— AMA Motocross 2012 – Round Eight – Washougal
— Points Leader Dungey Continues Streak with Sixth Consecutive Win at Washougal

The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, made its annual stop in the Pacific Northwest on Saturday, hosting the eighth round of the season from Washougal MX Park. For the sixth consecutive race, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey claimed the overall win, but not without some pressure from his closest title contender – MotoConcepts Suzuki’s Mike Alessi. In the 250 Class, GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia raced to his second victory of the 2012 season,Lites following a strong and consistence outing.

Alessi grabbed the holeshot in the opening moto of the 450 Class and set a fast pace early on, with Jeff Ward Racing Kawasaki’s Josh Grant and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer in tow. Following a fourth-place start, Dungey quickly began to move his way forward and positioned himself behind Alessi on the second lap.

Dungey soon eliminated his deficit to Alessi and applied pressure for the lead. After several attempts to pass, Dungey lost traction on Lap 12 and fell, remounting in second, but dropping nearly seven seconds back. Just two laps later, Dungey was once again on Alessi’s rear wheel, but the Suzuki rider withstood the advances yet again to claim a hard-earned victory, ending Dungey’s 10-moto winning streak.

In Moto 2, Dungey made short work of the field, securing the holeshot and quickly asserting himself as the rider to beat by establishing a multi-second lead on the opening lap. The KTM rider led all 15 laps to tie Alessi in points for the day, but secured the tiebreaker over his rival by virtue of the better second-moto result.

“It was fun (out there),” said Dungey, who won for the fifth straight year at Washougal. “I was riding in second (behind Alessi) and I was up on him, but I had a hard time making the pass. I had a (moto-winning) streak going and I was happy with it, but at the end of the day, winning every moto doesn’t get (the championship) done. If anything, it was a kick in motivation to go a little harder, which I did in the second moto.”

Alessi’s runner-up effort (1-2) was highlighted by his first moto win since the 2010 season and the inaugural moto victory for the Spokane-based MotoConcepts team. Team Chaparral Honda’s Andrew Short, of Smithville, Texas, took the final spot on the podium in third (3-4).

In the 250 Class, Red Bull KTM’s Marvin Musquin, of France, set the tone early in the first moto by capturing the holeshot and opening up a comfortable advantage over the field. Musquin continued to lead for the majority of the moto with his sights set on a first-career moto win, but was passed by Barcia on the eleventh lap. Barcia fended off his teammate Eli OpenTomac the rest of the way, while Musquin followed in third.

In Moto 2, Barcia took advantage of a strong start to open up a slight lead over points leader Blake Baggett who was looking to overcome his own misfortune in the opening moto. The duo paced one another for nearly the entire moto before Baggett made a late pass on Lap 13 to steal the win and secure a spot on the overall podium.

Barcia’s second-place effort in the final moto was enough to claim the overall win, with Tomac in second (2-3) and Baggett in third (6-1).

“The first moto was awesome, I had to ride really hard,” said Barcia. “I just kind of got sick getting roosted, so I made the pass. In the second moto, I got a good start and was riding great, but Blake (Baggett) pressured me and I ended up losing my front end with a couple laps to go. The last two years here I’ve really struggled, but after today I’m happy.”

After losing valuable points in the first moto, Baggett’s win in Moto 2 minimized his total points lost to seven, giving him an 11-point lead heading into the next round.

“I just made a mistake and tried going faster than I could go,” said Baggett. “I had a couple falls, so I just went back and regrouped. I made some changes between motos and I guess they worked.”

The Women’s Motocross Championship was also in action on Saturday, with the sixth of eight rounds this summer. After suffering a broken hand just a few weeks ago, points leader Jessica Patterson was looking to maintain her advantage aboard her Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki.

At the end of two motos, Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Ashley Fiolek prevailed with her third win of the season (1-1), while Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil Honda’s Tarah Gieger finished second (3-2), and MotoConcepts Honda’s Mariana Balbi finished third (4-3). Patterson was in position to claim the overall win, leading the early portion of the second moto, but misfortune relegated her to a fourth-place finish overall (2-8). However, Patterson maintains possession of the points lead, holding just a two-point advantage over Gieger.

The 2012 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will take a break from competition and resumes August 11, Startwith round nine from Moto-X 338 in Southwick, Mass.

Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
Peterson CAT Washougal National
Washougal MX Park – Washougal, Wash.
July 21, 2012 – Round 8 of 12

450 Class (Moto Finish)
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM (2-1)
2. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki (1-2)
3. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda (4-3)
4. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki (3-5)
5. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki (6-4)
6. Tommy Hahn, Great Bend, Kan., Honda (7-7)
7. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Kawasaki (8-10)
8. Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda (10-9)
9. Weston Peick, Wildomar, Calif., Suzuki (9-11)
10. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki (17-6)

450 Class Championship Standings
1. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., KTM, 383
2. Mike Alessi, Victorville, Calif., Suzuki, 303
3. Jake Weimer, Rupert, Idaho, Kawasaki, 280
4. Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, Honda, 247
5. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Kawasaki, 220
6. Justin Brayton, Ft. Dodge, Iowa, Honda, 183
7. Josh Grant, Riverside, Calif., Kawasaki, 169
8. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Suzuki, 151
9. Brett Metcalfe, Mannum, Australia, Suzuki, 142
10. Kyle Chisholm, Valrico, Fla., Kawasaki, 137

250 Class (Moto Finish)
1. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda (1-2)
2. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda (2-3)
3. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki (6-1)Washougal_Sign
4. Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM (3-4)
5. Ken Roczen, Apolda, Germany, KTM (4-7)
6. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki (7-6)
7. Justin Bogle, Cushing, Okla., Honda (9-5)
8. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda (5-10)
9. Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, Ky., Yamaha (8-8)
10. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M., Suzuki (10-9)

250 Class Championship Standings
1. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., Kawasaki, 355
2. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Honda, 344
3. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Honda, 323
4. Ken Roczen, Apolda, Germany, KTM, 305
5. Marvin Musquin, La Reole, France, KTM, 256
6. Wil Hahn, Decatur, Texas, Honda, 218
7. Blake Wharton, Pilot Point, Texas, Suzuki, 185
8. Jason Anderson, Edgewood, N.M, Suzuki, 168
9. Jessy Nelson, Paso Robles, Calif., Honda, 144
10. Travis Baker, Temecula, Calif., Honda, 134

WMX Class (Moto Finish)
1. Ashley Fiolek, St. Augustine, Fla., Honda (1-1)
2. Tarah Gieger, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico., Honda (3-2)
3. Mariana Balbi, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Honda (4-3)Womens
4. Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki (2-8)
5. Sara Pettersson, Sweden, KTM (5-4)
6. Jacqueline Strong, Sedona, Ariz., KTM (9-5)
7. Hailey Larson, Mill Valley, Calif., Honda (8-6)
8. Kasie Creson, Vallejo, Calif., Honda (7-7)
9. Alexah Pearson, Sacramento, Calif., KTM (6-9)
10. Amanda Brown, Baltimore, Md., Honda (10-11)

WMX Class Standings
1. Jessica Patterson, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki, 236
2. Tarah Gieger, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico., Honda, 234
3. Ashley Fiolek, St. Augustine, Fla., Honda, 225
4. Mariana Balbi, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Honda, 193
5. Jacqueline Strong, Sedona, Ariz., KTM, 176
6. Kasie Creson, Vallejo, Calif., Honda, 174
7. Sara Pettersson, Sweden, KTM, 173
8. Sayaka Kaneshiro, Osaka, Japan, Honda, 137
9. Alexah Pearson, Sacramento, Calif., KTM, 127
10. Sade Allender, Sanford, Maine, Honda, 118

— KTM Report

Red Bull/KTM rider Ryan Dungey kept his win streak alive after capturing his sixth consecutive overall victory in eight rounds of the US Pro Motocross Championship held at Washougal MX Park.

Dungey’s teammates in the 250 class, Marvin Musquin and Ken Roczen wrapped up the day with a 4-5 results respectively.

Dungey had first gate pick after putting in the fastest qualifying lap, was in the top three out of the gates in the opening moto and was second behind Mike Alessi within two laps. He stuck at one bike’s length behind the leader right to the flag, saying later: “The track was really tough to pass on and Alessi was riding strong in the first moto. For the second moto, I just need to get out front early and put in some good laps to distance myself from the pack.”

Fulfilling that promise Dungey ripped the holeshot on his KTM 450 SX-F and never looked back. He went on to lead every lap and cross the finish line over 30 seconds ahead of Alessi in second and his 2-1 gave him the day’s victory. “The second moto was much stronger. I was able to get out front at the start of the moto and could focus on my own race and on choosing some good lines to put in a solid 30 minute moto,” he said.

