The Rockstar Energy Racing teams put up a hard-fought battle against not only the competition, but also the deep sand and intermittent rain at round nine of the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship series at the Southwick National in Southwick, MA, on Saturday afternoon.
Picking up top overall honors for Rockstar in the 250 class was Star Valli Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes. Although he’s been racing 450s this year, Sipes returned to 250s at the last round when his teammates suffered injuries that prevented them from racing. Getting back into his 250 groove, Sipes put in two solid motos to finish 10th overall for the day.
“Southwick actually went pretty well, though the results don’t show it,” said Sipes. “I was in a second-turn crash in the first moto and came from close to last to finish 12th. I felt strong the whole moto. In the second moto, I got a better start and ran top 10 for a few laps, and then had a crash. I came back for a 12-12 day and 10th overall. It wasn’t my best day, but I gave it all I had. Now I’m focusing on having a good race next weekend at Unadilla.”
Also racing the 250 class for Star Valli Yamaha was Cole Thompson, who debuted with the Rockstar-sponsored team at the last round at Washougal. Unfortunately, Thompson wounded his shoulder there and was still nursing the injury at Southwick, finishing 15th overall via 13th- and 18th-place moto finishes.
For Rockstar Energy Racing in the 250 class, Jason Anderson put in a solid performance despite struggling with some health issues. Anderson was feeling under the weather but overcame multiple crashes in the first moto to rally in the second moto and finish eighth. Overall, Anderson wound up 12th for the day.
“I didn’t feel very good in my first moto,” admitted Anderson. “I crashed three times and ended up with a DNF. In the second moto, I got a decent start and just gave it my best shot and ended up eighth. It wasn’t the best weekend, but I made up points so hopefully we can keep moving forward next weekend at Unadilla.”
Rockstar Energy Racing’s Blake Wharton finished a few spots behind his teammate Anderson in the 250 class. In the first moto, Wharton was battling for the top five before eventually finishing ninth. In the second moto, Wharton went down in a first-turn melee, only to recover and crash again and finish 28th. Despite this, he still finished the day in 14th overall.
Rockstar Energy Racing’s Martin Davalos also struggled with some health issues this weekend. Additionally, Davalos only returned to racing the previous round, having missed multiple races due to injury. To make matters worse, Davalos got caught in a turn-one pile-up in the first moto and had to pull out of the race. But in the second moto, he put his head down and finished 15th. In the end, Davalos wound up 20th overall.
“This weekend was rough,” said Davalos. “In the first moto, I didn’t feel good. I got a horrible start and crashed in a turn-one pile-up. I ended up pulling off the track because I just couldn’t focus. The second moto was a little better, but I still got a bad start and got caught up with a couple of people. I just rode my race, but I got tired and didn’t feel good. Hopefully, I’ll be feeling better for Unadilla.”
Rockstar Energy Racing’s Hunter Hewitt is still out due to illness, but hopes to be ready to race again before the end of the season.
In the WMX class, Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jessica Patterson continues to recover from a broken hand. Despite this, the veteran, multi-time champion picked up two second-place moto finishes for second-place overall. With only one round remaining for the WMX class, Patterson leads the title chase going into the final round at the Lake Elsinore National in September.
”I got a good start in the first moto,” said Patterson. “But I wasn’t feeling great. I was kind of staying right there, but I caught lappers and that cost me time. In the second moto, it was the same scenario. I still have the points lead and I have some more time to heal up, so I’m looking forward to taking it on to Elsinore and winning this championship.”
In the 450 class, Star Valli Yamaha’s Bobby Kiniry returned from contesting the Canadian Nationals to race for Rockstar at Southwick. Kiniry got a poor start in the first moto but worked his way up to 12th. In the second moto, Kiniry got a great start and ran in the top 10 for the first half of the race before suffering some bad luck and finishing 21st. At the end of the day, Kiniry wound up 19th overall.
“All in all, it was a mediocre day,” conceded Kiniry. “I started 30th in the first moto, but I stayed strong and passed a lot of guys in the end to put my Rockstar Yamaha up into 12th position. I got a good start in the second moto and hung tough in eighth or ninth, but at the 20-minute mark, I just washed out in a corner and pulled my groin muscle pretty bad. Obviously, it was not the day I was looking for, but we were top 10 with speed and we’ll get it next week at Unadilla.”
Star Valli Yamaha 250 class teammates Kyle Peters, Gareth Swanepoel, Kyle Cunningham and Tommy Weeck continue to recover from injury, as does Star Valli Yamaha’s 450 rider Nico Izzi. Rockstar’s Nick Wey and Brett Metcalfe are also injured and out for the remainder of the season.
The next event for the Rockstar Energy Racing teams is the 10th round of the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday, August 18th, at the Unadilla National in New Berlin, NY.