Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Brett Metcalfe scored the first overall win of his career at Southwick following a tumultuous day.
The arrival of Hurricane Irene on the east coast created some of the worst conditions that riders in the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross
series have seen this season. Moto-X 338 in Southwick, Massachusetts became an absolute mud fest, but Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe
held tight for the first overall win of his career with 3-2 moto scores. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto continues heading the championship standings after claiming second on the podium at Southwick. Perhaps the greatest effort of the day, however, came from Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey
, who finished third despite tremendous setback in the final moto.
Dungey hooked the holeshot in the first moto ahead of Metcalfe, Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi, Honda’s Justin Barcia, Villopoto and TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed
. RV made passes on Barcia and Alessi within the first few turns to keep the leaders in sight, and shortly after Barcia fought to retake his position from Villopoto. As Barcia stalked Villopoto, local favorite Michael Sottile had a good start in eighth after pulling the fastest lap in practice. Meanwhile, track conditions continued to deteriorate as rain began to fall heavily.
Villopoto and Barcia started closing in on Metcalfe, and it wasn’t long before RV2 had second in the order ahead of the Aussie. Up front Dungey had stretched his lead to more than four seconds as Reed struggled to find a way past Alessi in sixth. In only his third race in the 450 class, Barcia proved to be a dangerous newcomer by stealing third from
Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto maintained his lead in the standings after two consistent motos.
Metcalfe as the Aussie started losing his rhythm toward the halfway mark. Despite Sottile’s decent start, the Massachusetts native gradually lost more positions before crashing outside the top-15. A string of heartache ensued for Barcia and Reed, who both suffered DNFs in the first moto as their Honda
machines couldn’t handle the Southwick sand.
Despite having more than an eight-second advantage at one point, Dungey came under pressure from RV in the final laps. The defending champ held on, however, taking the victory ahead of Villopoto and Metcalfe. Alessi crossed the finish line jump in fourth as Canadian Colton Facciotti posted his first top-five result for Blackfoot Racing.
Before the second moto even started there was tremendous drama playing out in the pits. Dungey’s bike refused to start, forcing his Rockstar Suzuki
team to swap motors as the rest of the field completed the warm-up lap. When the gates dropped Barcia got a major holeshot despite having one of the worst gate picks due to his DNF in the first moto. Back at the starting gate Dungey and his team managed to get the bike on track only moments before Barcia had completed his first lap, allowing the defending champ to race the moto.
The day got even worse for Reed as he crashed in the first turn and dropped outside the top-20. After making minimal progress the Aussie pulled out of the race, recording his second DNF for the day and crushing his chance at the title this year. RV made a quick pass on Weimer to move up to third as Barcia stretched his lead to more than 20 seconds ahead of the field. Justin behind Villopoto was Metcalfe, who also got around Weimer for fourth as Dungey continued to make progress by breaking into the top-20. In addition to Reed, the second moto claimed numerous riders including Facciotti and local rider, Robert Marshall.
In the end Barcia captured his first win in the premier class more than 26 seconds ahead of Metcalfe. Ultimate honors were bestowed upon the Aussie, however, who took the overall after passing RV late in the race. Metcalfe’s victory was especially poignant after last year’s race at the same track, in which the Aussie came short of taking his first moto victory after running out of gas on the final lap. RV2 picked up second overall after finishing just shy of the podium in fourth during the final moto. But the story of the day was Dungey and his persistence. Passing a grand total of 33 riders to finish seventh in Moto 2, RD5 only gave up one point to Villopoto in the championship.
450 Motocross Southwick Results:
1. Brett Metcalfe (Suzuki) 3-2
2. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki) 2-4
3. Ryan Dungey (Suzuki) 1-7
4. Justin Brayton (Yamaha) 7-3
Suzuki's Ryan Dungey could have lost the championship at Southwick if not for his skill and determination.
5. Mike Alessi (KTM) 4-6
6. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki) 6-5
7. Justin Barcia (Honda) 36-1
8. John Dowd (Kawasaki) 9-8
9. Les Smith (Yamaha) 9-8
10. Kyle Chisholm (Yamaha) 11-10
11. Colton Facciotti (Yamaha) 5-36
12. Shane Sewell (Yamaha) 17-11
13. Nick Wey (Yamaha) 14-14
14. Robert Marshall (KTM) 10-34
15. Michael Byrne (Suzuki) 15-17
450 Motocross Championship Points:
1. Ryan Villopoto, 431
2. Ryan Dungey, 423
3. Chad Reed, 366
4. Brett Metcalfe, 304
5. Mike Alessi, 243
6. Jake Weimer, 221
7. Andrew Short, 196
8. Kevin Windham, 193
9. Davi Millsaps, 173
10. Justin Brayton, 163