Chad Wienen was again victorious at round four of the 2012 AMA ATV Motocross National Championship. The series returned to his hometown track at Sunset Ridge MX in Walnut, Illinois. Wienen once again swept both motos of the day, making it seven out of the eight moto wins this season and further extending his lead in the championship point standings.
At the last event of the series in Budds Creek, Wienen injured his hand which allowed John Natalie to win, thus breaking Wienen’ impressive win streak. Natalie tried to put a seed of doubt in everyone’s mind that maybe Chad was able to be beat, however, Chad has shown he is the dominant rider as Natalie again gets beat by the privateer.
Motoworks/Can-Am’s Joel Hetrick grabbed the ATVRiders.com Fastest Qualifier Award to kick off the day at Sunset Ridge. Wienen Motorsports//Yamaha’s Chad Wienen kept rolling along like he has all season. Out of the gate for Moto 1, he gapped the field and battled with with Motoworks/Can-Am’s Joel Hetrick throughout the fifteen-lap race. Hetrick never lost site of the leader and although he tried, he could not make up a good passing opportunity so he had to settle for second place.kept Wienen in his sights all day but despite all efforts to take the win, Hetrick wasn’t able to make the pass on Wienen. Motoworks/Can-Am’s John Natalie settled into third and chased the battle of Hetrick and Wienen throughout the moto.
In Moto 2, it was much of the same. Wienen had to chase Thomas Brown for 5 laps before assuming the lead again. The trio following however, Brown, Hetrick and Natalie, made it tough on Wienen to get away. In the end Natalie stuck real close and it was a margin of victory of only one second over Natalie. Third place rider Brown, came across the line two seconds later making it one of the most exciting finishes of the year.
Wienen swept both motos for the overall win, while Natalie went 2-3 for second place and Hetrick took third with a 2-4 score. Thomas Brown put together fourth overall with 7-3 finishes, putting him in fifth place in the championship standings.
As reported at Budds Creek, I don’t think Natalie can make a move on Wienen in the points unless one of two things happen, either Wienen gets hurt and can’t finish the season, or Natalie figures out a way to ride harder and beat the Yamaha rider. I was amused at Natalie’s comments last race but the fact is this guy couldn’t string together championships when the Suzuki factory teams were dominating the series and now Can Am is being bested by a quasi-factory quad being ridden by a factory caliber rider. Good on Wienen, hopefully this is the year he earns his title.
The 2012 AMA ATV Motocross Championship heads to Ballance MX in Oakland, Ky., for round five of the ten-race series. For more information, please visit www.atvmotocross.com.
Photos courtesy of Harlen Foley
AMA Pro ATV Results
- Chad Wienen, Yamaha, (1-1)
- John Natalie, Can-Am, (3-2)
- Joel Hetrick, Can-Am, (2-4)
- Thomas Brown, Yamaha, (7-3)
- Josh Upperman, Honda, (4-5)
- Derek Swartfager, Honda, (6-6)
- Harold Goodman, Honda, (5-7)
- Adam Clark, Honda, (8-8)
- Jeff Rastrelli, Suzuki, (10-9)
- Jesse Barnes, Yamaha (9-11)
AMA ATV Motocross Championship Pro Point Standings
- Chad Wienen, Yamaha – 193
- John Natalie, Can-Am- 170
- Joel Hetrick, Can-Am – 149
- Josh Upperman, Honda – 146
- Thomas Brown, Yamaha – 137
- Derek Swartfager, Honda – 110
- Nick DeNoble, Honda – 97
- Harold Goodman, Honda – 93
- Jeff Rastrelli, Suzuki – 90
- Adam Clark, Honda – 88