Stewart Brings Early Momentum into Second Round of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship to Freestone

Last Saturday in California, the opening round of the 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, set the tone for what is sure to be a captivating season. This Saturday, May 26, the series moves to Wortham, Texas, for the Miller Electric Freestone National, presented by Yamaha.

Wortham’s Freestone Raceway will host the second round of the championship.

(Courtesy Simon Cudby)

Team Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart made the first big statement of the season in the 450 Class by sweeping the FMF Hangtown Motocross Classic. The 2008 champion made his highly-anticipated return to full-time competition at the Nationals and didn’t disappoint in his debut for the factory Suzuki squad he just joined two weeks ago.

Behind him, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey also made his Lucas Oil Motocross debut for the Austrian-based brand; like Stewart. He put in strong 3-2 results, finishing second to Stewart on the day. MotoConcepts Suzuki’s Mike Alessi rounded out the podium in third.

All three 450 Class podium finishers are previous winners at Freestone—Stewart in 2008 en route to his perfect season, Dungey in 2010 for his first premier-class victory, and Alessi in 2009 for his second career win.

Last season at Freestone, Dungey missed a second consecutive victory at the track when he ran out of fuel during the closing moments of the race.

It’s been three years, but James Stewart has returned to the top of the podium at the Nationals.
(Courtesy Simon Cudby)

In the 250 Class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett replicated his winning efforts from Hangtown in 2011 with a pair of strong rides, bringing the fans to their feet in the first moto with a last-lap surge for the win. With his overall victory, Baggett has the momentum coming into Freestone.

GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia and Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen raced Baggett closely throughout the afternoon. Barcia was in contention for the win in both motos but had to settle for a strong runner-up effort. Reigning World Champion Roczen’s Lucas Oil Motocross debut was impressive. Despite being on the receiving end of Baggett’s last-lap pass in the opening moto and suffering an early second-moto fall, he rebounded for third on the day.

While these three riders lead the 250 Class into Freestone, defending series champion Dean Wilson will not be present aboard his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki. Halfway through the opening moto at Hangtown, Wilson pulled off the track and did not return. The current holder of the #1 plate has battled a shoulder injury for several weeks and determined at Hangtown that he would need to address the issue.

“I was working my way through [the field] and my shoulder [popped] out,” said Wilson, who will be sidelined indefinitely. “That was the last straw for me. I’ve got to get it fixed. I don’t want to be battling for eighth place; I want to battle for the win. I knew it was something I had to do, but I didn’t know how long it would last. Clearly it’s something I need to get fixed, so that’s what I’m going to do.”

Last season at Freestone in the 250 Class, Tyla Rattray emerged victorious with 2-1 moto scores. With his move to the 450 Class, the old division will see a first-time event winner on Saturday. Rattray himself will miss this race with an injury of his own.

Blake Baggett will wear the red number plate as the 250 Class points leader at Freestone.

(Courtesy Simon Cudby)

The Women’s Motocross Championship kicked off at Hangtown with a familiar name atop the podium: Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki’s Jessica Patterson marked her debut ride for the team with a victory as she pursues her seventh WMX Class title. Despite not winning a moto at Hangtown, Patterson finished 2-2 on the afternoon, giving her the overall victory. Perennial front-runners Ashley Fiolek, who rides for Team Honda Muscle Milk, and Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda’s Tarah Gieger, rounded out the podium.

Fiolek, the reigning WMX Champion, took the Freestone win last year, capitalizing on some early misfortune for Patterson. Both riders are former winners in Texas and have put forth some of the most memorable WMX Class battles there in years past.

Jessica Patterson leads the WMX Class into Texas.

(Courtesy Simon Cubdy)

Freestone Raceway is one of the most challenging tracks on the Lucas Oil Motocross schedule. The facility consistently tests every rider’s physical and mental toughness with its mix of speed and technicality. The track’s trademark sand whoops, affectionately known as the 12 Pack, will be a focal point for fans and riders alike, while the sprawling layout will allow for close competition among all competitors.

The Miller Electric Freestone National, presented by Yamaha, will commence on Saturday, May 26, from Wortham, beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern. Live coverage of the opening motos on FUEL TV and AlliSports.com will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern; same-day final-moto coverage of the 450 and 250 Classes will air on NBC Sports Network at 11 p.m. Eastern time.

Previous Round Results and Current Standings

Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
FMF Hangtown Motocross Classic
Prairie City OHV Park – Sacramento
May 19, 2012
Round 1 of 12

450 Class (Moto Finish)
1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki (1-1)
2. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (3-2)
3. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki (7-3)
4. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda (5-4)
5. Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki (4-5)
6. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki (6-7)
7. Davi Millsaps, Cairo, Ga., Yamaha (2-14)
8. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki (10-6)
9. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki (9-8)
10. Nico Izzi, Rochester, Mich., Yamaha (11-10)

450 Class Championship Standings
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

250 Class (Moto Finish)
1. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki (1-1)
2. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda (3-2)
3. Ken Roczen, Apolda, Germany, KTM (2-3)
4. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki (6-5)
5. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda (4-10)
6. Martin Davalos, Quito, Ecuador, Suzuki (14-4)
7. Kyle Cunningham, Fort Worth, Texas, Yamaha (9-8)
8. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki (8-9)
9. Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM (5-14)
10. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda (7-13)

250 Class Championship Standings
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

WMX Class (Moto Finish)
1. Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki (2-2)
2. Ashley Fiolek, St. Augustine, Fla., Honda (1-5)
3. Tarah Gieger, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico., Honda (3-3)
4. Meghan Rutledge, New South Wales, Australia, Kawasaki (8-1)
5. Sayaka Kaneshiro, Osaka, Japan, Honda (5-4)
6. Kasie Creson, Vallejo, Calif., Honda (6-6)
7. Mariana Balbi, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Honda (7-8)
8. Sara Pettersson, Sweden, KTM (11-9)
9. Lindsey Palmer, Conifer, Colo., Kawasaki (10-11)
10. Hailey Larson, Green Brae, Calif., Honda (9-13)

WMX Class Standings
1. Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki, 44
2. Ashley Fiolek, St. Augustine, Fla., Honda, 41
3. Tarah Gieger, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico., Honda, 40
4. Meghan Rutledge, New South Wales, Australia, Kawasaki, 38
5. Sayaka Kaneshiro, Osaka, Japan, Honda, 34
6. Kasie Creson, Vallejo, Calif., Honda, 30
7. Mariana Balbi, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Honda, 27
8. Sara Pettersson, Sweden, KTM, 22
9. Lindsey Palmer, Conifer, Colo., Kawasaki, 21
10. Hailey Larson, Green Brae, Calif., Honda, 20

X

Next up in News

Tom Pages is back