Motoworks / Can-Am DS 450 pro ATV racer John Natalie won round 10 of the 2011 AMA ATV Motocross Championship series held at Red Bud in Buchanan, Mich.
With a brilliant second-moto performance and victory, Natalie secured the Pro class overall and extended his points lead heading into the series finale Aug.13 in Hurricane Mills, Tenn.
“John was absolutely outstanding on the punishing Red Bud motocross track,” said Jimmie O’Dell, Race Manager, Can-Am. “His 2-1 finishes were truly inspirational considering the challenging whoops section, the heat, humidity and the fact that he’s still healing from his surgically repaired arm. This win puts him in the driver’s seat for the finale at Loretta Lynn’s. And it was also nice to have Chase Snapp notch yet another top five finish as a rookie pro.”
In the first Pro class moto, Natalie came out of the gate in fifth, but quickly passed his way into the second spot. He later passed for the lead in the difficult whoops section. He dropped back to second place after a small miscue prior to the checkers.
Natalie came off the line in third place to start the second Pro moto. He again moved into second place and then started to pressure the leader. Natalie took over the race lead at the midway point, but was challenged by another rider over the final few laps.
Each time, Natalie held off the younger racer and then eventually crossed the finish line with the second-moto victory. His 2-1 scores were good for the Pro class win and his third overall win of 2011. He now leads the second-place rider by 10 points with one round remaining.
“I have a little more cushion in the points now, but that won’t allow me to relax because I really want to win this championship and anything can happen,” said Natalie. “I felt pretty good out there. My arm is doing much better and I am going for the win at Loretta’s. I have to thank Can-Am and Motoworks for everything they do because if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be up here [on the podium], so I am going to do everything I can to give them a championship.”
Pro-class rookie and Can-Am X-Team member Chase Snapp had a good first moto as he finished fourth. However, in moto two an errant rock got stuck between the engine cases and the shift lever and forced Snapp to pull off to fix it.
Even so, he managed to finish ninth in moto two and secure fifth place in the Pro class standings. His 4-9 moto scores earned him the fifth place position for the weekend. It was the fifth time Snapp has finished fifth or better aboard his Can-Am DS 450 this season.
For more information on Can-Am racing, the entire 2011 schedule, the 2011 contingency program and Can-Am DS 450 ATV amateur racer support program, please visit www.can-amxteam.com.