The 50th running of the Hangtown Motocross Classic kicked off the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season this past weekend.
Motocross is: 12 brutal rounds, 11 beautiful states, 24 hard fought motos; and only the top 40 riders in the world get to participate. In the end 2 Champions will be crowned, their schedules may be the same but their journeys never are.
A typical Motocross race day is made up of the following: one 15 minute practice (of which 5 are free and 10 are timed), one 5 minute start practice, one 15 minute timed practice; and one consolation race for anyone who didn’t qualify 36th or above (only the top 4 will move on). Qualified riders proceed to pound out two 30 minute plus two lap motos while battling not only their opponents but the ever changing track and elements. Let’s take a look at how the TPJ Racing team did at the first National of the season.
Qualifying 18th with an impressive 2.23.678 lap time, Dylan Merriam secured a spot in the main events of the day. Great starts would prove to be his strength as he launched his Yamaha YZ450F off the gate in both motos, and battled with the best to finish the day with a 13th and 15th in motos 1 and 2 respectively. This placed him with a 14th overall for the day, and 14 points in the championship standings.
The Alaskan Assassin, Ben Lamay #907 made his way back to racing after taking some time off to heal up from a crash in the 15th round of the Supercross season. The rest and recovery proved well for Ben, as he rode to a 17th overall finish for the day; starting his season with 8 crucial points. Lamay fought his way through the pack in both motos, crossing the finish line in 16th and 18th place in motos 1 & 2.
Carson Tickle made his TPJ Racing debut aboard his KTM 450SX-F, qualifying 32nd and finishing out his day 33rd overall; with a 37th and 30th place finish in the two motos. We look forward to seeing how the rest of the season turns out for Carson.
Jimmy Weeks #700 rode his Yamaha YZ250F to a 33rd gate pick/qualifying spot for the day. Back of the pack starts created pressure for Jimmy as he had to fight his way past other riders to secure a 36th overall finish for the day. Weeks went 32/32 in both motos. Jimmy’s goal this season is to score points with top 20 finishes. You’ve got this JW.
Mason Wharton #767 dusted off the racing cobwebs and made his way to Hangtown MX with hopes of making the show and standing out amongst the crowd. An unfortunate crash during the 250 consolation race would cause Mason to place 8th overall, and eliminate him from the days competition. A quick talk with team owner Ted Parks had Mason smiling again realizing that he accomplished a lot that day and could take what he learned to Glen Helen this coming weekend.
As the TPJ Racing trucks head south for round 2 at Glen Helen this coming weekend, our riders will spend their week training on and off the bike in hopes of placing even higher on the leader board this Saturday.
The TPJ Racing team would like to thank all of their incredible sponsors for backing our riders and making dreams come true. FLY Racing, Karcher Presure Washers, Lucas Oil, Boyce Excavating, Carl’s Cycle Sales, AllClear ID, Engine Ice, DSC Construction, Cometic Gaskets, Vertex, Hot Cams, Rekluse, Scott, Acerbis, Motool, Yoshimura, Mika, DT1 Filters, Magik Graphics, Galpher, Cylinder works, Bolt, MotoSeat, Pirelli Tires, Tokyo Mods, VP Racing Fuel, No Toil, and California Coast Plumbers, inc.
Glen Helen, here we come! We hope to see you all there.
Words by: Kendra Keene