AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship: Day 2

Ryan Valade

Continuing The Lasco Press coverage of The 36th Annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship presented by Lucas Oil at Loretta Lynn Ranch. Ryan Valade’s second day of action included motos in both classes with the scheduled times shifting to the afternoon.

Loretta Lynn Ranch August 2nd, 2017 3:30 pm

The Senior 40+ class ran in the heat of the day on a very dry track. The grounds crew watered down the start area just prior to the race to keep the dust from obscuring vision. On the first moto of the three race series for each championship, the driver’s pulled a numbered chip for their starting position selection. For the subsequent races, the finishing position in the prior race determines the order in which they choose their starting lane. After finishing 10th in moto one, Ryan had the 10th of 42 picks and selected a lane leading straight to the turn.

On the drop of the starting gate, Ryan got a great hole shot and came towards the first turn in the sixth position. At the end of lap one, he ran in eighth place. He dropped one position on three of the next four laps and entered lap six in 11th place. But, due to his conditioning, Ryan ran consistent lap times in the 2:13 to 2:17 range all race. He gained one position on lap six and one more on lap 10. His ninth place showing was a one position improvement from the previous day.

With two solid runs behind him, Ryan has a solid shot at a top 10 overall. The final race in the class is contested on Friday at 10 am. Allowing Ryan to rest and recharge with a day off on Thursday.

Loretta Lynn Ranch August 2nd, 2017 6:30 pm

For the second day in a row, Ryan will run two races within three hours. The second heat of the Vet 30+ class is the last scheduled event for the day. The threat of rain hung over the track during the late afternoon. During the parade lap for the Vet Class, a bolt of lightning hit nearby and the crack of thunder brought activity to a halt. Riders were sent to the pre-start staging area under cover and the rain started. After a 10 minute delay, the lighting moved out of the area. However, it continued to rain.

Motocross is a rain or dry event, as long as lightning is not in the area. So, the riders were called to the gate in a steady shower. Ryans start was solid and he ran 16th at the end of the first lap. Lap two was strong and consistent with his times earlier in the day. A 2:18 circuit moved him to 14th at the end of lap two.

Trouble on the Track

Then disaster struck. As rain made the track more treacherous, Ryan caught a rut and crashed. He dodged other riders until he was clear to get back on the bike and restart. At the end of lap three, he sat 34th. Another crash on the slick track during lap four dropped him to 36th. Over the next four laps, he fought back to 31st position. But chances for a good three race cumulative finish in this class were gone.

To make matter worse Ryan’s bike came off the track leaking coolant from a cylinder head. There was some concern prior to the race, his crew had to add coolant prior after the second heat in the Senior Class. The mud that caked the radiator during the very first race and the mud encountered in the rainy heat just completed was too much for the head gasket.

When an engine overheats, head gasket failure is a common occurrence. But, better to blow out the gasket than sustain damage to a cylinder head or the engine block. With an open day on Thursday, Ryan took the bike to the Kawasaki repair center. Repairs should be completed by Friday’s final events.