Professional rider on closed course competition.

Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Byrne 2nd, Suzuki’s Cooper 3rd at Unadilla MX

July 20, 2008

Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing’s Michael Byrne enjoyed his best result of the 2008 AMA Motocross season after bringing home a second-place finish at Unadilla Valley Sports Center in New Berlin, New York, on Sunday afternoon. Byrne raced his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 to secondand third-place moto finishes to get his second overall podium of the season. Suzuki City/OTSFF/Rockstar Suzuki’s Cody Cooper joined Byrne on the box, picking up his first Pro MX podium. The satellite team rider posted fifth- and second-place moto finishes to bring home the final podium spot. Byrne is currently in fourth place overall in the championship points standings, while Cooper is in eighth place. Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mike Alessi is currently recovering from a recent crash at Red Bud and did not race.

In the Motocross Lites class, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey celebrated his fifth podium of the season after carding two second-place moto finishes for second overall. Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Nico Izzi brought home eighth- and fifth-place moto finishes for a fourth-place overall result. Dungey is currently in second place overall in the championship, while Izzi is in fifth place.

Michael Byrne:
“Unadilla is a track I’ve always enjoyed. The layout’s similar to what I’ve grown up with – not the rocks and the soil, but the layout of the track is like what I raced growing up. The track made a few changes this year and I liked them a lot. In the first moto, I got a really good start -- the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 is working really good right now and the team is working really hard – I just missed the holeshot but I was right there in second. I heard there was a pretty good battle behind me but I just tried to keep my head down and ride as hard as I could. I got second in that moto and I was pretty pumped. Then, it started raining really hard and I’m not really a fan of the rain. I didn’t get the best start, though I was able to work my way up. Luckily for me, I’d gone with intermediate tires and that paid out for me. In the end, I could barely see but I managed to get into third and I just tried to survive until the end.”

Cody Cooper:
“It was good to get my first AMA Motocross podium -- obviously I’m happy with how it went. This is my first year racing here, so I’d never been at Unadilla and in the first moto, I found out how rocky the place was. I got an average start, and hit some rocks and ended up with fifth. I think the rain helped in the second moto because I got a better start in the re-start. I suppose I feel pretty comfortable racing in the rain, but that second re-start helped out a lot. It was quite muddy and definitely if you got a bad start it would have been hard to come through. I managed to see first place the whole race so I’m real happy over that. I’m hoping for another podium, next weekend - only this time without the rain. I know my confidence is up, and I just need to keep working on my starts so I can race with the guys who are at the front.”

Ryan Dungey:
“The race this weekend went pretty good. I got a couple of good starts on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z250 in both motos. The first moto was pretty good and I wound up finishing second. The second moto, I got the holeshot and I was leading for a few laps but then I made some mistakes and finished second. But I had a good time and I’m happy with the race overall.”

Nico Izzi:
“It was a pretty good weekend. We were expecting a lot of rain and it held off for a while. We were able to get in a good first moto and the track was pretty dry and in good condition. I didn’t get the best start – I was like in 17th and I worked my way up into eighth. Then in the second moto, I got a good start but it started to rain and they red-flagged it because of thunder and lightning. In the restart, I got another good start on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z250 and got up into fourth place. But my goggles got messed up and I couldn’t see and I ended up getting fifth, which got me fourth overall.”

AMA Motocross Top 10 (Moto Finishes)
1. James Stewart, Kawasaki, 1-1
2. Michael Byrne, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing, 2-3
3. Cody Cooper, Suzuki, 5-2
4. Timmy Ferry, Kawasaki, 3-6
5. Antonio Balbi, Honda, 8-4
6. Sean Hamblin, Yamaha, 7-7
7. Andrew Short, Honda, 4-14
8. Josh Hill, Yamaha, 14-5
9. Jimmy Albertson, Honda, 12-10
10. Nick Wey, KTM, 10-12

AMA Motocross Lites Top 10 (Moto Finishes):
1. Ryan Villopoto, Kawasaki, 1-1
2. Ryan Dungey, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing, 2-2
3. Brett Metcalfe, Kawasaki, 6-4
4. Nico Izzi, Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing, 8-5
5. Josh Grant, Honda, 3-12
6. Matt Goerke, KTM, 7-9
7. Jake Moss, Yamaha, 10-8
8. Trey Canard, Honda, 5-13
9. Ryan Sipes, KTM, 13-6
10. Martin Davalos, KTM, 39-3

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