Following the final off weekend of the season the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship returns to action this Saturday – August 27 – with the Rockstar Energy Southwick National from Southwick.
The 10th round of the summer will commence from Moto-X 388, the only sand track in American Motocross, kicking off the final three weeks of competition as the championship battles come down to the wire. Following impressive wins at the previous round from Unadilla, both Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson are looking to add to their points leads in the 450 and 250 classes.
In his first race as the premier class points leader, Villopoto put on a dominant display aboard a brand new 2012 Kawasaki KX450F, sweeping both of the day’s motos and claiming his second victory of the season. By virtue of a strong runner-up effort by Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey, Villopoto’s lead in the standings sits at seven points coming into Southwick. With four-time winner Chad Reed lurking in third aboard his TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Racing machine and 450 class newcomer Justin Barcia turning heads for American Honda, the competition is sure to be close.
The 250 class has been highlighted throughout the 2011 season by an incredible collective effort from the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team. Mitch Payton’s talented line-up has amassed a perfect season through the division’s top three riders in Wilson, Blake Baggett and Tyla Rattray. Both Baggett and Rattray had savoured victories earlier in the summer but Wilson maintained his position atop the standings thanks to the most impressive consistency of any rider in American motocross. He entered Unadilla still in search of that elusive overall win and took advantage of strong starts to sweep both motos convincingly, putting himself 25 points ahead of Baggett heading into this weekend.
Affectionately referred to as the “sand box” and “the beach”, Southwick is a fan and rider favourite year-in and year-out. This summer the track has added a new tunnel jump which will bring even more excitement to what is already sure to be a captivating event.
Last year at Southwick, Dungey rode to his ninth win of the. In the 250 class Trey Canard’s impressive four-race win streak was brought to a halt by a consistent 2-2 effort from Rattray.