Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Unadilla 2007 In a Nutshell (A very large nutshell)

Last weekend at Unadilla, marked the first time in a long time that someone other than Ricky Carmichael or James Stewart took an overall. Mostly because neither of the riders was there. Ricky is going into retirement. Yes I know it's sad, trust me, I will miss him too, and James had a nasty fall in sunday practice that left him watching from the sidelines. This opened up the 450 field like never before. There was at least 6 guys that had an equal shot at winning, and everbody knew some good racing was in store. And of course, good racing did follow. In the first moto Kevin Windham stalked Mike Alessi for about 25 minutes until finally making a pass late in the moto. K-Dub would go on to win the moto, with Mike Alessi in second, and Grant Langston in third. Both Alessi and Langston put in great rides that day. Mike held of Windham for almost the entire moto, and Grant battled strong with Tim Ferry and Andrew Short to get the final podium spot. Tim Ferry would have had the third spot on lock, but he eventually fell over and could only settle a fifth. That would cost him later.

The second moto started with a Millsaps holee, and the Duke looked like he was gonna take it. That was until he faded back and started getting passed. Something is up with Davi, I'm not sure if it's fitness or he needs new underwear or what, but he needs to find his mojo if he is going to live up to his potential. Short inherited the lead, and lead for a good couple of laps before an enraged Tim Ferry took over the lead and ran away with the moto 2 victory. So a 5-1 score for Ferry left him in second overall, but if he would have stayed up in the first moto he would have finished with a 3-1 which would have edged out windhams 1-3. Ferry was mad to say the least. That could have been his first ever win in the Motocross class if he would have held on in moto 1. Hang in there Tim.

But enough about that, because I'm sure most of you already know what happened. But know what? If Bubba is out, the Motocross class will have at least 5 different moto winners throughout the season. We are used to Ricky, Bubba, and the rest of the field, with 3rd place being the only spot to fight for. Well if you look back, the pack has fought hard for that third spot and plenty of different riders have found themselves on the last step of the box. So with Ricky and Bubba gone, and 6 rounds to go in the 2007 season, it should be anyones race. That is only as long as James is still out. Reports say that he had a CAT scan today and it all checked out positive. He is planning on racing in Colorado next week after a second CAT scan. I want good racing, but i want healthy riders. It's a toss up I guess. I have all the respect in the world for James Stewart and his time has truly come. But I'm not looking forward to tuning into the Speed Channel to watch the number 7 bike lead wire to wire every race, while Emig and Ralph try to think of things to talk about, while some privateers battle for 18th place. Nothing tops Ricky and Bubba battling for 30 minutes til the checkers fly. But sadly that era is over, as Ricky is retired. He has 2 races left, and I know I wont be missing those.
So most of the news was in the Motocross class, but what about the 250F boys? You come to expect the same stuff from that class, but alot acutally happened at Unadilla. Ryan Villopoto DNF'd the first moto after a first fall broke his radiator, spilling all his valuable anti-freeze all over the Unadilla soil. Townley took over the driver seat, and Dungey held on and rode great to take second. The return of Hepler looked like it was going to be good, as he took third in the first moto, but things wouldnt go so well in moto number 2. J-Law came through the pack like usual and got 4th overall, and Josh Hill cracked into the top 5 for the first time this year. With RV crashing in moto 1, the points lead he had built up, vanished faster than he could say, monster energy kawasaki. He was going to have to make it happen come moto 2.

Well to no surprise, he did. RV grabbed the holee and ran away in convincing fashion. When that kid is on his game, he gives me chills. The last time I was in that much awe of a young rider, was when a little red headed kid from florida rode his KX-125 to his first national championship in 1997. What ever happened to that guy anyway? Well anyway, the rest of the field had some racing to do. Dungey found himself in second again with a chargin Josh Hill right on his rear wheel. Finally the race I've been waiting for! They both came in at millville last year, and havent really raced eachother since (except for about 4 laps at vegas) I was hoping my boy Hill would prove himself and make some sort of pass at the Makita Suzuki rookie. But he never did. He faded after about 15 minutes or so, and eventually let Townley by into third place, giving him the overall win. But a 5-4 would have been great for Hill! putting him into third overall. But he crashed. He fell in the back section and couldn't get his bike restarted. Ah what a shame. Great ride Josh! You'll get em next time. When the checkers fell, Ryan Dungey thought he had the overall with a 2-2 (oddly familair) and did a full on parade lap with pumping fists and an ear to ear grin. But in AMA rules a 1-3 beats a 2-2. I wouldn't want to have to be the guy to tell Dungey that. Still a 2-2 from a rookie who no one really saw coming is a great ride. That kid is going to be a great racer. Mark my words. So that's pretty much Unadilla in a few sentences. Pretty standard weekend in the AMA nationals.

One interesting note about the past weekend. Racer X posted the sign of the lap times and Ben Townley and Ryan Villopoto both ran 2:11's. That's blazing. But amazingly the fastest time in the 450 class was a 2:13 and 2:14. Wow those dudes are quick. Not to many times can i recall the 250's being faster than the 450's. Mitch Payton you are a genius!

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