Can-Am X-Team racer Chase Snapp finished with a career-best second overall aboard his privateer Can-Am DS 450 at round eight of the 2011 AMA ATV Motocross Championship series held at Sunday Creek in Millfield, Ohio.
Motoworks/ Can-Am racer John Natalie, recovering from a broken arm, finished 10th overall to move into the points lead in the race for the AMA ATV MX National Championship title.
“We sure missed having Chad Wienen out there, but rookie Chase Snapp really stepped up his game this weekend, winning his first career moto and earning second overall,” said Jimmie O’Dell, Race Manager, Can-Am. “John Natalie is just an animal and definitely lived up to his ‘Ironman’ nickname this weekend. For him to be able to finish in the top 10 with a broken arm is amazing. He now has the points lead and will thankfully have another couple weeks of healing before our next race in New York.”
Snapp won the first Pro class moto, the first of his career, in wet, muddy conditions. He came off the line in second place and took over the lead on the opening lap when the race leader made a mistake.
From there, Snapp stayed out front and rode his DS 450 across the finish line for his first professional moto victory. He finished fourth in the second moto to earn his second Pro class podium in the last three rounds.
“I got a good start and knew I had to with the rain coming down. I just put my head down and kept going and when he [race leader] went off the track and I got out front,” said Snapp. “I can’t thank my mechanic Darrin enough. He has been working hard to get me more power and it really paid off today.”
Natalie, who had a broken radius bone in his forearm surgically repaired last week, made the decision to race in an effort to score points. He started strong in the first moto and even worked his way up to the fourth-place position, before he eventually slowed his pace when his quad was suspected of ingesting water.
The second moto went much better for the former champion. Despite a slow start, Natalie charged ahead and passed several riders on his way to a sixth-place finish. His 16-6 moto finishes were good for 10th overall and also moved him into the Pro class points lead. He leads the second-place rider by seven points heading into round nine.
Natalie was pleased that he salvaged points and captured the points lead considering his condition. “My arm was pretty sore out there, but I really want to take that championship this year and I’m not going to let an injury stop me,” he added. “I’ve got two weeks to heal up before New York and I am going there to take the win!”
Motoworks / Can-Am DS 450 racer and current World Off-Road Championship Series Pro class points leader Jeremie Warnia also entered the Ohio race.
After earning the fastest qualifier award early in the day and jumping out to a top-five start in moto one, a mechanical issue resulting from suspected water ingestion forced Warnia to pull off the track on the eighth lap and settle for 17th. He rebounded in the second moto, finishing seventh. His 17-7 combined score was good for 14th overall.
Wienen, who is recovering from surgery to his broken back, suffered while practicing on his home track, will unfortunately be forced to miss the remainder of the season. He has been released from the hospital and is walking around, is in good spirits and is feeling better every day on his road to recovery and is determined to come back stronger than ever next season.
“I had a good points lead and I am disappointed that I can’t race, but I am thankful that I will be able to make a return,” said Wienen. “I’m feeling better every day. I know it isnt going to be easy, but I’ll be back out there as soon as I can.”
Can-Am X-Team racer Cole Henry finished fifth overall in the Pro-Am Unlimited class and fourth overall in the Pro-Am Production ranks aboard his DS 450 ATV.
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.