Press Release –
Wimmer on Way to Defending Championship, Takes Glen Helen Overall followed by Creamer and Byrd
Defending champion and Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Dustin Wimmer challenged a full gate of hungry Pro riders to take the win at the opening round of the 2009 ITP/Moose Racing AMA ATV Motocross Championship presented by Parts Unlimited.
The weather was perfect for racing, and while Wimmer could not say the same of his first moto, he rebounded with a holeshot and a solid second moto to secure his bid for the number-one spot on the podium.
“It’s always easy getting out front first. You don’t have to work as hard,” Wimmer said of his second moto. “However, it is never easy on a rough and sandy track like Glen Helen Raceway. I came up on two wheels in the second or third lap and thought I was going to lose it. But defending my championship like this; it feels great.”
The first moto was easily the most exciting way to open the 2009 series. The MotorcycleUSA.com Holeshot Award winner, Josh Creamer with Monster Energy Kawasaki, pulled some early ground over a pack of Honda’s including rookie Nick DeNoble, Josh Upperman and Joe Byrd after rounding the famous Talladega turn.
Wimmer came out fifth, after taking nearly half the race to reach and pass Byrd who made it up to second. Eventually gaining ground on Creamer, Wimmer stalked him for the later part of the moto narrowly taking the lead on several occasions until Creamer changed his lines to hold his ground. With Creamer riding smart, Kawasaki earned their first moto of the year.
The second moto played out quite differently with Wimmer powering his Suzuki to the second MotorcycleUSA.com Holeshot Award and easily settling into the lead over Byrd who leveled out in second. Creamer, after a middle pack start, made his way into the number three spot that secured the second spot on the podium behind Wimmer; something that he did not quite realize during the race.
“My mechanic was telling me ‘second, second’ and I didn’t know what it meant,” Creamer said. “I was thinking, trying to figure it out. I guess I was never really good at math.”
Byrd rounded out the podium happy with a better start to the season compared to last year. “We had a better setup in the second moto and we like this track,” he said. “It’s good and rough.”
Yamaha rookie Thomas Brown was so excited to be at the race you couldn’t wipe the grin off of his face. The Sanger, Texas native was riding like he definitely belonged next to the veterans of the class. Riding an ailing machine in moto one, he kept it together to finish ninth then upped it to fourth for a fourth overall.
Another rookie and Byrd’s protege, Clay Holmes of Lexington, Tenn., came close to earning the number four spot, but the quiet rider earned eighth and fifth to grab his first Top 5 finish in the Pro class.
Can-Am mounted riders John Natalie of Warnert Racing earned fifth and tenth for sixth overall while Motoworks’ Jeremy Lawson finished the day in seventh with tenth and seventh for his motos.
Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Doug Gust, who got tangled on the start in moto one, reached thirteenth at the checkers and ended the second moto in sixth for eighth overall.
Baldwin Motorsport Honda’s Josh Upperman had a great start to moto one but faded back to sixth then suffered a rough second moto relegating him to fourteenth for ninth overall.
Rounding out the Top 10 overall was Canadian Greg Gee who switched brands in the off season and entered 2009 on a Honda.
The 2009 ITP/Moose Racing AMA ATV Motocross Championship heads east to Pell City, Alabama for the FMF Spring Nationals at Mill Creek Raceway on March 21 and 22 where the amateur classes will join the series with their opening round of the season.