Valley View, PA, June 11, 2011 - Patrick Smage took a big lead in the 2011 AMA/NATC National MotoTrials Series title chase with a double win at rounds three and four of the series in Valley View, Pennsylvania, this weekend.
The Sherco USA-backed rider edged defending champ Cody Webb by just two points during Saturday's competition, taking advantage of a couple of mistakes by Webb to take the advantage. However, for the most part the two title contenders were fairly even over 12-section course.
Webb held the slight edge after Saturday's opening lap, posting a 16-point score on his factory Beta, while Smage dropped 17 on his Cabestany Replica. Surprisingly, Webb's 16-point total included a five he took in section six when he crashed off of a large step and badly cut his lip and tongue. Smage, by the way, posted a clean ride in six on the first lap.
The crash in section six must have rattled Webb as the California rider failed to make it through the section on the second lap as well, which turned out to be his undoing. Smage scored a one in the section en route to an 11-point lap, while Webb turned in a 19-point total for the lap.
On the third and final lap, Webb managed to clean section six and went on to score 12 points for the lap, which was exceptional since a hard rain had turned the difficult sections into nearly impossible ones. However it was too little too late as Smage's 16-point final lap gave the Wisconsinite the victory by just two dabs, 44 points to 47.
Gas Gas USA's Keith Wineland turned in several stellar rides and rounded out the podium with a total of 106. Meanwhile, Arizona youngster and Sherco USA rider Bryan Roper was fourth with 120.
With a win under his belt, Smage looked even more confident on Sunday, and turned in a nearly flawless performance considering the difficult conditions. Smage's first lap consisted of a three and four ones for a total of seven, while Webb suffered a costly five in the difficult eighth section and a three in number seven.
Smage trimmed the fat on his second lap to post a three-point scorecard, which was three less that what Webb came in with.
Smage's final lap was phenomenal, as the three-time champ cleaned every section but one for a one-point card, giving him the overall victory by 10 points over Webb, who had a four-point final lap.
Wineland once again finished third with Roper fourth and Florida Sherco rider Karl Davis Jr. in fifth.
With just three rounds remaining on the schedule, Smage holds a 10-point lead over Webb in the series standings. The last three rounds will take place at the Trials Training Center in Sequatchie, Tennessee, on June 25-27.