Monster Energy Kawasaki's Chad Reed jumped out of the gate early and won the first moto of the season and then came from mid-pack in the second moto to take the overall win at Hangtown. His teammate Nick Wey went 18-18 for 19th overall. In the 250 class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Christophe Pourcel also went 1-3 in the motos, but the French rider earned second overall. Jake Weimer went 4-8 for fourth overall, Dean Wilson finished sixth overall after going 10-4 and Tyla Rattray went 8-16 for 11th overall. In the WMX class, Monster Energy Kawasaki's Sara Price battled a shoulder injury to finish 6-17 and 11th overall.
Back on Top
After missing most of the supercross series due to injury, Reed started the outdoor season off on the right foot grabbing the holeshot in the first moto and never looking back as he led wire-to-wire.
"Getting out front was key today," said Reed. "I'm glad I was able to get the win for Monster Energy Kawasaki. We started testing our outdoor bike last month and it feels great. This championship is very important to me and starting off with a win is what I needed to do."
Pourcel picked up this outdoor season where he left off last year by winning the first moto at Hangtown. It wasn't an easy victory by any means as Pourcel made a last lap pass to retake the lead. In the second moto, Pourcel finished third after making a late pass on his teammate, Wilson, to claim second overall.
"The track was difficult today," said Pourcel. "I was riding well up front and then I went down. I wasn't nervous at all; I just did what I needed to get back up to the front. The last lap was fun and it was good to make the pass."
Reed slowly, but steadily, picked his way through the field after getting a mid-pack start in the second moto. The Hangtown track is notoriously hard to make passes on and 2010 was no different. Reed was one of the few riders to make up any serious ground during the moto, moving up to third and earning enough points to take the overall win.
"The second moto was a lot more difficult," said Reed. "This track makes it hard to get by anyone so I knew I had my work cut out for me. I wanted to get the overall win and I knew I needed to get up to third so I pushed to get there."
Weimer entered the outdoor season coming off a successful supercross campaign where he won his first pro championship. The Idaho native rode strong in both races to get fourth overall.
"I feel like I rode better than my results show," said Weimer. "I've been working hard on my outdoor program and I feel really good about it. I need to work on my starts so I can get out front early and not have to worry about finding a way around other riders."
Good Luck Charm
Reed's first AMA win aboard a Kawasaki was also a first for the Reed family as it was the first time Chad has won since his son Tate was born a few weeks ago. Hangtown also marked Tate's first appearance at the race track.
"I have to say my mind wasn't 100% on racing while Ellie was pregnant," said Reed. "She has been with me since I was 18 and not having her at the races was really different. This weekend with both Ellie and Tate here, we were all together and everything felt right."
Wilson made his first AMA pro motocross start at Hangtown and things were looking good for the rookie. He got a good start in the first moto, but went down a couple of times and finished 10th. In the second moto he again came out of the first turn near the front and was able to stay there, even keeping his teammate Pourcel at bay for most of the moto, before settling for fourth.
"I rode tight during the first moto," said Wilson. "I just didn't know what to expect and once I loosened up I was able to find some good lines and stay consistent. In the second moto things went a lot better and I stayed loose all the way through."
Price made her debut under the Monster Energy Kawasaki tent, finishing 11th overall while battling injuries she suffered earlier in the week.
"What an amazing feeling being under the Monster Energy Kawasaki tent at the races," said Price. "Today was tough because of my injuries. I wanted to get as many points as I could. I'm going to take some time to heal and I'll be ready for Freestone in a couple of weeks."
Rattray missed the entire supercross season with injuries, but he returned to the Hangtown track ready to race. Poor starts in both motos forced him to have to make passes on a very tight track.
"I'm going to be working on my starts a lot this week," said Rattray. "It's really difficult to pass at Hangtown and I needed to be closer to the front."
Finding a Way
Wey didn't get a good jump out of the gate in either moto and the tight track made it difficult for him to move up.
"Today didn't go how I thought it would," said Wey. "I need to get better starts and ride a little more aggressive. The bike feels good right now and I looking forward to getting to Texas for the next race."