Chino, Calif. - August 21, 2009 - After last year's fantastic season, many were wondering if the Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki/Yoshimura team, led by defending champion Dustin Wimmer (#1) and veteran rider Doug Gust (#55), would be able to put in another championship winning performance in the 2009 AMA Pro Moose Racing/ITP Tires ATV MX Series. The competition would be as strong - if not stronger - than it was in 2008, and there were some new faces determined to stand at the top step of the podium. But after the final checkered flag of the 2009 season, it was Dustin Wimmer holding his second consecutive championship plate in the air.
The season began on March 7th and started off just as it had the year before, with Dustin Wimmer on top. Wimmer, aboard his trusted QuadRacer R450, stormed to the overall win at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California. Teammate Doug Gust, however, had a much more difficult time. After a first-turn pileup, Gust managed to finish the day in 8th overall.
Round two of the series landed in Pell City, Alabama, home of Mill Creek Raceway, on March 20th. Wimmer, proving early on that he was going to be the man to beat, decimated the field in both motos, going 1-1 for the overall victory. Gust, however, was once again the victim of a first-turn incident, but the veteran rider rode hard to secure a respectable 6th overall.
On April 4th, the Ballance Moto X track in Bowling Green, Kentucky played host to round three of the series. Wimmer appeared to be an early favorite by setting blazing fast lap times in practice and qualifying, but the defending champ couldn't find his rhythm. He secured his third straight podium finished of the season, however, with a 3-3 finish, good enough for third overall. Gust had a problematic weekend, as he was only able to finish tenth overall.
April 17th saw Dustin Wimmer return to the top step of the podium at the Birch Creek Motorsports Facility in Danville, Virginia. After two drawn out battles, Wimmer claimed his third win of the season with 2-1 moto scores. Gust put in a strong come from behind ride and finished the weekend seventh overall.
Wimmer's championship hopes seemed to suffer serious blow on May 2nd. It was round five of the series at the Sunset Ridge Motocross Park in Walnut, Illinois, and the series points leader was sitting at home, nursing a dislocated shoulder. Doug Gust took over for his teammate, though, putting the Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki/Yoshimura QuadRacer R450 on the podium with 4 - 6 moto finishes for third overall.
In a display of heart and determination to win a second title, Dustin Wimmer surprised everyone when he showed up to race at Steel City on May 23rd in Delmont, Pennsylvania. Though he hadn't been able to train and his stamina was low, the Pennsylvania native put in two gritty rides to finish 8th overall, but most importantly, kept himself alive in the championship hunt. Gust put in a consistent top five finish with fourth overall.
Round seven took place at the daunting Unadilla circuit in New Berlin, New York. Wimmer, still riding with an injured shoulder, put in two safe and steady rides to secure 6th place overall, keeping himself close to the top of the points standings. Teammate Gust rode two great races and finished a fantastic second place.
June 27th marked Dustin Wimmer's return to the podium at Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tennessee. Though he was recovering from shoulder surgery, Wimmer wasn't about to let that hold him back. After an eleventh place start in the first moto, he cut through the field with unmatched speed, taking the win on the last lap. In the second moto, he made it look easy, checking out at the front on his way to a crushing 1-1 performance. Gust, meanwhile, backed up his podium finishes from the previous races and second place overall.
The Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki/Yoshimura duo weren't about to stop their display of dominance when the series hit Pleasure Valley Raceway in Armagh, Pennsylvania on July 17th. Wimmer added two more moto victories and another first overall to his tally, while Gust followed the defending champ home to another second overall.
Wimmer was relentless at Red Bud Track N Trail in Buchanan, Michigan, site of the penultimate round on August 1st. The competition was fierce and Wimmer was under intense pressure in both motos, but he never cracked, riding off to another stunning 1-1 overall victory. It was another top five overall for Doug Gust, as well, with the veteran rider taking fourth overall.
It was now August 15th and the series was at Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. Wimmer needed only five points in the first moto to put an exclamation point on his incredible season. As the gate dropped, he would not be denied. Riding safely and consistently, the defending champion became a two-time champion, finishing the first moto in fourth. He finished the day fourth overall, one spot ahead of his teammate Doug Gust. As well as winning the 2009 AMA ATV Motocross title, Wimmer, as well as Gust, catapulted Suzuki to their second straight manufacturers title.
The final standings for the 2009 AMA ATV Motocross Series:
1. Dustin Wimmer, Champion, Team Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki/Yoshimura
2. Joe Byrd
3. Chad Wienen
4. Doug Gust, Team Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki/Yoshimura
5. Josh Creamer
Congratulations also go out to Yoshimura-sponsored amateur riders that finished in the top three in their class, including Bobby Ross and Chase Snapp, finishing second and third in the Pro-Am Production class.