Natalie Sweeps Motos at Ballance MX
The Motoworks Can-Am duo of Chad Wienen and John Natalie is no stranger to the podium by now, as they currently sit first and second in the AMA ATV Motocross Championship Series presented by DWT after round three at Ballance MX in Bowling Green, Ky.
After finishing second to teammate Chad Wienen in the first two rounds, Natalie finally put the pieces together to prove that “Big Red” can be beat – taking his first moto win and overall of the season.
Josh Upperman grabbed the moto one holeshot aboard his Baldwin Motorsports JB Racing PEP Honda and led for the first part of the race. Natalie got a third place holeshot close behind Upperman and Devin Heimes before making his move into the lead around lap five.
“It was a good race,” says Natalie. “I got a pretty good start and after I passed into the lead I just held on until the end. Chad was right there the whole race.”
Wienen got off to a rough start in moto one, getting pushed out to around seventh. The points leader quickly made his way to the front of the pack and settled in behind his Motoworks Can-Am teammate until he experienced some bike problems when his rear shock broke. He pushed through, though, going on to finish second.
The Ballance Racing team experienced continued bad luck at their home track as Thomas Brown and Taylor Kiser both dealt with bike problems in moto one. Kiser, who currently sits in fourth place in the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series XC2 class, broke his axel on the first lap of the moto, leaving him out of contention in moto one. Thomas Brown grabbed a decent holeshot and pushed right outside the top five until his bike broke down, leaving him with another DNF for the season.
Rookie Chase Snapp put in an impressive ride aboard his Can-Am and after getting off to a back-of-the-pack start. Snapp worked his way up to fifth behind Florida’s Jeremy Lawson. Walsh Race Craft Fox Shox Maxxis FMF’s Lawson maintained a consistent pace in moto one to finish fourth.
Upperman grabbed the moto two holeshot and it wasn’t long before Natalie put his Motoworks Can-Am back out front.
“The track was a little more technical this week so and it picked out the riders a little more,” says Natalie. “I like the technical stuff a lot better but this weekend I just got good holeshots and went from there. Chad and I battled it out for about five or six laps and I just held on until the end.”
Wienen got a bad holeshot in moto two but quickly began picking off riders. Upperman kept close behind Natalie until about lap six when Wienen made his way into the second spot. It didn’t take long for Lawson to make his move past Upperman to secure a third spot, giving him a season-best finish on the podium. Lawson now sits fourth in the overall point standings behind Upperman.
After struggling with mechanical issues this season, Ballance Racing’s Thomas Brown was finally able to cross the finish line on his Yamaha machine. Brown maintained a consistent pace throughout the moto and finished fifth, giving him a tenth place overall for the day. Brown currently sits in thirteenth overall in the points.
After finishing second this weekend, Wienen still sits at the top of the point standings with Natalie just six points behind in second. Only ten points separate the third and fourth spots of Upperman and Lawson and Joe Byrd rounds out the top five eleven points behind Lawson.
The AMA ATV Motocross Championship Series heads to Mechanicsville, Md. for the Motoworks Budds Creek event.
|Millcreek ATV National Results||ATV Motocross Pro Class Standings|
|1.||John Natalie||Can-Am||1 – 1||1.||Chad Wienen||Can-Am||144 (2 wins)|
|2.||Chad Wienen||Can-Am||2 – 2||2.||John Natalie||Can-Am||138 (1 win)|
|3.||Jeremy Lawson||Suzuki||4 – 3||3.||Josh Upperman||Honda||116|
|4.||Josh Upperman||Honda||3 – 4||4.||Jeremy Lawson||Suzuki||106|
|5.||Chase Snapp||Can-Am||5 – 6||5.||Joe Byrd||Honda||95|
|6.||Nick DeNoble||Honda||7 – 7||6.||Chase Snapp||Can-Am||79|
|7.||Joe Byrd||Honda||6 – 10||7.||Nick DeNoble||Honda||73|
|8.||Travis Moore||Honda||9 – 8||8.||Travis Moore||Honda||65|
|9.||Harold Goodman||Honda||10 – 11||9.||Joel Hetrick||Kawasaki||62|
|10.||Thomas Brown||Yamaha||17 – 5||10.||Derek Swartfager||Honda||58|