After 11 rounds of competition and a summer full of the best motocross racing on the planet, the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship will come to a dramatic conclusion this Saturday, September 10, as American Motocross will crown a pair of champions in its return to Southern California. Pala Raceway, located in Northern San Diego County, will host the second annual Traxxas Pala National, with a three-class showcase of the world’s fastest motocross athletes.
Throughout the season, the championship-leading 450 Class duo of Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto and Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey, have engaged in many heated battles in their quest for a national title. Perhaps none of which were more exciting than what took place last weekend at the Steel City Motocross National. The opening moto from Delmont, Pa., featured a tremendous showdown between the pair of Ryan’s, with Dungey leading the way from the start, and Villopoto searching for an opportunity to get by throughout the race. The distance between the two riders see-sawed through the entire moto, until a last-ditch effort by Villopoto put him alongside Dungey coming out of the final corner, and ultimately signified the biggest moto win of the year for the points leader. The successful result of the pass has made it one of the most memorable moments in series history, and could be the defining moment in the outcome of the championship.
Following Villopoto’s moto sweep, and subsequent third overall win of the 2011 season, 14 points now separate he and Dungey heading into Pala Raceway. With the double-digit advantage in his favor, Villopoto has put the pressure on Dungey, who will look to remain undefeated at the newest facility in American Motocross, following a dominant 1-1 effort one year ago. Should Dungey accomplish that task, and shift the momentum back into his favor, Villopoto would need a minimum finish of fourth in each moto to secure his first 450 Class title.
After an impressive 1-1 performance for his second overall victory of the summer, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson became the 24th rider in AMA Pro Motocross history to claim a 250 Class title. Throughout the season, Wilson has set the standard for consistency, finishing on the overall podium in 10 of 11 rounds, including seven runner-up efforts. His series-leading point total and average finish is an indicator of the success he’s achieved, in what has become one of the most impressive championship performances of all-time.
Wilson is just the third rider in history born outside of the United States to win a 250 Class championship, joining South Africa’s Grant Langston (2003) and Scottish-born Jeff Ward (1984). Wilson has also ended a two-year drought for Mitch Payton’s Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki stable, who last won the 250 Class title with Ryan Villopoto in 2008, bringing the most successful team in AMA Pro Motocross history its ninth championship.
While one champion will be crowned at Pala in the 450 Class, another will walk away with a number one plate in the Motorcycle-Superstore.com Women’s Motocross Championship. After a dominant outing at Steel City, DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha’s Jessica Patterson decreased her deficit to points leader, and American Honda rider, Ashley Fiolek from 30 to 22 points. Patterson, the reigning WMX Class Champion, will have her work cut out for her on Saturday if she is to claim her seventh-career title, while Fiolek will simply look to replicate her winning efforts from Pala last season, and capture her third WMX Class title in four years.
As the newest venue of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship, Pala Raceway has become Southern California’s premier motocross destination. With its sprawling layout and unique blend of speed and big air, the track is quickly gaining popularity throughout the industry. Saturday’s action will bring a full day of nationally-televised live coverage on both FUEL TV and SPEED, beginning at 4 p.m. EST.
Following the success of its inaugural American Motocross event one year ago, Pala Raceway has made several improvements to make the experience for the fans on Saturday even better. The area receiving the most focus has been traffic and parking control. This year, fans will receive free parking, with no vehicle stops until arrival at a designated ACE Parking area. The track will also offer discounted practice day cards, redeemable at both Pala Raceway and Perris Raceway, for attendees who arrive with four or more people in a vehicle. Also, no matter which direction fans choose to arrive from, there are multiple routes for reaching Pala Raceway, including a second entrance off Magee Road.
The on-track action for the Traxxas Pala National begins this Saturday at 11:30 a.m. EST with practice and qualifying. Opening ceremonies begin at 3:30 p.m. EST with motos kicking off at 4 p.m. EST.
Previous Round Results and Current Standings
Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship
Steel City Motocross National
Steel City Raceway – Delmont, Pa.
September 3, 2011
Round 11 of 12
450 Class (Moto Finish) – To view complete event Box Score, click HERE
Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki (1-1)
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki (2-2)
Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki (3-4)
Chad Reed, Kurri Kurri, Australia, Honda (5-3)
Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki (6-6)
Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., KTM (8-5)
Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Yamaha (7-7)
Kyle Regal, Howell, Mich., Suzuki (9-8)
Nick Wey, Dewitt, Mich., Yamaha (11-10)
Michael Byrne, Rockhampton, Australia, Suzuki (13-9)
450 Class Championship Standings
Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki – 481
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki – 467
Chad Reed, Kurri Kurri, Australia, Honda – 402
Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki – 342
Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., KTM – 272
Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki – 251
Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., KTM – 196
Kevin Windham, Baton Rouge, La., Honda – 193
Justin Brayton, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Yamaha – 191
Davi Millsaps, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha – 173
250 Class (Moto Finish) – To view complete event Box Score, click HERE
Dean Wilson, Glasgow, Scotland, Kawasaki (1-1)
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda (2-2)
Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM (3-3)
Tyla Rattray, Durban, South Africa, Kawasaki (4-4)
Gareth Swanepoel, Johannesburg, South Africa, Yamaha (7-6)
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki (5-8)
Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda (6-10)
Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda (10-7)
Martin Davalos, Quito, Ecuador, Suzuki (11-9)
Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki (8-14)
250 Class Championship Standings
Dean Wilson, Glasgow, Scotland, Kawasaki – 488
Tyla Rattray, Durban, South Africa, Kawasaki – 436
Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki – 427
Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda – 290
Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha – 283
Gareth Swanepoel, Johannesburg, South Africa, Yamaha – 270
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki – 236
Martin Davalos, Quito, Ecuador, Suzuki – 197
Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda – 195
Darryn Durham, Butler, Pa., Honda – 181
WMX Class (Moto Finish) – To view complete event Box Score, click HERE
Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha (1-1)
Ashley Fiolek, St. Augustine, Fla., Honda (3-2)
Tarah Gieger, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico., Honda (2-3)
Mariana Balbi, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Yamaha (5-4)
Jacqueline Strong, Cottonwood, Ariz., KTM (4-6)
Vicki Golden, El Cajon, Calif., Kawasaki (6-5)
Kasie Creson, Vallejo, Calif., Honda (8-7)
Sayaka Kaneshiro, Osaka, Japan, Suzuki (7-8)
Alexah Pearson, Sacramento, Calif., KTM (9-9)
Sarah Whitmore, Cheboygan, Mich., KTM (10-10)
WMX Class Standings
Ashley Fiolek, St. Augustine, Fla., Honda – 321
Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Yamaha – 299
Tarah Gieger, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico., Honda – 268
Jacqueline Strong, Cottonwood, Ariz., KTM – 195
Kasie Creson, Vallejo, Calif., Honda – 180
Vicki Golden, El Cajon, Calif., Kawasaki – 171
Marissa Markelon, Bridgeport, Conn., Yamaha – 168
Alexah Pearson, Sacramento, Calif., KTM – 161
Sayaka Kaneshiro, Osaka, Japan, Suzuki – 140
Lindsey Palmer, Albuquerque, N.M., Honda – 137
Images by Monster Energy and Suzuki Racing