James Pennington leads a group of riders who appear to be auditioning for motorcycling’s version of the Blue Angels. The riders form a perfect formation as they race through the second horseshoe during the 1989 Daytona 600 Supersport race. Pennington, who hailed from West Palm Beach, finished 27th out of the 80 starters. He was perhaps best known for going wheel to wheel with Kevin Schwantz at the first CCS Race of Champions in November of 1984. Pennington, Schwantz and Jay Parnell were having a knock-down, drag-out race in the Middleweight Superbike final. All three were trading the lead when late in the race Pennington and Parnell collided in turn one. Somehow neither rider hit the deck, but the run-in allowed Schwantz to open up a gap and win the race. Parnell took second and Pennington third.
Xavier Simeon to miss Catalunya Moto2 race through injury
The Tech 3 Racing Moto2 Team’s Xavier Simeon will not participate in next weekend’s Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya having been ruled out by injuries picked up during the recent French Grand Prix. Read more.
Bridgestone: Le Mans MotoGP™ debrief
Rain lashed the Bugatti Circuit at Le Mans prior to last Sunday’s French MotoGP™ and an exciting wet race ensued with Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo streaking away to take his second win of the season ahead of Ducati’s Valentino Rossi and Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner. Read more.
West performance at Le Mans brings hope to QMMF and Moriwaki
The soaking wet Monster Energy Grand Prix de France proved the ideal ground for rain specialist Anthony West to get not only his, but also his team’s best finish this season in seventh. Read more.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the first member of the induction class of 2012. The late Rod Bush, who helped establish and grow KTM North America and served as company president from 1987 until his death in 2005, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the 2012 AMA Legends Weekend at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 16-17.
“Rod Bush led KTM North America during its formative years in the United States, and under his leadership, the Austrian company grew from a small European alternative to the Japanese brands into an off-road racing powerhouse,” said Jeff Heininger, chairman of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which raises funds for the Hall of Fame. “His contributions to motorcycling are significant and lasting, and have helped shaped the off-road racing and riding environments in America for a generation.”
While leading KTM, Bush also made numerous contributions to U.S. teams in national and international competition, helping advance American off-road racing in general. A major influence in developing both rules packages and minicycle technology, Bush’s efforts helped revolutionize youth competition in America in the 1990s — a development that has continued to fuel the steady advancement of American motocross and off-road racers.
“So much of the success KTM has seen in North America is built on the foundation that Rod worked so hard to create,” said current KTM North America President Jon-Erik Burleson. “As a mentor and friend of mine, his leadership and success were, and continue to be, great inspiration to continue to push forward. The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame represents the pinnacle of those who have achieved so much for our sport and industry. I am deeply happy for his family and his legacy for him to be honored with such prestigious recognition.”
Bush, who passed away on Sept. 12, 2005, is survived by wife Cheri Bush, who said his influence went beyond tangible milestones and infused both his employees and peers with confidence and enthusiasm.
“Rod had a tremendous amount of integrity, honesty and fairness,” she said. “He lived every day to the fullest, and everything he did involved motorcycles and KTM. KTM and the people who worked for him truly were a part of his family. I think that was recognized even at the highest levels of the company. His opinions were valued greatly in Austria, where they had great faith in Rod and what he was doing in America, and I think that was reflected when he was appointed one of three managing directors for the parent company.”
Cheri Bush said most people will likely remember Rod for his friendly nature as much as they’ll remember him for his accomplishments.
“Rod was very down to earth,” she said. “He would talk to anybody. His attitude is probably best captured by the simple way he signed his emails and letters: ‘see you down the trail…’ It conveyed so much about him — his friendliness, his expectation that he would see you again and, of course, his love for motorcycling.”
Born July 6, 1955, in Huntington, W.Va., Bush rode his first hare scrambles in 1970 and three years later opened a Penton dealership in Parkersburg, W.Va., with his father. Bush started taking his racing seriously, and began competing in the International Six Days Trial in 1974, ultimately winning gold medals in later ISDTs. In 1976, Bush started working for Penton Imports as a sales representative.
