Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s AMA Motocross Championship leader Ryan Dungey could clinch the 2010 450 Class title this weekend when the series visits the legendary Moto-X 338 in Southwick, Massachusetts, on Saturday.
Despite the highly-anticipated return of San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart, Dungey continued his dominance of the 450 Class, grabbing his eighth consecutive victory at Unadilla. It was also his sixth moto sweep of the season, overcoming not only Stewart’s long-awaited return, but also grand prix competitor Clement Desalle, of Belgium, along the way.
As a result, Dungey extended his championship lead over Honda Red Bull Racing’s Andrew Short to 111 points and can clinch the title on Saturday if his day ends with his advantage at 100 points or more.
Also looking to make his presence felt at Moto-X 338 is New England motocross legend John Dowd. At 45 years of age, Dowd is still arguably one of the best sand riders in the world and proved it last season with a stellar third place effort against riders as much as 20 years his junior.
The Rockstar Energy Southwick National remains the only national event in which the semi-retired Dowd competes, and the lone sand track on the AMA calendar.
While Dungey stands atop the premier class, the battle for the runner-up spot in the championship remains intense with Andrew Short and GEICO Powersports Honda’s Brett Metcalfe.
The pair has traded podium results throughout the season and currently, only 14 points separates the red riders. Short’s experience at Southwick has produced mixed results over the years, though he did win there as a 250 Class rider.
Saturday’s race will serve as Metcalfe’s debut ride in the 450 Class at Moto-X 338. The Australian is a savvy sand rider with overall podium efforts at the facility the last two seasons.
Since turning pro in 2008, Trey Canard has never competed in the sands of Southwick due to a pair of season-ending injuries. No matter, thanks to his incredible four-race winning streak the Oklahoman’s drive to win and the belief in his ability is higher than it’s ever been during his young career.
With a major points swing last weekend that allowed him to close to within 16 points of 250 Class leader Christophe Pourcel, Canard knows now more than ever that anything can happen, particularly in the smaller displacement division which has produced exceptional competition all season long.
For Pourcel, his come-from-behind ride aboard his Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki in the final moto at Unadilla served as a statement to his surging rival that he still holds control of the championship.
However, a tough outing at Moto-X 338 one year ago proved to be a difference maker in the outcome of the 2009 title and will surely be in the minds of Pourcel and his team on Saturday. In any case, with only three rounds remaining, this closely-contested battle is sure to lead to some memorable action throughout the rest of the season.
After taking a break for the past two rounds, the MotorcycleUSA.com Women’s Motocross Championship returns to action with round six of the eight-race season.
DNA Shred Stix/Star Racing Yamaha’s Jessica Patterson captured her fourth win of the 2010 season the last time the nation’s fastest females competed at Spring Creek in Minnesota. Patterson currently holds a 22-point lead over reigning two-time champion Ashley Fiolek.
Despite what has been a tough season by her standards, Fiolek knows a third straight title is still within reach for her and the Honda Red Bull Racing team and will look to turn things around starting on Saturday. Along with her four wins, Patterson holds the upper hand at Southwick, having won at the track last season in a dominating 1-1 performance.
Affectionately known as the ‘Sandbox’, Moto-X 338 has been a staple of American motocross since 1976. It remains the one and only motocross national ran in the sand and regularly provides a unique challenge for the riders and exceptional racing for the fans.
This season, the facility is offering a one-of-a-kind opportunity for two lucky fans to take home their very own mini replica of the same Rockstar Energy Southwick National event trophy that will be hoisted by the winners on Saturday afternoon.
As always, a live stream of the first motos of each class can be seen at www.allisports.com/motocross, with Moto 2 set to be aired on FOXTEL’s Fuel TV live on Sunday morning.