YOSHIMURA-BACKED TEAMS DOMINATE THE PODIUM AT REDBUD MOTOCROSS
CHINO, CA (JULY 10, 2012) – Yoshimura-backed teams continued their domination and took four of six podium positions at round six of the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championships at the RedBud National in Buchanan, MI on Saturday. The Honda Racing, Yoshimura Suzuki and Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki teams celebrated Independence Day in style using their Yoshimura products to the fullest to dominate the podium at RedBud.
In the 250 class at RedBud, Yoshimura-backed Muscle Milk-sponsored GEICO Honda riders Justin Barcia and Eli Tomac delivered another impressive performance, finishing the day 2-3 on the podium. In moto one, Barcia seized a good start and took the early lead over the rest of the pack, but eventually surrendered the front spot and finished in second. Tomac unfortunately had a small crash that would leave him with a fifth-place finish. In the second race, Barcia nailed another good start and took the lead for a majority of the race until being passed to finish second for a second overall. Tomac got another less-than-desirable start but wasted no time slicing through the pack, making his way up to third and allowing him to round out the podium with third overall. Teammate Wil Hahn put together a respectable ride, going 6-5 for a sixth-overall finish.
“I am always looking to win, so this isn’t exactly what we wanted but overall it was a good day,” said Barcia. “Like I have said, consistency is key so being on the podium another week is awesome and is keeping us in the hunt for the championship. I had some good starts, lead a lot of laps and finally was able to put together a solid second moto. I’m excited to head to Millville since that is one of my favorite tracks.”
“I am happy to be on the podium today, especially after falling over in the first moto and considering the start I got in the second moto,” said Tomac. “After I fell over in the first race, I lost the front runners and wasn’t able to get back up to them. In the second race I didn’t get the best start but rode good and was able to get by Musquin towards the end of the race to grab third.”
In the WMX class, Yoshimura-backed Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Ashley Fiolek returned for her first race back since her crash at round three at Thunder Valley. After qualifying in the top spot during practice, Fiolek put together two solid races, going 1-1 for first overall.
In the 450 class, Yoshimura-backed Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Brayton had an exceptional day in logging two solid races for a second overall. After qualifying sixth quickest in practice, Brayton grabbed a good start in the first race, working his way from fifth to third before the halfway point. He spent the remainder of the race making a valiant charge for second but came up short and settled for third. In moto two, Brayton kept his momentum going, launching another good start and riding to a fourth-place finish and grabbing his first podium finish of the season.
“Finally being up on the podium where I feel I belong is awesome,” stated Brayton. “I got good starts in both motos and just focused on staying consistent and riding strong. The heat was a big factor too; I have been practicing in the same weather at home so it didn’t bother me too much. I knew mentally that I was strong in these conditions, which I think really helped.”
After missing the last few rounds due to injury, Team Yoshimura Suzuki Racing’s James Stewart returned to competition at RedBud. Stewart overcame stifling humidity and temperatures over 100 degrees to finish third overall, and once again put his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 on the podium.
After two weeks of rest and rehabilitation away from the bike, Stewart took a conservative approach to rough-and-tumble RedBud. Turning in solid laps in practice, the Yoshimura Suzuki rider qualified second and got a good gate pick. In the first 30-minute moto, Stewart got a good start and was running second when he suffered a few mishaps, but recovered to finish sixth. In the second moto, he slotted into third place long before the race’s halfway point and turned consistent laps for the remainder of the moto. The sixth- and third-place finishes gave Stewart third overall for the day.
“It was an eventful day,” said Stewart. “I was second fastest in practice, but in the first moto, I realized I wasn’t quite 100 percent. But I still wanted to try and have a decent moto. After one crash and a stall, I ended up sixth. In the second moto, I came from 10th and made my way up into third and just sat there. But it was good to be racing again, the Yoshimura Suzuki team was working hard and the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 was running great. The fans at RedBud are awesome and I was happy just to be back racing. Now I’m looking forward to Millville next weekend.”
Photo: Suzuki - Klingensmith
Yoshimura Suzuki teammate Brett Metcalfe, who’d moved into the top five in the overall championship points standings after the last round at Budds Creek, suffered a broken tibia and fibula in a recent practice crash. Although Metcalfe is on the mend, he’ll most likely be out for the rest of the season.
For Yoshimura-backed Rockstar Energy Racing in the 250 class, Blake Wharton started out strong by picking up a seventh-place result in his first moto. In the second moto, Wharton had some bad luck but recovered to finish 12th. Altogether, Wharton finished eighth overall for the day. “Overall, it was not a bad day,” said Wharton. “I had a few falls that I’d rather not have happened, but that’s racing. Now, I’m just looking forward to Millville and having some good battles.”
Yoshimura-backed Rockstar Energy Racing teammate Hunter Hewitt put in a strong effort but struggled with the heat and humidity. Although Hewitt got really good starts in both 250 motos, he had several crashes and succumbed to the heat. “It was hot and really humid,” said Hewitt. “Today was just a tough day for me. I had a great start in the first moto, but I went down and hit my head a little bit and the heat just got to me. In the second moto, I got another good start but I crashed. I’ve never raced at Millville before, so I’ll come back the best I can next weekend and stay positive.”
Yoshimura-backed Rockstar Energy Racing’s Jason Anderson picked up a top-10 finish in his first 250 moto, but wound up 17th in the second. Still, he finished the day 13th overall. And Rockstar Energy Racing’s Martin Davalos is still out due to injury but hopes to return to racing before the season’s end.
Also flying the Yoshimura-backed Rockstar Energy Racing flag was Jessica Patterson in the WMX class. Unfortunately, Patterson broke her hand prior to the weekend and only raced RedBud to gain points before undergoing surgery next week. Patterson will be back for the Washougal National at the end of the month. Despite racing with a broken hand, she went 15/14 for 14th overall. “Today was very tough for me,” said Patterson. “But I did what I came to do and that was to salvage points. I’m still in the points lead and I have surgery scheduled for Monday. I’ll be ready for Washougal and to be on the box again.”
The next stop for the Yoshimura-backed teams is the seventh round of the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday, July 14th, at the Spring Creek National in Millville, MN.
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