In 1978, Bush left Penton Imports to help form KTM America, later KTM North America, with Jack Lehto. In 1987, Bush took the position of KTM North America president when the company was selling about 2,500 motorcycles a year. When Bush died in 2005, KTM North America sold approximately 28,000 units annually and had 140 employees. During his tenure at KTM, Bush was elected as a partner and one of three managing directors of KTM Group, as well as a member of the AMA Board of Directors.
Bush is also survived by his son Robbie, his daughter Stacy and granddaughter Amaris.
Bush is the first member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame class of 2012 to be announced. The rest of the 2012 inductees will be announced in random order in the coming weeks.
The class of 2012 will officially be inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame on Nov. 16 as part of the AMA Legends Weekend. The weekend also includes the 2012 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Dave Mungenast Memorial Concours d’Elegance on Saturday, Nov. 17, featuring some of the country’s most impressive original and restored classic motorcycles.
In addition to the current class, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction ceremony shines the spotlight on two previously inducted members of the Hall of Fame, reminding the motorcycling community of the amazing careers of these Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legends. For 2012, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legends will be 1998 inductees Malcolm Smith, a pioneer in off-road motorcycling and a star in the motorcycle documentary “On Any Sunday,” and Mert Lawwill, the 1969 AMA Grand National Champion whose title defense was the central theme of the timeless film.
Tickets for the AMA Legends Weekend are now available through this online registration form: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e5r7zy8ea4316694&llr=vw9ldxbab or by calling (800) 342-5464.
The AMA Legends Weekend will be held at the Las Vegas Red Rock Resort, a world-class spa, hotel and casino, featuring a range of entertainment, dining and family-friendly attractions. The facility’s expansive ballrooms provide a stunning backdrop for the AMA Legends Weekend. Room reservations are available now at a special group rate by calling (866) 767-7773 and referencing group code RCIAME or AMERICAN MOTORCYCLIST. Online room reservations are available at RedRockLasVegas.com.
More information about the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame can be found at MotorcycleMuseum.org.
About the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation
Founded in 1990 by the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, the goal of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum is to tell the stories and preserve the history of motorcycling. Located on the campus of the American Motorcyclist Association in Pickerington, Ohio, the Museum’s three major exhibition halls feature the machines and memorabilia of those who have contributed notably to the sport. The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to motorcycling, including those known for their contributions to road riding, off-road riding and all categories of racing, as well as those who have excelled in business, history, design and engineering. More information can be found at MotorcycleMuseum.org.
Miller Electric Freestone National, presented by Yamaha
Freestone Raceway – Wortham, Texas, May 26
- Freestone will host its sixth Lucas Oil Pro Motocross National.
- The Freestone National marks the lone Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship visit to the south-central portion of the United States.
- This is the second consecutive season in which Freestone will take place on Memorial Day Weekend.
- Prior to Hangtown last weekend, James Stewart’s previous overall victory was at Steel City in 2008. He raced just one National from 2009 through 2011.
- Stewart now sits fifth on the all-time wins list with 17 victories.
- The podium finishers at Hangtown were each making their Nationals debut for their respective teams.
- James Stewart and Blake Baggett will wear the red number plates this weekend in the 450 Class and 250 Class, respectively.
- Blake Baggett won his second consecutive race at Hangtown, the site of his first career win one year prior.
- With the injuries to defending champions Ryan Villopoto (450 Class) and Dean Wilson (250 Class), there will be a pair of new champions in Lucas Oil Motocross in 2012.
450 Class Stats
- The first Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship race at Freestone Raceway was held on September 2, 2007. Grant Langston won on a Yamaha en route to the series championship.
- There has never been a repeat winner at Freestone in the 450 Class. James Stewart, Ryan Dungey and Mike Alessi are all former winners at the track.
- Four of the five manufacturers have sat atop the podium.
- Freestone wins by brand:
- Last win at Freestone by brand:
- Ryan Dungey is the only rider to claim his inaugural 450 Class victory at Freestone.
2012 Current Stats
450 Class Point Standings – After 1 of 12 rounds
1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 50
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 42
3. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki, 34
4. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 34
5. Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki, 34
6. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki, 29
7. Davi Millsaps, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha, 29
8. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki, 26
9. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki, 25
10. Nico Izzi, Rochester, Mich., Yamaha, 21
James Stewart – 1
James Stewart – 2
Overall Wins by Brand
Suzuki – 1
Laps Led (total)
James Stewart – 32
Mike Alessi – 2
250 Class Stats
- The first 250 Class race at Freestone Raceway was September 2, 2007. Ryan Villopoto won on a Kawasaki.
