The TPJ Fly Racing team travelled to Blountville, TN to compete at the Tennessee National at Muddy Creek raceway as a part of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series.
The TPJ Fly Racing team had five athletes competing this weekend at Muddy Creek. In the 450 class, we had Dustin Pipes, John Short, Blane Silveira and Michael Docherty. In the 250 class, we had Mason Wharton competing.
Unfortunately, the number would drop to four when Blane Silveira injured his neck in a crash during practice. Initially the Alpinestars team was concerned that Silveira might have broken his neck, but a trip to the hospital confirmed that despite having the symptoms of a broken neck, it was not broken. While this was great news, Silveira was still out for the day.
The remainder of our 450 riders went out during qualifying and laid down great laps. Docherty had the fastest lap time of the 450 B group in qualifying 2, and was followed directly by Dustin Pipes with the second fastest qualifying time.
Overall, John Short qualified 20th, Docherty qualified 25th, and Pipes qualified 28th. Mason Wharton qualified by placing third in the consolation race and going on to the 250 main event.
In the first moto of the 250 class, Wharton went down in a last lap crash that resulted in a shoulder dislocation. This dislocation will put him out for the rest of the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series. We are very disappointed that Wharton’s season has been cut short by bad luck. He showed great progress and was looking better each week. We wish him the best in his recovery and hope he is back on the bike soon.
In the 450 class, Dustin Pipes made his first main event of the 2017 season since coming off a Supercross injury. Pipes would go 34-39 for 34th overall at Muddy Creek.
“Unfortunately I ate something that didn’t agree with my stomach and got sick. I just tried to make it through the motos and not quit.” Pipes said. “It was not the race I was looking for coming back from an injury, but luckily I’ll be at Red Bud to right the ship and get a better result.”
Muddy Creek was Docherty’s second race in the U.S. this season and he went 29-33 for 32nd overall. Docherty will be competing in two more rounds of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series before returning to South Africa, so we are looking forward to seeing what he can do with his last two rounds.
John Short was coming off a hot streak last weekend, and came into Muddy Creek with a lot of determination. Short would qualify 20th overall and would go on to place 15th in the first moto of the 450 class. In the second moto, he was running in 13th and nearing 12th when he was taken out by another rider. The incident caused damage to his bike that cut his race short early.
Short has shown vast improvement during the outdoor season and has the potential to move toward the top ten. Despite our frustration with his luck this weekend, we are thankful that he is not hurt and we hope to have his bike up and running in time for Red Bud next week.
With each weekend, our athletes improve and climb the rungs of the very stacked ladder of athletes racing Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. Their progression would not be possible without the help of our sponsors who give them the necessary tools to improve their game and their machines.
We want to extend a special thank you to DSC Construction who covered the entry fees for our top 20 athletes and Dunlop who provided them with fresh tires.
We also want to thank Karcher Pressure Washers – Muddy Creek lived up to its name this weekend and we were very grateful to have the Karcher pressure washing station on site.
We are en route to Red Bud and looking forward to seeing our athletes take up another opportunity to chip away at the cusp of professional level racing. We hope to see you all there!
WORDS: Anna Glennon