Two-time World Four-Stroke Champion Weston Peick.
The World Four-Stroke Championship has been around for 23 years. It has been a tradition since the days of the dinosaurs. But, modern times have made the idea of a special race for four-strokes kind of silly.
So this year, the MTA-sponsored World Four-Stroke Championship served three purposes:
(1) It was a continuation of long-standing World Four-Stroke history—a history that has included wins by Ron Lechien, Pierre Karsmakers, Rick Johnson, Mike Bell, Doug Dubach and Ryan Hughes.
(2) The date of the race fell one week before the start of the AMA 250/450 Nationals in Hangtown—so it served as a chance for many riders and teams to check their preparation. And it didn’t hurt that it paid a $26,000 purse ($13,000 to each class).
(3) With the United States Grand Prix only two weeks away, the World-Four-Stroke Championship was the first chance for riders to try out the new USGP track (which was built exactly as it would have been for the originally planned Glen Helen 250/450 National). The track featured some new twists.
Ben Townley was the fastest rider in the 450 class, but a flat tire in moto one stopped him from sweeping both motos.
Weston Peick gets a little behind in his work—but came away $3350 richer.
HOW THE RIDERS FARED
Weston Peick: One year ago Weston put himself on the motocross map when he won the 2009 World Four-Stroke Championship. He came back to the 2009 Glen Helen National and shocked a lot of high-paid riders by finishing in the top ten in the 450 class. Now, Peick is preparing for a run at the 2010 AMA 450 National Championship and for a good race at the USGP (hoping that a good performance will get him more support). In the first moto on Sunday, Weston came from the back of the pack to get to second place. And once he got to second, he benefited from leader Ben Townley’s flat tire. Weston’s second moto start was equally dismal and he charged through the pack to finish third. Weston’s 1-3 took the victory.
Local hero Trent Pugmire (996) stalked Dan Reardon (122) in moto one and finally passed him. Reardon didn't give Trent the opportunity in moto two.
Ben Townley: Ben didn’t win, but he had to be happy that he showed a skeptical world that he had both speed and fitness after several years of injury. Most importantly, Ben’s bike looked ready and he didn’t crash and hurt himself.
Austin Howell, Trent Pugmire, Tye Hames and Preston Tilford: Young 450 riders showed that they could handle 30-minute long Pro motos without collapsing after the motos were over. Howell went 3-4 and was only beaten in the overall by Peick and Dan Reardon; Pugmire had a second in the first 450 moto and backed it up with a fifth in moto two; Tye Hames took his new KTM to a 7-7 day; Preston Tilford would do a lot better if he didn’t spin on the gate in each moto, but he powered through from the back of the pack to sixth in moto one and eighth in moto two for seventh overall (and $700 in purse money).
The start of 450 moto two.
1. Weston Peick (Yam)...1-2
2. Dan Reardon (Yam)...4-2
3. Austin Howell (Suz)...3-4
4. Trent Pugmire (Kaw)...2-5
5. Adam Chatfield (Kaw)...5-6
6. Tye Hames (KTM)...7-7
7. Preston Tilford (Yam)...6-8
8. Ben Townley (Hon)...16-1
9. Jeff Loop (Hon)...10-9
10. Sean Kranyak (Yam)...9-11
Tom White interviews event sponsor Willy Musgrave from MTA (and MXA), while Tyla Rattray (center) and Max Anstie (left) wait on the podium behind them to get their share of the $26,000 purse.
Tyla Rattray: Pro Circuit’s Mitch Payton has had Tyla racing at REM every weekend to get him back in racing shape. Tyla has been on the injured list for many months and Mitch wanted him to, not only hone his fitness, but start getting his race savvy back. It worked. After a couple mediocre REM outings at Glen Helen, it all came together for Tyla in the second moto at the World Four-Stroke race. He powered his way into the lead (with Max Anstie in pursuit) and never let off. Tyla was happy and so was Mitch.
Max Anstie's first moto victory was a wire-to-wire show of dominance.
Max Anstie: From the first lap of practice Max looked like the rider to beat. He was the first to sail over Glen Helen’s incredible triple-step-up jump (which is now one level higher in the Glen Helen uphill layout). Additionally, only three 250 riders dared jump the massive jump on every lap (Anstie, Rattray and Jimmy Decotis). Anstie’s second moto start probably cost him the victory. He let Rattray get away early in the moto and just couldn’t close the gap.
Max was happy with his 1-2 day and wants to race his old European mates at the USGP in two weeks.
Lance Vincent: The Louisiana rider couldn’t hang with Rattray, Anstie or Decotis, but nobody else could stay with him. He earned $1000 for the effort.
Glen Helen was wild and woolly. The big hills, step-ups and step-downs didn't disappoint the fans (or the riders).
1. Tyla Rattray (Kaw)...2-1
2. Max Anstie (Yam)...1-2
3. Jimmy Decotis (Hon)...3-3
4. Lance Vincent (Hon)...4-4
5. Chris Gosselaar (Hon)...5-5
6. Vince Friese (Yam)...8-6
7. Topher Ingalls ((Yam)...7-7
8. Tevin Tapia (KTM)...9-8
9. Jake Canada (Kaw)...6-12
10. Myles Tedder (Kaw)...10-9