Dungey now holds an 80-point lead in the championship points as riders take a two-week break before heading to the ninth round of the series to be held in Southwick, MA on August 11, 2012.

Top five positions for Musquin and Roczen in 250’s
Musquin pulled the fastest practice time to pick up the Oakley Rocket Award while Roczen qualified third fastest to give each rider a good gate pick for the opening race.

Musquin launched his KTM 250 SX-F off to a stellar start at the beginning of moto one to take the holeshot and the early lead. His teammate was not far behind in 4th place. Musquin led a tightly packed group of five riders for the first half of the race and held on for 11 laps. He finally relinquished two positions and dropped to third but never lost contact with the lead riders. Musquin’s third was well supported by Roczen’s fourth place for solid results from the factory team’s French and German riders.

“I am very happy with my first moto,” remarked Musquin. “Of course, I would have liked to win, but each week I am making progress and I am very happy to have led as many laps as I did.”

In the second moto, Musquin got off to another decent start and held on to third for the first half. Around the halfway point he dropped back to fourth but stuck there till the finish and his 3-4 moto gave him fourth overall for the day. Roczen missed the start advantage and found himself at eleventh place going into the first corner. He made quite a few passes on the very slick and twisty track to advance to seventh at the flag to finish the day with a 4-7 moto score for overall fifth. The two KTM riders are currently 4-5 in the championship standings going into the two-week break in the competition

—  Kawasaki

After two hard fought motos at Round 8 of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Washougal MX Park in Washougal, Wash., Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett finished third overall in the 250 class with a 6-1 moto result. His hard charging style paid off in the second moto where he made a late-race pass to secure the win and retain the coveted red plate on his KX™250F. In the 450 class, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer put together a couple solid rides to finish fourth overall with a 3-5 moto result. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle powered his KX™450F to fifth overall after going 6-4 while Tyla Rattray struggled to find his groove on the tricky Washougal dirt and finished 19th, with a 15-18 result. In the 250 class, Ivan Tedesco finished 19th overall after going 15-37 on the day.

After a frustrating first moto that left Baggett finishing in sixth, he came out swinging in the second moto aboard his KX250F. When the gate dropped, he powered to the front of the pack and three laps later he was right on the heels of the leader. He paced the leader for 11 laps waiting for a mistake and scoping new lines where he might make a move. With three laps remaining, Baggett made his move and took command of the race. The moto win earned him third overall and allowed him to keep the red number plates on his Kawasaki for an eighth-consecutive round. Baggett currently holds an 11-point lead over second in the championship standings.

“I was feeling really good during practice,” said Baggett. “I was second fastest in qualifying, but the first moto didn’t go that well. I found myself on the ground twice, almost three times, but I saved it. I just struggled, started second and went backwards after a few crashes and ended up sixth. We made some tire changes and a little bit of a suspension change going into the second moto. I got a good start and was able to hunt them down and get to the front. It was a battle with four laps to go, but I was able to get it done and salvage some points. I lost some points so now I’m going to have to come out swinging at Southwick. My goal is to have my name on Mitch’s (Payton) door by the end of the year.”

After finishing on the podium last weekend at Millville, Weimer’s confidence was high coming into Washougal. In 450 Moto 1, he got a good start and rounded the first lap in third. He maintained a fast pace over the deteriorating track for the entire 30-minute plus two-lap moto, never allowing anyone by and finished in third place. In 450 Moto 2, he got another good start and by the fourth lap had worked his way into fourth. A couple mistakes on lap five dropped him to seventh, but Weimer worked his way back into fifth place before the finish leaving him with fourth overall on the day. He currently sits third in the championship standings.

“It was a tough day,” said Weimer. “I struggled in practice. I was on the podium in the first moto, but I felt like I should have done better. Second moto I didn’t get a great start, but was in a position to end the day on the podium and crashed. There are trees all around the track so as the day got later it got harder to see the sections of track in the shade. The track was pretty rough and it got sketchy flying though those dark, bumpy sections. You just had to commit to a line and never change because you never know what you’re really going to run into. It’s pretty sketchy. I actually like this track; it’s tough and it’s different.”

After putting in countless hours training and testing since his move up to the 450 class, Tickle’s hard work and determination is really showing. In 450 Moto 1, Tickle got pinched off after the start and found himself in 13th place rounding the first lap. He immediately went to work picking off riders and maneuvered his way through the pack to finish sixth. In Moto 2, Tickle got a better jump off the gate and rounded the first turn in fifth, behind Weimer. Throughout the next six laps he battled back and forth with Weimer and by the seventh lap, Tickle was able to make the pass stick and later finished the race in fourth place. Tickle earned fifth overall for the day and currently sits fifth in the championship points.

