Two-time defending champion Joe Byrd looks to be back in top form after picking up his second victory of the year in Round 6 of the ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA/ATVA National Motocross Championship Series, May 25 in Mount Morris, Pa.
Highpoint Raceway hosted this Showcase Event, which also featured the opening round of the ITP Tires Grand Slam.
Series leader and factory Suzuki rider Dustin Wimmer looked like the man to beat this weekend after winning the first moto. Team Epic’s Jeremy Lawson rode his Can-Am DS450 to second place, while Byrd finished third on his Honda TRX450R.
The second moto, however, was all Byrd. He got out of the gate quickly, picked up the holeshot award and held off the field for the victory.
Byrd’s success comes after a slow start to the 2008 season. He switched machines three rounds ago and has been marching his way up the standings ever since.
“This quad has just worked out great,” says Byrd. “Sometimes, one machine is just better than the other one; plain and simple. We finally got to enjoy perfect weather and I was feeling great out there. We worked hard on the set up on this Honda and it was working perfectly.”
The victory provided a boost to Byrd’s points tally, but he still has a ways to go to catch Wimmer.
“We got off to a slow start,” says Byrd. “We’ve been trying to dig ourselves out of a hole and things are coming around. There are still a lot of motos to go.”
With his overall win, Byrd won an extra ‘grand’ in the form of a $1,000 check for winning the first of four ITP Tires Grand Slam events. Byrd also takes the points lead in the championship-within-a-championship series.
Lawson had a poor start in the second moto, but he charged through the field and finished second to Byrd.
“I rode my hardest to overcome my bad start, and I just hit the wall when I reached second,” says Lawson. “It’s been a good weekend for me and my Can-Am has been working well. The guys at Epic have been working hard to give me everything I need.”
Team Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Josh Creamer finished third in the second moto and third overall behind Byrd and Lawson.
Adding to Bryd’s stellar day was the bad luck of Wimmer. After his win in the opening moto, things went downhill quickly for the MSR/Suzuki/Yoshimura/Pro Taper rider. Wimmer suffered a variety of misfortunes to post a 14th place in moto two. Most in attendance were expecting another win from the previously dominant Wimmer, but he ran into trouble right out of the gate.
“I came together with Josh Creamer, we rubbed tires and I was lucky not to crash,” says Wimmer. “I was completely up on my front wheels, spinning backwards, and somehow I pulled it out. I cut the right front tire down when I made contact with Josh, then the left went flat on the second lap.”
Wimmer’s team changed his tires and he continued the race to salvage valuable points. He finished fifth overall in Round 6.
Team Honda edged closer to Team Suzuki in the Manufacturers' Cup standings. Suzuki now holds a 46-point lead going into the next race. Team Can-Am sits third, 49 markers out of the lead.
The next race for the ATV Motocross Series is scheduled for June 7-8 at Unadilla Valley Sports Center in New Berlin, NY.
National Motocross Series Round 6 Results:
|1.||Joe Byrd||Honda||3 - 1|
|2.||Jeremy Lawson||Can-Am||2 - 2|
|3.||Josh Creamer||Kawasaki||4 - 3|
|4.||Josh Upperman||Honda||7 - 4|
|5.||Dustin Wimmer||Suzuki||1 - 14|
Championship Points Leaders: