Motoworks / Can-Am Pro ATV racer John Natalie maintained his AMA ATV MX Championship points lead by finishing third overall at the AMA ATV MX Championship held at Unadilla outside of New Berlin, N.Y. Canadian Can-Am X-Team DS 450 racer Richard Pelchat finished fifth overall in his first AMA race of 2011.
“John successfully preserved his Pro class points lead with another podium-worthy performance at Unadilla,” says Jimmie O’Dell, race manager, Can-Am. “He put in valiant performance in the second moto, despite the rough, rocky and tight passing conditions, to finish second and keep his championship points lead.”
Natalie, who captured the fastest qualifier award, came out of the moto-one gate in sixth place after he and Chase Snapp were forced wide in turn one. He fought his way into third place later in the race and was challenging for the second-place position. However, with two laps to go, Natalie was forced to slow his pace due to engine issues and finished fifth in the moto. In moto two, Natalie came off the starting line in third and spent the majority of the race trying to pass the second place rider. Finally, with three laps remaining, Natalie made a pass for second place. His 5-2 moto finishes were good for third overall. He now owns just a three-point lead heading into round 10, which is slated for the July 30th weekend at Red Bud in Buchanan, Mich.
“This track was really hard packed and hard to pass, but I gave it my all and we had a great battle out there,” says Natalie. “I’m still recovering from my broken arm, but I am hoping to feel even better at Red Bud and hopefully take the win so I can extend the points lead and take a championship at Loretta’s.”
Canadian Can-Am X-Team DS 450 Pro racer Richard Pelchat made the trip from Saint-Romuald, Que., Canada. He came out of the gate in moto one in second place and ended up in seventh place at the checkers. Pelchat jumped out of the gate and into the top five in the second moto. He ended the race in sixth place and finished a very respectable fifth place overall.
In Pro-Am action, Can-Am X-Team DS 450 racer Cole Henry recorded a season-best second overall (4-3) in the Pro-Am Production class. He just missed another podium, tallying a 3-5 combined moto score for fourth overall in Pro-Am Unlimited action. Henry is currently fifth in points in both Pro-Am classes.
The DS 450 also had success in other amateur classes. Chase Henry, Cole’s younger brother, earned an overall victory in the Production A class. Also, former GNC ATV Pro Champion Travis Spader rode his Can-Am DS 450 to three impressive overalls, winning the Open A, Junior 25 Plus and Veteran 30+ classes.