Loretta Lynn Ranch, Hurricane Mills, TN — August 1, 2019
Wednesday, July 31st was brutally hot at the 38th Annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship presented by Lucas Oil at Loretta Lynn Ranch. In addition to the heat, humidity hung in the air like a damp towel. By the time riders report to the staging area behind the starting gates and the bar drops to start the moto, as much as an hour to an hour and a half can pass.
That’s a long time to sweat it out, stand holding your bike, and mentally prepare for the race. Dehydration is a serious concern for motocross riders. After the time spent in the heat pre-race, the physical exertion of the ride further drains fluid from your body.
Vet(30+) Moto 2 (Wednesday Afternoon)
Ryan Valade’s Vet(30+) Moto 2 was set for 2:30 in the afternoon. With the sun beating down riders had to wait some extra time for their moto to start, as track crews worked over the first corner and wet-down the dusty track.
Ryan used the 21st gate selection to start from a spot pointing directly at Turn 1. A great start had him in the top 10 around the opening corner.
His lap of 1:57.233 was the first time he had broken the two minute barrier in a race. Running average lap times of 2:10 Ryan settled into 15th place, his stated goal for the younger class of riders he was competing against.
By lap 5, Ryan was feeling the effects of the sun, heat, and humidity. Realizing that pushing thru the remaining laps would heighten the possibility of an injury, Ryan made the smart move to back off and save energy for his main class, the Senior(40+) age group.
Senior(40+) Moto 2 (Thursday Morning)
Due to the complexity of the schedule at the AMA National Motocross Championship, Ryans 2nd moto in his age group did not run until Thursday, August 1st, at 9:30 am. With an early morning starting time, the sun had yet to burn off the overcast from the previous evening. While the humidity was still on the high side, temperatures were almost pleasant.
After recovering from the previous day’s exertion, Ryan concentrated on hydrating and muscle massage to loosen and relax his upper body. Yesterday’s moto was essentially a practice for the Senior event he was focused on for the week. It paid off big.
Ryan exploded from the starting gate for his best holeshot of the week. Second, only to Michael Brown around the first corner, Ryan posted his best lap of the week. A time of 1:52.420 placed him 4th after Lap 1. He continued running average lap times in the 2:10 range, faster than his 1st Senior Moto.
Settling into 6th Ryan made another solid, mistake-free, run. Getting bumped into 7th place in the final laps. He sits 6th, overall with a good margin over his closest pursuer.
There is some controversy about the professional riders retiring and being immediately eligible to compete with the amateurs at Loretta Lynn. Ryan shakes that off, “It is what it is, you want to compete against the best to test your abilities. I don’t get involved in that discussion, rather concentrate on having fun and doing my best.
Michael Brown, the former professional, again won the 40+ age group moto. He lapped all but 11 riders in the 42 man field. John Grewe took the follow-up spot for the 2nd time. The pair have all but locked up the top 2 spots, barring an injury or mechanical failure in Moto 3 Saturday Morning.
More To Come
With the schedule Ryan is on for the two classes, the Vet(30+) runs Friday at 10:00 am. We will wait and see how Ryan approaches that ride His final moto for his 40+ age group starts off Saturday’s action at 7:30 am. Follow the Lasco Press as we continue to report on Ryan Valade and all the fun at the AMA National Motocross Championship.