The Rockstar Energy Racing teams climbed to new heights at round four of the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championships at the High Point National in Mt. Morris, PA, on Saturday afternoon. The off-camber, technical track was a challenge, but the Rockstar Energy Racing teams rose to the occasion and secured impressive results across the board.
Leading those noteworthy results in the 450 class was Rockstar’s Brett Metcalfe. Although he struggled in qualifying, Metcalfe bounced back at race time to put in two impressive motos. In the first, he got a great start and finished seventh. In the second, he got another excellent launch and ran in fourth for most of the race before finishing fifth. Metcalfe finished the day in a commendable sixth overall.
“I got great starts in both motos,” said Metcalfe. “In the first moto, I ended up seventh but I learned what I could do on the track and how I needed to change the bike. In the second moto, I should’ve had fourth, but on the last lap I spun out and lost a spot. But we made big improvements throughout the day and I’m looking forward to carrying that momentum to Budds Creek.”
Also in the 450 class, Star Valli Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes picked up his best results of the season. Carding 12th in the first moto and a well-earned sixth in the second, Sipes wound up eighth overall for the day.
“I’ve always liked High Point and I feel pretty good here,” said Sipes. “In the first moto, I felt really good but I didn’t get a good start. I was working my way up and passing a lot of people when I went down. But I got up and kept riding hard and came back. In the second moto, I got a better start and just tried to make some early passes and then chill out. I feel like I’m hitting my stride and getting in a flow, so I’m looking forward to Budds Creek.”
Star Valli Yamaha’s Nico Izzi was right there with his teammate in ninth overall in the 450 class and, as a result, moved up a spot in the title chase. Izzi started the day strong with an eighth-place finish in moto one, but had to overcome a get-off in moto two to finish 10th.
“I felt like I rode really good all day,” said Izzi. “In the first moto, I didn’t get a great start but I raced with the front-runners the whole time. In the second moto, I got a good start and tried to sprint to a better position but I went down. So I started picking them off and that was all I could do. But Budds Creek should be good. I like the track and I’ve got the speed, I just need to work on my starts.”
Leading Star Valli Yamaha’s 250 effort, Kyle Cunningham was the one to watch. Cunningham overcame a poor start in the first moto to finish 14th, but got off the gate better in moto two and brought home seventh. Overall, Cunningham finished the day in ninth.
“I had some battles in the first moto,” said Cunningham. “But I had a bad start and struggled to get up front quicker. I put in a charge at the end but went down with a lap and a half to go. In the second moto, I felt like I rode smooth and I had a battle with my teammate Swanepoel. We both pushed to the finish and ended up with decent results. We’ll get to Budds Creek and try to do a little better. I’ve had some good results there and I like that track.”
Star Valli Yamaha’s Gareth Swanepoel did indeed battle with Cunningham in the second 250 moto, and finished right behind him in eighth. Swanepoel had some problems in the first moto with the starting gate, but came from dead last to 15th. In the end, the Star Valli Yamaha rider finished 12th overall for the day.
“It was a good day,” said Swanepoel. “Unfortunately, in the first moto I hit the start gate or it didn’t drop. Either way, I got stuck on the gate and I came from last to 15th. In the second moto, I got a better start – finally – and ended up pushing through and battling with Cunningham almost the whole, race and got a solid eighth. Budds Creek is one of my favorite tracks so if I can build on this, it should be a good race.”
Rounding out the 250 class for Star Valli Yamaha was Kyle Peters. Peters pushed hard and picked up 12th- and 15th-place moto results to finish 14th overall for the day.
“I had a decent start in the first moto and got myself up to 12th,” said Peters. “In the second moto, I was really looking for that top-10 overall finish. I was running about sixth but somebody took me out and it took me a while to get my bike started. But I rode hard, and came back to 15th. I felt like I rode pretty good and now I’m looking forward to Budds Creek – it’s my home track.”
For Rockstar Energy Racing, veteran racer Jessica Patterson flies the proverbial flag in the WMX class. And it’s no wonder, Patterson took the overall win in the class, thanks to second- and first-place moto finishes.
“What a crazy day,” said Patterson. “In the first moto, I got a decent start but I crashed right away and had to come from dead last. In the second moto, I started off slow and I went down again. But I got up and my bike was still running and I pulled off the win. We got some more points and that’s what matters.”
In the 250 class, Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson continues to turn in strong performances and make improvements as the season progresses. High Point saw him pick up 13th in the first moto and then sixth in the second, for an eighth-place result overall.
“It was good a day, but High Point is always tough,” said Anderson. “In my first moto, I had a couple of crashes and ended up 13th. In the second moto, I got a decent start and ran in sixth. I ended up eighth overall for the day. We’re getting closer to the front and we’ve broken into the top 10. I like Budds Creek and I’m looking forward to putting in some solid motos next weekend.”
Also in the 250 class, Rockstar Energy Racing’s Blake Wharton got a great start in the first moto and was running in the top five when he went down. He recovered and made his way up to 16th. Early in the second moto, however, Wharton crashed hard, damaging his bike, and had to retire for the day.
“I had some trouble in the first moto,” said Wharton. “I fell twice. I was doing all right but it’s not the way I wanted to finish the first moto. In the second moto, I felt like I was going to be riding better. But I actually crashed and tore my bike up. So it was disappointing. But we’ll go back and keep at it for Budds Creek.”
Rockstar Energy Racing teammate Hunter Hewitt suffered some bad luck at High Point. Riders crashed in front of him and he had nowhere to go. Still Hewitt went 30/16 for both motos and finished the day 18th overall. Also, Rockstar Energy Racing’s Martin Davalos did not race at High Point. He is still recovering from a recent crash, but hopes to return soon.
Finally, Rockstar’s Nick Wey is only racing select events in the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championships. At High Point, he crashed in the first 450 moto and finished 27th. In the second moto, he finished 21st and wound up 25th overall.
The next event for the Rockstar Energy Racing teams is the fifth round of the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday, June 16th, at the Budds Creek National in Mechanicsville, MD.