- Tyla Rattray became the fourth different winner at Freestone last season. Ryan Villopoto is the only repeat winner at the track.
- With Rattray’s move to the 450 Class, Freestone will welcome its fifth different 250 Class winner in six years.
- Kawasaki and Suzuki are the only brands to record wins at Freestone.
- Freestone wins by brand:
- Last win by brand at Freestone:
- There has never been a first time winner at Freestone in the 250 Class.
2012 Current Stats
250 Class Point Standings – After 1 of 12 rounds
1. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki, 50
2. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda, 42
3. Ken Roczen, Apolda, Germany, KTM, 42
4. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 31
5. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 29
6. Martin Davalos, Quito, Ecuador, Suzuki, 25
7. Kyle Cunningham, Fort Worth, Texas, Yamaha, 25
8. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki, 25
9. Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM, 23
10. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda, 22
Blake Baggett – 1
Blake Baggett – 2
Overall Wins by Brand
Kawasaki – 1
Laps Led (total)
Blake Baggett – 13
Ken Roczen – 12
Justin Barcia – 8
Date / Winner, Hometown / Machine
May 28, 2011 / Chad Reed, Australia / Honda
June 5, 2010 / Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, MN / Suzuki
June 6, 2009 / Mike Alessi, Victorville, CA / Suzuki
June 8, 2008 / James Stewart, Haines City, FL / Kawasaki
September 2, 2007 / Grant Langston, Clermont, FL / Yamaha
Date / Winner, Hometown / Machine
May 28, 2011 / Tyla Rattray, South Africa / Kawasaki
June 5, 2010 / Christophe Pourcel, France / Kawasaki
June 6, 2008 / Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, MN / Suzuki
June 8, 2008 / Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, WA / Kawasaki
September 2, 2007 / Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, WA / Kawasaki
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (May 24, 2012) – The opening round of the 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, did not disappoint as the world’s best riders put on a thrilling show for the fans at Hangtown. This weekend, the series heads to the Lone Star State, Texas, for the Miller Electric Freestone National, presented by Yamaha, which will commence at 2 p.m. Eastern from Freestone Raceway in Wortham.
Freestone is known for being one of the hardest rounds of the championship, consistently challenging a rider’s physical and mental toughness. On Saturday, riders can expect more of the same, which should make for high drama and captivating competition.
Team Yoshimura Suzuki
Last weekend, James Stewart made a memorable return to the Nationals, winning his first race since August of 2010 and kicking off his new relationship with Factory Suzuki effort on a high note. The perfect 1-1 moto scores gave Stewart his 17th career win in the 450 Class, while also giving him possession of the red number plate this weekend as series points leader.
“Texas is going to be tough,” said Stewart. “But, we have to take it week by week. I get to ride the red plate on the Suzuki and that’s pretty cool. This will be the first time I’ve ever had it, at (the Nationals) or in Supercross, so that should be pretty special.”
Brett Metcalfe got his 2012 season off to a strong start at Hangtown as well. The second-year Suzuki rider ran at the front portion of the field throughout the day and was one of three riders who tied for third. While tiebreakers ultimately resulted in a fifth-place finish for Metcalfe, he enters Freestone as one of the top contenders.
“I’m looking forward to Texas,” said Metcalfe. “That’s always a physically-demanding track, so the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 will work well there. We’ve got to go in confident, get the appropriate rest, and work hard this week so we can come out stronger for Texas and build from there.”
Red Bull KTM
Despite being the lone rider for KTM in the 450 Class, Ryan Dungey represented the brand well at Hangtown. Despite a tough start in the opening moto, Dungey refused to quit and battled his way from outside the top 10 and into third. In the second moto, Dungey took advantage of a much stronger start and kept Stewart within his sights throughout the moto. He ultimately settled for the runner-up effort and now heads to the site of his first career win in the 450 Class.