“Things got better as the day went on,” said Tickle. “I qualified seventh and was feeling pretty good. In the first moto I just got caught in the pack and had to work through it. We made a few changes between motos and my Kawasaki was feeling really good even though the track was breaking down. The second moto I got a pretty good start and battled with Weimer for most of the race. I was happy to finish fourth and take fifth overall. I am just going to keep working hard and hope to get back on the podium at Southwick.”

Since Rattray made the move up to the 450 class, he had only been able to compete in two outdoor national events on the new bike coming into Washougal due to an injury he sustained at the opening round. In the first moto, he got pinched off after the start and found himself in 12th position. Rattray tried to battle through the pack, but a few mistakes and several yellow flags during the moto left him finishing 15th. After making changes to the bike for the second moto, Rattray went out and had a similar experience and finished 18th to earn 19th overall.

“Practice didn’t start too bad,” said Rattray. “I struggled a little in the first one then we made some changes and that was better so I qualified 11th. The motos didn’t go how I wanted at all. I struggled a bit and just feel I need more time to get used to the bike. We’ve got a couple weeks off and I plan to do as much training and testing as possible. I’ve won the last couple years at Southwick in the 250 class so I feel pretty confident with the sand and the track. This year I’m racing a different machine, it’s a lot heavier and has way more power. I need to see how it goes this week after we get some good testing in and then I’ll be looking forward to Southwick.”

After sustaining an injury at Budds Creek, Tedesco took a few weeks off to heal and was excited to get back into the action at Washougal. In the first moto, he got a mid-pack start on his KX250F and rounded the first lap in 12th. He tried to battle through the congested pack, but kept losing ground. Halfway through the race he went down, injured himself and had to slow down. Tedesco finished the race in 19th place, but was unable to compete in the second moto due to the knee injury.

“I was excited to get back to competition,” said Tedesco. “I like the track out here and was feeling good during qualifying. I threw down some solid laps and qualified 14th overall. I didn’t get the start I needed during the first moto and went down. I think I re-injured the same knee I did earlier this year at Freestone. I’m going to get it checked out this week and will know more after I get the results of the MRI.”

Due to a torn ACL that Ryan Villopoto sustained while competing at Seattle Supercross, he was left unable to defend his 2011 AMA Pro Motocross 450 Class Championship. Although he can’t compete, Villopoto has still been attending select races throughout the year to support his teammates and to visit fans. Growing up in Washington state, Washougal MX Park is a home track for Villopoto where he has been competing since his amateur days. A local fan-favorite, when word spread that the local champion was in town, people came out of the wood work to say hello. From the Kawasaki dealership he visited on Friday night before the race, to the autograph session under the Monster Energy Kawasaki tent on race day, it seemed like there were people cheering around every corner and from behind every tree.

“Washougal is probably one of the most unique tracks we ride,” said Villopoto. “There a lot of shadows from the trees and the dirt is really different. By different I mean it looks like it’s very tacky, but it’s actually pretty slippery. You have to work on throttle control and line choice is really important out here. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places we visit during the outdoor nationals. This is really like a hometown track for me since I grew up not too far from here and raced here as an amateur.”

Dubbed “The World’s Most Scenic Raceway”, Washougal MX Park has many facets which set it apart from all of the other tracks on the outdoor national circuit. Just driving to the track feels more like you are embarking on a camping trip deep into the Pacific Northwest rather than visiting a popular race track. Set in the middle of a dense forest and surrounded by lush vegetation and beautifully clean rivers, the track stays much cooler than most tracks. The large Pine and Hemlock trees which surround the track also provide much needed shade for spectators and competitors alike.

After a three week break from competition, the 2012 AMA Pro Motocross Championship will reconvene on August 11, for Round 9 at MotoX-338 in Southwick, Mass. Known for its deep, sandy turns, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s racers plan to take advantage of the three week break by heading to California to put in some time on sand tracks and get their bikes dialed before heading back East.

Villopoto brought a glove and ball to the track at Washougal MX Park to warm up his throwing arm for Sunday’s baseball game at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. While he typically visits Angel Stadium a couple times a year to race supercross, this weekend Villopoto will be throwing out the first pitch prior to the Angels-Rangers game which begins Sunday, July 22 at 5:00 pm PDT.