Kawasaki pilot takes over points lead
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s ATV team took its third overall victory in a row after Chad Wienen’s stellar 1-1 performance at Unadilla Valley Sports Center in New Berlin, N.Y. during Round 7 of the AMA Pro ATV Motocross Championship Series.
Honda’s Josh Upperman grabbed the holeshot in the first moto, with Suzuki’s Doug Gust and Wienen close behind. Wienen got past Gust on the sixth lap and reeled in Upperman three laps later. Upperman was able to hold off Gust to finish second. Gust finished ahead of a pack of three Can-Am riders to finish third.
Honda’s Joe Byrd, who was leading the series coming into Unadilla, had a crash while he was running fourth. He managed to finish 11th in the moto. Defending champion Dustin Wimmer, who was still nursing an injured shoulder, was way back in 17th after the first lap, but he fought his way up to 10th.
In the second moto Gust got off to a great start to grab the holeshot ahead of Wienen. The Kawasaki pilot got past Gust quickly for the lead – one he would not relinquish. Gust was holding second until the final lap when Can-Am’s John Natalie passed him right before the finish.
“My starts really helped me have a chance at the lead,” says Wienen. “I almost got the holeshot in the second moto, but I was out front the next turn. I just tried to ride smooth. It was a big boost for us and I’m just really happy with our program right now.”
Gust’s 3-3 performance in the motos was enough to garner him a second place finish overall, while John Natalie (5-2) was third. Upperman (2-6) and Jeremy Lawson (5-4) rounded out the top five.
Things didn’t go any better for Byrd in the second moto. He suffered some mechanical issues on his Honda TRX450R and was credited with a 17th place finish in the moto and 14th overall. Wimmer, meanwhile, fought through the pain and finished fourth in the second moto and was sixth overall.
“I’ve been really training hard since Steel City, trying to get back into shape,” says Wimmer. “I came into this race at about 75% and by the second moto, I was feeling really good. From here I’m heading back to Georgia to train some more so I can be back to normal for Muddy Creek.”
For the first time since Kawasaki returned to ATV racing, the team has a rider leading the points standings. Despite a shaky start to the season, Wienen took a nine-point lead over Byrd and has a 19-point cushion over Wimmer.
“Moving into the lead doesn’t change how I approach the races,” says Wienen. “I am going to continue to look at it race by race and be consistent. There really isn’t any added pressure. I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing. I couldn’t be happier.”
The weekend in New York didn’t go as planned for Kawasaki’s Josh Creamer, who won the previous round at Steel City Raceway. He was riding great in practice, but during the first moto on Sunday he had a mechanical issue that took him out of that race. In the second moto he got a bad start and worked all the way up to ninth. With his second moto finish, he was able to finish 13th overall.
“It really wasn’t a great weekend for me to be honest,” says Creamer. “Qualifying went well, but I was still having my issues. I was getting stuck behind slower riders and couldn’t get a great lap in. At the start of the first moto I got hit and was working my way up when I had to pull over with an issue. I wasn’t too comfortable with this track, but everyone has to ride it. I’m really happy for Chad (Wienen) that he kept the streak alive for us and hopefully I can come back out next race with something for the podium.”
|Can-Am Northeastern ATV Nationals Results||ATV Motocross Pro Class Standings|
|1.||Chad Wienen||Kawasaki||1 – 1||1.||Chad Wienen||Kawasaki||254 (2 wins)|
|2.||Doug Gust||Suzuki||3 – 3||2.||Joe Byrd||Honda||245 (1 win)|
|3.||John Natalie||Can-Am||5 – 2||3.||Dustin Wimmer||Suzuki||235 (3 wins)|
|4.||Josh Upperman||Honda||2 – 6||4.||Josh Creamer||Kawasaki||217 (1 win)|
|5.||Jeremy Lawson||Can-Am||5 – 4||5.||Josh Upperman||Honda||210|
|6.||Dustin Wimmer||Suzuki||10 – 4||6.||Doug Gust||Suzuki||208|
|7.||Richard Pelchat||Can-Am||6 – 8||7.||John Natalie||Can-Am||197|
|8.||Greg Gee||Honda||8 – 7||8.||Jeremy Lawson||Can-Am||167|
|9.||Harold Goodman||Honda||7 – 10||9.||Greg Gee||Honda||144|
|10.||Patrick Brown||Yamaha||13 – 11||10.||Clay Holmes||Honda||142|
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