ATVA GNC MX News
The Hottest Season Ever Gets Even HotterThere is no doubt that 2005 has unveiled the hottest Grand National Championship Motocross Series season ever. Factory Honda- and Suzuki-supported riders continue to fuel the fire of this already hot season with close bar-banging race action. John "Ironman" Natalie headed into round 6 at Budds Creek Motocross Park grasping tightly to the point lead, but his hold was quickly spoiled by Honda teammate Tim Farr. After being bumped off the track by Suzuki's Jeremiah Jones, Natalie aggressively fought to put his Honda 450R back on the podium, but not before encountering a little bumping and grinding with Suzuki's Doug Gust. Unfortunately, a get-off was in store for Natalie near the end of the race when he tapped Farr while gliding over a jump. This would leave Natalie in the dust, handing over his point lead to Farr.
Farr's glory lasted for only a short two-week period as Natalie came to the Red Bud MX determined to wrestle back the lead. Farr's streak of luck was cut short, but things would not be easy for Natalie. He was handed a warning by the ATVA for his rough riding at Budds Creek. The ATVA later transformed this warning into a suspension, but Natalie appealed and was allowed to race. He argued his case before an official ATVA committee, which found him innocent on all charges. "After viewing the video in slow motion, it was an easy decision that took a whole five minutes to make!" Natalie said. "I'm ready to win this championship, even if they had suspended me; it just would have made it a little harder."
At Red Bud, Natalie and Gust put together an exciting but clean battle, exchanging the front spot back and forth. Natalie emerged victorious, securing the point lead even as he set up for a new winning streak by topping the podium at round 8 at Muddy Creek Raceway.
Although the season is more than half over and Natalie commands a 23-point lead, it is still not very clear who will win this season's championship. A side note of interest: The top four point leaders are all factory riders-a sign that healthy manufacturer involvement is back.
|Point Standings |
|1. John Natalie/Honda ||189 |
|2. Doug Gust/Suzuki ||166 |
|3. Tim Farr/Honda ||160 |
|4. Jeremiah Jones/Suzuki ||136 |
|5. Travis Spader/Yamaha ||115 |
|After 8 of 12 rounds |
Eichner in Front Again
Not so long ago, the World Off Road Championship Series (WORCS) was lucky to draw in 20 ATV racers at an event. That was then, and now with several years of increasing momentum, the series has larger crowds and strong competition.
Duncan Racing's Doug Eichner, who has dominated the series since its inception, got off to a rocky start this year. This opened the door for Josh Frederick to capture the point lead. Now four rounds later, Eichner has finally returned to the top position after some intense riding and a bout of bad luck for Frederick. A dislocated battery cable at the fourth round in Taft, California, toppled Frederick from the lead. A member of the winning Baja 500 team, Frederick has shown his winner's mettle and is sure to bring that intensity to the WORCS races. The rest of the season promises to be exciting and full of action-packed battles-perfect for the fan-friendly WORCS format