Mike Alessi turned heads at Hangtown, posting an overall podium finish in his first National race for MotoConcepts. Alessi has been known to perform well at the track and he didn’t disappoint, grabbing the holeshot in the second moto and battling with both Stewart and Dungey early on. Now, Alessi heads to Freestone where he captured the overall win back in 2009, looking to keep his strong start to the season going.
Team Chaparral Honda
Andrew Short was another rider making his Lucas Oil Motocross debut for a new team at Hangtown. The veteran rider gave the L&Mc Racing team a lot to smile about after a strong fourth-place effort. Short battled with Stewart throughout the early portion of the opening moto and backed up his fifth-place finish with a fourth-place result in the final moto. He enters Freestone tied for third in the standings with Alessi and Metcalfe.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
Broc Tickle’s inaugural race in the 450 Class was one to remember for both him and the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team. Like Tickle, Pro Circuit had never competed in the premier class at the Nationals and thanks to his strong 6-7 moto scores, the team finished sixth overall, giving them considerable momentum coming into Freestone.
“I got my feet wet at the (Nationals) on my KX450F and now I know where I need to go from here to continue to progress,” said Tickle. “I’m leaving Hangtown with two good moto finishes and achieved my goal for the first round of the (Nationals), which was to finish inside the top 10. I just want to continue building at Freestone and get on the podium.”
Davi Millsaps started his day off at Hangtown with an impressive runner-up effort behind Stewart in the opening moto. However, in Moto 2 Millsaps experienced some misfortune and was forced to settle for a 14th-place finish, ultimately resulting in seventh overall. He’ll look to bounce back in Texas.
Kyle Regal’s debut for the JGR team didn’t go as well as he would have hoped, but this weekend he heads to a track where he has posted impressive results in the past.
Monster Energy Kawasaki
Jake Weimer assumed the lead role under the Factory Kawasaki rig in the absence of Ryan Villopoto. At Hangtown, Weimer proved he’s ready to lead the way for the team by posting a hard-fought eighth-place finish. In the opening moto, hard luck forced Weimer to fight from dead last, from which he battled all the way to 10th by motos end, resulting in the RC Hard Charger Award. In Moto 2, Weimer battled for a top-five finish, putting him for sixth on the day. The positive turnaround has him looking forward to Freestone.
“It wasn’t a bad start to the season,” said Weimer. “The track was pretty rough at Hangtown and it kind of wore me out. I have been working hard this week with Aldon Baker to improve my fitness before we head to the Freestone National. It gets really hot out there so physical endurance is especially crucial for that race.”
For Tyla Rattray, the 2012 season has ended before it even got started. Rattray was running inside the top 10 during the opening moto at Hangtown, but suffered a severe hand injury when an errant rock hit him. As a result, Rattray will be sidelined indefinitely.
“I was pretty disappointed about having to pull out of the race early,” said Rattray. “In the first moto I got a decent start and began making passes. I got around a few people, but then I got drilled in the hand with a rock. I tried to keep riding, but every time I pulled the clutch lever my hand was really hurting so I pulled off to get it checked out. I went to Asterisk and when they x-rayed my hand they found a fracture in a bone behind my knuckle, kind of like a boxer’s fracture. I got it fixed on Monday, so unfortunately I won’t be able to compete in the next few rounds until this heals up.”
Jeff Ward Racing Kawasaki
Josh Grant helped the Jeff Ward Racing effort land a top-10 overall finish in its debut Lucas Oil Motocross race. The former 450 Class race winner posted 9-8 moto scored to land ninth overall and get the season off to a strong start.
Grant’s JWR teammate Kyle Chisholm just missed out on an overall finish inside the top 10, posting 13-9 moto results to finish 11th overall.
Nico Izzi led the way for the Star/Valli team at Hangtown, posting 11-10 moto scores to grab 10th overall. Izzi has shown consistent improvement since making the move into the 450 Class earlier this season and will look for even better results at Freestone.
“Hangtown was a little rough on me,” said Izzi of his first-ever 450 race at the Nationals. “I rode well, but I went down in both motos. In the first, I went down on the first lap but I rode hard and came back to 11th. In the second moto, I was in seventh but I went off the track and got t-boned trying to come back and went down again. But, I ended up 10th, so I know I’ve got the speed. I just need to be a little smarter. Texas is going to be tough, we’ll have to prepare ourselves and come out with our guns loaded and hope for the best. That’s all you can do.”
