Last week we covered the 2010 Supercross season, the National Enduro series, the GNCC series, and a few of my fav fast food stops along the way. This week we’ll pick things up with the outdoor motocross series. This year’s national motocross series was pretty much a continuation of the Supercross series. Chad Reed started things off by winning the Hangtown opener in Sacramento, edging Mike Alessi for the win. Meanwhile, Dungey struggled with starts and finished the day in eighth overall. Meanwhile, in the 250 class, Eli Tomac surprised most of the off-road motorcycling community by taking the win in his debut race as a pro.
In Texas, however, Dungey got back on track with a 1-1 moto sweep. This would begin a streak that would see him win at least one moto in every race for the rest of the year, including eight two-moto sweeps. At High Point, the week after Texas, Dungey put some distance on Reed in the championship chase by taking another 1-1 sweep, while Reed went 13-33 after taking a rock to the face in moto one and losing his front brake caliper in moto two. From that race on, Reed would not be a factor in the championship and eventually dropped out of the series after aggravating a neck injury at the Spring Creek round in July.At the end of the 12-race series Dungey added to his historic season by beating Ricky Carmichael’s rookie record of nine overall victories in a season by taking his 10th overall at Pala Raceway in Southern California.With Dungey dominating the latter half of the 450-class schedule, most eyes turned to the battle in the 250 division where Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel took a strong early lead only to falter in the end and give way to a hard charging Trey Canard. Canard won five of the last seven rounds and erased a massive deficit en route to the championship. Amazingly, Canard went into the final race at Pala still down by seven points, but when Pourcel fell in the first moto and dislocated his shoulder it cleared the way for Canard to clinch the title with a third overall performance. This championship was intense and both riders put up a tremendous fight to the end.As far as the week-to-week grind associated with the outdoor series, I’ve covered the series for the past seven years and you end up staying at the same hotels year after year. The cool part is that eventually you find some really good restaurants along the way. My favorite of all on the series is the Cambridge House Brew Pub in Granby, Connecticut, which is halfway between the airport in Windsor Locks, CT, and the track at Southwick, Massachusetts. Great food, good drink and nice company… a good escape from my usual “on-the-road” fast food diet.
Before we move on from the motocross series, we need to talk about this year’s Motocross of Nations, which will forever be the Motocross “des” Nations to me. Held in Lakewood, Colorado, at Thunder Valley Raceway, this year marked the 64th running of the legendary event and behind stellar performances by Ryan Dungey, Trey Canard and Andrew Short, the USA brought home the coveted Chamberlain Cup trophy for the 21st time and sixth time in a row. An unbelievable run, but what else would you expect from the greatest “Moto” nation in the world?Over the years, Endurocross has become one of my favorite events to cover. The action is always good, there are lots of crashes and you never really know who is going to win – except for this year. KTM’s extreme off-road specialist Taddy Blazusiak was almost unbeatable in 2010, winning five of the six rounds to claim the title. The only round he lost was in Denver, which was won by former US Trials champ Geoff Aaron. It just so happened that the Denver round was the one round I was able to make it to this year and it was a great race.Growing weary of the weekly flights, I elected to drive the 700 miles from my home in Oklahoma to attend the Denver round. I don’t remember exactly how long it took to make that drive, but I do remember that it encompassed four meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner and a quick stop at a Dairy Queen for a “pick me up.” I tend to gauge my trips by “number of meals” rather than number of miles and a four-meal trip is usually my limit when driving. Anything longer than that and I’ll fly.
Anyway, Denver is a cool town and after the race I had the pleasure of dining until 3 in the morning at a local “college” sandwich shop with off-road promoter Eric Peronnard, industry great Pete Denison and his wife, Dirt Rider editors Chris Denison and Joseph McKimmy, and off-roader Wally Palmer – quite an interesting mix and a great time with good friends.Moving west, Kurt Caselli won four rounds to win this year’s WORCS championship, the KTM rider edging factory Kawasaki’s Ricky Dietrich, who finished off the season with three wins. Michael Brown was third overall with two victories.In November, Caselli led the American squad consisting of Destry Abbott, Jimmy Jarrett, Nathan Woods, Timmy Weigand and Mike Brown to fourth place in the World Trophy Cup division at this year’s ISDE in Morelia, Mexico. France won the World Trophy Cup ahead of Italy and Finland.In the Junior Trophy division, the US squad (Nick Fahringer, Ian Blythe, Taylor Roberts and Cory Buttrick, who was injured on the opening day) was third behind Spain and Sweden. Meanwhile, U.S. Women’s Team of Nicole Bradford, Amanda Mastin and Kerri Swartz finished second behind France and ahead of Sweden.KTM’s Johnny Aubert was the overall winner of the event and the clear victor in the E2 class.This year’s event was shorted to five days when, according to local reports, a local drug cartel launched violent reprisals following the arrest of two local leaders of the cartel in Morelia. Luckily, no one at the event was injured and everyone managed to get out of the country without any problems.I finished off my season with a trip to Japan to cover the final round of the Japanese National Cross Country Series. Cory Buttrick won the race by a huge margin over the reigning Japanese champion and afterwards we celebrated at a local restaurant where we sampled the local fare. Quick food tip: raw pig, squid and cow brains taste a lot better after you’ve had two shots of Saki.
To summarize, 2010 was a great year if you’re a fan of off-road racing in America. And if there was anything I learned this year it was never count out a rookie when Roger DeCoster is the team manager; and you can make anything taste good with a little Ranch Dressing on it.