Allisports Press Release:
Following 11 rounds of grueling competition on the most challenging and demanding tracks in the country, the 2012 Pro Motocross Championship will come to a dramatic conclusion on Saturday with the inaugural Lake Elsinore National.
The series’ highly-anticipated return to Southern California is signified by the introduction a new home for the Nationals in the heart of the motocross industry. After months of hard work in preparing a layout worthy of challenging the world’s best riders, while also serving as a premier venue for spectator viewing, Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park’s unveiling will ultimately decide which riders will walk away as champion in both the 250 Class and Women’s Motocross Championship. Although the 450 Class title has already been decided, there is still plenty on the line in the search to become the first winner at the brand new Lake Elsinore facility.
Last weekend at Steel City, Ryan Dungey refused to hold back despite capturing his second 450 Class title at the previous round. In two attempts, the newly-crowned champion had never won at the track in the premier class prior to this season. On Saturday, he left little doubt that his motivation to win is as strong as ever, sweeping the motos for the seventh time this season and extending his impressive win streak to nine races.
With one round remaining, Dungey has the opportunity to match the win total from his record-setting rookie season in 2010 when he won his first premier class title. With each respective win this season, Dungey makes history for KTM, which had never captured an overall win in the 450 Class prior to this summer. Additionally, Dungey has not finished worse than third in a single moto this season and has already surpassed the statistical marks he set in 2010 for laps led, average start, and average finish, and needs just 13 points on Saturday to match his total from that season, making his 2012 campaign one of the most statistically dominant in history.
Several riders will be looking to end Dungey’s reign atop the podium, led by Mike Alessi, who has secured the runner-up spot in the championship and returns to his native Southern California. Additionally, perennial front-runners like Andrew Short and Jake Weimer will be in search of their first career motocross victories as they also do battle for the third and final spot on the championship podium.
After a parity-driven season that has witnessed four different overall winners through 11 rounds, the 250 Class title fight will come down to the final pair of motos of the 2012 season. Currently, Blake Baggett has possession of the points lead, and has since the opening round of the season. However, a strong charge in recent weeks by Eli Tomac has brought the pair to within 14 points of one another, with Justin Barcia just 18 points back. Factor in Ken Roczen, who sits 45 points out of the lead, and four riders enter Lake Elsinore with a shot at their first career national title.
Last weekend at Steel City, Tomac put forth one of the most dominant efforts of the season, sweeping the motos to claim his fourth victory of the season and equal the class-leading win total he now shares with Baggett. Tomac has arguably more momentum than anyone heading into Saturday’s race, but all four contenders enter Lake Elsinore on an even playing field, having never raced on the track before.