The 2017 Freestone Amateur Spring National is in the books. The 7th annual, top ranking AMA Championship in Wortham, TX brought out a who’s who of amateur motocross which made for some competitive racing. Team TLD/Red Bull/ Go Pro/ KTM Orange Brigade was out in full force with the addition of six Troy Lee Designs Elite Amateurs. TLD backed athletes in attendance included Sean Cantrell, Derek Drake, Pierce Brown, Daxton Bennick, Ryder DiFrancesco, Hannah Hodges, Austin Black, Parker Mashburn and Caden Braswell.
For Sean Cantrell Freestone would mark the final amateur national of his career before turning pro at Hangtown this May. The seasoned amateur showed his experience all week and set the pace early in practice to prove he was the rider to beat. Sean wrapped up the 250 A Open Pro Championship with a perfect 1-1-1 finish as he faced heavy showers in his final moto.
Cantrell commented, “I had great battles all week and I’m happy to cap off my amateur career with the 250 A win. The work begins now!”
Sean will line up as an official member of the TLD/Red Bull/ Go Pro/ KTM pro team May 27th.
Teammates Derek Drake and Pierce Brown competed in 3 out of 4 of the same classes all week, which made for some great battles in the stacked B classes. Starts proved to be key and Derek was consistently impressive off the line regardless of where he was on the gate. Drake ended with 2 overall titles in the 250 B and 250 B Limited classes. Brown respectively followed close behind in each class with 2 moto wins and a solid 2nd place overall in both the 450 B and 250 Limited classes.
Daxton Bennick, the newly signed 11 year old amateur out of North Carolina, was a workhorse. Dax competed in five classes all together and raced on a KTM 65 and 85 throughout the event. Despite the competitive field Bennick was difficult to beat. Overall the amateur racked up 3 championships in the 65 (10-11), 65 (10-11) Limited and 85 9-10) Limited classes. Dax was the only athlete to win 3 titles this year at Freestone.
Another addition to this year’s TLD moto roster, Ryder DiFransesco, picked up where Daxton Bennick left off. The freaky fast Bakersfield, CA native was flying early on his #199 machine and came across the line more than 15 seconds ahead of the nearest competitor in his first 85 (9-11) Limited division moto. Ryder went on to pick up the 85 (9-11) Limited title with a perfect 1-1 record.
Hannah Hodges decided not to wait until Saturday to race the WMX class, instead Hannah lined her 250 up against the fastest boys in the country in the 250 B class. While fighting through the pack in her 1st 250 B moto Hodges made contact with a tree in the back of the track and made the smart decision to sit her next races out in order focus on her upcoming WMX class. Hannah decision showed to be the right call, as she continued to reign supreme in WMX and captured her 3rd consecutive Women’s Motocross Cup (WMX) national titles.
All said and done the Troy Lee Designs amateurs made their presence felt by rounding up a total of 9 overall Freestone Championships in additional to several moto wins.
Photo Credit: Jacob Souder