A true icon in American Motocross, the RedBud National in Buchanan, Michigan has hosted Fourth of July weekend for as long as most can remember, and is no doubt among the most celebrated events on the 12-race schedule (8 for the WMX series) by riders and fans alike.
True to form, the Michigan motocross faithful came out in droves to cheer on their heroes on Saturday afternoon despite grueling temperatures in the high 90s and high humidity, and Red Bull’s own Ashley Fiolek gave them all a show. She dominated the day from start to finish with impressive 1-1 moto scores to take her second overall win of the series.
In the 450 class, Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi put a mediocre first moto behind him to battle back for a solid fourth in moto two, securing a confidence-inspiring fifth overall when the final results were tallied.
Read on for more details from round number six at the famed RedBud National…
The Perfect Day
In the midst of a tight championship battle, nothing feels finer than a dominant performance in some of the most challenging conditions of the series, and that’s exactly what Ashley Fiolek served up on her factory Honda at RedBud on Saturday.
Though loved by the majority of the riders on tour, the RedBud circuit can be brutal and unforgiving thanks to rutted, choppy terrain and hot and humid conditions, but Fiolek triumphed and proved once again why she is one of the top female MXers in the world by dominating the WMX action.
Starting with practice, Fiolek laid down the quickest laps in both timed qualifying sessions, and then went on to holeshot and lead every lap of both motos to take the overall win in convincing fashion, extending her championship points lead to eight over series rival Jessica Patterson (RedBud’s second-place finisher).
Behind Fiolek and Patterson, TLD/Red Bull/Honda’s Tarah Gieger battled to impressive 3-3 moto scores to finish the day in third overall.
REDBUD WMX OVERALL RESULTS
1. Ashley Fiolek (1-1)
2. Jessica Patterson (2-2)
3. Tarah Gieger (3-3)
4. Vicki Golden (4-4)
5. Sayaka Kaneshiro (6-6)
6. Jacqueline Strong (5-7)
7. Marissa Markelon (9-5)
8. Kasie Creson (8-8)
9. Lindsey Palmer (7-10)
10. Jackie Ives (10-11)
Alessi Digs Deep For A Top-Five
The 450 class has been anything but predictable in 2011, as the first six rounds have delivered three different overall winners and a variety of faces upon the podium. Like in any racing series, however, consistency is key to success, and Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi delivered the goods to secure a solid top-five finish despite a first moto filled with adversity.
After rounding lap number one of the first moto in the 17th spot, Alessi put his head down and charged his way forward to a respectable eighth place by moto’s end. In Moto #2, a great jump out of the gate paved the way to a much better result, as the number 800 circulated in the third spot for the first half of the race before eventually being displaced by championship points leader Chad Reed. Alessi held tough to finish the moto in fourth, resulting in a solid top-five overall finish when all was said and done.
“It was tough out there today for sure,” Alessi commented after the race. “I used up a lot of energy in moto one to get up into the top ten, so I had a hard time fending off Chad [Reed] in the second moto. I know I’ve got the speed to compete for a win, but you have to put together a good start and can’t make mistakes if you want to give yourself a chance to come out on top.”
Behind Alessi, who ended the day in fifth overall, Red Bull KTM teammate Andrew Short threw down for a solid seventh overall finish, and TLD/Red Bull/Honda’s Christian Craig rounded out the top ten with 10-10 moto finishes.
REDBUD 450 MOTOCROSS OVERALL RESULTS
1. Chad Reed (1-3)
2. Ryan Dungey (2-2)
3. Ryan Villopoto (9-1)
4. Brett Metcalfe (4-5)
5. Mike Alessi (8-4)
6. Justin Brayton (5-7)
7. Andrew Short (6-8)
8. Davi Millsaps (3-13)
9. Kevin Windham (12-6)
10. Christian Craig (10-10)
The 2011 AMA Pro Motocross Championship series takes a break next weekend, but stay tuned for the July 16th return in Milleville, Minnesota for the Spring Creek National.
Follow Red Bull on Twitter for more news, updates and exclusive info.