Bobby Kiniry wasn’t far off his teammate’s pace at Hangtown, landing just outside the overall top 10 with a 12th-place effort on the heels of 12-13 moto results.
Team Honda Muscle Milk
Following a strong Supercross season, Justin Brayton had high hopes coming into Hangtown. Unfortunately, his Nationals debut for American Honda didn’t go as well as he’d hoped with bad luck forcing him to record 24-16 moto scores, landing him just inside the top 20 in 19th overall.
Tommy Hahn’s debut for American Honda fared better than his teammate’s, but still wasn’t the results he was hoping for. Hahn got the day off to a strong start by finishing eighth in the first moto, however, misfortune hindered his efforts in Moto 2, forcing him to finish 27th and dropping him to 14th overall.
“I am really happy to have this first race out of the way, and I’m pleased with the results,” said Hahn. “Apart from going down in the second moto, I felt good and was having fun. I am looking forward to building off this and improving my results throughout the rest of the season.”
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki
Blake Baggett’s second consecutive victory at Hangtown came on the heels of an impressive performance in each of the day’s motos. Baggett battled his way from a fifth-place starting spot in the opening moto to make a last-lap pass for the win and put forth a dominant effort in Moto 2 to give notice that he is one of the top contenders for the 250 Class title. He will carry the red number plate into Freestone this weekend as the points leader.
“Everything went great at Hangtown,” said Baggett. “It was nice to get the (Nationals) started off on the right foot. I have always liked the track at Hangtown. Even though it gets pretty rough, you can get into a good flow if you find the right lines. The first moto was a super intense race and by far one of the gnarliest battles I’ve ever had. You really have to watch it on television to even understand it. I am heading into Freestone with the red plate and will be working hard to keep it on my KX250F.”
Ivan Tedesco’s return to the 250 Class was impressive as well. Despite not competing in the smaller displacement since 2005, Tedesco was a constant inside the top 10 and ultimately posted 6-5 moto scores to finish fourth overall. He is looking forward to keeping the momentum going at Freestone.
“I came out of the first round with fourth so I’m happy with that,” said Tedesco. “I have something to build off now. Everything is really what I expected coming back to compete in the 250 Class. These kids are fast. These are the future champions coming up and the 250 Class is almost as hard as the 450 Class. It’s a little different being back on the KX250F, but I’m having fun with it. Hopefully I can keep the ball rolling in Freestone and continue to give these kids a run for their money.”
Defending 250 Class Champion Dean Wilson will unfortunately miss the Freestone round. During the opening moto at Hangtown, Wilson pulled off the track while running seventh due to a lingering shoulder injury suffered during the Supercross season. He will undergo surgery to repair the problem, sidelining him from competition indefinitely.
“I came off an okay start in the first moto at Hangtown and was working my way through the pack when my shoulder came out again,” said Wilson. “That was the last straw for me. I really want to be out there defending my title, so it was a bummer to have to pull out. I know this is something that I just have to take care of now or it’s going to keep causing me problems. The goal is to get this fixed quickly, heal up, and come back strong in 2013.”
Justin Barcia’s start to the 2012 season was a strong one, resulting in a runner-up effort for the former race winner. Barcia was a fixture behind the leader in each of the motos and ultimately relied on 3-2 moto scored to land second overall. He enters Freestone ready to take his shot at the points lead.
“As much as I want to win, it was a great weekend overall and a good way to start the season,” said Barcia. “I got the holeshot in both motos and led for multiple laps in each race. I told myself coming into the season that I wanted to be top five in every moto, so being on the podium is awesome.”
Eli Tomac rode to a solid fifth-place finish at the opening round and is in good position coming into Texas. Tomac’s strong first moto finish of fourth at Hangtown was accompanied by a 10th-place finish in the final moto, but he’s eager to show what he has on Saturday.
“We just finished Supercross and this is the first race of the (Nationals) so I am still trying to make that transition,” said Tomac. “Although today could have gone better, it also could have gone worse. I am grateful to have finished top five overall and I am ready to head to Texas.”
