Reed, Dungey Hang On To Win

Kit Palmer | July 25, 2009

The Rockstar Makita Suzuki team held on to sweep the 250 and 450cc classes today at Washougal MX Park in round eight of the AMA Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. After winning both first motos, Ryan Dungey and Chad Reed stayed tough again and came away with the overall victories in the 250 and 450cc classes, respectively.

Dungey, however, nearly threw away the overall victory a couple times in the second moto – he was his own worst enemy. After getting off to a sixth-place start, Dungey fell a couple of times while trying to climb to the front, all the while his series rival Christophe Pourcel was leading the way after nabbing the holeshot and was heading to a sure win. Dungey ended up finishing fifth in the moto, yet that was still good enough for the overall win, since many of the top finishers in the first moto, struggled in the second moto. With Pourcel winning, Dungey saw the nine-point points lead that he gained in the first moto, evaporate to nothing, so as the series begins its two-week break, the race for the 250cc title is neck and neck with Dungey and Pourcel sharing 377 points.

GEICO Powersport Honda’s Blake Wharton was the most consistent rider at the front of the pack, and he was rewarded with second overall for his best finish ever outdoors. After leading a number of laps in the first moto, Wharton ended up going 3-3 for second overall, while Pourcel (who crashed in the first moto) went 8-1 to get on the podium in third.

Wharton’s teammate Brett Metcalfe was also consistent, going 4-4 for fourth overall, while Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer rebounded from his 10th-place finish in the first moto finish second in the second to collect fifth overall.

Rounding out the top 10 overall were Tommy Searle, Broc Tickle, Darryn Durham, Max Anstie and Kyle Cunningham.

Cunningham, who had his best finish ever finish after placing second in the first moto, got taken out in the second moto on the second lap and ended up 10th overall on his Canidae/ Kawasaki.

Reed also had to work a bit to preserve his overall victory in the 450 class. After scoring a wire-to-wire win in the first moto, Reed got off to a sixth-place start in the second moto and spent a good portion of it reeling in fast starters Josh Grant and Jason Lawrence, but he first had to get around Antonio Balbi, Matt Goerke, his teammate Michael Byrne and Davi Millsaps.

Reed slowly but surely erased the eight-second deficit on Lawrence, and then spent another few laps chasing down Grant, passing the JGR Toyota Yamaha rider three laps from the end. He went on to win, stretching his points lead to 65 over Grant, who overtook second in the standings from Andrew Short.

“I just put my head down. I didn’t even know who was winning,” Reed said of moto two. “The sun was setting and coming through the trees and made it really hard to see in some places so I just kept looking for lines. I’ve just tried to be smooth (and) fast throughout the motos. The 30 minutes is the easy part. Today I felt strong. I just did what I had to do to win.”

Grant ended up taking second overall via 5-2 moto finishes.

Despite finishing 10th in the first moto, Lawrence capped off his day on the podium, his 10-3 good enough for third overall.

A large first-turn pile-up claimed a number of top riders from the first moto, including second-place finisher Tommy Hahn, who did not return after falling. He was injured in the fall, took a trip to the hospital, but is reported to be okay.

Fourth overall went to Muscle Milk/MDK KTM rider Justin Brayton (9-8), while Byrne (15-4) rounded out the top five.

The Honda Red Bull team had a tough day. Ivan Tedesco and Davi Millsaps both went down in the first turn in the first moto, and Tedesco went down again in the first turn in the second moto. (Andrew Short was involved in this one as well.) Tedesco did come from behind to finish ninth overall with an 11-11.

Millsaps, however, got away cleanly and ran as high as third before finishing out the moto in seventh.

Matt Goerke, who finished fourth in the first moto, pulled out of the second moto after falling.

450 Class (Moto Finish)

1. Chad Reed, Australia, Suzuki (1-1)

2. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha (5-2)

3. Jason Lawrence, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha (10-3)

4. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., KTM (9-8)

5. Michael Byrne, Australia, Suzuki (15-4)

6. Jimmy Albertson, Ozark, Mo., Yamaha (8-10)

7. Nick Wey, Dewitt, Mich., Yamaha (13-6)

8. Tommy Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Kawasaki (2-38)

9. Ivan Tedesco, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda (11-11)

10. Clement Desalle, Belgium, Honda (3-25)

450 Class Championship Standings

1. Chad Reed, Australia, Suzuki, 337

2. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha, 272

3. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 267

4. Ivan Tedesco, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda, 258

5. Michael Byrne, Australia, Suzuki, 207

6. Thomas Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Kawasaki, 171

7. Cody Cooper, New Zealand, Yamaha, 157

8. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 152

9. Nick Wey, Dewitt, Mich., Yamaha, 149

10. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki, 142

250 Class (Moto Finish)

1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki (1-5)

2. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Honda (3-3)

3. Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki (8-1)

4. Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Honda (4-4)

5. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki (10-2)

6. Tommy Searle, Great Britain, KTM (6-6)

7. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha (7-8)

8. Darryn Durham, Wildomar, Calif., Yamaha (5-10)

9. Max Anstie, Great Britain, KTM (9-9)

10. Kyle Cunningham, Ft. Worth, Texas, Kawasaki (2-34)

250 Class Championship Standings

1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 337

2. Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki, 337

3. Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Honda, 251

4. Tommy Searle, Great Britain, KTM, 243

5. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki, 215

6. Justin Barcia, Cairo, Ga., Honda, 210

7. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha, 199

8. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Honda, 198

9. Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki, 175

10. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 139

Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.