MX Racing in the Eye of Hurricane Irene
Neither rain nor snow nor Hurricane Irene could keep the 450cc motocross riders from delivering the mail at the Moto-X 338 track over the rain-soaked weekend at Southwick, MA. Storms rolled in early Saturday morning and each group’s lap times continued to soar as track conditions progressively deteriorated throughout the practice sessions. However, once the premier class of the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro MX Championship class took to the track, well things just got stranger by the lap.
At the end of the day, a rookie 450 rider would have claimed his first ever win in only his second race, a seasoned veteran would have claimed his first ever overall victory, a former points leader would sit dejected on the sideline with a broken bike, and the defending class champion would mount a come-from-behind ride that legends are made of. That’s right. Honda’s Justin Barcia led wire to wire in Moto 2 to claim his first win in the big bike class. Popular Aussie Brett Metcalfe claimed his first overall victory aboard his Rockstar/Makita Suzuki. Multi-time class champion Chad Reed’s DNFs in both motos would essentially eliminate the TwoTwo Motorsports rider from the 2011 championship chase.
Oh yeah, did we mentioned that first-moto winner Ryan Dungey put on a mind-blowing performance in Moto 2 after his Suzuki arrived at the starting line about a minute and half after the rest of the field took the green flag. Yep, the kind of stuff legends are made of. Dungey mounted his Rockstar/Makita Suzuki in 40th position almost a lap down to the leaders and went to work to salvage his opportunity for a second AMA 450cc MX championship. With points leader Ryan Villopoto on cruise control, Dungey made it look simple. Just go faster than everyone else and never say die.
When the checkered flag flew, Dungey was in seventh place just two positions behind Villopoto. With his win in Moto 1, Dungey would finish the day losing but a single point to his Kawasaki rival and now trails Villopoto by eight points with only two rounds remaining. Reed’s dismal performance leaves the Honda rider 65 points out of the lead. So, the stage is set for E3 spark plugs racing fans to catch the final two AMA pro outdoor motocross races at Steel City raceway outside Pittsburg, PA, and Pala raceway in the southern California desert. Don’t forget to pick up a box of E3 replacement plugs for your favorite ride. See you at the track.