Wil Hahn proved he has what it takes to be a consistent threat inside the top 10 at Hangtown, posting 7-13 moto results to finish 10th overall. He enters his home race at Freestone with high hopes.
Justin Bogle’s first full season of Lucas Oil Motocross competition was hindered with bad luck at Hangtown. After finishing 21st in the opening moto, Bogle rebounded to finish seventh in Moto 2, ultimately landing him 15th overall. He looks forward to rebounding at Freestone.
Red Bull KTM
Ken Roczen’s official debut in Lucas Oil Motocross was one that showed that despite being the youngest rider in the championship, he is ready to battle for the title. Roczen was on the receiving end of Baggett’s last-lap pass in the first moto at Hangtown, though finishing second, he gained valuable experience by leading most of the race. In Moto 2, Roczen was forced to fight back from an early fall and did so, finishing third to secure third overall for the day and put him in the thick of the title fight early on.
Marvin Musquin continued to battle through an injury as the 2012 season got underway last weekend. However, the French rider refuses to let it slow him down, posting a fifth-place finish in the opening moto. In Moto 2, Musquin had to deal with some adversity, finishing 14th and dropping to ninth overall.
Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki
Martin Davalos led the way for Rockstar Suzuki at Hangtown. The veteran rider got off to a slow start with a 14th-place finish in Moto 1, but rebounded with an impressive fourth-place effort in Moto 2 to capture sixth overall and start the season on a high note.
“Hangtown started out a little rough,” said Davalos. “We didn’t qualify well, I got a horrible start in the first moto, and then I couldn’t find any momentum. But in the second moto, I got a good start and rode solid to finish fourth. It was a good way to start the season and now I’m looking forward to Freestone.”
Jason Anderson showed he’s ready to be a contender this season by relying on a pair of consistent moto performances. The sophomore rider’s 8-9 moto scores landed him eighth overall, giving him momentum coming into Freestone.
“My first moto was kind of mediocre,” said Anderson. “I got eighth. In my second moto, I was ripping up front and a guy got by me, then I stalled my bike. It was a good weekend overall, though, and I’m looking forward to racing in Texas.”
Blake Wharton’s tough first moto hindered his chances at a strong finish in the overall standings at Hangtown, but despite finishing 16th to start the day, Wharton bounced back to finish sixth in Moto 2 and land 12th overall. Freestone signifies Wharton’s home race and he is eager to perform well in front of the hometown crowd.
“I had some technical difficulties in the first moto,” said Wharton. “The second moto was a lot better. I didn’t get to race motocross last year, so it’s been a long time for me, but the track was really gnarly. But, I learned some things that I’m going to build off of and I’m going to Texas next weekend, which should be nothing but good for me.”
Fellow Texas native Hunter Hewitt finished 18th overall at Hangtown on the heels of 17-16 moto scores, and like Wharton, is looking for big things this weekend at his hometown round.
“I got a good start in the first moto, but I could have been more aggressive,” said Hewitt. “I kept a solid pace and ended up 17th. In the second moto, I was a little fatigued but I got a better start. I was more aggressive but maintained my pace, and ended up 16th. I haven’t raced motocross in over a year, so I’m happy with this. We’ll go to Texas and set realistic goals, and try to match them every weekend.”
Kyle Cunningham posted a seventh-place finish overall to lead the way for Star/Valli. The veteran rider’s 9-8 moto scores set a solid foundation to start the season and now Cunningham heads to the site of his best finish one year ago at his home race from Freestone.
“I didn’t get a good start in the first moto, but I rode a decent race,” said Cunningham. “In the second moto, I was feeling good, but I caught my foot in a rut and I struggled through the last half of the race. We got two top-10 finishes and we’re still in the hunt with a lot of races to go. Now we go to Texas, which is where I live, and it’s going to be a hot one. The track is pretty difficult too, so it should make for some good racing.”
Gareth Swanepoel experienced some adversity in both motos at Hangtown, posting 12-15 moto scores to finish 14th overall.
Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki’s Jessica Patterson claimed the opening round of the Women’s Motocross Championship at Hangtown. The six-time WMX Class Champion posted a pair of runner-up finishes in the motos to secure the overall in her debut ride for the team. While Patterson will carry the red number plate into Freestone, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Ashley Fiolek and Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda’s Tarah Gieger will be close behind, looking to stake their claim on the points lead.
Television coverage for Saturday’s Miller Electric Freestone National, presented by Yamaha, begins with live coverage of the opening motos for both the 450 and 250 Classes on FUEL TV as well as online at AlliSports.com, beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern. Final moto broadcasts of both classes can be seen via same-day coverage on NBC Sports Network at 11:00 p.m. Eastern.
Tickets for all 12 rounds of the 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship can be found at www.allisports.com.
For additional information please visit AlliSports.com/motocross also, “like” the American Motocross Facebook page, “follow” @AmericanMX on Twitter and Instagram for exclusive content and information on the latest Lucas Oil Motocross news and developments.
For media information about the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, please contact MX Sports Pro Racing via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MX Sports Pro Racing
MX Sports Pro Racing manages and produces the world’s most prestigious motocross series – the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. The industry leader in off road powersport event production and management, its mission is to showcase the sport of professional motocross competition at events throughout the United States. Through its various racing properties, partnerships and affiliates, MX Sports Pro Racing organizes events for thousands of action sports athletes each year and attracts millions of motorsports spectators. Visit www.mxsportsproracing.com.
Alli Sports, is an action sports lifestyle brand whose mission is to connect fans with athletes and brands through best in class events, media, and authentic branded products. Alli Sports includes: the Dew Tour, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and the Red Bull Signature Series; Alli Media, which creates, produces, and distributes original content; Alli RideShop, an online retailer carrying top skate and BMX consumer products; and Alli MotoShop an online retailer carrying top moto consumer products. Alli Sports is owned by NBC Sports. More information can be found at www.allisports.com.
AMA Pro Racing
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing sanctioning body in the United States, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. From its Daytona Beach headquarters, the organization sanctions professional motorcycle racing competition, which includes, AMA Pro Motocross, AMA Pro Road Racing, and AMA Pro Flat Track. Visit www.amaproracing.com.
NBC Sports Group
When the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed in January of 2011, the broad reach and storied history of NBC Sports united with Comcast’s 24/7 ability to super-serve fans to create the NBC Sports Group. The new sports media company consists of an array of broadcast television, cable television and digital sports assets, including NBC Sports & Olympics, Golf Channel, Versus, 11 SportNets (regional sports networks) and their respective websites. Together, the new combined assets of the NBC Sports Group possess an unparalleled collection of television rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the Olympics, NFL, NHL, PGA TOUR, PGA of America, USGA, IndyCar, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Wimbledon, French Open, Tour de France and Kentucky Derby.
FUEL TV is the only cable and satellite television network that features the exciting world of adrenaline and thrill-seeking sports including UFC, surfing, motocross, snowboarding and more. This new generation of sports provides a rich landscape of some of the most vibrant and action-packed television entertainment in the world. With more hours of UFC coverage than any other network, FUEL TV is the place to be for live fights, weigh-ins, prelims, pre- and post-fight coverage, specials and events you won’t see anywhere else. See why adrenaline sports fans call FUEL TV the channel they never turn off. FUEL TV, part of FOX Sports Media Group, was launched July 1, 2003 and is seen in more than 36 million U.S. homes and can be accessed by broadband, mobile devices and other digital platforms such as iTunes®. FUEL TV programming is available in more than 50 countries around the world with 24/7 channels operating in Australia and Europe. To subscribe to FUEL TV, call 877-4 FUEL-TV. For program times and other information, visit www.fuel.tv.
Lucas Oil Products
Lucas Oil is a worldwide leader in the production of oils, lubricants and additives. Based in Corona, Calif., Lucas Oil Products is one of the fastest-growing additive lines in the consumer automotive industry, featuring a premium line of oils, lubricants and problem-solving performance additives. Through innovative product research and development, along with aggressive marketing programs, Lucas Oil Products has established itself as the top-selling additive line in the American truck-stop industry. Lucas Oil is involved in an array of motorsports sponsorships, including the “Official Motor Oil of the Pro Motocross Championship.” Visit www.LucasOil.com.