The following is a release from Racer Productions-
From a talented pack of nearly 23,000 entries, 33 AMA Amateur National Champions were crowned at the 24th annual AMA/Air Nautiques Amateur National Championships at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch presented by Amsoil, August 1-6. The entries at the Area and Regional qualifying levels were narrowed down to 1,386 finalists, 42 per class, all of whom would compete in three 20-minute motos at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, TN, to determine the 2005 champions. Near-perfect conditions greeted all 99 motos throughout the week, with the podium finishers in each moto receiving Gold, Silver and Bronze medals from event organizers MX Sports.
The big winners included three double national champions. Oregon’s Josh Hill, riding Yamaha YZ250Fs, collected his sixth and seventh AMA National Championships at Loretta Lynn’s by taking the 125 B Stock and Mod titles. Honda rider Justin Barcia took titles in both the Stock and Mod divisions of the 85cc (12-13) classes back to his New York home, and Ohio’s Mike Katin won both the +25 and +30 Vet Championships on his Suzuki.
Tennessee’s Kevin Walker rode into the history books by clinching his 11th National Championship with a win in the +35 class. Walker is now tied atop the all-time Championship list with James Stewart and Mike Alessi. But Walker, a heavy favorite in the +30 class, lost the title to Katin after a poor middle moto left him a 1-5-1 second overall.
Other riders to note included Suzuki’s Jason Lawrence, who notched his fourth career title by winning the highly-competitive 125 A Pro Sport class, and Kawasaki’s Ryan Villapoto, the Washington native who won his first title with a 125 A Championship. Villopoto was awarded the coveted AMA Sports Horizon Award, given to the amateur graduate who shows the most promise in the pro ranks. (Lawrence was considered ineligible because he is already competing on the professional AMA Motocross National circuit.)
Katin was awarded the Vet Horizon Award, and Barcia the Youth Horizon Award.
Two other expert titles were also locked up by California riders. Honda’s Daniel Sani won the 250 A Pro Sport class, and Kawasaki’s Scott Simon won the 250 A class.
Lawrence missed out on his chance to win two titles due to a crash and trouble restarting his bike in the 250 A Pro Sport class, while his Suzuki teammate Mike LaPaglia, also of California, won the Four-Stroke Championship, but crashed out of the third and final 250 A moto while leading.
Hill swept the 125 B classes, while Kentucky’s Tyler Bowers won the 250 B Modified Class on a Honda, and Georgia’s Jase Lewis won the 250 B Stock Class, also on a Honda.
Kawsaki’s Team Green’s Austin Stroupe won the 125cc (12-15) Stock title on his KX125 in a dramatic third-moto duel with KTM’s Zach Osborne, while Minnesota’s Ryan Dungey won his first title in the Modified division on a Suzuki.
Suzuki’s Nico Izzi was looking for two titles of his own in the Senior Minicycle divisions, but the Michigan rider ended up with only the Supermini 105cc (12-15) title after facing mechanical problems in the 85cc (14-15) class. Honda’s Les Smith claimed that championship with steady 3-2-4 moto scores.
Two Suzuki riders swept the 85cc (7-11) class, with New Mexico’s Jason Anderson and Ohio’s Walker Brightwell taking the wins.
Michigan’s Sarah Whitmore returned to take the Women’s Championship on her Yamaha after another series of duels with rival Honda rider Jessica Patterson. Like Walker in the Vet classes, WMA Champion Patterson had a bad middle moto and her 1-9-1 meant third overall at Loretta Lynn’s.
Suzuki’s Kurt McMillan, a top former 500cc National privateer, won all three motos in the Senior +40 class on his Suzuki, while Kawasaki’s Matt Tedder, the California father of five racing boys, returned to win the +45 title for the second-straight year.
In the 65cc classes, KTM riders Brandon Mays, of New York, Max Tannenbaum, of Georgia, and Jacob Hayes, of North Carolina took the championships.
Florida’s Adam Cianciarulo won a 50cc class on his Cobra, with another Cobra rider, Arizona’s Mark Worth, sweeping all three motos in his class. North Carolina’s Austin McKee won the Shaft 50cc class on his Yamaha.
Finally the Golden State of California picked up the “state championship” award for the most success throughout the week in Tennessee.