Loretta Lynn Ranch, Hurricane Mills, TN — July 30, 2019
Racing began Tuesday at the 38th Annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship presented by Lucas Oil at Loretta Lynn Ranch. The first moto hit the track at 7:30 am. Fenton’s Ryan Valade was racing in the Vet(30+) age group having qualified in the younger class as well as his age group of Senior(40+).
The grueling process of earning an invitation to the AMA Amateur Motorcross National Championship requires riders to compete in an area qualifier, finish in the top 8 to advance to regional qualifying, and again finish in the top 8. Ryan won his regional in the Senior class. So expectations are high.
Vet(30+) Moto 1
Riding on a fresh track is a big advantage if you start near the front. No ruts to deal with, you can carve your own grove around the track. To determine starting positions, riders pull chips in a blind draw. The chip number you select, from 1-42, determines when you can go to the starting gates and select what you believe to be the best starting position to line you up entering the first turn.
Ryan drew chip number 42. A slow start out of the gate compounded the poor starting position and Ryan entered Turn 1 in 35th position. By the end of Lap 1, he was 27th. Moving up to 23rd on Lap 2, then 20th after three circuits of the course. Ryan settled into 18th place until crashing on Lap 7 and dropping three positions.
Finishing 21st was a satisfactory result, considering Ryan was racing against guys 10 years younger. “I’m happy, I had fun out there.”
The moto for his actual age group was set for 3:00 pm, so plenty of time to rest and clean up the bike.
Senior(40+) Moto 1
This is the age group Ryan was really focused on. Competing in 2017 he finished 9th in the country at Loretta Lynn MX. However, another bad draw would make a top finish difficult when facing off against the 41 best riders over 40 years old.
Ryan drew chip 15, perfect! Selecting a gate near the starter’s hut in the center of the track, he had a straight shot to the first corner. A great jump out of the gate placed Ryan near the front of the field, he was 8th after Lap 1.
Riding with solid lap times averaging 2:12, he swapped between 8th and 9th place for the first five laps.
As other riders began to fade, Ryan’s conditioning began to kick in and he finished strong moving up to 6th place at the checkered flag.
Former Professional riders Michael Brown and John Grewe finished 1-2. With Brown dominating from the start, posting sub-two minute laps.
More To Come
Motos at Loretta Lynn’s continue throughout the week. Ryan’s next chance to ride comes Wednesday in the Vet(30+) class with a 2:30 scheduled start. Follow the Lasco Press as we report on Ryan Valade and all the fun at the AMA National Motocross Championship.