The ever-changing sands of Moto-X 338 in Southwick, Massachusetts have always been known for shaking up the expected results, and this weekend was no different, except for one. There was little doubt that Ryan Dungey
would clinch the 450 Outdoor title this weekend, but there was plenty of action before the obvious conclusion of the greatest rookie season ever. Southwick is brutal on equipment as many riders found out this weekend. Heck, sand is still in my teeth and ears, and my cameras may never be the same, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Let’s get into the dirt, err sand, of this weekend’s racing.
Ryan Dungey is the new champ and is setting new records as he dominates the 2010 season.
Dungey was expected to sew up the championship this weekend, and did just that after wining the first moto. With a win in the second moto as well, the Rockstar rider has added his name to the record books. No other rider has ever won the 450 MX
and 450 SX title in their rookie season. Not only that but RD5 is now tied with Ricky Carmichael
for the most rookie wins of the season. Who wants to bet Dungey will have that record all to himself about 35 minutes after the Moto 1 gate drop next weekend at Steel City? Unfortunately there will always be doubts about his rookie championships because of the absence of Ryan Villopoto
, James Stewart and Chad Reed. We’ll have to wait till next year to see if he can repeat, but if Vegas would take my money, it would be on Dungey. A1 can’t get here soon enough.
While everything went Dungey’s way this weekend, the same can’t be said for a trio of Honda riders. Brett Metcalfe, Andrew Short and Ben Townley had rough weekend on the unique Moto-338 course. Moto 1 saw Metty grab the holeshot and put down hard, consistent laps. With Dungey in hot pursuit, the GEICO rider led every straightaway and turn until his Honda sputtered to a stop. With just six turns to go, Metcalfe’s CRF450R ran out of gas. He was credited with 14th place as he walked back to the pits without his bike. Moto 2 was also a struggle when he went down after tangling with Kevin Windham. The number-24 rider eventual worked his way up to seventh, earning him a ninth for the day.
The Southwick sand was not kind to Andrew Short. He ate so much sand this weekend it's amazing there is paint left on his helmet.
While Metcalfe was bad, Short was worse. It all started in practice when a mechanical issue had him pulling out of the first session early. By the time the second practice was on, the track was already so rough that Short couldn’t set a time fast enough to qualify. Luckily the Red Bull rider had a provisional that allowed him 40th gate pick in Moto 1. Unluckily, Shorty then suffered the same fate as Metcalfe, running out of gas on the last lap for a 15th-place finish. Moto 2 wasn’t much better as he went down on the start and was mired in the back of the pack. He eventually would finish 16th in the moto and 18th for the day. Just three points now separate Short and Metcalfe for second place in the championship with the Red Bull rider holding the advantage.
TLD’s Townley faired best out of the three cursed Honda riders. BT101 crashed while running second in Moto 1, and then DNF'ed with mechanical troubles on the 11th lap. The second moto was a different story, however, as Townley took the lead early on ahead of Dungey. Eventually Dungey made his move, but the New Zealander held onto second ahead of Matt Goerke
. His 34-2 moto score was good enough for seventh overall.
In the 250 class the results were a bit more unpredictable, although they didn’t look that way during the first moto. Trey Canard took the win after chasing down Wil Hahn. During the last few laps, Pro Circuit’s Tyla Rattray hounded him, and at the end the gap between the two was less than half a second. During Moto 2 Canard struggled and eventually finished ninth. Even so, the Ice-Trey took home third overall and picked up three more points on Pourcel, who went 7-3 for fifth overall. It looks like the 250 title chase could go down to the very last moto of the season.
Tyla Rattray will always remember that day he won Southwick - it's his daughter's birthday.
Rattray’s day started off with his fiancé giving birth to their first child. For most racers this might have been a distraction, but for not for the Styla. After taking a second in the first moto, the Pro Circuit racer made his way around Pourcel for second once again. The winner, Justin Barcia, was too far gone to catch, but a 2-2 was good enough for Rattray’s second overall this season. As soon as he was finished popping the celebratory champagne, the new father was on his way to the airport to seen his newborn daughter.
Next weekend the series moves to Steel City, and the last round in the east. Stay tuned to MotoUSA for updates and results from the 2010 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross