National Treasure: The 2010 AMA Outdoor Series as Told by Katie Cyr

Katie Cyrs is an up and coming rider hailing from New England, Connecticut to be exact. She is quite the established pit bike rider, holding two Masters of Mini Championships, however, this summer she has put her main focus on big bikes. Katie had the opportunity to travel to many of the Outdoor rounds this summer to train and race at new tracks as well as support her fellow riders and friends WMX rider Julie Parizek and Lites rider Billy Ainsworth. None of this would be possible without the help of their driver, none other than Katie’s dedicated father.
Katie has agreed to report on all of the Nationals that she attends as well as submit photos and journal entries describing her trip and her own racing. Below is her report from Freestone, the second AMA Outdoor round, which took place in Wortham, TX just this past weekend.

As we left Southern California last week, I asked myself, “what’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Texas?”. Hmm, well, that’s easy…Heat, and humidity. How about football and cowboy hats? I was definitely right about the heat part. It was excruciating. We arrived in Texas last Monday, and we started riding right away on Wednesday. Because the tracks are so spread out in Texas, we spent two days at the 3 Palms Facility in Conroe, TX. What an awesome place!
The facility had a main motocross “extreme” track, a river track that was mostly sand, a GP style track, 2 children’s tracks, a pit bike track, and a single trail woods loop that must have been at least a mile and a half long! Also on the property are two large ponds. One is for swimming/jet skis while the other is for wakeboarding. On top of all that, there was an impressive freestyle compound where guys were busting out big air with some awesome tricks. Rumor had it that a few days prior to our arrival, one guy landed a front flip twice while riding there. Pretty cool!

My favorite tracks at 3 Palms were the “extreme” track, and the GP track. I prefer more technical tracks like the “extreme” track. The GP track had you pinned all the time as it was pretty wide open. Temperatures were just under 100 degrees both days, with a high percentage of humidity. It was great training for the upcoming event at Freestone. Julie Parizek and I felt well acclimated and ready to go!
After riding on Wednesday and Thursday, we had to head to Freestone to get situated in the pro pits. There was bike work to be done for Julie, to get her ready for the 2nd round of the WMX Series. Friday was a pretty relaxing day as we hung out around the pits with a few other racers. We had a good time despite the high temperatures. When Saturday morning finally rolled around, practice and timed qualifying started early so the racing could get underway by noon.

The biggest talk of the weekend was definitely the heat and how it was going to come into play with the 30 minute plus two lap motos that the Men’s Pro class was running. That’s an extremely long time to stay hydrated with their bodies working as hard as they do. The MX Sports officials even stated in the riders meeting, “Any riders who require rehydration through an IV after the 1st round of motos will NOT be allowed to go back out for the 2nd half”. I heard many different opinions about this rule. Some say it should be allowed so riders could be 100%, while others say they should be able to handle the heat.
Once again, the 450 class was to race first, before both the Lites class and the WMX class. After the 2010 Supercross season came to a close, it became familiar to see the #5 ride of Ryan Dungey out front. However, after the first stop of the AMA Outdoor Series at Hangtown, he had left everyone wondering, “Where did the Dungey we came to know disappear to?” Ryan quickly rebounded this weekend at Freestone, with back to back moto wins and the overall for the day. In the second overall spot, with consistent 2-3 moto scores, was none other than defending Outdoor champ Chad Reed. The biggest surprise of the weekend was the rider who took the third spot on the podium – Texas’ own Kyle Regal, who finished the day with 6-2 moto scores. Kyle even passed the #1 of Reed not once, but twice during the second moto. Way to go, Kyle!
The Lites class was next and unleashed many surprises this weekend. After the first moto, it was Monster Energy/Pro Circuit’s Christophe Pourcel who took the win. Rookie and Hangtown winner Eli Tomac of Geico Powersports/Honda would finish in second, while Monster Energy/Pro Circuit’s Dean Wilson rounded out the top 3. The second moto brought a new lineup as Tomac had a comfortable lead at the halfway point. Pourcel was uncharacteristically outside the top 3, while Wilson was running at a comfortable pace behind Tomac. Tomac ended up going down, allowing Wilson to move into the number one spot followed by Tyla Rattray and Broc Tickle.
As the last lap rolled around, Dean Wilson had apparently misread his pitboard. Thinking he had almost a 55 second lead, he let himself slow down the pace a little. Just inches before the finish line at the checkered flag, both Tyla Rattray and Broc Tickle moved around Wilson, robbing him of his first overall Outdoor win. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki, however, still managed to sweep the podium, with Pourcel taking the overall. Following Pourcel, it was Tyla Rattray in second and Dean Wilson in third.
The WMX class brought an all too familiar story to Freestone. Jessica Patterson has been a woman on a mission. She had a flawless day with impressive back to back moto wins as well as the overall. Ashley Fiolek just couldn’t seem to find the same pace and finished with a pair of second place moto scores, taking second overall. Finishing third with a 3-3 score was the number 18 ride of Tarah Geiger. Another notable finish was the number 6 Moto Concepts Yamaha of Vicki Golden, ending her day with a very consistent 4th place. Awesome ride Vicki! Elizabeth Bash had a bad crash in the sand whoops, and I’m not sure the extent of her injuries, if any.
The high Texas temperatures definitely took a toll on the racers at Freestone. Most of the semis had inflatable pools sets up for their riders. Hydration was the key to surviving during the motos, and most riders did well!
As my Sunday began, we saw temperatures that were even hotter than Saturday, and I knew that I was going to be in for a real treat! I had never raced in that kind of humidity and heat, but I felt that I was pretty well prepared. My Dad kept bugging me to keep drinking and I must have drunk five gallons of water over the weekend! I entered the Women’s Intermediate class, as well as the 250 C. Unfortunately I had to go to the LCQ for the 250 C class. I only used it as track time, however, to find lines for my second Women’s class, due to the scheduled back-to-back motos.
My first Women’s moto went well as I finished 5th and really had a blast on the track. The second moto brought some dusty conditions which made it difficult to see. I felt that I rode a lot better, but still finished fifth and took fifth place overall. I had sat in sixth for most of the moto, until I passed one girl on the last lap. I wasn’t going to get off that track until I passed her!
I’m glad to head out of Texas. It’s way too hot here! We’re now on our way to Colorado. We’re going to try to ride a lot to get used to the elevation. Unfortunately, that means we’re going to have to play with jetting, which my Dad hasn’t ever done before! Wish us luck!
-Katie Cyrs