Bel-Ray Racing Weekend Preview
Bel-Ray Racing-Weekend Racing Preview – May 18, 2012
For decades, Bel-Ray has supplied professional racers the lubricants they need to perform in competition. They rely on the performance advantages that Bel-Ray offers in order to win. This weekend, Bel-Ray professional teams will be competing in MotoGP in France, Motocross racing in the United States and Brazil and ATV racing in the United States.
The 2012 AMA National Motocross Championship series kicks off this weekend with the 44th running of the FMF Hangtown Motocross Classic from Prairie City OHV Park in Sacramento, California. After 5 months of Supercross racing, the racers will switch their training to the long, grueling motos of outdoor motocross. Widely recognized as one of the most prestigious championships in motocross racing, this series crisscrosses the country from the East to West coast and consists of 12 rounds taking place from May to September.
Bel-Ray’s entries in the 250 class consist of all 4 members of Team Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki. Supercross main event winner Blake Wharton leads the team into the outdoors. Teammates Martin Davalos, Jason Anderson and Hunter Hewitt are also all competing in the class for the team. All 4 have been testing bike set-up since the Supercross series ended 2 weeks ago and will be fully prepared when the gate drops Saturday afternoon.
The 2012 WMX National Championship series will run in conjunction with the AMA National Motocross series at 8 of the 12 AMA rounds. This series will feature the best female racers in the country competing on the same tracks and on the same day as their male counterparts.
For the 2012 season, Bel-Ray and Team Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki have joined forces as sponsors of multi-time WMX Champion Jessica Patterson in her quest to win back the #1 plate she last held following the 2010 season. As one of the premier female motocross racers in the world, Patterson is a sure favorite to contend for race wins each weekend.
Also competing in the WMX class this weekend for Bel-Ray is Fist City MX racer Heather Lockwood. Look for the #54 of Lockwood on the gate at 5 of the 8 WMX rounds this season.
In addition to the professional teams Bel-Ray has competing each week, many of Bel-Ray’s Elite Support Riders will also be attending various rounds of the AMA national series. Riders like Derek Anderson, Dakota Kessler, Ronnie Stewart, Tucker Saye, Lowell Spangler, Anthony Roth, Steve Roman, Tyler Wozney and more compete at many of the events as their schedule permits throughout the season.
You can follow their progress and results all season at Bel-Ray’s racing specific website www.belrayracing.com.
World Motocross Championship
Following a difficult race last weekend in Mexico, the Bel-Ray backed racers in the FIM World Motocross Championship series will compete a bit further south this weekend in Brazil. The Beto Carreiro MX Park is about 100 kilometers north of Florianopolis and is located near the coastline of the country. Following the extremely warm temperature experienced in Mexico, the seasonable temperatures of Brazil are a welcome relief to the riders.
Bel-Ray backed CP377 Monster Energy Pro Circuit rider Christophe Pourcel suffered bad luck last weekend in Guadalajara, Mexico. His first moto result was affected by an altercation with a track marker resulting in a 16th place finish. He rebounded with a strong 4th in moto 2 for a 10th overall. Despite this finish, he is ranked 5th in the overall season standings after four of sixteen scheduled rounds. Teammate Sebastien Pourcel put in 2 consistent moto finishes of 13th and 14th. Following a disastrous round in Italy, where he scored zero points, the Mexican round was a good showing for the Frenchman. He is currently 18th in the overall series' standings coming into the Brazilian round.
In MX2 class racing, Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit rides Tommy Searle and Joel Roelants put in excellent rides under difficult conditions in Mexico. Searle’s 2-2 moto finishes landed him on the podium for the 3rd time this season. Teammate Roelants has had an additional week to recover from his Fermo crash and is looking to improve on last week’s 6-4 moto scores.
After 4 rounds of the series completed, Searle is in 3rd while Roelants is in 4th in the overall series' points standings.
