With five rounds now completed, the 2011 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship reaches the halfway point this weekend with the Rockstar Energy Red Bud National at Buchanan, Michigan.
The championship battles in both main classes of competition are tightening up, and the respective points leaders in each division – Australian Honda rider Chad Reed and South African Kawasaki rider Tyla Rattray (pictured above) – are ready to face their rivals at one of the most popular tracks on the circuit.
Reed has now secured three wins in four rounds and also held an undefeated record in second motos in the 450 class.
However, defending champion Ryan Dungey (Suzuki) broke Reed’s final moto dominance and became the third different overall winner in the premier class as a result at last weekend’s round in Colorado.
With an equally impressive day from Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, the three-way battle for the 450 Class title has tightened up, with Reed losing seven points to each of his closest competitors.
The battles between the trio of riders from week-to-week has been a captivating element of the championship. The three past national titleholders have asserted themselves atop the premier class, but have traded moto wins and overall victories with regularity.
Reed currently boasts an eight-point lead over Villopoto in the standings, while Dungey continues to fight back from a DNF in one race at Freestone Raceway and he is 21 points off the lead.
After five rounds of 250 class competition, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team remains undefeated in the 2011 season.
A strong runner-up outing at Thunder Valley vaulted Scotsman Dean Wilson into the points lead for the second time this summer, while his team-mate Blake Baggett dominated in Colorado, sweeping the day’s motos and capturing his class-leading third overall win of the season.
Despite Baggett’s success this season, instances of misfortune still leave him 20 points off the lead in the standings, behind Wilson and fellow Kawasaki team-mate Rattray.
© Photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com