The picturesque Washougal circuit has welcomed a sellout crowd to round 8 of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross championship. DNA Shredstix/Star Racing Yamaha racer, Gareth Swanepoel, posted an impressive 7-4 score for 5th overall in the South African’s rookie year in the Motocross Lites class.
‘Swanie’ had to get used to the hilly tree-lined track but soon posted some good qualifying times to give him a good gate pick for moto 1. He grabbed a top ten start and was haggling for positions in the opening stages of the race. Pushing hard and posting 3rd fastest lap of the race Swanepoel moved into 7th where he ended at the end of the moto.
A great start in moto 2 almost saw the South African grab the hole-shot but he was pushed out in the first turn. He quickly made his way into 3rd behind fellow South African, Tyla Rattray and championship leader Dean Wilson. Swanepoel gave chase to the Kawasaki duo and with five minutes to go, came under pressure from Blake Bagget, first moto winner. He tried all he could to fend off Baggett but the American found his way past relegating Swanepoel to 4th at the flag.
“I’m pumped with today’s result although I really wanted that podium spot in the last moto. I showed today that I can run that top pace but need to keep it for the entire moto. The more I run up front the more I’ll get used to the speed. The Yamaha YZ250F worked really well today and it was a great experience to race at Washougal. The track was quite tricky with the shadows and ruts but racing in and out of the forest makes it quite special. I didn’t expect to do well here but am pleased with how it turned out. I’m really looking forward to Unadilla. I’ve raced there before and enjoy the track so that should be an advantage.” explained Swanepoel.
The calendar will take a two week break before round 9 will take place at the Unadilla circuit in NY on the 13th of August.
250 Class (Moto Finish)
1.Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki (1-3)
2.Tyla Rattray, Durban, South Africa, Kawasaki (2-2)
3.Dean Wilson, Glasgow, Scotland, Kawasaki (5-1)
4.Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha (3-7)
5.Gareth Swanepoel, Johannesburg, South Africa, Yamaha (7-4)
6.Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda (4-10)
7.Malcolm Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki (8-8)
8.Martin Davalos, Quito, Ecudaor, Suzuki (13-5)
9.Darryn Durham, Butler, Pa., Honda (11-9)
Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki (9-16)
250 Class Championship Standings
1.Dean Wilson, Glasgow, Scotland, Kawasaki – 346
2.Tyla Rattray, Durban, South Africa, Kawasaki – 333
3.Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki – 329
4.Kyle Cunningham, Aledo, Texas, Yamaha – 233
5.Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda – 201
6.Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki – 187
7.Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda – 181
8.Gareth Swanepoel, Johannesburg, South Africa, Yamaha – 177
9.Martin Davalos, Quito, Ecuador, Suzuki – 152