The final Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship race of the 2009 season will unfold this Saturday as the American Motocross Festival heads to Delmont, Pa. and Steel City Raceway. The event will bring the summer outdoor series to an exciting conclusion over the Labor Day weekend.
With the 450 Class championship already secured by Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki's Chad Reed, the remaining battles for the championships will come down to the 250 and Women's Motocross (WMX) classes with Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki's Ryan Dungey and Honda Red Bull Racing's Ashley Fiolek leading the way.
Last year, the inaugural American Motocross Festival presented stellar racing from all three classes and thanks to its success, it returns for 2009 as part of the championship weekend of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship. Additionally, SPEED will showcase the 250 Class battle as it goes down to the wire with same-day coverage beginning at midnight ET.
Last weekend at Moto-X 338 in Southwick, Mass., the series saw two first-time winners in the 450 and 250 classes. Yamaha's Matt Goerke used 6-1 finishes to edge runner-up Michael Byrne by virtue of a second moto tiebreaker for his inaugural 450 Class win while Southwick legend John Dowd came out of retirement at the age of 44 to compete against the world's top riders, scoring an impressive third place finish. For Reed, his early securing of the premier class title worked in his favor as he finished eighth overall after winning the opening moto and crashing out of the lead in the final moto. Despite some bumps and bruises, the Australian star will be eager to rebound this weekend and finish the season on a high note.
GEICO Powersports Honda's rookie speedster Justin Barcia finally broke through for his first career professional motocross victory in the 250 Class, overcoming adversity in each moto and showcasing his stellar speed that has made him a breakthrough story of 2009. Heading into Southwick, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Christophe Pourcel led the 250 Class championship by 13 points over Dungey. However, the unpredictable nature of motocross rang true as a 30-point swing between the duo left Pourcel with his worst finish of the season in 18th, his first off the podium, as well as a 17-point deficit to Dungey, who finished fourth. The international pairing has put on a racing showcase throughout the season, trading points, momentum and wins throughout the 11 races in arguably one of the most memorable and tightly-contested title fights in the history of the sport. If last weekend was any indication, this title is still far from over with two motos remaining.
When the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship concluded last season at Steel City, James Stewart made history as he reeled off his 23rd and 24th consecutive moto wins, sweeping every moto in 2008. Stewart became just the second rider in history to achieve a perfect season, joining the Greatest of All-Time (G.O.A.T.) Ricky Carmichael.
Dungey is no stranger to winning at Steel City and he hopes that will play into his favor on Saturday. Last year, he swept both motos for the first time in his career en route to claiming three wins in the final four races of the season.
Jessica Patterson kept current WMX Class points leader Ashley Fiolek at bay in Southwick, winning both motos and preventing Fiolek from clinching her second title. However, the 18-year old rider still carries a 41-point lead over her five-time champion rival and sits in a good position to wrap things up this weekend.
In support of the American Motocross Festival, MX Sports Pro Racing introduces the second annual Race to Cure Breast Cancer. Fans, riders and teams are all encouraged to immerge themselves in the PINK theme while several additional opportunities to show support will be available, highlighted by a mystery rider auction featuring Dungey and Fiolek along with Andrew Short and Ryan Villopoto. All proceeds from the fundraiser go towards the Philadelphia Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk while net proceeds support the combined efforts of the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust (NPT) Breast Cancer Fund.
To Donate Today, Visit: http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/Walk/PhiladelphiaEvent2009?team_id=70610&pg=team&fr_id=1297.
On Friday, Steel City Raceway presents the Monster Energy Fan Fest featuring JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha and Factory Yamaha. Team riders, along with several stars of the WMX Class, will be on hand to sign autographs and mingle with the fans while a variety of other activities are scheduled, including a trials demonstration by legend Geoff Aaron.
Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship Standings
After 11 of 12 Rounds
1. Chad Reed, Australia, Suzuki, 459
2. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 356
3. Ivan Tedesco, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda, 338
4. Michael Byrne, Australia, Suzuki, 316
5. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Yamaha, 280
6. Thomas Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Kawasaki, 259
7. Justin Brayton, Murrieta, Calif., KTM, 214
8. Cody Cooper, New Zealand, Yamaha, 184
9. Nick Wey, Dewitt, Mich., Yamaha, 182
10. Jimmy Albertson, Ozark, Mo., Yamaha, 164
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 459
2. Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki, 442
3. Brett Metcalfe, Australia, Honda, 352
4. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki, 322
5. Justin Barcia, Cairo, Ga., Honda, 312
6. Tommy Searle, Great Britain, KTM, 309
7. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha, 263
8. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Honda, 240
9. Tyla Rattray, South Africa, Kawasaki, 236
10. Kyle Cunningham, Ft. Worth, Texas, Kawasaki, 174
WMX Class (After 7 of 8 Rounds)
1. Ashley Fiolek, St. Augustine, Fla., Honda, 336
2. Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Honda, 295
3. Sherri Cruse, Bakersfield, Calif., Suzuki, 258
4. Sara Price, Canyon Lake, Calif., Kawasaki, 208
5. Vicki Golden, El Cajon, Calif., Honda, 192
6. Elizabeth Bash, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki, 187
7. Sarah Whitmore, Cheboygan, Mich., KTM, 149
8. Penni Cyrus, Queen Creek, Ariz., Kawasaki, 134
9. Mariana Balbi, Brazil, Honda, 126
10. Jacqueline Strong, Sedona, Ariz., Honda, 114
Tickets are available are available at the box office or online at www.steelcitymx.com and www.allisports.com. Thursday through Saturday tickets: Adults - $50, Children (6-11) - $35, 5 and Under - Free; Friday through Saturday tickets: Adults - $45, Children (6-11) - $30, 5 and Under - Free; Saturday tickets: Adults - $30, Children (6-12) - $20, 5 and Under - Free
For fan and racing information on the 2009 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, log onto www.allisports.com.