Chad Reed was the overall winner after a stunning Moto 2 performance. The TwoTwo Motorsports rider is having fun and it shows.
TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed won the opening round of the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Hangtown for the second year in a row. Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey nailed a win in the first moto, but had to settle for runner-up overall in what was his first ride in defense of the 2010 MX crown. Meanwhile, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto rounded out the top-three for the day with back-to-back third-place finishes at Prairie City SVRA. In the 250 class Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett posted his first ever Motocross overall win to claim victory ahead of teammates Dean Wilson and Tyla Rattray, giving Mitch Payton’s Pro Circuit squad a sweep of the podium.
Kevin Windham ran away with the holeshot in Moto 1 ahead of Suzuki teammates Brett Metcalfe and Dungey. The match intensified as Reed and Villopoto closed the gap on the frontrunners, with MotoConcept Yamaha’s Christophe Pourcel running sixth and eager to break into the top-five. The start wasn’t friendly to Pourcel’s Moto Concepts Yamaha teammate, Tommy Hahn, who was running outside the top-25 after the first turn. Windham soon became battered under Dungey’s pressure after the defending MX Champ made a pass on Metcalfe to move up to second. Meanwhile, RV dropped the hammer on Reed to move up to fourth, but the Aussie refused to keep quiet and just a few laps later took back his position. Despite having a decent gap out front, Windham provided Dungey with a perfect passing opportunity after running off the track through the uphill whoop section. Smelling blood in the water, both Reed and Villopoto eventually found their way around the veteran rider, dropping Windham to fourth.
Dungey looked incredibly smooth and comfortable over Hangtown’s tricky surface. Behind the leader, Metcalfe put the move on Pourcel for fifth in the order. However, the crafty Frenchman turned up the heat and went bar-to-bar with the Aussie. In the midst of their battle, Davi Millsaps blew by both Metcalfe and Pourcel. Just behind them Hahn continued
Ryan Dungey tied Reed with 47 points, but the defending champion will have to wait until Round 2 for another shot at the overall victory.
to make the most of a bad start, and with five minutes remaining he had advanced all the way up to eighth. In the final laps Red Bull KTM’s Andrew Short shot around Hahn, but smoke started pouring out of Short’s 350cc engine and he was unable to make his pass stick. Dungey ultimately snagged the first win of the season more than nine seconds ahead of Reed and Villopoto. Millsaps kept up the fight and finished fourth just ahead of Metcalfe, who round edout the top-five.
RV had a huge holeshot in the second heat of the day with Dungey, Reed, Windham and Jake Weimer following. As the laps ticked by Dungey and Reed closed the gap on Villopoto. Weimer, Millsaps, Metcalfe and Short became entangled in a four-way battle for fifth, with Metcalfe eventually passing Millsaps for sixth.
Dungey led a spirited fight for the lead, getting creative with his racing lines in order to make the pass on RV. After Dungey fought his way into the lead, the Suzuki rider was met with pressure from Reed as the two battled for the overall win.
“I’m a little surprised,” said Reed. “I tested the last two weeks and it’s gone well. Normally, this track is always hard, choppy and one lined. We came back this weekend and it was a completely different track than we were expecting. I had a lot of fun today. It was a great racetrack. I got two good starts, (ran) up front and I fought for it. I’m a little surprised how comfortable I was with the track and bike. We’ve had only a little time to work on the bike.”
The two went back and forth, trying to make up time on each other around Hangtown’s deteriorated track surface. Reed ultimately secured the advantage, but in the final laps Dungey made the Aussie work for his win by making one last attempt. With too big of a gap and not enough steam, Dungey had to relinquish the overall victory to Reed, who really dug deep in the final moto of the day and won by virtue of a tie-breaker.
“I felt good today,” said Dungey. “Coming into the weekend, we had a couple weeks of testing and got a good base setting. I just wanted to get things started, see where were at and move forward. I was trying to bulldog it in the second moto and Chad (Reed) got by me. I got behind him and saw some different lines. It took me a while to get back up there. I made one last attempt, but I’m happy with that result. “
450 Motocross Hangtown Results:
1. Chad Reed (Honda) 2-1
2. Ryan Dungey (Suzuki) 1-2
Ryan Villopoto couldn’t run the lead pace for the second half of Moto 2. He finished third overall as a result.
3. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki) 3-3
4. Kevin Windham (Honda) 6-4
5. Brett Metcalfe (Suzuki) 5-5
6. Davi Millsaps (Yamaha) 4-7
7. Tommy Hahn (Yamaha) 8-8
8. Christophe Pourcel (Kawasaki) 7-11
9. Ricky Ditrich (Yamaha) 11-9
10. Christian Craig (Honda) 14-10
11. Michael Byrne (Suzuki) 10-14
12. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki) 21-6
13. Kyle Chisholm (Yamaha) 16-12
14. Nick Wey (Yamaha) 15-13
15. Mike Brown (KTM) 13-15
450 Motocross Championship Points:
1. Chad Reed, 47
2. Ryan Dungey, 47
3. Ryan Villopoto, 40
4. Kevin Windham, 33
5. Brett Metcalfe, 32
6. Davi Millsaps, 32
7. Tommy Hahn, 26
8. Christophe Pourcel, 24
9. Ricky Dietrich, 22
10. Christian Craig, 18
Tomac had a great start out of the gates to snare the first holeshot ahead of Suzuki City’s Malcolm Stewart. In his first professional MX race Stewart took over the lead on the opening lap with Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes crashing out in the first turn and dropping to dead last. Tomac quickly came into the picture and during the first few laps there was some great racing between the duo. Stewart then made a series of mistakes, allowing Tomac to get around for the lead with Wilson, Cole Seely, Gannon Audette, Darryn Durham, Kyle Cunningham, Tyla Rattray, Marvin Musquin and Justin Barcia all following. Wilson began his march toward the top with a solid pass on Stewart to put him within striking distance of Tomac. Further behind, Seely began pressuring Stewart for third as Wilson crept up behind the leader. The Scotsman looked determined and posted some consistent laps to move to the top of the leaderboard. Shortly after, Stewart crashed out of the top-five while Durham and Barcia faced-off for the final podium position.
With just five minutes remaining Baggett made up significant ground, passing Musquin to move up to fifth while recording the fastest lap time. Meanwhile, Durham continued his strong defense against Barcia, but ultimately was unable to keep the rubber side down and ended up losing major points. Entering the final laps of the contest the top-five running order was: Wilson, Tomac, Baggett, Musquin and Rattray. More than doubling his lead in the final two laps, Wilson snatched the win by more than eight seconds. Second place went to Baggett, who was able to get around Tomac on the final lap.
In the second moto of the day it was Barcia’s turn to dominate off the starting line. Bam Bam rocketed into the lead while Musquin and Martin Davalos both crashed in the opening turn. Baggett was running fourth in the opening lap, and in order to claim the overall he needed a win in the final moto. Barcia gave Baggett a helping hand by going over the handlebars while leading, giving the lead to Rattray with Tomac and Wilson following.
Baggett began his attack by pressuring Wilson. Meanwhile, Tomac was hunting down Rattray in the lead as Musquin continued to recover from his early crash in 12th. The battle for the lead turned into a battle for the runner-up position with Wilson ultimately grabbing second from Tomac. Baggett also managed the pass on Tomac the following lap in the exact spot that Wilson made his
pass. Shortly afterward Wilson made a carless error and crashed off the track, putting Baggett directly behind Rattray. Baggett then put in some of his fastest laps of the day, and before long he was knocking on the South African’s door. With less than three minutes remaining, Baggett took over the lead and never looked back, eventually winning by over 13 seconds. Rattray claimed second in the order, with Wilson recovering from his crash to finish the first round of the season third overall.
“I knew I had done all the training during the week and it was good to come out and see how I was,” said Baggett. “I like outdoors better than supercross because you have to be creative and keep moving around. I was just patient in the second moto. I knew I had to let the race come to me. I just took my time and waited to see where I was. I got around (Dean) Wilson and just kept trying to move forward. I put my head down and looked for lines and ultimately passed (Tyla) Rattray in the same spot I passed Wilson.”
250 Motocross Hangtown Results:
1. Blake Baggett (Kawasaki) 2-1
2. Dean Wilson (Kawasaki) 1-3
3. Tyla Rattray (Kawasaki) 5-2
4. Eli Tomac (Honda) 3-4
5. Marvin Musquin (KTM) 4-6
6. Gareth Swanepoel (Yamaha) 9-5
7. Kyle Cunningham (Yamaha) 8-8
8. Darryn Durham (Honda) 10-9
9. Broc Tickle (Kawasaki) 13-7
10. Col Seely (Honda) 7-13
11. Martin Davalos (Suzuki) 12-11
12. Jason Anderson (Suzuki) 11-12
13. Justin Barcia (Honda) 6-18
14. Gannon Audette (Yamaha) 14-15
15. Nico Izzi (Honda) 30-10
250 Motocross Championship Points:
1. Blake Baggett, 47
2. Dean Wilson, 45
3. Tyla Rattray, 38
4. Eli Tomac, 38
5. Marvin Musquin, 33
6. Gareth Swanepoel, 28
7. Kyle Cunningham, 26
8. Darryn Durham, 23
9. Broc Tickle, 22
10. Cole Seely, 22