REFLECTIONS OF THE PAST: 2009 BUDDS CREEK NATIONAL
By John Basher
August 22, 2009–the date when Chad Reed collected his one and only 450 National Championship. Riding for Rockstar Makita Suzuki, Reed finished no worse than than seventh in a moto up until he clinched the outdoor title at Budds Creek. As the series reached the waning stages, Chad tightened his grip on the points standings. From Red Bud to Budds Creek he won seven motos out of ten.
That was also the year Ryan Villopoto rocketed away from everyone at the Glen Helen opener to go 1-1. The following weekend he blew out his knee at Hangtown. That was it for his season. Then came Mike Alessi, who led the points up until he broke his knee at High Point during practice. Reed took over from there. There were bright spots for some riders, like Ivan Tedesco going 1-1 at Thunder Valley and Josh Grant winning Red Bud, but it was Chad Reed’s summer.
In the 250 class, Ryan Dungey and Christophe Pourcel were swapping the points lead back and forth. As soon as one would get an advantage, it seemed like disaster would befall that rider. Pourcel was the better rider at Budds Creek, finishing second overall to Dungey’s third, but in the end Ryan won the 250 National crown. The big surprise at Budds Creek was Jake Weimer, who went 2-1 for the overall. At that time riding for the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team, Weimer wasn’t known for his outdoor prowess. However, Jake did well in the relatively dry first moto at Budds Creek and excelled in the second moto deluge. Just how bad was it raining in Mechanicsville, Maryland on that late summer day? The retaining pond in the middle of the track overflowed, causing water to run onto the track. Disastrous conditions resulted in the AMA shortening the second 250 moto to nine laps. Weimer slogged his way past Brett Metcalfe for the lead on the last lap.
Take a look back at the 2009 Budds Creek National through the photos below, along with a recap video at the bottom.
Okay, here goes…how many 450 riders can you name in this photo? That’s Dan Reardon (122) leading Tyler Bowers (911), Jeff Alessi (801), Andrew Short (29), Jake Moss (42), Davi Millsaps (18), Jase Lewis (99), Antonio Balbi (37), Christian Craig (578), Justin Sipes (71), Charles Ellis (581), Jimmy Albertson (47), Tim Ferry (15) and Les Smith (908). Davi Millsaps just clinched his first CMRC Canadian National title, but in 2009 he was a young prospect on factory Honda. Davi won the first moto at Budds Creek and finished sixth in the second moto for second overall. Not only did Chad Reed win the Budds Creek overall, but he clinched the 2009 AMA 450 National title two rounds early. Reed’s closest foe, Andrew Short, had an off-day at Budds Creek, and Chad executed perfectly in the challenging conditions. Do you remember this guy? That’s Jason Lawrence, who had a privateer deal with Boost Mobile/Monster Energy. Was this the year J-Law went off the track, rode a lap around the Budds Creek Supercross track, and then re-entered the National course? It was hard to keep track of his antics. Dan Reardon went from hero to zero when he was bumped offline heading into the first turn and tucked the front end. Tim Ferry, riding for Monster Energy Kawasaki, went 9-8 for seventh overall. “Red Dog” was plagued by injuries that year. Chad Reed celebrated his 2009 450 National Championship. He had probably already signed with Monster Energy Kawasaki for the 2010 season when this photo was taken. Brett Metcalfe (24) jumped out to a great start in the second moto, leading Tommy Searle (123), Austin Stroupe (981), Christophe Pourcel (377) and the rest of the 250 pack. A young Justin Barcia went 4-7 for fourth overall. Ryan Sipes is probably best known for becoming the first American to win the ISDE overall, but he had a solid motocross career. Jake Weimer won the Thunder Valley National earlier on in the 2009 National series. Winning the overall at Budds Creek was icing on the cake. Tyla Rattray was Mitch Payton’s top prospect for the 250 Nationals in 2009. Rattray came over from Europe, but injuries held him back. Christophe Pourcel flew in style over the Budds Creek finish line jump. He went 1-3 on the day for second overall. His world would come crashing down a weekend later at Southwick, when his bike expired in the first moto and he crashed in the second. His points lead over Ryan Dungey turned into a big hole. Ryan Dungey held on in the mud to finish third overall at Budds Creek, and then struck while the iron was hot the next round at Southwick. The 250 riders had difficulty navigating down “Henry Hill.” Note the standing water in the bottom right corner of this photo. What you’re looking at is the straightaway going towards the mechanic’s area. The Parts Unlimited hay bale is the inside of the first turn. This photo of Brett Metcalfe (24) leading Jake Weimer (19) was taken on the last lap of the second moto just after the finish line jump. Weimer went on to pass Metcalfe for the moto win and overall.