Written by Nick Thiel
The fifth week of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross nationals brings us to the site of the 2007 Motocross Des Nations. Budds Creek Raceway is one of the most historic stops on the 12 stop series, from the American team taking the win in 2007 to the unmistakable Henry Hill. The Budds Creek circuit has only scratched the surface of what’s to come.
We are in for a great race this weekend. The weather looks to be uncharacteristically mild, but the track looks to be extremely rough! Series leaders Ryan Dungey and Blake Baggett are coming off their best and worst weekends, respectively, thus far. Lets see what this week's Red Bull Budds Creek National has in store for us.
Ryan Dungey has been on point at the last two rounds
They have made very little change to the track for this round of racing. The few changes they did make were beefing up the lip to the uphill triple, and an almost awkward roller into a wall after the downhill triple, which they may take out come race day. They have tilled the dirt extra deep and are adding lots of water for this week’s race.
After talking with Davey Coombs, he said they just didn’t want the track to dry out like the week prior at High Point. I highly doubt that will be a problem with the track prep that went on this week. The track is going to get extremely rough this week. I mean to the point where they may be doubling and tripling the braking bumps down the straightaways. Welcome to the great outdoors, ladies and gentlemen. Hills, ruts, bumps and big jumps are what this weekend has in store.
The weather has been mild throughout this summer, compared to past years. This weekend in Budds Creek is no different. The weather is a mild 80 degrees with some cloud cover and a slight breeze. Quite different than years past where the heat index reaches nearly 105 degrees with not a cloud or a breeze to speak of.
This among other races is usually where the fittest racers can showcase their hard work. The racers should be able to absolutely go for it both motos if the weather stays mild! Although the track will be extremely physically demanding, it will be the one with the raw speed and consistency that takes the win, not the one who survives the weather this year. The Europeans Marvin Musquin and Ken Roczen will be thankful, that’s for sure. Not that they aren’t superb athletes, it's just that the racing conditions on the Grand Prix circuit aren’t quite as brutal as the USA.
Mike Alessi spent a lot of time last week in front of Dungey, but in the end, it wasn't enough
Dungey is coming off of his second overall win in a row. He went uncontested at the Lakewood round, but had the likes of Mike Alessi to deal with at High Point. Alessi came out swinging and took the lead from Dungey in both motos early. Alessi held it to close to the halfway point, where Dungey then made his move, taking the lead and winning both motos convincingly.
Dungey now has a 42 point lead over Alessi and doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. He said that he learns more about the motorcycle every weekend and cant wait to go racing on Saturday.
Then there is Baggett, the current points leader of the 250 class. Baggett had his worst finish of the season with a fourth overall last weekend. He had two unfortunate falls in the second moto, which he was able to rebound from to finish 5th. I expect Baggett to come out with a vengeance this weekend and go into the break on a good note. Baggett has a small 7-point lead over Barcia, so finishing strong is a must to hold on to the red plate.
Blake Baggett still has the red plate, but his lead is shrinking
With the weather being mild and the track conditions being tough, the racing should be absolutely awesome this weekend. No better time since all of the motos will be aired live on Fuel TV, NBC and the NBC Sports Network, plus first motos will be live streamed on Allisports.com again. (Click here for broadcast details.) Be sure to keep an eye out for your series leaders, especially Baggett, to see if he will be able to hold onto the red plate going in to the break. Make sure to keep up to date with the behind the scenes info on twitter at @americanmx and @allisports. That’s it for this weeks ramp-up - enjoy the races.