The Bel-Ray supported Power Electronics Aspar team of Aleix Espargaro and Randy De Puniet head to France for the 4th round of the 2012 MotoGP Championship Series. Espargaro is currently the top ranked CRT rider in the series with teammate De Puniet right behind him in the standings. Espargaro spoke about the rivalry between him and his teammate. “I know that beating my teammate Randy in his home race will be very tough, but I think we are making progress this season and we want to keep it going.”
DePuniet is not fully recovered from his Estoril crash, but comes to his home Grand Prix with high hopes. "I was hoping to be feeling better by now, but I am still suffering from the crash at Estoril. My back and ribs are still very painful, but hopefully I can make some improvements over the next couple of days. LeMans is a circuit I always enjoy going to because I have thousands of fans there and it has some great corners, like turn one. Riding in front of this crowd is always a great pleasure. “
Toni Elias will be making his 200th Grand Prix appearance aboard the Bel-Ray backed Mapre Aspar Moto2 machine this weekend in LeMans, France. Two of his ten career wins have taken place at this famous circuit. He spent time during the short break in the series, testing new bike setup in hopes of finding the podium. He spoke about this testing and his 200th Grand Prix prior to this weekend’s event. "I am excited to be competing in my 200th Grand Prix. It has been a great career with some fantastic moments and some not so good. The other day at Albacete I was reminded of the last time I was there as a 14 year old, when I was competing in the Spanish Championship with just my father and we had to do everything ourselves. Back then, I would have signed up instantly for the career I have had and I feel very lucky. The test went well and although I can't say we'll be challenging for podium positions right away, we should definitely be closer. We have been able to rule a few things out and hopefully we can confirm the information at LeMans. We are doing a good job though, that much I know."
Moving up to the Moto2 class from the 125cc class for the 2012 racing season, Nico Terol has been struggling with finding a finishing position within the points. A 16th place finish last race in Portugal was just out of the points but his lap times are less than a second off the pace of the leaders. He spoke about what needed to be done in order to better his performance. "Of the three races so far, Estoril was the most positive. I was lapping just 0.8 seconds off the pace of the winner so we have taken a big step forward and now we have to build on that at Le Mans. A big thing for me is to keep my concentration at the start of the race, which would be helped by a better grid position so that I don't get boxed in. In Moto2, there are a lot more fast riders than there were in 125cc and for that reason, I need to step up my performance levels in the early laps.”
Bankia Aspar is the Bel-Ray supported entry in Moto3 competition. The team of Hector Faubel and Alberto Moncayo come to the 4th round of the 2012 Moto3 World Championship series prepared for action. The legendary LeMans circuit will host the event and the track conditions are sure to be challenging, as the stop and go nature of the layout puts a lot of focus on bike setup with extreme braking and hard acceleration. Faubel looks to LeMans with fond memories while Moncayo sees the circuit as a challenge. Faubel spoke about this memory by saying, "Le Mans is a circuit that holds happy memories for me. I have been on the podium there a few times, but the most special was in the 250cc class in 2009, when I finished second behind Marco Simoncelli, a great rider who is sadly no longer with us, but who we remember fondly." Moncayo had this to say leading up to this weekend race. "My record at Le Mans is not good because I have never been able to get my head around the track. Having said that, there are other circuits where I have traditionally struggled, like Valencia, but in testing with the KALEX, I was fast, so that makes me motivated to get to the circuit and start working hard with the team.”
Sunset Ridge in Walnut, Illinois will host round 4 of the 2012 AMA ATV National Championship this weekend. In addition to the racing event this weekend, many teams and racers will be going “Pink” for Cancer Awareness. Baldwin Motorsports Bel-Ray sponsored Josh Upperman has been the man at the front of the field during several motos thus far this season. His consistent finishes have enabled podium in 3 of the first 6 motos this season. Upperman has had success at this track in the past, winning the race in 2010 with 2-1 moto finishes. Currently 3rd in the points standings, Upperman is looking to repeat that victory this weekend.