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Mar 24, 2010

Lenz, Roberts, Rolleri Win USGPRU Races At Buttonwillow

Lex Hartl (47) and Joe Roberts (127) battle in the USGPRU 125cc GP at Buttonwillow. Photo by Sean McNew, courtesy of USGPRU.

The USGPRU kicked off the 2010 season of racing at Buttonwillow Raceway this past weekend.

The Pilot 125GP started the races with Lex Hartl in pole position and Joe Roberts, Bennie Taylor and Andre Ochs filling out the rest of the front row. An accident on the first lap brought out the red flag right away, and the race had to be restarted. On the restart, Hartl led the field into turn one. Roberts passed Hartl later on in the first lap. The two swapped the lead several times before Roberts broke free and opened up a gap of a half-second and held on for the win. Deion Campbell started from 14th due to a gridding error (he should have been gridded 7th), but fought back to 7th place within the first two laps. Hard-charging Peter Lenz, who started from 15th, clawed his way up to third place by the second lap and pushed hard after the leaders, setting the fast lap of the race with a blistering 1:55.313 setting the 125GP track record by a half-second in the process. But the two-second gap was too much to make up, and he settled for third. Ochs held off Taylor for fourth. The first adult to cross the line was veteran racer, Erik Dadej in 6th.

The defending 2009 250GP west coast champion, Vince Rolleri, led the Moto Liberty/RS Taichi 250GP field into turn one. Sixty-two-year-old race legend, Bruce Lind, was forced to race his B-bike due to gremlins in his A-bike. Lind launched himself from the second row and battled Rolleri into turn one. Rolleri held on for the first lap and began to open up an advantage. Kevin Winter and Jeff Pratt fought for third. Pratt passed Winter and began chasing down Lind, and caught him on the final lap. Lind, Winter, and Pratt went three-wide into the final turn, and Lind came out of the tussle in the lead to clinch second place. Pratt squeaked by Winter at the line. Daniel Qualtire rounded out the top five.

Peter Lenz qualified fastest for the Moriwaki MD250H Powered by HONDA and Rev'it! race. Hartl, Ochs and Tyler Linders joined him on the front row. The start saw plenty of drama as the field funneled down into the hairpin turn two. Ochs and Lenz banged bars and crashed out which brought out another red flag. Fortunately, both riders and bikes made it back to the grid for the restart. Hartl again led the pack cleanly through the first couple of turns with Lenz on his rear wheel. Ochs pitted on the first lap with a mechanical issue caused by the earlier crash. Lenz took the lead from Hartl on lap four and went on to claim victory. Tyler Linders secured third place.

This weekend saw the first race of the new Moto3 class sponsored by GP Tech. The exciting new class features a classic "David vs Goliath" battle that pits unlimited ultra-light 125GP bikes against hot-rod Honda powered 250cc 4-stroke Moriwakis and the heavier 450 4-stroke singles. Joe Roberts had an amazing qualifying session that put him on pole position. Peter Lenz, Benny Taylor and Andre Ochs filled the first starting row. Unfortunately, Roberts crashed out on the first lap, and stopped the race. The restart began with Tommy Aquino's younger brother, Michael, leading the mixed field on his YZ450 powered machine only to lowside harmlessly in turn two. Lenz snagged the lead and charged hard to his second victory of the day as Taylor and Ochs stayed within striking distance. Tucker Lancaster and Gerry Signorelli crossed the line 4th and 5th respectively. The USGPRU would like to thank the AFM for hosting an excellent weekend of racing, particularly Shawn, Paddy and Mary for all of their hard work and hospitality!

Pilot 125GP Race Results: 1. Joe Roberts (Hon) 2. Lex Hartl (Hon) 3. Peter Lenz (Hon) 4. Bennie Taylor (Hon) 5. Andre Ochs (Hon) 6. Erik Dadej (Hon) 7. Deion Campbell (Hon) 8. Tucker Lancaster (Hon) 9. Deb Barton (Hon) 10. Gerry Signorelli (Mor) 11. Conor Matthews (Hon) 12. Andrew Artola (Hon) 13. Tyler Linders (Hon) 14. Kevin Murray (Yam) 15. DNF Cameron Gish (Hon)

Rev'it! Leathers presents the Moriwaki MD250H Powered by HONDA Race Results: 1. Peter Lenz (Mor) 2. Lex Hartl (Mor) 3. Tyler Linders (Mor) 4. Andre Ochs (Mor) 5. Conor Matthews (Mor) 

 Moto Liberty / RS-Taichi 250GP Race Results: 1. Vince Rolleri (Yam) 2. Bruce Lind (Yam) 3. Jeff Pratt (Yam) 4. Kevin Winter (Yam) 5. Daniel Qualtire (Yam) 

GP Tech Moto3 Race Results: 1. Peter Lenz (Hon 125) 2. Bennie Taylor (Hon 125) 3. Andre Ochs (Hon 125) 4. Tucker Lancaster (Hon 125) 5. Gerry Signorelli (Mor 250) 6. Tyler Linders (Hon 125) 7. Michael Aquino (Yam 450)

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