Day three of the 33rd Rocky Mountain ATV-MC Amateur National MX Championship at Loretta Lynn’s is in the books and it was another day of intense racing. And, once again, unbelievably nice weather conditions in the Tennessee area prevailed. For the first time all week, however, rain is in the forecast for the remaining two days of racing, but the percentage of rain is in the racer’s favor.
For the most part, the racing has been unpredictable. Many of the classes have seen multiple winners so far—the winner of moto one hasn’t meant an automatic repeat in moto two, at least that’s been the trend so far. One of the few exceptions has been in the 450 Pro Sport and 250 A classes, where AMSOIL/Factory Connection’s RJ Hampshire has just kept winning. He only raced once today, in the 250 A second moto, and he again won. The Florida-native has a perfect record so far.
Racing resumes at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow (Friday morning) and champions will then soon be crowned, the first coming in the College B/C (16-24) division and, as it looks right now, Stone Elder, who has won the first two motos, just might be that first rider.
RJ Hampshire captured his fourth moto win of the week after scoring a wire-to-wire victory in the second 250 A moto. The win, however, was made a little easier when some of his biggest competitors went down in a first-turn pileup that claimed at least eight riders, two of them being Kawasaki Team Green’s Chris Alldredge and Nick Gaines. Both Alldredge and Gaines got back on their bikes, but Gaines pulled off a few laps later with bike damage. Alldredge came back from 30th to finish eighth. Tyler McSwain, who was also involved in the crash, went to the hospital with a broken leg. Yamaha rider Luke Renzland eventually finished second, keeping Hampshire honest, while Aaron Plessinger, riding with a broken toe than he injured on Tuesday, finished a distant third. AMSOIL/Factory Connection Honda Jordon Smith was running third before pulling out of the race.
Luke Renzland (1) came back and scored an impressive win in the 450 A class. He started off third then passed KTM rider Daniel Baker for second then reeled in and passed first-moto winner Chris Alldredge for the win. Nick Gaines also got around Alldredge, making the final finishing order: Renzland, Gaines and Alldredge. They will go into their final on Saturday with Renzland and Alldredge both holding 1-3 moto finishes. Baker is currently third overall with 2-4 moto finishes. Gaines will go into the final moto with a 6-2.
Austin Forkner had to work for his second win in the Super Mini 2 (13-16) class. He had to track down long-time rival and Kawasaki Team Green teammate Sean Cantrell before sealing the win. Forkner has the 1-1 advantage over Cantrell’s 2-2 going into their final moto on Saturday. KTM rider Jordan Bailey currently holds down third overall with 3-4 moto scores.
One of the most exciting races of the day was produced in the Schoolboy 1 (12-16) B/C class, where everyone competes aboard 125cc two-strokes. Yamaha rider Jon Ames came away with the win, but it was the battle for second place that had the crowd on its feel. KTM rider Luke Purther (left) held down second but Yamaha-mounted Jake Masterpool (right) was on the move. Masterpool was 18th after the first lap, but was on a mission to get on the podium. He worked his way into third and started hounding Purther. He passed the KTM rider, but, two turns from the finish, bobbled in a fast sweeper, giving second back to purther. It was the moment of the day. The final moto on Saturday will be a showdown between Ames and Purther who both have 1-2 moto scores. Masterpool is currently third with 4-3 moto finishes.
In the Girls (12-16) class, Suzuki RM85 rider Hannah Hodges is the favorite to win the championship. Today (Thursday) she demolished the field for the second time. She’ll head into their final on Saturday with a perfect 1-1 score. Her nearest competitors are Danielle Grigoletti and Gracie Van Horn who both have 2-3 moto finishes.
In the second 65 (7-11) moto, Jett Reynolds (79) came from behind to take the win. After finishing second in the first moto, Reynolds is poised to win the class championship, because first-moto winner Josh Varize suffered his first moto loss of the week. Varize crashed out early in the race and will now focus his attention on winning the title in the Limited class.
Tristan Charboneau has all but a lock on the 450 B Championship and is no doubt eying the 450 A class. He won for the second time, this time with an 18-second lead at the finish. Charboneau won the first moto with a 40-second advantage.
Jeremy Martin, the 2014 AMA 250 Pro Motocross Championship Series leader, was on hand today to hang out and sign autographs.
Trampas Parker finished second in the Senior 45+ class. He won yesterday and is tied with John Grewe (2-1) going into the third and final moto.