Long Leads the Charge for Yamaha at Loretta Lynns
Yamaha’s bLU cRU riders once again enjoyed a successful outing at the iconic Loretta Lynn Ranch, claiming six number-one plates and 17 moto wins at this year’s 41st running of the Monster Energy AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship. Avery Long had a stellar debut with the NSA Yamaha Rock River Parts Unlimited Moose team, leaving Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, with a pair of titles and the honor of AMA Amateur Racer of the Year. Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing’s Haiden Deegan put on a masterclass performance to sweep the Schoolboy 2 class for his seventh title at Loretta Lynn’s. Muc-Off FXR Club MX Yamaha team owner and manager Brandon Hass enjoyed a long-awaited return to the ranch and notched his first title in the Vet 30+ class. Long’s teammate Kade Johnson took home the number one plate in the Mini Sr. 2 class, while the young Boone Lloyd sealed the deal aboard his Lloyd Concrete Motosport Roanoke Pro Flo Triangle Cycle Yamaha PW50 in the Micro 1 (4-6) Shaft Drive Ltd. Championship.
Long showed strength straight away aboard his NSA Yamaha Rock River Parts Unlimited Moose YZ450F. In the first 450B moto, he made a heroic come back from a tip over on the opening lap, charging from 30th to second. He then strung together a series of wins, taking victory in the second 450B moto and a pair of victories in the 450B Limited class. Another runner-up finish in Friday’s final 450B moto secured his first title (2-1-2). Long added another victory to his tally on Saturday to sweep the 450B Limited class for his second championship of the week. The Minnesota rider was named AMA Amateur Racer of the Year for his standout performance.
Although Deegan’s week got off to a tough start with a DNF in the first 250B moto, he came back swinging and scored four moto victories as well. He proved unbeatable in the Schoolboy 2 class, taking three dominant wins to score his first AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship with the Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing team. The second-generation racer also showed strength in the 250B class. He had to retire early from that first moto with some damage to his bike after he and another rider made contact, giving him a less than ideal gate pick for Moto 2 and putting an end to his title hopes in that class. Undeterred, Deegan made an impressive charge from 10th to second in Moto 2 and then got off to a flying start to take the lead early and top the podium in the final moto.
Haas, who normally wears the hat of Muc-Off FXR Club MX Yamaha team owner and manager, lined up on the gate last week at Loretta Lynn’s. He battled to victory in the first Vet (30+) moto and topped the podium again with a wire-to-wire victory in the second moto to head into the final moto with a three-point lead. Haas grabbed the holeshot and rode a smart race to secure the crown with a runner-up finish.
Johnson added another title to the NSA Yamaha Rock River Parts Unlimited Moose team’s tally with a strong performance in the Mini Sr. 2 category. After a runner-up finish in the first moto, the Texan tasted victory in Moto 2 and went on to clinch his title with a top-five finish. The young Lloyd enjoyed a win of his own, taking victory in the final moto to win the Micro 1 (4-6) Shaft Drive Ltd. Championship with a 2-3-1 tally. Also scoring a pair of victories in the class was Levi Meyer, who finished second overall behind Lloyd with a 1-1-6 score.
NSA Yamaha Rock River Parts Unlimited Moose team’s Gavin Towers and Logan Best scored wins in their opening motos, with Towers firing the first shot in the stacked 250 Pro Sport class and Best taking top honors in the 125 Junior (12-17) B/C category. Towers would end the week second overall with a 1-4-7 score, while a tough Moto 2 had Best finishing fifth overall in his category (1-13-2). Ashton Aruda won the first 250C Limited moto aboard his Tech Service Race Team DC III Suspension Distinctive Autobody FXR Yamaha YZ250F and went on to finish second overall (1-3-5).
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