Justin Brayton was indeed a hard charger in Millville, passing 22 riders in Moto 1.
An action-packed day full of highlights and memorable moments kicked off the second half of the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship from Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota. Following a full day of racing across three classes of competition, Muscle Milk/Toyota/JGR's Justin Brayton was awarded for his resilient ride in the opening moto of the 450 Class, resulting in this week's Ricky Carmichael Hard Charger Award.
Misfortune struck Brayton on the opening lap of the day's first moto. As most of his competitors engaged in battle ahead, Brayton crossed the line at the end of the first lap in 34th , and instantly began his impressive surge though the field. As TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Racing's Chad Reed took the checkered flag, to win the moto following 16 grueling laps, Brayton had fought his way to just outside the top 10, passing 22 riders en route to a 12th-place finish.
Following a much better start in Moto 2, Brayton maintained his position at the front of the field. His strong position within the top 10 throughout the moto resulted in a seventh-place finish, which ultimately landed Brayton ninth overall in the 450 Class.
Another athlete that just missed out on the Hard Charger this week, but deserves recognition is Reed. After his dominant start to the day, Reed looked to make it a clean sweep of both motos, grabbing the early lead in the final moto from Ryan Villopoto. But just as he made his move for the lead Reed lost control of his motorcycle and was vaulted high into the air, suffering a frightening fall to the ground. As the Spring Creek crowd stood speechless, Reed got up, re-mounted his motorcycle, and returned to action, much to the delight of everyone in attendance, as well as a global TV audience. Reed crossed the line in 34th, but fought his way into 14th by the end of the moto, passing 20 riders along the way. More importantly, he finished fifth overall and maintained his points lead in the 450 Class standings.
For his efforts at Spring Creek, Brayton will be presented with the Ricky Carmichael Hard Charger Award at this Saturday's pre-race riders' meeting prior to the Peterson CAT Washougal National this Saturday in Washington, providing well-deserved recognition for his efforts in front of his peers.
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