Rockstar Makita Suzuki newcomer Josh Creamer took his first overall win for the team at the Ballance Moto X in Bowling Green, KY, round two of the ITP Tires/Moose Racing AMA ATV MX Championship presented by Parts Unlimited. Creamer came out on top after two thrilling motos that were filled with fast-paced action. The Suzuki rider took the win over teammate and Defending Champion Dustin Wimmer and Joe Byrd Quad Racing School's Joe Byrd, in optimum track and weather conditions.
Photo by Micheal Roth
"The race went really well," Creamer said. "Practice wasn't that great for me, we were only about top five or six in practice. Once we started racing, I got great holeshots and the Rockstar Makita Suzuki was working fantastic. It had plenty of power, and it was handling was good. The second moto we just checked out. It just worked out really well. I'd like to thank my whole team under the Rockstar Makita Suzuki tent, and Yoshimura and all the sponsors we have. Everything's just going really well this year."
The flowing track showed Motoworks Can-Am's John Natalie at his best, as he started the day by grabbing the $100 ATVriders.com Fastest Qualifier Award, and then followed that up by firing first off the line in moto one to take the $250 MotorcycleUSA.com Holeshot Award. Natalie went on to lead all 15 laps of the moto, finishing less than a second ahead of Creamer, who churned out faster lap times as the race progressed. Creamer ended moto 1 with the fastest lap at 1:38.332. Wimmer, who started the race in 7th, worked his way into 3rd place by the 11th lap to finish 3rd. Motoworks Can-Am's Chad Wienen contested early for the lead, but when his machine started cutting out he faded to finish 6th.
Creamer carried that speed into moto two, where he took a dominant win while Natalie succumbed to mechanical problems in the second lap, after starting the moto strong. Creamer started first to take his third $250 Motorcycle-USA.com holeshot of the season. But Joe Byrd Quad Riding School-backed Joe Byrd moved quickly into the lead, holding on for half the race until Creamer powered in front of him. Creamer was able to check out from there to take the moto and the Overall win. Byrd stayed strong to finish second, with Wienen finishing third. Defending Champion Dustin Wimmer finished fourth.
"The race could have been better, but we had a couple gremlins bite us," Byrd said as he laughed. "My goggles broke in the first moto and I couldn't see, so the first moto was definitely not good to me. The second moto was better. We came out second and then took the lead, and I had a good battle with Creamer but I screwed up and he passed me back. I've had a little cold so I just ran out of juice and he beat me. I'd like to say thanks to all my sponsors and the team for helping me. We are 100 percent privateer this year, and it's taken a little longer to get everything set up. We should be up front and on the podium the rest of the season and give those guys a run for their money."
While Creamer took the Overall win, Wimmer was able to finish second with Byrd in third. Wienen finished fourth overall while Yamaha's Thomas Brown proved consistent with solid 5-5 moto scores.
"I'm pretty unhappy with my day," Wimmer said. "The only reason I'm mad, is that Chad passed me out there on that last lap. Other than that, it was a good weekend. I just need some better starts. Everything was working really well today. I can't really say anything bad or good about anything. I'm going to go back and train and we'll be ready for Birch Creek."
In Pro-Am Production, Kawasaki- mounted Joel Hetrick recovered from his showing at Millcreek to take the first moto over Suzuki rider Chase Snapp in second, and Polaris-backed Casey Martin in third. Hetrick took the newly formed $100 IdolSpeed Holeshot award to start the race.
In the second moto, Snapp nabbed the $100 IdolSpeed holeshot award and continued to lead, contesting for the overall win, but at the midpoint of the race, he crashed and ended up with 6th in second moto. From there, Hetrick was able to clinch the win, with Marc Winchester in second and Casey Martin in third.
Hetrick took the Overall, with Martin in second and Snapp in third.