Byrd, Upperman round out the podium
Defending champion Dustin Wimmer put together two near-perfect motos to win the FMF ATV Spring National at Millcreek Raceway on March 22. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider has won the opening two rounds of the 2009 ITP/Moose Racing AMA ATV Motocross Championship presented by Parts Unlimited.
“I take everything race-by-race and try to be real consistent and be up on the podium everytime,” says Wimmer. “Consistency wins championships.”
In the first moto, rookie Nick DeNoble led the pack by grabbing the first holeshot of his career. He stayed ahead of Honda Baldwin Motorsports’ Josh Upperman and Wimmer for several turns before falling behind both riders. Wimmer took over the lead, and a charging Joe Byrd rallied from a bad start to drop Upperman to third for the moto.
“I could’ve gated better, and that was definitely my fault,” says Wimmer. “Half way up the hill for the first turn I started to pull it together and after a lap or two I was in the lead in both motos.”
Early moto one contenders, Warnert Racing Can-Am’s John Natalie and Kawasaki’s Chad Wienen both fell to mechanical troubles, ending their challenge for podium finishes.
Moto two began with Upperman, known for great starts, grabbing the holeshot. Rookie Clay Holmes followed, along with Wimmer and Byrd. Upperman admitted to not being in the same level of shape as Wimmer and Byrd, and the Ohio native did not have much breathing room and lost the lead to both of them.
“If I stay healthy and get my endurance up a little more, I hope to hang up there in the top spot with Dustin and Joe,” says Upperman.
Making up for his mechanical setback in moto one, Natalie charged from the back half of the pack, picking off one rider at a time to collect third for the moto, just inches ahead of Upperman.
“I worked my butt off and the bike worked great,” says Natalie. “I just picked people off one at a time and didn’t even know where I finished until the end.”
Factory Yamaha and rookie Thomas Brown flirted with the podium again, ending the weekend in fourth overall for the second race in a row. Brown rallied from two bad starts to notch 5th and 7th for his two motos.
Jeremy Lawson, in his second year on a Can-Am with Team Motoworks, collected fifth overall with 4th and 8th in each of his motos.
Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Doug Gust settled for 6th overall after a rough set of motos, with Natalie on his heels salvaging 7th overall.
A recent shock test helped Greg Gee to dial in his machine with obvious benefits. The Canadian privateer went 9th and 11th in the motos for 8th overall, rising two positions over his Glen Helen finish.
Rookie DeNoble collected 6-14 scores for 9th overall. French Champion, Jeremie Warnia, returned to the Pro line-up, this time on a Can-Am. The anxious rider from Paris, France collected the final spot in the Top 10 with 14th and 9th for his motos, after battling clutch problems and a spin out.
The 2009 ITP/Moose Racing AMA ATV Motocross Championship now heads north to Bowling Green, Ky. for the Bluegrass Nationals at Ballance Moto X on April 4-5.
|Spring National Pro Class Results||ATV Motocross Pro Class Standings|
|1.||Dustin Wimmer||Suzuki||1 – 1||1.||Dustin Wimmer||Suzuki||97|
|2.||Joe Byrd||Honda||2 – 2||2.||Joe Byrd||Honda||86|
|3.||Josh Upperman||Honda||3 – 4||3.||Josh Creamer||Kawasaki||61|
|4.||Thomas Brown||Yamaha||5 – 7||4.||Thomas Brown||Yamaha||60|
|5.||Jeremy Lawson||Can-Am||4 – 8||5.||Jeremy Lawson||Can-Am||56|
|6.||Doug Gust||Suzuki||10 – 5||6.||John Natalie||Can-Am||51|
|7.||John Natalie||Can-Am||17 – 3||7.||Doug Gust||Suzuki||50|
|8.||Brandon Sommers||Yamaha||1 – 1||8.||Johnny Gallagher||Yamaha||36|
|9.||Nick NeNoble||Honda||6 – 14||9.||Clay Holmes||Honda||45|
|10.||Jeremie Warnia||Can-Am||14 – 9||10.||Greg Gee||Can-Am||41|
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