The 2007 AMA National Motocross Championship came to a close yesterday at Glen Helen OHV Park, located just north of San Bernardino, CA. The entire Team Solitaire/Kingdom/FLY Racing Honda crew was excited to finish the season strong on one of the most demanding tracks of the year. A lot friends and family made the four hour trek from Phoenix to take in the action, so we had a larger-than-normal group of supporters lining the fences for Sunday’s motos.Ricky Renner was coming off a strong showing last weekend in Texas and was very motivated to finish strong on one of his favorite tracks. Practice didn’t go great, but with a long start and fast first turn, a start could be had from anywhere on the gate.Moto One: The first moto started off well for Ricky, as he gated inside the top twenty and was pushing hard on the opening lap. He moved up a few spots, and was looking good for a strong showing when a sharp rock pierced his rear tire and tube, causing a flat. His moto was cut short and he returned to the pits to prepare for the second moto.Moto Two: Ricky’s start was not nearly as good in the second moto, as he rounded the first corner outside the top thirty. He made some quick passes early on, catapulting himself to 24th on the second lap. For the remainder of the long race, he put in consistent lap times and picked off riders one-by-one, climbing all the way up to 20th at the checkered flag.Overall: Ricky’s 38/20 moto score awarded him 23rd overall on the day. He finished up the series 31st in the point standings with 33 national points. Congratulations to Ricky on a solid rookie season.Jiri Dostal has been struggling since his early season leg injury and is looking to get back and track and build some confidence heading into next season. Jiri rode much better this weekend, but narrowly missed putting it in the motos by less than .03 of one second. He came back and rode the consolation race, finishing a respectable third. I know that Jiri will come out next year and pick up where he left off at Anaheim 1 2007.Ryan Clark
I had a tall order to fill coming into this event. I was 12 points behind Kyle Lewis, six behind Jeff Alessi and three behind Troy Adams in the series points standings. My goal, after regrouping from my early season problems, was to climb back inside the top 15 in points. To do that, I would have to have a great weekend. Although my practice times were not too great, I was still confident it would be a good weekend.Moto One: I had a mid-pack start, but nearly crashed on the first uphill and dropped back to around 30th. I plugged away for the whole moto, taking advantage of the treacherous conditions and using my endurance to pick off packs of riders as the race neared its end. On the final lap I made my move into tenth position, where I would finish. All of my point rivals experienced problems in the moto, so I gained valuable ground and was looking solid heading into the final moto of the year.Moto Two: I had a much better start in the second moto, emerging top twenty after the first two turns. Unfortunately, the first lap luck ran out for me in a hurry. As I jumped off the crest of “Mt. Saint Helen”, the largest hill on the track, disaster struck. Upon leaving the ground I spotted Kyle Lewis’s abandoned bike lying across the spot I would be landing. I hit his bike and was ejected over the bars and began tumbling down the hill. My bike cart wheeled next to me I quickly descended. After the whole field passed by, I ran up the hill to my bike and assessed the damage. My bars were bent, front brake and throttle damaged. I knew I would have to score points to give myself a shot at top fifteen, so I remounted and rode as quickly as possible around the track to the mechanic’s area. Jesse Black quickly fixed my damaged front brake and throttle, and I set out at a huge deficit in a quest to score some points. Fortunately for me, the track was rough and riders were hurting from the conditions. I picked off rider after rider, and on the final lap passed Jason Thomas and Kyle Partridge for 15th place, scoring six national points.Overall: My 10/15-moto scores awarded me 10th overall on the weekend. I earned 17 national points, for a total of 117 points for the season. I beat out Troy Adams by one point for 15th overall in the series point standings.Other notes:Our friend Jason Fischer was seriously injured riding last Wednesday. Please keep him in your thoughts during this time.Ricky and I ran the helmet cams for Speed Channel’s broadcast of the event. Check www.amamotocross.com for airing and show times.The Glen Helen course features some insane obstacles, such as the huge hills and a 130-foot uphill triple that took everything I had to clear. The definition of motocross sure has changed.I have three weeks off until the Montreal Supercross in late November, followed by the US Open of Supercross in Las Vegas in October.Summary: It was a great weekend and, looking back, a great season. I cannot thank everyone involved in the team enough, from our hard-working technicians and transport driver, to our wonderful sponsors and friends. This is Team Solitaire’s sixth year, and by far our best yet. Next year will bring with it many changes and I am very excited about our future growth and accomplishing the goals we have set for ourselves. It is now time to begin working toward next season, and although the work never ends, it doesn’t feel like work when you love what you do!