2012 FMF Hangtown MX Classic Race Report

Story By Chris Green • Photos And Captions By Adam Booth

The FMF Hangtown Motocross Classic once again kicked off the first round of the outdoor nationals. There was quite some excitement heading into Hangtown with James Stewart’s very new switch to Suzuki and the highly talented MX Lites field.

The big number 7 did not intimidate Shorty, who made his presence on Stewart physically known through the second corner. More photos from Hangtown below.
450 Class

James “Bubba” Stewart started his season off exactly how he wanted to with a holeshot in the first moto and leading every lap to take the win. Honestly, there weren’t many people I talked to who thought James would make it through the weekend without a horrific crash taking himself out of the race and a few more down the road. But seeing James walk away with a 1-1 finish at Hangtown was very impressive. James rode both motos very comfortable and hardly looked like he was trying as he took plenty of outside lines and rode a gear high. To me, it appeared that Stewart was one confident man aboard his new Factory Suzuki.

Ryan Dungey looked very fast and had to make up some ground in the first moto as he made it to third right behind Davi Millsaps. In the second moto, Dungey made Stewart earn the win by mounting two different attacks—one at the beginning of the moto after he made his way by Alessi and then again towards the end of the race. Unfortunately for RD5 some lappers severely hurt his chances of passing JS7 in the last laps of the race. He didn’t even call them out on the podium!

There was one man missing in action and that would be Ryan Villopoto. Had Villo been around and healthy, it’s easy to say James might not have had the success he did as RV1 has pretty much sustained the title as “The fastest man on the planet.” But, injuries are very present in our sport and that means one thing… James is currently the man to beat once again.

Hangtown 450 Moto Results:

1. James Stewart (Suzuki) 1-1

2. Ryan Dungey (KTM) 3-2

3. Mike Alessi (Suzuki) 7-3

4. Andrew Short (Honda) 5-4

5. Brett Metcalfe (Suzuki) 4-5

6. Broc Tickle (Kawasaki) 6-7

7. Davi Millsaps (Yamaha) 2-14

8. Jake Weimer (Kawasaki) 10-6

9. Josh Grant (Kawasaki) 9-8

10 Nicco Izzi (Yamaha) 11-10

11. Kyle Chisholm (Kawasaki) 13-9

12. Robert Kiniry (Yamaha) 12-13

13. Jimmy Albertson (Suzuki) 17-12

14. Tommy Hahn (Honda)8-27

15. Mathew Lemoine (Kawasaki) 19-11

250 Class

The MX Lites class never disappoints when it comes to action-packed battling and Blake Baggett, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia made sure of that. Blake rode his Monstery Energy Kawasaki KX250F like he had a point to prove. His start was nothing special in moto one but his charge to the front of the pack was definitely something to be proud of. It seemed like Roczen had the moto win wrapped with Barcia consistently a few seconds behind until the green number 12 came into view towards the end of the 30 minute mark. Taking outside lines and putting in blistering lap times, Baggett took the lead towards the end of the final lap for the first moto win. BB12 clearly showed the field that he is the fastest man on the track.

Hangtown 250 Moto Results:

1. Blake Baggett (Kawasaki) 1-1

2. Justin Barcia (Honda) 3-2

3. Ken Roczen (KTM) 2-3

4. Ivan Tedesco (Kasasaki) 6-5

5. Eli Tomac (Honda) 4-10

6. Martin Davalos (Suzuki) 14-4

7. Kyle Cunningham (Yamaha) 9-8

8. Jason Anderson (Suzuki) 8-9

9. Marvin Musquin (KTM) 5-14

10. Wil Hahn (Honda) 7-13

11. Jake Canada (Honda) 10-11

12. Blake Wharton (Suzuki) 16-6

13. Travis Baker (Honda) 15-12

14. Gareth Swanepoel (Yamaha) 12-15

15. Justin Bogle (Honda) 21-7

Hangtown Women's Moto Results:

1. Jessica Patterson (Suzuki) 2-2

2. Ashley Fiolek (Honda) 1-5

3. Tarah Gieger (Honda) 3-3

4. Meghan Rutledge (Kawasaki) 8-1

5. Sayaka Kaneshiro (Honda) 5-4

6. Kasie Creson (Honda) 6-6

7. Mariana Balbi (Honda) 7-8

8. Sara Pettersson (KTM) 11-9

9. Lindsey Palmer (Kawasaki) 10-11

10. Hailey Larson (Honda) 9-13

11. Jacqueline Strong (KTM) 14-10

12. Sara Price (Kawasaki) 4-31

13. Amanda Maheu (Yamaha) 30-7

14. Alexah Pearson (KTM) 19-12

15. Sade Allender (Honda) 16-15

View photos by clicking on an image below.

Andrew Short was one of just a few that knew what it felt like to be ahead of James Stewart at Hangtown. Shorty went 5-4 for a strong 4th overall.
The highest finishing Kawasaki was the number 25 of Broc Tickle. He went 6-7 for 6th overall.
The ruts that developed in practice are probably still giving the pros nightmares!
In the first moto Davi Millsaps looked great, cranking out a second place behind Stewart but a rough second moto t(hat included a few falls) took him out of contention for a podium.
Stewart’s Suzuki didn’t look much dirtier after two moto victories. The only roost he had to endure was from lappers.
While the first moto brought a non-eventful 10th place finish, Jake Weimer gathered it up a bit and finished the second moto in 6th. We expect he’ll get faster as the year rolls on.
Shorty hitting the drop off. The #29 pilot looked strong and confident on the bike.
Justin Barcia was so close to victory he could taste it, until Blake Baggett put a beat-down on every other 250F rider who showed up.
In the WMA class, Ashley Fiolek took the first moto victory but a fall and a twisted clutch lever in the second moto ruined her chances at the overall victory. She managed a second behind Jessica Patterson.
The big number 7 did not intimidate Shorty, who made his presence on Stewart physically known through the second corner.
As the pack rumbles on, Tommy Hahn gets his one leg freestyle practice on.
Dungey kept Stewart honest in the second moto and he might have had a chance to strike until lappers got in his way, giving Stewart a very slight cushion. Dungey didn’t hold back on the podium afterward, voicing his disgust in the lapper’s inability to get out of the way.
Justin Barcia gets across the line with Ken Roczen in tow. The two would battle is out most of the first moto until a late-charging Baggett slapped his way through the pack for the victory.
The first moto of the 250F class was nothing short of epic. While Roczen and Barcia battled this guy, Blake Baggett was putting down the fastest laps and working his way to the front. Methodically, he picked off the best riders in the business. He went 1-1 for the overall and sent a whole class of riders home wondering what hit them.
The KTM sensation Ken Roczen looked strong in his first National. We know he’ll score a win this year, the question is when and where?
Keeping to his legend-like status of the holeshot king, Mike Alessi grabbed a solid start in the second moto and put in strong laps to finish the day 7-3 for a third over all. It was Mike’s first podium in two years.
While the track was rough and brutal it never claimed a very calm and collected Stewart, who at times looked as if he was just cruising. After his dominate performance there were a lot of people left eating crow. We wonder how Dungey felt chasing Stewart on what is probably the exact bike that Dungey rode while on Suzuki!