The racing itself had a sure thing mixed with an upset. The 450 class was the sure thing. Team Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey took both motos even though he didn’t have to. The championship was decided at Southwick on August 28. Dungey took Pala in his usual fashion, following other riders for almost half of each moto before passing the leader and pulling away. In the first moto it was Honda’s Brett Metcalfe that inherited second after early leader Andrew Short tipped over. In the second moto Metcalfe was actually leading by a big enough margin that he looked like he might threaten Dungey. But he fell, dropping to seventh place. He made a charge through the pack to eventually finish third. Ben Townley was fourth ahead of Kyle Chisholm and Ryan Sipes.
The real drama was in the 250 class, where the championship was to be decided. Monster Pro Circuit’s Christophe Pourcel has led the point tally all season, but all the momentum was behind Geico Honda’s Trey Canard and only seven points separated the two. The whole season boiled down to a single moment in the first moto when Pourcel crashed and dislocated his shoulder. Canard, who had fallen just a few laps earlier, rode by and did a double take when he saw Pourcel on the ground. In the meantime, the race itself was all about Pro Circuit’s Dean Wilson. He got the holeshot and walked away with all the drama happening behind him. Tyla Rattray finished second ahead of Canard, who realized that a championship had just been dropped in his lap. The second moto finished with the same three riders in front, Wilson again leading from flag to flag. Canard’s whole team celebrated as he crossed the finish line in third. Fourth overall went to Hangtown winner Eli Tomac ahead of Justin Barcia.
As for the event itself, it went smoother than many predictions. Traffic was difficult, but not impossible and most spectators said they would be back if the race is scheduled next year.