Motocross Pala Highlight Video