Champions Crowned at Loretta Lynn’s
2020 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship
Story and photos Shan Moore
Hurricane Mills, TN (August 3-8, 2020 – The 39th edition of the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship wrapped up five days of racing on August 8th with the crowning AMA National No. 1 Champions in 19 different classes.
After winning four of his six motos, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Stilez Robertson claimed this year’s coveted AMA Nicky Hayden Amateur Horizon Award based on his performance in the Pro Sport classes. Overall, Robertson went 2-1-1 to win the 250 Pro Sport class and 1-2-1 to win the Open Pro Sport division. Despite having four moto wins in six races, his most impressive performance may have been his runner-up finish in the second Open Pro Sport moto, working his way through a talented field after a poor start to end up two lengths short of Yamaha/Rock River/bLU cRU Amateur Motocross Team rider Mason Gonzales at the finish.
Both Robertson and Gonzales confirmed they will be competing in the Pro race at Loretta Lynn’s next weekend.
BarX/Chaparral/Suzuki’s Dilan Schwartz finished out the week with second overall in the 250 Pro Sports Championship and third in the Open Pro Sports Championship, swapping places in each class championship standings with Gonzalez. Schwartz was third in the final Open moto, despite hurting his back during the race.
Another spectacular performance during the week came from Rock River Yamaha’s Levi Kitchen, who swept the 250 B Limited class, parlaying great starts into a 1-1-1 moto tally to beat out the 2-3-2 of KTM’s Daxton Bennick, who was second despite breaking his collarbone two weeks before the race, and the 4-2-5 of Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing’s Matt Leblanc, Deep South Kawasaki’s Luca Marsalisi.
In the 450 B class Limited class, Kitchen topped SmarTop/Bullfrog Spas/MotoConcepts/Honda’s Luke Kalaitzian and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Luke Lassiter.
Monster Energy Team Green Kawasaki’s Ryder DiFrancesco went six for six in motos to claim his eighth-career Loretta Lynn’s Championship.
A foursome of fast riders kept the pressure on DiFrancesco all week, including Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Evan Ferry, KTM’s Benjamin Garib of Chile, Monster Energy Team Green Kawasaki’s Gavin Towers and KTM’s Jayden Clough; however, the Bakersfield, California rider never buckled.
TLD Red Bull KTM’s Nate Thrasher ran away with the final moto of the 250 B class, but it was Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Matt LeBlanc who walked away with the title, turning a 1-2-5 into a Loretta Lynn’s championship. Thrasher ended the day in second overall with a 9-1-1 tally, and perhaps missed out on a national championship when he tangled with a lapper at the end of moto one. Meanwhile, Monster Energy Team Green Kawasaki’s Chance Hymas went 2-5-4 for third overall.
TLD Rad Bull KTM’s Maximus Vohland came into Loretta Lynn’s with the goal of sweeping all six of his moto, and the TLD Red Bull KTM did just that, taking three moto wins in the 125cc (12-17) B/C class and three moto wins in the Schoolboy 1 (12-17) B/C class.
Second overall in the 125cc class went to KTM’s Gage Linville, with a 2-2-2, while third went to Rock River Yamaha’s Larry Reyes Jr with a 3-4-4 moto tally.
Second and third in the Schoolboy 1 (12-17) B/C went to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Talon Hawkins and Reyes, respectively.
Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha’s Matt LeBlanc ruled the B classes, going 3-1-1 to win the 450 B division and 1-2-5 to win the 250 B class. The B classes were stacked, with Nate Thrasher and Monster Energy Team Green Kawasaki’s Chance Hymas finishing second and third in the 250 division, and Luke Kalaitzian and KTM’s Matthew Curler finishing second and third in the 450 division.
Haiden Deegan was another rider with a hot hand at Loretta Lynn’s. The KTM Orange Brigade rider swept all motos in both the Mini Sr. 1 and Mini Sr. 2 classes, going 6-0 to win a pair of titles. Deegan dominated the Mini Sr 2 class, winning the final moto by a 19-second margin over Monster Energy Kawasaki Team Green’s Krystian Janik and Triangle Cycles/bLU cRU/Yamaha’s Logan Best. Best finished the day in second, while Janik settled for third. Deegan offered up more of the same in the Mini Sr 1 class, taking the third and final moto on Friday by 18 seconds over Best. KTM’s Landin Pepperd was third.
This year marked the a historic first for Loretta Lynn’s; the debut of the Mini-E Jr. division AMA National Championship; the electric motorcycle class in the history of the Loretta Lynn AMA Amateur National Championships.
Oklahoman Kade Nightingale turned in a 1-1-2 score on his KTM to win the first-ever title in the new division. Nightingale easily won the first two motos, but had to give way to Jaydin Smart, who won the third and final moto by a nine-second margin. Smart finished second overall with a 2-2-1 score, while Georgia’s Anderson Waldele was third on a KTM with a score of 7-3-3.
Other winners included Yamaha-mounted Brandon Scharer, who topped the Jonior 25+ division with a 2-1-1 finish; test rider Kris Keefer (Yam), who went 1-1-2 to claim the title in the Senior 40+ class; and OrangeBrigade KTM’s Luke Fauser, who squeezed the 85cc (10-12) championship out of a 2-3-2 moto tally.
Team Babbitt’s Team Green Kawasaki’s Jordan Jarvis dominated the Women’s division by winning all three motos. KTM’s Tayler Allred finished second at 3-2-2, while multi-time GNCC champion Tayla Jones was third on a Rockstar Energy Husqvarna with a 6-3-4 finish.