Press Release –
Staking his claim to the victory with two near-perfect motos, Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider Dustin Wimmer made it two in a row by grabbing the win at Millcreek Raceway’s FMF ATV Spring National, round two of the 2009 ITP/Moose Racing AMA ATV Motocross Championship presented by Parts Unlimited.
Although Wimmer did not secure either of the MotorcycleUSA.com Holeshot Awards, they were not necessary to go home with what he wanted most, another check in the win column.
“I take everything race-by-race and try to be real consistent and be up on the podium everytime,” said Wimmer. “Consistency wins championships.”
In the first moto, rookie Nick DeNoble led the pack to the $250 MotorcycleUSA.com Holeshot Award, the first Pro holeshot of his career. He held Honda Baldwin Motorsports’ Josh Upperman and Wimmer off for several turns before relinquishing spots to both riders. Wimmer eventually took over the lead, and a charging Joe Byrd rallied from a bad start to drop Upperman to third for the moto.
“I could’ve gated better, and that was definitely my fault,” said Wimmer of not getting the holeshot. “Half way up the hill for the first turn I started to pull it together and after a lap or two I was in the lead in both motos.”
Early moto one contenders, Warnert Racing Can-Am’s John Natalie and ATVSource.com Top Qualifier Award winner Chad Wienen, both fell to mechanical troubles, ending their challenge for podium finishes.
Moto two began with Upperman, known for great starts, grabbing the $250 MotorcycleUSA.com Holeshot Award followed by rookie Clay Holmes, Wimmer and Byrd. Upperman admitted to not being in the same level of shape as Wimmer and Byrd, and the Ohio native did not have much breathing room and lost the lead to both of them.
“If I stay healthy and get my endurance up a little more, I hope to hang up there in the top spot with Dustin [Wimmer] and Joe [Byrd],” said Upperman.
Making up for his mechanical setback in moto one, Natalie charged from the back half of the pack, picking off one rider at a time to collect third for the moto by mere inches over Upperman. “I worked my butt off and the bike worked great,” said Natalie. “I just picked people off one at a time and didn’t even know where I finished until the end.”
Factory Yamaha and rookie Thomas Brown flirted with the podium again, ending the weekend in fourth overall for the second race in a row. The Sanger, Texas, native rallied from two bad starts to notch 5th and 7th for his two motos.
Jeremy Lawson, in his second year on a Can-Am with Team Motoworks, collected fifth overall with 4th and 8th in each of his motos.
Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Doug Gust settled for 6th overall after a rough set of motos, with Natalie on his heels salvaging 7th overall.
A recent shock test helped Greg Gee to dial in his machine with obvious benefits. The Canadian privateer from Ontario went 9th and 11th in the motos for 8th overall, rising two positions over his Glen Helen finish.
Rookie DeNoble collected 6-14 scores for 9th overall. French Champion, Jeremie Warnia, returned to the Pro line-up, this time on a Can-Am. The anxious rider from Paris, France, collected the final spot in the Top 10 with 14th and 9th for his motos, after battling clutch problems and a spin out.
The Spring National marked the opening round of the amateur series, with the new schedule format welcoming all Pro riders to Sunday’s program while also elevating the level of recognition for the Pro-Am Production class, filled with the next crop of Pro riders. The morning started with Timed Qualifying for both classes. The top 18 riders head straight to the first moto while the rest of the field entered the last chance qualifier to determine the final two entrants.
The anticipation for the noon debut of the Pro-Am Production class was as high as the expectations for the Pro class itself. Cody Gibson eventually sailed away on his Kawasaki KFX450 to win both motos. He shared the podium with Bobby Ross and Chase Snapp, demonstrating an exciting season in the making.